The Magicians – Be the Penny

It’s safe to say Be the Penny was one of the best episode of The Magicians.

It was my favorite, and that means ranking above the Les Miz episode, which is almost blasphemy for me!  Penny, a rather forgettable character in the books, is brought to life brilliantly by Arjun Gupta and the writers of the show.


The best part of this episode was I couldn’t figure out what was going to happen next.  Every time I thought Penny was going to reach someone, he was cock-blocked and the scene shifted.  When screaming at friends “I’m over here!” didn’t work, Penny takes to Margolum in the pee-in-your-pants while laughing out loud moment of the show.  Something about Quentin hitting the Margolum with Penny in it had me doubled over.



Then the writers play with you again when they send Julia and Quentin to the haunted dorm room of Rupert Chatwin’s boyfriend.  There Penny almost gets the dead spirits to communicate that’s his astral projection is alive!  But, nope.  Julia and Q leave in the middle of a traumatic flashback for the ghost.

Penny finally takes matters into his own hands becoming the candle and setting his body on fire so he wouldn’t spend eternity in the library.  So, Penny’s gone.  For real now.  No body, at least.

But no, the show doesn’t end it there.   It ends on a hard cut of Eliot saying, “Hi, Penny,” in front of everyone.  With the key of truth in his possession, somehow Eliot can see Penny’s astral projection.  But he doesn’t know Penny’s “dead” to everyone else.

And CUT!  Brilliantly written show.  Brilliantly acted episode.  If this is the future of The Magicians, we are in for an awesome ride.

Oh, yeah.  Julia and Quentin traipse around the episode with Dean Fogg to locate another the key, leading them on a scavenger hunt for a Code 7 ghost (student suicide or exploding) and a Brakebills descendant.  Enter creepy fairies.


I know, I know.   I skipped over The Losses of Magic.  It was a better episode than Heroes and Morons, I’ll give it that.  But the heavy focus on Alice being attacked, and especially the reason why, was too dark and depressing for my likes.  Knowing now what we know of Alice in her niffin phase, I’m not sure I can rally to her side again.

The best moment of The Losses of Magic was Margo asking the Muntjac to give stern over to another ship, but being a woman and probably having her fair share of sexual harassment, Margo didn’t force the issue.  She let her girl go.


Margo is growing in Fillory.  Like Penny, her character is given more depth on the show than the pages of the books.

Watch The Magicians Wednesday 9pm on SyFy.  Follow Chris on Twitter @ACCooksonWriter and Novel2Screen for reviews, recaps, interviews, and more!

Special thanks to The Magicians Fans Facebook Group.  

Photos courtesy of SyFy.

One thought on “The Magicians – Be the Penny

  1. Thank you Chris. This was my favorite so far as well. Arjun was at his usual level – brilliant! Everyone is believable. The writers are making us live the story.

    Liked by 1 person

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