After that awesome Taylor Swift number from Season 1, we weren’t sure “The Magicians” would ever be able to top itself, but Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo’s (Summer Bashil) latest performance to psyche themselves up before battle proved us wrong.
Having agreed to duel King Idri (Leonard Roberts) of Loria to settle the dispute between their kingdoms, Eliot needs a little surge of confidence before the battle. Thankfully, “Les Miserables” is always there to save the day. Now that he’s decided to marry Idris (because Fillory is having none of your monogamous heteronormativity), he’s only got one more problem: Margo accidentally traded away his baby to the fairies in exchange for fixing Fillory’s wellspring issues.
We spoke with Hale Appleman about what this means for Margo and Elliot’s friendship as well as what his new three person marriage would look like.
Tell me about that shooting that insane musical number.
I’m a little terrified about it. It was fun, but it kind of came out of left field. I wasn’t expecting it until about a week before we shot the episode, so John McNamara loves to pull tricks out of his magical bag and that was one that he had waiting for us. It was kind of this incredible surprise.
I had mentioned kind of casually that I really always wanted to swashbuckle and sword fight, and that if the opportunity ever arose on the show that would be kind of a life dream for me. When he threw the musical number on top of that, it was kind of like a whole other story. I just really tried to prepare as much as I could. I hope the fans do.
Were you excited when you found out it was ‘Les Miserables’?
I happened to have played Javert as a child, and so it’s so fun that they put that in the script. He didn’t know that when he picked the song, which is what’s so weirdly full circle about the whole thing. I grew up doing musicals and played that role a couple times as a teenager, and John just somehow intuited that.
It was really fun. We had about a week to throw it together, and on a TV show you just do what you can with the time that you have, and it’s amazing that they somehow got the rights. I think it’s incredible, and we really just took it and ran with it.
I feel like there must be tons of blooper footage from that scene.
Yeah, I definitely tried to throw some physical comedy into the musical number that I think ended up on the editing room floor. Eliot sort of badly marching through the wild underbrush and sort of tripping as he’s singing. That didn’t really make it, but it was really fun. I always try to give him little moments of physical comedy.
It was a huge episode for Eliot as a whole, with the duel and the musical. Is it gratifying to get episodes like that?
I think they wanted it to be a powerful moment for Eliot, and him really rising to the occasion, which I really understand. I think that’s sort of the underlying, most important aspect for me in this episode, that Eliot is this reluctant superhero. He is heroic in his own way when push comes to shove when he has to be. He’s tried to suppress a lot of his power in order to forget the trauma and tragedy of his past, and it doesn’t usually end well when he unleashes on people.
I think this is an opportunity to step up to the plate and enjoy his potential as a hero and as a leader, and I think that’s really important.
In true Eliot fashion, he finds door number three and marries King Idri instead of killing him. What is that relationship going to look like?
I just kind of hope he gets the sexual attention that he’s been craving, and that he has the beginning of a lovely, budding romance with someone that has potential for him I think. I don’t know too far ahead in terms of the future of their story. Also, Eliot mentions to Margo that he might just be using Idri to get information, so he’s seeing both sides of it. He’s like, “I can get laid, I can get information for the kingdom, maybe I’ll fall in love?” It’s all of the above.
Will this three-person marriage cause issues with Fen?
I would imagine there would be awkwardness. I don’t think Fen’s (Brittany Curran) pleased. I don’t think Margo is pleased. But I think Eliot has needed this for a really long time, and he deserves it. Fen’s got some other issues on her plate in terms of this deal Margo has made with the fairies.
How will Eliot react to the news that Margo traded his kid away?
Not well. It’s a huge chasm in their friendship. Ultimately they will always come around and find each other again, but this is not a really good moment for them. They really have to negotiate their ruling styles and find ways of compromising in a way that doesn’t put people’s lives on the line.
Will we see more Eliot & Quentin bonding moments now that he’s released Niffin Alice?
You will! There’s a moment in preparation for Eliot’s marriage to Idri in which there’s a little glimpse of “Queliot” for all the Queliot lovers out there.
Is that the official Quentin & Eliot ship name?
Oh yeah, it’s happened. There’s cases of Eliot fanart lurking in all sorts of corners of the world wide web. It’s happening. Yeah, I love working with Jason. I’d love to have more screen time with him in the future. I hope this coming season we get to play more.
Eliot is still stuck in Fillory at this point, is that still hanging on his mind?
Yeah, I think it is at this point in time. There might be a little twist towards the end of the season, but I can’t say much more about that.
“The Magicians” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.