The Magicians Season 2 Episode 6 Review: The Cock Barrens

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The quest to bring Alice back took a dramatic turn.

When Quentin couldn't summon her Niffin, he headed back to Earth to say goodbye beside her parents on The Magicians Season 2 Episode 6 "The Cock Barrens."

That's when he received the biggest surprise of them all: Alice's Niffin survived the fight with his demon.

And Alice has been hitching a ride inside Quentin's tattoo all this time!

Quentin researches  - The Magicians

We have to take a moment to applaud this twist.

I assumed Alice would be back from the moment she appeared to die. These guys are magicians. They regularly travel to a magical fantasy world. How hard could it be to resurrect a powerful magician?

Alice did tell the Beast she knew what she was doing on The Magicians Season 2 Episode 3. She chose to become a Niffin. But now we have a bigger question: did she do it just to save her friends and stop the Beast?

Or was she in it for the revenge all along?

You're kind of freaking me out. I mean I love you, but you're very ghost-like right now.

Quentin

The whole reason Alice came to Brakebills in the first place, without an invitation, was because she wanted to find out what happened to her brother.

She doesn't have a good relationship with her parents. Her relationship with Quentin imploded in the worst possible way.

Maybe she's been playing the long game. Maybe she traded in all the heartache and resentment in favor of vengeance. 

And if she did, should we judge her for it?

The men in Alice's life - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 6

Okay, yes, we probably should.

Her parents might be the worst, but they're still grieving for their daughter. And Quentin's desperate to have the woman he loves back. He's wanted another chance ever since he made his intoxicated mistake. 

It's entirely possible the Alice we love is still in there. She was working on a Niffin cure. Maybe she can still be saved. I hope she can still be saved.

We need more complex female characters in the land of the living.

Sharing Secrets - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 5

As usual, Julia and Kady took two steps forward only to be shoved ten steps back.

It seemed way too easy for Julia to track down Dana, the woman who vanished Reynard the first time. So it was no surprise when Dana took her hostage. Because nothing can ever be easy for Julia.

We did get one surprise. Dana harnessed the energy and god-power from her baby as she gave birth. That's how she vanished Reynard the first time.

It's also the only way Julia can do it: if she gives birth.

Best Bitches Bonding - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 5

Considering Julia said she'd rather kill herself, that seems unlikely to happen.

But now we have another mystery on our hands: Dana's baby is still out there. All we know is that he's alive and well and powerful.

It has to be someone we've already met, right? I'm having a hard time coming up with potential "suspects". We haven't met a lot of 40-year-old men at Brakebills or in Fillory.

Will this tie into the group Kady found or will that be an additional mystery? I don't want to see this storyline become too bogged down with questions.

Prince Ess: And to seal the alliance, I, Crown Prince of Loria, offer my hand in marriage to the virgin Queen Margo.
Eliot: [laughing] Um, okay.
Margo: Did he just call me a virgin?

Crazy hijinks reigned in Fillory once more.

A lot of the tongue-in-cheek references and puns make me roll my eyes. They feel like they're trying too hard to be funny and clever rather than just letting it happen organically.

But Prince Ess, and Eliot's initial reaction to his name, made me laugh. As did his request for the virgin's queen hand in marriage. 

Meet the Prince! - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 6

Amusing antics aside, the reality of arranged marriage became an issue for Eliot and Margo's friendship.

She didn't understand why he would think it was okay to marry her off to a stranger with potential consent issues. He didn't understand why she couldn't see the irony considering his own circumstances.

Margo and Eliot have the best relationship on the show. But that doesn't stop them from failing to see things from the other's perspective from time to time.

I worried this would come between them while everything around them is on fire.

Queen Down! - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 6

Instead, thanks to Fen's confession, Eliot changed his tune.

It's hard not to feel bad for him. He's had to grow up extra fast since coming to Fillory. He's still coming to grips with being a leader, a husband, and now a father-to-be.

Of course it hurt that Fen didn't tell him the whole truth. Now he has one less person he can trust. She could still redeem herself. 

But I'm not sure Eliot is the type to forgive and forget. Even if he forgives her, I don't think he'll let her into his heart.

Fen: Eliot, please understand. I had a life before you came. I had no idea if you even would come. Fillory is my home and I care about it.
Eliot: So you became a terrorist?

Then again, personal problems will probably have to take a backseat now that Margo's declared war on the Kingdom of Loria.

I can't blame her for being angry. Not only for the attempted hostile wedding takeover, but for trying to play them for fools with the disappearing castle trick. 

On the other hand, Margo and Eliot are in no way prepared to wage war on anyone. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

The High King and I hereby declare war on the Kingdom of Loria.

Margo

What did you think of "The Cock Barrens?" Did Alice choose the Niffin life for nefarious reasons? Or can we still get her back? Did Margo make the right call when she refused to marry Ess? Should Eliot forgive Fen?

Hit the comments below and share your thoughts with us.

If you need to catch up or just want to relive the magic, you can watch The Magicians online anytime! 

The Cock Barrens Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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