The Magicians: The Cock Barrens

Episode 6 of season 2 (The Cock Barrens) sees the show taking our characters into completely new territory–and by new territory we mean that every story line has officially deviated fully from Lev Grossman’s source material.

This is a welcomed change as it allows book readers to enjoy a fresh, new story and not be blindsided when things line up too perfectly in one scene and not the other, and for fans who haven’t read the books it leaves a little mystery and nuance for if they ever do decide to read them (you should!)

See our Episode 6 review of The Cock Barrens below!  And join us for livetweeting of the new episode Wednesday at 9!

First and foremost, episode 6 finally ave us all of the Margo scenes we’ve been dying for.  Summer Bishil gets to run the full gambit of this episode, going from compassionate friend, to diplomatic queen, to smitten, to the conqueror she was born to be–and she serves body and resting bitch face the whole time.

I mean just look at her

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[TGON theories: We expect that the story line with Prince Ess could possibly end as a substitute for her journey of self discovery in The Magician Land, and is likely to end with his demise and her embracing her ice magic discipline and raining frigid destruction down on Prince Ess and his kingdom (Princedom?)–which seems in line with her recoiling at discovering the Prince’s illusion and how it shook her enough to declare war on Loria.]

The most interesting and surprising story line continues to be Julia’s.  This week she is able to locate Dana, the woman who banished Reynard the first time, and rudely shows up to the poor woman’s house unannounced.

The entire scene is filled with red flags that this was a bad idea!  For example, our first glimpse of Dana is her unloading an UNCOMFORTABLE amount of kitty litter

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There’s also the idea that—if Reynard hasn’t tracked her down and killed her, why does Julia not question why her petri dish tracking spell worked so quickly?

[TGON theories: I find this whole thing to be a huge plot hole, as Dana dies at the hands of Reynard after Julia takes the Haxenpaxen that was concealing her…but as Dana herself said, Julia must have found her when she was at the store buying more litter away from??  Then why didn’t Reynard?? And why wasn’t Reynard pursuing Julia if she wasn’t properly warded and HP-less until now??  Seems unexplained. ]

Which brings us to the Haxenpaxen.  It is very under explained, but Sera Gamble explains in this “inside the episode” where the idea came from.  As a book fan I was very excited to see this new creature introduced in the show.  Even if the entire thing felt like an abridged version of “The Goonies” and Julia and Kady’s…liberation of the haxenpaxen lead to another death at the hands of Reynard (lots of moral ambiguity as to whether Dana was evil…sure she keeps the thing tied up and kid napped abducted Julia and was forcing her to give birth (a little more vigilante pro-life than anything we’ve ever seen).

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Undeniably the Julia-scenes were written wonderfully and had everyone guessing and blew minds with every other line and reveals and left out just enough to keep us wanting more (and dying to know who Dana’s half demon demigod baby grew up to be!)

Quentin’s story-line was a little lackluster.  He stole the first scene with his attempts to summon niffin Alice by returning to the scene of her “death” and performing a spell an interpretive dance (Cirque du Soleil interpretations were there THING.  Don’t judge!)

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Then  goes to Alice’s parents’ house for her wake and keeps seeing creepy flashes of her that guide him to make weird choices and discoveries–like breaking into her father’s study and finding the book of the damn to send everyone on a wild goose chase to try and “put her soul to rest”

[TGON rambles:  the line “I love you, but you’re very ghost-like” needs to be a tagline for some kind of show inspired by this scene because that is just hilarious]

Depending on you want to look at it this portion of the episode is either horribly boring with the parents being insufferable while adding nothing to the plot, or is a more artistic way to get from point A to point B and flesh out characters and furthers the themes of the series (realism in magic and coping?).  It at least gave us the visual of the most ugly, culturally appropriated pyramid since the Luxor!

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The episode ends with the big reveal that, SURPRISE! Alice isn’t dead!  She is still a niffin and [we were right] Quentin’s cacodemon was definitely not strong enough to ill her, but it did shove her into the trap tattoo on his back…so now he’s carrying a flame for her in the most literal sense!  So cute.

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Notice that subtle blue flame traveling from her neck to her cheekbone?  That is an amazingly cost effective but bad ass creepy cgi that keeps everything subtle a mysterious but bubbling with potential, and this clip fully embodies so many of the reasons that keep us loving this show!

Author: Michael

Game of Nerds writer, comedian, tumblr enthusiast, twitter user. @Bonersniper for all things.

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