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Recap / The Magicians 2016 S 02 E 06

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Season 2, Episode 6

The Cock Barrens

Quentin appears to be haunted by Alice's ghost, so he speaks to her parents at her memorial and they start working on an Ancient Egyptian ritual to lay her spirit to rest. Meanwhile, Eliot and Margo meet the Lorian prince, who demands Margo's hand in marriage. When Margo refuses, the prince kidnaps the entire castle by taking them to Loria.

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:


  • Bait-and-Switch: Julia assumes that the horrible, misshapen creature in the witch's basement is Reynard's child. It's actually a demon that creates an Anti-Magic field.
  • Bi the Way: This episode finally gives a firm explanation of Eliot's sexuality. He used to have sex with women on occasion, but vastly preferred men. So his marriage to Fen is hardly the end of the world, but it's not exactly fun, either.
  • Call-Back: The spell Margo uses to end the illusion on Whitespire is almost the same as the one she and Eliot used to end the forest illusion in "Impractical Applications", albeit in a much less dramatic manner.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: Everyone assumes the castle has been spirited away to Loria when in reality, it's still intact, just under a cloaking spell. Meanwhile, an illusion makes it look like the windows look out on Loria.
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  • It's All About Me: Alice's mother Stephanie spends the episode crying about how she was a good mother and didn't deserve for her daughter to die. She doesn't say a word about what Alice deserved. The ritual Alice used forces Stephanie to admit that she was a terrible mother who resented Alice because she never understood her.
  • Muggles Do It Better:
    • It's notable that the Quinn house, home to two of the most powerful magicians in the world, has a normal electronic lock on Daniel's private study.
    • Kady stumbles into a witch's anti-magic basement. Kady punches her out.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Quentin's insistence on doing the ritual for Alice results in her father being injured and her mother breaking down. Which is what Alice wanted all along...
    • Margo's anger leads to her declaring war on Loria.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Margo has such a dream after sleeping with Prince Ess. Penny happens to contact her during it and considers it prime fodder for a favor later.
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  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Julia needs to give birth in order to have the power to banish Reynard. Unsurprisingly, she doesn't go for it and Kady saves her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Eliot, for once; seems Dean Fogg's lessons are paying off. When we first see him, he is signing paperwork, and his reaction to Prince Ess' ridiculous offer is to politely promise to think about it. Even his fight with Fen is mostly calm, with some sharp words but nothing more—he doesn't toss her in the dungeon or order her killed like Margo suggests.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • Alice apparently cared more for hurting her parents then helping both them and Quentin deal with her death. Of course, she is a niffin at this point.
    • Margo declared war on Loria, even though Fillory is not strong enough to withstand one. On the one hand kidnapping the High King and High Queen (or convincing them that they've been kidnapped, anyway) is definitely an act of war, but on the other hand sometimes you have to let things slide for practical concerns.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Quentin's cacodaemon couldn't defeat a niffin, so it sealed Alice in the nearest suitable spot: the magical tattoo on his back.
  • Skewed Priorities: When the castle disappears, the cartographer is more interested in the fact that the maps are inaccurate than whatever happened to the people.
  • Troll: In hindsight, Alice's niffin. She was in Quentin's tattoo the entire time, and could have spoken to him clearly at any moment. She pretended to be a ghost to get her parents to help him with the ritual, which resulted in her father confronting his fear of heights (Alice's pet cat once died because her father wouldn't climb onto the roof to get her), and her mother to admit what a terrible job parenting she did.


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