The Magicians: The Cock Barrens

Eliot: “What the actual all-encompassing fuck is this?”
Timid: “Your majesty, you said you wanted a unicorn milk latte.”
Eliot: “I was joking. Wait, you milked a unicorn?”

This episode’s mostly just there to push the plot forward, but there’s still some fun, cool stuff happening.

First new plot point is Alice the niffin. Once again, Quentin has the mystery figured out from the start, when he tries summoning and de-niffifying her in Fillory (because that went so well during the last attempt). Alice doesn’t show up, so he heads to her memorial to tell her parents what happened. It’s a testament to his character growth that he goes out of the way to tell them, and tell them in person. We already know Quentin’s having a hard time with it, but he sucks it up so he can do right by her memory and her parents.

But his noble act is interrupted by ghost Alice. As her parents help him put her soul to rest, they each get a healthy dose of torture. Alice’s father tries to face his cowardice, something he thinks Alice was ashamed of him for, and he ends up badly injured. Alice’s mother is forced to admit to the way Alice saw their relationship; that she never understood her and even resented her. It all ends in tears, and then Alice reveals her niffin self to Quentin. It makes a lot of sense that a niffin version of Alice would want revenge on the parents she hated, and seeing the joy she takes in that revenge does make you wonder what she’ll do next and who her next target is. That said, other than the whole cowardly father thing, her revenge doesn’t reveal all that much about her or her upbringing, which is upsetting. The whole niffin thing is an interesting reveal, but not much else.

Julia and Kady uncover a decent amount of information during their dangerous detectiving. (Mostly) Julia uncovers the location of the woman who last banished Reynard and heads over there without Kady’s help (because of course she does). Apparently, the woman needed to use the energy built up by her and Reynard’s baby’s birth to banish him, so she kidnaps Julia to force her into doing the same. Luckily, Kady finds Julia and knocks the crazy lady out. With new information on Reynard (apparently he has a son out there somewhere) and an adorable new haxon-paxon, they head out for their next task: a magical abortion.

The whole kidnapping and rescue worked well for a few reasons. It was perfectly in character and not the least contrived for Julia to make the stupid decision to track down the woman herself. We’ve already seen how determined, stubborn, and desperate she is to end Reynard; there was no way she was going to slow down. It was also a nice touch to have Julia lend a bit of help to Kady in her rescue by magically hand-printing the wall. Julia’s also smart and super suspicious; of course she wouldn’t go into a creepy basement without leaving any signs of her whereabouts. Finally, it was just a lot of fun to see Kady knock the lady out. That would’ve been enough by itself, really.

Finally, Margo starts a war. Somehow, the idea of Margo setting off a war isn’t inconceivable, but it still isn’t smart. So Prince Ess of Loria threatens the kingdom of Fillory, demanding half the wellspring and Margo’s hand in marriage. Margo, of course, refuses, so Prince Ess kidnaps their kingdom. Which turns out to just be a work of illusion magic, but the damage was already done. Margo slept with him and he was just obnoxious in general, so she declares war. Stupid idea, given their current financial state.

What I liked about this plot line was Margo and Eliot’s argument regarding forced marriages. Eliot fairly brings up the fact that this is just the way diplomacy works in royalty and he’d already been forced to take a wife himself. But Margo has a point. While it is terrible for Eliot that he’s forced to be with someone from a gender he isn’t really attracted to (he likes her in a “sometimes-you-like-Thai-food kinda way”), his marriage wouldn’t have likely put him in the dangerous position Margo could’ve ended up in. Because of their world’s misogynistic principles Prince Ess would likely have more power than Margo and he comes off as super arrogant and hostile, all of which could’ve resulted in an abusive relationship. None of that was true for Eliot. But the war was still a stupid call.

Bits and Pieces

-- I do feel bad for Alice’s parents. As sucky as they might’ve been, it’s horrible that they lost both their children.

-- Julia drinks straight pickle juice. She is pregnant with a … I don’t know. Demi-god? But still, that’s kinda gross.

-- Apparently Prince Ess is progressive for a Lorian. He’d even let Margo speak in public. I maintain that there’s no way this relationship could’ve been healthy or safe.

-- Fen admits to Eliot she’s a former Foo Fighter. I know it’s not actually spelled that way, but I don’t care.

-- Kady finds a possible lead on a magical abortion, but her contacts warn her against it.

-- Reynard kills the woman now that her haxon-paxon’s gone. Maybe I should feel bad, but I don’t.

Tick: “Your majesties, the much-venerated Emissaries of our neighbors to the north. I present Prince Ess of Loria.”
Eliot: “I'm sorry, ‘Princess?’”
Prince: “Please, call me Ess.”
Eliot: “Prince ... Ess. Oh, my God. Fuck your parents, dude.”

Penny: “Where are you?”
Margo: “Loria. Some canyon with these purple-ish rock things.”
Penny: “Rock things? What—”
Margo: “Dicks, okay? They look like dicks.”
Penny: “Uh, full-sail or half?”
Margo: “Honestly, it's a variety pack out there.”

Three out of four adorable haxon-paxons.

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

Alice as a niffin is seriously creeping me out. I like Alice and I hate seeing her this way. In fact, while Penny is my favorite character, the one I identify most with is Alice.

And I felt bad for her parents, even though it was obvious that they deserved what they got.

I couldn't help feeling bad for the woman that kidnapped Julia. Yes, she was horribly wrong, but she was initially a Reynard victim, too, trying to cope with the horrible thing that happened to her.