Word as Bond
IMG 6280
Original Air date March 15, 2017
Written by Sera Gamble
Directed by James L. Conway
Episode Navigation
Preceded by
Plan B
Followed by
Lesser Evils

Word as Bond is the eighth episode of the second season of The Magicians. It is also the twenty-first episode overall.


Eliot hovers between life and death while Margo is forced to take charge of Fillory. Alice makes it increasingly difficult for Quentin to keep his secret to himself, and Julia loses her shade.[1]


We open with Kady (Jade Tailor) and Quentin (Jason Ralph) observing a sleeping Julia (Stella Maeve). This is post demon spawn abortion. Kady explains to Q that the procedure removed more than the fetus. Julia’s Shade, her soul, was also nicked in the process. Remember when the Beast tried to persuade Julia to remove her Shade? Kady is worried about the potential change in Julia’s behavior. She is her best bitch, after all.

Later, Julia hops down the stairs, whistling merrily like the lost eighth dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Kady is taken aback, much like the rest of the world. Julia is a carbon copy of our favorite musically inclined Beast. Kady shows Julia her latest research into god-killing spells, and how they all failed miserably. Julia is not ready to give up. She conjures a plan to hunt down Dana’s (the other witch Reynard impregnated) son, who could be an abundant source of power. Since he would be considered a demigod, it might just be enough to banish the trickster permanently.

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Meanwhile, Quentin and Niffin Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) commence their Word as Bond pact. She will assume control of Q’s body thirty minutes a day, but she has to abide by some rules. No sex and no hurting people. Sounds fair to me. Niffin Alice is ecstatic at the prospect of test driving our Q. She tells him when the clock strikes midnight, it’s her turn.

Later, our favorite High Queen Margo (Summer Bishil) updates Quentin on Eliot’s condition. Healers will enchant the Bridge (the one they crossed in the season premiere), which in turn will allow his consciousness to transfer from golem to real Eliot. Also, Castle Whitespire is experiencing periodic “magical brownouts,” due to the still shit-filled Wellspring. Oh, and Lorian troops are quickly closing in on Fillory. If anyone can handle the madness, it’s our badass Fillory Clinton. They visit the comatose Eliot (Hale Appleman) and his dearly departed golem. Fen (Brittany Curran) sits by his side, clearly overcome with worry. Quentin is also distraught over his friend. Honey, we all are. Eliot is the life force for virtually everyone. However, Margo encourages Q to rush to check on Julia and provide comfort for her. So he does just that.

Back at Brakebills, Quentin encounters the chipper Julia that has, well, never existed till now. She informs Kady and Q that she located a hospital outside of Hoboken that took in a surrendered newborn back in 1976. Could this be Dana’s son? While her friends bask in the wonder of Julia’s super sleuthing skills, the latter creates a magical door to the Land of Hoboken. Despite Kady and Q’s protests of Julia leaving Brakebills unprotected, our Jules takes a risk and forges into the fray. Reynard be damned! Leaving the protection of magical wards also be damned!

Meanwhile, in the Land of Hoboken, it’s not long till the trickster god himself Reynard (Mackenzie Astin) finds Julia. He too is searching for his lost son and claims Dana did not provide any useful information. I think it’s safe to assume Dana is dead. Reynard is taken aback by Julia’s new demeanor. He notices her Shade is missing. Right on cue, Q appears and whisks Julia away to Fillory via their magical teleporting button. Bye, Reynard!

Back in Fillory, Quentin decides it would be best for Julia to stay in Castle Whitespire with Margo. She would be protected by magical wards and free from Reynard’s clutches. Julia reluctantly agrees. Quentin vows to help Kady in their continued quest to banish Reynard. Niffin Alice pops up and reminds Q it’s almost time for her to take the wheel (but not like Jesus though). Q pops out, leaving Margo and Julia alone together. Can we say sassy buddy road trip comedy?

Later, Quentin enters the Physical Kids’ house. The clock strikes twelve and Niffin Alice dives in uninhibited. Quentin’s going to play backseat driver for a bit. Niffin Alice as Quentin strolls briskly out the door.

Meanwhile, Margo is meeting with her Council, spearheaded by Tick Pickwick (Rizwan Manji). They inform her of Lorian troops continuing their march toward Fillory. They are currently located at the edge of the One Way Forest, a cluster of intelligent trees that have been known to side with Loria. Basically, they’re screwed. Julia, who is observing in the background, informs the group of the trees housing a Dryad that acts as a spokesperson. They need to negotiate with said Dryad. Julia offers to accompany Margo for the negotiation, much to Tick’s disapproval. Margo allows Julia to come as long as she remains silent and looks “vaguely indignant.” Well, Julia is good at that.

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Later, Quentin wakes up groggily in the library with a few research books beside him. Niffin Alice assures him repeatedly it’s nothing of consequence. Quentin digs a little deeper. Niffin Alice informs him that monks used to scribble spells in the margins of books – spells to reverse the Niffin state. The lightbulb flickers on for Q. He realizes Niffin Alice wants to be just Alice.

Meanwhile, Penny (Arjun Gupta) makes a pit stop in the Neitherlands in search of a book for Mayakovsky. The Librarian (Mageina Tovah) offers to help Penny regain control of his hands and acquire magic again…for a price. Penny must join the Order of Librarians in servitude for a million years. Our favorite curmudgeonly traveler refuses. Servitude for a million years? Talk about planning your afterlife.

Later, Kady and Quentin are at Brakebills, grabbing on to any leads regarding Dana’s son that float their way. While their current lead falls by the wayside, Penny returns from another meeting with Mayakovsky. He notices something is wrong with Quentin. Penny seems to be on the cusp of discovering Niffin Alice. You know, the angry spirit of Q’s dead ex-girlfriend that lives in his back. Niffin Alice demands Quentin maintains his composure. Q leaves, flustered. Penny and Kady broach the subject of their relationship. Are they going to continue to bang and rob banks? Penny offers his help in banishing Reynard, and tells Kady they can keep things professional if she wants to. Kady agrees to this.

Meanwhile, Margo and Julia venture to the One Way Forest to meet its resident Dryad (Grey Damon). And…whoa. Please permit me to be superficial for a moment, friends. Let’s just say I’m currently making plans to move to the One Way Forest in Fillory. You know, a nonexistent realm. Anyway, he still resents Fillory for never truly supporting the needs of the forest. He also thinks the High King himself should be negotiating with him, not two women. Okay, I rescind my initial statement. Dryad guy is really a douchebag guy. He denies them passage through the forest.

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Later, Quentin meets with Kady and Penny to discuss their next course of action. Quentin jumps on the subject of “time sight,” where they could potentially see into the past and get a glimpse of what happened to Dana’s son. Niffin Alice goads Quentin on as the latter attempts to explain to Penny a subject he knows nothing about. Penny and Kady are definitely suspicious of Q’s wellbeing…or lack thereof. He offers Niffin Alice thirty extra minutes a day to help them in their mission to banish Reynard. Niffin Alice reveals to Quentin a light bending device that can allow them to view the past. Penny whisks away to retrieve said device from a professor’s office.

Meanwhile, Margo visits Eliot alone and quietly pleads with him to wake up. She breaks down, claiming no one supports her and she can’t rule a kingdom alone. I say the naysayers need to take a seat because my Margo is a true Queen.

Later, Quentin, Kady and Penny are at the hospital in the Land of Hoboken where Dana’s baby was surrendered. Via their light bending viewfinder device, they see snapshots of the past. Such a cool concept. When they finally get a snap of the demigod baby, the person cradling said baby’s face is smudged out. Completely unidentifiable. Our gang sits, wallowing in another bout of defeat.

Meanwhile, Julia ventures back to the One Way Forest, on a mission. She spots the Lorian magician Ilario (Everrett Shea) loitering in the forest. She forces him to cast a spell on an object that, when worn on her person, will render her invisible to Reynard. Julia encounters the Dryad again, who tells her to go home. She gives him a beautiful box, claiming it a token of peace. He seems to at least appear amenable to such a gift. As Julia walks away, we see the forest go up in a fiery explosion. A forest of intelligent trees cries, their screams woven in the flames. Julia smirks like the newfound bad girl she is. I like Julia as a baddie.

Later, Niffin Alice as Quentin meets with an Anglerbeast (Bracken Hanke) disguised as a child in a park. She beseeches the Anglerbeast to tell her of Friar Joseph, a powerful magician who might be able to help Niffin Alice. The Anglerbeast refuses to divulge any information without payment. Niffin Alice, deciding time is short, acts quickly. Real Quentin wakes up after an hour. He is horrified to see the Anglerbeast slain, especially since it resembles a child. Niffin Alice said the Anglerbeast was a monster and deserved it. She needed information. Q is starting to regret his pact with his angry ghost lover.

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Meanwhile, Margo gets wind of the demise of the One Way Forest. She pins Julia as the culprit. Margo is furious, as she was trying to broker peace even with the Lorian troops approaching. She has her guards lock Julia in the dungeons. Julia, getting a taste for that crime life. Well, she’s going to be super safe now. Quentin will be thrilled!

Later, Q is in the library researching how to reverse a Word as Bond. Niffin Alice appears and informs him of its inability to reversed. Now it’s Quentin’s turn to break down. He desperately wants to help his friends but feels he is powerless to do so. Niffin Alice does the opposite of consoling him and calls him a failure. Then, she zips inside and gains control. Niffin Alice is a fun Alice.

Meanwhile, Penny returns to the Physical Kids’ House to witness a drunk Kady in all her inebriated glory. She reveals to him her struggles with her addiction and how the alcohol provides a distraction from that. Kady also confesses to Penny her true feelings – that she isn’t his girlfriend and doesn’t need him to save her. Penny appears to be devastated. Aw, buddy. I just want them to be together!

Later, Quentin wakes up in the backseat of a taxi…in Ireland. Of course, Niffin Alice is seated beside him. Q demands to know what she did, so they go back the way they came. She takes him to an abandoned church with various objects situated around the space – doves flapping in a cage, choral music playing.

We see Friar Joseph (Jamie Harris) make his grand appearance. Apparently, this was all orchestrated to summon the very, very old magician. He asks why Quentin summoned him and notices Niffin Alice. Q tries to bind the now clearly niffin Friar Joseph, but he cannot be bound. Niffin Alice wishes to learn Friar Joseph’s ways – that of a niffin that can’t be boxed. He mocks her and says she is incapable of existing beyond Q’s body. She must free herself, then the Friar will help her. He disappears and Niffin Alice is distraught. Q’s nose starts bleeding, and it is a surefire sign of his body reacting poorly to housing a niffin.

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Later, back in Fillory, the healers perform a spell to allow Eliot’s consciousness to return to his body. Unfortunately, it appears to have failed. Margo vows to care for a distraught Fen. Suddenly, Eliot wakes up. The spell worked! Finally, the light of my life has returned! Commence the drinking of Fillorian champagne!

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Meanwhile, Penny reveals to Kady that he discovered the name of Dana’s son. He stole it from a book in the Neitherlands library, which he now works for. Kady asks if he did this for her (of course he did). Penny reveals that he loves her. Heavy stuff, folks! Anyway, Q ruins the moment by entering. Penny notices Quentin’s nose is bleeding. Kady gives him the one-two punch, so Penny can “incept” his mind. Our traveler pops in on a very angry Niffin Alice, who tries to choke Penny and screams at him to get out. Penny returns to reality and tells Kady that Alice is living inside Q.

So many twists this week! Julia getting her Shade removed opened up some doors (literally) for her. I enjoyed seeing the gang working more closely together as we get to the back half of the season. Niffin Alice has a purpose, which of course keeps Olivia Taylor Dudley employed and I support that. Penny discovered Niffin Alice’s existence,



Guest StarringEdit



Alice's Niffen kills the AnglerBeast with a Conan 'Fangs of the serpant' dagger.