Here’s a minor spoiler: we actually get to Fillory this time. Yes, for 30 glorious seconds, Quentin steps foot into Fillory in wondrous awe, accompanied by someone you probably wouldn’t expect. Those 30 seconds come at the very end of the episode, so I’m pretty certain we will have more Fillory-izing next week.
So how did we get there? Well, in the aftermath of Quentin having a menage de trois with Margo and Eliot, Alice tries to bury her anger and other emotions beneath swigs of triple sec. Penny joins her for a swig or two, and when Quentin decides to come apologizing to her door, he hears the two of them boinking away like crazy. Come on, like you didn’t see that one coming. Oddly, as much as Quentin has made his own bed (and done things in it), it’s hard not to feel sorry for him. He was under the influence of an enhanced emotion dump, whereas Alice was just buzzed on bad alcohol.
Anyhow, the gang is still trying to figure out how to stop the Beast, while also dealing with the problems of the Alice/Margo/Eliot/Quentin love quadrangle, before Penny ups it to a pentangle. Quentin visits with Dean Fogg and slips him a truth serum in search of answers, and he finds out that Jane Chatwin received a special watch locket in Fillory that allows her to “fuck with time”. In fact, she’s stuck everyone in time loop while trying to figure out how to change something so that the Beast can be stopped. It’s happened 39 times before, and each time she tweaks a setting. Turns out that this time around, the thing she changed was Julia getting into Brakebills.
Speaking of Julia, she’s been busy on her own. First, she and Kady visit the man that The Lady Underground, Julia’s new goddess friend, has sent them to. He’s ensconced in a fabulous penthouse apartment and spends his time playing video games. Just a note that if I’m able to come back as a minor deity, I wouldn’t mind taking that role. So, they give him three gifts, and in turn he allows them to contact The Lady. While celebrating this turn of events, Julia and Richard celebrate as well, sans clothing.
Quentin and gang meanwhile have decided to button-warp into the Neitherlands, except right when they appear they are attacked by the outcasts. The gang flees while Quentin (and their map) tumble backwards into the fountain they have just emerged from, returning Quentin straight back to Brakebills. The Quentin-less gang flees into the underground Library, hoping to find a solution. The Librarian allows them to stay, greeting Margo as Janet “It’s Margo” says Margo. “This time,” retorts the Librarian. A nice little nod to Margo’s name in the books.
Anyhow, they stay in the Library. But a melancholy Eliot finds the book of Mike’s life, and bums himself out by reading it and reliving his death at Eliot’s hands. “He was a Republican” he coldly remarks. Then dumps the book in a trashcan and sets fire to it. Big mistake. The Librarian, who let them stay with a few rules, one of which was not harming the books, promptly kicks them out. Nice job, Eliot. So unprotected, they try to find a way to escape from the Neitherlands, after scoping out the Earth fountain, which is locked down, they run into Josh Hoberman!
Josh Hoberman is my hero. This guy is an ubernerd from the entire class that went missing at Brakebills. The story is that one of their fellow students, Victoria, was a traveler who had mastered the art of traveling others, and had also discovered Fillory. She takes the entire class, who has a magical time traipsing about and having sexual encounter with talking animals. Until they encounter “Mothra,” Josh’s name for the Beast. Victoria zapped Josh back to the Neitherlands, before returning to deal with the Beast, but never returned. News flash: that’s the girl that the Beast is holding captive.
Quentin meanwhile has sought guidance at the last place you’d expect him: Julia’s loft. She lets him in, they reconcile, and she explains the whole Goddess thing. Turns out it was real, and she cured one of the hedge witches of cancer, sent Richard to a quiet place, and generally just granted wishes. And she left Julia with a small goddess statue that leaks milk. Strange, but true. Julia agrees to help Quentin find Fillory, and they go off to Brakebills to do so.
Alice has figured out a way to use her light-manipulation powers to bend light around the gang to render them invisible, but they have to be close together for it to work. While they silently dodge outcasts in the Neitherlands, Eliot starts tripping on one of Josh’s psychedelic carrots that he had nicked earlier. He gets so stoned that he leaves the group and appears to be ready to commit suicide by battle magic, before Margo blasts a hole in the chest of the outcast about to take Eliot out. Yes, she brought a gun to a magic fight.
Meanwhile, Quentin and Julia have found a magical device that will take them to 1942, just before Jane Chatwin finds a Fillory-door. They use a magic device left over from a group of students who tried (and failed) to kill Hitler, and jump through the door right behind her. When they come out on the other side: it’s Fillory. Real, honest to goodness Fillory. There are no talking animals, sadly, but Quentin and Julia do stare in awe at a castle in the distance. Already this is a much better fate than what happened to Julia in the books. Fellow reader, am I right? Anyhow, looking forward to our final episode next week, in what I’m already calling “Fillory Finally”.