In the throne room, Eliot tells the courtiers that they are out of money, and there are outer islands where we haven't gotten taxes for 46 years. He plans to take their fastest ship, the Muntjac, to collect taxes. They will start at After Island. (Eliot and Margo know they are being listened to by the Fairy Queen, so they make no mention of the Quest to After Island.)
At the docks of Fillory, Eliot and Tick Pickwick board the Muntjac, a sailing ship made from sentient trees, with its own will and personality. Fen arrives (with a block of wood in a bundle) and says she's coming with the baby. The Fairy Queen appears and announces that Fen is going because the Fairy Queen says so; also, the Fairy Queen is sending someone she trusts, that she calls "Frail Human", "Fray" for short: Eliot and Margo's daughter, who is clearly about 20. The Fairy Queen explains that time runs differently in the fairy realm. Fray makes it clear that her loyalty is to the Fairy Queen. Fen drops the block of wood and embraces Fray. Margo sends them off, she will run the kingdom while Eliot is gone.
The Muntjac arrives at Alter Island. Eliot declares it a province of Fillory, and announces himself as their king. A villager tells him that Father Roe is their leader, and he is praying, preparing for an attack by the monster.
Father Roe appears, and Eliot says that his people will help with the monster, but we also need a golden key. Father Roe is carrying the key, but he can't give it away, it's what keeps everyone alive. There is noise and an ominous shadow, and all the villagers and Fillorians take shelter inside, while Father Roe waves his hands, holds up the key, and chants. A scary black monster swoops by overhead.
After a while, the monster is gone, and the villagers and Fillorians emerge. Fray says she recognized it, it's a shadow-bat, we have them in the fairy realm, they can't be killed. There is a villager dead, who didn't make it to shelter. Father Roe says, that's why he can't give them the key: only he can repel the monster. Fray examines the dead villager. As the villagers burn the body, Fray tells Eliot the wound isn't that of a shadow-bat, and Fen says it was made by a blade.
The Fillorians stop Father Rowe, and Eliot takes the key from him, and tells Father Rowe to "do it" again, or die. Father Rowe holds up the key, chants, and the shadow-bat appears in the air; Eliot takes the key, and the shadow-bat flies around and disappears into the key. Eliot explains to the villagers that this is merely illusion magic, to make the villagers afraid. They search Father Rowe and remove his dagger. The villagers take up the dagger and drag Father Rowe away. The Fillorians sail away.
Quentin summarizes the first chapter of The Tale of the Seven Keys, and the first key is in Fillory, Eliot is taking point on that. We here should be looking for sources of magic. They know that Mayakovsky said he had four batteries, and they expect he is lying and has more, but nobody knows where he is.
Josh finds a video of a hedge witch night club invaded by a brown bear who seems to have been Professor Mayakovsky, someone in the bar turned him into a bear. Either he, or someone else, has a load of power to spend.
Alice is at a pet store, looking for a kitten of just the right age, and gets one five months old.
At a construction site, something looks out from a pile of rubble at a construction worker. It races out of the rubble and up his legs, and he looks possessed.
Julia and Quentin go to Kady and show Kady the video, they want to find who used that magic. Julia also shows Kady the tiny magic she can do; Kady is still angry at Julia, but does want to work with them if it can lead to magic to heal Penny.
They enter the hedge witch night club during the day, and ask the manager about the bear. He says, just before the bear appeared, "everyone could feel magic in the air, and zeroed in on the drunk Russian guy and the girl he was with." Quentin shows him pictures: the Russian guy was Mayakovsky, and the girl was Emily Greenstreet.
Quentin visits Emily at her apartment, she is taking a lot of pills and booze. She says that last week, Misha (that's Mayakovsky's first name) showed up at her door, told her he loved her, and how he's free of the bond that kept him in Brakebills South. They went out, went to bars, got married! At one bar there was a woman there he owed something to, Emily stepped out to the ladies', and when she came back he was a bear. Emily doesn't know who did it, but he's still a bear.
Kady tells the others she's heard from hedge witches that rumors of magic are happening all across New York. Two specific big events are a dinosaur appearing at a children's hospital, and a wild sex magic orgy in Central Park. Both events are attributed to a white woman in her 30's.
At the children's hospital, kids tell Kady and Josh that the dinosaur was awesome. They go outside, follow a big dinosaur print on the ground, and follow.
Julia and Quentin go through the crowd of lovers in Central Park, asking who did it. Alice arrives, carrying a cat in a cage; she says she's doing the same thing they are, following magic and hoping it leads to Mayakovsky's battery. Someone says the woman responsible for this was asking for a building to jump off of.
Quentin finds the building, with a woman on the roof: Professor Lipson. She is beside herself that magic is dead, so she used the last dribbles of magic in the battery she has to do a few fun things, and now she has nothing to live for. Anyway the battery is hers, she's indignant to think Mayakovsky could make it. Quentin is trying to calm her down and coax her back from the ledge, and tells her it was brilliant turning Mayakovsky into a bear. She says "What?" and jumps; Quentin grabs and saves her. The battery falls to the street and smashes.
Kady and Josh meet the others at the hospital as Professor Lipson is led in. Quentin says Lipson didn't know about the bear, so it must have been someone else at the night club. They hear something strange, and Alice's cat screams at something. She turns around to find the right direction, and as the cat is facing down one hallway, it explodes. Alice runs. Quentin explains to a passing policeman that the cat was sick, and exploded, "like they do."
Quentin, Julia, and Josh visit Emily, who has a cold pack to her head; she says your friend Kady got here first, she hit me and took the battery. She says she had the battery the whole time, and she was the one who turned Mayakovsky into a bear.
Kady arrives at the diner she works at, and finds Penny lying outside, almost ready to die. She gets the battery out of backpack, shows it to him, and they leave.
Quentin is walking in an alley, and suddenly discovers a book weighing down his bag: The Tales of the Seven Keys. He opens it, and it turns itself to the blank pages after Chapter 1, and Chapter 2 starts to fill itself in. Then the possessed construction worker arrives and attacks Quentin. They fight, the construction worker falls down unconscious, and Quentin picks up the book. Now Quentin looks possessed.
- Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater
- Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker
- Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice Quinn
- Hale Appleman as Eliot Waugh
- Arjun Gupta as Penny
- Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson
- Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz
- Brittany Curran as Fen
- Trevor Einhorn as Josh Hoberman
- Rizwan Manji as Tick Pickwick
- Abby Miller as Emily Greenstreet
- Keegan Connor Tracy as Professor Lipson
- Candis Cayne as The Fairy Queen
- Madeline Arthur as Fray
- Roger Cross as Admiral Lacker
- Haig Sutherland as Father Poe
- Sergio Osuna as Rafe
- Zahf Paroo as Gillen
- Miranda Edwards as Heloise
- Alex Duncan as Shara
- Robert Rozen as Cal
- Bruce Blain as Cop 1
- Andres Joseph as Donovan
- Celia Reid as Maggie
- Mik Byskov as Naru
- Beckham Skodje as Patient
- Patrick Sabongui as Bingle
- Justin Turnbull as Construction Worker