Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny escape the Neitherlands to Brakebills. They explain things to Dean Fogg: If the Beast gets to the Wellspring in Fillory and drinks it dry, magic ends everywhere, including Earth. The only thing worthwhile they found in The Armoury in Fillory was a notebook from a Brakebills student, who learned battle magic from "Professor Bigby," a pixie. The notebook refers to useful battle magic spells, but the spells aren't there.
Dean Fogg had outlawed battle magic years ago, and got rid of the battle magic teacher, Professor Bigby; her departing remarks provided a puzzle to where she hid her spells. Dean Fogg brings in Professor Sunderland to help them search the Library. From Professor Bigby's remarks, they realize the book is titled "Last Hope Options", a classic battle magic text, but they expect there is another puzzle involved, pixies love puzzles. They explore options (anagrams, ciphers, other pixie puzzles), and the anagram "Hotel Spa Potions" actually is a book they have. They find the colorful book dust cover for the novel "Hotel Spa Potions" is wrapped around the book "Last Hope Options". The last chapter has been ripped out, but there is a note to Dean Fogg from Professor Bigby, with another riddle to solve.
They decipher the riddle in the note, and find what is likely her address in Rhode Island. They go there and find her; Bigby and Dean Fogg are clearly old lovers. They convince her to give them the Rhinemann Ultra spell, which they expect Alice to use, as she still has the power granted by Ember's essence, though it is fading. The spell will kill anyone but the wielder within 20 feet of the blast.
(Sometime about now, Quentin goes to visit Julia in New York, to warn her that they are about to attack the Beast, so she should stay at least 20 feet away. She wants them to wait until Martin has dealt with Reynard, but Quentin says they aren't delaying.)
At a Brakebills work room, Dean Fogg, Alice, Quentin, Penny, and Margo prepare. The students get a large tattoo on their back, and then each tattoo gets filled with a flaming, smoking, "Cacodemon". Each student will have a word that will release the Cacodemon, with the hope that it would keep the Beast busy.
(Throughout the episode, Penny's hands are a problem. Margo provides a temporary fix, but Professor Sunderland does a spell that seems to make them reliable again.)
In New York, Martin Chatwin (the Beast) is sharing Julia's apartment (he is a quite unpleasant house guest, singing loudly and constantly snacking). She does research on sigils to attract Reynard's attention, but they know they need bait, preferably a witch. Martin goes out and comes back with a captive Marina, but Julia lets her go.
Martin complains that they need decent bait. If he could remove some of Julia's Shade, she'd feel better and she'd be willing to use Marina. She says no way.
Marina gets in contact with another senior hedge witch in San Francisco, and they agree to work together to do something about Reynard. But when Marina comes to San Francisco to consult, she finds the senior witch dead with her heart pulled out. Reynard had been there.
Marina breaks into Brakebills and asks Dean Fogg for asylum. He says she was expelled for good reason, for her bad character, so she wouldn't infect his other students, and she's no better now.
Julia opens her apartment door, and Marina says she's willing to help.
Eliot and Fen are shown the throne room, and Fen says that Fillory has serious problems. There hasn't been a decent ruler since Rupert Chatwin long ago, and the kingdom has gone to pot, and magic can't fix it, magic is the problem. All plants in Fillory grow by magic, and it all worked fine until the Beast drained the magic, now they need actual farm work, which nobody in Fillory knows how to do. Eliot confesses his awful secret to Fen: He grew up on a farm, he knows how to do all that stuff, much as it embarasses him. He teaches the farmers how to make fertilizer and apply it.
Eliot and Fen do have some rough edges in their marriage. He still thinks orgies are a lot of fun, but he'll settle down for her.
In the throne room in Fillory, Fen comes to Eliot to say the fertilizer is working. As she does so, Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Margo appear.
- Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater
- Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker
- Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice Quinn
- Arjun Gupta as Penny
- Hale Appleman as Eliot Waugh
- Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson
- Rick Worthy as Henry Fogg
- Anne Dudek as Pearl Sunderland
- Charles Mesure as The Beast
- Brittany Curran as Fen
- Amanda Brooks as Bigby
- Trevor Einhorn as Josh Hoberman
- Kacey Rohl as Marina Andrieski
- Daniel Martin as Farmer
- Emanuel Fapipas as Silicon Valley Guard
- Kirsten Robek as Arleen
- Kevin Li as Asst. Professor Li
- Brad Harder as Handsome Guard
- Ricky He as First Year Student
- Behtash Fazlali as Young Professor