Penny, Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Eliot are in the Cottage common room, as Penny tells his story. Quentin is looking at the papers from Martin Chatwin's book that Zelda Schiff gave to Penny; he says there is a weapon they could use to kill the Beast: Martin had a knife made, the Leo, that could kill even a god, it should be somewhere in Fillory. Margo and Eliot suggest just giving the button to the Beast's minions in the Neitherlands, so the Brakebills people will be irrelevant and left alone; they vote, and Alice agrees, though Penny and Quentin don't.
Walking on campus, Quentin and Alice argue about giving the button to the Beast. He's now no longer enthralled with going to Fillory, Christopher Plover there is a monster ready to kill us. They arrive late at the P.A. classroom, and find the room destroyed and strewn with dead students. Margo is crying over dead Eliot, and says they should have listened to Quentin, then she dies. Quentin and Alice hear a cheerful whistling, and hide before the Beast smashes the door in. The Beast taunts them for trying to hide, then does a spell, Alice spits blood and dies, Quentin collapses and dies, and a strange disc drops to the floor and spins.
As the disc stops spinning, back at the Cottage, Quentin, Alice, Margo, Eliot, and Penny all pull back from where they are kneeling around some magic supplies, heaving and vomiting, saying they won't try that spell again, they don't like dying. They ask Penny what happened to him, he says the Beast ripped his head off in the Neitherlands. So this probability spell was a dead end, they haven't found a success scenario, the only case they didn't all die was when they went to Fillory. Penny storms out.
On campus, Penny hears a disembodied voice, calling him his old friend; Penny remembers he's been hearing The Beast in his head for years. The Beast tells Penny to surrender to him, or he will make the noise very loud.
In New York, Richard is explaining to the group how people have long asked gods for things, but most gods haven't been seen in a long time. The gods long ago had children, all of those mythical creatures, they might know how to contact them, many of them are here in New York, small ones and big ones. Bender has a map of some he's found. Richard says the prayer Julia did earlier worked, and it's never worked for anyone else, so she's god-touched, so she should be first on the hunt.
At the Cottage, Quentin, Alice, Eliot, and Margo say they need battle magic, but that's illegal.
Alice gets a call from home: Joe killed himself, something about he was hearing voices and they were getting worse. She talks to Penny, who realizes it was the Beast, the Beast is targeting Travellers. As they talk, we can hear a high-pitched noise around Penny, like what he heard earlier; it vanishes as he walks away.
At an RV park somewhere, Penny visits Stanley, who expected him. Stanley is getting the same treatment from the Beast, and his family is threatened also. Stanley pulls out a shotgun and shoots himself.
Eliot gives Quentin and Alice a notebook he found ("when I tripped and fell on a drawer in Professor Sunderland's office"), it looks like it has descriptions of magical battle spells. Alice and Quentin try one, and neither can get it to work. Margo asks what sort of weapons technology they can use in Fillory, whether anyone else is any good with swords and blades. Quentin says the only battle magic he knew came from Kady, maybe she can help.
As Penny is mixing a potion, the voice of the Beast taunts him, saying he must surrender or the girl in the dungeon dies. Alice and Quentin come and ask for help in finding Kady. Penny tries a mirror spell, but it doesn't work, Kady is blocking him. Quentin looks at the mirror, and notices that the reflection is changing; as they watch, the image shifts to where Kady is working: Julia's apartment.
Kady opens Julia's apartment door, and there are Quentin, Alice, Eliot, and Margo.
Penny is very troubled by the high-pitched noise, and also by Victoria's pleas for Penny to give the Beast what he wants. He tries to drown it with music, alcohol, drugs. Eventually he collapses.
Kady is explaining to the others that their idea is stupid, they can't get strong enough to fight the Beast on his turf. She won't teach battle magic, but most can't do it anyway, and to start you must meditate for a decade. But there is something hedge witches use.
Penny is in the Infirmary. Professor Sunderland says Alice found him, he overdosed (something which Professor Sunderland seems to have had much experience in, in her earlier years). He explains what the Beast is doing. She offers him a magic tool that sticks into the back of the neck, it blocks impulses, though it's an unapproved protection. She also says that, as a Traveler, he will never have a stable home or family, so he should accept whatever kindness someone offers while he can.
The Physical Kids are discussing Kady's recommendation, calling it "bottling our emotions," only safe to use for a few hours at a time, but then they can do battle magic. Penny comes in and says he's changed his mind, he'll go to Fillory, if they can save the girl in the dungeon.
Julia and Kady are someplace in the city, and enter an apartment where there's a loud party going on. Among the people there is Bjorn, they heard about him from a girl who was getting blood for him at a blood bank. They offer him Julia's blood for answers on how they can contact a god. He says nobody does that nowadays, but when pressed he offers a possible lead.
At the Cottage, the five are chanting a spell with bottles in their hands, which then glow red. They feel like the spell worked. They seem a bit subdued from normal.
Julia and Kady are searching somewhere, looks like a cluttered basement, looking for a lamia. They find what looks like Hannah, but there is a mirror nearby, and in it they see some brown creature with a tail. The lamia says they need her. They say they want to petition a goddess. She says she's dead, they're all dead. They leave.
Julia and Kady are explaining this to their group. Richard says the lamia was just wrong, and they'll keep trying. Richard seems to really need this.
The five kids are walking at night in the forest. We see that Penny has the tool that Professor Sunderland offered him stuck to the back of his neck; he says it does help, and he looks like he's not being troubled by sounds or voices. They all seem to have the bottles with red stuff inside around their necks. They get to a place they used in their classes and try spells from the battle magic book, and now everything works every time.
They return to the Cottage, and say that worked, but now they need to put "them" back; they all swallow the red liquid from the bottles, and immediately have all the feelings they've had "bottled up", crying and laughing, and also quickly expressing feelings for one another (or not).
Quentin and Alice are waking up in his bedroom in the morning, it looks like with feelings-hangover. She says they should try mastering battle magic without the bottles, he says it won't work.
At Julia's apartment, in the morning, some are working and some are sleeping. Julia, in the bathroom, has a black Mary figure, just out of its box, and prays to whoever, saying she wants to do good.
Alice meets Penny at night at the place in the forest where they practiced; they are both trying to practice battle magic without the bottle, and getting nowhere.
Julia is looking like she's napping in her living room, and hears a voice calling her. She walks over to where the sun is streaming in, cups her hands in the light, and water flows from the light. She pulls back, puts her hands back into the light, and coins shower into them from the air. Suddenly there is a black woman standing in front of her, in the light. She says everything has served to pull Julia closer to her. She asks Julia to find her near the bridge, and Julia finds in her hands a piece of paper with a map. She says to find there a man who has long served her, bring him three gifts. Then Julia wakes up.
In the forest, Penny and Alice are still trying, unsuccessfully, and the others arrive. They offer Penny and Alice their bottles, but they decline, they'll stay as they are. The others do the bottle spell, and each practices, and succeeds with, various battle magic spells (all rather unemotionally), while Penny and Alice continue failing. After the recommended 3.5 hours, the three stop practicing and drink their bottles, and are emotional and awkward again.
Eliot and Quentin are sitting, drinking, and musing about features of Fillory, people and places, one a magical healing place. Quentin wonders why Eliot cares, he never did before; Eliot says he probably has liver damage. Margo comes over and grumbles at the drunkards.
Penny and Alice are still in the forest, trying battle magic. She gets close and finally succeeds with the simplest one; she jumps up and hugs him. He continues trying.
Margo has gotten Eliot and Quentin to a bedroom, both men quite drunk, Quentin and Margo get Eliot to fall into bed, they fall on it with him. Eliot has fallen asleep. Quentin remarks on a healing place they were talking about earlier in Fillory; Margo says there's a lot more wrong with Eliot, and he just doesn't care. Quentin says that place could heal anything, and Margo says Quentin's unusual, he really believes in magic. She then cuddles closer to Quentin and they embrace.
It's morning, and Quentin wakes up in the sun, in bed with Eliot and Margo, none with clothes. He has scattered memories of all three enjoying sex. He looks up, and Alice is there looking at them.
- 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
- Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz
- Anne Dudek as Pearl Sunderland
- Charles Mesure as The Beast
- Mackenzie Astin as Richard Corrigan
- M.C. Gainey as Stanley
- Amy Pietz as Hannah
- Garcelle Beauvais as Persephone
- Katie Findlay as Eve
- Colin Cunningham as Bjorn
- Bobbi-Jean Charlton as Silver
- Jesse Reid as Bender
- Fiona Hogan as Menolly
- Hannah Levien as Victoria Gradley
To be added