Quentin, Alice, Eliot and Penny travel to England to Plover's estate in search of a missing magic button. Once there, they discover a haunting vision of the author's true self. In other events, Julia, fresh off her rehab stint, looks for real meaning in her magic, but at a very high cost.
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Quentin writes a letter to Julia: He's glad she's OK, though they're both still mad.
Julia and Richard are talking in a park; she's out of the rehab center. She wants to undo some of the harm she's done, and he suggests penance, doing something worthwhile, if she's willing to use the spell she used to get into her friend's head earlier.
Alice wakes up, and Quentin is studying, he can't sleep, he's concerned that the book Jane gave him, the sixth Fillory book he lost, is important.
They do a spell to find it, following a burning bowl, and it leads them to Penny, in the classroom. Quentin says Penny had the book, the burning bowl proves it, and Penny admits it. He was just bored, so he took it and read it, and threw it out. Penny might remember some of it, but he's not really interested in helping Quentin much. He admits it was written by Jane Chatwin, not Christopher Plover who wrote the other books. Penny is fuzzy on a lot, but she said the other books were wrong, and she wanted to clarify some things. Jane went to Fillory alone, because Fillory didn't want Martin back, she found a talking animal to grant a wish, it gave her a magic button in a case to be a key back to Fillory. Quentin says that fits the end of the last published book, which has Martin searching Plover's house for a button. Maybe the button is still there, a key to Fillory.
Quentin and Alice get to the Cottage, ready to get a flight to England where Plover lived. Eliot hears and says they don't need a plane, he and Margo made a portal to their favourite pub, he's coming with them, whatever it is they're doing, he's bored. (And probably getting over Mike.)
Julia and Richard are at a convalescent home, visiting Kira, a chair-bound, totally paralyzed woman. Richard says he's here to help on "what we talked about". He asks Kira to think of a place she loves, and Julia will do mental projection and meet her there. He does a spell to make the connection, and Julia finds herself in a black space. Julia creates a light, and seems to be inside a coffin; she causes fire around her, the coffin disappears, and she is in a park.
Julia is next to a park bench, where Kira asks if she is Richard's friend. The coffin step was a test Kira made, a test to see if Julia was any good. Julia finds a blank notebook on her lap, and a pen; Kira asks what Richard said of her, and Julia says only that Richard said she was very smart. At this, Julia sees the notebook is now full of equations and notes. Kira says it didn't work, she was close to an answer, but her body turned on her. She's been paralyzed for a year, but she still can think, so she sat and worked on the equations. They are now complete, and she can explain; she wants Julia make notes, then to go back and remember what she writes in here.
At the Plover house in England, Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Eliot are part of a guided tour of the house. The guide is giving the story of Christopher Plover, his sister, and the Chatwin children who lived next door; Quentin is noticing differences between the guide's story and what he knows.
At night, they break into and search the Plover house for the button, with some breaks for Quentin and Alice to talk about his liking of the Fillory books when he was young. Alice finds a letter from Plover's sister to a lawyer, which has hints of Plover just going missing (instead of dying), and hints of kids that knew him also just going missing. Maybe the Chatwin kids went to Fillory, from Plover's house. Penny finds on Plover's bookshelves some of the standard magic textbooks the Brakebills students use, and some books interesting only to a Traveler. Penny knows Travelling is dangerous, perhaps Plover tried to Travel to Fillory and either died or succeeded.
Alice seems to see someone moving in dark rooms of the house. The tour guide from earlier shows up and says they set off the alarms, they need to leave. He seems to know something about Plover that he's not willing to say, Penny says he's so panicked he can't read him. Eliot threatens him with magic; the guide says Plover was involved with some dark things, his sister didn't want anyone to know... then the lights go out, and when there's light again, the guide is dead with his throat cut.
Julia is making notes as dictated by Kira, who asks if Julia went to Brakebills. Kira went to MIT, she learned no magic there, but magic is science, for those who have the talent. Julia wonders whether she does, or whether she can just do party tricks. Kira said the best day in her life was a day spent in this park (in the real world) with her girlfriend, repeatedly doing a simple rainbow spell. Julia shares her best day, a day at age ten with Quentin, reading Fillory books and drawing a map.
In the Plover house, Quentin and Penny are searching for Alice and Eliot, and hearing strange sounds in the walls. They find a room with covered furniture, and there are more signs of ghosts. There is a vision of a boy, saying "You're it." They follow the boy.
In another room in the house, Eliot and Alice wake up, tied to chairs. A strange looking little girl offers them refereshments. Eliot says they need to get the ropes off, but the girl says no magic is allowed, or "she'll take you to the quiet place." A woman enters, and ties the girl's hands, saying her brother has been too soft, caring for you when he needs to work; Prudence Plover offers each of the three of them tea, into which she has put a few drops of something. After they drink it, they are asleep.
Quentin and Penny chase after the boy, and come across Christopher Plover. Quentin speculates there are ghosts showing them things as they were. Penny says yes, of course, Professor Sunderland taught him a lot about hauntings, ghosts do this. So they are following ghosts of the Chatwin kids running through the house, with the Plovers around. The boy takes Quentin somewhere, and Prudence Plover grabs Penny.
Penny wakes up chained to a wall in a room, where Prudence looks to be looking over torture implements. She calls it the "quiet place", and tells him to keep quiet, or she'll "sew it shut".
Eliot wakes up in the room with Alice, uses magic to break his ropes and Alice's; she says Plover's sister really did this kind of thing, tying up and drugging the Chatwin kids so they wouldn't disturb Plover's work.
Quentin and the ghost boy are spying on Plover's writing room, where the ghosts of Plover and Martin are talking. Jane comes in and says she's been to Fillory, and got what Martin wanted; they go out in the hall (away from Plover), and Jane shows Martin the button in its case. Martin sees the ghost boy and calls him out; he gives him the button and asks him to hide it. The boy just puts it in his pocket.
At the park, Julia says she has it all written, and she won't forget it. Kira advises her to forget Brakebills, the world never helps a smart girl. Julia says she could come back to do more; Kira says there is just one more thing to do: "Kill me. I'm allowed to be done."
Julia wakes up, with Richard, and tells him he knew. She's not up to killing. He says redemption doesn't always look nice, Kira has had the help she needs and wants.
At the Plover house, the ghosts are continuing their story. Prudence gives Jane drugged tea, and Jane falls asleep; Christopher gets out a camera, and asks Martin to do "it" again. Martin is reluctant, and Christopher emphasizes how good he has been to the Chatwin children. Martin takes off his clothes, as Christopher takes pictures. Christopher says the solution to their problems is to go to Fillory, they can all go together. Christopher has been working on magic, which will help. Quentin speculates the The Beast is Martin Chatwin.
Plover's sister finds the room where the ghost boy (and Quentin) are watching, drags him out, yells at him and throws him against the wall; he's dead, and she carries him to "the quiet place".
Eliot and Alice are outside the house, and run into Quentin, who is incensed at how monstrous Plover was to Martin and the others, and how he wrote books that idiots (like Quentin) worshipped. Penny meets them, telling them of Prudence's dungeon in the cellar. That's where dead George was taken, and he has the button.
They go towards the cellar, and the ghost of Prudence appears. She upbraids them, but Quentin shows her a picture, and says he hid lots more of them in the house, that will show just what Christopher Plover did. That shocks Prudence, who disappears. They go towards the cellar.
In the park, Julia appears next to Kira, to say "It's done". Kira says goodbye. She is alone in park, as the light goes away. In the real world, Julia wakes up in tears, and she and Richard leave.
In the Plover's cellar, they find a burial place; they expose a small corpse, Quentin reaches into its pants and finds the button in its case. As they walk away from the house, Alice says they have to do something for the children in there. Penny says they've been there since before she was born. Alice says there has to be something they can do. Eliot says life isn't fair, death isn't any different. Alice is not happy with that.
Back at Brakebills, Quentin and Alice are sitting, upset about Plover and what he did to the kids. Penny asks to see the button. Quentin gets it out. Penny says he feels something coming from it, but nobody else does. He opens the case, touches the button, and vanishes.
- 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
- Mackenzie Astin as Richard Corrigan
- Charles Shaughnessy as Christopher Plover
- Yaani King as Kira
- Rebecca Tilney as Prudence Plover
- Rose Liston as Young Jane Chatwin
- Oliver Rice as Hugh
- Nicholas Croucher as Young Martin Chatwin
- Oliver Bell as George
- Sibyl Gregory as Beatrix
- Kavandeep Hayre as Raymond
To be added