In New York City, Julia Wicker and Kady Orloff-Diaz continue their search for Persephone by following directions to a man who is the Servant of Our Lady Underground. They ask to see her, and he asks why she should bother. After a few false starts, Julia says she's trying to reach something higher than power. He accepts that, and hands them a scroll with Her invocation.
In the Cottage, Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Eliot are all uneasy about last night, but Penny says they don't have time to waste, they have to use the fountains to find the way to Fillory. But Alice tells Quentin, "It's over."
Alice is drinking in her room; Penny comes in and asks what's going on, but she won't talk about it. He says drinking only makes problems go away for a little while, but it does help.
At Julia's apartment, Richard talks to Julia. She is still uneasy about the experience with Persephone's servant. He says what matters is intention, since their intentions are pure, nothing bad can happen.
At the Cottage, Quentin is about to knock on Alice's door, and from inside he hears sounds of sex. He walks away.
Richard's group are in Julia's apartment doing the call to Persephone; they have a table of Marian decorations. The room has been cleared of furniture. They join hands and concentrate.
In the Cottage, all five "bottle" their emotions, they join hands, and Eliot touches the button. They climb out of the Earth fountain in the Neitherlands. They get out the map, which is blown back into the fountain. Quentin runs over and grabs it, as Eve appears. The other Brakebills students are nearly out of the plaza as Eve's minions arrive. Eve casts magic at Quentin, which flings him back into the fountain... and he's back in the Cottage.
Penny, Margo, Eliot, and Alice slide down the book drop into the Library. They realize they have no map. Zelda Schiff allows them to stay in the Library.
At Brakebills, Quentin is in Dean Fogg's office, and he has put truth serum in the Dean's tea. He asks who Eliza is; the Dean says she is Jane Chatwin. Quentin asks what she has to do with the Beast. The Dean answers, referring to a gift in one of the books, where Ember gave Jane a watch and a locket; that gave Jane the ability to mess up time, and Jane made a time loop, which she repeated every time she failed to stop the Beast. Quentin asks what to do with the Beast, and the Dean says just keep getting involved. Quentin says they aren't trying; the Dean asks how many times they've had this exact conversation: 27 times, 27 doses of truth serum, and the Dean is sick of it. In each loop, Jane alters something to see if it helps; this time, it was the symbol Jane got stuck on Quentin's hand, to get him going. So far, all loops lead to Quentin's death, 39 so far. But now Jane's dead, the looping's done, this is the last chance.
In Julia's apartment, the furniture is back in place, and everyone seems gone. She answers the door, and it's Quentin. He says she was supposed to be at Brakebills, and was, like, 39 times, but this last time Jane changed that, to cast Julia out in the cold and she's get stronger. So she was right that she belonged there, and Quentin should have felt so too. She apologizes to him, and he accepts, but they don't know of what to do now. He says she's taking this better than he expected, she says it's because there is bigger, better magic. She says Kady, and the others, are all on a "mission", from a goddess; they summoned her, and she came. As proof, she shows him a madonna, which is constantly producing milk; cool, useless, gross, but when Quentin looks at it through a glass, he's impressed. (There are now flashes of her memory of Persephone in the midst of her summoners, touching and kissing Julia and the others.) She cured Menolly's cancer, sent Richard where he wanted, did what everyone asked. He says he needs her help, he's separated from his friends: he wants her to come to Fillory with him. Now Julia says the mission Our Lady gave to her was to find a whole new kind of magic, that couldn't be given but had to be found, she bets it's in Fillory.
They are looking through the Fillory books, to analyze how the doors the Chatwins used worked. Quentin has an idea to use time magic to get to one of the doors the Chatwins used on one of several known dates, and follow them in. The time doesn't matter, in Fillory, in the stories, there's always a way to move to the right time. Julia has an idea, of something she needs to get at Brakebills; she shows him a Brakebills alumni key, from Richard, so she can pass the wards.
In the Library, they are looking for anything helpful. Eliot has found the book of Mike McCormick, "a novella, really", but his life was happy, and he's gone and it's Eliot's fault. He drops the book into a trash can, snaps his fingers and the book catches on fire. Schiff rushes over with a fire extinguisher, saves the book, but says they are banished from the Library forever. She waves her hand, and Margo and Eliot, and also Alice and Penny, are outside, among the fountains.
Somewhere in Brakebills, Quentin and Julia are searching a storage room of old stuff, with dates on them. All the things they're looking at seem to have some suggestion of time bridges on them. Julia finds a thesis, some students went back to 1942 to kill Hitler; it was April 19, 1942, and there was a Fillory story dated April 21, two days after the time bridge the students used. They think this could work.
In the Neitherlands, the kids see the Beast's minions around the Earth fountain. They continue looking elsewhere, and come across a man. Thinking him a minion, they almost attack, when he identifies himself: Josh Hoberman, Brakebills class of '16. "'Come with me if you want to live.' Always wanted to say that."
Josh welcomes them to "Chez Hoberman", a hideout in the Neitherlands, he's been there for a few weeks, he's been waiting to see if anyone else from his class arrived. (He's from the 3rd year class of which 16 of the 20 have gone mysteriously missing.) Margo says nobody at Brakebills knows what happened to his class, but it's been two years. Josh says Victoria warned him about the time difference, and Victoria is why he's alive. He says the class went to Fillory over Spring Break. (This now becomes memories of him and Victoria, initially at Brakebills, with Josh narrating.) Vi had the anchoring tattoo on her, which she cut off, then she told Josh she found Fillory. Almost the whole first-year class gathered together and Vi Travelled them all to Fillory. They had a lot of fun there. Josh got roped into a Quest which turned out being a trap for Victoria, there was a fight with the Beast, Vi Travelled Josh to the Neitherlands and told him to wait, and here he is. Penny says the Beast caught her, she's alive but chained. Josh is pleased, Penny's a Traveller, he can get us back; Penny says he hasn't mastered it like Victoria did. Josh says they can just use the Fillory fountain, it's nearby, except for the Beast's minions.
Julia and Quentin use the portal in Eliot's room, that gets the to their favorite pub in London.
Alice is explaining to everyone her skill of phosphoromancy, she thinks she can bend light around all of them to make them invisible. Eliot is being distracted or something, oh, one of Josh's carrots is missing, and Josh had earlier said avoid them, they're psychedelic.
Quentin and Julia are on a park bench London, with the machine; they touch it and turn it on, there's a flash, and they are falling onto the ground of the park, there's no bench, they hear air raid sirens, and see planes overhead. It must be 1942.
In the Neitherlands, the students are walking along a path, on which there are also the Beast's minions; they pass by unnoticed, the invisibility seems to be working. Eliot is stoned and wanders out of the range of the invisibility as a minion passes, attracting his attention; the minion winds up with battle magic... and falls to a gunshot, Margo has a gun. They fight their way through enemies, killing Eve, and dive into the Fillory fountain.
In 1942 London, Julia and Quentin look in the window of a shop, and see young Jane Chatwin. Across the street they see the telephone box that is the door to Fillory, like in the book. Jane exits the shop, and as she nears the telephone box its door opens, light and leaves spill out of it, she notices it and happily walks in and disappears. Quentin and Julia dash across the street (at this point there's a hint that someone is watching them), and they walk in behind her.
Quentin and Julia find themselves walking out of tree in a forest. In the distance they see the three towers of a castle, with magic banners above them. They must be in Fillory.
- 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
- Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz
- Mackenzie Astin as Richard Corrigan
- Mageina Tovah as Zelda Schiff
- Rose Liston as Jane Chatwin
- Trevor Einhorn as Josh Hoberman
- Katie Findlay as Eve
- Garcelle Beauvais as Persephone
- Arturo del Puerto as Reynard the Fox's Hermit
- Hannah Levien as Victoria Gradley
- Bobbi-Jean Charlton as Silver
- Jesse Reid as Bender
- Fiona Hogan as Menolly
- Tony Giroux as Hooded Agent
To be added