WARNING: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
Margo's back from her epic quest with the ice axes. She fills Quentin in on what went down. And then Julia shows up and she tells her. Then she has to tell Penny. So when Alice arrives, even Margo is over it.
The team talks in the kitchen and plans their next move. The axes might expel the demon, but this one has god-like powers. Alice suggests an incorporate bond to hold the monster, and the only one who knows how to cast that is Mayakovsky.
Quentin and Alice -- strained and awkward - head to Brakebills South to see if Mayakovsky can help. They find him but he's got dementia due to some bad spellwork. Quentin suggests going back in time to find out what he needs to know.
Julia, Penny and Margo examine The Binder book. And after a bit of blood and some magic chanting, The Binder emerges from the book. He's got a story to tell. He starts to tell it, and then stops talking because pages are missing.
In Fillory Josh has a weird vision and tells Fen and Tick. Then Tick remembers a Nyad that they imprisoned for murder told him that the ecosystem was at risk and the waters were moving. They head down to her cell to interview her. Man, she's scary.
Quentin goes back in time to talk to Mayakovsky from the past. He's a bit shocked as he comes to in his Brakebills South dorm room and Young Alice immediately kisses him and he makes excuses and dashes out. And Young Quentin appears before present Alice. She makes up a task of tying knots to help them pass the time, and he sweetly kisses her on the head.
Everett surprises Zelda in the library, so Kady calls Dean Fogg and asks him to create a distraction. (She calls a nearby banana. It works.) He appears drunk in a classroom and casts magic that he's not supposed to. Pretty soon The Library is on it, and Everett is pulled away so Zelda and Kady can get back to the sneak-sneak.
There's mischief-making in the Best Apartment Ever. Margo is clubbed on the head and trapped in a closet. Julia and Penny are lured into a romantic candelit bedroom situation. And it turns out that Penny's astral-plane frenemy, Hyman, is behind the weird tricks. He's bored by their "story" and wants to move things along.
Current Quentin inhabits his younger self to talk to Mayakovsky. He does not want to share his magic info and instead torments Quentin for being a B- student. Then he examines him to discover his discipline. Finally, he confesses to realizing that he knows what Quentin is up to and hands over the spell for the incorporate bond. And he finally tells Quentin his discipline: Repair of Small Objects.
Alice surprises Quentin as he exits Mayakovsky's office with the spell. She realizes that his future self is in his body and she's distressed. She feels the strain between them and wants to know what went wrong. She agrees to do a memory charm and they talk. Quentin tells her that basically they both get hurt. She tells him that, just in case she never said so, he's the best thing that ever happened to her. Oof.
In the present, Alice is with Young Quentin. They're doing the knot-tying task that she made up for them and he starts flirting with her. He wants to romance her. Quentin is sparkling with young love for Alice and it's sweet. Knowing all they've been through, she puts him off. But then, clearly missing this, Alice leans in and kisses him. Then current Quentin reappears and they are back to normal -- strained and sad. It's heartbreaking.
Penny gets The Binder pages from Hyman, so Julia returns the pages to The Binder and he wakes up to tell his tale. It turns out he was a Librarian who studied the power of the gods. He learned that a magician might be able to take the power of the gods for themselves. And then some magicians did just that. They killed a god-like being and stole her power -- Evil Eliot's sister. And those magicians became gods: Bacchus, Iris, Heca and Angus. And they imprisoned her little brother. Then those gods trapped The Binder in a book and put him in The Library.
In the Poison Room, Zelda and Kady find Everett's book. Zelda does some speed reading to find out what's really going on. And what does she learn? Turns out that Everett is hoarding magic as a part of his plan to become a god.
Fen, Tick and Josh play the Fillory-hopscotch in order to solve the riddle. Josh skeptically goes through the motions, "jumps the bear," and then says magic words that actually open up a secret passageway.
The Binder told Julia that he can help her -- she can either become a Goddess or fully human again. He can make it happen, whichever path she chooses. She discusses it with Penny -- which choice is better -- and then they kiss. Evil Eliot shockingly appears behind them and says he needs a strong body to help his sister. Then he grabs Julia and vanishes.
Quentin tells Alice what his discipline is, and she tells him he was always good at Minor Mendings. He puts together a broken cup -- Quentin says it feels like he helped it remember what it was before.