Warning: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
Quentin wakes up in a mental institution, far away from Brakebills. Woah! What?! How!? This is not where he expected to be and weirder still? Eliot is here, in his mental patient pajamas, seemingly insane too.
Quentin’s old doctor is here, as is Penny, but acting as a hospital orderly. Turns out, a court has ordered Quentin to be here and Brakebills is a hallucination he has when he’s not taking his pills. Wait: has everything so far just been a dream?
Julia drops by to visit Quentin: But in this world, she’s a student at Yale, getting married to James, and just wants to help Quentin get better. But…while Julia tries to be supportive, Quentin can’t help notice that she’s also a little…manipulative and evil, maybe? Is she keeping him here?
After a quick visit from Jane Chatwin (of Fillory and Further fame), Quentin confirms that this is a spell and in his music therapy class, Quentin remembers that Penny had mentioned Taylor Swift before, and chooses to contact real-life Penny through psychic abilities and a musical number.
That’s when Quentin’s father shows up at the nuthouse and they watch a video wherein Quentin learns that he tried to kill his dad and that’s why he’s been committed. More and more, it’s starting to look like Brakebills really might exist in the mind of a crazy person.
Just when we thought Quentin my actually be crazy, real-Penny shows up at the hospital. Sure enough, the song’s been stuck in his head and he’s turned up in Quentin’s dream. Quentin begs Penny to wake up and find him in real life.
Confirmation! This IS a spell cast by Julia and Marina as revenge for Quentin being such a jerk. Marina wants to keep him asleep for a long time because keeping Quentin in that dream is all part of a larger plan.
Back in the dream, Quentin finds that the answers are in a Fillory book! Since the hospital in the dream is called Ellsworth Downs, Quentin finds that it’s a code for a magician in the Fillory books who was made to play games.
Meanwhile, Marian reveals her plan: to break into Brakebills and steal back all the memories of her education there. Yep. She’s an alum who was thrown out and had her memories wiped (but stored in a wooden box). In order to remove Quentin from the spell, Dean Fogg has to remove magical shields – and that allows Marina access.
When Kady and Eliot take Quentin to the Dean, they endeavor to wake him from the spell by letting a mechanical scorpion crawl into his mouth. They can wake him up halfway, but Quentin has to do the rest himself.
Quentin, meanwhile, starts to find his way out of the dream when the metal scorpion becomes a real one. It ejects Penny from the dream, and it appears as though Dean Fogg's efforts didn’t work at all. Is Quentin stuck in there?
Meanwhile, Quentin finds himself in a sort of light-jail with Jane Chatwin and Ellsworth Downs. They have to play a game like they’re in a Fillory novel, and Quentin decides to do what Ellsworth Downs did – stop playing. And with that, he’s rescued!