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So, right after Quentin and Julia follow Jane Chatwin through the portal into Fillory of the 1940's (remember the time machine?), they find themselves in the middle of a scene from the original Fillory books, in which Jane gets caught in a trap and is rescued by a traveling witch and fool. Turns out that Quentin and Julia are The Witch and The Fool! They discover they have been followed by Martin Chatwin, and tell him they want to stop Plover by finding the Leo blade. Martin doesn't know what that is, but agrees to take them to someone who might be able to help them.
Cue the sword smith! Apparently, the weapon they need in order to kill a Master Magician has to be made of moonstone. The blades will take years to forge and will not come cheap: what the sword smith wants is for someone from his family to eventually be a King or Queen of Fillory and since only Earthlings can become Kings and Queens here, he strikes a deal.
And then Q and Julia meet The Watcherwoman. Martin scurries away, because EVERYONE's afraid of her, but Julia and Quentin are trapped! The Watcherwoman turns out to be none other than Jane Chatwin. Long story short, Jane was given the power to manipulate time as a young girl by The Watcherwoman, who she becomes as an adult… yes, our brains hurt too. Watcherwoman Jane sends Quentin and Julia back to the Fillory of their own time, but not before telling Quentin that some very powerful magic has been used to block memories from Julia's mind but not to touch it! There's something very dark there that maybe Julia is better off not remembering…
Julia and Quentin make it to the Fillory of 2016, but … something is different. This Fillory isn't lush and green and filled with flowers like the one they just left. This one sucks. Dead forests and dry riverbeds. This is apparently what happens when a maniacal, murderous master magician takes over. They find the team in a pub, and now the next step in killing The Beast is hunting down that blade that Julia and Quentin had commissioned back in the 1940's Fillory. They get to the sword makers hut only to discover that he's dead, but luckily his son still has the blade they need to kill The Beast. The payment is still due for his bloodline to become rulers of Fillory, a test is contrived that proves that Elliot is the groom, but also, uhm…the High King of Fillory.
A wedding! Even after Eliot discovers that to marry someone in Fillory means he will never be able to go back to Earth, Eliot decides that he's tried drugs and booze and sex to make himself happy, maybe this time he should try doing something good and unselfish (good lad, Eliot, give it a whirl). But while the wedding goes on, Penny decides that everyone's wasting time and astrally projects to The Beast's dungeons to see if he can find some clues as to where the castle is located.
It turns out that only a Master Magician can wield the Leo blade. Information that would have been useful BEFORE Eliot went and got married, so what to do now? Q and Julia decide to go find Ember, a god who may have the answers they need. But it turns out The Beast actually trapped Ember and took his power. Ember tells Q that Fillory needs a champion who can face the beast so Quentin volunteers, yet Q still needs to get around the little fact that he can't wield the black. Ember's solution? To bestow his power onto Quentin, by gifting Quentin with a jar of his sperm…to drink…right before the battle with The Beast. Gross. Ember also bestows a gift upon Julia and lifts the memory spell that she was under. Quentin doesn't know what Julia remembers but he can tell that it is NOT good as Julia is emotionally distraught by the memory.
Meanwhile, Penny and the rest of the gang rescue Victoria, the third year student who was being held captive by The Beast, in hopes that she might have some insight on how to defeat him. They find her, but apparently there is another prisoner there, who may also be of value. And it's Fillory author, Christopher Plover, who turns out NOT to be The Beast. But guess who is? Martin Chatwin. Turns out that Martin wanted a way to stay in Fillory forever and figured out how to by sucking all the humanity out of himself and replacing it with the magic of Fillory's source.
After learning all of this, the squad gets in formation. They have the knife, they know where to find The Beast, and they have Ember's gross jar of semen, which will give Quentin the power he needs to wield the knife. Ultimately, though, Quentin decides that Alice is the only one that can save them – since he's tried unsuccessfully to do so in other time loops - and gives her Ember's seed.
Before they go off, potentially to their deaths, Julia pulls Quentin aside to tell him about the memory Ember unlocked. And it's pretty horrible. So, instead of summoning Our Lady Underground what actually happened was much darker. Julia's new group of magician friends, The Free Traders, actually summoned Reynard The Fox, a trickster god who possessed Richard and killed the others and was about to kill Kady before Julia saved her. Then he raped Julia and left her for dead. Julia called Marina, the wicked hedge witch from earlier in the season, to help her dispose of the bodies and erase Julia's memories. After telling Q all this, she makes him swear to help her find and kill Reynard. Holy smokes, team!
When the team finally gets to Martin Chatwin's sort of lovely (and evil) Victorian office, all hell breaks loose. As Alice goes to stab him with the… hey, what a minute, where's the knife? The Beast takes out Alice, Margo, Eliot, and then he cuts off Penny's hands! Next, The Beast starts towards Quentin; ready to end him when Julia appears with the Leo blade. HOW she can pick it up is a good question (did Reynard change her somehow?). Also, poor Julia. With the blade to his neck, we thought she was all prepared to kill The Beast but she decides instead says to him, "You know how to kill Gods? I want to cut a deal." Just like that, she leaves the gang bleeding on the floor with Quentin watching all his friends die. As we wait with bated breath for Season 2.
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