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After betraying Quentin and getting kicked out of her coven of hedge witches, Julia has nowhere to turn to keep learning new magic. She's a fighter, though, and marches right back up to Marina's safe house to demand her share of the spells she helped steal. Luckily, she is intercepted by Pete who warns her to stay away cause Marina WILL hurt her. Alice is visited by Dean Fogg, who urges her to return and continue her studies, just in time for Alumni Week, in which past Brakebills students pick a current student to mentor for the year. Eliot and Margo are obsessed with making sure they get a mentor who can get them VIP access to the magical world. Namely: Alice's aunt Genji.
Since he doesn't play well with others, Penny is working away in a classroom when Stanley arrives. He's another traveler who, like it or not, has decided he is going to be Penny's mentor. Stanley tells Penny that his new powers can be very dangerous, as evidenced by Stanley's missing leg.
Later, while working on some magic in the library, Quentin is interrupted by Alice. Their dynamic is a little off, because Quentin trapped Alice's brother/Niffin in a box for all eternity. However, there's some deep concern in Alice's face as she hands Quentin a note from the office, informing him that his father is very sick. Quentin rushes to his father's side. He wants info! What can he do to help? His father though, assures him that there's nothing to be done. The treatments for the cancer would leave him a different person, so now he just wants to fix the relationship with Quentin, which he feels is broken. Uh boy. There's a season-long arc.
Neither Eliot nor Margo have secured a mentor for the coming year and are starting to get desperate. Both come to Alice to ask for her to put in a good word to her aunt, Genji who's something like an alumni superstar at Brakebills. Begging, flattery, bribes of booze and baked goods! It's clear that these two will stop at nothing.
Raise your hand if you think a safe way to learn magic is via Google? Julia does. After almost burning her apartment down with an invisible fire spell she finds online, Julia calls Pete to try and get through to him one more time. Julia is smart though. She's a hot chick and he's a dude. What does she have that he wants? Boobs. She makes some moves on him in exchange for his help to find a new group of witches.
Meanwhile, at Brakebills… what's a magic school without it's own magic games? At Brakebills, everyone plays Welters. Kind of like chess, the aim is to capture squares on the Welters board using spells. This game is a big deal to Margo who wants to impress the prospective mentors who are in the crowd. Distracted by his father's cancer, Quentin unleashes a scary black hole on the stadium, which could be the end of everyone, if not for a quick thinking Alice. Luckily, the black hole ends up wiping the entire board winning the game for the physical kids.
Penny and Kady spend their afternoon playing their own games… if you know what we mean. While going through his pockets, Kady finds a symbol that Penny tells her is a spell that will tether his body to the ground leaving him only able to astrally project. Kady tries to convince him not to give up his power and instead use it for his own gain… but, coming from her, is this really all that surprising?
Quentin, unable to give up on his father, decides to try and fix him with magic. Enter Cancer Puppy. Just about the cutest 150-year-old enchanted puppy you ever did see. In an attempt to save cancer puppy and thereby find a cure for his father's condition, Quentin ends up killing cancer puppy, learning a harsh lesson about magic: Magic can't fix everything. He then returns home and in an attempt to heal his and his father's fractured relationship, tell his father he is a magician.
Pete kind of comes through and finds a new hedge for Julia to learn magic in. Except this one blows! She is completely disappointed in Pete for suggesting she band with this bunch of losers and lets Pete know it. New plan. Julia is going to come clean to her boyfriend, James, about the magic and once he understands what she's going through she'll be free to go far and wide to find new magic! Except… next time she talks to him he doesn't remember her. Julia is PISSED after figuring out that Marina and Pete have wiped her boyfriend's mind of any memory of her. Pete claims it was to protect James from Julia and her quest for more power. We have a feeling though that Pete and Marina ain't seen nothing yet. Back at Brakebills, Eliot and Margo receive the harsh news that the mere thought of mentoring either one of them is completely exhausting to Genji, leaving them both mentor-less for the year. All that ass-kissing for nothing.
Later, plagued by a new voice. Well, more like a scream, Penny decides it's time to try and communicate back. This attempt finds Penny astral projecting somewhere he's never been before. It's dark. There's a symbol on the door of two rams. There's a woman in chains. AND THEN THERE'S THE BEAST! Where is this place and why does The Beast have this girl? And oh yeah! Remember that 3rd year class that mysteriously vanished? The girl he saw in The Beast's dungeon was from that class. What is going on? Something about that symbol on the wall strikes a chord with Penny. When he shows it to Quentin who recognizes the symbol as Ember's Seal, it all becomes clear. You guys, Penny went to Fillory.