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So, the gang has headed back to Brakebills to ask Dean Fogg for a little help in uncovering a spell to vanquish The Beast. They found that workbook of spells in Fillory (from 1893) and while that’s mostly helpful, the actual spells are what they need to find. The stakes are pretty high: if The Beast gets to the wellspring in Fillory - magic dies. Not just there – but everywhere. The Beast is pretty tied up with Julia at the moment, however. He won’t stop singing (with a pretty great voice, actually) and is about to drive Julia half-crazy. They have to work together to find and kill Reynard the Fox, but these are not people who get along well.
Julia learns that The Beast has put a spell of some kind on Castle Whitespire, and while it’s hard to figure out exactly what it is – Eliot discovers it as soon as he’s taken to the throne room. Whatever the spell does, it definitely involves a good deal of death and mayhem because the throne room is littered with dead bodies. Back at Brakebills, Margo leads our traveling band of heroes back to their old cottage, where Penny confronts Josh. Word is starting to spread that Fillory is real and Professor Sunderland is a little shocked to be pulled into this mess.
After Julia and The Beast kidnap Marina and tell her she’s going to be the bait for trapping Reynard, Marina convinces Julia to let her go. Realizing that The Beast and Reynard are a problem for all of them, Marina decides to start uniting the hedge-witches to deal with the threat. She calls her West Coast Hedgewitch Counterpart, who she then finds murdered. Woah. Something is definitely up.
Eliot learns that the main problem currently plaguing Fillory is an agricultural one. Where magic used to grow all the crops, the Fillorians don’t know the first thing about farming. And Eliot, having grown up on a farm, is going to have to teach them. Also? His new wife is super into having sex with him, but Eliot’s not so into the idea. Instead, Eliot rounds up a lot of the attractive Fillorians and suggests somewhat of a group participation version of marital bliss. He ultimately realizes that the townspeople are only there becaue he’s the king, and thus sends them home.
Dean Fogg takes the team to the library to find a good book on battle magic. It was left there ages ago by a pixie professor who loves riddles. As they dig through a lot of solutions that include anagrams and a study in Pixie riddles, Professor Sunderland figures out that the book is actually disguised as a potions book for facial care. Once they find it, they realize the spell they need is missing. The Pixie Professor has it. Drat!
Marina, scared for her safety, heads back to Brakebills to ask Dean Fogg for sanctuary. He turns her down, saying she can keep her memories, but Brakebills won’t allow her to take sanctuary there. She’s too dangerous, plus Dean Fogg has bigger fish to fry: bringing Quentin and Alice to find Professor Bigby, a pixie and the former teacher of Battle Magic. After a quick make out with the Dean, Bigby tells Alice she’s incredibly powerful and hands her the spell that she will cast to kill The Beast.
After Professor Sunderland and Penny have a lot of sexual tension fixing his hands. But these two…like they really are kind of cute together. As she fixes Penny’s hands with a spell that takes all night, Professor Sunderland tells him she might sleep with him, once he graduates from Brakebills. Meanwhile, Dean Fogg is preparing the team for battle. (Book fans! Alert!) One of the best weapons they’ll be employing, in an emergency, is a Caco Demon. It lives IN A TATTOO ON YOUR BACK until you need it. And it looks CRAZY painful to install.
Quentin comes to warn Julia. Professor Bigsby has given them a spell to kill The Beast, but when Alice uses it, she can’t be within 20 feet of him, or she’ll be killed as well. Julia says they can’t kill him until she and The Beast kill Reynard. Left unsettled, she also warns Quentin that The Beast has cast a spell on Castle Whitespire.
Meanwhile, Eliot, in his official capacity as High King of Fillory, tells the farmers that the key to their problem is fertilizer. It’s a simple solution, but one he’s sort of shocked they haven’t figured out. Our heroes return to Fillory, to find that Eliot has solved the agriculture problem. There’s more work to be done: The Beast still needs killing, the Fillorians have dubbed him an unsavory name based on poop, and Eliot really needs to get laid.
Back in Julia’s apartment, as The Beast continues singing, Marina turns up on Julia’s doorstep. She has nowhere else to go, so she’s come to help with the plan to kill Reynard. How will that go? Gonna have to come back next week, team.