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Julia’s search for a way to get rid of her demon baby has led her and Kady to a Chinese butcher shop run by two witches who say that they can help Julia by exorcising the baby, but it’s going to cost her a million dollars in gold. That’s a lot. But it turns out, they’re magicians, and they can rob banks. Conveniently, back in Fillory, Margo and Eliot are running into problems of their own. The whole magical country is BROKE and there is no way the royal coffers can pay for both the looming war with Loria AND de-feces-ing the wellspring of all magic!
While Kady and Julia scope out the bank, they are attacked by a weird, invisible, smoke monster! Thankfully the Haxenpaxen that they stole from Reynard’s last baby momma breaks free from the trunk of their car and kills the monster (who turns into a… wooden spoon?). Unfortunately, it dies in the process, and its power of hiding the bank robbers is gone, so our ladies need to find a safe place STAT! Kady has an idea.
And yep, it’s Brakebills. Space is tight there, and the only room left for them is in Alice’s old room. Alice isn’t using it anymore because she’s now a Niffin who lives in Quentin’s back tattoo and taunts him mercilessly. She wants out bad, and Quentin is working on that. A reunion between Julia and Quentin occurs, and he vows to help her rob the bank.
Remember how Kady totally ditched Penny at Brakebills South right before the two of them were going to run away together? Well, apparently Penny’s still into her because as soon as these two locked eyes in the library, they went AT IT like teenagers. Aww… young love. Post coitus, Kady tells Penny that they are going to rob a bank to help Julia. Penny’s not thrilled but he seems pretty stoked about the robbing a bank part. He’s in!
Finally, Margo and Eliot head back to Brakebills to try and find some sort of magic way to make some money to get Fillory straightened out. But you know what’s more fun than alchemy? ROBBING A BANK! Unsurprisingly, MARGO knows how to rob a bank. She tells the gang all about the bank's security measures, including some scary anti-traveler charms that they have in the vault, and how the whole business is gonna go down. As she’s going through the plan, another INVISIBLE SMOKE MONSTER appears. The gang runs, except for Kady who is also a badass and decides to take the monster out to collect a little evidence. Another wooden spoon?! What’s up with these wooden spoons?!
Turns out one of the witches from the butcher shop sent the monsters after Julia. The witch thinks that Julia’s baby can never be born because it will be too evil. So instead of hoping that Julia comes up with the money, she sends these monsters after her to kill both her and her unborn child. Unfortunately, these monsters can’t be sent away, so they gotta get that gold and fast. Katy heads back to Brakebills and comes upon Julia tinkering on a spell that Richard, now Reynard, and the free traders had previously mastered, a spell to rewind time. Though, they could never make it go back for more than 15 seconds.
Kady has to tell her she can’t be at the heist because the invisible monsters after her are only kept at bay by the school’s wards. Julia isn’t ok with everyone risking their lives so she can get rid of her baby while she just sits there not knowing what’s going on. So Kady gives Julia an enchanted “Best Friends” necklace (d’aw!) that shows her everything.
The heist is a bit of a disaster. They release bees to clear the place, Penny travels into the vault, but ends up screwing up the “don’t touch the floor” part. Plus, the gold is too heavy and he ends up trapped. Eliot, Kady, and Quentin make it into the bank and find that it will take these guys days to break it open and Penny only has minutes worth of air. You know who CAN break into the vault though? NIFFIN ALICE! In exchange for showing him how to break into the vault and saving Penny’s life, Quentin agrees to let Niffin Alice have control over his body for 30 minutes a day… A deal which Q will probably regret someday, but back to the action... Niffin Alice’s spell works and they rescue Penny!
But! When they dropped the wards on the bank, they only had 10 minutes, which is long over so now they have to deal with a bank hired battle magician who kills all 4 of them.
But! Julia saw the whole thing happening so she meets up with Margo at the bank with her spell that’ll reverse time 15 seconds and next thing ya know there’s the gang again!
But! Julia only has enough juice to do the spell 4 times and the gang dies two more times. On the fourth try, Kady knocks the bank magician out not with a spell but with her badass fists and they escape.
Well, not Eliot, who jumped in front of a spell headed straight for Quentin. It saved Quentin’s life, and sacrificed Eliot’s. Worry not. This was just Eliot’s golem. His body is still safe in Fillory… except, why is Fillory Eliot shaking like that and foaming at the mouth and… uh oh...
Back in the alley, after Julia casts her last time rewind spell, another Invisible Monster came after her. Luckily, Kady showed up just in time and took the monster out, and Julia got knocked out in the process… but woke up again (phew!) at the Chinese Butcher shop with Kady standing over her. The witches did it! They exorcised her demon baby. But, Kady tells her, “There was a complication…”