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Remember how we learned that all of our characters have actually lived in 39 different time loops set in motion by Jane Chatwin? Well, it turns out that during most of them, Julia was at Brakebills and was a super gifted “knowledge magician.” Sadly, in this timeloop, Julia’s a hedgewitch mess and Dean Fogg only trusts her a little and feels no responsibility for her - so, he lets her out of the magic-blocking room in hopes that she can save herself.
Meanwhile, in Fillory, Quentin is drinking his sorrows about Alice's death, and Margo is having none of it. She sends him to Earth on an errand for Eliot's wedding to King Idri. Earth is pretty complicated itself - Kady still has to deal with Reynard and Penny wants to help her, but his job with the Order seems to have just started. He and Kady end up back in front of the Librarian, who's got some tasks for him. His new job is to collect overdue library books from magicians who’ve taken them from the Order. Also on Earth, Josh has been making magical drug edibles, and Quentin is tasked with fetching him to cater Eliot's wedding. However, before they go back to Fillory, Quentin goes on a drug trip of his own. Able to see other worlds, Quentin bumps into Julia's shade who asks that he come find her before it's too late. Problem is - Quentin has no idea where he is.
In Fillory, Fen is starting to see Fairy warriors all the time. She thinks they're a hallucination, but remember how Margo promised her child to them? That time is coming soon and those aren’t hallucinations- that’s legitimately happening and Fen soon learns that Margo can see them too. Backed into a corner, Margo is forced to come clean: yes she promised Fen’s baby to the Fairies – but she’s on it and she’ll find a way to solve it.
As the search for Julia's shade continues, Quentin and Julia find that Todd isn’t as irritating as he seems, he’s actually worthwhile. He’s high, but he does tell them that Dean Fogg knows a person who was very interested in shades. A quick jaunt over to the Dean’s office reveals that during one of the 39 timeloops, apparently ALICE was very into seeking them out. While there’s no way to talk to her about them, RECORD SCRATCH – there is! A device known as the Tesla Flexion, which can cast Quentin and Alice from their respective timeloops into one place for a limited time. Worth a shot!
Turns out the first book that Penny has to collect is from the owner of FuzzBeat - a website with cat videos and news. Those articles also turn out to be coded news for magicians. The manager of the website (played by Marlee Matlin) shares some info with Kady, "no matter what, the library has ALL kinds of knowledge." When they take the book back to the library, Penny runs into a librarian who had previously told Kady there was no information on killing a God. When Penny hands him the overdue book, the librarian is suddenly under a spell. He heads toward a door but before he can open it, chooses instead to kill himself. Penny learns that the door leads to the "Poison Room”, where the library keeps all knowledge that's too dangerous to read. It’s big stuff in there.
Quentin, Julia and Dean Fogg pull out the old Tesla Flexion device, and cast a spell so that Quentin can talk to a version of Alice. Amidst their feelings, Alice tells Quentin that shades go to the Underworld, but in order to get there, he needs to find "an ancient one." New clues to follow up on.
All that as Fen gets abducted by a creepy Fairy dude, Kady gets a quick note from FuzzBeat telling her that the book that can help her kill Reynard is in the Poison Room, and Julia thinks she's figured out just what, exactly, an "ancient one" is. Hold on to your hats – it’s a dragon.