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So, things are still tense between Alice and Quentin, and doubly so now that Penny is (sort of) back. Since it turns out that the only way to see Penny is by holding the truth key, Alice takes it upon herself to reveal that Penny is alive to Kady. While Kady’s relieved that he's alive, she's also furious. The whole thing has really messed her up and she has to put herself back together before she can deal with him.
Meanwhile, Eliot and Quentin figure out that there's probably another key in a magical mosaic that only Quentin seems to remember from the Fillory books. Apparently, at one point in the books, Jane Chatwin went searching for the mosaic. Whoever solves it (making a mosaic that represents the beauty of the world) is granted the key. In the story, Jane was too late, but the person who figured it out gave her the key anyway. And so, Eliot and Quentin see if they can figure out how to get there.
Fillory's kind of a mess, though. The Fairy Queen still has Margo under her thumb and now there's a new problem. A neighboring country wants to form an alliance by, yes, marrying one of their own to Margo. Nobody's happy about this, particularly Prince Ess, Remember him? He challenges Margo’s decision-making, and she’s not happy about it either, but the Fairy Queen insists Margo marry Prince Micah – who turns out to be way hot. Margo also meets the other prince — Micah’s horrible little brother. When it becomes apparent that someone is trying to kill Prince Micah, Margo immediately suspects that it’s Prince Ess and has him thrown into the dungeon. Turns out, during the wedding, a giant axe slices off Prince Micah's head. Blood goes everywhere and it’s Micah's younger brother who killed him, hoping to be King himself.
The Fairy Queen is clear. Margo still has to marry him. Twerpy little Prince or not.
As Quentin and Eliot find their way to Fillory, they realize that they’ve arrived decades before even the Fillory books take place. They come to the place where they're meant to make a mosaic. If they get it right, they get another key. So, Quentin and Eliot spend a long time trying to build a mural that represents the beauty of the world. A LONG time. Years start to go by. Yes, years! And at one point, having spent all this time together, they develop some real feelings for each other. More years go by, and Quentin and a local girl fall in love and have a child. And then more terrible things befall them and as they grow older, Eliot and Quentin raise the child together. Finally, as the pair grows super old together, Eliot dies. As Quentin is digging him a grave, he finds a golden tile. It works! The mosaic offers up a key just as Jane Chatwin comes along. If you'll recall, its Jane's time loops that will save them all from the Beast. It’s a time loop that’s really got a lot going for it.
Back in Castle Whitespire, the weird child Prince wants to consummate the marriage and Margo says absolutely not. And then, she finds a strange wedding gift – this one from Quentin. Turns out, he arranged the note to arrive on her wedding day so that it wouldn’t confuse her too badly. Margo, in turn, rushes out to find Jane Chatwin in a place she's made where there isn't time. Margo gets the key, and heads back to the cottage, just before Quentin and Eliot go on the quest. So…it never happened. Or it did, just in an alternate timeline.
As Julia and Alice take a break to get a drink, Our Lady Underground turns up. She's the one who's been sending the messages to Julia. Turns out, Julia is the one who has magic because Our Lady Underground gave her the "seed" of magic. And it's a remnant of Reynard's power.
Julia's furious. She doesn't want any power that has anything to do with Reynard. So she and Alice concoct a plan. What if Julia could give her magic to Alice?
Meanwhile at the Psych Ward, when Kady goes to check herself out, the doctor shows her footage of herself talking to Penny. So it looks like she's having hallucinations. And she's locked up even more than she was before.
Finally, as Margo gets the boys back to Fillory, Quentin and Eliot find the remnants of their life together and suddenly – they remember everything that happened to them. Now what?