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Episode Recap: Be The Penny
As Eliot is hunted, Quentin and Julia discover a powerful secret tied to the history of Brakebills.
Penny is dead. Well, sorta. So, it turns out that because Penny was astral projecting while his body died, he’s just sort of trapped here. He’s not a ghost — they can do stuff and haunt people. This is just being invisible. Nobody seems to be crying when they find out, which hurts Penny’s feelings pretty badly. Taking matters into his own hands, he jumps to the Neitherlands to check out if there’s a book on this in the library. The Neitherlands, though, have been unprotected by magic charms for a WHILE now. And thus, it’s freezing there and it’s been taken over by cannibals. Also? That’s where Eliot and the royal family are. Their key took them from the Muntjac straight to the Neitherlands!
Kady takes Penny’s death so poorly that she starts doing heroin again. But before she can overdose, Julia gets one of those spooky messages from beyond and saves her with MAGIC! And that's when Penny realizes that he’s not alone. There’s another person in his predicament named Hyman Cooper. Cooper was a traveler like Penny, but in the 1920s, where he lost his body while watching people take showers. Penny is determined to figure out how to communicate with his friends.
Hyman, though, turns out to be super into everyone's stories. And totally ships Julia and Quentin, WHO, by the way, think they've located another key. In one of the Fillory books, there is a story about how Rupert Chatwin found an enchanted key in a cave and brought it back from Fillory to give the key to his best friend at school.
As Julia and Quentin try to convince Dean Fogg to help them, someone from The Order turns up looking for Penny. He still owes them all that forever-labor from his signed contract. In the conversation, Kady learns that Penny still has a tether to this realm. And they have a limited window of getting him back into his body. But, there’s no way to do it. So, it’s either face the eternity in the library or head to the underworld. Of course, now Penny needs to tell Kady that the effort is worth trying to speak to her. So, Hyman teaches him to BE an object, and Penny figures it out and becomes an actual penny - as in a coin. And when that doesn't work out he decides to become one of the messenger bunnies. And then THAT doesn't go right, because jumping into a living thing is tricky.
So instead, Penny tries to become the Margolem. Remember her? The Margo doppelganger Eliot and Margo made of living clay? Turns out Todd had her in his closet. (Ew.) When Penny figures out how to get inside the old Margolem, he almost gets his message to Kady and the team. But Quentin beats the hell out of her, and that's the end of that.
Julia and Quentin, still on the quest for that key, go looking for a friend of Rupert Chatwin. They find him in a long-buried dorm at Brakebills and learn that the truth key actually taught Rupert and his friend that they were in love! But then the ghost of Rupert's friend / lover has a terrible flashback of his homophobic father and that's before Penny can get the ghost to tell his friends anything.
So, the gang goes looking for the key in the home of a Brakebills descendant who still has magic in her home. Julia goes snooping around and finds the key of truth. And as soon as she does, some spooky fairy/magic/underworld (?) types turn up. As Alice and Kady debate whether to burn Penny’s body and send him to the underworld, or to let his soul end up in the library for all eternity, Penny becomes the candle and takes matters into his own hands burning his own body.
Finally, Eliot finds his way out of the Neitherlands and into the Brakebills cottage! And as soon as he's handed the key of truth, it turns out…Eliot can see Penny! That key is ...well, the truth.