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Episode Recap: Do Something Crazy
Penny and Julia go stargazing. Eliot and Margo forget a sandwich.
The Magicians begins with grief. Quentin is gone and his friends are all figuring out how to move on in their own way.
Julia is mourning her loss and growing closer to Penny. For a date, Penny picks Julia up in NYC and travels with her to view a meteor shower on the other side of the planet, where a magician and artist friend of Penny's is putting on a show. It starts off pretty, but quickly devolves into a series of explosions thanks to an uncontrollable magical surge. They escape back to the Penthouse in NYC and have an argument about how best to use magic. Julia wants to find a way to use magic that makes having it worthwhile — to somehow make it worth the loss of Q. Penny reminds her that it's only been a month since he died — she needs to give herself time.
Dean Fogg shows up and recruits Penny to become a Brakebills professor. The increase in magic across the world has created a large influx of new students, including more with rare abilities like traveling. He needs Penny to teach — as "the only Brakebills-educated traveler currently alive on the planet" — and convinces him to do so by reminding him how dangerous it is for the students until they are trained. Nervous about his newfound responsibility, Fogg has Penny sign a waiver that assures he is not responsible for any injuries or issues that might come up with the student body.
Margo and Eliot are in the Fillory-of-the-Future that they landed in during the Season 4 finale. It's 300 years later, and the Dark King reigns. They are "despairing in style" — having tried and failed to get into the castle for a week, Margo and Eliot now recline against a tree with cocktails. She prompts him to talk about Quentin; Eliot is not interested. They are afraid to portal back into the wrong time on Earth, so they are trying to problem-solve the future/past situation in Fillory when some people parade by. Turns out, a woman cosplaying as Fen thinks they are cosplaying as themselves and invites them to join in the festivities. Festivities? Yes, the ones in Castle Whitespire. Well, that's a way into the castle. And apparently, it's "Unshackling Day." What?!
Alice is mourning in Chicago with not much help from her super-selfish mother, when Julia pays her a surprise visist. She tells Alice she is thinking about conducting a seance to talk to Quentin. Julia gives Alice one of Quentin's old copies of a Fillory book with notes in the margin.
Back at Brakebills, Penny is an expectedly unconventional professor. He throws books on the floor and tells them traveling is terrible and they should all leave.
Back in NYC, Kady and Pete are hanging out in the Penthouse apartment. Kady has become a de facto leader of sorts for the Hedges since she helped them unite last season. And now people are looking to her to help get rid of the Reed's Mark that the Library branded hedges with during their full-evil phase. She helps one guy reattach his arm and she's inspired to try and figure out a way to remove the marks from the rest of the community. One of the former librarians directs her and Pete to an abandoned library depository to find a manual with a ritual on how to remove the marks.
In Fillory, Margo and Eliot observe a play in Castle Whitespire that tells a twisted story of their rule, followed by the reign of Fen and Josh and ending with the Dark King saving the populace from "The Takers." Oh, and Josh and Fen being killed. So that's the 300-year-old history, as told on Unshackling Day. A quick history lesson that brings Eliot and Margo up to speed. Then Margo tells Eliot about a clock in the heart of the planet controlled by a Clock Dwarf — she wants to work some time magic to go back and save Josh and Fen. They uncover the excavation Margo had started when she was High King and slide down to the center of the planet. There they meet the Clock Dwarf, who is hungry for a ham sandwich — but sadly they came empty-handed. Margo asks him to help them align the times on Fillory and Earth, but he can't push things backward. He can only move the clock forward.
Basically, the Clock Dwarf can't help. Margo and Eliot head back to the surface where Margo is furious, and Eliot is resigned. He can't talk about how bad things are, and Margo accuses him of being in denial. Eliot's response: "Feelings are gauche." They argue and separate. Margo is quickly caught as a banished citizen, knocked unconscious and taken to jail.
Alice makes a deal with a librarian to help them with some phosphormancy … for what exactly? She seems to have an ulterior motive. The librarian needs the pages of a book to be revealed, so Alice gets to work.
Dean Fogg finds Penny in his apartment in order to talk to him about his teaching. Or lack thereof. Fogg shares that he has quit drinking, and he's also threatening Penny. He says that the waiver that Penny signed is also a contract and he has to teach. Very shady, Dean Fogg.
Back in the Library, Alice dashes into the stacks when her librarian contact steps away. She quickly heads to a book and shoves it into her bag.
In the Penthouse apartment in NYC, Julia is surprised to find a creature named Sir Effingham raiding the fridge. He is looking for Quentin to give him a quest — he says the fate of both of their worlds is at stake and he needs him to take on the effort to stop it. Julia wants to accept the quest, but he says only a man will do. He's super sexist and really annoying, and he leaves.
Later, venting to Penny about the weird exchange, Julia gets fired up and realizes that she does not need to wait for someone to hand her a quest. She determines her own fate. She announces that she is going to find out what is causing the apocalypse, and she is going to stop it.
Kady and Pete are searching for the book depository, but the building appears to be hidden, if it exists at all.
Penny goes back to Brakebills and starts to teach. He goes a different route — having already told them about the bad parts of traveling he then tells them about the good parts. He travels them to another planet. The cool things about traveling: When you master your powers, you can wake up anywhere, in any world. A student named Merritt comes to talk to him and says she is hearing an odd signal. Penny lowers his wards to hear it and is overcome by a screeching sound that he can't shut out. It travels him away and back and he is not sure what happened.
Margo wakes up in a jail cell in Castle Whitespire. She sees the ghost of Josh before he was beheaded and tried to comfort him — then he disappears.
Alice has a conversation with her mom. Her advice for someone in mourning: "No one gets to tell you how to grieve…If you need to do something crazy to get through it, do something crazy." Alice heads down to the basement and lights some candles. She has Quentin's Fillory book and the book she stole from the library — Quentin's book! She starts to perform a ritual with a clay figure. A human-body-shaped clay figure. Oh man. What is she doing??!!