WARNING: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
Penny is dead. But! Turns out, because Penny was astral projecting, it's just his body that died. So there's sorta hope? Althought, he can't touch or do anything. And? Nobody seems to be crying when they find out that he "died". In fact, it seems like everyone is moving on from his death sort of quickly.
Penny makes a quick jump back to the Neitherlands to try and get a book that will help him in the library - but instead he learns that he can't touch anything. Without magic charms, the library has been raided by cannibals. And that's when Eliot and the royal family turn up. Their key took them to the Neitherlands!
...this guy turns up. This is Hyman Cooper. He was a traveler like Penny, but in the 1920s. And he died while astrally projecting. And also, much like Penny, he's been hanging around Brakebills, watching people take showers. They're not ghosts but that's still questionable behavior. They're on a different astral plane and Penny is determined to figure out how to communicate with his friends.
Hyman, it turns out, is super into everyone's stories. And totally ships Julia and Quentin, WHO, by the way, think they've located another key. On Earth. At Brakebills. And they're about to go looking for it.
So then Gavin turns up. He's from the Order. The people who turned off the magic. And they've come looking for Penny, who still owes them all that forever-labor. Kady learns that he still has a tether to this realm. And they have a limited window of getting him back into his body.
And so Penny tries to make contact with Kady. So, Hyman teaches Penny to BE an object, and Penny figures it out and becomes an actual Penny. Penny later decides to become one of the messenger bunnies. It doesn't go well, because jumping into a living thing is tricky.
But THIS is the Margolem. (Remember? Margo's doppelganger made of living clay?) Turns out Todd had her in his closet. **ahem** Penny jumps into the Margolem's body and almost gets his message to his friends, 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. The story goes that Rupert came back from Fillory, and gave one of the keys (the key of truth!) to his best friend.
Turns out, that caused them both to learn the truth that they were in love! It goes poorly because the ghosts - seen here in the "West Dorm" that was buried beneath the campus - has a terrible flashback of his homophobic father. Penny was going to use the ghosts to communicate with his friends but the ghosts were too caught up in their own drama to be of use.
As Alice and Kady debate whether to burn his body and send him to the underworld, or to let his soul end up in the library for all eternity, Penny becomes the candle, taking matters into his own hand and burns his own body.