WARNING: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
So, now that Penny 23 has come into this timeline, Josh catches him up on everything. And let's be clear, it's a good little catch up. One that includes a look back at the fact that everyone's hooked up with each other and gotten into a lot of trouble. Important things to remember:
Penny kept losing his hands and signed a billion year contract wih the library, Marina and Julia were hedgewitches together and Kady was on the outs with them generally, and also Penny in this timeline is dead, his body was destroyed and he's on the Astral Plane in the Underworld Library.
Also, the gang has been on the Quest for the 7 Keys. And they've found Keys 1-5. And also Key 7. BUT, Key 6 is somewhere with the Fairies. And the Fairy Queen is NOT about to hand it over. And? Julia is the only person who still has magic and Alice turns out to be working for the library but nobody knows why either thing is happening.
Julia, Alice and Quentin try to figure out what's next. Beast-Quentin told them (in the alternate timeline) that he saw a future-version of Julia trying to bring magic back into the world by unlocking a door in "the Castle at the End of the World" and unleashing a monster (instead of magic). They dispatch Alice to the library to figure out what's what (and Penny 23 follows her).
In the library, the Head Librarian tells Alice that the door they want to open may indeed hold a terrifying monster, she doesn't really know. But also, she hands Alice a "syphon" and tells her to suck all of the magic out of Julia with it. What? Oh yeah, they're not playing around. Alice is torn. And Penny 23 overheard the WHOLE thing and immediately goes to tell the gang.
Eliot, Fen and Margo head out to talk to Fray (they used to think she was their daughter, after all). She's now working at a bar in Fillory and doesn't know how to get in touch with the Fairy Queen. Ever the understanding Queen, Margo makes friends with Fray's boyfriend, though, who turns out to be a talking bear. Yep!
As Kady explains to Penny 23 how Reynard sexually assaulted Julia (and that's why she has magic), he realizes that Reynard is now a powerless god. And they need one of those to find out what's in the Castle at the End of the World.
So, it turns out that the Fairies can't reproduce in Fillory. That's why they planted their eggs in the Northern orchard. In exchange for the key, Margo and Eliot try to make a deal to let the Fairy Queen have space there, but she says she can't make a deal with them because they're no longer royalty.
And that gives Eliot and Margo an idea. They're going to run the 2016 election, basically. They decide to run Eliot for King of Fillory, and, sadly, leave Margo's name off the ballot. Their plot works, Tick takes the bait and suddenly - there's an election going on.
Julia also uses her god-like powers for good and starts to heal Fillory. She grows an entire forest for the farmers, and that's when Josh hands out more posters for the "Children of Earth" election. This could work!
Quentin confronts Alice about the syphon and that device turns out to be a way for the library to control magic and decide how to use it. They fight about it, and finally Quentin convinces Alice to hand it over by threatening to cut her out of the Quest for the 7 Keys. She reminds Quentin that if magic is turned on, his father dies of cancer.
Meanwhile the election in Fillory is going great! That is, until Tick releases the transcript of Eliot's trial: where he said he hated Fillory and called it a shithole. From there, it all falls to pieces and Eliot is WAY behind in the polls.
Kady and Penny 23 take Julia to see Reynard and it turns out he's living among the humans but still has the bullet that Julia made to kill him. He was given it by Hades. Julia and Kady think that bullet just might stop whatever evil is lurking in the Castle at the End of the World.
Turns out, that Fillory has a LOT more talking animals than they do people. And those talking animals can vote. And so, because of her non-judgemental stance toward Fray and her bear-boyfriend, Margo has been elected King of Fillory. As she strikes the deal with the Fairy Queen, she's given a gift - a Fairy eye. She can see again, and also see BEYOND what she could before.
As Kady makes one last attempt at contacting the Penny from this timeline with the key, she finds the only Penny she can now contact is Penny 23. Resolved, Kady drops the key. It seems like she MAY be done looking for Penny for a while.