Quentin and Alice arrive back to Brakebills from Antarctica, and Eliot introduces them to Mike. Quentin wants to sleep with Alice again, but Alice just thinks that they slept together because of the fox pheromones, and wants to spend some time apart.
At school, Penny wants to travel and not just learn astral projection. Penny flirts with Pearl. Quentin switches into Alice's study group, which also includes Penny. Dean tries to use his hands to do magic, to no avail.
Mike and Eliot grow closer. Later, Mike kills a rabbit, and pulls out a dagger from its body.
Quentin and Penny are outside working on a spell. Mike appears and attacks Quentin with the dagger. Penny steps in, and Quentin manages to repel Mike with magic. Mike managed to stab Penny, who is rushed to the hospital. The professors find Mike trying to open a portal, and interrogate him, wanting to know where the dagger is. Mike claims he doesn't remember anything.
Quentin believes that Mike attacked him because of the Beast. Penny's wound is cursed, and vines start growing out of it. Quentin recognizes the wound from the Fillory books. Jane was attacked by a Lorian assassin by a Virgo blade, and rose vines grew to strangle her heart. Jane was saved because she used a voodoo doll as a substitute. Quentin tries to use a doll, but it fails.
Eliza is back, and Dean tells Eliza that the knife is from Fillory. He tells her that this is her mess. Eliza tells Quentin that The Beast wants control of Fillory and all doors that lead there. She says that Jane's doll worked because it was her most precious possession. Quentin tries to find Penny's most prized possession, and believes it's a candy wrapper from Kady. It works.
Eliza goes to talk to the Beast through Mike. The Beast calls her Jane Chatwin. He attacks her and kills her, then tries to attack the Dean, but Eliot arrives and kills Mike. Quentin asks the Dean to tell him what to do, but the Dean doesn't have any answers. Quentin goes back to the cottage, and he and Alice sleep together.
Meanwhile, Julia is in a rehab center and is trying to write to Quentin to make amends. Marina comes to apologize for everything that's happened, and says she actually liked Julia. She then threatens Julia if she ever comes after Marina again. Julia attends a rehab group, and the chaplain, Richard, recognizes Julia's ink. He says he was trained at Brakekbills. He tells her magic is not a drug, but a gift. Richard believes that magic a set of tools left over from creation. He gives her a spell, she tries it, and she levitates. Richard tells her it was a prayer, and tells her there are other ways to live with magic. Julia asks him to get something to Brakebills.