Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny use the fountain, which they find unguarded, to return to Brakebills. Dean Fogg is waiting for them. They fill him in on what they've learned, and all the answers they still need.
While Julia tries to work on summoning Reynard, the Beast sings and mocks her plans. She still has faith in herself and her friends. He points out they're not her friends anymore, and hints they won't be royals for long. She asks if he put a spell on the castle.
In Fillory, Eliot and his royal staff discover the throne room filled with long dead bodies of the former royals.
The Beast tells Julia he wants to use someone else as bait. She tries to stop him with the knife, but he finds the right loophole, and continues singing as he explores Manhattan.
Thanks to a prank Margo forgot she put in place, the cottage is missing when the group tries to go home.
Eliot's wife, Fen, tells him the people of Fillory are starving and magic is the problem, not the solution.
When the group finds the cottage, a party is raging. Penny tries to attack Josh for deserting them, but his hands won't let him. Other students ask if Fillory is real.
Dean Fogg tells Professor Sunderland that Fillory is real. He also wants to teach Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny battle magic. But first, he needs her to find the spells hidden in the library.
Margo transforms a hangover cure into a potential way to help Penny get control.
The Beast brings Marina to Julia to use as bait. Marina refuses to help and storms out, despite Julia's pleas.
Alice is in pain from all the god-power. Quentin feels guilty and asks her to tell him if there's anything he can do to shift the weight off her.
Marina calls a hedge witch on the opposite coast to strategize.
Since the crops can't grow by magic anymore, Eliot realizes they need to do actual farm work. He confesses to Fen that he grew up on a farm and tried to block it all out, but he can help. As they kiss, he keeps his eye on an attractive guard.
In the library, Dean Fogg and Professor Sunderland team up with Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny to find the battle magic. As they search, Professor Sunderland offers to help Penny with his hands. The book is hidden beneath the false "Hotel Spa Potions" cover. They find another riddle, which Margo surprises everyone by solving.
Marina discovers the other hedge witch dead with her intestines ripped apart.
Eliot tries to get around his marriage contract by suggesting an orgy. Fen is horrified by the idea, but says she'll go along with it since he's the king. He changes his mind and sends everyone else away.
The Beast tries again to convince Julia to part with her shade. He's worried she's going to get him killed. She threatens to cut off his dick if he goes against her. When he starts singing again, she amends the threat to include his tongue.
While Dean Fogg, Quentin, Alice, and Margo try to work out the rest of the riddle, Professor Sunderland again offers to help Penny with his hands. Another student interrupts to tell the dean about a security breach. He finds Marina in his office, and she tells him she needs asylum. He refuses to help her because she's a danger to the rest of the students.
The dean takes Quentin and Alice to talk to Professor Bigby. She and the dean have a sexual past. She also picks up on Alice's god-like powers, which Dean Fogg points out are waning. She tells him that she doesn't give anything away when he asks for the spells. She wants to be convinced.
Eliot tries to explain to Fen how fertilizer works.
After walking down memory lane, Professor Bigby gives Alice the spell she needs. She warns her that no one but her should be within 20 feet of the Beast because it will kill them. She tells Alice she doesn't have much longer to get it done.
Alice practices, but she's not strong enough. Dean Fogg suggests he might have secrets tucked away that could help.
Professor Sunderland performs a spell on Penny that forces him to keep his hands tied behind his back for 12 hours. Things start to get heated, but she stops before they kiss, and suggests maybe after he graduates.
Quentin meets with Julia to warn her to stay clear of the Beast so she's not in the path of their spell. She threatens him not to do anything before she's done with the Beast. He starts to leave, and she warns him the Beast did something to the castle to curse royalty. They go their separate ways once more.
In the morning, Penny's hands are fixed, and he tells Sunderland he owes her for real.
Dean Fogg's plan involves getting drunk so Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny can withstand the pain of the ritual to give them more strength. It involves back tattoos, words that have special meaning to them, and a lobster-like demon burrowing into each of their backs. He reminds them they can each only release the power one time.
Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny return to Fillory. Eliot tells them about his fertilizing adventure.
Marina shows up at Julia's door and agrees to help. The ladies share a cigarette while the Beast starts singing again.