Quentin reads the opening chapter of the book. The story is a pretty typical tale of a Knight and his loving daughter and an evil witch. The witch kidnaps the knight and makes the daughter go on a quest for the seven keys needed to open his prison. The first key is on an island (they believe in Fillory) and the story ends there. It seems that each part of the quest can only be known when the previous ones are completed. Julia and Josh want to join Fillory and having gotten the Chatwin Clock they theoretically could, if they could find magic. Julia’s little blasts are too weak, they need something serious. Which makes them think of Mayakovsky and his magical batteries.
Josh hits the bong and the internet and uncovers a video claiming to be the attack of a ‘magical bear’ at a bar that Julia recognizes as a hedge witch spot. Kady is not convinced that it’s Mayakovsky. Julia shows Kady her touch of magic and suggests that with the battery they might be able to help Penny, which gets Kady’s reluctant help. She takes them to the where the bartender identifies Mayakovsky and Emily. Quentin goes to visit Emily who tells him that she and Mayakovsky have reunited and gotten married. But Emily has no idea where the bear thing came from. Emily mentions that they met a woman she didn’t know that it seems Mayakovsky had to pay something. Emily believes that the woman is responsible.
Kady finds mentions of supposed magic appearances around the city, both supposedly done by a woman. One was at a local hospital where a real dinosaur appeared outside. Another spot was Central Park where a love fest suddenly started. Both scenes lead the team to a building nearby. A building popular with those that want to commit suicide. They see a woman climbing onto the ledge and Quentin runs up to the roof to try to stop her. There he discovers the jumper is Professor Lipson. Lipson, it turns out, was behind all the work Mayakovsky did to create the batteries. And it seems was in love with him. But when Quentin mentions turning Mayakovsky into a bear, Lipson denies doing it. She tries to jump but Quentin grabs her arm and saves her but Lipson drops the battery which breaks into pieces and releases all of its magic.
After Lipson is taken to the hospital they figure out that someone else was behind the bear and the most likely culprit is Emily. When Quentin, Julia and Josh get there they find their suspicions confirmed. Unfortunately Kady got there first. They go off in different directions to look for Kady. While Quentin is searching, he feels the book moving and discovers that the next chapter has appeared. But all is not happy time when Quentin is attacked by a seemingly random construction worker. Quentin defends himself and then picks up the book and leaves.
Eliot and Margo are holding a council meeting about the state of finances in the kingdom. To put it succinctly, the kingdom is broke. When Margo brings up issue of the money being spent on the boat, Eliot informs the council that there is an island that hasn’t paid taxes in decades and infers that he intends to go there personally and collect what is owed. Of course it’s all a bit of theater since basically all of the council was helping Eliot with the bunny messages in the fairy proof hall. But they can’t have the Fairy Queen knowing what’s going on and Eliot can’t very well go hunting for days. Unfortunately for them, the Fairy Queen is a suspicious creature.
Eliot and Tick arrive at the dock where the Muntjack awaits. Tick advises Eliot that the boat is made of sentient trees (and is thus basically alive). And as a sentient tree, the boat is a magical creature and is thus capable of tricks like having a cabin several times bigger than would fit in the exterior. Oh and knocking someone off the boat for tossing a little shade (looking at you Tick).
Fen wants to go on the voyage and when Eliot tries to say no, the Fairy Queen pops up and demands that Fen go along. Oh and then there’s the fairy obedient human girl she wants to also send. “Frail Human, Fray for short” aka Eliot and Fen’s child. Seems time in the Fairy Realm isn’t like in Fillory cause this two month old Fillorian baby looks more like 15 or so. Which doesn’t really make sense given Margo and Fen having been there and they didn’t return years later, suggesting that the Fairy Queen’s magic is such that she can return someone to exactly when they left, as well as where. Fen is thrilled to have her daughter back while Eliot is cautious.
At After Island, Eliot finds out the island is plagued by a monster that appears every few days. The island is protected during the attacks by a local priest, who happens to have the key in his possession. He refuses to give it to Eliot, claiming it’s the only thing protecting them from the monster. Interestingly the monster, a shadow bat, turns up right then. The priest tells all of them to hid in the barn while he fights off the monster. When the attack is over, they find one of the villagers killed by the monster. Or so it seems. Fray, having recognized the type of monster, realizes that the wounds would be from an actual knife. She whispers this to Eliot during the funeral and afterwards, Fen concurs with the assessment. Eliot confronts the priest and takes the key from him. He demands that the priest show the village how he conjured the monster to scare them. Eliot takes the key and they all return to the boat for the voyage home. Fray demands to know why Eliot didn’t collect any taxes. Fen claims that the key is magic and more valuable than gold but Fray is not convinced. Eliot and Fen had a nice parental moment when they send Fray to her room.
Adventures of Alice and the Lamprey
Alice goes to an animal shelter to find a kitten (the early warning device). Alice and her kitten stumble onto Quentin at the love fest and Alice is not exactly charming. She tells Quentin she was following the trail of magic (presumably to use it to protect herself from the Lamprey). She ends up the hospital with the others after Lipson’s suicide attempt. While they’re talking, the kitten freaks out and then explodes. Alice runs off without another word.
And then there’s Kady and Penny.
Penny turns up at the restaurant looking very very bad. He seems sure that he’s at his end and wanted to say goodbye. But Kady shows him the battery.