Penny uses the new button to transport to himself… not to Fillory but to a place called the Neitherlands (yes, really) a place with a whole lot of fountains that transport you to many many different realms. Which would be nifty if it weren’t for the angry Beast-serving people who try to throw fireballs at him. He does his Nightcrawler thing to dodge them and end up being dropped into the huge library underneath. This apparently contains copies of every book and a very powerful librarian. She has wisdom, snark, the ability to see the future and power enough to be not impressed with Penny – she does banish Penny from her library with a few pages of a book written by one of the kids from Fillory (she predicted Penny would try to steal the book, they’d fight, she’d win but he’d manage to get away with some pages of the book. By photocopying the pages instead she manages to save her book from damage
More of her please.
But Penny’s stuck in the Neitherworld and his only contact with the outside world is to invade Quinn’s sex dream (poor Penny can’t keep out of Quinn’s disturbing brain) involving Julia and Alice making out and cosplaying (y’know, after the treatment of LGBT characters these last three episodes they really should step back from women making out for a man’s pleasure).
So Penny has recruited Quinn for help – having to actually ask for help from Quinn which is so very galling.
Where do they go? Well Alice’s mother knows a traveller, Joe (from another world and with an unpronounceable name) which means going to Alice’s parents. Who are enjoying a Roman orgy and are generally sexual enough in front of their own child to cross the line from “quirky” to “creepy, predatory and possibly abusive”. It also greatly overturns any conceptions we had of Alice as a virgin – lack of experience of relationships and fleeing from her parents’ example shapes her a lot more.
In between the awkwardness and learning a whole lot more about Alice there is an interesting exchange between her and her mother: she’s furious at her mother for not caring about what happened to her brother. Her mother hits back with some quite good points about other people having feelings and not everyone has to deal with emotional trauma the same way Alice did. It’s a nice point and a surprising one: just because someone doesn’t grieve as we grieve doesn’t mean they’re not hurting.
Anyway there is a spell they can use to help Penny – a spell that will launch a beacon so Penny can find the right fountain. And it involves using sex magic – sex magic in which both Quentin and Alice must orgasm simultaneously. Quinn doesn’t think that’ll be a problem…
And we get another scene that is surprisingly mature. Yes, of course Quinn is insecure and touchy and upset but Alice makes some excellent points about not loving people because they’re perfect and liking flaws as well. And another good point about how, yeah, he’s not perfect in bed but part of that is she feels embarrassed about asking for what she actually wants. It’s a good conversation, points there.
They then put this in practice and cast the spell perfectly to guide Penny home. And Penny has another mental image for his collection.
B plot time – Elliot is settling back into his role as comic relief by being constantly drunk and high which irritates Margot. What also irritates her is that an ex of hers has cast a spell to steal some of her life force and crate a clone – a Margot Golem. She is not amused and they head off to tell him how very wrong he is and confiscate said golem as a creepy fetishistic sex toy. Point to Margot, because uckies uckies uckies, NO to the sex clone and nothing he says can possibly make what he did sound right. Though she does keep the Margolem which suggests future shenanigans
But she also gets annoyed with Elliot, in his endless drunken state, for not supporting her in this… given what he has been through in the last few episodes, hardly helped by Margot and her damn nasty djinn wishes, then that is just galling. For a second it looks like Elliot is going to tell her that he’s hurting and even tell her off for being so utterly clueless to her supposed friend, but it passes.
I hope in future episodes Elliot can step away from the comic relief and object furiously to how he’s been treated. I can hope, right?
Last plot line brings us Julia with her new Mentor Richard and a whole circle of magic users he’s working with – including Kady. Things are… a little tense between them. But they manage to bury their differences as they work on the magic together while Richard and the rest of his coven focuses on their big project – time magic
See, all of them have something in their lives they want to rewind and re-do – though this is somewhat impossible without a whole lot more magic. As in a god load of magic. Literally – Richard intends to use a god to power his magic… there’s absolutely no way that can backfire, I’m sure.
It could be worse. It could be Loki.