The gang knows a bit more about the Beast, that it’s basically the bug evil writer paedophile with extra powers, and they know it wants to control all entry into Fillory and out. Which means it wants the button
The gang gathers to figure out what to do next – which involves some nifty probability spells showing them the consequences of their actions. The consequences are… death, death, death, mystery, death, death, death. They choose mystery. Which involves going to Fillory
No-one is really a fan of this idea but what other choice do they have? It helps that they know of a super powerful-may-kill-beasties weapon in Fillory which would be quite useful. Penny is still really reluctant but the Beast’s desire to control the keys to Fillory also means removing all Travellers (who can zap in whenever they want). He does this by psychic assault which is really loud – driving his mentor and Joe to suicide and Penny to the edge with a drug overdose.
But before they go to Fillory they need to be ready to defend themselves. Which means Battle magic – something none of them can manage despite doing it before. They do some research – and interview Kady who has mastered the art of throwing nasty spells about – and learn that anyone can do it in an extreme circumstances kind of way, but to do it consistently you need to achieve a kind of zen-like calm. Something which took her a whooooole lot of meditating
The short cut is to ram your emotions in a bottle leaving you spooky and calm (and kin of eerie) but when you uncork said emotions they come back tenfold and you’re a bit of a quivering wreck who falls apart and gets drunk (except Elliott… but only because drunken quivering wreck is kind of the ground state of his being at the moment. As opposed to drunken quipping wreck which was the ground state of his being the rest of the time. If he was even remotely characterised I would say this is because his emotions are already so bleak and extreme that ratcheting them up with the bottle doesn’t really do anything).
Alice and Penny decide to practice without the Spock bottles because the emotional wreck afterwards is a bad idea. But Quinn is way to torn with his own lack of self-worth not to take the easy way out (and, in a moment of character depth that this show is surprisingly good at, he isn’t helped by being close to Alice who is so effortlessly awesome all the time) so he, Margot (who is all sad that her happy toy Elliott isn’t such an obliging toy any more and is drunk allll the time. Honestly, this whole thing annoys me – because it could be seen as concern for Elliott, but it isn’t because she never really considers why he’s hurting or why he should be hurting. She doesn’t talk to Elliott about how he’s hurt – she talks to him about how he doesn’t like her, how they don’t have fun. She’s not interested in his wellbeing – she is interested in getting her plaything back).
Anyway these three keep using the bottles and the emotional fallout may lead them having a threesome. We see brief flashes of it. Oh and Alice sees them naked in bed together so she’s now mega-pissed
It also means that after GBF stereotype, dead lover, drunken caricature and dead disabled Black lesbian our latest attempt of LGBT inclusion on this show is “super drunk, magically emotional threesome to cause the straight characters angst WHICH THEY WON’T EVEN SHOW”.
Ok, Magicians y’know I complain about erasure on TV? I totally take it back! Erase! Erase away! All straight world ho! Let’s go heteronormative!
Over to Julia – who is still following new mentor Richard’s mission of finding a god or two so they can do impossible magic. In theory this was done all the time in the past… nowadays not so much. They think it will succeed because Julia is apparently godtouched (hence the fact she could make a prayer spell work), a special power: which means we have another group who is kind of exploiting her for her magical gifts. The plan is to find various magical creatures (like vampires) and ask them about gods… and the consensus is that the gods are dead
Which is also depressing for the group – but Julia is not losing faith (literally) and either gets a visit from a goddess, or a really vivid dream. Since this is The Magicians I’m going to assume it’s the goddess of cat murder or bitter disappointment or finding-no-coffee-in-the-morning