Musical episode. Well kind of. I mean it’s an episode with maybe one or two songs? I kind of feel if you’re going to do a musical episode you should go for it.
And I know a lot of people hate these things but I have to admit to a secret joy in them.
So last episode things didn’t end well: Margot and Elliot are on trial, Penny is missing, stuck in the underworld and no-one knows where he is: and Harriet and Victoria are presumed dead via mirror bridge.
This is only mentioned in passing before everyone is forced into the next stage of the quest. But it’s important to remember because I think the characters, especially Kady, do a really good job of maintaining the pain and grief of this even as they are distracted by the singing.
Quentin and Kady are also not thrilled with Alice as she was in the Library and they don’t know why and haven’t ruled out that she’s working for the Library.
The book shoots out the next clue for the next key - and it’s some code with Alice rightfully identifies as Medieval sheet music. She is sure she’s playing it right but thankfully Kady knows more about music than Alice does (because her mother was a stripper, danced to music but also loved her work, loved music, gave Kady piano lessons and no-one better judge her). She plays the music and everything changes
Physical House is now full of people partying led by Josh (supported by Todd) who joins the party with a musical number and he’s pretty decent. Quentin is duly horrified. More concerning is the paintings of various famous people through history repainted as Josh - oh and there’s no door.
Josh and Todd arrive, celebrating because magic is back! Yes, they can all use magic to perform several really shiny party tricks which is a great fun and a massive relief to the magicians who have been without magic for so long. And the only rule is keep having fun
Which is a problem because Alice, Kady and Quentin quickly realise that magic outside of party tricks doesn’t work, they can’t leave and, Kady especially, is super on edge and upset after the disasters that have afflicated them. She’s not in a partying mood, but every time they stop partying the crowd of partiers all turn on them and move like an ominous cloned army. Only by singing and partying can they placate the crowd.
Josh and Todd are unaffected.
They decide to question Josh but first they need to distract the crowd - so it’s time for Kady’s musical number along with a Burlesque strip show, a shadow performance and using magic to keep it going while she joins the rest of them in questioning Josh
Except first they need to dredge through a lot of his complaints. The man who once abandoned them in Fillory because of cowardice is super upset that they ditched him at Bacchus’s party. He’s been texting and calling and they haven’t responded to him and he feels super neglected and left out. He also pouts how none of them really know anything about him. They try to point out to him the obvious flaws of his party world - that other magic doesn’t work etc but he’s determined to recite his whole history of being ditched and badly done to. He does reveal that it was Todd who led him to the party - and he went along with it because they did the same hostile clone army thing whenever he didn’t party. And then because he loves to party and they sort of have magic back. Despite this wanting to keep it going, he does admit there are flaws