Elliot is in his dream world and yes he is still alive. He’s in the Physical Kids house, enjoying his time and memories with Todd and especially Margo - yes it’s classic “you’re locked in your happy memories prison” trope
But there’s a persistent knocking on his memory door and we’re introduced to Charlton. Charlton was the Beast’s original host (and now dead) and has a convenient source of knowledge (and being beaten up by Margot). He tells Elliot that everything but he and Elliot is a memory - but there’s a bunch of monsters around as well - monsters which were the Monster’s old hosts. Which were monsters locked in a prison which is a lot of awfulness… they’re only safe in the happy place.
Which is fine but Charlton reveals the door out of this is in Elliot’s worst possible moment which he will have suppressed
There follows an exploration of Elliot’s worst memories. Starting with the truly moving and tragic - Elliot bullied as a child and his first use of magic to kill his bully which deeply traumatised him. It was moving and painful. But no door. Then there was the him becoming the bully which was just damned annoying because the whole “homophobe bully is actually gay” trope is nauseating, homophobic, has horrendous real life implications and is generally awful.
Still no door
Step back and it’s time to try Elliot’s many many many many hilarious suppressed memories. Because happiness and self-awareness don’t go so well together and Elliot chose happiness.
Through his many many sins (all dicks and daddy issues) Elliot realises what is his biggest regret and suppressed memory - Quentin
After their epic, beautiful, 50 year relationship (which was never mentioned again AAARGH HOW?!) we finally get a scene where Quentin and Elliot discuss this - specifically Quentin pointing out they’d just had a super awesome 50 year loving relationship, they know they work together as a couple so why not go for it? Elliot objects (he’s cut off but he seems to be suggesting that Quentin is not gay or bi which… uh doesn’t seem to be the case? And I’d rather they not continue that thought because they idea that being gay or bi has no relevance to a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex is annoying and has trope implications) claiming it definitely wouldn’t work and it was always lack of choice. Except our Elliot reveals how this was all lying and Elliot was afraid and now deeply
OH MY GODS MAGICIANS! I don’t know whether to love you eternally for finally doing this scene or be so damn angry that you left it this late and until Elliot may die. Gah gah gah gah. You better remember this The Magicians, when Elliot is saved (WHEN NOT IF) and he and Quentin are back together (THEY BETTER BE) you better not play any damn “oh hey let’s be friends” moment. Elliot’s darkest, most regretted and suppressed memory is TELLING QUENTIN NO - you’ve done this now!
The Magicians, you’ve gone there - you cannot walk this back.
Now to the monster Elliot in the real world who is tired of Quentin’s grieving and wants to get on with his nefariousness. He briefly follows up on a random comment by Quentin and leaves Quentin Julia and Shoshonna with the latter trying to figure out exactly what Julia is. In doing so she briefly removes Julia’s cloak which allows the goddess Iris to get in touch
Iris was quite supportive of Julia before but is now Not Impressed. She and all of the gods are now hiding from Monster!Elliot which Julia released, hence the whole Not Impressed, Not a Fan thing. She does freely explain what Julia is - beyond a terrible failure - she is the worst of god and human: a human with no power, but with the immortality which means she will see everything and everyone die. How nice. Oh but gods can still kill her and Iris totally will if Julia doesn’t do as she’s told (I think Iris is getting coercion wrong -I mean saying what a curse immortality is then threatening death is somewhat backwards)
Anyway there’s a magic rock that produces magic blood which they can throw at Monster!Elliot and this will freeze him so Iris can then whisk him back to the prison from whence he came. Sure it will mean imprisoning elliot but everyone thinks he’s dead now anyway. Since the choice is imprison Elliot and save Julia or save a dead Elliot and kill Julia the choice is obvious
So while Julia and Shoshonna work on stalling the Monster (fairly easy since the monster has zero social clues) by pretending to research the stone heart he’s ripped out of Bacchus.
Switch from here to Alice - she’s escaped the Library but worries about Quentin’s upcoming death. She’s still being followed by Plover who is trying to self-justify by appropriating good messages about “apologising for what you did but you can’t for what you did” which, like everything he ever says, would be a good message if not from the mouth of a self-serving paedophile.
Alice sabotages his escape and instead dumps him into a realm of horrible poisoned death, So we don’t have to deal with that any more
She then runs to Quentin to warn him. Quentin greets her with all the enthusiasm you could expect - absolutely none. He doubts her, doesn’t believe her but is eventually convinced to let her help (the idea is to bleed the magic rock faster so they disrupt the timeline). She claims she isn’t looking for redemption but she kind of is. Quentin isn’t having it and only agrees to her help if she then uses the book-of-finding-where-you-belong on Alice to send her anywhere but here.
They bleed the rock and make their plan - distract the Monster, throw blood, Iris appears and YAY all is solved
So time for the plan and everything is working except… this is when Elliot breaks free, just for a moment, and proves to Quentin that he’s alive! Quentin aborts mission, leaps in the way of the blood to save Elliot. At which point a not very smart Iris appears to god-kill Julia for screwing it up and gets a self-sacrificing Shoshonna instead
Her second shot is stopped when the monster grabs her which she really should have predicted. There’s a reason you’re in hiding, remember, Iris? The Beast kills her and pulls out some squsihy part of her as he does
He then turns to our heroes to basically say they’re all going to get a good killing for messing with him…. But everyone thinks quickly and claims they intended all this! They’ve totally set it all up so he could kill Iris - aren’t they awesome? And look, Julia’s research (which Shoshonna did) reveals that maybe these body parts he’s claiming are the Monster’s real body - the body he could occupy again and release Elliot.
Which brings us to Margo, back in Fillory she is hilariously not especially enthusiastic about telling the bad news about Elliot. Fen is inconsolable and goes through the many many many many increasingly hilarious rituals which Margo dismisses quite rudely. But as it goes on, Fen asks Margo if she’s even cried and we get some painful truth from her: if she starts crying she will never stop. And she refuses to be crying and useless when she has a kingdom to run. She has to be on her game, she cannot afford the luxury of grief
Yes, that was the impact.
She’s in Fillory because she’s decided to check out her birthright box… except inside after she finally opens it, is a talking lizard
Except all the talking animals of the kingdom have all gone silent. Just typical!
Oh and someone kidnaps Penny