Julia and Quentin turn to Mayakovsky to help them bring Alice back. He initially refuses, but Quentin reminds him how much people suffered because of his relationship with Emily. He agrees to use his magic battery for the spell. Quentin removes Alice's shade from Julia, and places her in a cage. Niffin Alice is furious when she's dragged into the trap, and reunited with her soul.
Mayakovsky sends Quentin away to give Alice space. She's frantically trying to keep all the information she learned in her brain, but she can't do magic. Mayakovsky tells her Niffins are selfish, but it's important to care about the world. Later, Quentin tells Alice he's sorry, but he couldn't live in the world without her. She doesn't say anything, but his words seem to affect her.
Penny and Sylvia discover a fountain that will lead them to the Poison Room. Sylvia explains that everyone's book is filled with 20 blank pages, which means a terrible event is coming soon. She wants her book to get answers. They find the fountain and travel to the room, which lives up to its name. Penny gets the book on killing gods, and Sylvia's book tells her that she doesn't make it out of the room. The air is literally poison. Penny makes it back to Brakebills, and gives Kady the book, but he winds up in the infirmary with radiation poisoning.
Julia asks Kady to be her conscience. Kady's reluctant, but agrees. She asks Julia for help with Senator Gaines. Julia knows they can't kill him so they decide to teach him how to use magic. Reynard is onto them, and kills the senator's wife to send him a message. Gaines returns to the school, and asks Julia to never cave to her dark side. Then, he sends her away, and uses his power to get Kady to kill him. Julia harvests his energy into a single bullet. The two create a storm to trick Reynard into thinking the goddess has returned.
As Julia prepares to shoot him with the bullet made from John's energy, the goddess arrives. She explains that she's his mother. Julia's furious and reminds her that he destroyed her life. The goddess tells her that she's a survivor. Julia agrees not to kill him, and the goddess takes him away. Kady is furious. But Julia's shade is returned thanks to the goddess.
Quentin and Eliot team up to find the portal back to Fillory. They discover Umber living in Vancouver. He explains that Fillory is ruled by chaos without him. Ember doesn't want them to succeed. He wants to be entertained. Eliot gives an impassioned plea, and Umber agrees to turn over the portal to them. But they don't have a plan. Eliot suggests conquering Fillory, but Quentin points out that would make them no better than the Beast.