As per usual, here’s a quick SPOILER warning, as we take a look at Episode 8: ‘Word as Bond’!
In the ‘previously’, we have a number of big story points to catch up on: Margo (Summer Bishil) declares war on Loria on behalf of Fillory, Penny (Arjun Gupta) is helping Mayakovsky (Brían F. O’byrne) with his experiment and visiting the library in the Neitherlands, Quentin (Jason Ralph) has agreed to make a deal with the Alice Niffin (Olivia Taylor Dudley) to let her take control sometimes, Eliot (Hale Appleman) is in a coma after his Golem is killed at the bank, Dana (Lee Garlington) tells Julia that no one will ever find the son she had with Reynard (Mackenzie Astin), and Julia (Stella Maeve) has lost her ‘shade’ while having Reynard’s baby aborted.
The episode starts in the Brakebills house, where Julia is recovering and Kady (Jade Tailor) explains that the shade was removed accidentally in the baby exorcism. Julia is completely without conscience and apparently feeling fine. Kady has been exploring the spells that may be able to kill a god, but discovers that none of them have ever worked. Julia is convinced that they could write their own, based on the others, which could work if they found someone with enough power. E.g. Reynard’s son with Dana.
Over in Fillory, Quentin and the Niffin (Alice) are going over their agreement to allow the Niffin to take control of Q’s body for a period each day. Meanwhile, Margo has stolen the body of the Golem and hopes to transfer Eliot’s consciousness back into Eliot’s body from the Golem. Their efforts are being held back however, by magic ‘brown outs’ caused by the issues with the well spring.
Having returned to Brakebills, Q finds Kady and Julia working on finding Dana’s son, who was apparently born in Hoboken, New Jersey. Transporting herself there through a portal, she encounters Reynard who threatens her, but she is whisked away by a following Quentin, who uses the button to take them to Fillory.
With the Gold that the gang stole from the bank, Fillory has been able to fund its army, but it is still apparently massively outnumbered, although those numbers may have been magically enhanced. The Lorian troops are massing at the edge of the ‘One Way Forest’, a forest of intelligent trees who have an allegiance with Loria.
Having taken over Quentin’s body for a while, Q discovers that the Alice Niffin has been researching how to reverse becoming a Niffin, or at least that’s what appears to be the case.
In the Neitherlands, Penny goes back to the library to get a book for Mayakovsky, ‘Future Movements In Magic’. While there he gets an offer to join the ‘Order of the Library of the Neitherlands’, who would be able to fix his hands in exchange for almost eternal servitude.
Back at Brakebills, Penny finds that Q and Kady are hitting brick walls trying to find Dana’s son, but senses that something isn’t quite right with Q; before he can figure it out though, Q runs off. Left alone with Kady, the two of them talk and sort of ‘professional accord’ is struck. When Q returns to the house, Kady and Penny still haven’t advanced the problem, but the Alice Niffin gives them a solution in the form of a ‘Time Sight’ spell, using a device from Professor Magellan’s office, which means they could look back into the past to see what happened to Dana’s baby.
In Fillory, Margo and Julia go to see the Dryad Ambassador of the ‘One Way Forest’ to get passage through the forest, but they are rebuffed.
Frustrated by the failure so far of the efforts to revive Eliot, Margo has a heart to heart with his unconscious form, hoping to rouse him.
On Earth, Q, Kady and Penny have travelled to the hospital in Hoboken with the ‘Time Sight’ device, which looks a lot like an old 1970s 3D Viewfinder and look into the past to find the baby; they are thwarted though, as Dana has cast a spell to obscure the face of the adopting father.
In the forest in Fillory, Julia catches the Lorian magician who has been negotiating with the Dryad, and in exchange for an invisibility spell, agrees to let him go. At the same time she offers a token of peace to the Dryad in the form of a small chest. This turns out to be a bomb though, and Julia blows up the forest. Margo is enraged, and civil unrest starts within the tree community, leading her to place Julia in the dungeon.
In Q’s body, the Alice Niffin goes searching for information on ‘Friar Joseph’, from an Anglerbeast (Bracken Hanke) that lives at Brakebills. Waking up some time later, Q discovers that the Niffin has killed part of the Anglerbeast getting the information she needs, and he is not happy in the slightest. He goes to the library in search of a way to break the ‘word is bond’ he has created with the Niffin. Frustrated, he bears his soul a bit to the Niffin, who mocks him and then takes control, as it is midnight.
Back at the house, Penny and a drunk Kady end up having a discussion, cum argument, with Kady feeling sorry for herself and trying to make it clear to Penny that she’s not his girlfriend.
Waking up after the Niffin has been in control, Q finds himself in a Black cab in Dublin. The Alice Niffin says that what they came for has been done and they can go home, but Q wants to know, so get the cab driver to take them back to where they’ve supposedly been. It turns out that the Niffin has tricked Q and she needed him to be the one to enter the building they’ve arrived at. Inside, Friar Joseph appears, who apparently can’t be ‘boxed’, and the Alice Niffin wants him to help her get out of Quentin and be unboxable. Friar Joseph refuses and says that when she can get out of Q on her own, she will be worthy of learning from him.
Efforts continue in Fillory to revive Eliot and when it appears that it has been fruitless, Margo comforts Fen (Brittany Curran) and promises to keep all Eliots assurances that he gave her; at that moment Eliot wakes up.
Penny returns to Brakebills with the name of Dana’s child, after stealing it from the book of her life. He is only able to do so having signed up as an employee of the library. Kady is aghast, and they argue, but Penny is indignant and stands his ground, even telling Kady he loves her, which surprises her.
Quentin enters the room and immediately Penny can sense something is wrong. Kady knocks Quentin out, allowing to Penny to enter his mind, revealing the Niffin.