The Magicians will end on April 1, according to showrunners John McNamara and Sera Gamble. The Syfy series based on the trilogy of books by Lev Grossman started in 2015. The Magicians was a hit for the Syfy channel in the first couple of seasons. But all good things must come to an end, and the current fifth season of the show will be its last.
Spoilers for The Magicians show and books to follow.
Image via Syfy
The End Of The Magicians Parallels The Death Of Its Protagonist
Over the course of its five seasons, The Magicians was a study in complex relationships; sexual fluidity, trauma and PTSD, and a belief in magic that kept it going. The end of season four was highly controversial when the show killed off its protagonist, Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph). In the books, Quentin makes it to the end. He even gets a somewhat happy conclusion with his love interest and fellow magician Alice Quinn. But with the death of Quentin, it seems that the showrunners were getting ready for the end of the series, even if they didn’t expect it come so soon.
“I think in a way, losing Quentin, for almost every fan of the show and for almost everybody who works in the show, has a kind of an echo to the show now ending,” McNamara said. “It’s just each of those things—the death of a character, the end of a show—reminds us we’re all going to die. Subconsciously it’s just this little reminder inside of like, ‘Man that went fast.’ It was really fun, but it’s over.”
THE MAGICIANS — “No Better To Be Safe Than Sorry” Episode 413 — Pictured: (l-r) Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi, Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater — (Photo by: SYFY)
This Season Of The Magicians Allowed Its Ensemble Cast To Shine
The fifth season of The Magicians has largely dealt with the fallout from Quentin’s death. He sacrificed himself to bring magic back to the worlds of both Earth and the fantastical land of Fillory. There have been a couple of brilliant episodes during this season that have shifted focus to its ensemble cast. Many of the early episodes saw the characters of Julia, Alice, and Eliot dealing with their grief over Quentin’s death. Alongside his own grief were episodes dealing with Eliot’s PTSD after being possessed by a demon for an entire season. These intimate issues were often mirrored by huge stakes. The world is so often ending in The Magicians, and it is up to these flawed characters to save it, and save themselves.
Image via Syfy
The show also switched focus to its female characters, framing Julia as the new protagonist and hero. It also catapulted the character of Margo into the spotlight. She became a badass warrior queen determined to protect Fillory no matter the cost. Deviating from the source material allowed characters like Kady, Penny, and Josh to become better developed. The strength of The Magicians has always been in its ensemble cast. Without Quentin as a focal point, season five seemed almost like a soft reboot of the show. Now that it is coming to an end, we will never get to see what show The Magicians would have become.
A Musical Heist And A Final Trip To Fillory Will Conclude The Magicians
The penultimate episode of the show will be a “musical heist.” This is in keeping with the tradition of the show having at least one musical episode per season. “The musical episode is later in the season, it actually sets the spike for a lot of what you’re going to see in the finale, emotionally. Every song in the musical episode comes out of some kind of emotional inner turmoil and really drives the plot and the characters forward… They’re all integrated into the story,” McNamara said. “And looking at the finale, the last time I watched the musical’s cut, I’m was like, ‘Wow, that really feels like we were moving toward this with intent.’ We’re moving towards epiphanies, if you will, and climaxes. There’s just some incredible kind of character surprises and growth right up till I think the very last scene, it’s pretty surprising.”
Image via Syfy
The Magicians joins a long list of popular Syfy shows to get the axe while seemingly in its prime. The show deviated from its source material a long time ago. As a book reader I kept waiting for certain storylines to pop up in a new form. Now it seems likely that we will never get to see Quentin’s new world. Nor are we likely to see Julia become a goddess of her own realm. The final episode of season five, and of the show itself will be titled “Fillory and Further.” This is also the title of the fictional Fillory fantasy series that drove much of the show’s plot. I am glad to see a return to Fillory is in store. Although the characters will get very different endings than their book counterparts, The Magicians will come full circle by returning its focus to Fillory in the end.
(Featured image by Jason Bell via Syfy)
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.