I have so many emotions that next week is the finale Magicians episode… ever. When I read the news I actually started crying, one: because I was not expecting it… at all and two: because this show has been such a highlight for me. I love the story, I love the characters, the actors, the entire concept of it. To be losing something that quickly became so special to me… quite honestly sucks. I never read the books, but from what I’ve read, the story John McNamara and Sera Gambles put together have been only loosely based on the books, and they’ve done an incredible job. From the very beginning, I was hooked, I’m so glad that while aimlessly browsing Netflix probably a year ago, I stopped on this one because it’s been such a treat of TV viewing and an excellent chance to get lost in magic.
As much as the story as a whole captivated me from the beginning, the characters, together and on their own, truly make everything come together in the most spectacular way. While it would seem, at least at the start, to me that Quentin is meant to be the main character, everyone else has their own stories too. And they get their equal time to shine, and it’s clear that their journeys are equally important. They’re all are incredibly meaningful and complex and extraordinary.
Let us chat about those extraordinary characters.
Quentin: As a nerd who constantly is allowing herself to get lost in books, and fictional TV shows and movies, to see the character of Q hold on to the story of Fillory so much made my heart beam. Even though his illusions of that world were quite honestly shattered when reality hits, it was still important for me to see the “main” character on a show feel that passionately about a fictional world. Q had such a big heart, and because of that heart, and the characters affect on me, I was more than heartbroken when he died. While I understood why, story-wise, it could make sense, I bawled my freaking eyes out. I’ll miss Q’s quirkiness, his heart, and of course, the life with Eliot, in THIS timeline that never was.
Elliot and Margo: The team that is strong on their own but 10x stronger together. Margo and Eliott might not be the high king or queen of fillory anymore, but they’ll forever be my king and queen.
Eliot: From the moment we met him, he became one of my favorite characters and the more and more complex that he became the more I fell in love with him. It doesn’t hurt that Hale Appleman is an absolutely stunning actor either; with one hell of a singing voice. He’s one of those characters where you feel like when he’s sad, you’re sad, when he’s happy, you’re happy, you know what I mean? I’m truly going to miss Eliot and I hope to see more of Hale Appleman’s talent sooner rather than later!
Margo: Following Margo through season four, without Eliot, was an incredible journey. We got a little bit of an inside look into what is behind that tall and strong emotional wall that margo has built so beautifully around herself. Being the king of Fillory is important to her but not as important as saving Eliot. This is one thing that really highlights the importance of this friendship. She is loud, she is sassy, she knows what she wants, and I just absolutely adore everything about her. oh and the eye patch? one liners? come on. I’ll be the first to admit that I watch a lot of TV and Margo Hanson is hands down one of the best characters ever. Summer Bishil is an absolute dream. I’ll deeply miss those sassy one-liners and watching Margo open up and grow in the beautiful way we’ve seen throughout the seasons. #OvaryUp
Julia: Starting out as Q’s best friend, a Brakebills reject and an outsider at first and became one incredibly strong lady. My favorite thing about her is her determination. She was always determined to be more than she was, her stubborn determination is motivating. Her ability to overcome tragedy is inspiring. Julias decision to walk away from being a goddess in order to save the quest is a testament to Julia’s character.
Alice: I love how in the beginning she was afraid to be the smart one but then eventually she was like whatever, I have an idea, move over and she let her brain be her greatest strength. She no longer saw it as a weakness and I think she found her voice in that. She made some mistakes along the seasons, and there were a few times where I could be founding screaming “Alice what are you doing?!”, but I also admire how she still says she did everything she did because she thought it was the right thing to do.
Kady: Kady is most definitely a complicated, complex character. She is without question strong as hell, she is a fighter, one of the best, in my opinion. She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and get shit done. Oh and Jades voice? uhfreakinmazing.
Penny: Penny’s ability to travel makes him quite important and of course, different than all the rest. While Penny was an ass, I was heartbroken when he died because I loved that part of him. I loved his sass and his attitude and while Penny 23 is quite wonderful, I do miss the parts that make the 2 different earth Pennys so different. I do enjoy that we’ve gotten a little more backstory on Penny in the last few episodes and while it was a little sad, I’m glad we at least got a glimpse.
Fen: I deeply love how innocent Fen is, and how much knowledge of fillory he has because she is a Fillorian. She has a much different perspective of things and I absolutely love that. One thing I really wish we had more time to explore is Fen coming into her own. We sometimes saw glimpses and in the last episode we saw her stand up to everyone, I just wish we had a little more time to get a little bit more.
Josh: The Chef. I love when Josh tries to make everyone feel better with something he baked because it’s such a mundane human non-magic having thing to do (Even though he is very much so a magician). I feel like the character of Josh also has the ability to lighten things up too, which is always welcome. I also must say that Margo and Josh together is something I never would have expected but something that I absolutely adore.
On top of the “main” characters, there were so many wonderful others! Whenever Todd showed up I was always guaranteed to laugh. Marina was so bad but I still kind of loved it. Zelda was the character I never expected to love as much as I do. She was so stiffy in the beginning, and while she remained true to herself through the seasons, she also opened up just a LITTLE and that was nice. Dean Fogg was just fun. Not only is Rick Worthy absolutely wonderful in anything he does, but the character of Dean Fogg was also just written in the best way. Alices parents; they were quite interesting which is why I’m mentioning them. While they weren’t exactly what Alice always hoped, they certainly added something different to the ,show. The character of the dark king has been wonderful, and Sean Maguire is PERFECT in this role, just absolutely perfect. Mayakovsky, Martin and Jane Chatwin, the despisable Christopher Plover, all that I’ve mentioned and many more (that I have inevitably forgotten), all in their own right, brought magic to any story or any scene they were in. The show has a cast of immeasurable talent and I will 100% be tuning in to any of there next adventures!
Let’s talk about episodes!
Whenever I do a post like this, and quite honestly, so many of my shows are ending, and I’m sick of it… just sick. BUT whenever I do these I’m also super anxious I’ll miss out on an episode that was so wonderful, I’ll be kicking myself in the ass for not highlighting it, so with the Magicians, honestly every episode is wonderful in its own way so I’m highlighting the ones that immediately came to my terrible memory when I thought about putting this post together!
First off, THE MUSICALS. Every single god damn one of them. My favorite one though? Season four, Episode 10. Not only is this episode one of my favorites because it’s a highlight in Margo’s journey to save Eliot, but it also has one of my absolutely favorite revelations and speeches from Margo and then to top it off it has the most badass musical compilations ever. It is truly an episode I could watch a hundred times.
A life in the day: Season Three, Episode Five. Q and Eliot share their lives together in another timeline. There are clips of this episode that just instantly play in my head whenever I think about it because it is just that memorable and magical.
Escape from the happy place: Season Four, Episode Five: When Eliot has to face his worst memory/regret, and he recalls Q and himself talking about their life in the other timeline, and Q brings up it becoming a reality. It’s clear that Eliot is freaking out, so he just deters the entire idea. I could not stop yelling the TV that Eliot was being an absolute idiot, and he knew he was, but at the same time, I get why he was probably so afraid of the idea. It was a heartbreakingly, beautiful moment.
Remedial Battle Magic: Season One, Episode Eleven. I think does a really good job of highlighting how complex sexuality and well… love can be. Quentin ends up having an intense attraction to Margo and Eliot while still loving Alice. Eliot tries to cover up heartbreak with it, but it doesn’t work, and Margo is 100% unapologetic about it, which I love. I also appreciated that it didn’t just happen, and then it was never spoken of or had no effect after. It had a lot of effect on Q and Alices’ relationship, it opened the door for Eliot and Qs feelings and more.
Six different stories about magic: Season Three, Episode Eight. The fact that so much of this episode was completely silent was stunning. I was in complete awe. Marlee Beth Matlin is an incredible actress, and her work in this episode was nothing but gorgeous. I also loved seeing more about Zelda through the addition of her character.
The Fillorian Candidate: Season three, Episode Twelve: What sticks out to me most, being the animal lover that I am, is that Margo won the crown because she listened to the animals who take up most of the Fillorian Population. It was such a unique way to make this happen.
No better to be safe than sorry: Season Four, Episode Thirteen. Quentins Death hurts to even think about, but the episode and the write off was wonderfully done. I also love the stories that came after this moment. I love how the writers had all the characters deal with his death differently, in their own ways. While Julia and Alice pretty much isolated themselves, they still did so differently. I think it was an important message as to how people can grieve the same person so differently.
The mountain of ghosts: Season Five, Episode Three. I had wanted a conversation between Alice and Eliot about Q for a while, but I loved the decision to wait it out, and make it so hard because it is a hard conversation! They both loved him deeply, and I believe that Q loved them both, deeply and to find common ground on that concept was important for both of them to begin healing from the loss. I think it was beautifully done.
Garden Variety Homicide: Season Five, Episode Eight: Eliot and Margo switching bodies was an entirely new level to their friendship and connection that I didn’t know I needed, but I’m so happy that we got to explore. Summer Bishil and Hale Appleman did such an incredible job of interpreting each other’s characters, it was so much fun to watch.
A huge thank you to Lev Grossman, who wrote the books ( that I fully intend on reading) to John McNamara and Sera Gambles for making The Magicians what it is. To everyone behind the camera who gave us the perfect shots, the music, all of it. The INCREDIBLE cast who brought these characters to life in such a mindblowing way. I’m grateful for this story, the inspiration it gave me, the hours of getting lost in it on Netflix, and I can’t wait to follow the writers and creators and cast on their next adventures!