Showrunners John McNamara and Sera Gamble revealed to TV Insider that The Magicians is ending after its finale on April 1. In a statement, Syfy confirmed the news, thanking everyone behind the show for their support:
The Magicians has been a part of our Syfy family for five fantastic seasons. As we near the end of this journey, we want to thank John McNamara, Sera Gamble, Henry Alonso Myers, Lev Grossman, and our entire brilliant cast, crew, writers and directors for their beautiful creation. But most of all, we thank the fans for their tremendous support and passion. Because of you, magic will be in our hearts forever.
The series, which debuted in 2015, has gained a strong following for its interesting stories, compelling characters, and open explorations of love and identity. It got some pushback last season after killing off the character of Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), and this season has spent a lot of time exploring the other characters’ grief over his loss. Both showrunners shared the parallels between losing Quentin and losing the show (no word whether Ralph will return for a cameo in the series finale, though one would hope so).
“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.”
According to McNamara, Syfy had revealed to them earlier in the season that they would not be going forward with another. He said, “With the exception of Season 4 into Season 5, we never knew whether or not we’re going to get picked up. It was always a discussion—never really about the creative—about the financials and you always know, with any show, that there’s this kind of fine line between what it brings in and what it costs.”
The team then spent time trying to find another network to continue the project but said none seemed like the right fit financially or creatively. The penultimate episode is a “musical heist,” which Gamble called the weirdest musical episode they’ve done so far. “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. So they’re not just numbers that you could easily drop or cut. They’re all integrated into the story,” McNamara added. “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.”
The pair said the season finale has been crafted to serve as a series finale, giving the show a sense of closure for fans feeling the, to be honest, unexpected loss. “All we can do as the people making the show is to make sure—to the best of abilities—that we’re putting everything we have into the last run of episodes,” Gamble said. “I can’t say too much more about it, but the season finale with the capital F, looks so incredible. Some stuff does blow up. But also, we wanted to give really juicy meaty moments to our actors,” Gamble said.
She also said, “But the world is so real that I’m not going to lie, we could go off and tell lots of stories about these characters. But to put some kind of punctuation at the end of the sentence of this particular show and the journey we’ve been going on with our audience for the last five seasons, we feel pretty good about the season finale. I feel like it is very much in keeping with the spirit of the show.”
“I don’t want to speak for the fans, but as a confirmed Fillorian, I have to say that this is one of those ‘Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened’ shows. You guys should be so proud of how these stories and characters touched so many lives,” McNamara added.
The Magicians ends on April 1.