The Magicians (U.S. TV series)

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The Magicians
MagiciansTVseriesLogo.png
Genre Fantasy
Created by
Based on The Magicians
by Lev Grossman
Starring
Composer(s) Will Bates
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Mitch Engel
Production location(s)
Cinematography
  • Vanja Cernjul
  • Elie Smokin
Editor(s)
  • Sue Blanely
  • Jason Courson
  • Mats Abbott
  • Rita K. Sanders
Running time 41–52 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original network Syfy
Original release December 16, 2015 (2015-12-16) – present (present)
External links
Website

The Magicians is an American fantasy television series that airs on Syfy and is based on the novel of the same name by Lev Grossman.[2] Michael London, Janice Williams, John McNamara, and Sera Gamble serve as executive producers. A 13-episode order was placed for the first season in May 2015, and the series premiered on December 16, 2015, as a special preview.

In April 2017, the series was renewed for a third season of 13 episodes, which premiered on January 10, 2018. In February 2018, the series was renewed for a fourth season of 13 episodes, which is set to premiere in 2019.

Premise[edit]

Quentin Coldwater enrolls at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy to be trained as a magician, where he discovers that the magical world from his favorite childhood books is real and poses a danger to humanity. Meanwhile, the life of his childhood friend Julia is derailed when she is denied entry, and she searches for magic elsewhere.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater, a graduate student.[3][4] He enrolls at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy to be trained as a magician. A lifelong fan of the Fillory and Further series, he discovers that they are in fact based in truth and pose a danger to his world.
  • Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker, Quentin's childhood friend, an Ivy League student who is not admitted to Brakebills, and is recruited by a secret magical society.[3][5]
  • Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice Quinn, a naturally gifted magician whose parents are magicians and who comes from a neglected home life.[6]
  • Hale Appleman as Eliot Waugh, a student at Brakebills and senior to Quentin, with whom he is close friends. He is a heavy drinker. He and Margo are inseparable.[3][5]
  • Arjun Gupta as William "Penny" Adiyodi, Quentin's roommate and peer. He is a talented magician who is a telepath and "traveler", someone who can travel between worlds. Despite his brusque demeanor, Penny is loyal to his friends.[3][5]
  • Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson, equivalent to Janet from the novels. Her name was changed to avoid confusion with other names beginning with "J". She is close friends with Eliot and is very charismatic.[7][8]
  • Rick Worthy as Henry Fogg (season 2–present;[9] recurring season 1), the Dean of Brakebills.[6]
  • Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz (season 2–present;[9][10] recurring season 1), a tough, rebellious Brakebills student who attracts Penny's attention in and out of the classroom.[6] After she flees Brakebills, she joins a group of magicians led by Richard and befriends Julia.
  • Brittany Curran as Fen (season 3; recurring season 2), Eliot's Fillorian wife[11]
  • Trevor Einhorn as Josh Hoberman (season 3; recurring season 2; guest season 1), a former Brakebills student who was one of the members of a group that went missing.

Recurring[edit]

  • David Call as Pete (season 1), one of the confidants who welcome Julia into a clandestine underworld to develop her latent skills[12]
  • Michael Cassidy as James (season 1), Julia's boyfriend[12]
  • Esmé Bianco as Jane Chatwin (season 1; guest season 3), a character from the Fillory and Further novels who also appears to Quentin, helping to guide him on his magical journey. In the present, under the name Eliza, she had a hand in initiating Quentin's journey into real magic.[6]
  • Rose Liston as young Jane Chatwin (season 1; guest season 3)[13]
  • Anne Dudek as Pearl Sunderland (seasons 1–2), a teacher at Brakebills and Penny's mentor[6]
  • Kacey Rohl as Marina Andrieski, one of the hedge mages who welcome Julia into a clandestine underworld to develop her latent skills.[12] Marina was expelled from Brakebills three months before graduation, and uses Julia to help her regain her memories of what she learned.
  • Charles Mesure as Martin Chatwin/The Beast (seasons 1–2), Jane and Rupert's brother, and former High King of Filory. He later resurfaced as the master magician with six fingers who has taken over Fillory and breaks through to Earth. His head is usually magically obscured by a swarm of moths.[12]
  • Mackenzie Astin as Richard Corrigan (season 1) and Reynard the Fox. Corrigan was a magician and former member of the Free Trader Beowulf. Reynard is a Pagan Trickster god and the son of Persephone who took over the body of Corrigan after the latter attempted to summon Persephone at the cost of his life.[14]
  • Keegan Connor Tracy as Professor Lipson, a teacher at Brakebills specializing in magical healing. She works in the school's infirmary.
  • Garcelle Beauvais as Persephone, better known as Our Lady Underground, a goddess from Julia's dreams
  • Mageina Tovah as Zelda Schiff (season 2–present; guest season 1), the Head Librarian at the Library of the Neitherlands
  • Adam DiMarco as Todd (season 2–present; guest season 1), a student at Brakebills
  • Rizwan Manji as Tick Pickwick (season 2–present), a royal advisor[15]
  • Arlen Escarpeta as Prince Ess (season 2–present), a handsome, rugged, pelt-clad man, with a sort of frat bro air of entitlement and the son of the ruler of Loria[16]
  • Christopher Gorham as John Gaines (season 2), a senator who discovers he's in possession of unusual abilities[17]
  • Harvey Guillen as Benedict Pickwick (season 2–present), a map-making servant of the court in Fillory
  • Leonard Roberts as Idri (season 2–present), the King of Loria, and Eliot's prospective lover
  • Imogen Tear as Shade Julia (season 2), a shade version of Julia's younger counterpart.
  • Candis Cayne as The Fairy Queen (season 3; guest season 2), who forces Margo into her service after Margo's deal with the Fairies.
  • Marlee Matlin as Harriet Schiff (season 3; guest season 2), the head of Fuzzbeat, a clickbait website that surreptitiously provides magical knowledge,[18] and later revealed to be the daughter of the librarian Zelda Schiff
  • Dina Meyer as The Stone Queen (season 3),[19] who wants Margo to marry her son
  • Felicia Day as Poppy Kline (season 3),[20][21] a former Brakebills student whom Quentin comes across in Fillory.
  • Jaime Ray Newman as Irene McAllistair (season 3),[22] a member of the board of Brakebills who buys the school outright when the loss of magic threatens to close the university.
  • Madeleine Arthur as Fray (season 3), presented as Eliot and Fen's grown daughter by the Fairy Queen
  • Anja Savcic as Skye (season 3), an enslaved Fairy
  • Daniel Nemes as Gavin (season 3)
  • Jolene Purdy as Shoshana (season 4), a bright and highly emotional maenad, tasked with tending to notorious party god Bacchus.[23]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113December 16, 2015 (2015-12-16)April 11, 2016 (2016-04-11)
213January 25, 2017 (2017-01-25)April 19, 2017 (2017-04-19)
313January 10, 2018 (2018-01-10)April 4, 2018 (2018-04-04)

Season 1 (2015–16)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
11"Unauthorized Magic"Mike CahillSera Gamble & John McNamaraDecember 16, 2015 (2015-12-16)0.92[24]
Quentin and Julia are invited to a test of their magical skills. Quentin passes and is accepted to Brakebills University. Julia fails the test and they attempt to wipe her memory about Brakebills and the test, but she manages to leave herself a clue to remember. Refusing to accept that she cannot learn magic, she is later contacted by Pete, who offers to teach her. In his dreams, Quentin meets Jane Chatwin from the "Fillory and Further" novels, who warns him about the Beast and leaves him with a sigil burned into his hand. Alice recognizes the sigil and sees it as an opportunity to know how her brother died. She and Quentin, together with Penny and Kady try to contact her dead brother, Charlie. Instead they accidentally summon the Beast who appears in the school the next day, attacking a teacher and the dean.
22"The Source of Magic"Scott SmithSera GambleJanuary 25, 2016 (2016-01-25)1.11[25]
Professor Sunderland investigates the Beast incident at Brakebills and Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Kady face disciplinary action for their involvement in the Beast's attack. But Eliza, who is called in as specialist, lets them go on probation. Julia meets Marina when she has to pass a test to join the hedge witches. Kady is secretly working for Marina.
33"Consequences of Advanced Spellcasting"Scott SmithHenry Alonso MyersFebruary 1, 2016 (2016-02-01)0.90[26]
Alice and Quentin find out that her brother, Charlie, was consumed by magic and turned into a niffin five years ago. When they find him, he attacks Alice and Quentin. Quentin binds him, despite Alice's belief that she can get through to him. Devastated about what happened to her brother, Alice leaves Brakebills. Julia struggles to balance learning magic with maintaining her previous life. Eliot searches for the book that Kady stole for Marina, which leads him and Quentin to Marina's hedge witches safe house, where Quentin finds and confronts Julia. Penny, after being assigned incorrectly to the psychic discipline, discovers he is a "Traveler," who has the ability to teleport anywhere, even between worlds.
44"The World in the Walls"James L. ConwayJohn McNamaraFebruary 8, 2016 (2016-02-08)0.75[27]
Quentin wakes up in the mental hospital he admitted himself to in the first episode, where his memories of Brakebills and magic are treated as delusions. It is revealed that Julia and Marina made Quentin's elaborate hallucination, and the only way to get him out involves summoning a demon bug. Dean Fogg lowers the Brakebills school's security spell, allowing Marina and Julia to sneak in, where they steal Marina's memories of her time at Brakebills before she was expelled. Quentin, with the help of Penny and his visions of Jane Chatwin, is able to escape the hallucination. Marina, after being reunited with her memories, cuts off Julia from her hedge witch safe house because Julia tried to help Dean Fogg save Quentin.
55"Mendings, Major and Minor"Bill EaglesDavid ReedFebruary 15, 2016 (2016-02-15)0.75[28]
Quentin visits home after finding out that his father has been diagnosed with brain cancer. He struggles with accepting that magic cannot save his father, and eventually opens up to his father about magic. After being cut off by Marina, Julia tries to find other hedge witch safe houses in New York with the help of Pete, but nobody else has nearly as many spells. Marina erases James' memory of Julia to prevent her from telling him about magic. Alice returns to Brakebills and Eliot and Margo try to use her connections to get a mentor. Penny practices astral projection and discovers a woman, Victoria, chained in a dungeon by the Beast. Based on the crest on the doors, Quentin surmises that Penny has traveled to Fillory.
66"Impractical Applications"John Stuart ScottLeah FongFebruary 22, 2016 (2016-02-22)0.65[29]
The first-years must pass a set of challenges called "the trials" devised by the third years. While doing the trials, Quentin and Penny reconcile, Alice and Quentin share secrets and Kady confesses to Penny that she is using him to steal things from Brakebills. As each of the first years passes the trials, they each turn into a goose. Meanwhile, in an attempt to steal spells from Marina, Julia teams up with an older hedge witch who also has connections with Marina. The older hedge witch turns out to be Kady's mother and dies in the process of stealing the cabinet of spells from Marina's safe house. Kady had been working for Marina in payment of a debt related to her mother. Kady does not know yet that her mother died.
77"The Mayakovsky Circumstance"Guy Norman BeeStory by : Mike Moore
Teleplay by : John McNamara
February 29, 2016 (2016-02-29)0.70[30]
While in the form of geese, Quentin and his peers fly to Brakebills South Antarctica to study with Professor Mayakovsky, who puts them through several challenges. Eliot and Margo prepare to travel to Ibiza, and with the help of newly-met Todd and Mike, summon a Djinn as a gift for the organizers of the party. When Eliot starts sleeping with Mike, he chooses to stay behind and Todd goes with Margo. Julia's sister picks her up from the police station following the death of Kady's mother, and insists on helping Julia to avoid their mother from knowing what happened. Mayakovsky engineers Alice and Quentin into a relationship. He also tells Kady that her mother died and she is no longer welcome at Brakebills, encouraging her to immediately leave and not to go back to the main school lest they take her memories of her time at the school.
88"The Strangled Heart"Jan EliasbergDavid ReedMarch 7, 2016 (2016-03-07)0.67[31]
Eliot and Mike grow closer, while Quentin and Alice spend time apart to make assessments about their feelings for each other. Mike, while attacking Quentin, stabs Penny with a cursed blade. Recognizing a similar event in the Fillory and Further books, Quentin and Alice are able to save him. Mike pretends to remember nothing until Eliza confronts him, at which point he recognizes her as Jane Chatwin and kills her. He also attempts to attack Dean Fogg but before doing so he is killed by Eliot. In rehab, Julia meets a counselor named Richard who was trained at Brakebills and introduces her to religious magic.
99"The Writing Room"James L. ConwaySera GambleMarch 14, 2016 (2016-03-14)0.71[32]
Quentin discovers that Penny destroyed the manuscript given to him by Eliza in the first episode. Penny relates that it is a book about Fillory written by Jane Chatwin and not by Christopher Plover, in which Jane wanted to clarify the discrepancies. Quentin, Penny, Alice, and Eliot travel to the Plover estate to search for the button which according to Jane in the book is the key to the door to Fillory. They find that the mansion is haunted by the ghosts of Plover's housekeeper's children, whom Plover's sister had drugged and killed to prevent them from disturbing Plover's work. Quentin discovers that Plover was learning magic and was molesting Martin Chatwin. Plover disappeared, rather than dying, leading Quentin to believe that he is the Beast. The four of them find the button with the children's corpses. Meanwhile, Julia helps Richard by entering the mind of a paralyzed mute woman.
1010"Homecoming"Joshua ButlerHenry Alonso MyersMarch 21, 2016 (2016-03-21)0.78[33]
Penny has been trapped in the Neitherlands, the space between other worlds. He contacts Quentin and discovers that, while it's only been 6 hours for him, it's been 6 weeks back on Earth. To help Penny, Alice and Quentin travel to her parents' house to ask for help from a family friend, who is also a Traveler. Penny meets a librarian in the Neitherlands who gives him information about how to fight the Beast. Quentin and Alice must resolve relationship issues to be able to cast a beacon spell which will help Penny find his way back to Earth. Eliot and Margo discover that an ex-boyfriend of hers had constructed a living Golem in her image. Julia hosts other magicians whom she knows through Richard, including Kady. Julia and Kady together learn some spells before joining their friends on a project, and then Richard explains to them that they are trying to summon a god to provide them with enough magical power to rewrite the past.
1111"Remedial Battle Magic"Amanda TappingLeah FongMarch 28, 2016 (2016-03-28)0.72[34]
Quentin, Alice, Penny, Eliot and Margo use probability magic to determine their best chance to kill the Beast and survive; the only option that doesn't end in all of them dead is for them to travel to Fillory to kill the Beast. Because of time constraints, they prepare by learning the dangerous battle magic used by hedge witches. The Beast is driving Penny and other Travelers insane, leading some of them to kill themselves, including Penny's mentor Stanley. Penny uses drugs to try blocking out the Beast's voice, leading to an overdose. Professor Pearl Sunderland helps him shut the voices out. Mastering the battle spells leaves Quentin, Eliot, and Margo emotionally high and disoriented. Quentin has sex with Margo and Eliot, and when he wakes up he finds Alice at the foot of the bed. Kady and Julia search for clues to help them summon a god, and someone visits Julia in her dreams.
1212"Thirty-Nine Graves"Guy Norman BeeLeah Fong & Henry Alonso MyersApril 4, 2016 (2016-04-04)0.75[35]
Alice and Quentin fight following his infidelity, and she sleeps with Penny as revenge. Quentin, Alice, Penny, Eliot, and Margo travel to the Neitherlands, where they are ambushed and Quentin falls back to Earth. The others hide in the Neitherland's library, until Eliot burns a book and gets them kicked out. They find Josh Hoberman, one of the missing class students from Brakebills. Two years ago, he and a classmate - a Traveler named Victoria - led their class to Fillory. Meanwhile on Earth, Quentin talks to Dean Fogg, who reveals that Eliza is Jane Chatwin. She had been using an enchanted watch, given to her by a god named Ember, to create a time loop so she can try different methods of killing the Beast. After 39 failures, in which Quentin always died, she changed the starting circumstances by having Julia rejected from Brakebills so that she would learn magic by herself. Quentin reconciles with Julia to tell her the truth. Together, they find their way into Fillory by traveling back to 1942 and following young Jane Chatwin through a door to Fillory.
1313"Have You Brought Me Little Cakes?"Scott SmithSera Gamble & John McNamara & David ReedApril 11, 2016 (2016-04-11)0.68[36]
Travelling to Fillory, Julia and Quentin discover they've been followed by Martin Chatwin, whom they promise to help find Jane. They commission a blade to help them kill the Beast, and meet the Watcherwoman, a future Jane Chatwin. She says her farewell to them and helps them go back to the present time. As they arrive at the present time, Quentin and Julia receive the enchanted letter and map leading to Penny, Eliot and Margo. They get the blade, but Eliot has to marry the blade-maker's daughter, Fen, as he was revealed via a second magic blade to be the future High King. Quentin and Julia look for Ember, who can give them enough power to hold the blade. Ember unlocks Julia's memories, revealing that she and her friends, instead of summoning a goddess, had been duped into summoning a trickster god called Reynard the Fox, who raped Julia and killed her friends. After, she asks for Marina's help to erase and alter her memories of the incident. Penny, Alice, Eliot and Margo rescue the Beast's prisoners, Victoria and Christopher Plover, who reveal that the Beast is Martin Chatwin. Josh and Victoria leave the group and return to Earth, while the rest travel to the source of Fillory's magic, the Wellspring, to ambush the Beast. There, the Beast overpowers them. Julia gets the blade from Alice, and holds the empowered knife to the Beast's throat. Julia makes a deal with the Beast to kill Reynard, and they leave, with Quentin the only one left standing.

Season 2 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
141"Knight of Crowns"Chris FisherSera GambleJanuary 25, 2017 (2017-01-25)1.29[37]
Quentin flees the Wellspring seeking help and comes across a witch in a gingerbread house, who agrees to help at the cost of a vial of his blood. Alice emerges from the Wellspring, explaining that she still has the power of a god, and has already patched up her companions. They discover the Beast has drained the Wellspring. Penny uses a magic river to restore his injured hands, but offends the keeper of the river who curses them. The companions meet the Knight of Crowns, Eliot and Quentin are crowned Kings and Alice and Margo Queens of Fillory, but they soon discover the kingdom is in a severe state of decline.
152"Hotel Spa Potions"Chris FisherJohn McNamaraFebruary 1, 2017 (2017-02-01)0.94[38]
Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Margo return to Brakebills seeking magic to use against the Beast. With Dean Fogg's help, their search leads them to Bigby, a former Brakebills professor, who teaches Alice a powerful battle magic spell. Dean Fogg implants Cacodemons into the foursome to give them an additional weapon against the Beast. Professor Sunderland lifts the curse on Penny's hands. Learning Fillory is suffering from famine due to the Beast's misuse of the Wellspring, Elliot is forced to teach the Fillorian people agriculture using only tools and fertilizer. Julia reveals to Quentin that the Beast has cursed the Fillorian monarchs. Reynard murders more witches, prompting Marina to team up with Julia and the Beast to kill him.
163"Divine Elimination"John ScottHenry Alonso MyersFebruary 8, 2017 (2017-02-08)0.91[39]
The Beast's curse forces Quentin, Alice, Eliot, and Margo to all kill each other. Penny circumvents it by killing them with poison, then reviving them with adrenaline. Marina performs a ritual to summon Reynard. When Julia and the Beast arrive to trap him, Penny teleports them to Fillory so Alice can destroy the Beast. Julia's interference causes Alice's attack to miss and the Beast is only wounded. Quentin and Alice attempt to intercept the Beast before he can heal himself at the Wellspring. Ember confronts the Beast and tells him he has defecated in the Wellspring, rendering it useless. Penny teleports Julia back to Earth and she removes Professor Sunderland's chains from his wrists, causing the curse to return. The Beast injures Quentin and battles Alice, who gains the upper hand until she begins to lose the godly power from Ember's essence. She casts the battle magic spell anyway and transforms into a Niffin. The Niffin kills the Beast and turns on Eliot and Margo. Quentin releases his Cacodemon to kill the Niffin. Julia returns to find Marina's lifeless corpse and Reynard gone.
174"The Flying Forest"Carol BankerDavid ReedFebruary 15, 2017 (2017-02-15)0.78[40]
Magic on Earth and Fillory begins to fail due to the polluted Wellspring. So that Eliot can return to Earth, Margo makes a golem into which he can project his mind. Eliot soon finds his consciousness split between the golem on Earth and his own body on Fillory. Dean Fogg tells him he must choose between life on Fillory and life on Earth. Centaur physicians heal Quentin's wounds and tell Penny they cannot cure his cursed hands. Quentin amputates Penny's hands, and together they enter the Flying Forest to hunt the White Lady, a magical creature who grants wishes, in order to ask her to heal Penny's hands and resurrect Alice. Julia and Kady follow a message on Marina's body to find a spell that temporarily revives Marina; she tells them to locate a girl who banished Reynard from Earth forty years ago. Quentin and Penny find the White Lady; she restores Penny's hands but tells Quentin she cannot raise the dead. She asks him whether he wants her to erase his memories of Alice, but he refuses, wishing to be sent home.
185"Cheat Day"Joshua ButlerMike MooreFebruary 22, 2017 (2017-02-22)0.88[41]
Quentin abandons magic for a corporate job in the non-magical world. Emily, a former Brakebills student who quit magic after a disastrous affair with a professor, befriends Quentin. Penny is unable to perform magic with his hands and returns to Mayakovsky for help. It is revealed Mayakovsky was Emily's lover, and was banished to Antarctica as a result. Quentin and Emily get drunk and use illusion magic to disguise themselves as Mayakovsky and Alice respectively, and they have a one-night stand. Julia learns she is pregnant by Reynard and attempts to terminate the pregnancy; however, the fetus protects itself by magically compelling Julia's doctor to commit suicide. Eliot learns Fen is pregnant and survives an assassination attempt by Baelor, a member of Fillorians United, an organization dedicated to driving out Earthlings from Fillory. Against Margo's objections, Eliot spares Baelor's life and asks his advice on how to govern Fillory. It is revealed Fen is a member of Fillorians United sent to infiltrate Eliot's court.
196"The Cock Barrens"Kate WoodsNoga LandauMarch 1, 2017 (2017-03-01)0.78[42]
Quentin begins seeing apparitions of Alice. With her guidance, he persuades Alice's parents to help him cast a spell to lay her soul to rest. Niffin Alice then appears in the flesh, revealing the Cacodemon did not kill her but imprisoned her in Quentin's body; she appeared as an apparition to torment him and Alice's parents, and maliciously promises that she and Quentin will have "so much fun" together. Prince Ess of the Kingdom of Loria, whose kingdom is failing, visits Eliot and Margo with a proposal to share the Wellspring's magic and marry Margo. When Margo refuses, Ess teleports the Fillorian castle to Loria. Julia is imprisoned by Dana, the woman who banished Reynard. Dana tells her she must bear Reynard's child, as he can only be banished using the magical energy generated by the child's birth. Kady rescues Julia. Margo seduces Ess and ends up agreeing to marry him. Penny Travels throughout Loria searching for the castle. When he cannot find it, he realizes Ess actually disguised its original location magically and created the illusion that Loria was dying. Margo declares war on Loria in response to Ess's deception.
207"Plan B"Chris FisherChristina StrainMarch 8, 2017 (2017-03-08)0.63[43]
Quentin begins researching how to turn Niffin Alice back into a human. Julia requires a million dollars to hire exorcists to terminate her pregnancy, and Eliot and Margo realize that Fillory is bankrupt; in order to get the needed funds, the three of them team up with Quentin, Kady, and Penny to rob a magically protected bank. During the robbery, Penny is trapped inside the bank vault, and Quentin is forced to allow Niffin Alice to possess his body for 30 minutes every day in exchange for her help freeing Penny, and Eliot's golem is killed, causing the real Eliot to convulse with seizures. Julia's exorcism is successful, but Kady tells her there were complications.
218"Word as Bond"James L. ConwaySera GambleMarch 15, 2017 (2017-03-15)0.71[44]
Julia's exorcism has removed her Shade (soul), leaving her amoral, reckless, and emotionally detached. Quentin tries to figure out what Niffin Alice is doing when in control of his body. Eventually she takes him to summon a Niffin priest who has the secret of escaping Niffin traps. The priest refuses to teach Niffin Alice the secret until she frees herself from Quentin, and she tells Quentin that his body cannot withstand the stress of containing her. Margo and Julia negotiate with a Dryad for the right to move Fillorian troops through a sentient forest. The Dryad is insulted that Eliot (who is in a coma) has sent women in his place and refuses. Later Julia returns to the Dryad with a booby-trapped offer of tribute, which destroys the forest. This enrages all sentient plants on Fillory and Margo has Julia imprisoned. Quentin, Penny, and Kady attempt to identify Dana's son by Reynard, hoping to use his power to banish Reynard; however his identity is kept secret by Dana's spells. Penny signs a contract of permanent servitude with the Neitherlands Librarians in exchange for a book containing Dana's son's name. Penny reads Quentin's mind and learns Niffin Alice is trapped within.
229"Lesser Evils"Rebecca JohnsonElle Lipson & John McNamaraMarch 22, 2017 (2017-03-22)0.61[45]
After the Fillorian army deserts due to Julia's actions, Eliot fights Lorian King Idri in a one-on-one duel to end the war. Fen gives him an enchanted sword to improve his chances of victory. Penny and Kady break Julia free. Together they kidnap Reynard's son, Senator John Gaines, and take him to Brakebills. Reynard enters Brakebills searching for Gaines. Julia sacrifices Quentin to Reynard, planning to coerce him into releasing Niffin Alice to kill Reynard; however the plan fails. Gaines surrenders himself to Reynard, and they leave together. During Eliot's duel, the Wellspring fails, causing the enchanted sword to also fail. To save Eliot, Margo makes a deal with the fairies to restore the Wellspring in exchange for Eliot and Fen's child, without Fen's knowledge. Eliot returns, announcing he has ended the war by agreeing to marry Idri and share the Wellspring with Loria. Kady, appalled at Julia's actions, has her imprisoned. Quentin frees Niffin Alice.
2310"The Girl Who Told Time"Joshua ButlerNoga Landau & Henry Alonso MyersMarch 29, 2017 (2017-03-29)0.72[46]
Quentin encounters Julia's Shade in a vision. Depressed by his low approval ratings among the populace, Eliot learns Fillorians United are plotting to assassinate him during his wedding. He sends Josh to Fillorians United headquarters to dose them with a potion that makes them adore him. Fen is kidnapped by the Fairies. To learn more about Shades, Dean Fogg and Julia cast a spell allowing Quentin to speak with an Alice from an alternate timeline who obsessively researched Shades. Alternate Alice tells Quentin that Shades reside in the Underworld, and that Ancient Ones control access to the Underworld. Julia discovers that the Ancient Ones are dragons. Kady unsuccessfully searches the Neitherlands Library for a spell to kill a god. Penny begins his job with the Librarians by recovering an overdue book from a Magician named Harriet. Harriet's curse forces one of the Librarians to kill himself to protect the Poison Room, a storehouse for books with forbidden knowledge. Harriet leaves Kady a message that the Poison Room has a book with a god-killing spell.
2411"The Rattening"James L. ConwayMike MooreApril 5, 2017 (2017-04-05)0.65[47]
Quentin and Julia give an Ancient One the key to Fillory to access the Underworld. Gaines is disgusted by his powers of mind control and allies with Kady against Reynard. Penny tries to read the book of the Head Librarian's life to learn how to enter the Poison Room, but finds the book itself is stored in the Poison Room. Another Librarian, Sylvia, volunteers to help him break into the Poison Room. In Whitespire, people, including King Idri, are mysteriously transforming into rats. While trying to discover the cause, Eliot learns about the deal Margo made with the Fairies, and has her imprisoned. With the help of a potion, Margo teleports to the Fairy Realm to search for Fen. Eliot suddenly finds himself back on Earth and surmises Fillory has ejected him. Quentin and Julia meet the dead Richard, who helps them locate the area inhabited by the Shades. They are reunited with Julia's Shade and, unexpectedly, Alice's as well. They escape the Underworld, Julia deciding at the last minute to bring Alice's Shade with them instead of her own.
2512"Ramifications"Chris FisherDavid Reed & Christina StrainApril 12, 2017 (2017-04-12)0.67[48]
Quentin, Julia, and Mayakovsky resurrect Alice using her Shade, however she feels imprisoned remembering the freedom of being a Niffin. In Eliot and Margo's absence, Josh becomes High King of Fillory. Margo appears to him in a vision and demands that he find a way to bring her back from the Fairy Realm. Furious over his father's disappearance, Ess attacks Josh; after subduing Ess and his men, Josh travels to the Fairy Realm himself. Quentin and Eliot search for a clock that is a permanent portal to Fillory. They discover the clock's owner is Umber in disguise. Umber tells them Fillory cannot be saved, but gives them the clock. Penny and Sylvia retrieve the book with the god-killing spell from the Poison Room, at the cost of her life. Gaines compels Kady to sacrifice him and collect his magical energy so that they can destroy Reynard. Julia and Kady summon Reynard, but before Julia can kill him, Persephone appears and pleads with her not to harm her son--Reynard. Julia spares him and Persephone gives her her Shade in gratitude.
2613"We Have Brought You Little Cakes"Chris FisherSera Gamble & John McNamaraApril 19, 2017 (2017-04-19)0.67[49]

Season 3 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
271"The Tales of the Seven Keys"Chris FisherSera GambleJanuary 10, 2018 (2018-01-10)0.78[50]
282"Heroes and Morons"Chris FisherJohn McNamaraJanuary 17, 2018 (2018-01-17)0.76[51]
293"The Losses of Magic"James L. ConwayHenry Alonso MyersJanuary 24, 2018 (2018-01-24)0.61[52]
304"Be the Penny"Shannon KohliDavid ReedJanuary 31, 2018 (2018-01-31)0.67[53]
315"A Life in the Day"John ScottMike MooreFebruary 7, 2018 (2018-02-07)0.80[54]
326"Do You Like Teeth?"Carol BankerNoga LandauFebruary 14, 2018 (2018-02-14)0.67[55]
337"Poached Eggs"Joshua ButlerElle LipsonFebruary 21, 2018 (2018-02-21)0.64[56]
348"Six Short Stories About Magic"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldStory by : David Reed
Teleplay by : Sera Gamble & David Reed
February 28, 2018 (2018-02-28)0.54[57]
359"All That Josh"James L. ConwayJohn McNamara & Jay Gard & Alex RaimanMarch 7, 2018 (2018-03-07)0.72[58]
3610"The Art of the Deal"Rebecca JohnsonChristina StrainMarch 14, 2018 (2018-03-14)0.70[59]
3711"Twenty-Three"Meera MenonHenry Alonso Myers & Mike MooreMarch 21, 2018 (2018-03-21)0.77[60]
3812"The Fillorian Candidate"Joshua ButlerNoga Landau & David ReedMarch 28, 2018 (2018-03-28)0.73[61]
3913"Will You Play With Me?"Chris FisherSera Gamble & John McNamaraApril 4, 2018 (2018-04-04)0.66[62]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Michael London first optioned the books in 2011,[63] intending to develop the show at Fox.[64] X-Men: First Class co-writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz wrote the pilot, but did not get the green light. London then redeveloped the pilot with McNamara and Gamble taking over writing duties, and took the script to Syfy, which ordered a pilot. The pilot, directed by Mike Cahill, was filmed in New Orleans in late 2014 and wrapped in December.[3][65] Syfy picked up the show for a 13-episode first season, to be aired in 2016. McNamara and Gamble became executive producers.[66]

Series production began on August 4, 2015, in Vancouver, and it was announced that Olivia Taylor Dudley had replaced Sosie Bacon as Alice Quinn. It was also announced that Rick Worthy had been cast as Dean Fogg, Anne Dudek as Professor Sunderland, with Esmé Bianco also cast.[6] Syfy aired an advance commercial-free screening of the first episode on December 16, 2015 ahead of its January 25, 2016 premiere, when it was shown along with the second episode.[67]

The show was renewed for a second season in February 2016,[9] and the second season premiered on January 25, 2017.[68] On April 12, 2017, the series was renewed for a third season of 13 episodes, which premiered on January 10, 2018.[69][70] On February 28, 2018, the series was renewed for a fourth season of 13 episodes, which is set to premiere in 2019.[71]

Reception[edit]

The first season received mixed to positive reviews. On Metacritic, it holds a rating of 60/100, based on 24 reviews.[72] On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 70% approval rating, based on 40 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critics' consensus reads: "The Magicians' impressive special effects and creative storytelling help compensate for a derivative premise and occasionally sluggish pace."[73]

The second season received positive reviews. On Metacritic, it holds a rating of 74/100, based on 5 reviews.[74] On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 90% approval rating, based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9/10. The site's consensus reads: "A clearer sense of purpose and extra helpings of cynicism and danger lead The Magicians to a higher level of engagement."[75]

The third season likewise received positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 100% approval rating, based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 8.5/10.[76]

Some critics and fans criticized the show for its brutal depiction of Julia being raped and that the rape gave her extra magical powers.[77][78][79] The incident was also criticized because, after Julia remembered the assault, she betrayed her friends by forming an alliance with, and literally embracing, a murderer – who is also a rape survivor. As Lisa Weidenfeld of the AV Club put it: "the show has now suggested that the two victims of sexual assault are its villains".[80]

Ratings[edit]

Season 1 (2015–16)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Unauthorized Magic" December 16, 2015 0.2 0.92[24] N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 "The Source of Magic" January 25, 2016 0.4 1.11[25] N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 "Consequences of Advanced Spellcasting" February 1, 2016 0.4 0.90[26] 0.3 0.89 0.7 1.79[81]
4 "The World in the Walls" February 8, 2016 0.3 0.75[27] 0.3 0.80 0.6 1.54[82]
5 "Mendings, Major and Minor" February 15, 2016 0.3 0.75[28] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "Impractical Applications" February 22, 2016 0.3 0.65[29] N/A N/A N/A N/A
7 "The Mayakovsky Circumstance" February 29, 2016 0.3 0.70[30] 0.3 0.85 0.6 1.55[83]
8 "The Strangled Heart" March 7, 2016 0.3 0.67[31] 0.3 0.81 0.6 1.49[84]
9 "The Writing Room" March 14, 2016 0.3 0.71[32] 0.3 0.76 0.6 1.47[85]
10 "Homecoming" March 21, 2016 0.3 0.78[33] N/A N/A N/A N/A
11 "Remedial Battle Magic" March 28, 2016 0.3 0.72[34] 0.3 0.78 0.6 1.50[86]
12 "Thirty-Nine Graves" April 4, 2016 0.3 0.75[35] 0.3 0.73 0.6 1.48[87]
13 "Have You Brought Me Little Cakes" April 11, 2016 0.3 0.68[36] 0.3 0.76 0.6 1.43[88]

Season 2 (2017)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Knight of Crowns" January 25, 2017 0.5 1.29[37] 0.5 1.17 1.0 2.46[89]
2 "Hotel Spa Potions" February 1, 2017 0.4 0.94[38] 0.4 0.83 0.8 1.77[90]
3 "Divine Elimination" February 8, 2017 0.4 0.91[39] 0.4 0.81 0.7 1.72[91]
4 "The Flying Forest" February 15, 2017 0.3 0.78[40] 0.4 0.97 0.7 1.75[92]
5 "Cheat Day" February 22, 2017 0.4 0.88[41] 0.4 0.87 0.8 1.75[93]
6 "The Cock Barrens" March 1, 2017 0.3 0.78[42] N/A N/A N/A N/A
7 "Plan B" March 8, 2017 0.2 0.63[43] 0.5 0.84 0.7 1.47[94]
8 "Word as Bond" March 15, 2017 0.3 0.71[44] 0.4 0.90 0.7 1.61[95]
9 "Lesser Evils" March 22, 2017 0.3 0.61[45] 0.3 0.81 0.6 1.42[96]
10 "The Girl Who Told Time" March 29, 2017 0.3 0.72[46] 0.4 0.85 0.7 1.57[97]
11 "The Rattening" April 5, 2017 0.2 0.65[47] 0.4 0.70 0.6 1.35[98]
12 "Ramifications" April 12, 2017 0.3 0.67[48] 0.3 0.76 0.6 1.43[99]
13 "We Have Brought You Little Cakes" April 19, 2017 0.3 0.67[49] 0.3 0.75 0.6 1.42[100]

Season 3 (2018)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Tales of the Seven Keys" January 10, 2018 0.3 0.78[50] 0.3 0.77 0.6 1.55[101]
2 "Heroes and Morons" January 17, 2018 0.3 0.76[51] 0.3 0.59 0.6 1.35[102]
3 "The Losses of Magic" January 24, 2018 0.2 0.61[52] 0.3 0.69 0.5 1.30[103]
4 "Be the Penny" January 31, 2018 0.3 0.67[53] N/A 0.64 N/A 1.31[104]
5 "A Life in the Day" February 7, 2018 0.3 0.80[54] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "Do You Like Teeth?" February 14, 2018 0.3 0.67[55] N/A N/A N/A N/A
7 "Poached Eggs" February 21, 2018 0.2 0.64[56] N/A N/A N/A N/A
8 "Six Short Stories About Magic" February 28, 2018 0.2 0.54[57] N/A 0.56 N/A 1.11[105]
9 "All That Josh" March 7, 2018 0.3 0.72[58] N/A N/A N/A N/A
10 "The Art of the Deal" March 14, 2018 0.3 0.70[59] N/A 0.67 N/A 1.37[106]
11 "Twenty-Three" March 21, 2018 0.3 0.77[60] 0.3 0.73 0.6 1.49[107]
12 "The Fillorian Candidate" March 28, 2018 0.3 0.73[61] N/A N/A N/A N/A
13 "Will You Play With Me?" April 4, 2018 0.2 0.66[62] 0.3 0.74 0.5 1.40[108]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nominee(s) Result Refs
2016 Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Television Series The Magicians Nominated [109]
2017 Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Television Series The Magicians Nominated [110]
2018 Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Television Series The Magicians Nominated [111]

Home media release[edit]

The first season of The Magicians was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 19, 2016, in Region 1. The release included all thirteen episodes, as well as multiple special features, including deleted scenes, a gag reel, "The World of The Magicians" featurette, and UltraViolet digital copies.[112] The first season was made available to stream on Netflix on December 26, 2016.[113]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]