Major spoilers for the season 4 finale of The Magicians lie ahead.**
The finale of The Magicians’ fourth season is eventful. After a full season on the mercy of a god known as the Monster who took over Eliot’s frame, the display’s intrepid band of magical twentysomethings manipulate to unfastened Eliot, entrap the Monster and his sister, and banish them to a seam between our universe and every other one. In the system, even though, the show’s protagonist, Quentin Coldwater, has to sacrifice himself to store his pals.
He dies while defeating the Monster, and the season ends with Quentin being allowed to see his friends for one remaining time before being escorted into the underworld. He watches them hold a makeshift funeral service for him. It’s a scene that turns into considered one of The Magicians’ signature musical moments, set to a slow, mournful cowl of A-Ha’s “Take On Me.”
Before the best of the season finale, Vulture spoke with Magicians executive producers and showrunners Sera Gamble, John McNamara, and Henry Alonso Myers about how long they’ve been making plans this circulate, how they anticipate enthusiasts will react to Quentin’s death, and what this will suggest for season five of The Magicians.
How long have you ever been planning to kill Quentin?
Sera Gamble: We commenced the conversation about what we might try this season at the end of season 3, and that turned into a communique we had with Jason [Ralph, who plays Quentin] — a creative communique with him that excited every person. The subsequent individual we sat down and chatted with changed into Lev Grossman [the author of the original Magicians book trilogy], who also become truly excited to discover this possibility.
To be totally frank about it, we opened the collection with a scene with Quentin in an intellectual health facility, contending together with his own emotions about his life and loss of life and what all of the meaning. For me, so much of what becomes intriguing approximately [Jason] when he auditioned became that he played Quentin on this manner that turned into energetic in search of an answer, seeking a deeper human fact interior his personal despair. If you have got the privilege of getting to tell a tale lengthy sufficient, you want to complete that circle. If we’re gonna do drama and magic and excessive stakes, we want to do the deep human stuff. And it didn’t get any deeper than this for us.
After his dying, Quentin wrestles with the question of whether his decision turned into approximately saving his buddies, or become clearly him identifying a way to kill himself. The funeral scene appears like a solution to that query, however, did you suggest it to be? Or did you imply for there to nevertheless be ambiguity?
John McNamara: I assume that actual question will with any luck fuel debate and discussion and probably be the source of a few academic papers at establishments of higher gaining knowledge of. I assume it’s far ambiguous. Emotionally, Penny gives him with an answer, that is that Quentin turned into too attached to these people, and they to him, for Quentin to have consciously given up his existence. But there’s a pronouncing that a psychiatrist as soon as stated to me, that is that the unconscious usually gets what it wishes, and the aware thoughts frequently by no means is aware of.
I think he did an honestly heroic aspect without even considering it: store Alice, store Penny, take out the horrific guy. But this isn’t always a black-and-white display, and he’s in no way been a black-and-white person. To me, when I take a look at those who do heroic things, from time to time I query, like, “That turned into actually heroic, but you, in reality, aren’t fearful of dying. For something cause, you probably did something that’s so awesome, that I wouldn’t have completed, due to the fact I’m a fucking coward.”
Are you at all concerned that someone might examine this episode as suggesting that suicide is an act of bravery?
John McNamara: I certainly don’t need to write pro-suicide tv. It’s irresponsible, and it’s too simplistic, frankly. Someone being highly heroic within the second, and also having unconscious self-damaging dispositions, makes drama thrilling and no longer cartoonish. For anyone who wants to simply clearly bat around all the layers of what Quentin did, the first-class manner to do this is to no longer kill your self. Stay alive and debate that trouble.
Quentin is a fictional person, he comes from Lev Grossman and me and Sera and every creator on this show. And as a set, we clearly make the effort each time we address substance abuse, or sexual attack, or suicide, to place a suicide hotline word at the episode. Because manifestly this may be triggering, and that’s no longer our cause. Our cause is to simply fastidiously and realistically discover human conduct, and if the show simplifies human behavior to the point where it’s a caricature, you’re doing a more disservice to the arena of intellectual health.