The Magicians: Fillory and Further
April 2, 2020 10:50 AM - Season 5, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Christmas comes early. "Unicorn baby time. Let's do this." [Season and series finale]

The Magicians Season 5 Episode 13 Review: Fillory and Further -- The Magicians series finale brings everything full circle while still allowing for speculation about what would have happened next. (Michael Ahr for Den of Geek)
There was no way that The Magicians was going to be able to wrap up its five year run without displeasing fans simply by ending, but “Fillory and Further” provided a surprising amount of closure and a happier conclusion than we’re used to with this show. Compared to the death and dismemberment at the end of season one, the turning off of magic in season two, Eliot being possessed in season three, or the death of Quentin in season four, the separation of our group between Earth and the new world is downright hopeful as finales go. Even the loose threads that remain brilliantly allow for fans to draw their own conclusions about where the adventure would go from here.
The Magicians Season 5 Episode 13 Review: Fillory and Further (Jessica Lerner for TV Fanatic)
It was a relatively death free series ender, and despite repeated reminders throughout the episode that things aren't usually wrapped up neatly, save for the odd microplane, most of the characters ended up with a happyish ending.

It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows and tough times lie ahead for our favorite characters, but it was without a doubt a satisfying conclusion to an amazing five-year series.
Episode soundtrack from Tunefind
posted by filthy light thief (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just loved this weird little show. I'm sad it is ending, but I was satisfied with the way it went. (And shocked how much my feelings about Margo and Fen changed over the seasons. I love me a good character arc and they both had phenomenal ones.)
posted by Bibliogeek at 2:38 PM on April 2, 2020 [10 favorites]

naturally occurring pizza oven
posted by amtho at 7:23 PM on April 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm sorry it's gone as there's nothing like it: that ability to have both frothiness and depth made it reliable and unexpected, aka damnably entertaining. It'd seem like it was being shamelessly indulgent but then smack you with some concise commentary or a complex concept that never comes up in most media.
But in a way I'm glad because I don't want to see how it would have to adapt to the times ahead and it can stay this enclosed thing of its time, and it existing at all gives me hope something else like it can happen again.
I could have done without the last couple musical episodes, but when it had something to say, it was well spoken.
There's doing something different, doing something well, and then doing something different well. The way i reflexively cringed at the first ads for it, I never expected it to come close to what it was, and really glad I got to see it, having no idea how it will age.

My most genuine gratitude, The Magicians. You weren't perfect, but thankfully all too human. Can't wait to see your weird babies.
posted by provoliminal at 11:12 PM on April 2, 2020 [9 favorites]

I'm also sad it ended, but super happy with how it finished.

The short seasons gave me a rushed feelings in terms of character development, but it was great compared to long drawn out arcs in other shows, and this one really plunges the trauma knife deep in its characters and twist. And the result is very precise dialog that is both heartbreaking and entertaining.

A unicorn baby, indeed.
posted by numaner at 4:50 PM on April 3, 2020

Fogg's Therapy Cat is so fuzzy! I hope he isn't suffering too badly. Such a good kitty!
posted by Mr. Excellent at 11:15 PM on April 3, 2020

I simultaneously cannot believe that this show is over, and that it was ever made in the first place. What an amazing ride!
posted by Acari at 8:04 AM on April 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Lev Grossman's book that started it all was based on the simple conceit: Harry Potter, but with sex and drugs. It ran with that, created some decent characters and did some entertaining things with them (and also raped one of them, urgh).

The show cast a broader net, sort of adapting the first book in the first season but quickly discovering that it was an ensemble show with more irons in the fire and more sympathy for its self-centered characters than the books ever had. It was willing to admit that its central conceit was silly and by now pretty outdated. It's claims to epic scope were real, but always simultaneously undercut by its "we're a quirky basic cable TV show" feel, and that was okay.

The cast was great. Elliot, Margot/Janet, Alice, Quentin, Julia, and Josh were well-drawn and true to their original character concepts from the books. Penny was completely different in a really really good way. Kady and Fen both seemed surplus to requirements at times, but that's the way of casting a long-running show, I guess. Dean Fogg was great, but I struggled to keep track of all the recurring characters and plot threads through the years. I bet it would read better as a binge-watch show than a weekly show, and I also am surprised it lasted this long.

Overall, it really underlined that you can't be too slavish in adapting a book to screen, and you can be creative with your limited budget and still get a good fantasy show made especially if you're willing to shrug sometimes and just showcase a guy in a bad costume and run with it. I wish the Harry Potter movies had been more willing to showcase the interactions and emotions between characters and less concerned about hitting every plot beat and fitting in multiple action movie set pieces in every film.
posted by rikschell at 7:39 AM on April 5, 2020 [10 favorites]

rikschell, that's lovely and well-put.

‘The Magicians’ Showrunners on That Series Finale, Happy Endings, and If This Is Really the End (Adam Chitwood for Collider)
The Magicians is over. With the airing of the Season 5 finale, “Fillory and Further,” five years of insanely cool magic, shocking twists, emotional breakdowns, and yes, f-bombs galore has come to an end. It wasn’t exactly supposed to go this way. If it were up to The Magicians showrunners Sera Gamble, John McNamara, and Henry Alonso Myers, the show would have continued. But Syfy saw it differently, and in the midst of production on Season 5, word came down that this would probably be the show’s final season.
That was a conscious decision on the part of the showrunners, who were gracious enough to answer some burning questions I had about the Magicians series finale over email. Gamble, McNamara, and Myers revealed when, exactly, they knew this season finale was going to have to work as a series finale as well, and talked about the decision to wrap up this story in a way that felt true to the show but also satisfying to fans. They also dug into specifics, like bringing The Beast back and why they decided not to bring Jason Ralph back for one final appearance as Quentin Coldwater following the character’s death at the end of Season 4. And sadly, they explained why this truly is the end of the road for the show—they exhausted all possible options to continue on at another network.
Was there an alternate ending to the season you were building towards that you jettisoned when you found out it needed to potentially work as a series finale? If so, what was it?

GAMBLE: It’s more that we shot certain scenes knowing they felt like series finale scenes. We knew that if we had to, we could cut and trim in post to make ’em a little more… well, brutal. More cliffhanger-ish. But the version you’re seeing is the complete Series Finale version. Everything stayed in.

If the show had gone on to Season 6, what would that story have been? The creation of a new Fillory?

GAMBLE: We had a plan, but since this is the end of this version of the story, I think it’s right to hand it now to fans of the show to dream up whatever they envision.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:44 PM on April 7, 2020

Can anyone tell me why Sean Maguire played both Sir Effingham and The Dark King? I assumed there would eventually be some kind of transformation reveal, but no dice...
posted by mollywas at 12:01 PM on April 8, 2020

There's an interview where they say he came in for the pig and the casting people were all, "Do you know what this guy looks like? I mean-- He's your Dark King." So they negotiated the whole king thing after casting him as Effingham.
posted by provoliminal at 12:55 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

They talk about Sean Maguire's casting here (at 3:20).
posted by 1970s Antihero at 3:39 PM on April 9, 2020

I think this is my first FanFare post ever, but man, I am missing/will miss this show.
posted by mookieproof at 6:41 PM on April 22, 2020

I miss it already.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:58 PM on May 4, 2020

Just completed a binge, and it not only made more sense, but felt much more complete.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 9:06 AM on May 15, 2020

Just finished a marathon first viewing and feel like starting over right away. (Unfortunately I have to go to work! LOL) What a wild ride! Glad I persisted through what felt like some problematic moments and tropes earlier on. And sorry I missed chatting with any of you about it when it first aired! None of my friends or family seem to have even heard of the show. I've been sending out clips of the hotel heist/Ramones song from the second last episode and have had that song on the brain for days.
posted by Coaticass at 11:56 PM on November 3, 2021

I discovered this show during a dark part of the pandemic. I've probably watched it through three or four times. There are missteps. I still cry at the peach(es) and marvel at the performances, all of them.

I hadn't caught up on the fanfare before now but it's clear this show ended just at the same time everything else did. Maybe that's part of what keeps me coming back

If magic comes from pain we'd all be gods by now.
posted by abulafa at 10:33 PM on March 25 [3 favorites]

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