Syfy has released its first trailer for season 5 of The Magicians. The show, based on/inspired by Lev Grossman’s novels, has continued to both honor and divert from its source material. The most obvious (and frankly shocking) divergence occurred during the season 4 finale when The Magicians pulled a Ned Stark and killed its main character.
Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) has been a focal point of The Magicians' story since its premiere in 2015. When we first meet the character he is in a psychiatric ward, having struggled with depression most of his life. Unable to reconcile reality with fairy tales like the ones in his favorite book series, Fillory and Further (a satirical The Chronicles of Narnia), Quentin continues to struggle even when he finds out his favorite stories (and magic) are real. At the end of the show’s fourth season, Quentin sacrifices himself in order to defeat a pair of all-powerful monsters and save his friends. That final episode, entitled “No Better to Be Safe Than Sorry,” ends with a poignant rendition of A-ha’s “Take on Me” before our once-protagonist receives an after-life metro card and walks through a door, leaving us to ponder the future.
Quentin not only remains the protagonist of all three of Grossman’s novels but makes it to the end of that story. While many characters have died and come back on The Magicians (most notably Alice and Penny), it has been confirmed that Jason Ralph will not be returning. Eliminating a role that was number one on the call sheet has left the show’s future up in the air. However, after seven long months of waiting, Syfy has released the full trailer of the show's upcoming season, and it shows our heroes recovering from the aforementioned loss as they prepare to face a new threat. The trailer also confirms a premiere date of January 15, 2020. Check out the trailer for season 5 of The Magicians below:
This time around it appears the Brakebills class will be tasked with saving the world from "too much goddamn magic." Season 5 of The Magicians will no doubt provide us with the unexpected laughs that have become characteristic of a show adept at balancing different tones; deities have left excrement in wellsprings, musical numbers have been sung, and serious societal issues have been explored. The Magicians has proven itself to be a show that subverts expectations and takes risks. It may seem like the biggest risk the show has ever taken was killing off Quentin Coldwater; however this may not be the case. The Magicians' grounded exploration of homosexuality, marginalized minorities, and an overall irreverence towards what other people consider to be "normal" is one of the reasons it's done so well. Its quick wit and fearless bravado have paved the way for storylines best described as something you'd see in an HBO version of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia.
The Magicians is able to shift gears fast and effectively—one minute a character will use a quirky expletive and the next lament their issues with depression, allowing for a wide variety of topics and characters to be explored. When the fourth season's final episode aired, fans were undoubtedly upset. However, while Quentin will be missed, his absence from the show will give more screen time to the show's already established and diverse set of characters.