Television The Magicians

How The Magicians Elevated Itself To An Art Form In Season 3 and Season 4 Theories

Before we burry the lead, there is no confirmed date on when season 3 of The Magicians will come to Netflix, however, if prior seasons are any indicator, we wouldn’t expect any earlier than December 2018, especially since season 4 is solidly scheduled for a 2019 release. We’d recommend the dvd or bluray release to enjoy the bonus extras, but it will likely be the same amount of waiting. Regardless of how you watch we highly recommend savor season 3 slowly and couple each episode with the corresponding Physical Kids Weekly Podcast, available for free here, where two superfans bave created a platform to interview the cast and writers and it adds a lot of extra depth to the show.

The Magicians – Syfy

Now to analyze season 3, which fans and critics almost unanimously voted as the series best run to date, and dissect what made it such a standout. One major stand

out is from a story telling standpoint the series had less footwork to do in world building and character introduction thanks of the time dedicated in the first two seasons. Even season 3’s main plot was established at the end of season 2, which allowed this season to hit the ground running.

The c

omfort in established characters and a solid unified plot line also allowed the creators to play around and experiment with new cinematography and storytelling techniques. There were especially notable experimental lighting techniques, from the neons of the mega party scene to to the dungeonesque finally and all of the scenes on the Muntjac, there was more visual intrigue this season that elevated the settings and helped keep us entertained.
The Magicians – Syfy
Speaking of visuals, operating in a world of magical drought somehow made the instances of magic more fantasrical. We were excited for a spell, and it feels like the vfx team keeps getting better. In prior seasons you could almost feel the build up to the big budget effect of the episode, but by making magic less accessible any sort of build or surprise of it felt more natural and it helped curb the shows natural camp. Not to say the shows campiness is a bad thing, in fact its what gives the show and the dialogue charm and keeps it from taking itself tok seriously. Case-in-point, the writers took note of how much the fans enjoyed the pop culture references in season 2 and kept them coming in almost every episode of season 3.
The biggest thing that made this season so magical is that we finally see our characters actually grow. Past seasons have felt like an almost constant roller coaster of never ending obstacles to overcome. Season 1 we saw them learning magic and getting comfortable with eachother and their place in the world then pushed into life and death situations, for season 2 to scatter everyone and take the series into the darjest places with Julia’s storyline and Alice’s wavering humanity. Season 3 saw the cast united in one mission and working together in a way we hadn’t seen them before. Each character took steps to fulfilling their nature and carved their place in the world. That is, until the finale. We knew things were going to take a dark turn when “The Fillorian Candidate” gave us almost everything we wanted in the episode before the finale, and life was far too good to be true. Its what made the finale so chilling, three seasons of character development, multiple timelines ruined, multiple lives already lived were gone in the blink of an eye, and if that didn’t give you chills then go watch it again!
The Magicians – Syfy [Questing bitch face gif by Michael @thegameofnerds]
We loved how Season 3 completely blazed its own trail independent of the books, but its sublte references and call backs were amazing and made us appreciate the show more for what it is while feeling engaged with multiple layers of storytelling. Oddly enough, Season 4 is being teased as the most book-like season by the creators and we have mixed feelings. It was what we wanted when the show premiered, but now that it has become so great on its own we almost don’t want them to follow the books, because they’ve become so great at creating their own unique storylines.
The Magicians – Syfy [Humbledrum in a great book 1 callback]
But that gives us enough information to speculate on Season 4! It seemed like Julia being in a more corporate setting in the finale after losing her goddess mojo was a slight callback to Quentin’s situation at the end of book 1, and we foresee her storyline matching the book in one way: she will likely meet Margo/Janet at a spa and be unable to kill herself because of whatever magic is left inside of her. Quentin shown in the bookstore seemed VERY reminiscent of the opening scene of book 3 and that gives us hope that some of the other storylines from that book will be used. Fans are practically demanding we get Margo/Janet with her ice axes amd dessert storyline, and the writers seem to be on board — maybe how she will reclaim her throne, or maybe she will be kidnapped to Fillory because of her status and it will be a form of spirit quest to rediscover herself?
We still have the unanswered question of who was meddling with the quest for the keys (see the demons dialogue at the end of “All That Josh”) and fans have pointed out that there were never any seen repurcusions of Quentin giving the witch his blood at the beginning of season 2, so we foresee both things coming to the forefront in season 4. We also don’t believe we’ve seen the last of Penny, even though he is supposedly replaced, and that since he’s crushed the fans view of him he will likely make a comeback as the self righteous jerk we all hated in the books, likely when the magocians inevitably go up against the library to liberate magic. We think this may also involve the introduction of Plum and even a brief return of Poppy, or worse a re-niffined Alice (though unlikely because of the flow of magic, but if we are to see a book 3 plot, it isn’t impossible).

The Magicians – Syfy [Alice vs. Julia gif by Michael @TheGameofNerds]
So don’t miss your chance to rewatch (or just first view) season 3 and get hyped for season 4, because it was a can’t-miss season and it’s possible they could step it up by the new season!

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