Should Netflix save SyFy’s The Magicians from cancellation?

THE MAGICIANS -- "Home Improvement" Episode 408 -- (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY -- Acquired via NBC Media Village
THE MAGICIANS -- "Home Improvement" Episode 408 -- (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY -- Acquired via NBC Media Village /

The SyFy Original series The Magicians will come to an end Wednesday, April 1 with the season 5 finale—is there hope that the show can be saved?

Spoilers for the fourth and fifth seasons of The Magicians below.

With Tuesday’s announcement that the fifth season of SyFy’s The Magicians would also be its last, fans of the show are asking what many others have over the past two years: who can save this show?

Netflix is the first that comes to mind, with it being the streaming home of The Magicians. The Magicians executive producer Sera Gamble is also in a unique position for appealing to Netflix with the breakout success of You, coincidentally a show Netflix saved from cancellation, where she’s an executive producer as well.

But while fans may be signing petitions to get the show saved, it seems as though Gamble and the other Magicians higher-ups have already exhausted these options to try to find another network to save the show.

In an interview with TV Insider, executive producer John McNamara said:

"“None of them seemed in the end like a perfect financial or creative fit. And so we reluctantly just decided, ‘Well at least we have this season finale that was crafted to also be a series finale.'”"

The writing has been on the wall for The Magicians since about halfway through season 5. With the current season focusing on the apocalypse and the destruction of Fillory, many fans have pointed to the parallels with The Magician’s Land, the final book in Lev Grossman’s series on which the television show is based. When SyFy released the list of episode titles and descriptions, many pointed to the somewhat ominous name of the finale “Fillory and Further,” which possibly alludes to the world that Quentin creates from a seed pod after saving Fillory from the apocalypse.

Though the show has certainly never been a straightforward adaptation of the series, it does follow them in a rough-outline way. If there was ever a perfect place to end it, season 5 makes logical sense. However, it does highlight the most frustrating aspect of the cancellation: the lack of an opening for Jason Ralph to return.

Season 4 of The Magicians drastically altered the make-up of the show by killing off the main character, Quentin Coldwater (Ralph). While these “shock factor” deaths are becoming (unfortunately) more popular, for The Magicians it’s perhaps the most drastic and potentially fatal change so far. Killing off an integral character is sure to anger fans, especially when the character has been written as representation for queer and mentally ill people—especially when it seems like no other character on the show stays dead. For as many fans calling for the show to be saved, it seems as though an equal amount believe the show without Quentin isn’t worth saving at all.

While a show like The Magicians will typically stumble in the ratings during later seasons, it’s another when popular fan sentiment is swearing the show off altogether because of Quentin’s death, especially because it was so controversial in an age when queer and mentally ill representation is so important.

Most shows with planned series finales or final seasons typically bring back important and fan-favorite characters. It’s unknown and unlikely that fans of the show will get to see Ralph return to the character that truly held the show together. Hopefully, as they have done a few times this season, there is some unused or old footage to bring him “back.”

While Gamble and McNamara would certainly welcome an opportunity to revisit the show, it seems as though they’ve exhausted all the options for it to continue for now. As far as cancellations go, the fact that The Magicians will at least get a satisfactory conclusion can be a comfort for fans—the fact that a genre TV show on a cable network has made it five seasons is truly a testament to the originality of the show itself.

Despite many shows with similar concepts, there’s always something that can’t quite replicate what The Magicians brought to the table. While season 4 is not to every fan’s taste, the first three seasons are infinitely rewatchable, so thankfully Netflix is there when you need some ridiculous magic fun.

What are your thoughts on the cancellation? Should Netflix save the show? Is it not worth it if Quentin isn’t coming back? Will you be watching the series finale? Let us know down below.

Seasons 1-4 of The Magicians are currently streaming on Netflix. The series finale airs Wednesday, April 1 at 10 pm EST on SyFy. 

You season 3: Work on the season is underway. dark. Next