The Magicians: The Best Episodes, Ranked

magicians was a television show that ran for five seasons on SYFY. Adapted from the books of the same name written by Lev Grossman, it tells the story of a group of students at a magical university. Some have called it Harry Potter for adults, because there is magic; but also drugs, sex, alcohol, depression and alienation. But it’s so much more, because there’s also a magical world that has Narnia influences, and the show is a lot funnier, weirder, and more unique than one might think with that description. The show ran for five seasons which gave us many adventures for Quentin (Jason Ralph), Julia (Stella Maeve), Eliot (Hale Appleman), Margo (Summer Bishil), Penny (Arjun Gupta), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and Kady. (Jade Taylor). It’s a shame that the series has been forgotten a bit, so to celebrate, here are the best episodes of magiciansclass.


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7/7 Twenty Three – S3 E11

As with any genre show with magic or other paranormal powers, there has to be an alternate timeline episode. This is the one for magicians; an episode where we can review everything that happened in the three seasons and see where it could have been different (and worse), imagining the many scenarios. Julia and Josh (Trevor Einhorn) visit timeline 23 and find out who the Beast is and try to defeat him to get the key he was hiding. They also return to our timeline along with Penny and Marina (Kacey Rohl), beloved characters who were already dead in our timeline. Is there anything better for an actor than working in a magic show where you can always be taken back?

6/7 Be the Penny – S3 E4

Fan-favorite character Penny’s power was that he could teleport. In the third season, he tragically dies during an astral projection. This being magicians, that does not mean that he really died, because his soul was not in his body. This episode is all about Penny, as he tries to figure out what’s happening to him, how to communicate with his friends, and get back; and Arjun Gupta nails his showcase episode, showing his frustration, pessimism and cynicism, but also comedic chops and decision, as he decides to leave his body behind and start a new phase of his life.

5/7 Plan B – S2 E7

It’s a bank robbery episode with magic involved! And if the team Ocean’s Eleven had magical powers? How would they rob a bank? There have been many movies about magicians, but few celebrate what they can do and give us the pleasure of possessing these powers. This episode does all of that and more. This episode has all the answers, as they rob a bank, so Julia can pay for an evil demigod abortion (makes sense if you watch the show, promise). “Plan B” also cleverly uses the power of each member of the team; and the intra-personal dynamic between them (in a time of a lot of drama), all while showing why Margo is the best.

Related: The Magicians Canceled After 5 Seasons On Syfy

4/7 You Brought Me Cupcakes – S1 E13

In the books as in the series, Quentin Coldwater is our point of entry into this world; the protagonist and his hero. He is still expected to be the hero who will save the day. Except he isn’t. Quentin knows that Alice is a better magician, so when there is a weapon to wield, he passes the task to her (which would never happen to a Harry Potter character). Quentin says it best: “I’ve been waiting for some powerful being to come down and say, ‘Quentin Coldwater, you’re the one’…every book, every movie, it’s about a special guy. I want to be the alone, Yeah, that’s just the grown-up part of me, the part of me that understands how magic works, keep yelling that’s you That reasoning was a game-changer for the episode, the show and all kinds. Jason Ralph told Comics Beat: “A lot of the book series happens in Quentin’s head, and we have direct experience of his anxiety. Trying to translate that – those thought circles and self-doubt to film [and] to the physical manifestation of it in my body – has become this kind of pattern of speech [Quentin does].”

3/7 All That Josh – S3 E9

Josh has been there since season one, but he’s always felt like an outsider, because the whole group forgets about him too often. A demon who feeds on happiness notices Josh’s feelings about always being left behind and creates a perfect party world for him. The only way to save him is for the gang to admit they didn’t treat Josh well and become a team again. And the way to do it is to sing David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure”. It’s not the first show that has done a musical episode, but this episode manages to add heart and emotion to make it feel meaningful. It is also enormously choreographed and sung, five minutes that make us smile every time we see them. Co-creator Sarah Gamble told Assignment X: You can, in fact, expect musical numbers [laughs]. John McNamara (the other co-creator) is kind of a musical freak, and he’s kind of naturally inclined to experiment with form, and I guess when people have strong feelings, he thinks of people singing.

Related: Wizarding World and Beyond: Why We Love Modern Magic

2/7 Divine Elimination – S2 E3

magicians loved to gamble and break the rules of the genre, but also of episodic television, as this third episode would have been a season finale in all the other shows. The Beast, the big bad of the first season, finally gets killed, and one of our leads sacrifices himself to do it. We should have seen it coming, because there is a nice scene, before the action, between Quentin and Alice that made us think that these two lovebirds could make it work. The episode surprised everyone as the third episode of a season is always a table settler, and this one left us scrambling for some air as it was a game changer for the whole show .

1/7 A Life in the Day – S3 E5

As you can tell from the number of episodes listed here, the third season is this show’s best, and this episode is its best. Although there are three stories, this is Quentin and Elliot’s show. The two go on a parallel quest in the past, in search of a key. To get it, they must solve The Mosaic, a puzzle that reflects the beauty of life. As they try to solve the mosaic, days, months and years pass. And with them, the relationship between Quentin and Eliot evolves: they fall in love, and out of love, Quentin has a child with a woman, and when she falls ill and dies, Quentin and Elliot raise the boy and grow up together. When Eliot dies of old age, Quentin finds the missing piece of the puzzle by burying him, and they both return to our timeline. They still remembered the life they had lived and what had happened, making them different people from those who had left, because what reflected the beauty of life was living it . It was a beautiful episode, which fully immersed in the chemistry between Eliot and Quentin, and the two actors showed the love between them and the maturity that comes from a lifetime together. This episode gives us chills every time we watch it, because it’s the kind of episode that made magicians one of the best original series on the SYFY channel.

Brian L. Hartfield