Just when we thought we were done mourning for poor Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), “The Magicians” throws us — and Quentin (Jason Ralph) — for a loop.
Alice is alive, but there’s a pretty huge catch: She’s a niffin.
For those that don’t remember, a niffin is the hollowed-out shell of a person left over when they attempt too much magic and it burns them to a crisp. Their soul (aka everything that makes them who they are) is gone, and all that is left is the all-powerful, morally bankrupt manifestation of their magic.
To give us a better picture of what a monster this new Alice is, “That Magicians” pulled a pretty mean trick. For a second there, we were hoping Alice’s ghost was truly reaching out to Quentin (Jason Ralph) for a rescue or to help her find peace. Instead, it turned out Niffin Alice just wanted to screw around with her parents’ grieving process. Ummm, rude.
To get some clarification on what’s next for Quentin and this new version of Alice, plus what we can expect from Julia’s (Stella Maeve) unborn demigod situation and Eliot’s (Hale Appleman) impending war in Fillory, we went straight to showrunners Sera Gamble and John McNamara for answers.
Is there any part of Alice left in her niffin, or is she completely lost to us?
Gamble: You’re definitely asking the right question!
Gamble: This is exactly what Quentin is asking himself.
McNamara: We are at the Checkpoint Charlie of spoilers, do not proceed through the gate!
How will Quentin’s grief play into his interactions with Niffin Alice?
Gamble: Quentin’s grief is at the core of his interactions with her. Everything he does is because he loves her and misses her and feels a responsibility to help her.
McNamara: And adding to Quentin’s sense of dread and fear about her is having to deal, over a long period of time, with her parents. Not fun!
Julia’s pregnancy, and her decision to get an abortion, is obviously a delicate topic. How did you approach writing this part of Julia’s story?
McNamara: We approached it as if it were not a delicate subject at all — but in fact, in the real world, a legal and moral choice that millions of women have made and continue to make. However, every woman who makes that decision and every man effected by that decision goes through a different emotional experience. In Julia’s case specifically, she was not only raped (which we feel added to the need for her to abort the pregnancy), she was raped by an evil god…
Gamble: –Which to us makes it kind of a no-brainer! What a horrifying thing to have something in you that is evil, that you are carrying against your will…
McNamara: — And it could harm you and your friends, and the world. This may be the least morally complex abortion in the history of television. But it’s also the scariest.
What can you tease about this other demigod we found out about from Dana?
McNamara: He is one handsome hombre.
Gamble: The freaky thing is how little Julia and Kady (Jade Tailor) do know about this demigod. The one thing they do know is he’s protected by his mother. So he’s still out there. But they don’t know who he is, where he is, what he’s been doing, how much power he’s manifested. Whether he’s dangerous. It’s very mysterious.
McNamara: You know what’s not a mystery… How handsome he is!
How will Eliot’s impending fatherhood affect his relationships with both Margo and Fen?
Gamble: Expecting a child complicates his relationship with Margo (Summer Bashil), because he is juggling more and more priorities that have nothing to do with her. And because his life experience is diverging so dramatically from hers, they’re seeing the world more differently than they used to — and that increases the strain between them. As for his relationship with Fen (Brittany Curran), it’s always been complicated and it only gets more so.
Can we expect to learn more about shades and what exactly they are this season?
Gamble: In fact you will see exactly what they look like.
The Beast ended up being so charming that it was almost sad to see him go. Is he gone for good, or can we expect to see him again somewhere down the line?
Gamble: Well we’re a show that does time travel, time loops, alternate realities, visits into various realms of the afterlife. So it’s fairly safe to say, “Never say never.” But in the immediate future, he’s gone. Which is good for Fillory and our hero, but very very sad for us and our audience.
McNamara: Memo to Charles Measure: Please keep up your vocal exercises.
“The Magicians” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.