'The Magicians' postmortem: Inside Margo and Eliot's goodbye

Mandi Bierly
Deputy Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Summer Bishil and Hale Appleman in The Magicians. (Photo: Syfy)

We all knew it was coming. On this week’s episode of The Magicians, fan favorites Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo (Summer Bishil) had to bid each other farewell — at least temporarily — so Eliot could board the Muntjac and set sail to After Island to begin the epic, Big Cock-advised quest to find the first of the Seven Keys that will unlock magic.

“I just love that they kept the kiss in. That was important to us, and that wasn’t in the script,” Bishil tells Yahoo Entertainment. “They do share intimacy that transcends sexuality or traditional constructs of relationships, and you don’t really see it that often, but it does happen. So I like that that remained, that there was some physical closeness. Because she’s wishing her friend success on his journey, but also, there’s no real certainty that he’ll come back.”

“The subtext is, ‘Don’t die,'” Appleman says.

“Because there are unknown variables — you’re going on a quest, and who knows what you’re gonna encounter,” Bishil continues. “And then I’m being left as a prisoner [of the Fairy Queen], essentially.”

Bishil and Appleman. (Photo: Syfy)

The pair filmed the emotional scene at a challenging time. “It was the last scene of my week after shooting, I think, 17 hours every day, right after Comic-Con weekend,” Appleman says. “It had been a really tumultuous time for me personally. I was really tired and I was really down, and Summer came really prepared, and the scene was about her comforting me and supporting me on the send-off, and I really felt that from her and needed that from her in that moment. I think that the scene lives and dies on Summer’s performance, in the sense that I was kind of s*** for brains at that point. So I’m grateful to her for carrying me through that moment.”

Madeleine Arthur as Fray. (Photo: Syfy)

Aboard the Muntjac, Eliot is surrounded by two other women — wife Fen (Brittany Curran) and teen daughter Fray (Madeleine Arthur). “Madeleine makes fascinating choices. I wish that we had more writing together. I think that the relationship between Eliot and Fray could be developed into a very fascinating placeholder for a father-daughter, or older brother-younger sister situation,” Appleman says. “And throwing Brittany in the mix with us too, as well, is great because Fen is losing her marbles, and Brittany does a particular brand of crazy very well, and her nagging, mothering, smothering instincts around Madeleine are spot on, and it’s really fun to watch that play out. So it’s a really fun dynamic; one that Eliot would have rather left behind, but that’s what adds to the conflict and the humor in those early episodes [of Season 3].”

The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Syfy.

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