We need to talk about Julia Wicker.
There is no denying that The Magicians Season 4 finale was a shocker. Quentin Coldwater's death is a loss, and not just of the point-of-view-character of the series, but as someone who struggled with mental illness.
There's no denying that his friends will still be grieving at the start of The Magicians Season 5. Face it, mo matter how gorgeous that rendition of 'Take On Me' was, it isn't going to sooth all wounds.
The vacumn created by Quentin's death gives the show a chance to redirect the story with a new focal point, and that focal point should be Julia Wicker.
As Quentin's childhood friend, Julia is ideally placed to pick up the torch left by Quentin. She shared his love of magic and even his love of Fillor.
During The Magicians Season 1 Episode 1, "Unauthorized Magic," she accompanies Quentin to his Yale interview where he's given the sixth Fillory Book.
Throughout Season 1, there are all these memories about them enjoying Fillory as kids. When Quentin first goes to Fillory, he asks for Julia's help and they're the ones who become "the witch and the fool."
Julia and Quentin's friendship was never romantic, but it was always respectful regardless of what came their way and however they disagreed.
But the reason that Julia feels so naturally suited to take the reins in the new season, goes beyond her connection to Quentin. Throughout four seasons, Julia has been on her own hero's journey, but at the mercy of external forces.
When Quentin meets Penny in the underworld during The Magicians Season 4 Episode 13, "The Seam," he says that the person he is most worried about leaving beind is Julia, and rightfully so.
When you look back at The Magicians four seasons so far, Julia never seems to be able to make choices from herself becuase of a higher power. (And when she does her motives are never in her interest but always those of others.)
Julia has been through a lot over the course of four seasons from being a subject in Jane's timeline trials to becoming a goddess and then losing her magic entirely.
Let's take a look at Julia's arc so far.
From the very beginning her rejection from Brakebills was the work of Jane Chatwin who wondered what Julia would do if she was cast out in the cold. She hoped that Julia was the key to defeating the beast.
In the long run, Jane Chatwin might have been right, but it comes at a cost to her.
By the time The Magicians Season 2 comes around Julia has been raped, is carrying the spawn of a trickster god, goes through an abortion, and loses her shade.
After all of this, Julia is still selfless enough that when she and Quentin go to retrieve her shade in the underworld, she decides to take Alice's shade instead so that Quentin has the chance to get the woman he loves back.
When The Magicians Season 3 begins, Julia is the only person who can do magic and she wants to spread hope with it while others would have her keep it a secret.
The Magicians Season 3 is where Julia shines. With her shade back she grows the spark of magic given to her by Our Lady Underground.
She slowly and carefully cultivates the magic. She's even willing to give it up thinking that it's more trouble than it's worth and tries to do a magic transplant. A transplant she then has to reverse because of the effect it's having on Alice.
Julia eventually becomes a goddess, but even that has its problems.
On The Magicians Season 3 Episode 13, "Will You Play With Me," rather than spend the rest of her life playing with Iris in a laboratory where she could make universes, Julia hears her friends in pain and decides to go back to help them.
After learning that Alice has de-magicked the seven keys she proceeds to do what Prometheus once did and "horcrux" herself into the keys giving up her power.
At the end of this journey, it feels like Julia should have been through enough, but the show still puts her through more.
On The Magicians Season 4 Julia is now powerless and cannot even do the simplest spells. Ironic since Dean Fogg is determined to make everything right now that she has her new identity. (Talk about too little too late.)
Julia wants her magic back, and wants to overthrow the library. She's angry at what they've done, but does regret her part in it because in the end, the world still deserves magic.
Julia gets a chance to get magic back during The Magicians Season 4 Episode 11, "The 4-1-1," when The Binder presents her with a choice, she can either become ascend back to goddesshood, or she can revert back to being a human and not indestructible.
Yet, when it comes down to it, the choice is taken away from her again. Penny-23 has to make the choice for her and he chooses human.
The last the audience sees of Julia in Season 4, she's crying at Quentin's memorial. She casts a stack of cards towards the flames but they remain suspended in the air, signalling that she has her powers back.
Then Penny-23 sees her, and her suspended cards. Then he asks Julia what she'll do with her magic now.
This simple question is exactly why Julia needs a role that makes her more autonomous in The Magicans Season 5.
For the last four seasons Julia has been a pawn. While she has always had magic her decisions about what to do with it were never based on what she wanted. It was always in line with a quest.
But the magic we see her doing at the end of Season 4 is magic that came from her pain.
It wasn't given to her. She didn't cultivate it. She didn't have to go on a quest for it back. This magic is her's and she deserves to do with it, what she wishes.
Simply put, Julia needs a break from saving magic during Season 5; and it's a break she rightly deserves.
That doesn't mean that she can't step into Quentin's shoes a little bit, and she seems poised to, juding by an exclusive San Diego Comic-Con teaser clip where she meets a literal misogynist pig who is looking for Quentin to bestow a quest.
Julia points out that she's a goddess and has saved the world, but he's not willing to accept her help because she's a woman.
Yet, this is exactly the kind of thing that Julia should be doing.
If she wants to help, she should offer her help. If she wants to be the hero, then she should be the hero, but the important thing--above all else--is that she ultimately makes her own choices.
What are your hopes for The Magicians Season 5?
Are you hoping that Julia Wicker gets a chance to come into her own?
Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to watch The Magicians online to see Julia's story and the rest of the characters play out from the beginning.
Lauren Busser is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.