Tonight Syfy aired the season two finale of The Magicians
. Arjun Gupta, who stars as Penny, who talked to SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview earlier in the season, talked to the site about Penny's growth through the two seasons, from not wanting his abillities, to losing his magic and desperately wanting it back. He also had some comments on the season finale and Penny's future.**Interview contains spoilers for 2.13**
SCIFI VISION: Can you talk about Penny's growth this season, in the fact that he went from not wanting his abilities last season, to losing his magic this season - although he can still travel - and now wanting his full abilities back desperately.
I think that that's a really good summary of his arc this season. I think that that's what's been the most exciting thing, is to have a character, who was so reluctant, and then have that taken away, and then to see this person make a choice. It's growing up; it's Penny growing up to start making choices.
I don't think that Penny is making choices in the healthiest way. I think that he's being very impulsive in the way that he's making these choices. He loves Kady (Jade Tailor), and he wants to get her back, so he signs a contract with the Order, because it also might get him away from Mayakovsky (Brían F. O'Byrne). But is he trading something bad for something worse? He's not really thinking things through, which is fine though, because it's still exciting to see him grow in that way.
But yeah, he's been forced with a choice, and you know, I don't think this is someone who's ever had choices before.
And so the second season's been fun for me to kind of play with 'what does it feel like to make a choice' and how overwhelming that can be? That leads me to another question. In the series, Penny obviously left Mayakovsky. Do you think if he had stayed he would have helped Penny in the end and maybe have turned out better than what happened, or would he have just continued to piss around? How do you think that could have altered things?
I think that with both the Order and Mayakovsky, I don't think there was going to be too much of a difference in how they helped him. I think it was always going to be, 'the help will come when we give it to you. If we give it to you.'
You know, with the Order, I think what was appealing for Penny, is he's now empowered to do it. They said, "You can go find books on your own time." So it's on him now, which I think is something that Penny is most comfortable with.
With Mayakovsky, he was caught in limbo, like ‘when is this going to happen; when is this going to happen?’ If he had stay stayed with Mayakovsky, I don't know what would have happened, actually. That's a fun story to play out, that I'm playing out in my head.
I would have loved the opportunity to keep working with Brían, because that's just so much fun, but I think Penny would have ultimately still been driven batshit crazy wanting to get the f--- out. [laughs] Now it's a moot point, because all the magic is gone, so he's back where started, but since he's been dealing with losing his magic already, do you think he will be better able to adjust than some of the others? Assuming that Penny lives through to season three, of course.
I mean that's the other thing. I have no idea if he's okay or not, so I don't know. I mean, from the books, we know Penny stays fine.
I think for Penny's it's always going to be easier to adjust than any of the characters, because I think he's had to deal with the worst. I think he and Eliot (Hale Appleman) have. Eliot probably had the worst emotionally trying circumstances as a child, but I think Penny had the most logistic. I mean, I think he was on his own quite literally, fending for himself for most of his life. So I think that he will adjust just fine.
But he has this "cancer plus," and we don't know anything that happens at the end of the season. We see all the other characters, but we don't see where Penny is, so it's an interesting choice that the writers have made to kind of hopefully set up something that's very fun and exciting. Well hopefully Harriet (Marlee Marlin) will be able to do something like Kady asked of her.
Yeah, it's interesting, because they're setting up a little opposition between Harriet and Kady and Penny and the Order, so it's going to be interesting to see how that plays out as well. I know that you have read the books. Assuming Penny survives, is there something you would like to see adapted that hasn't been yet?
You know, I've read the books once in 2014, and there are images that I remember. In the books, Penny goes down, and they have to battle the gods, and Penny and the Order lead the dragons to go battle the gods. I'm not sure if that's going to happen, but that was a pretty cool thing in the book. [laughs]
Let's see if that comes through.
And I'll say this: I feel really grateful for everything I've gotten to do as Penny. The writers have given Penny a really exciting and interesting storyline for two seasons, and anything that Penny goes through, is fun, because at the core, I just love playing Penny. So it doesn't really matter to me too much. You could put him in a room where he has to eat cereal and watch TV, and I would have fun doing it. I have faith that whatever happens will be fun.**Be sure to check out part one of this interview to hear more from Arjun Gupta!**