This year saw the end of the fan-favorite Syfy series The Magicians when its fifth and final season came to a close. Among the pivotal characters to appear on the series was Senator John Gaines, portrayed in the second season by Christopher Gorham… until the Senator’s untimely death.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, Gorham reflected on his character’s sad fate, dubbing it “the most tragic storyline on that show.”
You had a recurring role on The Magicians’ second season a couple years back. With the show off the air now, I was wondering if you could reflect on that experience.
Christopher Gorham: Well, let me tell you something: I was a fan of that show. Sera Gamble, my wife and I all went to college together at UCLA and Henry Alonso Myers was a writer on Covert Affairs so I knew him well from Covert and John McNamara gave me my first job on television on a show called Spy Game ages and ages ago. So I have a lot of connections to that show; I was watching it from the very beginning because I remember Henry telling me while we were on a plane heading back to LA from Toronto that he had this job, he was going to meet about adapting these books.
So, when the show came out, I was invested and I was a fan immediately. So, I watched all the episodes and then randomly ran into Sera literally on the streets of Culver City and she said “Hey it’s so weird that I’ve run into you because we’ve talking about you and we’ve got this perfect role coming up that were thinking about offering to you. Would you be into doing something on The Magicians?”
So, I jumped at the opportunity and then, did you see what they did to me?! That poor character, this poor guy – and I’ve teased them about it mercilessly since it ended because, truly, I think that Senator John Gaines has the most tragic storyline of every character on that show, hands down. Here’s a guy who was living his best life: Everything’s awesome, he’s a senator, he has a beautiful wife, he could be President someday. In walks these kids, turn his life upside-down, tell him he’s a demigod, he meets his horrible father who then kills his wife and then, Senator Gaines being a good person with a good heart, decides “You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to kill myself so that you can use my magic to kill the bad guy and save the world.”
And what do these kids do? They take his magic bullet, they don’t use it and then, next season, they shoot him into the floor. And that’s the end! A totally wasted suicide! Like, it’s tragic! So my heart really goes out to Senator John Gaines and his heroic act that was completely and totally wasted! [Laughs]
I like to think he went out thinking he did the right thing.
He did! He did go out! He went out sacrificing himself, and look what happened! I mean, the poor guy! Really tragic. [Laughs]
Airing on Syfy, The Magicians stars Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta, Summer Bishil, Rick Worthy, Jade Tailor, Brittany Curran and Trevor Einhorn.
Christopher Gorham has more than a few words about his ill-fated character's second season exit from Syfy's The Magicians.