'Magic City': Jeffrey Dean Morgan breaks down the series finale
Farewell, Miramar Playa. We, unfortunately, barely knew ye.
And even after two seasons, Magic City star Jeffrey Dean Morgan sort of feels the same way about Ike Evans, the man at the center of the period drama. Despite spending 16 hours of television in the (very nice) shoes of the family man/hotel owner, he feels they’d only begun to scratch the surface of the character and the world of Magic City.
For more of Morgan’s thoughts, see below for the second part of our chat. [And in case the headline wasn’t enough, please be warned we do discuss details from the finale. Do not read if you would like to remain unspoiled!]
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So how do you feel about the end of Ike’s story? Last we saw, he was alone on the beach, drawing in the sand. Kind of sad, really…
I think this season has been a change for Ike and his family dynamic has been from hell and back, both with his wife and his two sons. I get pleasure in knowing there’s a little bit of reward in the finale of these storylines. I would have hated if those had been left wide open. But we end with a bang. In the very first episode of Magic City, we are thrown into this world of trying to legalize gambling and this Senate vote that has been looming for 16 episodes finally happens, and I think the whole series, as well as this episode, is all hinging on this. So we finally get some resolution to that.
What about as far as how things ended with Ike and his family?
I think I got one son back. [Laughs] Stevie and my wife [Vera, played by Olga Kurylenko] are a whole other story. Ike has been in trouble from the get-go this season in terms of where his true love lies. And I think we found out that, really, the hotel means more to him — or has meant more to him than even his family. In the first season we established that he was doing everything for his family, and this year, we find that maybe that’s not the truth. He’s probably been lying to himself as much as other people, and his family called him on it, essentially. When we last see Ike — and the last image we’ll see of Ike for the series — is one of a man alone. And it will leave the audience wondering as much as it left me wondering what’s going to happen next.
As open-ended as it was, and despite the fact that it was not meant to close out the series, I appreciated the Sopranos-esque feel of the ending.
Yeah, unintended. But we’re going to let the audience think what they think and end it their own way. But it is sort of Sorpanos-esque as in What the hell is going to happen? Mitch [Glazer, the creator] always ends each episode with a mini-cliffhanger of its own. Again, it was nice to button up some of the storylines that have been floating around, but the audience will have lots of questions. That was sort of the beauty of Magic City. Even as I was reading scripts as we were shooting, it was always Jesus Christ, what’s next?!, and I think the audience who has managed to find the show [had the same reaction], and that’s the sign of a great show.
So I agree that Danny and Ike made amends. And we did see a few conclusions to other storylines, but, like you said, he had that huge blow-up with Stevie [played by Steven Strait]. What would you have liked to see in season 3?
Oh, man, there were so many things. I think the family dynamic [is a big one]. I was a big believer in the Ike and Vera relationship from the get-go, and I never wanted to see Ike stray. But I knew he would get tested, and I hate leaving that [relationship] in the air. And then his kids … God knows where Stevie’s head is. That’s a question I’ve often asked as a father and as an actor. What’s Stevie going to do next? But I think the series really hinged on the relationship between Ben Diamond and Ike Evans and where that was going to go. God knows, man. There’s nothing I enjoyed more than standing across from Danny Huston and battling it out. And that question of what happens next is something only Mitch Glazer knows, and he’s holding it close to the vest. I asked him yesterday and he won’t tell me! [Laughs] On the off-chance we find a new home, that story will be told, and it will be a surprise. But where would I have liked it to go? I would have liked for Ben and Ike to really go [for it]. I was ready to find out where and how this relationship would end and, in the midst of that, make amends with my family — or Ike’s family, I guess. The series was set up to go five or seven years, not two. I have as many questions as you do.
I love that Mitch is keeping it a secret.
Of course he’s keeping it a secret. He’s a smart man. And if my phone ever rings and it’s him, I’m answering. That’s for sure.
Do you see a Magic City movie bringing this to a more solid conclusion?
I think that’s a possibility. Why not? Again, I don’t know where things sit in the world of Starz. It’s not my department, but Mitch was talking about a movie yesterday. I think it’s a possibility, and it’s a matter of doing it before our sets get torn down. I think the minute the Miramar Playa is a pile of rubble, that’s when the thoughts of a movie probably become a pile of rubble also.