The Magicians Season 4 Isn’t Shying Away from “Queliot” and That’s a Good Thing

the magicians season 4 Queliot Quentin and Eliot
Quentin (left) fighting for Eliot’s (right) life in “A Timeline and Place” – The Magicians Season 4 (Image: Screengrab)

I can’t help but be happy about how Syfy’s The Magicians season four has been handling the queer relationship between Quentin and Eliot. Here’s hoping other shows consider following suit.

Shipping isn’t anything new in fandom. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn if slash pairings existed the moment the first ever story was told to humanity. However, even though the shipping fandom has always been around, it has continued to be looked at as something unsightly (especially male-male pairings).

Many creators and fans don’t want anything to do with it because they blame shippers for making fandoms toxic.

Examples include Teen Wolf, Voltron, Sherlock, and Supernatural to name a few.

The fact some creators and fans can’t even think, for just one second, certain fictional characters can be queer is homophobic, as far as my opinion is concerned.

That is why seeing The Magicians supporting a slash pairing (without queerbaiting) was a breath of fresh air.

Back in The Magicians season 3 episode 5 “A Life in a Day,” Quentin and Eliot spent their lives together in an alternate timeline as a loving family. The episode aired on February 7, 2018, and it was something TV show fandoms hadn’t seen before.

However, as the season progressed, the specific relationship development between them wasn’t focused on until “Escape From the Happy Place” (episode 5 of season 4).

For those who don’t know, Quentin Coldwater and Eliot Waugh are two of the main male characters in the series. While Eliot is openly queer, Quentin (as far as I can tell) was presented as straight. Over the course of the story, certain fans began to notice Quentin might not be that straight after all. As usual, such fans were told by others in the fandom to remain quiet and keep their queer shipping inclinations to themselves.

Instead of The Magicians going against such fans and making them feel embarrassed for wanting Quentin and Eliot to be a couple, the writers saw the chemistry between these characters and decided to build on it.

In “A Life in the Day,” they shared a loving relationship and even raised a child together. They also had grandchildren!

The episode ended with them returning to the present timeline while retaining the memories of their life together. It felt like a bittersweet offering to Queliot shippers. Would the show ever address their love for each other again?

Then came “Escape From the Happy Place” and it was made clear the writers had plans for the two male leads. With Eliot trapped in his own mind due to an ancient monster (don’t make me recap the entire thing!), his past with Quentin is what allowed him to break free (for a bit) to let Quentin know he was still alive.

The episode showed how they had a conversation after the end of “A Life in the Day” and Eliot was the one who turned down Quentin because of fear. It was a wonderful moment and I couldn’t help but smile.

This week’s episode “A Timeline and Place” further strengthened Quentin’s love for Eliot when Quentin stood against the monster and was ready to sacrifice his life to keep Eliot safe.

In the fourth season of The Magicians, the main story is a queer one and it is everything!

The writers saw the chemistry between Quentin and Eliot, but unlike certain creators, they didn’t allow queerbaiting and homophobia to rule their writing decisions. They understood the romance between these two male characters and allowed it to grow.

Here’s hoping others consider doing the same.

Are you a fan of The Magicians? What do you think of Quentin and Eliot’s relationship? Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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22 thoughts on “The Magicians Season 4 Isn’t Shying Away from “Queliot” and That’s a Good Thing

  1. The Magicians is a breath of fresh air. Quentin & Eliot have always had a romantic underlying chemistry in the show in my book but it’s nice that Season 4 has made it “canon” in a way they haven’t before.

    1. Agreed! For many fans, there has been romantic underlying chemistry between numerous characters out there. It is amazing to see the writers of The Magicians, unlike certain other creators, building on that chemistry instead of telling the fans what they saw/want is wrong.

    2. Well, guess they ended up queerbaiting anyways. Is anyone surprised at this point?

  2. I love the magicians. I also love the queer community. And I love Supernatural; well maybe because I love all sci-fi and fantasy genres. And just like there is nothing wrong with Elliot and Quentin, there’s nothing wrong with Dean Winchester being straight. As a part of the Supernatural fandom, I have to admit, our fandom goes a little too far with their slash fantasies. And I don’t mean their actual interest in slash (even if pairing brothers is gross to some of us). But I mean they actually do (or have in the past), kind of tried to force it down all of our throats. As far as I’m concerned, based on the actual writing in the show, Dean & Sam are straight, and Castiel is a romantic Asexual (which is how I identify). The thing with “Queliot” is that its not just innuendo or subtext, the actual writing supports this being a legitimate queer relationship. But the writing never supported Supernatural, as much as our fandom enjoys our slash & angel/Hunter fantasies, it was always just fanfiction. And just as there’s nothing wrong with being queer and representing that on screen, there is nothing wrong with being straight. Supernatural doesn’t need to apologise for being true to itself. Being straight and not bowing to fan pressure doesn’t make them homophobic, and that implication has always gotten under my skin. Enjoy your fanfic but don’t go trying to pull my show or my fandom apart because your fantasies are not reality. It’s not fair, or warranted, based on the actual writing and universe Supernatural is set in. Sorry guys 🙁

    1. “As usual, such fans were told by others in the fandom to remain quiet and keep their queer shipping inclinations to themselves.”

      1. I certainly never said to keep your queer shipping inclinations to yourself. Quite the opposite, i love it. But it’s fanfiction, it was never cannon. Bring true to yourself is never wrong. Even if you’re just plain straight like The Winchesters. I love the fan fictions and will continue enjoying it. But it doesn’t make me or them homophobic simply because we’re straight, and true. I don’t understand How forcing any relations on anyone is acceptable. In any other sexual identity (but hereto) that would be considered rape. The Winchester’s are straight. Sorry if that hurts your feelings. Feel free to continue the fantasies in fanfiction, but cannon doesn’t support it, and never has. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Period.

        1. I would like to ask that you please not correlate wanting representation in fiction to rape. They are not at all the same and that assertion is incredibly offensive.

          1. As a rape survivor, I disagree. You have representation in fiction. The Magicians is a perfect example. But forcing anyone into a sexual relationship to please only your desires is rape. There’s nothing wrong with saying NO. No means no, even if that hurts your feelings or complicates your agenda. Forcing a straight man into a homo relationship is just as bad as a man raping a woman or a child. Fair is fair. Regardless of your fantasies. Completely ridiculous. Go enjoy your canon homosexual relationships in other fiction, like The Magicians, where it is justified and called for, but your cannot force sexual relationships on anyone else. Ever. Period.

            1. Miss, I have also survived sexual assault so please don’t assume you have an edge in this argument as a result of your experiences.

              These characters are fiction. Nobody is forcing any sexual act upon them. This is not rape. There are no people having any forced sexual contact in any way shape or form. AS A QUEER PERSON I find the idea that wanting to see fictional characters portrayed as my own sexuality being compared to forcing others into a sexual scenario highly disgusting, horrifically offensive, and startlingly ignorant. Please consider what you are doing. Really think about how horrible this sounds to those of us who are told over and over again that our sexuality is predatory and “wrong.”

            2. People like you are why Geekiary doesn’t touch SPN with a 10-foot pole. People like YOU are what makes fandom toxic.
              The show was mentioned ONCE in passing, but SOME people just won’t let it go.
              Signed, someone still hoping hat Dean has the courage to come out as Bisexual, and that he and Cas become the fully textual couple they’ve been hinting at since Season 8.

              1. Dean is 41 years old. He’s straight, deal with it. There’s no canonical basis for assuming he’s bisexual. That’s fanfiction, as it will always be. Continue fantasizing. But it will never be real. Being heterosexual will never be homophobic, no matter how much the other lady wishes it to be. I understand you want to see yourselves in fiction, but you can’t force straight people to be gay, or make it seem like they’re wrong for just being themselves. Enjoy Queliot. Enjoy fanfiction. But Dean ain’t bisexual. He’s a middle-aged straight white man. Apparently the most hated being inthe world. He ain’t changing 14 seasons in, and there’s nothing wrong with him. Straight is not homophobic. And there’s nothing wrong with representation for just plain straight white people. They’ll continue to have their stories told and won’t be bullied into changing or apologizing for existing. And they’ll continue to have a strong fandom. Despite the loud few, the majority of us love our boys exactly as Chuck made them.

                1. Please cite your sources on where I said it was wrong to be heterosexual. I look forward to your citation.

                  You are also walking a very fine line by insulting queer people and accusing our desire for representation of being akin to rape. All I’ve been asking for you to do is stop and consider this accusation. And all you’ve done is go on and on and on about Dean Winchester. Which I haven’t spoken about at all. And is only tangentially mentioned in the OP.

                  1. You’re hilarious. Walking a fine line? As if you have any power sitting behind your keyboard. Where did i say there was something wrong with being queer? (LMAO, I look forward to your citation). I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with forcing Dean Winchester into a homosexual or bisexual role. I’ve repeatedly let you know that fanfiction is fine. Nobody told you can’t have your fantasies. But the world doesn’t revolve around a couple of bisexual white women with a sexual fetish for gay men. How about you cite your sources for when in 14 seasons/14 years, over 300 episodes, including alternative timelines, and alternative worlds, that there’s been any factual basis for Dean to be anything other than a plain old straight white dude? Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t exist. They’ve even tried to appease your kinks by mentioning the very small portion of the fandom that’s obsessed with the slash Destiel and Wincest crowd, by gently acknowledging you in the meta shows, while still asserting that it’s NEVER going to happen. But it’s never enough. Seriously, even gay men have moved on. But white bisexual women won’t take no for an answer. So YES, that is VERY rapey. If sexuality is something you’re born with, then there’s no question here. He is way past the puberty/experimentation stage. They’re straight. Period. If it’s such a problem, stop watching. They’ve shown gay characters, like Charlie, Crowley, & Chuck (yeah even God is bisexual). They’ve been nominated for 3 GLAAD awards. But it’s never enough for that 1% of white bisexual women (*ahem, snowflakes), who demand that openly straight characters be someone they’re not, never been, and never will be. Guess what? The world doesn’t revolve around you. It’s never going to happen. Find some other way to make yourself feel special, or pretend you’re better than anyone else. We all know the truth. You have representation on-screen, in Superatural, and in fact every single sci-fi/fantasy show on tv today: The Magicians, Wynona Earp, Roswell, The Walking Dead, Star Trek Discovery, Gotham, and every other show I can think of in this genre. In fact, according to Gallup, only 3.8% of Americans identify as queer in America as of 2015, even though most think it’s much higher. But let’s say 10%, for the hell of it, you still are represented, if not over-represented in this genre. So quit whining. Go read your fanfic. Dean’s straight. Sorry if that hurts your feelings. But for years, Supernatural was the only show that was even available in this genre. If it wasn’t for this show, you wouldn’t have these new gay-friendly sci-fi shows at all. The Magicians, Wynona, Roswell, none of this would even exist if it wasn’t for all the years Supernatural held it down as the only sci/fi, fantasy, horror show available anywhere. You should be thanking them rather than whining that it’s not queer enough for you. Queliot probably wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for Supernatural opening doors and breaking barriers in this genre. You want everyone to stop and think of you? Get real. You can’t force everyone to be what you want. There’s no factual or canonical basis for Dean being bisexual. He’s not going to wake up one morning at 41 years old, and realize he’s in love with his best friend, an actual beautiful and pure platonic relationship. Not everyone has gay sex. And to force them to because you fantasize and fetishized this relationship for years, it is not rooted in reality and would ruin this show. That’s not what it’s about. So stick to your fantasies and stop ruining for everyone else. There nothing wrong with being straight.

                    1. I DO NOT WATCH SUPERNATURAL so how am I supposed to cite something from a show I don’t watch? I haven’t talked about Dean Winchester at all. Point out ONE instance where I have mentioned Dean Winchester at all? Why are you so obsessed with this ONE character and this ONE fandom? Nobody here is talking about it except for YOU. You keep implying I’m leading some sort of Destiel brigade. Where? Where are you getting this from? I DO NOT WATCH THE SHOW. Jesus. What is wrong with you?

                      Also I never made the statement that you thought being queer was wrong. Seriously. Where are you pulling this from? Point out where I said that? You haven’t been able to cite the last thing either, because you are blatantly making it up. What is your end goal by blatantly lying about things I’m saying? Do you think people can’t scroll back up and read?

                      You are veering off topic and you get one warning before you are banned. I haven’t once mentioned Dean Winchester or Supernatural because it is a show I do not watch. You are now blatantly lying about things. Additionally, what you’re saying is verging on queerphobic and that’s also against website rules. That’s the fine line you’re walking by breaking my website rules, Tara.

                2. As a queer person who has been raped and assaulted many times, I find your insistence that encouraging perceived straight characters to be queer equivalent to rape quite offensive. As someone who didn’t accept their sexuality until they were 30, i find your logic that Dean absolutely can’t be bi hilarious. Sexuality is fluid. It can change at any time. Sometimes people don’t know it’s an option, or repress it until it’s habitually forgotten due to upbringing. Would you be surprised that John looked down on homosexuality? I sure wouldn’t. Also, there are instances in canon where Dean’s sexuality can be questioned, and a good number of them don’t even involve Castiel. Also, just because you’re a rape survivor doesn’t mean that you should be throwing out frivolous comparisons. Some of us are still very seriously damaged by what happened to us, and I can’t imagine how that compares to seeing people ask for better representation.

                  1. Wow, which is it? Is sexuality fluid? Or something you’re born with? Because if it’s a choice, you’re giving conservatives a reason to continue on with this homosexual conversion therapy. That’s a dangerous position.

                    I’m 37. According to you, I guess I can wake up tomorrow and be bisexual.


                    1. Sorry, biphobia is against the website rules. I was going to give you a chance, but I’m banning you now. Additionally, making fun of mental illness is ableist and definitely against website rules. Do not return.

        2. I’m going to suggest that shipping two fictional people as a consenting couple is absolutely nothing like rape, and it’s offensive that you’re saying it is.

    1. I believe Queliot can be considered canon, based on this episode. I agree. Queliot is definitely my end-game ship <3

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