Should “Queliot” Shippers Be Disappointed About “The Magicians” Season 4 Finale?

the seam review the magicians season 4 queliot
Alice and Eliot in ‘The Seam/No Better to Be Safe Than Sorry’ (Image: Screengrab)

The Magicians season 4 has aired its finale, and it wasn’t received well by some fans. ‘The Seam’ had a certain character make an important decision. Of course, a number of Queliot (Quentin and Eliot) shippers aren’t happy about it. But, for some reason, I don’t think the writing team did a bad job.

Was I happy when the fourth season of The Magicians decided to address the relationship between Quentin and Eliot? Of course. It was a welcome thing to see on TV screens. However, did I think the two would be able to get back together by the end of the season? No, especially because of everything going on.

As the season progressed, I knew Queliot and even Qualice (Quentin and Alice) were doomed. Someone was going to the Underworld and every episode, as the finale neared, made it clear it was going to be Quentin.

The writing team was going for a ‘tragic-love’ narrative and that’s what we got. But they did try to make the ride as smooth as possible for everyone.

They talked about how Eliot was interested in giving his relationship with Quentin a second chance. They also talked about giving Qualice a second chance, too.

However, one should notice the difference between the two. In another timeline, Queliot did indeed happen with Eliot and Quentin willing to do it again in the present.

I do think the writers know how certain fans see Qualice as toxic, and that is why they didn’t go all out with that specific relationship.

With Queliot, they showed the relationship until the very end and allowed the two characters to retain their memories of what they went through together as a loving couple. So, it isn’t like the show erased their queer relationship. It still happened.

In the closing moments, the episode had Eliot remember his time with Quentin. Alice and Eliot also held hands because they both loved him.

Was it the best written queer representation out there? Of course not. But did it make sense? It kind of did, at least to me, because of the writers going for a narrative featuring a tragedy and lost love during the finale.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the series does with these characters in the fifth season. It is The Magicians. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if Quentin popped up during certain critical moments.

As for those disappointed about what happened, I can’t tell you how you should feel about Quentin’s death and Queliot.

You will need to make the decision. If you think you are better off not watching this show anymore, then all the power to you. Such a stance is understandable.

Well-written queer representation still has ways to go in media. And I will continue to call out particular writing decisions.

If you feel you are being queerbaited by a show, then my unsolicited advice is to take care of your wellbeing and not watch what is being presented. It isn’t worth it. Why allow a queerbaiting show to have such power over you?

You are better off reading recaps and reviews to determine if an episode is worthy of your time and passion. Make yourself the priority.

What did you think of The Magicians season 4 finale ‘The Seam/No Better to Be Safe Than Sorry‘ and Queliot? 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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4 thoughts on “Should “Queliot” Shippers Be Disappointed About “The Magicians” Season 4 Finale?

  1. Everyone should be disappointed. Everyone. I don’t even “go here” (I’ve watched 3 episodes) and I’m pissed.

    They buried yet another queer character, which, regardless of how poetic and narratively consistent the death was, adds yet another body to the mass grave of the Bury Your Gays/Queers trope. They buried a mentally ill queer character who dealt with frequent suicidal ideation, from what I hear. And he died, essentially, via suicide.

    Everyone. Should. Be. Disappointed.

  2. What they did is worse…. They set up a storyline for Q to be able to explore in his correct timeline his bisexuality and his feeling sfor Eliot, something he wanted to try. Something Eliot wanted as well but was afraid to try for and learned he wanted to find that courage. The story was set up, it was inexplicitly dropped to kill him off — but not only kill him off, kill off a suicidal character in a way they mwant to be ambigious. It was dangerous and bad writing — and they claim they thought Q’s journey was over, but in season 4 instead of showing that they set the beauty of him growing more and just decided shock twist was somehow valid. Please. I was awful and they are smarter writers, they brighter writers, they should have known better. They say they want to subvert tropes, but instead they walked into two of the oldest and most offensive ones there are: kill off the outsider, kill the queer, have the suicidal one sacrifice. Whatever. Narratively their reasons for doing this weren’t even sound, Q was nowhere near at his end, in fact his end should have been happily ever after, because he didn’t really represent the safe white guy and he never did. the subverted nothing with this decision.

  3. What are you talking about? “they didn’t go all out with that specific relationship.” re: Qualice? The last 3 episodes were dedicated to him and Alice trying again for a romantic relationship. It was forced romantic rekindling that after all the breakups and tension between them in the past, made little sense. I am all for Quentin and Alice making up and being friends again, but to show Eliot realizing he was afraid of a relationship in the Happy Place episode, dangling the possibility of a fully dedicated Queliot storyline in front of lgbt viewers and then suddenly Quentin is trying for romance again with Alice in the episodes right before he dies and never gets to talk to Eliot again IS queer baiting. Now, I say that fully knowing that it was likely not conscious or malicious queerbaiting. It was most likely straight privilege blinding those in charge to how damaging of a message this can be and how unequal and unfair their treatment of queer characters and relationships has been. It was ‘bury your gays’ and people in the lgbtq community are sick of getting a spark of hope that their romances will be treated equally to heterosexual ones only to have them crushed. And no, a threesome in season 1, an alternate timeline episode where they had a whole life together in one montage, and some internal revelations by Eliot in one episode of the latest season is NOT equal to the amount of screen time, development and full on dedication that Quentin/Alice, Penny/Kady, and even Margo/josh and Penny23/Julia have gotten. It isn’t just about the fact that a queer character was killed and fans didn’t get their ship, it’s that the writers have been giving lgbt audiences chicken scraps to keep them invested and hopeful when compared to the several full course meals that the heterosexual storylines on the show have gotten. That is queerbaiting, and the only people who seem to not get that are people with heterosexual privilege or people who just haven’t fully figured out what queer baiting really is. It’s unequal treatment of a marginalized group that’s been dressed up and obscured with a veil of small promising scenes and a couple token queer characters sprinkled throughout so they can be called progressive and keep their audience on the hook without ever committing to full equal representation. Any show that does not dedicate as much screen time and development to an lgbt relationship across at LEAST a full season of television alongside its heterosexual relationships is queer baiting until they actually deliver. If you want to represent lgbt people and relationships in your story? Don’t do it in trickles and then never follow through. I guarantee you that if Queliot had gotten at least a fully fleshed romance equivalent in screen time and effort to Qualice in seasons 1-2.5-ish, BEFORE they killed Quentin off, far fewer people would be calling it queerbait, though I imagine bury your gays would still be thrown around, but that’s a trope that is more difficult to clearly define.

    And lastly, in response to your advice: “If you feel you are being queerbaited by a show, then my unsolicited advice is to take care of your wellbeing and not watch what is being presented. It isn’t worth it. Why allow a queerbaiting show to have such power over you?”

    I know you are well-meaning, but you have to realize that queerbaiting isn’t exactly easy to spot all the time by just reading synopses and all that. Usually, people are hanging onto the hope that their representation will eventually get delivered because the show hasn’t exactly let them down yet. Most of the time, a show has to gain traction and a large enough audience to even think about delivering on full lgbt representation, so most lgbt people being aware of that, will cross their fingers and hope the signs that the writers aren’t just stringing them along and really want to give them what they deserve when they are able to and hang in there. And they love the characters and the plot and the world, there are so many reasons to stick around besides a hope of one day being represented in a popular show you enjoy. So please… don’t act like we should just be able to spot this bullshit right away like it’s always obvious, because it’s not and it’s shortsighted of you to think it would be.

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