Spoilers ahead for the third episode of The Magicians Season 5, called "The Mountain of Ghosts."
The Magicians continues to deal with the aftermath of Quentin's death even as the characters move forward and face new challenges in the fifth season of the Syfy series. "The Mountain of Ghosts" teamed up Eliot and Alice, both of whom loved Quentin but neither of whom had really dealt with their feelings even now that he's seemingly gone for good. Eliot in particular struggled with what the loss of Quentin means as life continues, and Alice proved to be just the right companion for this "upsetting" and emotional journey.
Sera Gamble, who is both showrunner of The Magicians and wrote "The Mountain of Ghosts," weighed in on how this episode addressed the Quentin/Eliot relationship and how the show diverged from the books to get "deeper" for that relationship:
But it was the discovery in the writers room that that relationship could go deeper, in an intimate and very romantic way, that was thrilling. It’s like an unexpected joy when the characters are talking to you, and when we’re figuring out what would be in character for them. To realize that Quentin would actually have a lot less baggage about that than Eliot does. We wanted to investigate that. I think a lot of writers in the room started to talk personally about experiences they had, or were around for in people they love’s lives, where a possibility was there, you say no, thinking maybe you can come around later, and then later might never come. That’s the very fragile, upsetting truth of being a human being, is we think we have all this time and that’s not always true. That’s what’s pushing Eliot to the next place.
This episode delivered some closure and acknowledged Eliot's love for Quentin, with Alice sharing that she thinks Quentin was in love with him as well. That was also heartbreaking, to a certain degree, as Sera Gamble noted in her chat with Collider that the "very fragile, upsetting truth" of the situation was they won't have any more time together, and Eliot has to get "to the next place."
It's clear that Sera Gamble (who is also showrunner for Netflix's You and had some very different sentiments regarding that series' lead character) and the Magicians writers put a lot of thought into Eliot and Quentin's relationship, and this episode provided arguably the best sendoff to their love story that could possibly happen with one half of the dynamic gone. This was an important episode for Alice as well as she came to her own realization and reached a certain degree of her own closure.
Not all shows can successfully enhance or change aspects of the source material, as the continued uproar over the final season of Game of Thrones nearly a year after its grand finale proves. The big question after this latest episode may be just what exactly is in the next place for Eliot. Unfortunately, the description for the next episode doesn't give anything away on that front:
Julia lends a book to some lady. Fogg finds a sock.
The description for the February 5 episode of The Magicians, called "Magicians Anonymous," is disappointingly short and doesn't give much away. It certainly won't help Eliot fans figure out what's in store for him next. Now that he has some closure, will there be some noticeable changes from his behavior in the first few episodes of the season?
Find out when Episode 4 of The Magicians Season 5 airs on Wednesday, February 5 at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy. For some additional options on the small screen, check out our 2020 winter and spring TV premiere schedule.