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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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The Magicians - so many spoilers (4.1 - 4.6)
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
What's getting to me now is I wrote up this post about 4.4 and Monster!Eliot's feels about Quentin and I feel 4.5 and 4.6 like it confirmed what I felt, especially in view of Monster!Eliot's discovery of tequila and oh boy.

In comments on my The Magicians; post, [personal profile] dar_vidder made a comment that when I was responding, because this is my life, became somewhat post-sized and also weird, so putting it here.

This is my original draft that I'm rethinking in view of 4.5 and 4.6 because there's one thing those later eps--to me--confirmed.



[profile] darth_vidder said here: In the latest ep monster!Eliot totally made me root for him when he and Quentin destroyed the model airplanes with gleeful abandon, but then he had to remind me he was a monster by being all cruel and telling Q at the end Eliot was dead.

I am about to expound at length on this because Monster!Eliot is quite literally everything a good possession storyline should be by design and a lot of things I didn't realize I wanted to see. Like, I like this show enough to roll with whatever they gave me--and also because Eliot is my life--but instead I'm in the really unnerving position of total approval for how it's unfolding.

So, having said that: Monster!Eliot was not being cruel at all. In fact--from his point of view--there's a fair to good chance he was trying to make Quentin happy.

Hold up and don't hit reply yet to say "ARE YOU HIGH": answer's no, so one, now you know, and two, I have multiple reasons and some may actually make sense somewhere other than my head, so lets find out. As a useful exercise, I want to call an image to mind for later illustrative purposes: the last time you saw, spoke to, or dealt with someone ages three to four and if possible, one who does not and has not gone to regular daycare or preschool.

Got it? Okay.

One: Monster!Eliot has yet to demonstrate the complexity of emotional intelligence necessary to get (even in theory) that you can do emotional damage to someone equal to or even greater than physical. In other words, he doesn't (yet) know that's even a thing, much less how to do it. For that matter, his comprehension of 'people' is somewhat higher than 'animate scenery' but not much, and way lower than the pig we see later with the following exceptions: Quentin, later Margo and Josh (almost Quentin-level) and to a lesser extent Penny, Julia, and Kady (I think).

(Having said that, it could be argued that Monster!Eliot doesn't actually realize they're part of the same group as 'guy who got exploded because I didn't know there was another word for sprinkles'. Not like he gets out--uh, ever, really.)

I'm not saying he wouldn't be totes into emotional torture, it's just he just doesn't even have a working framework yet for that, much less a working toolset.

To wit: he's just barely grasping 'like/not like' and 'happy/sad' in the context of people (not him) feeling them, and to even get that much required him to not only mind read but an additional verbal explanation for confirmation. He was hurt and baffled that Margot rejected his (to him) reasonable desire to be friends and does not get the exact nature of the dealbreaker in 'friends with Margo' scenario. Like, yes, he gets Eliot's involved somehow--this is not his first time at the 'Eliot' rodeo, this 'Eliot' has been linked to some very upsetting issues with Quentin that also involved 'liking', such as the baffling 'like him less than Eliot' thing and the inexplicable non-sequitir, 'and when can we have Eliot back?'

Suffice to say, the common factor among 'things that are upsetting me' for Monster!Eliot is 'Eliot'. Like, it's not out of the realm of possibility that 'possessing Eliot's body' may occur to him, but as now it's his (and therefore not Eliot's), I'm not sure that possible reason for all this 'not like/not friends' will actually stick.

Which leads us (finally) to the scene in question.

At this very pivotal moment, Monster!Eliot's entire emotional education is about to both double and also go very logically deeply sideways.

When Monster!Eliot arrives in Quentin's dad's den/study/plane room (if it were mine, I"d call it the Aircraft Reservoir but in French or Greek because why not, but we'll go with Plane Room now), there is no attempt to even pretend the reason isn't "because Quentin". At which time, Monster!Eliot notes Quentin doing something that looks breathtakingly boring while also being sad and does some mind-reading because 'sad' is familiar but now Quentin's combining it with something even more inexplicable and horrible, doing boring things, wtf?

Thus he is introduced to a new variation of concept known as 'sad': aka 'sad because father/loved one is dead'. Which again, requires verbal explanation and confirmation from Quentin as to the very complicated details of this 'sad' combined with 'dead'and 'loved one' which Monster!Eliot seems to grasp as 'vague theory regarding new sad' at best and interprets 'packing boxes sadly' as some kind of sad-related game, which is super interesting for roughly five, maybe ten seconds and then we're back to bored, so very tragically bored watching boring boxes being boringly packed while Quentin feels boring feelings about boring loved ones which by expereince he already knows Quentin will inexplicably continue to feel despite the fact Monster!Eliot wants that shit to stop and tells him so. As that has always worked before to get rid of things he doesn't like, he's pretty much out of ideas on solving the "Quentin feeling things I don't like' issue.


Then comes that inexplicable combination of events that can change history.

In his desperate attempt to escape tragic boredom (leaving to do something interesting doesn't seem to occur to him), Monster!Eliot discovers Quentin at some point broke an ashtray, which forever labeled him as Person Who Breaks Things (and Definitely Will Break All Your Father's Precious Airplanes). Unlike literally anyone else who ever existed, Monster!Eliot is completely oblivious to Quentin's painfully transparent issues being expressed not at all subtly via 'apocryphal ashtray story to represent how I break everything and everyone I touch always which most recently includes but is not limited to a.) magic being taken away, b.) magic being brought back, and c.) my dad's death, which I am totally responsible for' and so proceeds to ask a startlingly logical question: so why not just go ahead and break everything? Which also works as metaphor, because sometimes luck is with you.

At which time, three unprecedented and amazing things happen:
1.) Quentin takes his suggestion, which is great for elimination of the 'boring box packing game' in favor of 'the wholesale destruction game', which even without the 'murder' component is always fun and also deeply satisfying since Quentin often won't do what he wants (see the persistent 'sad' issue)
2.) Quentin plays "Destroy Everything" with him. Which is like his favorite game ever and even better with Quentin involved.
3.) Quentin's inexplicable persistence in feeling 'sad' is finally over. Quentin's enjoying "Destroy Everything Game" With Monster!Eliot instead of that annoying 'sad' shit, which is like it should have been all along. Related, Quentin's super enjoying it a lot, which bodes well for their future in "Destroying Everything" with 'Everything' unspecified but definitely not metaphorical in any sense and definitely not limited to inanimate objects, with 'slaughter' being a key feature and probably in one of the higher plurals.

Here's where I think it's possible Monster!Eliot decided to deploy logic, and in a sense, you can't say he was entirely wrong considering the evidence presented and remembering this: Monster!Eliot is a god who was effectively lobotomized/memory wiped into something not unlike a three year old child who was then isolated from contact with anyone or anything but one (1) caretaker/playmate/only source of entertainment.

One (1) person who most likely lived in some level of low-grade unhappiness and fear at the best of times (best times; probably pretty rare) who he could mindread (and come to think, that may not be something he can't/doesn't know how to control) and while context and specifics (and empathy) escape Monster!Eliot, we know he does indeed recognize 'sad' quite well and hey, I think I know why.

So, a three year old who cannot grow up/mature/change (lobotomy, memory wipe) and also cannot be effectively taught anything, as a.) he inexplicably still has access to a (relatively) great deal of reality bending, murder-doing power chained to no impulse control whatsoever plus b.) a mortal human caretaker/entertainer, which is like only one step above a mop attached to an Echo Dot in the 'list of beings/people/things qualified for or at minimum not a disasterously bad choice for god-sitting in order of best to worst'. And no lie, I'm kind of leaning toward 'mop' being a marginal improvement overall.

Up to now, Monster!Eliot's experience with 'sad about....' (boring, annoying, doesn't go away despite him wanting it to) has generally been combined with two other seemingly unrelated but equally inexplicable and really annoying/upsetting things: 'not like [Monster!Eliot] because of....' or 'like '[Monster!Eliot] less than....'. The only thing they seem to have in common is 'Eliot in each and every "...." and specifically his absence. As Monster!Eliot's only working way to deal with things not doing what he wants is 'murder', there is obviously no solution to the 'sad about Eliot's absence' issue when for reasons, murder isn't on the table.

Now, however, he's been introduced to a different kind of sad that involves 'dead'. In that case, there's a solution that he's actually tested (and maybe even is the first to discover): sad for dead loved one can be dealt with using 'destroy game' and they feel better.

So says Eliot's dead, which as he sees it solves all the problems; 'sad for missing Eliot' won't go away but 'sad for dead Eliot'--like dead loved one--most definitely will; apply destruction.

Monster!Eliot learns feelings: kind of makes you wonder how humans generally manage to turn out so well now that I read that.

Adding Now

All of Monster!Eliot's behavior confirms pretty much that a.) he's jealous as fuck of Eliot but isn't sure how to conceptualize this and b.) this is due to the fact a lot of Eliot is filtering into him and he isn't actually aware that is happening. But how he's relating to Quentin kind of confirms Monster!Eliot's channeling way more Original!Eliot than he knows, and the way he backed the fuck down in 4.6 confirms that. Monster!Eliot has no personal reason to have feels for Quentin, but if he's getting Eliot's feels (and they're now effectively his feels as well), then yeah, his behavior is consistent and makes perfect sense.

Which if true, would make some very interesting thoughts on how they get rid of the monster, up to and including Eliot just kind of--absorbing Monster!Eliot into himself when he takes back over. Which wouldn't be the weirdest resolution on this show. In which case the Happy Place may be Monster!Eliot breaking planes with Quentin forever, which honestly is kind of adorable and I'm pretty sure with Monster!Eliot's attention span he literally could do forever.

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