If someone came at me claiming that Reese/Finch is queerbaiting, they’re required to give me a 10 page single spaced research paper in MLA format full of references and graphs citing EVERY SINGLE thing the two of them have done that points toward queerbaiting (there’s some minuscule hints here and there but you can hardly make a case when the epics like Sherlock/John and Destiel exist). Different from Sam² (where I refuse to listen to anything that puts Root/Shaw and queerbaiting in the same sentence), is that I might actually consider wasting 30 minutes reading it because, although it hurts me to say it: there’s no chance in hell that Reese/Finch is ever going to be canon. While for Sam², the fact that the actors are openly talking about it along with the writers, means that it’s logistically in consideration compared to the joking remark “greatest lovestory ever told” towards Reese/Finch back in SDCC 2013.
Coming back to your question: YES, 120% YES the show handles both ships incredibly well, and honestly I haven’t felt this respected in years in regards to the writers handling my ships delicately with class and letting us fans have fun. It’s not breadcrumbs we’re trailing after but rather we’re given an official snack without that patronizing pat on the back “ok guys we gave you ~what you want~ aren’t we openminded lol lg
btrepresent!!”. When asked about Reese and Finch relationship, Nolan and Plageman never go “ahhh they’re TOTES BROS MAN HURRHURR NO HOMO YO” and address it as is: a damn relationship. Aside from feeling respected as a fangirl, I also feel respected as a queer person from the way couples are presented throughout the show, and any jokes that are tinted with queerness isn’t offensive either; suggestive, sure, but never homophobic or otherwise.
What’s significant imo is the open-endedness of each characters sexuality, it’s literally up to us to make what we will of it, because after all, sexuality is fluid. Besides, what’s the fun of agonizing over orientation when we’ve got OT3’s and found families also two AI’s who want to make 1984 look like child’s play.
One of many reasons why I love the hell out of this show. Thank you, POI writers and show-runners. Seriously. Thank you.