Lost Girl. Season Four.
This season is shaping up as the most bizarre and exciting one yet. The first few episodes have been dreamlike, “psychedelic” one could even say. The colors seem richer, more saturated, and with higher contrast. There are bizarre characters who appear, and seem disconnected from the narrative or from any logic. In the first two episodes particularly, Rhyme and Reason have been tossed out. It’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass . We have been told again and again: everything will be upside down in season 4. This is another way of saying that, in season 4, Lost Girl is going to take us through the looking glass. And so far, this also means a thorough revisiting of the first season, but as though the latter had been an alternate universe.
Lost Girl can never be taken literally; this is not its strength and not its point. The longer it goes the more this is true. Other television shows over the years have been similarly messy at times, with loose ends and strange narrative “jump cuts.” But none, to my admittedly limited knowledge, have been so exuberant in their embrace of play and camp, or so happily anarchical, while also extremely serious in dramatic intent, as Lost Girl has been. None of the shows I know have been as committed to providing so much cultural and social comment and critique, particularly when it comes to gender.
There are many logical questions one can ask. For instance, was it only the main characters in episode 1 who had their memories suppressed? Sooner or later someone was bound to go up to Trick and say, “Hey, what’s Bo been up to lately? Haven’t seen her in a while.” So what? I say: go ahead and enjoy your postmodern TV. Lost Girl does this as well or maybe sometimes even better than Buffy. At least, it does this with the highest level of commitment I’ve seen.
Lost Girl is quite subtle at times, inviting its viewers to read between dialogue and plot lines, and asking audiences to pay close attention to barely stated details. Sometimes this happens at the risk of losing the attention and understanding of many viewers.
Episode 1 “In Memoriam.”
In Memoriam” was a conceptual season opener like “Caged Fae,” which opened season 3. Unlike “Caged Fae” it was not a cinematic homage. It was … well, one could see it, in large part, as an extended homage to the Lost Girl fandom. I felt the love in any case. It is not quite a matter of “breaking of the fourth wall,” but the first episode initiates an ongoing dialogue between the show and its fandom.
“In Memoriam,” where Kenzi, Dyson, Hale, Trick, and Aife lose all memory of Bo, sets the stage for the coming season. When the episode begins, Bo is gone – literally from everyone’s conscious minds – and Lauren is away. Both are “elsewhere.” The episode works to reset relationships among the main cast. It reminds me of those moments in old children’s movies when the action would stop momentarily, and an older adult sitting in an armchair would begin talking onscreen about what was happening in the story. In Lost Girl, this device works subtly. The alternate reality of Bo’s nonexistence is an occasion for viewers to pause, look at the characters, and ask themselves, Who are they now, after 3 years? And who are they to each other now? Dyson and Kenzi are more than friends in a reality where Bo does not exist. Is it because something deep inside them misses Bo, and they are trying to fill the empty space of her absence by being with each other? Or is this the manifestation of suppressed feelings that could not be allowed to exist in the other reality, where Bo is central to both Kenzi’s and Dyson’s lives? Kenzi has more self-awareness than Dyson and she intuits that an undefinable absence has taken up space in her heart, in all of their lives. It’s poetic too. Even if Bo was never here, fragments of her remain lodged somewhere at the periphery of the characters’ consciousnesses. How else does one explain the 80 thongs scene? Kenzi, wearing Bo’s kimono, is at times both herself and Bo.
Kenzi has grown up. She is self-assured and is showing some of the hard won wisdom she’s acquired in the past few years. Dyson is a far gentler and more sensitive soul in Kenzi’s presence. For Dyson, loving Kenzi makes him a better man. Hale is similar to what he’s always been: a man desperately trying to make his mark, but falling short every time. Falling short as Ash, falling short as a tango dancer, falling short as a would-be boyfriend. Trick’s personality is also unaltered. In a sense it is revealed: he is rigid, close-minded, and harsh. When it comes to it, Trick turns his back on his human friends. He is quick to accuse without thinking. He is a traditionalist. Trick has always been tricky. The character’s agenda is difficult to identify. Another one of these ambiguities Lost Girl loves to maintain in play.
The episode’s center piece, the tango dancing between Dyson, Hale, and Kenzi, was something like a conceptual “triangle ballet,” a pas de trois. It constituted another moment when we paused and watched as this scene performed, beautifully and lyrically, one of the show’s central themes: the love triangle. In a sense this performance was metonymic to the other triangle, the one that actually exists in Bo’s life between herself, Lauren, and Dyson. From season 1 to 4, this triangle has been sequenced. Bo meets Lauren and Dyson the same day. She flirts with Lauren and kisses Dyson that day as well. She almost begins a relationship with Lauren, but instead has one with Dyson. Later, when that ends, she resumes where she left off with Lauren. It’s always been first Dyson, then Lauren. First something to whet the appetite, then the real thing? Similarly, in this dance sequence, Kenzi starts out with Hale, but then Dyson comes in and gradually edges Hale out. It remains to be seen whether this 1-2 pattern repeats itself this season, and for whom. I have a feeling it won’t quite, as the original triangle has gotten further complicated. Meanwhile Kenzi is as irritated with Hale as she is taken with Dyson. But this is still in Bo’s absence, in an altered state of consciousness.
It occurred to me the character of Dr. Lauren Lewis, and the ‘treatment’ of her character on the television show, Lost Girl, has become somewhat of a button-pushing topic for many of Lost Girl’s LGBT fans. Myself included. As a lesbian who loves this Show, I’ve adopted Lauren (yes a fictional character) into my extended gay ‘family.’ Because of this somewhat confusing, and yes, emotional attachment, I’m highly sensitive to the way her character is treated in this make believe world. A world that is largely populated by mythical Fae characters, yet includes a handful of poorly treated Humans struggling to live and survive amongst them.
Bo’s journey is at the center of this uniquely complex and entertaining show. A show that doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s filled with humor and camp, while at the same time is unafraid to look at the darker underbelly of the Fae political systems. Lost Girl also dives headfirst into sexual expression, ignoring gender bias by simply showing diverse relationships, and allowing these relationships to unfold naturally on our television screens.
Refreshing. Groundbreaking. Brave. All words I’ve seen used to describe this approach to telling a story such as Bo’s, who happens to be a bisexual Succubus.
Bo’s story, and that of her friends and lovers, has captivated a worldwide audience. The ‘worldwide’ portion of this audience I would venture to guess is largely LGBT women. Women just like me who have found a resonance, a truth, in the subtle beauty of Bo and Lauren’s relationship. Women who grieve for Lauren’s outsider status as a slave and Human among these FAE. Women who cheer Bo for taking a stance against these Fae, for breaking the rules, and for falling in love with a Human.
I’ve decided to do a character study of Lost Girl through the eyes of someone who belongs to Lauren’s family. How would one of Lauren’s blood relatives feel stumbling upon this Show? And, what would they think of Lauren’s journey among the Fae, as well as her relationship with Bo?
With that in mind have a look at the musings of Lauren’s redneck Grandmother: Ms. Bianca Clementine Lewis.
The Grammy Binks Rants: An Introduction
and Episode 4.01 of Lost Girl
If yer readin’ this the only pert’nint thing ta know is I am Lauren’s Grammy Binks. I’ve been searchin’ for that child for seven years, but where in the Hitchhiker’s Universe do ya s’pose I found her? On my damned t.v. screen!
“Don’t. Freakin’. Panic!” I hollered out loud, then rushed back ta my kitchen pantry ta fetch my towel.
Ya see, I was settin’ up my supper on the tray so’s I could watch my Beauty an’ the Beast on that Showcase Channel, but my Beauty wasn’t on. Nope. Chowder, case ya was wonderin,’ with a little mint julep ta wash it down. I know most folks thinks that’s just a summer drink, but I kinda like it all the year round.
What was I sayin’ ? Oh yeah, I was talkin’ bout discoverin’ my Grandbaby on the t.v.
Long story short: I fixed my supper an’ there she was, my golden haired sweet little Lauren.
Holy St. Christopher’s medal! The first glimpse I catch of that lovely child in seven long years nearly stopped my pacemaker from tickin’.
Atrocitiy! Atrocity o’ all atrocities! Those golden wavy curls was dyed a painful shade of Henna, an’ her bangs was hacked an’ chopped to nearly nothin’. Please Jesus, I begged, let me be havin’ a fever dream ‘cos this is a livin’ nightmare fer sure.
That child is a frackin’ genius, what the effing, frickety frack is she doin’ waitressin’ in some skeevy little greasy spoon diner?
“Good Lord!” I near lost my teeth when I shouted out loud at my t.v. screen. But, then I got consumed by the ‘spression on my Grandbaby’s face; she was wearin’ this lonely like gaze, all heart twistin’ sorrow, an’ then she says: “Bo… I remember.”
That made me real sad. Now, I don’t know why that made me sad ‘cos I hadn’t the nariest idea what in samhell was goin’ on, but just the look on my Grandbaby’s face made me know she was hurtin’ somethin’ fierce.
So’s, I decided ta find out all about this t.v. show she was starrin’ on.
Turns out it ain’t no real t.v. show. It’s these Fae creatures runnin’ the whole damned world an’ they been usin’ an’ abusin’ my Lauren. The Fae is some kinda mythical creatures that are old an’ decrepit on the insides, but don’t look like that on the outsides. Some of ’em don’t look so well preserved, but most of ’em looks youthful, plus they got powers an’ such.
Their powers is stupefyin’ I s’pose, but they ain’t so hoity-toity as all that; they been stealin’ Lauren’s talent, all the while they was trickin’ her with lies and deceit. Uh huh. These Fae critters, with all their omnipotient powers, still needed my brilliant girl to keep ’em spry an’ hale.
Hale! Now I am fussed with that boy, but we’ll git to that later ‘cos I should tell ya ’bout this Lost Girl so’s I can help you understand what’s goin’ on with my Lauren.
Lauren likes the ladies for sure, an’ the ladies like her. Lordy, it’s like she perm’ates sweet nectars, like those faerymones Dr. Drew is always goin’ on about; ‘cept Lauren’s faerymones are super duper charged.
There I go goin’ off tangent agin. Sorry. I’ll just git back ta the matter on hand: Lost Girl. I only caught that tail end of what they says was the first episode o’ Season Four, so’s I had to go watch it from the start: On Demand. Turns out it was a waste a time ‘cos I only did git to see Lauren for that little half a minute.
What is wrong with these people? That child is gorgeous, an’ charmin’, an’ smart, an’ talented, an’ they only got her on the screen for 30 seconds? She stole the Show in those 30 seconds I kin tell ya that. But, I figgered I should see what kinda characters she mixed herself up with so’s I watched the whole eppysode.
It wasn’t too bad. ‘Course I didn’t know what the frack was happening and nothin’ they was talkin’ ’bout made any sense ta me. The smart ass girl (Kenz) was real sharp and fun. I could see my Lauren appreciatin’ a kid like that with all kindsa sass an’ wit. I did enjoy her stickin’ up for my Lolo when that Trickster man said he didn’t trust my darlin’ Gandbaby.
Now, I just gotta say when a character is named “Trick” I won’t be trustin’ a single word comes outta that fella’s mouth.
This lil’ Kenz girl has smarts. I kin tell she’d be a good ally for my Lauren. Street smart, book smart, it don’t matter what ya got; if ya got it, ya got it, and if ya don’t, ya don’t.
That Wolf Boy don’t got it, let me tell you. He’s a snaky fella. And no, I ain’t talkin’ ’bout that giant snake man Sulu. How in Harry Houdini’s sack o’ tricks did Mr. Sulu get off the Enterprise? An’ I wonder how he hid his snaky condition all those years cooped up on that Ship? I mean, that’s a big skin ta shed. He prob’ly just jettisoned it out the airlock when no one was lookin’ is my guess.
What was I sayin’ ?
Oh yeah, that Wolf Boy thinks he’s all that, but he’s got no game at all. First off he’s s’posed ta be friends with this boy Hale, but gives nary a thought to kissin’ the girl his friend has tipped his hat for? Well, ta be fair, he thinks about it, but that was after the kissin’ occurred!
Oh, the Wolf Boy’s dance was pretty an’ he showed Mr. Hale who the top dog was, but that’s the key word in this tale: DOG. Dogboy. That fella is a follower and lil’ Kenz was right to tell him no. This Bo girl they all is missin’ must be somethin’ special I guess.
I mean, ‘course they all got cursed or somethin’ ta forget her, but their whole world is all wonky cos she wasn’t in it no more. Lil’ Kenz had ta talk Wolf Boy down from delusions o’ wantin’ to stay in Wanderland. He says, an’ I quote: “What if this is as good as it gets? ”
What the heck kinda sentiment is: “What if this is as good as it gets?”
What a lazy ass thing ta say. Who in the Devil’s Dungeon would want ta hang around such a snivelin’ whiner? It gets as good as you make it asshole. Your cup gets full when you fill it up with somethin’ yourself jerk wad!
Oh, wait, back up a lick. I saw Jenny Schecter at the bar. She’s still some kinda nymphomaniac. Don’t matter what show they put her in she’s still as looney tunes as ever she was. I always did like that gal though, she’s got a soft sweet side that always gets tromped on an’ I don’t like that one bit.
Speakin’ a tromping’ on those that is vulnerable an’ such! Sweet Mother Mary on the dashboard!
I gotta say, if my Grandbaby had ta git herself caught up in a mystical world, she sure picked the dregs o’ the barrel with this Faeronto place. This Vex character sure has got some mommy issues; murderin’ and torturin’ women, all the while struttin’ in high heels better than mosta the ladies I don’t go ta church with.
What in Lucifer’s Lair is wrong with all the men on this Show? None of ’ems got any backbone to speak of.
“What if this is as good as it gets?” Vex, and Wolf Boy whining, an’ being bullies, cowards, an’ sneaks. That Hale Boy can’t muster up a spec a mojo. An’ that Trick fella! O.M.Gee, as folks say nowadays. His father o’ the year award just got forfeited by that Aife’s twelve inch huntin’ knife. Whoa!
So, now bear with me for a little spell. I got so confused by what was goin’ on in this world that I shut the damned thing off an’ turned my computer on. 48 hours later, after lotsa mint julep, some cheesy popcorn, an’ some swearin’ at the internet, I watched all the previous Seasons of this Lost Girl. I kin sorta follow the story now.
‘Cept I’m pissed as a badger with a sore tooth that my Lauren is so sad an’ all alone. All those people are horrible. That nice boy Hale turned inta a power hungry coward. The Wolf Boy says lotsa stuff he don’t mean.
Wolf Boy, if yer readin’ this take some notes: Yer actions don’t match yer words. It’s real tacky ta look forward ta a time when my Lauren won’t be ’round ta challenge ya for Bo’s heart. Ya should be knowin’ that long after Lauren is gone ya ain’t never gonna be what she is to Bo: The Love o’ her life. Get a clue an’ find a nice Wolf Girl ta settle yourself down with.
Now, where was I?
Contemplatin’ on the terrible people my Grandbaby got herself surrounded by. Even that lil’ Kenz showed up a real disappointment. Here I thought she could be a good friend for Lauren ‘cos she’s human too, but turns out she was mean an’ spiteful with her jealousy.
O’ the whole rotten lot I liked that Bo the best, ’til she got all caught up in her mighty Fae crap. All these people got problems. They all got secrets ta keep, but the truths ta tell is always more important.
That beautiful Bo showed up short o’ the marker too. It’s a’okay for all Bo’s other people ta lie an’ cheat, an’ let her down, but poor Lauren, makes one bad decision an’ the whole stinkin’ lot o’ them can’t never let it go. The girl my Lauren gave her heart to, Bo, she turned up ta be a hippocryte with all her lyin’ an’ evadin’ at the end o’ Season Three.
So’s, my Lauren ran away an’ I don’t blame her one bit. Now she’s all alone an’ din’t remember a frackin’ thing ’til that Wolf Boy an’ Lil’ Kenz decided ta be brave an’ point that magical compass North.
Then, bam: “Bo… I remember.”
An’, bam: Big brown eyes are stirred ta open, ‘cept they showed up all passionate blue.
Yep! My Grandbaby always was a lady charmer. That brown an’ blue eyed Succubus ain’t gotta chance aginst Dr. Hotpants (I gotta say I love my Grandbaby’s nickname! Woot!).
They all got some kinda curse goin’ on that’s cloudin’ their memories an’ such, but that Bo girl won’t never be Lost agin ‘cos she’s under my Lauren’s SPELL. TRUE LOVE is the best guide ‘cos even when ya think yer lost ya ain’t. That Bo girl will wander ’round a bit, but she’ll find her way home ta my Lolo.
Now that I got a lead on where my Grandbaby is I’m gonna keep watchin’ this Lost Girl Show! Don’t stray too far ‘cos I’ll be keepin’ ya posted on what Lauren gits up to. Little Ms. Bo is gonna have her hands full, ‘cos I know my Lauren ain’t gonna put up with any o’ that wishy washy crap she got in Season Three.
This here is Grammy Binks signin’ off…
I spent the hiatus wondering how the first episode of the fourth season could possibly pick up where all the cliffhangers had left off. Bo disappeared in a cloud of black smoke. It was unclear whether Lauren was still in the compound or had fled. Trick was kidnapped by Hale and whisked away to Scotland by Stella. Kenzi and Bruce drove off in the Morrigan’s car. And Dyson and Tamsin were literally off a cliff.
Where do you go from there?
Well, the show picked up about a month after those events, so it seems, and it also seems that all the characters are missing something crucial – their memories of Bo. It’s not exactly “It’s a Wonderful Life” – we’re not seeing the world as it would have been in Bo never existed. Rather, the memory loss is more of a surgical strike – the past wasn’t altered, strictly people’s memories. (Although I imagine some person did a little alteration in the physical world as well; at the very least someone would have needed to remove some of Bo’s things from the clubhouse so it wasn’t immediately obvious to Kenzi that she shared living space with another person. Right?)
The episode felt exciting to me. I love watching shows where there are established characters who I have grown to know, and then seeing them in situations that put them out of context. I love familiar devices like memory loss, time travel, and body switching. We’ve seen them on supernatural and sci-fi shows like Buffy, Xena, all the Star Treks, and probably a hundred other shows that I’ve never seen or heard of.
A few thoughts: Kenzi’s dance with Dyson and Hale was truly stunning. Vex – what an awesome outfit. Everyone was agog over the heels and codpiece, but I really liked his hat. It was fun to see George Takei and Mia Kirshner as guest stars – Engelram’s statement that he sheds his skin once a month was an amusing nod to how fabulous Mr. Takei looks. And Mia Kirshner – a TV show with such a large lesbian following as Lost Girl casting the infamous Jenny Schecter from The L Word! I love it.
Lauren doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but when she does, it’s pretty powerful. She remembers Bo when Kenzi sets the compass to true north, and is so overcome by her emotions that she staggers a bit and has to sit down. The last scene of the episode is Bo opening her eyes.
Lauren is apparently hiding out waiting tables somewhere and wearing a red wig that has been much maligned on twitter. Television sometimes necessitates a willing suspension of disbelief, but I find it hard to believe that wearing hair that is so obviously fake wouldn’t make a fugitive MORE conspicuous.
I thought the memory loss was a fun way to not have the show be obligated to pick up immediately where the all the cliffhangers left off. That would have felt much more like the continuation from one episode to the next, and this felt like something different that lets us know that things have changed and we’re in for a wild ride.
Bo being missing and forgotten by everyone also made me realize how much I missed her. During parts of Season 3, Bo was acting more self-absorbed than I was used to, especially in her relationship with Lauren. Where was the sweet succubus who put everybody else’s needs before her own? There were times that I didn’t like how Bo was treating other people, and I felt like she could use a little time to herself to reflect on what kind of person she wanted to be. Five minutes in the penalty box, if you’ll allow a hockey metaphor.
We don’t find out where Bo is until 4.02 – but it seems that wherever she is, it’s worse than the penalty box.
The Season 4 premiere conjured up memories of Season 3’s episode 9 titled “Ceremony”- AKA The Dawning. In both of these episodes, Dyson becomes an exaggerated version of his true self. His wants, desires and limitations become amplified. I had an epiphany about Dyson as the end credits started to roll.
Truth is the only reason it happened is Lauren, Bo and her *cough* wardrobe weren’t on screen so I was forced to focus on him.
During the scene with Aife and Kenzi in the diner, Aife reminds Dyson of Taft’s lab and only then does he remember that they were there together. It’s as if he needs someone else to prompt him of a past event for him to remember. I thought that was odd. The alarm going off on his phone everyday to look for Tamsin is symbolic of Pavlov’s dog. The dog gets a cue he responses exactly the same way every time. He goes back to the scene of the accident every day. Clever. Plus my head almost exploded when he say’s TAMSIN RESCUED ME!!! Really?!?! When we get to the scene where Kenzi arrives to the George Takei hipster ball, Dyson questions her about “her plan”. That she had better be sure it would work. I thought why would he let her take the lead on this? Why wouldn’t he have been the one to come up with the plan? Isn’t he a detective? Hmmm.
Dyson is literally written as a domesticated canine. He’s an animal. He refers to himself as such but it’s not just the physical attributes of a wolf. His mental and emotional reasoning skills are of a wolf as well. HE LACKS CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS.
Dyson NEVER EVER solves a case. Think back to the last 3 seasons. Can you remember an instance where he initiates an investigation on his own? Do we ever see him following a hunch he may have? Has he ever saved the day on his own? Nope. All he’s got is his snooter.
In 1×03 (Oh Kappa Kappa) he discusses the facts in the case with Bo but has no theories. At the end he finds Bo because of his heightened sense of smell.
In 1×06 (Food For Thought) He detains the scientist because Lauren prompts him. He questions her plan. He threatens Lauren “I hope you know what you’re doing for Kenzi’s sake”. Does he suggest an alternate plan? No.
1×07 (ArachnoFaebia) Hale and Dyson gather clues. Bo and Kenzi get quarantined. Dyson buys them two more hours. His next move? Go to the Dal and ask Lauren and Trick “what do we do now?”
1×11 (Faetal Justice) This is the episode where Dyson is accused of killing the bouncer in Vex’s club. He goes to the Dal and asks for sanctuary. He never offers any leads to Bo and Kenzi. Once they fail to recover his memory, he waits for Bo to return to the Dal. He explains the only thing he remembers is getting a phone call. She is the one who says let’s have Hale track the number on your phone? How’s it end, he storms out to go back to the scene of the crime alone.
2×05 (BrotherFae Of The Wolves) I’m not gonna give you a recap but this episode is brilliant. Go watch it again but this time, assume he’s a wolf and not the visual image you see on the screen.
I could go on and on but then I couldn’t get ya to go back and re-watch Season 2!
The writers do a decent job concealing it. They give him a line here or there. In the scenes of he and Bo discussing cases, he’s just sharing facts. Yeah I know he says he looked into a thing but it’s always off camera. Hale and Tamsin are the thinking halves of his partnerships. This is the reason his character seems inconsistent. We the GA (general audience) automatically assign human characteristics to him because that’s what we see visually the majority the time.
Dyson isn’t half wolf. He’s A Wolf who happens to be able to shift into human form. Vex can’t mesmer him because he’s an animal. That’s the key. Dyson can’t evolve, grow or mature emotionally. Which is why I think the other characters give him a pass on some of his God awful behavior. Morals and ethics don’t apply to him. He can’t process those concepts. He’s just being a wolf. This explains the mysterious, loyal, noble descriptions. Personally I think it’s brilliant and I could be completely full of crap but we have a whole season to discuss this, am I right????
Through Seasons 1-3 we’ve experienced Bo making her way through the Fae world and in the process we see her struggle to keep her independence, make peace with her past and ultimately (this season?) come to accept her true nature and what that means.
How has Dyson evolved? Has his love for Bo evolved? Is he less possessive? Have we seen any self-evaluation of any kind? His whole character is one-dimensional. Please. He gets his love back last season and doesn’t tell Bo?!?!? No conversation. None. Nada. Zilch. He’s intellectually incapable of having a conversation about what that means for both of them individually and as a couple. Not to mention how incredibly jealous and overbearing he is. Just the stuff that makes a girl weak in the knees.
Dyson and Bo are not meant to be as a couple.
Bo is moving toward becoming more powerful and possibly fulfilling some sort of prophecy. Don’t you think her partner would have to be her emotional and intellectual equal?
Maybe like some hot nerdy blonde doctor we know.