4.02 – Sleeping Beauty School

Screenshot 2013-12-09 22.34.15ALongVacation

As Bo’s location is revealed our hero is still elsewhere: on another plane of existence, in a state of confusion, and somewhat incapacitated by whatever force kidnapped her at the end of season 3. Meanwhile, the world we know descends into a strange spiral of violence. Dyson, Hale, and Vex all commit acts of violence, which they do not seem to regret, and Vex is a victim of torture as well – at the hands of the Una Mens and of the seemingly mild Hale. Is this the fae world without Bo? Or is this simply another side of the fae/world? It is the darkness within all reality.

Violence – mainly a specific kind of male violence – suffuses the first 3 episodes of season 4. This violence is mainly located around the character of Dyson, who, once again appears to carry, always somewhat ambiguously, whatever critique of white heterosexual male behavior the show is trying to put forward. Beginning in episode 1 and continuing into 2 and 3, the broad themes of violence, memory, and love form a thematic triangle. In episode 1, erased memory gives an opportunity to see what kinds of love relationships are possible. In Bo’s absence, Dyson loves Kenzi in a romantic rather than brotherly way. Hale also loves Kenzi, but Dyson imposes his “alpha” dominance on Hale during the tango scene in a way that reads as violent. In the same episode, in Bo’s absence, Vex is once again the psychopath for whom violence is a form of amusement.

In episode. 2, “love” and sex are linked to violence in several ways. Dyson makes a strangely expositive declaration of his love for Bo in that episode, citing specifically her true and pure heart. This is all the stranger as it takes place in a context of ongoing violence, violence against women, and general indifference to all that falls outside of the characters’ – especially Dyson’s – selfish desires.

In the “beauty school,” Dyson chokes Selene as he tries to force her to help him wake a sleeping Endymion. Her response is to eroticize the scene in a way that is at once highly campy and disturbing, as it directly challenges Dyson’s authority. Moments later, the now awakened Endymion elbows Selene in the face, knocking her unconscious. In this episode female sexual agency appears as a direct threat to men that must be put down. Inside the beauty school, after it becomes clear that Dyson and Hale are intruders, i. e. men, the “girls” turn from the targets of Hale’s “poky thing” (Lost Girl isn’t subtle at all times) to having pointy weapons of their own, and threatening to use them on Hale. The phallic symbolism of the women’s fingers growing into sharp monstrous claws, which then threaten to “penetrate” and kill Hale, is in my view deliberate. Endymion later goes on a mad, misogynistic, rant that only ends, comically, when he is run over by a train. The elemental fae, Clio, of whose agenda and loyalties we are not yet certain, arrives and challenges Dyson in a physical way. The violent exchange is awkward, as Dyson underestimates this female fae, almost to his detriment.

From the very beginning of the season subtle changes take place in the main characters’ personalities. Once Dyson remembers Bo, he turns more noticeably into something of a darker version of himself. Dyson’s personality is already altered in the first episode, when he can’t be bothered to stop Vex from mesmerizing a seamstress/fashion consultant into burning herself with a hot iron. It is as though all that matters to Dyson is Bo, finding Bo. We will see the same indifference to others characterize Bo’s behavior in subsequent episodes.  Dyson pushes Kenzi away when she wants to help in the search, telling her to stay home and look after little Tamsin – in case she remembers “something useful.” While it may make some sense to divide labor in this way between Kenzi and Dyson, the overall significance is that Dyson relegates Kenzi to a domestic sphere. A counterargument could be made if one chose to interpret Kenzi’s interaction with young Tamsin as important female bonding. In particular one could argue that the work done in the home is not inferior to the work done outside. Nonetheless, it seemed clear to me that Dyson’s character was on one of his frequent “macho” kicks – though he may mean well.

Dyson continues acting possessively when he pushes Lauren away from Bo by telling her to stay clear of Faeronto, where she is a wanted fugitive. He does not tell her that Bo is missing. It is ambiguous whether Lauren knows anything about Bo at this point. My understanding is that she doesn’t. She simply trusts Dyson when he tells her she can’t come home yet. He has another agenda: compensating for his and Kenzi’s transgression of the sacred BFF code by attempting to take full possession of Bo. He even pushes Hale away, telling him to go find Kenzi, and, specifically, declare his love to her.

After Dyson remembers Bo, it is no longer possible to like and support him as a character. As a man of character. It is quite clear that he is also being deconstructed. At least this is my hope: Dyson is coming closer to his own rock bottom, where his usual assumptions about who he is, what he can do, and what is justified, are being challenged. Lost Girl is deliberately bringing up and questioning Dyson’s assumptions about what he deserves to have, as a man, and as a “hero.”
I will choose to believe that anyone who supports Dyson’s actions unquestioningly in these early episodes is sadly unaware of their delusions and oppression.

As episodes 2 and 3 unfold, we become aware that all of reality seems to have shifted in the few weeks since Bo’s disappearance. Everything is getting darker.

keets twitter avatarkeets

The Grammy Binks Rants.

Well now, I don’t really know what ta think o’ this eppysode?

Wolf Boy sorta took it over, an’ I got kinda bored, an’ then I had ta pee.  Too many mint juleps.  I started makin’ doubles once I understood I was gonna hafta look at his hairy mug for mosta the show.

Sigh.

But, some stuff got sorted.

Bo got taken on a Death Train is what they was calling’ it.  Some sorta inter dimensional time warp thingie.

Wolf Boy assigned himself rescuin’ duties.  “Ha ha ha ha ha…tee,hee…snort…”

Every time that poor fella tries ta save the day his ass gits handed ta him on a platter o’ humble pie.  More often than not that Lil’ Kenz goes after savin’ him.  Or, Bo did a time or two as I recall, but she turns up havin’ ta get saved most often as well.

My Grandbaby Lauren saved both Bo and Mr. Dyson from that nutter Taft, but no one seems ta remember the important stuff.

(I’m exsperimentin’ with usin’ the Wolf Boy’s real name once in ‘o while, so’s it don’t seem as I’m bein’ unfair, an’ bias an’ such.)

I just gotta say,  I’m not likin’ the way these men folk are treatin’ the women.  I mean, I kin tell they is gonna get their comeup’pants.  Ya’ll know what I’m talkin’ bout.  They is gonna have a cosmic retribution, or somthin’,  for all their transgressions.

Vex seems ta be gittin his already.  Whoa!  Those Unamens folks don’t mess ’round with their torture at all;  they just move right inta carvin’ an’ peelin’ on people.

Sweet Holy Moses on the Mountain! This is gettin’ super dark!  Is it wrong  for me ta like it so much?   I mean,  it’s gross an’ all,  but it’s ’bout time they start showin’ these Fae critters for what they really is:  barbarians.   Vex’ll live,  ‘course he’s gonna snitch on Bo, or my Lauren, or Lil’ Kenz in order ta save his own snivelin’ hide.

That Trickster man, an’ the Wolf Boy, is plannin’ on keepin’ secrets from Bo agin.  That ain’t gonna go over well for sure.  Unless Bo does what she done b’fore an’ just forgits that they lied, an’ lied, an’ lied to her.  Double standards for men folk and women folk.  Why is that do ya think?  I mean, it’s the same ever’where.  Women are always double hard on each other, but some stupidhead man comes ’round, acts like twice an ass, an’ they git a free pass?

My poor Lauren got iced out from Bo for quite a spell,  just  for tryin’ ta protect her.  ‘Course she went about it all wrong,  but still,  the intentions was pure, an’ lovin’.   Bo seemed ta like it pretty well while it was happenin’.   I mean, well, I had my fingers coverin’ my face for most o’ it cos I really don’t need ta see my Grandbaby gettin’ so busy!  Oh Lordy.  I’ve gone off tangent agin.

What was I talkin’ ’bout?  Oh, yeah!  This Death Train stuff,  an’ Mr. Dyson rescuin’ Bo.

Long story short:  Wolf Boy made Lil’ Kenz babysit the Valkybrat.  He told my Lolo she was on her own, an’ should take care o’ herself.   What a Tiresome Toad that boy is turnin’ inta.  I know I make fun o’ him an’ all,  but he ain’t so bad,  just stuck in olden times an’ hasn’t had no one ta show him where he’s gone wrong yet.  But, even for him he’s actin’ assier than most times.  Must be this curse that’s still goin’ on an’ affectin’ ’em all.

I ain’t even gonna git inta Dog Breath’s soliloquy ’bout his unbridled love an’ devotion ta dear sweet Bo, who “loves with all her heart!”  Far as I kin tell, Bo loves with all her cooch, an’ maybe she should’a took Lil’ Kenz up on that offer ta “cuff her muff.”  (I’m still smartin’ over that whole ‘kitchen scene’ from Season Three, so’s please be ‘scusin’ my wanderin’ opines.)

Anyways, Mr. Dyson choked one girl for information, then knocked the tooth outta Jenny Schecter’s mouth when she clobbered him with her umbrella.  They tussled a bit more an’ then decided ta work together.  I don’t know what in all o’ tarnation for?  I guess it’s cos Jenny’s gonna pull some kinda double cross on the Wolf.

The interestin’ part o’ this eppysode only lasted a few little minutes.  My Grandbaby works with this Crystal girl who wants ta git in her pants. They all want in my Grandbaby’s pants.  Lolo puts her off an’ Crystal gits a bit uppity, but they manage ta work it out.  The whole situation is awkward like, but kinda cute too.  That Crystal is sorta hot,  an’ I wouldn’t mind my Lolo gettin’ a little fun in while her Bo girl is hell bent on bein’ the biggest dipshit this side o’ the Universe.

My sweet Lolo always does the right thing even when it means trouble. Trouble with a capitol T that rhymes with P which stands for Pervert.  Some pervy boy she was waitin’ on swallowed a cockroach an’ choked on it.  Yuk.  Can you ‘magine that?  All those wiggly legs and fluttery wings ticklin’ your throat?  Jeepers an’ Jimminy Creepers!…just eww.

‘Course my Lauren was all over it.  She grabs a steak knife off the table and slits his throat open.  His cosmic justice came real fast din’t it?  That’ll learn ya from pervin’ on my Grandbaby’s ass!

Turns out he’s one a those Fae critters, his throat explodes in jaggedy metal teeth strait outta that Ellen Ripley Alien flick.

All that blood an’ gore spillin’ on the floor o’ that scummy little diner my Grandbaby was abandoned in.   Henna hued hair an’ snaggletooth bangs, plus a k-mart special blouse, an’ still, my Lolo makes a stellar ‘mpression for those three lil’ minutes she’s allowed on the  screen.

There I go gettin’ side trekked agin, what was I talkin’ ’bout?

Peter Piper’s Peckers!  That Crystal girl’s got one o’ those  Pod phones an’ vidded my Lolo surgifyin’ the neck o’ that cockroach man.

Youtube we be comin’.  Yep!

‘Course my Lolo turns on the charm;  she blinks those long lashes once, twice, then unleashes that doe eyed plea.    That poor Crystal don’t gotta a chance in Hera’s House o’ Horrors, not aginst Lolo’s Bambi eyed beggin’.

So, miss flirty, skirt chasin’ Crystal deletes the vid an’ earns herself a first class hug.

Bo jumps off the Death Train into the black o’ nothin’ness.  She rescues herself by takin’ a leap o’faith.  I kinda like that ’bout Bo;  she’s impulsive as a tornado havin’ a tantrum, but she gits the job done on occasion.

Yep.  Bo jumps off the Death Train an’ the Wolf Boy jumps on.  LOL!

Looks like Bo’s gonna be back in action next week an’ thank the Star-Crossed Heavens for tender mercies.  If I hafta suffer one more eppysode o’ that silly Dog runnin’ ’round accomplishin’ nothin’,  yet bossin’ all the girls,  Im’a git me a twitter an’  tweet, tweet, tweet, my overwhelmin’ displeasure!

This here is Grammy Binks signin’ off…

Sally twitter avatarSally

It’s possible that I was just tired, but I found this episode difficult to follow. Things happened really fast and it felt like we got just one or two explanatory sentences about who each different person was along the way, either a name or a brief description was supposed to invoke knowledge in the viewer. Or at least to give us something to go look up. Which I didn’t do, and instead just spent a fair amount of time being mildly confused – possibly my own fault.

This episode felt very much to me like Bo and Tamsin’s trip to Brazenwood. During their jaunt, they were guided there under semi-false pretenses by a spriggan, had to gain knowledge from a gatekeeper of sorts, and then had to obtain a prescription in order to gain access to Brazenwood That led to the final showdown.

Similarly, Dyson and Hale are guided by Clio (granted that at first she tries misdirection, but eventually starts to help, in a way), have to gain knowledge from a gatekeeper of sorts (the woman without a mouth), then had to find a ticket, and that led to their final showdown – that wasn’t actually a showdown per se, but allowed them to climb on board the Death Train. This episode did have an additional element, the Endymion/Selene characters, but frankly I didn’t really understand why that was necessary other than to showcase (pun!) some very deliberately exaggerated examples of sexist behavior. And then to literally run over them with a train.

And what was with the hot dog carts? Sure, it was a device to allow Dyson to spot the place where the fabric of space-time was distorted. But what was a hot dog cart doing in a trainyard in the first place? That’s a surefire way to go out of business, especially if most of the traffic in that particular trainyard is on another plane of existence. I wasn’t sure if it was theater of the ridiculous or if the hot dog cart itself was supposed to symbolize something deeper.

I’m sure all of this was in the episode for a reason, and indeed, several people have already written helpful analyses that explain in detail the Endymion and Selene myth, who Clio is and what she might be doing here, who the woman without a mouth is, and what Lost Girl might be doing with what seems to be over-the-top everything. Hopefully my partners-in-blog have something more insightful than I to say about all of that.

sbsneech twitter avatarsbsneech

Wow. Where do I start? What a great episode! I’m so interested in where this is going that I’m dying for next week’s episode.

Everyone is out of character.  The writers clearly give clues that something is awry.

First of all Dyson figures out more shit and had more “personality” in this episode than in 3 damn seasons. Yes I’m mad about it (read my previous post)! Not to mention, when does he ever smirk or roll his eyes? He figures out the painting is fake, how to use the one kiss, realizes Eddy is outdated, knows the card is a ticket and the most laughable, notices the point where the different realms shift.

Then all the emotional stuff:  Says “the woman I love” twice, the whole “she has the most beautiful heart” speech, lectures Hale on telling Kenzi how he feels and then speaking to Kenzi on Hales behalf was too much.

It was like watching Pinocchio come to life.

I still believe he lacks critical thinking skills and that’s made this week’s show so interesting. Clearly Eddy and Hale commenting on Dyson’s love speech about Bo is a clue on how out of character it is.

Lauren: Lauren definitely doesn’t know Bo is missing. When she calls Dyson she asks about him, the others and Bo. The others are all the fae that had been captured and held at Taft’s compound from Season 3’s season finale. She ran and assumes Bo is with the sunshine gang. The fact that you question whether she knows or not is IMO intentional. Lauren only calls Dyson. The phone that rings at the crack shack is black. Kenzi’s phone has pink around the edges. The fact that she never calls Bo is the most obvious clue she is not herself.

Clues from the writers we are experiencing some type of alternate universe :

Clio:  “You know this multi dimensional stuff can be quite unpredictable.” Cue Lauren calling Dyson.

Eddy:  “Sometimes this  multi dimensional stuff is tricky”.

Dyson’s odd rival reference when he’s speaking to Lauren.

Lauren using language like shit and jerk, being clumsy. She would have followed up with the fae and made sure he didn’t mention the incident to anyone. The fact that she is soooo emotional screams she’s out of character!  She always has her emotions under lock and key unless they involve Bo. Getting busted with Crystal’s phone. Lauren is too “smart and resourceful” to be in this predicament.

Bo jumps from the train?!?!? Really?!? She may have memory loss but jump? She hears often how naive she is about the Fae world. I think jumping from a speeding train is some sort of symbolism for her naivete.

There is one thing I don’t understand. Trick can’t see the Wanderer Card. Three times he’s had the opportunity to pick it up but doesn’t. Dyson, Clio Tamsin and Kenzi all look at the card but no one reads the word Wanderer. They mention the Roman numerals but that’s it.

That’s gotta be a thing, right?

About unaligned

Unaligned Unicorns Uncover Lost Girl's Universe: A collaborative blog about the Canadian television series, Lost Girl.

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