4.03 – Lovers. Apart

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Bo, having jumped out of a creepy train moving through space in another dimension, returns to this plane of existence. Dyson and the elemental fae, Clio, meanwhile, are chasing after Bo and finally catch up with her. Back on earth, Bo comes across a family of humans who need help against a vengeful spirit intent on eliminating “every last one of them Jenkinses.” The past “comes calling,” as violence is shown to be a vicious cycle that repeats itself generation after generation.

Episode 3 is the first truly excellent and rich episode of the fourth season. The infamous “love triangle” is taken out for a shake. The equivalencies and mirrorings that this episode sets up between the different relationships on screen and their meanings in our contemporary world of tv watching audiences, are elegant and almost mathematical in their precision.

One ring to lure her in?

In episode 3, “Lovers. Apart,” marriage becomes closely connected to forms of patriarchal coercion, just as it was in season two’s “Faented Love” (episode 18), where religious cults and forced marriages became Lost Girl‘s issue of the week.

In that episode – another case of lost memory – Ryan, after getting exposed to Bo’s blood, becomes so obsessed with her that he tries to manipulate her into marrying him. Something Lost Girl does very well: the supernatural aspects of the story are the occasion for social commentary. Episode 18 of season 2 provided an interesting reflection on marriage as a patriarchal trap that women all too often fall into.

Remember the billboard in the background of this scene where Ryan proposes to Bo? Then as now, in episode 3, “marriage” is the result of supernatural activity and subterfuge.

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In this season’s third episode the lovers who are apart are, each time, a fae and a human. Two couples, one living, one dead, are being kept apart, in space and in time, because of violence and prejudice. The first couple is an elemental fae woman, whose spirit is now a Jumbi and who happens to be black, and a human man, Noah, who happens to be white.

The second of these couples is, of course, Bo and Lauren. And the one keeping them apart, largely, is Dyson.

Noah’s and the Jumbi’s forbidden interspecies love onscreen is mirrored by its inter-racial aspect in the “real world” of television watching audiences, just as Bo and Lauren’s interspecies love on the show finds its equivalent in a same-sex romance in our world.
Once Bo realizes that she must help the ghosts of the elemental woman and the human man, Noah, reunite (i.e., engage in a symbolic marrying of their remains in order to re-tie their souls to one another), these couples’ stories become linked. Bo becomes the vessel for the fae woman, and Dyson stands in for Noah, the human man. Dyson and Bo bring Noah and the Jumbi together in death by channeling them and their marriage with the help of a pair of wedding rings, which they both wear. The rings appeared symbolic and important to me immediately. They seemed to be objects of power that may literally and figuratively bind people – to their will, to each other, to their own weaknesses? Another such important object makes its appearance in the next episode.

There will be devils; there will be angels; I will be in-between
But I’ll cross that line some other time…
There will be light; there will dark; I will be in the shade
– Lindi Ortega “I want You” (Tin Star)

Where will Lauren be this season? As a human, as the fae world’s – and especially Bo’s – conscience? What will her part be in a fae world that seems intent on crumbling apart?

I used to think it was only Bo, but now I believe that Lauren and Bo will be, together, the saviors/redeemers of this crumbling world of fae. It has been occurring to me that the light/dark dichotomies that Lost Girl deploys throughout its arcs and episodes extends to the light/dark couple Lauren and Bo. Once more, and contrary to what may have been initially apparent, the “true” couple is not the light/dark fae couple Dyson and Bo. In fact, “Light” and “Dark” do not simply refer to fae Democrats and Republicans, but instead have become – what they have always been – metaphors for particular qualities of the soul.

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Forgetting.

Lindi Ortega’s voice rises over Lauren and Crystal’s kiss: “I’m the girl that you won’t forget.”

Let’s forget it all, says Lauren. She knows it’s a fantasy, but she can choose to believe forgetting is possible, if only for a moment.

Bo says she wants to remember. Lauren claims she’d like to forget.

In episode 3, still on the run from the fae, Lauren wants to forget. She actively wishes for the past to be erased, and we see her deciding, perhaps a little quickly, to give Crystal a chance. Lauren can be forgiven for making such a hasty decision. She is desperate for some normalcy, for a short, tragic, poignant, and ultimately meaningful human lifespan. Crystal’s quaint (and maybe a bit cliched) speech about pigs, chickens, and horses, is timely and touches Lauren. It is also meant to remind viewers of the first time Lauren and Bo slept together in season 1, right after the “picket fence/kids” and “who would want to live it with me” dialogue between them. Sex and an awareness of the shortness of life come together once again for Lauren.

It is interesting to note that the most meaningful moments between Lauren and Bo, in terms of their relationship, have been those when they were both, symbolically at least, human. This is true in “Vexed” and in “Caged Fae.” The first is about “normal” human life and whether or not one can aspire to such a thing. The episode is also about a fae woman who fell in love with a human man and paid with her children’s lives. In “Caged Fae,” when Bo says to Lauren, “it’s time,” and “life is too short,” she is communicating the message that life is only “too short” if you are human. Not because of amounts of years lived, but because only humans possess this painful awareness of the human condition, and the awareness that what really matters in the end is how well and authentically you’ve lived.

But the “past always comes calling!” Let’s see what else it has to say.

keets twitter avatarkeets

The Grammy Binks Rants. 

A Conversation regarding Lovers. Apart.

“Well, Binky … they certainly are enthusiastic.  I have to say your Lauren may be lingering on the bottom, but she appears to be in control.  She’s one of those diverse lovers who probab-…”

“Eeeeek.” 

( After screamin’,  I had ta plug my ears cos Bertie was oversharin’ agin.  Bertie’s my best friend, an’ neighbor, an’ also a lesbian like my Lolo.  So’s, I asked her ta come an’ translate this love scene for me, ‘cos o’ course I wasn’t gonna watch it myself.)

“My assessment, Binky, is that your dear Lauren enjoyed herself very much with this Crystal who seduced her.  There was a brief moment of sadness that swept across her face, a fleeting look of melancholy, but then it passed.  I would say that she is trying to move on.  The key word is trying, Binky.  She couldn’t possibly know what Bo is thinking.  She probably assumes that Bo doesn’t care because, obviously, Dyson has placed himself in the middle and is controlling the information each has about the other.

This is a very unattractive trait for a pack leader to display.  I dare say that man is not an Alpha, but a lesser Beta,  and very insecure about his standing in the lives of his perceived pack.  He’s making a play for power in a deceitful way,  and one can only hope that this spell, or curse,  is the culprit which is affecting his behavior.”

(grumble)

“What else did ya see Bertie?”

“If you want a succinct answer Binks, I’d say it was… “HOT!”

“Gah…No!  That ain’t what I want ta know!  An’ don’t be sayin’ that ’bout my Lolo! Yer twice her age ya dirty old biddy.”

(chuckle)

“Well, it was hot, Binky!  Your granddaughter is hot, and I’m not made of stone you crazy old bat.  You asked me for an interpretation and you got one;  two young women, not in love,  but loving one another ‘hotly’….that better?”

(grumble)

“Fine then, thank ya very much fer yer enlightenin’ interpatation Roberta!  Now …they didn’t expose her private bits did they?”

“Of course not.  Crystal very cleverly had her forearm placed to cover things, but you know what Binks?  I wonder if they were using impleme-…”

AcKstop right there Bertie… I don’t want ta be thinkin’ ’bout that too.  Good Lord!  Are ya outta yer freakin’ mind? “

(chuckle)

So’s, Bertie concluded that my Lauren had some fun, but was sad too, which makes sense ta me.  What’s got me so upset is the endin’ o’ course.  She got played by this girl I thought would be sweet ta her.  She’s been so sad an’ alone.  Fer just once I was hopin’ she could have some good cheer, but nope.  Now she’s a prisoner agin an’ I’m terrified it’s those Unamens folks that’s got her.

These Frackin’ Fae had better learn ta hide, cos if they damage a single hair on that beautiful child’s head,  I’ll be pullin’ out my shot gun an’ huntin’ ever’one o’ those mutant bastards down.  I’m so upset I kin’t git my thoughts ta order themselves just right.

So’s I did watch the rest o’ the eppysode an’ was just as confused as ever I been.

Ya gotta be a deep thinker, I guess, ta get all o’ what’s happenin’  with these Fae folks.  I mean, Dyson has ta get his toes sucked in the woods ta please some kinda strange kinky fella who buried himself.  So’s, after the toe suckin’, which we didn’t git ta see, but I kinda wish they’d shown that part, (snicker)  Wolf Boy an’ Jenny Schecter git directions ta the path Bo was travelin’.

This next lil’ bit had my mind a twistin’.

Long story short:  Bo meets a human family hidin’ in their summer cottage.  They is haunted by an elemental ghost.  This ghost is called a Jumby, an also Fae, an’ is responsible for killin’ all the decedents o’ this one family.  This family hides out same day ever’ year an’ lock themselves up in safe rooms for protection.  Makes sense, but the story gets all wonky when we git ta the meat.

First off,  I din’t feel no sympathy for that elemental ghost Fae.  I wanted ta feel sorry for her, but she took her revenge on innocents for a couple hundred years.  She made those people kill their own kin. None o’ those folks was responsible for killin’ her an’ her true love Noah.

I wanted so bad ta have compassion for her,  but just couldn’t, an’ it ruined the rest o’ the tale for me.  I could see how this lady an’ her Noah was so much like my Lauren an’ Bo.  Forbidden love: Human/Fae.  But now I’m all worried.  Is this what all the Fae do?  Take revenge on innocents?

I  s’pose the Jumby could be insane and that’d excuse her, but it still don’t bode well for Bo now does it?  Unless that’s the whole point?  In’t it?  Maybe.  Without her true love ta keep her grounded, maybe Bo will be goin’ on a crazy ass rampage too.

Oh Hells Burnin’ Bells!  I ain’t gonna git a lick o’ sleep for weeks an’ weeks .

Bo an’ Dyson give the Jumby an’ Noah some kinda peace by diggin’ up their bones an’ buryin’ ’em together.  Then they pretend ta get married in the cemetery while Bo is possessed by this elemental Jumby.  The vows exchanged are for Noah an’ the Jumby,  but Mr. Dyson seems pretty happy ’bout it all cos he kept the ring on his finger an’ was all smiles when he was drivin’ Bo home.

So happy was that Wolf Boy that he drove right past my Grandbaby Lauren when she was bein’ kidnapped on the road.  Now, I ain’t sayin’ he knew she was there cos I just can’t ‘magine him bein’ that evil.  But, the Bo we used ta know woulda stopped ta help.  The Bo Dyson used ta know woulda stopped ta help.  Bo mentions stoppin’ an’ he tells her:  “No…I have to get you home Bo…whoever it is can fix their own flat tire.”

I just gotta say,  watchin’ this show is like takin’ a trip on the longest road ta nowhere sometimes.  I don’t git half what’s goin’ on,  an’ the half  I do git just makes me want to set the Dog Boy’s beard afire.  In b’tween those two halves is a hella lotta good stuff.  Don’t be thinkin’ I don’t love this Lost Girl cos I am lovin’ this Show.  ‘Specially cos it’s got me a link ta my long lost Grandbaby.  But, even if my Lolo wern’t ensnared in this mystical world, I’d surely still be watchin’.

p.s.  I’m not so sure that Crystal girl did what she done on purpose.  I’m thinkin’ she was coerced ta turn my Grandbaby in.  I hope so, cos Lauren don’t need more people usin’ an’ abusin’ her.  Five years o’ that is a long enough spell already.

Another p.s. On the side note: Jenny Schecter pulled a double cross, an’ Bo beat her down;  real mean like.  Bo’s got her ‘Dark Side’ shaken an’ stirred, an’ I’m pretty sure it ain’t gonna be no Martini she’ll be servin’.

This here is Grammy Binks signin’ off…

Sally twitter avatarSally

I watched this episode thinking, naively at first, that the title “Lovers. Apart” was going to refer strictly to the main part of the plot – the lovers that Bo figures out are not at rest because they died unmarried, and are buried in separate graves. But as I watched it play out, it really felt like a revelation. Bo and Lauren are lovers. Apart. Of course.

The parallels between the jumby (did we ever learn her name?) and Noah, and Bo and Lauren, gave me chills. An elemental and a human, in love – like a succubus and a human, in love. When the human discovers that the woman he loves is an elemental, he is unfazed and accepts her as she is. Echoes of Lauren’s complete acceptance of Bo’s nature in the very first episode, 1.01, when Lauren tells Bo she’s a succubus, and Bo says “Can you fix it?” Lauren says back “There’s nothing to fix.” From the very first, Lauren has accepted Bo as she is.

Oh Lost Girl, you are so deep. I have thought this for a long time – the writing and the symbolism on this show is layered and dense. Sometimes it’s easy to miss, especially since the show has campy and comedic moments that could lead a person to believe the show is fluffier than it actually is. But I believe that every word is chosen deliberately and it is all driving toward an ultimate goal and statement about power, choice, and being human. With some lovely detours along the way.

Speaking of lovely, welcome back Evony! Evony serves as a focal point for what I think are a couple of different plot threads in this episode. First – the person cleaning her air conditioner who finds Karen Beattie’s rap sheet, leading to Lauren’s eventual capture, after Crystal turns her in. Second, Evony drains two people, musicians (a piano player and a singer) of their talent, also foreshadowing that Crystal, the best singer in her small town, may become entangled in the Fae world via Evony.

Speaking of Crystal, a word about her and Lauren. Or maybe several words. First, I’m a total Doccubus shipper. Not to the detriment of any of the other characters, and not to the detriment of Bo’s very real feelings of love and affection for others – including Dyson. But because I believe the show has set up Bo and Lauren as a pair of lovers with an epic story, and because I love their relationship in all its many facets, I’m all about these two as star-crossed lovers. And I was a little nervous about my emotional reaction to seeing the non-succubus half of Doccubus hooking up with someone else.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – when the writing is good and the directing is good and the acting is TOTALLY AWESOME, TV and movies can help me believe anything. And what came across to me during Lauren and Crystal’s sex scene was that Lauren was really lonely and was seeking a human connection, and that their hookup was super hot and an intense physical coming together, but it wasn’t the same as when she and Bo are making love. Lauren and Crystal were having sex.

And the corollary is that having sex for this reason is okay, and good, and a positive thing. I mean, look how happy Lauren was the next morning as she bounced and trilled her way into the diner! (Until she found out someone was seeking her fugitive self, that is.)

I also noticed on my very first watch of this episode, a momentarily sad expression crosses Lauren’s face right afterward. It’s as if even though she’s awash in endorphins and oxytocin, that she also remembers what she’s missing. It’s subtle and lovely.

Science nitpicks:  one of my favorite things to do with supernatural and sci-fi shows is to nitpick any science mistakes that I notice. (For example, on the X-Files, Scully once did a Southern blot in 20 minutes. If it were actually possible to do that, I might still be working in a lab! See:  lack of patience.) I mean this nitpicking in a super-affectionate way, and I don’t mean it to come across as critical, Lost Girl. Because I love you…all, so much.

Full disclosure – my first nitpick was going to be that Lauren said “Carbonic acid is unstable” when talking about moving the baking soda away from the vinegar. And I was all like, “Vinegar is ACETIC acid, yo.” Then I went about my day feeling super-smart and secretly superior to all those around me. But then I looked up the chemical reaction of sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid, and carbonic acid indeed is a temporary byproduct in the reaction, and it’s unstable, and degrades to form carbon dioxide – the bubbles you see when you pour vinegar into baking soda. Lost Girl, you schooled me! (Not that it’s hard to do, so don’t let it go to your head.)

And actually, this very situation is emblematic of what I said before – the writing on Lost Girl is so dense. To get to the truth of Lauren’s statement about carbonic acid, you have to look beyond mere acetic acid, and peel back the layers of the chemical reaction, and go deep into the transient and mutable nature of unstable compounds. See? It’s dense.

My second nitpick, I’m pretty confident in, though. When Massimo the human Druid is talking to Evony about her eye color, he says that her eyes are Imperial Brown, with a slight flare of green in the rim of the cornea. I think he meant the iris, which is the muscle around the pupil where the eye color resides. The cornea is the transparent layer that covers the entire eyeball. A flare of green around the cornea, I’m not even sure what that would look like.

Anyway. So Bo is on her way home, and I’m sure the local paper in whatever small town they were in will have a “Missed Connection” next week:

“Incognito temporarily ginger waitress seeks forgetful succubus in filthy white nightie. You were zooming along in a car driven by your wolf-shifter-ex-boyfriend; I was being subdued by persons unknown alongside the road after being ratted out by my fellow waitress and recent hookup. Call me?”

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I liked this episode a lot. I think it’s the best one yet. The whole episode felt like a statement about love, morality and how we are influenced by societal beliefs.

Lauren’s arc is painful to watch because she is the moral compass of the show. We admire her for her intelligence, loyalty, ethics and her unbelievable ability to endure the unimaginable with grace. She chose to accept her servitude. She did have another choice, no matter how horrific the thought. Not only did she accept her servitude, she did it without letting anger and resentment cloud her judgment when it came to her responsibilities regarding any of the Fae. Lauren has always made the right intellectual choices and beginning with the ending of Season 3, the writers are starting to expand her character. Every time Lauren’s made a decision based on emotion she’s had to pay a hefty price. Becoming intimate with Bo, breaking up with Bo, choosing to work for Taft and trusting Crystal (who sold her out for some chickens, a couple of pigs and a stupid Palomino).  Ok MAYBE she was forced. Don’t know yet. God forbid she’d want a little luvin’s and some recognition! Making decisions based on her wants and needs hasn’t been what we’re accustomed to seeing from her (unless it involves Bo). In the diner, Lauren herself said I don’t really know what I’m doing here yet. I think her intellect is failing her and she is flailing about trying desperately to find her footing. I still think some unknown force is influencing everyone and that’s why she can’t seem to put together a plan.

I want to ask, would we have preferred she become a vigilante and threaten the Fae with exposure? How about having a relationship with Crystal while she’s on the lam?  Would we think any less of her if this had been the route she chose? I know I would have. She has the power to exact revenge on the Fae but she doesn’t because it’s not who she is. I want her to rise above her circumstances. Lauren’s character is going through a metamorphosis. This isn’t about what she deserves, it’s about the reward that comes from allowing yourself to experience your vulnerabilities and weaknesses and coming out the other side stronger and with a better understanding of who you really are and knowing what may finally bring you happiness.

Dyson is the complete opposite of our moral compass, Lauren. He doesn’t care about anyone else regardless how dire his or her situation. The human mother gets her throat slashed and all he can say is Bo, you’re sick, we have to get out of here. He turns his back on Lauren as she is being hunted AFTER she saves his life. His decisions are purely based on selfish reasons. There is no intellect involved, no thought of consequences. The show is drawing a very distinct black and white line between Dyson and Lauren this season. There is no mistaking Dyson and Lauren’s intentions this year. Even Dyson’s biggest fans think he’s coming across like an jackass. The fact that he was willing to take Bo’s love KNOWING her heart doesn’t belong to him is a pivotal point in the lingering love triangle crap. He will pay the price for it. He is intentionally standing in the way of Bo “choosing the life she wants to live”.

Parallels are drawn between Noah and the Elemental, Bo and Lauren and the struggle to restore order (Una Mens) or move forward in an entirely new direction (Bo uniting the Fae).

First, when the Elemental describes how her human fiancé saw her for who she was and still loved her. Lauren was the one who told Bo “you are not a monster”. She has never judged Bo for being a succubus, and if anything, has helped Bo to accept what she really is. If all parties involved in the scene had been Fae, I would say there were no references to slavery but that’s not the case. I know they talk about the Jenkins boys wanting to prove she was a witch, but the imagery is of slavery. Noah is a human, as are the Jenkins. Which mean blacks being considered to be less than human and just property do apply. How many times have we heard Lauren described as property of the Ash or humans are beneath us? Noah is killed by his own kind, as he try’s to protect her. Just as the Fae made LouAnn an example for falling in love with a human, and Bo will be hunted down for her relationship with Lauren.

The clothing in the scene looks to be around the time of Reconstruction (1863-1877) in the U.S. Reconstruction parallels the Una Mens and the attempt to restore order in society. It also parallels the storyline of Light (Hale) and Dark Fae attitudes about treatment of humans and that of Democrats and Republicans during the Emancipation period. There was a great deal of lawlessness during that time period of history even though blacks had been emancipated. Interestingly enough, during Reconstruction some freed slaves stayed on working for plantation owners that treated them well because they couldn’t imagine another life. They considered themselves to be “indentured servants”. Which is why I think Lauren referred to herself as such. She may feel that going back is inevitable and somehow she’s trying to fool herself into thinking she has the power to break free at some point.

If you want to be a nerd and read more about the specifics regarding this period of time in American history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States

Using images of slavery were meant for the viewer to stop and contemplate just how hopeless Lauren’s predicament is and how star-crossed Bo and Lauren truly are. They are images of pain and suffering. LAUREN WILL NEVER BE FREE. Not in the true sense of the word. She will always be hunted by those that do not approve of a human having so much knowledge of the Fae and of her relationship with Bo. In turn, Bo will always be the target of those resisting progress.

It’s so deep and made me incredibly sad. I saw that scene three times and it made me cry every time. I applaud the writers for going there and it really made me think about whether Bo and Lauren can ever live “happily ever after”.  I now understand Emily Andras’ description of them as star-crossed lovers. Will love be enough? God, I hope so.

As far as the fake marriage scene goes:

When the vows are spoken it is Dyson who officiates. Bo is clearly possessed by the Elemental and therefore is not herself. Even though Dyson wants it to be about him and Bo, Clio makes it clear by forcing him to use Noah’s name. After they marry the ghosts rise, circle around and before going to their final resting, they place their hands on Dyson and Bo. Bo seems to be in some sort of trance even after the Elemental has left her body.

It is here I think The Elemental gives her gifts. Healing Bo and also somehow either making Bo forget Lauren temporarily as a gift to Dyson for marrying them or restoring (UGH) some of Bo’s love for Dyson. Yes I’m speculating, don’t we all?

About unaligned

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

2 thoughts on “4.03 – Lovers. Apart

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