Each episode of this season has been a meta commentary on the show, its story, and its fandoms. This is not fan “servicing.” It is a way of problematizing Lost Girl as an artifact of contemporary popular culture. It is truly fascinating. Episode 4, “Turn to Stone” continues in this manner. But there is much more to it as well.
I have to say, I’m generally down with whatever Lost Girl throws at us, but the transition from 403 to 404 baffled me a bit. At the end of the third episode, Bo was acting like the Wolfman’s sweet bride. The scene was an all-American picture of the car and the open road, brought together by the culturally intelligible image of a woman’s head leaning on a man’s shoulder. I want to be very clear and say that there is nothing wrong, per se, with resting one’s head on the shoulder of a lover, friend, parent, or sibling. In the context of everything we know and have seen in Lost Girl, though, Bo’s head on Dyson’s shoulder is far from an innocuous gesture. To me, it reads as a form of “surrender.” To drive the point further, we are given a very clear shot of Dyson’s left hand gripping the steering wheel and prominently displaying a wedding ring on his finger.
All this to say that Bo is not like “our Bo” at the end of the episode. There are intimations that she may even have forgotten Lauren, the love of her life. This was perhaps due to a spell. I blamed the rings. And they may still be to blame for whatever memory issues continue to go on, as I know that we are far from done with this particular theme. I’ll take a chance right now and say that this season will address trauma and its repression.
In the fourth episode, we find Bo in fine succubus form. She is training with Dyson in a boxing ring. She scoffs at the idea that the Una Mens pose any kind of threat to her fine and powerful self. She worries about Lauren’s whereabouts and safety – gets choked up actually at the thought of Lauren – and then, just to take the edge off, proceeds to have Dyson then and there. No longer the lil’ wife, Bo takes what she wants.
Dark Bo is an interesting, curious, person. What makes her dark? What is the nature of “darkness?” For one thing, “dark Bo” is free of her own inner turmoils, ghosts, and regrets. She lives in the moment and does as she pleases. She is in a sense free of morality. But for Bo, this makes her dark, because it makes her inauthentic. Bo continues to be fiercely loyal to those she considers family and is capable of forgiving their mistakes and transgressions, though she not above making them squirm. But she shows no compassion for those outside her circle, for the villains, especially when they attack her friends. This is a key difference with the Bo of seasons 1 and 2. In season 3 we had begun to see some odd behaviors. At this moment of her development, in season 4, Bo is very much like Dyson: a fae. Dyson, for his part, seems vaguely aware of the change in Bo, but “likes” it. He, himself, seems to have gotten worse – less compassionate, more violent, more selfish – as we saw in episodes 1-3 of this season. Bo is now a “taker.” She has become a hard person who shows little concern for other people’s feelings, even for Kenzi, when she hurt herself trying to cross the threshold of Lauren’s apartment. Dyson plays along with Bo’s game, knowing (but in denial of the fact?) that his place in her life can never compare to Lauren’s – his supposed rival. But Bo and Dyson have never been equals, and this episode shows it once more. Bo has always had the upper hand. She’s always been the one to demand sex, to call the shots. And she never seems to care as much Dyson does. In the fourth episode of season three, when roles were reversed and Dyson convinced Bo to sleep with him so that she could heal, Bo’s only concern was for Lauren, for her feelings. Dyson in season 4 is encouraging Bo’s darkening by letting himself be used sexually by her, when he knows it hurts him emotionally.
Episode 3 and 4 are thematically linked in particular ways. In episode 3, it was not only that the right lovers were apart, it was also that the wrong lovers were together. Lauren was with Crystal, and Bo was with Dyson. In episode 3, Bo and Dyson were having adventures and getting married, while Lauren and Crystal were having sex. In 4, it is the other way around: Crystal and Lauren encounter hardships and scary foes, while Bo has her way with Dyson in a boxing ring. In episode 3, Dyson and Bo were “married” through a subterfuge, as I’ve written in the previous post on “Lovers. Apart.” They channeled ghosts and another reality. What was real, though, was the emblematic use of rings and a strip of cloth to bind writs. On one level, it was a lovely romantic gesture; on another it signified heterosexual “marriage” as a kind of trap, a figurative loss of agency.
Rings and Necklaces.
The continuous circle of correspondences among characters and plotlines in episodes 3 and 4 gets altered in an important way, however: in “Turn to Stone” Bo finds a little gift box in Lauren’s apartment. In episode 4, we see an altogether different act of tying fates together. When Bo reads a note from Lauren that says “for giving me the freedom to love. And I do. Forever…” it is about the yes, the affirmation of love freely given, without any expectation of reciprocity and return. Exchanging rings is a key part of the marriage ceremony in contemporary western culture. Saying “I do” is another. In the first instance, the rings represent a binding, in the second, the “I do” represents freedom to choose and freedom to decide to share one’s life. Dyson (a bit like Ryan did in episode 18 of season 2) has used every possible trick to try and “bind” Bo to him, including creating an alternate universe of (almost) perfect domesticity in the Dawning, performing a “marriage” in “Lovers. Apart,” and continuously hiding important facts about Lauren’s whereabouts from Bo. Lauren, on the other hand thanks Bo for, specifically, giving her the freedom to love.
What was in the gift box? The ambiguous necklace. We are purposely not shown the object that Bo so movingly clutches to her chest. Is it Lauren’s “ward of the Ash” necklace? It is most certainly a reference to it, and the role it has played in Bo and Lauren’s relationship from the very beginning. This scene – where Bo finds the note and the necklace – works as a counter reference to the “spybang” episode – the idea that Lauren betrayed Bo by sleeping with her at the Ash’s behest in season one’s “Vexed” episode – and it worked neatly with Crystal’s confession to Lauren in their holding cell. Together, these two scenes, bring up the ambiguity of the idea of a “spybang.” It was and yet it wasn’t that.
Bo and Lauren’s relationship began in the moment that the necklace was thrown, first during their love scene, when Bo tells Lauren she’s nobody’s slave; and then when it was thrown again after the lovemaking, this time in Lauren’s face. This is what was being negotiated in that scene of season one’s episode 8: agency and freedom, and really, the freedom to love, which can’t be taken away forever. The “spybang” episode was actually the foundational moment of Bo’s and Lauren’s relationship. In season 3, the necklace was again used symbolically to signify freedom. Lauren left it in her desk drawer as she tried to leave the fae and Bo. When Bo found it at the end of the third season, she understood the rupture it was meant to signify. Lauren was taking her freedom to leave Bo and the fae. And when Bo finds a necklace in another one of Lauren’s desk drawers, it is a present meant for her from Lauren, the necklace is again the object that speaks to us of freedom, but this time it is a freedom given, and a freedom to give.
As has been made clear many times on Lost Girl, it is Kenzi’s friendship and Bo’s highly romantic love for Lauren that keep Bo close to her “humanity.” From the first moment of their meeting, Lauren, herself a slave or indentured servant to a powerful authority, gave Bo love and compassion. In “Lovers. Apart,” the parallels between the 19th century fae/human couple and our own Bo and Lauren make explicit that in both cases the human “knows” who the fae woman is and loves her anyway. But who is the fae? A monster? Someone – a “witch” – who has internalized society’s prejudices against her kind? Or someone who hates herself for what’s she done? Or is her true nature to be pure of heart and worthy of love? The metaphors dance around us as we begin to understand the depth of Bo and Lauren’s bond. For, in the end, Bo and Lauren are not so different after all. Bo and Lauren are both tragic figures who are ever atoning for their pasts, punishing themselves, finding each other, and finally coming to terms with themselves and their lives. In season 4 we see Bo embracing her nature – for better or for worse – while Lauren tries to run, but realizes she can’t, and now will stand her ground and face her past.
Dyson can’t see much beyond the surface. He is too busy getting what he can from Bo knowing that she doesn’t love him the way she loves Lauren. Dyson’s attitude is selfish and near-sighted, but Dyson has never been one to defy authority. Not being human – culturally rather than biologically – makes him unable to question and defy authority. This has been fairly evident since episode 1 of season 1. When Lauren and Dyson find out that Bo is to be tested “the old way,” Lauren utters her famous “it’s madness” without training line, whereas Dyson’s answer is that’s this is not their call to make. Lauren was a slave, a despised human then, and took every risk to speak her mind in defense of Bo. Beyond a comment on a character’s personal bravery, it’s a comment on authority, and beyond that on human free will. Dyson is the one who doesn’t really have compassion for others – if they are not people he specifically cares about. Yet, even for Dyson, what drew him to Bo in season 1 was her defiance of the stodgy world of fae.
The Grammy Binks Rants.
First off: I ain’t talkin’ bout my Grandboy.
Second off: I ain’t talkin’ ’bout my Grandbaby bein’ no terrorist. She ain’t.
That child is full o’ love. That’s all she’s ever been. We’ll be unravelin’ this mystery ta’gether, so’s don’t be askin’ me no insensitive questions cos I ain’t gonna answer ’em.
My heart is beatin’ a pattern o’ joyus thunder! I kin see the spark o’ life in my Lolo’s eyes agin. I couldn’t figger what in all o’ tarnation had drained her so completely. I mean, I know these Fae critters has got under her skin an’ all, but it was somethin’ deep keepin’ her from fightin’. She just took the Fae’s foul treatment like it was her due somehow. Now I understand.
Thank the Good an’ Gracious Gods already. An’ I don’t mean those Fallible Fae Gods, nor the God Almighty, who I’m pretty sure is a woman if she’s real at all. I’m talkin’ ’bout the Gods that imbue a human soul. That’s somethin’ perfect an’ pure an’ somethin’ my Grandbaby has in abundance : LOVE.
Nothin’ can beat it, nor tear it down; not if it’s true an’ pure. My Grandbaby’s got this. I kin tell she’s goin’ ta win now. I kin see her spirit risin’ from those untoward ashes an’ I want ta jump up an’ down with joy! Yay! For the love of mint juleps an’ pizza toppin’s like, “love against all odds…”
Let’s git back ta analytikin this eppysode.
1) Poor Bo is really goin’ Dark. I mean in her soul, not the Fae Team they say’s she’s playin’ on. Those Teams are as meanin’less as turds an’ turnpikes. Dark/Light they all the same parasitic bastards one way o’ ‘nother. They bicker over the means o’ how they be hidin’ their killin’s an’ such odd nonsense. They is all Dark as far as I’m concernin’.
Bo just don’t connect no more. She uses Mr. Dyson for sex without a spec o’ love or carin’ in her eyes; an’ he lets her. I kin’t believe I’m gonna say this next thing, but I feel sorry fer the Wolf Boy. He’s gotta know she don’t give a lick about him right now, ‘cept fer how she’s usin’ him.
2) Poor lil’ Kenz is just as low as my Lolo. Lower I’d be guessin’ cos at least we seen my Grandbaby standin’ up fer herself. Now she’s gonna move on forward cos she finally looked at what was chasin’ her.
But, lil’ Kenz is still dependin’ on Bo an’ the Wolf Boy ta pull her outta the fire. She needs ta git her mojo back, an’ I don’t mean by becomin’ one o’ those Fae parasites.
3) These Unamens folks got their oar in every little pool I’m guessing,’ an’ I like it. They is gonna be what makes all the sides unite, or some such, an’ have a common enemy. I fear my Lolo is in for a rocky ride still. Bo is so unbalanced things is gonna git worst b’for they git better.
4) The Valkyree is friendlier ta my palate as an innocent.
5) That silly Wolf Boy is still evadin’ Bo ’bout my Lolo: “I Lost Lauren” he says ta lil’ Kenz (the two o’ them is still keepin’ secrets ‘stead o’ tellin’ Bo).
This mystical world my Grandbaby got herself ‘mbroiled in is ’bout ta explode. I wish I had me one ‘o those Wanderin’ cards so’s I could get me a pass ta that inter dimensional place they’s all existin’ in.
I just gotta say the CHERRY o’ this eppysode was in my Lolo’s desk.
“For giving me the freedom to Love…and I do. ”
Just a few simple words on a tiny scrap o’ paper pierced the stone heart that Bo is walkin’ ’round with now.
My Grandbaby Lauren is the key.
This here is Grammy Binks signin’ off.
This episode BLEW MY MIND. I watched the entire thing in a state of constant amazement, delight, and had several strong emotional reactions. Dangling plot threads from the previous season were addressed, questions were answered, and new questions were raised. I was PSYCHED.
Here’s why I was most psyched – I’ve been constantly optimistic for several months that Bo and Lauren are being set up as starcrossed lovers with an epic love story. Some people might even describe me as having been relentlessly optimistic. Sometimes, on a dark night of the soul, I might have wondered if the lady doth optimistic too much.
Well, wonder no more. In addition to the allegory from 4.03 about lovers who are forbidden from being together because of their differences, but try to be together anyway, a la Romeo and Juliet (or if you will, Juliette and Juliet), there was a lot in “Turn to Stone” that supports this interpretation.
None of these signs is particularly subtle, although it helps to know that Bo is markedly changed in this episode. The examples are scattered throughout from beginning to end – starting with Dyson’s observation in the boxing ring “You’re different” and ending with The Keeper (Grand Inquisitor of the Una Mens) announcing to Bo “Your blood has spoken. You are Dark.” In between, we see Bo acting in uncharacteristic ways – notably inciting a near-orgy in the Dal with her succu-touch, being impatient with how long Kenzi was hugging her, being unable to cross a line intended to keep out “malicious Fae,” dumping a bucket of water on Kenzi’s head out of impatience, and smirking when Massimo jumps into the fiery portal after Tamsin’s hair (similar to her pre-Dawning smirk), just to name a few.
But when she finds the necklace and note that Lauren left for her, she is visibly moved. In fact, Bo during this moment is the closest to what I believe is her true self. “For giving me the freedom to love. And I do. Forever [yours?]” And when Bo clutches the pendant to her chest, it seems like she might just break down. Of course, the gargoyle had to come along and ruin the moment, but hey, this is TV.
We also have to talk about Lauren in this episode. Her admission about her past, how she made pipe bombs that resulted in the death of 11 people, well, it explained a lot about her demeanor. And when she finally decided that she’d had enough of the “Light Fae bullshit” and removed her handcuffs and chains, that was a really empowering moment. She was literally as well as figuratively casting off her shackles. I wanted to cheer. It certainly bodes well for her being able to eventually find her way back to Bo with more self-esteem and enter the next phase of their relationship on more equal footing.
Doccubus aside (what? never!), a large part of what thrilled me about this episode is how a major plot thread from Season 3 was addressed. The rune glass worked! And it wasn’t supposed to disable Bo, it was supposed to mark her so she could enter the different plane of existence. With how anticlimactic the rune glass scene was in 3.13, it was awesome to find out that it wasn’t just a dud.
Predictions: I’m taking bets that Massimo is Evony’s son. Remember how she said in the previous episode “One day you wake up, and you’re a mother.” With Evony’s disdain for humans, I’m seriously wondering how she would have managed to get close enough to one to have a child with him, but hey – maybe the forbidden love theme will extend throughout the show.
Also, I think it was totally Trick who kidnapped Lauren – it sounded like his voice over the monitor. He may have been in cahoots with Evony, though, since it was she who found the Karen Beattie file in Lauren’s apartment.
Postscript: For most of these episode review/analysis posts, I try to stick to reviewing the story and plot only, and not to go off on tangents about the actors or the production of the show. But I have to say this because it’s all I could think about during the opening scene with Bo and Dyson boxing that turns into vigorous boxing-ring-sex.
Knowing that Anna Silk had just given birth about 6 weeks before that scene was filmed:
- She looks amazing.
- After I gave birth (in 2010, to twins), I didn’t want anyone touching me for any reason for about three months afterward, since I had two infants who constantly needed my body for food and comfort. I certainly didn’t want to film an intensely physical sex scene for the world to see (not that anyone was asking). So hats off to Anna Silk for her commitment to the craft, and to Kris Holden-Ried and the crew to make sure she felt comfortable and supported on set.
- Did I mention that she looks amazing?
So, the Druid Rune potion thingy worked. It was meant to mark Bo and allow her to transcend planes so the Wanderer could collect her. The potion didn’t just mark Bo; it broke the bonds she had with the people used to make it. Kenzi is still betraying her by not responding to Bo’s rant about Lauren finding a new happier life away from Bo. She knows Dyson had an idea of Lauren’s whereabouts because when Dyson tells Kenzi he’s lost, Lauren Kenzi isn’t surprised, which implies that they have spoken about Lauren before. Lauren believes Bo doesn’t love her, and Dyson and trust, well…the list is too long. I wonder if it’s going to take all season to break the spell? Now that we’re 4 episodes in the characters have settled a little and aren’t as OOC as previously seen. It may become more difficult to decipher what’s real and what’s being influenced by the spell.
Bad Ass Bo is back and her powers seem to have intensified while she’s been hanging out on the Wanderer’s (daddy’s?) train. At the Dal she only touches 3 people, yet everyone gets up to dance, and when she hugs Tamsin the red shadow, mist cloud (whatever you call it) isn’t just limited to the face or hands like in previous moments; it now seems to cover the whole upper body. In the previous episode Bo seemed a little childlike, but now she appears to embrace her desires and urges without having much of a conscience. I wonder if she’s aware of what’s happening to her? I had to snicker at her unapologetically leaving Dyson to babysit Tamsin at the station. Even in her conversations with Kenzi she goes from heartfelt to dismissive practically in the same breath. The only time she seemed like her old self was when she opened the gift for Lauren.
Kenzi seems to have matured during Bo’s absence. She’s not as bubbly and the weight of the situation she has been in has taken its toll. I find the parallel between Massimo and Kenzi to be striking. He was human and became a Druid because he wanted to belong and be respected by the Fae. He felt like an outsider. Sound familiar? After seeing Kenzi de-rig the door at Lauren’s and her pride in figuring it out, something tells me Kenzi may become the new Druid on LG.
Can we talk about Lauren for a minute? Finally a back story that explains why she’s served the Light Fae for so long without complaint. My stomach turned when she confessed to inadvertently killing 11 people and losing contact with her brother. I don’t know what’s worse, carrying that burden, indentured servitude for 5 years or having your girlfriend cursed because the Fae wanted to insure you’d work for them indefinitely. The Mad Fae diagnosis gave me an idea. What if the reason Lauren is so valuable to the Fae isn’t that she’s so brilliant (not saying she’s not) but the fact that they don’t evolve as a society? They are rule followers. By clinging to traditions and rituals, they stifle individuality and discourage free thinking. Lauren specifically says “childs play” twice, once regarding to how simple it was for her to figure out the disease and then when she refers to the antiquated handcuffs, as if insulting their lack of intelligence. Lauren specifically says, “You didn’t have to kidnap me to figure this out, you just had to use your brain.” Is it possible that Bo is such a threat to the Fae way of life not because she defends humans, but because she thinks like them? For example, I’ve been waiting for Bo to suffer a consequence for leaving the Temple in the Dawning with two people. But what if there is no consequence? The caretaker said the rules specifically state that only one person may leave. What if he was stuck there because he never thought to challenge what he’d been told? That would also explain the seemingly ridiculous claims by Tamsin and Dyson about learning so much from Bo in such a short time period. Think about it and get back to me.
I’m really trying hard not to criticize Dyson but ugh, he’s so unlikeable at the moment. He was so condescending to Tamsin at the police station then he’s tucking her in and telling her a bedtime story. He’s lost Lauren??? That means he’s known where she’s been since the first episode (and apparently so has Kenzi). What the hell was the exchange between him and Kenzi about she doesn’t have to be Fae to have a place among them? There is a way you can be more. I can teach you when the time is right. What the Fae?!?!?
I don’t know dude, I think the right time would be now!
She’s hiding out because the Una Mens want her for defiling the Blood Laws. A human who attacked a place of sanctuary. Hello, remember that?
My big complaint is this whole Una Mens business is getting boring. Come on now. They’ve blown into town to restore order. They’re supposed to kick ass and take names. They tortured the crap out of Vex! Bo just waltzes in and gives them the whole I will never play by your rules speech. Which I thought was very hawt by the way. Even if she’s not unaligned anymore, aren’t they going to punish her for her previous transgressions? Aren’t Lauren and Kenzi considered terrorists? If they can send a gargoyle to attack Bo, can’t they collect Lauren and Kenzi?
Boohohaha. Yeah. Whatever.