When God feels indecisive about opening windows and doors. Lost Girl S5 ep. 4 – Cleo

How do you manage the issue of consent when the character, Bo, is cast as “irresistible?” The line between consent and coercion becomes murky. Bo the Succubus’s “irresistible” quality – the magic that makes her do that thing she do –  is a form of coercion, but at the same time a person’s inability to resist Bo’s mojo comes from within the person who finds him or herself on its receiving end. She makes you want her. So yeah, they’re going for comedy here. Of course. And the idea that the man -Tad – was scared is really not meant to be taken literally, in my opinion. It’s more like, Oh boy, will I be (literally this time) up for this? It’s like when you see a wave that’s a bit bigger than you’re used to, but you really want to ride it. Adrenaline. The potential for awesomeness. I know that sounded totally like cheesy Lost Girl double entendre, but I swear, I really was talking about boogie boarding.

And I do think that gender and power dynamics in society are such that you cannot really, fully, make the argument that it’s the same thing whether it’s a woman or a man being “shared.” I find Tamsin to be the most irritating character on Lost Girl, for the record. She was alright last season, and now she’s back to Oh, I’m just mean and bitchy and more than a little petty at times, because, yo, that’s my defense mechanism. Yet we are supposed to understand that her particular brand of feminism is to love ’em and leave ’em, as long as they’re men. Which is BS, of course. Take what you want; f**ck who you want; don’t get emotionally involved. In fact she herself is like a bro. Tamsin’s main arc this season has to do with love though, so we’ll see where that leads. Right now, it’s a misguided crush on Bo and banging random dudes. I think it’s a set up, and it’s meant to lead to a kind of “rock bottom” moment when Tamsin realizes that she just can’t go on like this anymore! Remember the interview in which Rachel Skarsten says something like it’s love or destruction for Tamsin this season. No in between.

Mark is not some innocent virgin child. If I recall, he is the one who kissed Bo initially. He’s a young heterosexual guy, living in a culture that encourages, even pressures perhaps, boys to have as much sex with as many partners as they possibly can (I am avoiding at least some gender/sex essentialism), and obviously he has the confidence to go for it. Younger men having sex with more experienced older women? Old, OLD (no pun intended), cultural trope! And recall: a few hours earlier Mark was feeding lines to that ill-fated young woman on the bus. Dude, he’s Dyson’s son, after all! A rogue, a rake, notorious throughout Europe. And the apple falls rather near to the tree it seems. Ok, not the most profound thing, but there you have it. In my opinion.  (Does anyone watch The Good Wife? I feel like I’m in front of that judge.) And anyway, as one  Canadian fan pointed out with regard to the episode, the age of consent is 16 in Canada. The US is among the few liberal democracies where it’s 18. I was not upset by that plot point so much as I found it a bit cliched. Predictable. Of course Bo and Mark are going to sleep together. A little nod to Dybo, why not? (all sarcasm intended). And that was annoying because, as Sally asks in her post: what is the point of all of this? I too remember a time when Lost Girl had some interesting things to say about a ton of social issues, especially about gender and sexuality.

Obviously, Bo had no idea he was Dyson’s son.

And finally about Doccubus… Well, it’s still difficult to make the mental leap between 4×13 and this season. But yeah, clearly they are slowly rebuilding Doccubus. They don’t want to give us too much too soon. But when? WHEN?? OK. Probably c. November 2015. 😦

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

8 thoughts on “When God feels indecisive about opening windows and doors. Lost Girl S5 ep. 4 – Cleo

  1. “Mark is not some innocent virgin child. If I recall, he is the one who kissed Bo initially.”

    Exactly so. I think that first kiss was actually staged as part of a scheme to entrap the Hunter (Tamsin and Lauren were right there, waiting in the wings). However, it seemed to me something strange happened when Mark kissed Bo. She looked taken aback, even enthralled, and exclaimed “Whoa…Wow!” It reminded me of her encounter with Rainer on the train, when Bo also seemed momentarily disoriented. Was it just because there was something “familiar” (Dyson-like) in the kiss? Or was there something mesmerizing about the kiss? When Mark & Bo finally do go the bed (not until scene 15), Bo doesn’t actively seduce Mark — she is moved and drawn in by his story of witnessing his mother’s murder and by his plaintive “I don’t have anywhere else to go, anyone else to turn to.” Did anyone else find his tone a little disingenuous? I found myself wondering who exactly was seducing or using whom. Bo leans in to comfort him, and then again looks slightly confused and disoriented, murmuring, “What is it about you?” She’s puzzled by her own attraction. What’s crystal clear is that when she realizes he is Dyson’s son, she looks appalled, is too ashamed to admit what happened to Dyson, and later tells Tamsin she feels awful about it. I see no indication whatsoever that she is interested in repeating the experience. I have thoughts about why Mark has been introduced but am saving that for a review Valksy and I will be posting!

  2. Cleo’s post: >>>And I do think that gender and power dynamics in society are such that you cannot really, fully, make the argument that it’s the same thing whether it’s a woman or a man being “shared.”<<<

    You're right that the gender and power dynamics in society are such that there is a huge power imbalance between men and women, and though I don't have exact statistics in front of me, I believe it's true that in terms of both sheer numbers and percentages, men rape women more often than women rape men or that men rape other men. The same goes for domestic abuse.

    Numbers aside, as first50 said in her comment on my post about 5.04, "the trope that men will gladly have sex with anyone." Again, generalization without exact statistics but it's probably true that in the situation presented above, a random dude hooking up with a beautiful woman stranger and then another beautiful woman stranger comes into the room and wants to hook up with him too, that a random dude would be more likely to go for it than if it were a random woman who had been picked up and then the guy's roommate came in and said he wanted his roommate to share.

    So you're right that it's not the same thing. The situations aren't identical given how our society works.

    But all that aside, I would argue that aspirationally our society should want to strive for better behavior between sex partners, regardless of their genders, instead of the dehumanizing way Tamsin behaved toward Tad, and the proprietary way Bo behaved about and toward Tad.

    I would have been less squicked out if Tad had looked excited, or turned on, or even if Bo had tried to speak to him before taking her clothes off. I don't care about gender and power dynamics for society as a whole in that moment, because the whole situation was just so bleccccchhhhhh.

  3. I don’t have a problem with Marks age so much as in those circumstances. He was a very young man spilling out his guts and vulnerable, and as Mahler’s said he said, “I don’t have anywhere else to go”. Taking him to bed was her way of showing him a sense of security then?

    And, after thinking about it, I wonder about the odd way Bo responded, too, it was very much like Rainer and the Train. However, that never got explained, Rainer was made out to be Bo’s love for real, she even mentioned him as one of her great losses. Not that Mark is going to be a real love interest for Bo because she was pretty freaked when she learned he was Dyson’s son. Still, though, they seem to be going for shock value and setting up some major drama.

    This scene with Mark, coupled with the opening scene, just made me feel overall kind of grossed out by the choices Bo is making, or rather, how she is making them. Not because she’s a Succubus, but that they are using her very nature to justify using people regardless of the circumstances.

    I do think the candle is at play and releasing her Father’s influence into the world, and that all them, except for Lauren, are being manipulated. Lauren isn’t Fae and she seemed to be the only steady influence in this episode to me.

  4. Trying to catch up with you guys! Just had an interesting conversation about this over on mehlbells. I enjoy what the show is doing, for various reasons. In this episode, I think Bo is the focus of some unconscious double standards that are being nicely played out.

    For instance, by canon, Bo is 33 years old. She was 28 when the show started. Dyson was 1500 + years old. Bo was in the exact same position as Mark when she first appeared on the scene, and Dyson helped her out in exactly the same way. The situations are a perfect mirror. There was a 1472 + year gap – a massive age and power gap – between Bo and Dyson.

    Kenzi was 19 when she and Hale started started flirting in S1. Hale was gawd knows how old. She was 23 when they hooked up. Another massive age and power gap going on there.

    Tamsin is gawd knows how old. We know she’s very old, in line with Trick, Rainier, and Persephone, who have to be in the 2000+ year old range.

    One of the things I noted about Tad was he should be Fae, because Tamsin told him what Bo was. In the past, Bo has had to sucker several poor humans for a feed, used her power to sexually coerce or seduce people, and killed – a lot. This was an adult Fae, there of his own free will. He had come with another woman who does not have seduction skills, so he was not coerced, and he was given full disclosure.

    As the sexually powerful queer woman, Bo is often “punished” in the narrative, even though they were all consenting Fae adults who knew what she was. In the case of Mark and Persephone, she actually took care to obtain consent, disclosure. And she was injured, in pain and needed a feed. And she resisted several come ons from Mark previously.

    1. I think this is one of those things where perception is based on personal boundaries and how each individual would process those boundaries. For me, if a young person came to me for help, and paid me with their grandfather’s watch (Bo didn’t see the stuff the audience did about Mark so she didn’t know he was a player) and the kid was on the streets with no place else to go, and then hit on me, and tried to kiss me, I wouldn’t immediately take them to bed. Maybe if I was a Succubus, I don’t know what that feels like, so maybe if I was a Succubus I would.

      Same, same, with the Tamsin/Bo “share the take out food”. The guy looked a little freaked out, not turned on. He stayed, so whatever, and he was Fae. So, whatever.
      That scene grossed me out because he was talked about like he was a “Steak.” And, I kind of feel like what Sally said on the other page. Regardless of gender, aspiring to treat people like people and not “things” just seems more decent.

      As far as “consent” the only scenes this season that I saw lacking consent were the Ghost scene and the scene with Persephone. Persephone screwed Bo in my opinion, not the other way around. Bo asked for her help in healing and Persephone was all for it. The StepMom bomb was dropped afterwards. Again, for shock value. I felt bad for Bo in that instance, really bad for her. The Ghost scene. Same, same. Lauren thought she was with Bo. She would not have consented to be molested by a Ghost. That was supposed to be funny, or whatever, but was kind of creepy. I get it was a spoof on ghostbusters maybe, but I didn’t find it funny, and it didn’t resonate as a true shout out to a movie like the “Shining” Tamsin scene.

      To me, the onus is on the producers, writers, directors, and I think they are going down the Greek Tragedy route, and shock value for drama, or laughs, and that’s fine. But, I honestly think they are missing the mark on “sex positivity” this season, plus it’s not very entertaining and kind of a snore to me compared to the other seasons. Even Season Four which I mostly didn’t like. I loved the first episode this season. The second one was way better than the last three, but not nearly as good as the first.

      Again, it’s all based on each of our personal perceptions, our experiences in life, our own boundaries, and I felt uncomfortable with those two scenes in this latest episode. All of the people that Bo has slept with were consenting adults, that part is true. I also think she is really becoming more Fae, and far removed from her desire to stay in touch with her humanity, and that’s all a part of her journey.

      I’m guessing Kenzi will be back near the end, and Lauren is just really grounded and steady and completely unthreatened by the current circumstances. Lauren’s got a good story going and hopefully they will circle back around to Doccubus. If they don’t, then they don’t. I’m kind of over having any expectations except that I want to feel entertained and be able to understand, somewhat, what’s going on.

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