This is a guest post from our friend MaigrayBell. Follow her @MaigrayBell on twitter. Thank you, Maigray!
So Sally asked me to do an entry on this episode for a different perspective. And I said okay. I was late watching it, and had to mute half my timeline to avoid spoilers. Then I had to mute the other half of it while I wrote this so…here it goes.
The first thing I noticed about the episode was the title. It had the sort of backhanded humor I love about the show. I do miss the puns.
I have to admit, the opening sequence had me in stitches. You could have taken it straight from Guardians of the Galaxy, except funnier, snarkier and with more physical comedy from Rachel Skarsten. Switching gender roles delights me every time.
Am I the only one who was hoping she would just…slide off the bed completely when Bo walked in? Alas, it was not to be. I did, however, note she took *all* the sheets with her when she got up; and that Frank, sorry, Tad, had to cover up with the pillow. I also noted he was Fae, a detail I find important to Bo’s feeding habits nowadays.
Speaking of which, I read an opinion piece on Tamsin as a noir character trope a long time ago. I remembered it and I thought how well this scene typified those characteristics, especially using Bo’s bed. Bo’s bed has seen a lot action, but never from her roommate, and understanding the trope and how it was knocking up that role reversal with Kenzi added an extra layer.
In general, I feel as if the show has been almost one long callback after another in recent episodes. Letting Bo be her succubus self is something I always enjoy, because I think it is important for her as a woman character and as a canon character. It all hearkened to very early themes of the series for me. Equal opportunity objectification, for the win!
The introduction of Mark, on the other hand, came across as a bit screwy. For one thing, he was creepy when he sat next to the girl on the bus. Then she said her name was Margaret “I go by Maggie” Dermay. Anyway, the point being – Maggie May? Too funny. Of course she’s a singer. And that’s a pitch pipe? But never mind! She just died! Was that a freaking arrow? Yikes. I was rapid cycling from humor to sex to harassment to flirting to death. I love how he pitches down on his belly and crawls out but no one else seems to notice.
Then we’re back to Tamsin on the couch, couching hilarious sexual commentary with Chinese food. What I thought was so funny was that Bo did use to order takeout; for the delivery man! I clearly recall Kenzi’s annoyance when she would poach.
Mark stumbles into the perpetually unlocked crack shack, just like everyone else. This is one of those details that, five seasons in, acts like a little inside joke for the fans.
Tamsin is spot on with this one. This is her actual ability, her actual power. I like their negotiation talk, but for the life of me, I would think Bo would have learned to listen by now. This is a good time to bring up the nature of callbacks, throwbacks, whatever you want to call them. Bringing up earlier themes and moments can be great for consistency and character nostalgia. But, dude – we are a long way away from those early seasons. Bo is not the same person anymore. And she is trending just a little too much towards the moronic in this scene. Also, I do not tend to like my women characters to be either too nice, or too guilt ridden, because I think it fulfills negative stereotypes. And Bo is being a fine walking example of both of them in this scene. And did I mention she was being moronic?
Pretty much the only thing that saves it is Anna Silk. I have read many things about what the actress brings to this role. I don’t think it can be pinned down exactly in words. But she saves it every time.
As for Bo, she needs to stop apologizing. And to stop being so NICE! *throws up hands in exasperation*
Is that a new kimono? Kewl.
We switch over to Lauren and Evony, and I am sure if I watched Downton Abby, this would be comedy gold. Sadly, I don’t. But it’s not hard to understand. And it will always be funny to see the character of Lauren be funny, because she is normally so buttoned up. But I wonder how much I am not getting out of the scene, because half this show is parody tropes. If you don’t get it, it’s like walking out of Galaxy Quest with my parents. My mother thought it was cute. My father, who grew me up as a Trekkie, and I thought it was the funniest f^&*#$ thing we had ever seen.
One of my highlights in this episode was getting to see Emmanuelle Vaugier come galloping across the green. I am guessing they set up this scene just for her. I know from her social media postings she is a very good rider. That is why I am betting there is no stunt double, and why they didn’t cut the long shot with the close up so they could switch out riders like they normally would. Yeah, I ride.
She’s up on a big, clumsy looking dark bay, which she sits with admirable poise and a great smirk as they cross the camera together. The details are almost all right. The horse gleams, his white markings are clean, and the tack is in good order; English, which is her riding style. The quilted red saddle pad is non traditional, but picks up the piping on the cape nicely. Is is just me, or is there a thing going on with red piping on this show? I’ll lay odds the helmet, the boots, the crop, the breeches and the gloves could all be hers too. But not the cape. Those are not traditional to ride in, ever. I’ll call it Lost Girl riding.
Their conversation fills in a good amount of gaps for the viewer. We now know how, and why, for whom, and for what reason Lauren is working. The irony of the relationship creates epic amusement for me; the quintessential amoralist has rewritten the quintessential moralist. For just a moment, I could see Lauren evaluating what she had done. Then the moment passed. And I could almost see she was patting herself on the back for it. Well done!
P.S. I wonder if that red wine is grape juice?
Tamsin and Bo have caught up to Mark, and we are on to the negotiations. I don’t know about you guys, but Geraldine sealed this guy’s fate. And who IS he? Let me see that! *taps pause on the player to get a good look at the ID*
Despite the fact the two women JUST went through this with him at the club house, Bo is once again being a nitwit. I know the metaphor is crushing. And I love her and I sympathize and it is very, very Bo-like to…Whoops, guess that’s the answer. That was awesome. And I just love that she wants to know why it hurts so badly. WHY DO YOU THINK, YOU NITWIT? You should have listened to Tamsin.
Also, I’m fairly sure the correct way to take out an arrow is to push it through. Ouch. Budget.
This brings us to blood and kisses. Bo remembers Frank’s name is Tad because she is Bo. In the meantime, I remain perplexed by Tamsin’s inability to have sex with her. I get that she lacks the emotional competence to deal with her massive, massive crush. But she has no trouble with sex, and why she simply cannot invite the woman into bed has me flummoxed. I’m pretty sure she won’t turn her down.
As for Bo, she remains oblivious as only Bo can be. I get the metaphor with the squish Family Robinson; and Bo is turned on immediately by the geek speak. But Tamsin gets right to the point, as usual. Bo is embarrassed because she is thinking of Tamsin as if she were Kenzi and giving Lauren the same tight little smile she used to give her when Kenzi would dick around in the lab.
But this is not Kenzi, and it’s a mistake to think of her that way. And Lauren can clearly get Bo into bed any time she wants to do it. She’s got her. It’s amazing how, between one breath and the next, that old black magic comes oozing out. Their ship hovers on the horizon like a hanging storm.
That being said, the relationship between Tamsin and Lauren is the interesting thing going on here for me. If this were any other show in the world, I would say they are being set up for a romantic relationship. There are many interesting and varied undercurrents going on. I don’t see Tamsin as any sort of threat to any of Bo’s other emotional connections. And I don’t think it’s possible for her to rattle their cages the way she used to. But I don’t underestimate her power either. Her ability to get under someone’s skin is, literally, undoubtable. I do worry that if she provokes Lauren far enough, it will interfere with being a feeding partner for Bo. Bo badly needs the confidence and security of a safe, trusted feeding network.
Although I was excited to have Vex back, the boys’ scenes largely fell flat for me. They played it too straight. Dyson’s fury with Vex felt right, but there wasn’t nearly enough flirting between them. And I hated the kid angle. Though Dyson reacted to it with superb stoicism; until he killed the guy, of course. But I thought that was his best moment. Until that happened, his characterization, like Bo’s, felt off to me; too early, too simple, too easy. Trick said he always served his conscience, and I’m thinking, well, right, until you picked him up as a philandering con artist and reformed him.
I did like the gun scene with Vex because, for just a second, I wondered if he might do it. I didn’t think they would off the character, but with Lauren right there, it would be an easy set up to have her save him.
There was some world building, but the genre work was thin. It’s pretty much de riguer in werewolf mythology to delay the change until adulthood. And for whatever version of your long-lived fairy species you’ve got running around to have a very low birth rate. Otherwise, they would take over the world. And why wouldn’t Dyson have a bunch of biological kids running around? It’s not like they invented birth control in the last 20 years or anything. I actually thought the whole thing would have worked better if Mark was not related to him at all, and just some some messed up shapeshifter running around like Bo without a clue.
But there was another reason I did not take to the character very well, and it took me a while to put my finger on it. But it was the clear inference that Mark can be Dyson’s replacement..in every way. Knowing this is the show’s last season makes it too easy for me to wonder if the character can be called back up for that express purpose. He was obviously intended to be called back up. I guess it’s just a question of whether the writers had time to plan for it, or whether they had to let it go in order to wrap up the series. Let it go, let it go….
I do have to give Mark mad props during the trap scene. Do you realize he just attempted to seduce Bo while waiting for his lifelong bogeyman to appear, under the supervision of Tamsin and Lauren? Truly, I was impressed.
I really liked everything having to do with Tamsin, Lauren, Bo and Evony. But please nix the daddy drama. There was not much genre work, and very little world building. The sexual politics were mixed, though certainly not docile. I felt like Dyson and Bo were in somewhat odd form and Trick and Vex weren’t well used. Vex was never that sappy in his entire life. Kenzi is like a ghost in the machine. She’s all over the place, especially when the show is deliberately regressing to more early season form. There was fun and sex, and a lot of character work, but not much forward movement in the plot.