Lost Girl 5.11 – “Sweet Valkyrie High”

As soon as I saw the episode title I was excited. See, when I was a kid, I read all the Sweet Valley High books, which chronicled the lives of the Wakefield twins Jessica and Elizabeth in Southern California, starting with Double Love and ending when I finally couldn’t keep up with all of the ghostwritten special editions, spinoffs, melodramatic twists, the terrible, awful College Years and then finally culminating in the most recent publication written ten years after the last book ended, Sweet Valley Confidential. I did read that one to find out what happened. I will never get those hours of my life back.

I’m not proud. Amusing as the books are now, I’m horrified at the messages they put out and how I thought being like the Wakefields was something to aspire to when I was a kid. No wonder I’ve needed so much therapy. If, like me, you read the books, I highly recommend reading IF YOU LIVED HERE YOU’D BE PERFECT BY NOW by Robin Hardwick – a hilarious takedown of Sweet Valley High and what it said about being female (or even just human), and was a much-appreciated antidote.

Much more empowering is Lost Girl and this episode specifically for reminding us that who we were doesn’t have to determine who we are, that forgiveness and reconciliation are possible, that decency and honesty are still going concerns, that we are all in this together, and we are better as a team.

Plus, Stacey said she chalupaed in her pants! In this new spoiler-free world I’ve been trying to live in, I knew nothing of the plot or the writer of the episode, but as soon as I heard that line I knew it HAD to have been written by Emily Andras. And I’m a sucker for a good pants-soiling joke. (Here’s one I taught my kids: “Knock knock!” “Who’s there?” “Poop!” “Poop who?” “Poo-poo pants!”)

This episode advanced the story in the present, filled in some history, and resolved some lingering tensions between the characters that needed resolving.

First, the plot:  it thickens. Hades is a bad guy (and even though this puts me at odds with Bo et al, I prefer to call him Hades over Jack), and he’s out of his cage. We all knew mere walls couldn’t keep him confined. In trying to figure out how to send him back to Tartarus (and presumably trap him there), Tamsin at least succeeded in flushing out his true colors, maybe. Escaping his cell won’t engender more trust in him from Bo, but I guess that’s only if she finds out.

The history:  we know more about Tamsin’s past, how she met Acacia and where she fits in, and a bit more backstory on Hades and his plans to build an army. It seems like a roundabout plan unless manipulating Bo to choose freely is part of the plan, but hey. I wonder why he needs an army anyway.

Then Bo and Tamsin buried the sorry-I-slept-with-you-and-toyed-with-your-heart hatchet, Lauren came clean to Evony, and Acaia took over Valhalla.

Plus this episode was just fun to watch. I laughed. I felt emotions. I didn’t know what would happen next but was excited to find out. And if, as Mrs. Unaligned observed, it seemed odd that Tamsin was outcast from Valhalla forever back in medieval times for giving Rainer’s soul to Trick but then in the 1950’s she was sent back to the Valkyrie Academy and had to learn (relearn?) that she was a warrior, not a nursemaid, I didn’t let those details trouble me.

(But if anyone can explain the timeline, please tell me in the comments.)

Finally, knowing as we do that Lost Girl is the sexy descendent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, did anyone else think that Stacey’s working at the Bayou Burrito (where you tell us how you like it) was an homage to Buffy and the Doublemeat Palace? I did.

I wrote this on a plane and probably won’t edit it, so if it seems rambly and disjointed, that’s why. And if it’s better than usual, tell me so I can stop wasting time on editing!

Until next week!


2 thoughts on “Lost Girl 5.11 – “Sweet Valkyrie High”

  1. I’ll take a stab at the timeline question:

    It’s not clear Tamsin was ever banished from the company of Valkyries but only from Valhalla itself. Remember that Valkyrie High itself is on Terra Firma. There is a portal to Valhalla but students don’t seem permitted to pass through and there’s no indication Tamsin ever did. Tamsin won’t return to Valhalla itself until the end of season 4 when she pays off her “debt” by returning with Rainer’s soul. She apparently didn’t check in with Freyja then but will in episode 501 when she brings the soul of Lauren’s patient, hoping to trade for Kenzi. Nobody exactly barricades her from strolling into the Valhalla ballroom and Freyja doesn’t seem unhappy to see her – in fact, she’s quite seductive. Freyja somewhat playfully brings up the deal Tamsin struck with the Blood King (she says something like, “Well, look who’s here! The Valkyrie with seven extra lives”) and suggests Tamsin will need to make amends with her sisters if she wants to come home (to Valhalla) but also says she has been very patient with Tamsin “for years…with all your lives.” It seems plausible to me that Freyja was lenient enough with Tamsin to let her into Valkyrie High in her last lifetime — perhaps hoping to rehabilitate her for a return to Valhalla itself.

  2. One other timeline comment:

    We know Tamsin was on her last lifetime when she met Trick on the battlefield centuries ago. Although she’s there in the Valkyrie “collecting-souls” mode, 1940’s Acacia tells her (in 511) that “You were born to lead [armies] Like you have in all your past lives,” so presumably she was part of the fighting (explaining why she looks so scruffy in that 409 flashback). She bargains for seven extra lives in exchange for Rainer’s soul and spends at least one of those lifetimes fighting side-by-side with Acacia (who remarks in 511 that roughing up the mercenary “Feels like old times at the Taiping Rebellion, saving your ass”). The Taiping Rebellion took place from 1850 to 1864, for anybody who isn’t a Chinese History scholar (thank you Wikipedia). Sometime between 1864 and the 1940’s, Valkyrie culture and values appear to have changed. Acacia’s battling “old ways” have fallen out of favor and the power of Doubt suppressed (“Many of our traditions have been repressed in the past. But we were given the gift of Doubt for a reason”). [side bar: when Acacia chides the girls for repressing their power, urging them to be “open” and “proud,” I heard echos of the gay rights movement]. It seems likely Freyja took Tamsin back into the Academy fold at the point the Valkyrie culture changed, hoping to rehabilitate her. She does seem to have a soft spot for Tamsin.

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