Lost Girl 5.12 – “Judgement Fae”

I love Lost Girl and over the years if an episode hasn’t clicked for me, then I have given it the benefit of the doubt. I would look for deeper meaning, and whether I found the meaning or not, I usually found some interesting questions – questions about the meaning of life, fundamentals of human nature, or societal commentary. Even if I was confused, there was usually something in an episode for me to like, laugh at, or otherwise appreciate, so on balance I liked most of the episodes.

What’s all this preamble and buildup about? I really didn’t like this episode. The acting was great. The story, the plot, and the arbitrary actions from the characters, it all drove me batty. I watched it twice. I tried to understand.

I’ve said before that I want the story to make sense. I want to understand the rules of the world. I want to understand why the characters do the things they do. I don’t need to have their motivations spoon-fed to me, and I’m willing to spend time having things revealed to me and figuring out what it means, trying to uncover basic truths. I’m also willing to accept that real people are complex and often make the same mistakes a few times. But honestly, this episode defied all of that.

Lost Girl built a very interesting, original world with interesting rules in Seasons 1-3. Even the confusing Wanderer/Rainer storyline in Season 4 with prophecy overload and the scary Una Mens melting like butter when the hot knife of Bo cut through them were original, at least. I can get behind the Greek gods being Fae, to a point – after all, Greek mythology itself was the Greeks’ attempt to explain the natural world around them – but the storyline of the Ancients seems to have completely overshadowed all of the Fae world that we’ve learned about so far. And that’s a shame.

Anyway, Bo had to pass a test in order to see Hephaestus, and in order to gain access to the test, she had to approach Judge Megaera, who is apparently Fae posing as human, as they do, and then win a court case, but not actually win, just learn a life lesson about her inner justice. I didn’t understand the point of it all. Bo gleaned from the allegorical software company founders’ dispute that she needed to be more supportive of Lauren, and when she said that, Judge Megaera nodded approvingly and let her go see Hephaestus. There were many more emotionally resonant and dramatics ways for Bo to have an epiphany.

After passing this pointless test, Bo is granted an audience with Hephaestus. He stands around, doesn’t say much, and looks attractive. I don’t think we even see him swing his hammer, and he’s supposed to be working at the forge. Hephaestus is a pretty interesting god in Greek mythology, but why bring him into this at all if he’s not going to have much to do besides wear an apron? This was one of several arbitrary hoops the story had for characters to jump through.

Then Lauren shows up without passing any tests. Maybe since Zee is possessing her, she’s allowed readmittance to Hephaestus’ forge. But how did Tamsin and Beth get in? Is it only if you need to have a weapon forged by Hephaestus that you have to pass the test? Otherwise you can stroll in willy-nilly?

After that, the whole situation with Zee and Hera was baffling. First they’re turning on Bo, but then they’re not, they’re going to Myth, and Zee apparently wants Bo to defeat Hades, and she’s proud of her niece even though she tried to kill her. Why are they beating a retreat instead of staying to stand and fight against Hades? Is there some rule that they can’t fight Hades anymore?

Then Lauren broke up with Bo. Mahlers5th and Valksy wrote extensively about it here on UNALIGNED, and both Dorothy Snarker and Melanie Killingsworth had some excellent things to say as well. It was wonderfully acted, and I cried both times I saw it. It was also contrived and forced, which annoys me. I do understand Lauren feeling like she lost herself, although there just wasn’t that much time spent on establishing that in the previous episodes of this season, and the conclusion she came to just doesn’t make any sense.

Contrast this to the tension between Bo and Lauren in Season 3. They had challenges there, too, but it was a slow buildup over several episodes interspersed with some good times and back-and-forth conversation. This latest breakup happened to create drama for the last part of the last season, in my opinion. Drama without sufficient nuance and buildup coming before it rings hollow, no matter how good the acting is.

I have some TV whiplash, y’all. I loved 5.11, “Sweet Valkyrie High,” and thought it was tightly plotted, made sense, provided excellent backstory and was funny. This episode had a couple of funny moments, but overall it was sprawling and confusing, and things happened without justification.

I said that Lost Girl has often raised questions for me. But unfortunately, the question that this episode made me ask most often was “Huh?”

3 thoughts on “Lost Girl 5.12 – “Judgement Fae”

  1. Thank you Sally for reminding me that you can love a show and still maintain objectivity and occasionally have a criticism or two. I didn’t love everything about the episode but those framing episodes with Bo & Lauren in the shower and then breaking up were so powerful and unforgettable — and reminded me how lucky we were that the show captured in a bottle the lightening between these two actors –that I was willing to forgive and overlook everything else.

    About some of the points you raised:

    1) “Storyline of the Ancients seems to have completely overshadowed all of the Fae world that we’ve learned about so far. And that’s a shame.”

    I’ve been so absorbed with unravelling the story of the Ancients that I didn’t look up and notice how much the Lost Girl world had changed. On the other hand, they’ve been building towards this from the beginning — hints of Bo’s father being, if not a god (as Bo corrects Lauren), then some kind of Dark UberFae; there being mysterious realms/planes beyond the Earthly. But I get it and you’re not alone in preferring the more down-to-Earth Fae world of S1, S2, and S3a.

    2) “I didn’t understand the point of [court room sequence]”

    If the sole point was to create a context for Bo’s epiphany that protecting people sometimes means supporting them in their seemingly “wrong” decisions (specifically Lauren’s reckless decision to inject herself) then yes, I’d agree that the writers and showrunner have wasted precious minutes on superficial stuff. But I have a suspicion there’s more to the courthouse sequence than meets the eye. We learn one detail that may become important later: under the courthouse is the entrance to Myth/limbo from whence Zee and Hera emerged and where they have returned.

    That got me thinking. How will Bo vanquish Jack (as we know she must)? He can’t be killed in the conventional sense. He’ll just inhabit another body. He can’t be put back in the box; he made sure Bo used that on Nyx. He can’t be banished via the Vanishing song anymore (unless Hale returns from the dead — or more likely, his grandfather from Spain — and remembers how to whistle that tune). I doubt Bo’s going to use that dagger to cut out Hades’ handprint, and even then, it wouldn’t kill/banish Jack. One possibility is Jack will follow his siblings and get sucked into Limbo for all eternity. With no chess board. That would be a fitting fate. How to get him to the portal to Myth? To get to the portal, Faes must first pass a courtroom test, find their “inner justice”. What if Bo’s final court room case is the mother of all custody battles I’m thinking we’ll witness between Jack (Dark) and Aife (Light)? Maybe Bo’s courtroom experience in 512 has prepared her for this. Maybe this a cheaper denouement than apocalyptic battles with many, many extras. Maybe Hera and Zee’s choice presages a similar fate for Hades.

    3) Totally agree that Hephaestus seemed to serve no purpose other than to fasion a horse shoe out of a shield. Maybe he’ll make another appearance (or do we know he’s one-and-done?) and Bo will trade the horseshoe and Zee’s dagger for another box? (In Greek myth, Hephaestus did make Pandora’s box, just sayin’). Oh, and the Pyrripus will …No idea.

    4) “Lauren shows up without passing any tests…But how did Tamsin and Beth get in?”

    I assumed passing the test opened the door to Hephaestus’ foundry and it stayed open until Bo left.

    5) “The whole situation with Zee and Hera was baffling…” Agreed. It certainly drove home the point — echoed by Bo in the moment — that we have no idea who is playing on what team. I’m sort of enjoying that layer of mystery this season. But wearing my apologist’s hat, trying to make sense of that scene, it occurred to me that Hera’s been in a coma. He (she?) missed Zee’s banishment and rescue by Jack which amply demonstrated his superior powers of manipulation, if nothing else. I always thought Hera was pretty evil, but apparently she sees Hades as a whole other level of evil. She decides boredom is better than the alternative fate he has planned. A small fly in the ointment is that Hera, newly awakened, isn’t up to speed on all these developments, so he’s back to plan A (or B?) to kill Bo. Zee takes the direct non-verbal route of a) reminding him the sex in Limbo wasn’t bad, and b) interrupting his “kill Bo” plans by opening the portal to Myth. As a plot development, their departure clears the way for Aife to make her entrance and epic custody battles to ensue.

    6) “Lauren? Huh?”
    I freely admit I’m a total apologist for this show. I’ll sacrifice any semblance of objectivity to make every twist and turn work. You saw my contortions in the 512 commentary with Valksy. But to recap two possibilities that still seem plausible to me and consistent with Lauren’s character: 1) She realizes how easily Hades seduced her, knows he’ll find another way to use her to hurt Bo (like inhabit Lauren’s body — Bo already told Zee she could never attack Lauren but Hades as Lauren might well attack Bo). She breaks off to prevent that & protect Bo, but without tipping off Jack that she knows. She lives to fight (or experiment) another day. 2) She is still sick, withholds this from Bo because Bo needs to save the world, and meanwhile will work feverishly to cure herself and Evony.

    1. Hey M5 – I’m with you in being an apologist for the show when it falters. What it created has been so powerful for me means I will forgive it many things and will try to find meaning where I might just kick another show to the curb. But this episode was so WTF-ish that I just couldn’t do that.

      I also realized why I found this blog post so difficult to write. I like to talk about the characters, the story, what’s going on, what the themes are, and what was funny. I am not a TV analyst in terms of how episodes are put together or how scenes are framed, etc. – if I’m anything besides a fangirl, I’m more of a literature and story aficionado. I like figuring out what art means to me and what I think it’s trying to say to me.

      But the challenging elements of the storyline in this episode, the motivations, the lack of emotional resonance, the way the story lurched around and was a million things smashed together without proper background or buildup, I wasn’t able to do that this time around.

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