Lost Girl 5.13 – “Family Portrait”

I usually try not to read other blogs about Lost Girl episodes before I write whatever I intend to write, but I haven’t done that this week (or last week either, full disclosure). So what I’m giving you is still my own opinion and reaction after seeing the episode, and I’m trying not to be influenced by other things I’ve read, if that’s possible. Probably it isn’t, but I’m trying!

I really liked this episode. It was gripping, it made sense, it went from one thing to the next in logical and dramatic fashion – I was enrapt. And I didn’t see IT coming, the big twist at the end. The two big twists, I guess – that Trick and Aife would be killed, and that Tamsin was pregnant.

This episode was also really dark. I was afraid they were going to gloss over Hades’ rape of Tamsin, but they absolutely didn’t. When she realized what had happened, that he had impersonated Bo, she had such a visceral reaction to the violation that she threw up, and then afterward said to Bo “Don’t touch me.” That was good – and was commentary on that what happened was absolutely bad.

Having her be what looks like several week’s pregnant was also horrifyingly mind-blowing, since the logical assumption is that she’s pregnant with Hades’ baby (Bo’s half-sibling). Although, I did talk with a couple of people about the timeline for when she and Dyson slept together – maybe it’s not Hades’ child after all. Though honestly, that seems unlikely. For as dark as this episode was, having Tamsin contend with contemplating carrying Hades’ child, or contemplating not carrying it, seems important.

Speaking of what seems important – Trick’s comments to Bo about narrative truth. This struck me when watching, and reminded me of several comments I’ve heard about art and how it’s open to interpretation (what some have called the concept of “ulteriority”). There’s the art, there’s the viewer, and in between, there’s the message.

Trick was talking about each person’s version of events and what is true for them, but as a viewer of the show, I also take it as a commentary on each viewer of Lost Girl, and all stories and art, that each person will take different things from the same story. It also reminds me of how eyewitness testimony is unreliable – because memory is subjective, and because sometimes what you see is not actually the truth – like Aife thinking Bo visited her in the asylum, but it was actually Hades. Poor Aife – she never had a chance to strike back at Jack and take revenge, and now she never will.

It was Dorothy Snarker who observed that Bo’s visiting Estelle in the asylum – a woman who has been catatonic for 300 years because her entire family was murdered – was foreshadowing to the end, where Bo appears in a catatonic state after finding Trick and Aife murdered. I didn’t catch it then and I also didn’t catch it at the end. Thanks, DS. (I did catch how the “Family Portrait” tableau engineered by Hades was a clear shout-out to The Silence of the Lambs, one of my favorite movies of all time.)

Closer, Clarice. Closer.

Doccubus report – the interaction and tone between Bo and Lauren was a little weird in this episode for its very lack of drama and angst. Although they’ve broken up so many times now, maybe it’s old hat. I did appreciate Lauren’s statement that she has neither the right nor the desire to control Bo’s actions. Is anyone else a fan of Poi Dog Pondering? “The Hardest Thing” is a song that reflects this theme.

So sit down beside yourself and take a look around
There are no chains here
No shackles to be found
And if we are to be
Together you and me
Then nothing will hold us here
But our desire to be

Let’s end at the beginning. In the opening scene, Bo is kvetching about the horseshoe Hephaestus made for her, wondering how it will be useful in the battle to come. Aside from the good-luck superstition about horseshoes, you use them for shoeing horses. This could mean domesticating them, somehow harnessing the Pyrippus (and I’m eager to see what this infernal beast will actually end up being). But would shoeing the Pyrippus take away its power? Or would it contribute? The presence of gold with the adamantine will likely play a role.

The question I have, though, is:  will Bo tame the Pyrippus? Defeat it? Or will she become it?

PS – oh hey, I forgot to mention this. As Trick is dying, he whispers to Bo “Don’t forget, you’re my blood too.” Maybe this points to what the eventual ending will be – Bo can somehow erase all the terrible things that happened, somehow. Maybe she can erase the Fae altogether. Perhaps the last scene of Lost Girl will show us all our old friends living happily ever after – as humans.

7 thoughts on “Lost Girl 5.13 – “Family Portrait”

  1. Could you elaborate on the connection between the death tableau of Trick & Aife and Silence of the Lambs? I watch scary movies like Elizabeth inside Zee, consequently miss a lot and your reference doesn’t ring a bell. However, it did make me think that Jack (Hannibal?) is a doctor, as well as a seemingly omniscient god-like figure, that for the first episodes of season5b he’s in a prison of sorts where Bo has to visit him for “clues,” etc.

      1. You pointed out that the horseshoe is made in part in gold and this is an intriguing observation. Do you have hypothesis as to how the gold could play a role as you say? I had a quick look at what Hephaestus did forge in the mythology but I couldn’t find a mention of a composite with gold… And gold is not really associated with Hades.

        And thank you for the song. The link didn’t work for me but I will check it out for sure.

        1. I don’t know how the gold might play in, but I mentioned it because when Bo received her horseshoe, someone (Trick?) said it had gold in it as if that were significant. Since all of the Ancients’ artifacts seem to be made from adamantine, maybe the addition of gold is intended to represent humans. Fae/Human. Maybe somehow that will be the key to Bo defeating Hades – her love of humans in general, and Kenzi and Lauren specifically.

          Let me know what you think of Poi Dog! I’ve liked them since high school. They’ve gone through an interesting evolution from folk/rock to dance/house music but have maintained an authentic voice about the human experience throughout.

      2. The image I posted was a turning point of sorts during the movie – it’s what the SWAT team discovered after Lecter escaped police custody. I don’t know how strongly the LG team intended this comparison to thread throughout the episode or season. But Lecter had committed many worse murders. This was the best he could do with limited time.

    1. I’m not sure if I think the comparison drawn between Hannibal Lecter’s murder scenes and Hades’ are anything other than a visual homage and a representation that each of them is the most horrible of the horribles. Though the comparisons you draw about Hades being in his cell and Bo visiting him for clues is also a good one.

      You know, at the end of the movie, Lecter got away.

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