All posts by Sally

Lost Girl 5.09 – “44 Minutes To Save The World”

After such a long time without Lost Girl, it was so nice to be back with this show and these characters. I had missed them so much! I also didn’t have time to do a rewatch of 5.01-5.08, but that was okay because the “previously on Lost Girl” caught me right up.

We were right back in the action and I like that the show didn’t drag out questions that had been raised in 5.08. Tamsin is alive! Mark is alive! And Hades is out of the box and on the scene. Aw, hell.

Let’s talk about Hades for a moment. After being trapped for so long in the box, and going to such great lengths to get out, his behavior was different than I was expecting. He didn’t go into major destructive mode, or seek out Zee and her crew for immediate revenge. Instead, he was calm and, dare I say…helpful?

He helped Lauren and Dyson stop Mark’s bleeding, and then helped Lauren solve a nagging problem with her stem cell research when he dropped by her lab (ostensibly to check on the patient). Then he just sort of follows Bo around and tells her that she’s in charge and he’ll do whatever she decides is best. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy?

I don’t think so. As Mrs. Unaligned pointed out to me, people who are trying to manipulate others often try to make them think they’re in charge. Just as lessons learned are more powerful when you learn them yourself instead of having someone tell you the answer, it’s more powerful when you decide to do something on your own, rather than feeling forced into it.

Maybe whatever Hades has in mind for Bo’s role in his vision of the future requires that she chooses it freely, or maybe he just prefers to manipulate and cajole. Either way, I don’t trust anyone who grabs someone by the neck because they REALLY REALLY wanted to talk to you.

Speaking of manipulation, as the Drinks at the Dal hosts noted in their initial reactions to this episode, how great is it that Tamsin was able to engender doubt in Hera even without her Valkyrie powers? This could be a theme – how people allow themselves to be manipulated by doubt. Hades goes down this road a bit by telling Bo that what she believes about Aife and her captivity isn’t true. As well, the Leviathan told Bo in S4 that she wears Lauren’s humanity like a shield. Maybe, in trying to help Lauren achieve immortality, Hades is removing a check and balance on Bo that keeps her grounded.

Nyx is in the box, Hades is out of the box, Iris is dead, Alicia is alive, Hera/Kevin is in a coma, and Tamsin escaped. Zee is having none of it from Trick. Dyson and Mark are bonding. Kenzi is still gone. I think the box can’t be the only solution for getting rid of Hades, and it’s possible that he was posing a false dichotomy to Bo, but she did what she had to do to stop Nyx in the short term, anyway.

And finally, the ending. Holy crap! In the past, I’ve often watched promos, but this time, I just didn’t get around to it so I had NO IDEA what was coming, that Lauren was going to get hit by a truck. And it had so much more impact! (Pardon the pun.) I think from now on I won’t watch promos, to the best of my ability.

Here’s what I thought in seeing the final scene – I thought that Lauren had given herself succubus powers, and was chi-sucking Bo so she didn’t die. But then Mrs. Unaligned told me that she thought Bo had been pushing chi into Lauren. I’m not sure which is correct, but I’m sure we’ll find out tomorrow. What did YOU think was going on there?

I leave you with a final question, which I puzzled over. Why did Bo and Lauren decide to go for a walk instead of heading directly to bed? I mean, REALLY. #DoccubusSex

(Though as Mahlers5th noted, it was so nice to see them on a semblance of a normal date, walking around holding hands like a real couple. Trust M5 to spoil my pervy observation with a sentimental comment that made me say “Awwwww.”)

Who Do You Love The Most?

Do you think people are born good and at heart, everyone wants to be good? Or do you think that people are born selfish and evil, and make a conscious decision to set aside their self-interested behavior in order to live in a civil society? What about the idea that people are born as a blank slate and become shaped by their environment and circumstance?  Do the ends justify the means? Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

These are weighty topics. There are no definitive answers, only opinions. As with many questions that have no answers, art explores different facets of these questions and their consequences. Lost Girl has explored all of them.

Are people born selfish?

Let’s consider episode 4.09, “Destiny’s Child.” Trick goes to Dao-Ming, a Luduan who can force humans and Fae to tell the truth, in order to seek her help to recover a memory that he blocked. Her price is answers. One of the questions she asks him is “Who do you love the most?” He tries to dissemble, saying Isabeau, but when she pushes him, he admits:

“Me. I am the first son of this earth. I am the one to be worshipped.”

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What are we supposed to take from this? Is Trick just a selfish dude who loves himself the most? Or is he simply stating a universal truth about the human condition? Do we all love ourselves best, even if we would be loathe to admit it? Was Thomas Hobbes right that human nature is, at its heart, made up of self-interest?

Trick has a powerful Fae gift and a pretty healthy god complex. He also had absolute power when he was king, and became corrupt and created harmful laws, as he himself states to the Una Mens in “Let the Dark Times Roll,” episode 4.05.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” – Lord Acton

It took Isabeau’s death to make Trick realize that he had lost himself and wasn’t a good ruler anymore, so to bring about peace, he wrote the new Blood Laws and created the Light and Dark Fae with strict rules and a system of government that was less dictatorial (though still not a democracy). Soon after the creation of the Blood Laws, his daughter Aife violated them and he was forced to give her to the Dark Fae, or else his entire creation would have collapsed, and the peace along with it.

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It was Hobbes who described in Leviathan his opinion of the natural state of mankind if not for political community and a social contract:

“…no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Trick’s voluntary abdication of absolute power as the Blood King and his decision to travel to the New World to create a new type of Fae colony is a new social contract among the Fae.

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Are people born good, and then become corrupt by circumstance?

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” –Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau said that people create societies to gain freedom from lawlessness, and then many times those societies don’t give us the freedom we asked for. Since majority rules, the minority by definition is in some way disenfranchised, despite the best efforts of societies to respect the rights of the minority. In the Fae world, the minority of Fae who didn’t want to adhere to the Blood Laws, who fell in love with humans, or with another Fae of the wrong clan, were put to death.

History is written by the winners, even when they step down afterward. Trick’s victory was a Pyrrhic victory, to be sure, but he literally wrote the history in his blood. The question is, now that he’s not a sovereign with absolute power, can he resist exerting power? He trafficks behind the scenes for most of current-day Lost Girl, pulling strings and influencing people but staying far away from any official office. However, at the end of Season 4, he becomes the Acting Ash. Trick and power are a volatile combination. I wonder, in the 8 episodes that remain in Season 5, will we see any consequences to Trick’s resumption of some limited political power? Maybe Lost Girl is going for a theme of redemption, and Trick has learned some lessons. I can’t help being optimistic.

Whether you think people are born selfish, or born good, or both and neither, how should they govern themselves?

Government is a collection of individuals, so let’s take a brief and cursory look at systems of government and economics that are the legacy of Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Voltaire, Machiavelli and Marx (among many, many others):

Our modern economic system in the United States is capitalism, which is an inherently selfish model dedicated to acquiring and keeping wealth. Publicly-traded companies have only one mandate:  to increase value for shareholders. One extreme political philosophy that believes in capitalism above all else is libertarianism. Libertarians are Hobbesian in that they claim the freedom to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid, and in fact want fewer laws than we have already.

At the extreme other end of the economic spectrum is communism with its doctrine of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Though some countries still operate under communist principles, I think we can acknowledge that as an economic and political system, communism was not a success. The idea was that talented people would work hard and contribute to the greater good without need for compensation, but in practice that didn’t seem to happen – probably because those in charge of the communist countries were themselves corrupt and sought personal enrichment and power for its own sake.

yay_canada_stickers-r49d667feb2d7446486c36692b58a20e2_v9waf_8byvr_512Perhaps we should look to Canada, Lost Girl’s country of origin, for a happy medium. Canada’s political system is parliamentary, which is government driven by the will of the people and based on compromise and consensus. Its economic system is market-based capitalism with high taxes that fund a very robust social safety net. Is it a perfect system? No, but it seems to me to be more compassionate than capitalism run wild.

It seems like that’s what Trick did when he stepped down as Blood King and created a two-party system – he moved the Fae political environment from a dictatorship to a sort-of parliamentary system. Adventures in Fae democracy!

Thomas Hobbes and Trick - was Hobbes Fae?
Thomas Hobbes and Trick – was Hobbes Fae?

What is Lost Girl trying to say here?

Let’s return to the original question posed by Trick’s declaration:  are people selfish? In order to determine what Lost Girl’s position is on that, let’s take a look at the protagonist, Bo Dennis.

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Is Bo selfish? If we anthropomorphize her Fae power, we could call it selfish. She will become overwhelmed by her hunger if she doesn’t feed regularly, and when she was on the run for ten years, she was driven to kill many times. That’s not actual selfishness, though – that was survival. Do we call a baby selfish for crying when it wants to eat? No – we call it hungry. Lord Cameron said that we are just nine meals away from anarchy – hunger is a powerful force.

From time to time, Bo’s individual actions with regard to her personal relationships can be seen as self-absorbed or selfish. Bo was a teenager when she ran away from home, so we can understand why she might still be learning how to behave as a mature adult in personal relationships. As well, sometimes she can’t see the whole picture, so she doesn’t know why other people are behaving the way they are – like when Lauren was undercover with the Dark Fae during much of Season 4.

But overall, Bo is one of the least selfish characters on the show. She has sacrificed her own happiness and safety to ensure the happiness and safety of those who are important to her in so many ways:

  • by rescuing Nadia for Lauren
  • then by killing Nadia when it was clear that she was a danger to Lauren and couldn’t be saved
  • by using Isabeau’s essence to bring Trick back from the dead when he had been harmed by the Garuda instead of using it herself as he had intended
  • by breaking the rules to bring Dyson out from the Temple and bringing him back to life
  • by volunteering to take Tamsin’s place to be made into candy in Krampus’s factory
  • by saving Kenzi, and finally,
  • by then letting Kenzi go.

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Does helping people help us feel better about ourselves? Undoubtedly, although I wouldn’t say that that’s why Bo does the things she does. Bo is pretty special, though – what about regular people? Studies have shown that helping others contributes to our own self-esteem. Maybe people do actually love themselves best, but one of the best ways to show yourself love is by helping others and by contributing to the happiness of your loved ones.

Since Bo is the protagonist of Lost Girl, her behavior makes a huge statement about what the message of the show actually is. And it’s not that people are inherently selfish or bad. Instead, it’s that some of our finest qualities are bravery, self-sacrifice, and our capacity to love each other.

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Nobody’s perfect, but we’re still pretty damn good.

We can also take from Bo’s story that there is something inherently good about people. If Bo were solely shaped by her environment, then she would be very evil indeed. She has every reason to be bitter and angry, and yet she transcends her legitimate grievances to forgive her adoptive mother and let go of that anger. She has every reason not to trust people, but Bo is one of the most trusting characters we see – she takes many leaps of faith with Kenzi, Lauren, Dyson, Tamsin and Trick. And she has every reason to think the worst of people, yet she manages to see the good in all of her friends and loved ones.

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I think that ultimately, Trick’s declaration that he loves himself best might be a light commentary on human nature, but it primarily serves as contrast to the selfless – and indeed, self-sacrificing – nature that Bo exhibits as part of her core personality.

I, for one, am very glad that Lost Girl came along to serve as a refreshing antidote to all the gloom and doom about human nature. I’m sure that Hobbes and Machiavelli are feeling properly chastened.

Lost Girl Recipe – Spicy Succubus Spaghetti Sauce with Zee’s Zucchini Linguini

What’s cookin’, Faens? We need to talk about spaghetti and meatballs – or, as we call it in my house,  S&M.

“Honey? Do you want S&M tonight?”

“What?”

“You know. Pasta so good it hurts. It’s 50 shades of delicious.”

“I’m questioning my life choices.”

For a while I thought I had a pretty good recipe for S&M, but then I tried this recipe courtesy of Rebecca, more commonly known as the “S&M Queen of the West Coast of Canada” (or at least she is now), and all bets were off. This is now my go-to recipe. I made a couple of modifications but it’s pretty much the same.

Spicy-Succubus Sexy-Vexy Marky-Mark Sausage-Fest Sauce

Anything that Bo has her hands in (ahem) tends to be pretty spicy, so this sauce is named in honor of her succubus nature. But it’s Vex and Mark who provide the secret ingredient. Read on to learn how to make the last sauce you’ll ever want to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef or bison
  • 8-10 white button mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic (more, if you really like garlic or live near a Hellmouth)
  • 70-80 oz tomato sauce – you can use canned tomato sauce or jarred marinara sauce, or make your own from fresh tomatoes)
  • 3 or 4 links hot Italian sausage
  • oregano, basil, parsley to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Small dice the mushrooms, onion, and red pepper. Small dice or grate/shred the carrot, and mince the garlic or run it through a garlic press.

Brown the beef in a skillet and drain on paper towels. Add some olive oil to the pan, because more lube is better. Saute the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes until mushrooms start to release their water and it cooks off a bit. Add the diced onions, carrot and bell pepper and saute 5-10 more minutes, then add the garlic for 3 more minutes.

Transfer the beef and vegetables to a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste, and 1-2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and parsley, if you like. Or use fresh.

While you have the sauce simmering, cut the casings off the sausage and cut the sausage into roughly 1-inch chunks. Form into balls and brown in a skillet, making sure they’re thoroughly cooked. Drain on paper towels before adding to sauce. Simmer sauce covered for 2-3 hours on low, more if you like, with the pot lid slightly cracked, stirring every so often. The flavor of the meatballs will permeate throughout the sauce.

While the sauce is simmering, you should have plenty of time to go to the cask room in the Dal Riata to look for candles.

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Zee’s Zucchini Linguini

Here’s what I bring to the table. (Ha! Cooking/eating pun! Zing!)

Pasta is great, so this isn’t a call to stop eating pasta. But if you’re allergic to gluten or if you just want to get more vegetables into your diet, it’s easy and fast to use zucchini to make a fantastic approximation of pasta noodles. I was skeptical at first but this is really good.

zucchini

Take one or two zucchini, depending on how many people you’re serving (1 zucchini will feed 2 people). Wash and cut off both ends. Use a mandoline on the small julienne setting, or a julienne peeler, or a spiral slicer to slice the zucchini – the result will be very similar in size to linguini.

icarus_falling_by_rockgem-d3eil8mHubris warning:  use the guard if you’re using a mandoline. Here’s what I thought to myself:  “If I’m careful, I won’t cut my finger.” WRONG. I sliced off a goodly portion of my finger and it hurt like a mo-fo. Once it healed, I forgot the pain and did it AGAIN a few weeks later. I think this is how people end up going through childbirth more than once. The cuts you will sustain from using a non-guarded mandoline are deep and painful. Learn from my youthful folly.

Zee used a mandoline to make the cutouts on her dress. It was a whole thing. Please try the clam dip.
Zee used a mandoline to make the cutouts on her dress. It was a whole thing. Please try the clam dip.

Pile the zucchini noodles onto paper towels to drain while you boil some regular pasta linguini. After the pasta is cooked and you’ve poured it into a colander, steam the zucchini noodles using a steamer or strainer for 2-3 minutes and then drain on paper towels. Mix it with the pasta. And then eat it. Eat it alllllllllllllllll.

This sauce freezes well and the recipe above will serve about 8, so if you’re not cooking for a huge group, freeze the leftovers and you’ll never go hungry again.

Lost Girl 5.08 – “End of Faes” – Sally

hadesWhat the Hades is going on?

Zee wants Bo to think they’re on the same side and that they share a common goal – to stop Hades from escaping the underworld and ending life on Earth as we know it.

I have my doubts.

Zee doesn’t seem trustworthy. I have trouble believing that someone who wants to be aligned with Bo in stopping the Big Bad Dad would also be responsible for killing a lot of people indiscriminately as she works to establish herself in a new world. It’s like this broken calculator that I have – it doesn’t add up.

Zee and Heratio have also kept Iris tied up in her bedroom with some industrial-strength restraints. While Iris does seem to harbor a destructive power within herself – the Nix, a power born of chaos which confers upon Iris the Midas touch of death – it was put into her by her parents/keepers so they could use Iris as a weapon. When Iris took off her bracelet that kept the power at bay, death commenced.

(I wonder if Iris has seen Frozen – she might want to invest in a pair of gloves for the time being.)

So despite Zee’s protests, her hands are not clean, and she does have ulterior motives. Iris said as much to Mark after she was distraught to learn she hadn’t actually been putting people to sleep, and was killing them instead. She said that Zee and Heratio had told her that everyone would need to go to sleep, and then later they would all wake up.

“Everything that ends is going to start again,” said Iris.

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Like many gods throughout history, it looks like Zee and Heratio want to push the reset button. It sounds like they want to end the world and start again, this time making it more in line with their own interests, and probably with people who will worship them without question. In golf, we call it a “mulligan,” and as children, we call it a “do-over.” This is reminiscent of the flood myth which flows through many cultures and time periods.

The vision that Bo saw when she drank the drink of prophecy was a world of utter destruction. And it’s what Zee intended for her to see – though Zee deceived Bo in allowing her to think it would be the result of setting Hades free. Instead, it seems like ending the world is part of Zee’s plan – using Iris as her weapon.

It’s probably a good thing that Zee was interrupted from carving Bo’s mark off her chest, because she might have been able to bind Bo to her immediately afterward.. With Bo’s ability to extract chi from many people at the same time, maybe she could suck all the chi from all 7 billion people in the world at once, and then be supercharged to do something else, like create a new world.

But I don’t necessarily buy that Hades is a good guy, either. Let’s not forget that he kidnapped Aife from the Dark Lord, took her to Tartarus, and then kept her captive and raped her in order to conceive Bo. To create his perfect mate, if Tamsin’s story was true. That’s still awful, dark and super gross.

Hades said to Bo “You will do things you don’t want to do,” and “Sometimes the greatest evil is the greatest mercy.”

Lost Girl has shown us some morally gray areas over the years, and the characters aren’t always 100% right or moral in what they do (just like life). Sometimes there is no right choice, only one that’s less wrong. The best anyone can do is to keep trying to do the next right thing.

However, I don’t see Hades suddenly being recast as a good guy, or that Bo would commit a lot of evil acts that end up being for the greater good. That’s not how she operates, and in general, we haven’t seen a lot of narrative up to this point that would make me expect to see an “ends justifies the means” storyline that is endorsed by the show.

We can’t take Greek mythology as canon here, but the origin story of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon is that they drew lots for shares of the world and Zeus became the supreme ruler of the gods. His brothers probably harbored resentment ever since. Zeus ruled the air and land, and Poseidon ruled the sea. Hades had the worst draw and became god of the sucky underworld – so anything that caused more death increased his power. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Hades wants a better gig and Bo is just one of his latest machinations to try to escape and take over – and to stick it to his brothers.

Sibling rivalry – it cuts deep. I wonder if we’ll see Poseidon at all this season?

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So back to my original question – what the Hades is going on? At this point, I think this is a power play between the Greek gods (or rather, these powerful Fae who were once worshiped as gods and then were banished, but now they’re back) and they are all trying to use Bo (and Iris) to help them win because she’s special and powerful.

So that’s what I think is happening with the storyline. But what does it mean? What is the show trying to say? What’s the message? Here’s what I’m getting out of it:

There’s a long tradition on Lost Girl of people trying to use women for their own ends, and Iris reminds me of a few characters we’ve seen before. Just a handful of examples:

  • Lisa, the duppy didn’t have evil intentions either, and was controlled by an amulet by people who wanted to use her for their own evil purposes.
  • Hannah the Squonk, who never hurt a fly, was held captive in Brazenwood because her tears were valuable.
  • Ianka the opera singer who was held captive because her beautiful singing could evoke powerful memories, both good and bad

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Bo helps Lisa, Hannah and Ianka, and many other people who need help, to break free from people who are trying to control them or use them. Zee, Heratio, and Hades are trying to use Bo. But put not your trust in princes, or gods, or prophecies, or visions, people. Trust yourself, and your friends who have earned your trust – your chosen family.

Bo will live the life she chooses.

And it seems like as of this episode, she chose Lauren. Oh boy, yes she did! I’m still unclear on why she was keeping Lauren at arm’s length – because Lauren’s comment about “I get it, it was a mistake that we slept together” indicates that it was Bo keeping her distance, not Lauren – but anyway, she’s not doing that anymore.

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A few more random thoughts:

Speaking of Bo and Lauren, when Mark and Iris were talking at the party, that seemed like a callback to “Vexed” where Bo said to Lauren “Nobody owns you.” Mark said to Iris, “You’re not [Hera’s] property.” Lauren wore the Ash’s necklace, and Iris wore a bracelet.

Bo’s blackened hand reminded me of Dumbledore’s. But it also enabled her to resist Zee’s lightning and gave her some kind of super strength. Maybe it will help her with whatever’s in that box. Or maybe it’s a ticking time bomb that will kill her unless she can figure out how to stop or reverse it.

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Tamsin. I’m confident she’ll be back. This isn’t how the Valkyrie will go out, if she goes out at all.

I love this view
I love this view

Lost Girl 5.07 – “Here Comes the Night” – Sally

WOW. I barely know where to start with this episode. It seems like the writers took all the fan wish list items, loose plot threads, and missing conversations and decided to address them all in one fell swoop.

Here’s a list of all the things that happened in this episode that fall into one of those three categories:

1. Doccubus sex!

2. Lauren wearing ONLY a lab coat.

3. A long-awaited conversation between Lauren and Bo about Karen Beattie. “Karen Beattie all over me!”

It made me laugh how the conversation actually went:

“A lot of people died. I was responsible.”

“We have more in common than I thought!”

Very efficient, ladies! If only all such conversations could be conducted with such brevity and alacrity.

4. Bo and Tamsin talked about their feelings for each other, and Bo was straightforward with Tamsin about how she felt. They’ve needed to have this talk for a while now, and it was done with such gentle caring poignancy. It was an outstanding scene.

5. Backstories! Now we know how Vex and Evony met – and why Evony is the way she is. She had her heart broken by Eros, and vowed to never let that happen again. I think Bo learned something from listening to Evony talk to Eros in the alley, also – and that’s what spurred her to be really clear with Tamsin.

6. Male/male sexual interaction and kissing! Even though the Vex/Mark (Vark?) candle-bobbing episode in the cask room was actually an Oracle-mediated vision for Vex (as well as actually happening, just not with Mark) , the result was confirmation that Vex actually desires Mark.

I didn’t see that one coming! To be clear, it’s not that Vex would or could desire a male person that surprised me. I think there have been strong indications if not outright confirmation throughout the seasons of Lost Girl that Vex is attracted to both genders. But that he seems to have developed such strong feelings of love and desire for Mark in such a short period of time, that surprised me. It reminded me of how all of a sudden in Season 4 we found out that he was Massimo’s stepfather and had strong paternal feelings toward him.

7. Confirmation that Dyson and Bo still love each other but that now is not the right time for them, and that their love has changed, but they will always be there for each other.

8. Confirmation that Bo and Lauren love each other, and that as long as they both walk the earth, they can’t not be together.

I’m sure there are more things that were addressed that fall into these categories of fan wish lists or finally-tied-up plot threads, so leave a comment to tell me what other ones you noticed.

Now that most or all of these things have been addressed, and with nine episodes to go, I think we’ll see the story of Bo’s father, her destiny, and the ultimate fate of the world start to move forward in a big way. Michael Grassi’s interview with Cinefilles indicates that Lauren may be in some danger, so that will amp up the drama and angst.

What else…

I’m betting that by the end of the series, Evony will become Fae again. Perhaps Lauren will re-Fae her so she can help out with something.

Poor Cassie! Is she dead? I hope not. But it seems unlikely that she could have survived that fall.

A moment I really loved was when Dyson called Heratio “Zeus,” and he looked very offended and said “My name is HERA!” Also, when Dyson said he knew who Heratio was, when he replied “Then you know not to get in my way” (or mess with me, I can’t remember). In Greek mythology, Hera did seem to be a vengeful goddess, not really someone you wanted to cross.

It looks like Iris is indeed the Rainbow Messenger Goddess, not Eris, the daughter of Zeus and Hera. You were right, Mahlers5th!

Lost Girl 5.06 – “Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts” – Sally

Sometime during Season 4 of Lost Girl I had given up trying to decipher what was going on with the melange of mythology by the time the fourth or fifth prophecy about Bo reared its head. (I exaggerate, but not by much.) So far in Season 5 I haven’t twisted myself into knots trying to unravel the mythology stuff. I’ve just been watching the show and taking the story as it comes.

So it’s ironic that just as I successfully let it go, now I think that I have it all figured out. What became clear during this episode was that the blonde woman with lightning powers, who IMDB says is “Elizabeth Helm/Zee” is Zeus, and the dude is Hera. His name is HERAtio, after all. In Greek mythology these two were married to each other and had some children, including, according to some sources, Eris, the goddess of chaos, strife and discord. Iris, I guess. She’s a teenager, so chaos, strife and discord sounds about right.

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Zeus was also the father of Hercules by a mortal woman, and Clay the quarterback is a descendant of Hercules – in the Fae world, a “heraclid”. And like all Fae, Zee, Heratio and Iris feed off something that humans can provide. In their case it seems like they feed from the crowd’s positive feelings about their descendant and his performance on the field.

tinkerbellThis reminds me a bit of Tinkerbell and how she survives when children affirm that they DO believe in fairies. There are also some theological and faery legends that gods and/or fairies survive when people worship them or believe strongly in them, but fade away if people don’t believe. Like everything involving faith, whether in a deity, a political ideal, or in oneself, this is both literally true and a powerful metaphor.

1984Think back to 1984 by George Orwell with me – the only thing that allowed Oceania to continue to exist was the people’s ability to believe what the government told them to, even when it contradicted reality. (Side note, Winston Smith, the protagonist of that book, kept remembering fragments of the English nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons” throughout the story, which is the same tune Bo’s jack-in-the-box played when Lauren turned the crank in her dream.)

What does all of this mean? I don’t know, but I want to believe.

Anyway, so back to Greek mythology – Zeus and Hades were brothers, along with Poseidon. The show’s writers and producers have said that Season 5 is all about family. In addition to Bo fighting her father and his plans to bring hell on Earth, it looks like her genderswapped uncle, aunt and cousin are also set up as her antagonists.

During a conversation with Trick, he refers to these folks as “the ancients” and says that they have gone by many names – a clue that while these three Fae have much in common with Zeus, Hera, Iris and Hades, that they aren’t necessarily one and the same and we, the viewers, can’t rely too much on what we know about mythology to inform our understanding of what’s happening. It also seems like they were all banished to a different plane of existence a long time ago, and that something – the Artemis candle, I guess – allowed them to return to Earth, albeit in repossessed human bodies.

Confession:  I didn’t watch Friday Night Lights, and I’ve never seen Bring It On. I did see Not Another Teen Movie, which spoofed, among other movies, Bring It On. But I lived through high school in the Midwest where football and cheerleading were big.

There was something about Tamsin’s behavior in particular during this episode that felt very high school to me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the episode and I don’t have any animosity toward Tamsin’s character. I also loved high school, though it was stressful in many subtle ways, mostly because of interpersonal relationships – similar to the stress that Tamsin appears to be feeling. I can’t figure out if Tamsin’s behavior is a product of her life experiences this time around only (so, a few months), or if she has the benefit of all her other lifetimes and memories. But either way, she’s behaving like a teenager who has a ways to go in figuring out people and relationships.

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The episode started out with Tamsin reading way too much into her relationship with Bo, taking offense to Dyson and Lauren’s doubts that she could successfully go undercover as a cheerleader, her awkward and cringe-inducing comments to Bo all throughout the episode, and the insecurity she feels about Bo’s feelings about Lauren.

It’s also clear that Bo either doesn’t know what Tamsin is feeling, or is deliberately avoiding acknowledging it – until the end of the episode, when Tamsin says “That’s what girlfriends are for” – an obvious bookend to Bo’s “roomie” comment from the opening scene. I don’t know if I think Bo is oblivious or avoiding, and I don’t know if Tamsin is deliberately deluding herself or if she really thinks Bo is on the same page as she is. But either way, I feel bad for her.

Questions:

1. Do Zee, Heratio and Iris see Bo as an impediment to their plans? If so, why didn’t they kill her when they had the chance? Zee seemed to just swat her aside, like she was an annoying mosquito. Do they know who she is? They know she’s Bo Dennis, succubus, but do they know who her father is? Do they care?

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2. If Trick hadn’t made that whatever cocktail (Cockatell?) in a thousand years, how did he just happen to have all three of the ingredients right in front of him within arm’s reach? That is one well-stocked bar.

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3. Trick needs a Bluetooth. Speakerphone is, like, so 2004. It’s so easy for ancient gods to overhear confidential important conversations over speakerphone.

4. Mark. Ugh! You know, I was thinking about this earlier this week. In Season 4, I didn’t like Rainer’s character or storyline at all – but mostly because he and his storyline were BORING. Zzzzzz…

Mark irritates the heck out of me, which at least is a strong emotion. So let’s take heart – it could be worse!

Lost Girl 5.05 – “It’s Your Lucky Fae” – Sally

Fellow fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will join me in remembering the Total Perspective Vortex, a machine that was described in the third book Life, the Universe and Everything. It was a contraption that showed the user a model of the entire universe in all its hugeness, and also the user’s place in it – represented by a miniscule dot that said “You Are Here.”

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The Total Perspective Vortex was a torture device, and the result was to destroy the person’s mind by showing them their utter insignificance in the grand scheme of things.

That’s what I thought of in the last scene when Cassie told Lauren that she removed her own eyes to make it stop, “it” being how she saw everything – from the beginning of time until the end of time. No human or Fae brain can contemplate infinity or eternity for very long without going crazy. She was cursed, it seems, by the kiss from her blind date – and then had to literally blind herself to make it stop. I love puns, y’all, but this was dark stuff.

Cassie just wanted to find someone she could trust, but everyone – including Bo, our hero – just wants to use her for her ability to provide a reading. Cassie was SO EXCITED when she thought her date, Heratio, was interested in her for who she was,  not for what she could do for him.

Aw, Cassie
Aw, Cassie

So who is Heratio? Apparently he’s one of the three reanimated human corpses from the elevator crash. We’re getting hints that he and his posse are possessed by something (Greek gods? Titans?). His job was to cause all of the Oracles to blind themselves. Check.

He and his cronies also sent some agents who may or may not be enthralled into the Dal to steal Trick’s Fae ledger by the convenient and not-at-all complicated method of seducing Mark in Trick’s lair and stealing the ledger while distracting Mark by performing pointy-tongued fellatio (did Trick not notice Mark abandoning the bar to go downstairs, by the way?) so they can verify that Bo is actually a succubus, not an Oracle, as she claimed, which was totally the easiest way to confirm that.

HEY. Heratio rhymes with fellatio! I think I blew the case wide open!

They have all the Oracles’ eyes in a jar, did you notice? The eyes must have some kind of value. If the goal was simply to remove an Oracle’s power by removing their eyes, if that’s how an Oracle receives a reading, then they could have tossed the eyes down the garbage disposal. Also, Lauren did say that if she had the oculus, she could probably give Cassie her eyesight back. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the eyes. (Ha! Get it?)

I like this part of the storyline a lot, these three mysterious strangers – there’s plenty of mystery and the information is being pieced out to us slowly enough that we can have fun speculating, but not so much that we know what’s actually going on. Who’s the third?

This episode was also very funny. I laughed out loud a lot at:

  • Cassie:  “I hope the peen checks out!”
  • nearly all of Tamsin’s one-liners:  “sucking things is how I got to be popular!”
  • down-on-her-luck Lauren’s verbal and physical comedy – as soon as we saw that cake, I knew Lauren’s face was going to end up in it – and;
  • Bo turning into a cat.

I just laughed out loud again while writing this, picturing Bo lapping her martini, grooming herself, and lashing out at the mirror.

Also, did the cat that Tamsin bought for Bo remind anyone else of Salem Saberhagen from Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Or was it just me? Wasn’t that a great show?

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So what else happened in this episode? Hmmm. Oh, right.

You see, folks, sexual release is important for all Fae…

…but for a succubus, the, uh, orgasm is especially…

Okay, Tamsin and Bo hooked up. This is not new territory, since it was heavily implied that in 4.08, “Groundhog Fae,” they hooked up, but this time it was actually, well, sweet. Yes, I’m a Doccubus shipper and I said that. Here’s why:

When I watch Lost Girl these days I do it in two parts – the first time, I just watch it to see what happens, and I experience whatever emotional reactions I’m going to have. The second time, I try to think about what I’m going to write about for this blog – what interested me the most about the story? Did I notice any themes? What made me laugh?

Now I’m going to talk about my feelings and my emotional process, because I’m a huge stereotype. The first time I saw this scene, my heart sank and all I could think about was What about Lauren? What about my beloved Doccubus? Will this make it awkward for Tamsin to be a bridesmaid at their wedding? Especially after Tamsin took pains to tell Lauren over and over during the episode in a pointed way that she and Bo were getting closer, and that she (Lauren) had some competition for Bo’s affection.

The second time I watched the episode, I’d made sure to get a dose of perspective.

  1. This is early in the season, so chances are that Bo and Tamsin aren’t embarking on an epic love story that will end up happily ever after.
  2. Michael Grassi’s interview with Cinefilles indicated that Tamsin’s insecurity-fueled aggression toward Lauren may end up backfiring – “We’ll see how that goes for everybody,” and also called out that “…we all know how special what Bo and Lauren have is…”
  3. My observant friend also noted that Tamsin and Bo’s pillow talk, while obviously an important conversation for both of them that enabled them to bond on a deeper level, also was nothing like Lauren’s and Bo’s pillow talk. Bo and Lauren’s pillow talk usually has involved kissing, cuddling, and laughing – a lot of love and tenderness.

I don’t bring all of this up to diminish what Bo and Tamsin had in this episode, but to remind myself that Bo and Lauren have something special and epic that will endure no matter what happens.

Taking all of that into account allowed me to take the Doccubus blinders off to an extent and see the scene for what it was. Tamsin was sweet and vulnerable. She was a little uncertain when she presented herself to Bo, but the delight that appeared on her face when she realized Bo was going to accept her birthday gift was genuinely touching. Once I put my anxiety about what will or won’t happen with Bo and Lauren aside, I was able to appreciate this moment for what it adds to the story and how it allows the characters to grow and deepen their relationships and understanding of each other, rather than to allow my fears about what it might be taking away from other relationships to dominate my reaction.

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Lost Girl has been telling a story these last five seasons. Part of the story has included a relationship that is incredibly important to me, and to a lot of other fans. It’s a TV show, which needs drama and tension to retain our interest. It’s a genre show, which ups the ante. I think how the show portrayed this relationship has blazed a new trail for representation. There’s a lot more story to tell, and I’m eager to see it all. Bring it on.

I leave you with this – the Total Perspective Vortex was powered by a piece of fairy cake, as the British call it, which is known in the USA as a cupcake. Which is exactly what Tamsin brought to Bo for her birthday before they slept together – a cupcake. Perspective.

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PS – for folks who still harbor sad feelings about Bo’s birthday present in this episode, here’s a short fanfic that I wrote about a surprise birthday gift from Lauren to Bo – I wrote it a few weeks ago, so it’s not in response to the episode, but just for fun.