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About unaligned

Unaligned Unicorns Uncover Lost Girl's Universe: A collaborative blog about the Canadian television series, Lost Girl.

Lost Girl Recipe: COOL CHICKpea Salad

Happy summer greetings from UNALIGNED! We are having a lot of feelings right now. We want to talk about them.

The second half of Lost Girl Season 5 starts on September 6! We are as happy as a succubus about to have a three-way!

bo_smile

But after it’s over, there’s no more Lost Girl. Ever.

bo_kenzi_popsicle

from the kitchen witch blog
source: thekitchenwitch

Anyway, whaddyagonnado. We want to celebrate this show which has so many cool chicks (and dudes) and put on a brave face despite the impending end of the season, so we have decided to eat our feelings. But since it’s summer and we ate our body weight in poutine last week, this latest recipe is high in fiber, Vitamin C, and contains healthy fats.

It’s fast, easy and delicious. (Insert joke about fast, easy and delicious women here. (Insert joke about the word “insert” here. (Insert three closed parentheses after this sentence.)))

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 green onion, sliced and diced
  • juice of half a lemon (or 1-2 TBSP bottled)
  • half a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • curry powder to taste (start with 1/2 tsp, add more if you like more)
  • pepper
  • salt to taste

Dice, drain, rinse, and mix it up. Put it in the fridge and chill out. Easy as succubus pie.

Also, add whatever else you have handy that sounds delicious, substitute stuff, it ain’t no thang. Chop up a carrot, throw in some cilantro, maybe some tahini or plain yogurt, whatever floats your boat.

Then EAT IT!

chickpea

Guest Post – “Quest-ce que the Hel?”- Unexplained Mysteries of Lost Girl (Season 5a Update)

Mahlers5th and Valksy are back to share with us an in-depth analysis of unanswered questions and a mid season-5 review! Thanks, you two!

Mahlers5th

Who hired Tamsin to find Bo? And what exactly is the relationship between the Wanderer and Hades?

I should probably just let The Wanderer rest in peace, but I am constitutionally unable to let a loose end dangle, particularly one that occupied such an important place in the story arc for two seasons. So let’s go to the videotape one last time.

rainer-massimo
R.I.P. (Rest In Perpetuity)

The Wanderer first makes his presence known to Bo (and the viewer) in episode 308 (Fae-ge Against the Machine) when Bo turns over nothing but Wanderer tarot cards during her pre-Dawning scavenger hunt in Brazenwood. Tamsin later asks Bo, “So what is it with this Wanderer?” Bo has no clue and, neither does Tamsin – or so she professes. But as she is showered with Wanderer cards falling from the night sky at the end of episode 308, Tamsin is forced to acknowledge that Bo is “the One” that her boss hired her to find and now wants to claim. And for now, her boss – whoever he is — apparently wants to be identified as The Wanderer.

There were more than a few hints offered in season 3 – particularly during the Dawning (episode 309, Ceremony) and by Tamsin herself at the end of episode 313 (Those Who Wander) — that The Wanderer might be Bo’s father, but this was never established for certain.

In episode 310 (Delinquents), Acacia hands Tamsin a Wanderer card and says, “He knows you’ve found her. Now it’s time to finish the job,” reinforcing the suggestion that the powerful client who hired them to find Bo at the very least wants to be identified as The Wanderer. Tamsin suggests she’ll find someone else he’ll want more and make a trade, to which Acacia responds acidly, “Name one person he wants more than this girl.” When Tamsin protests that Bo is too powerful, Acacia gives her the rune glass (“he thought of that”) with instructions about what she needs to collect to overpower Bo: “The Druid will take care of the rest.”

acacia

In episode 405 (Turn to Stone), Massimo later confirms he created a special elixir for The Wanderer as an “insurance policy” in case Tamsin didn’t come through with her mission. The potion marked Bo so that she could be collected by The Wanderer’s crows and transcend planes.

In episode 408 (Groundhog Fae), Tamsin tells Bo, “One look in his eyes and I knew I’d never met true evil…I told myself I was powerless to refuse this beast so I accepted his bounty to find a woman…Eyes both brown and blue. Virtuous yet lustful. Neither Dark no Light, yet both.” When Bo asks if the Wanderer could be her father, Tamsin responds ambiguously – without confirming the beast identified itself as The Wanderer– “That thing would’ve done anything to claim his ideal mate. Even if it meant creating her himself.” Hmm Tamsin…is that Daddy, yes? Or Daddy, no?

In episode 411 (End of a Line), Acacia makes one last appearance and tells Bo that it was the Wanderer who had his crows cut off her hand “because his protégé here [nodding towards Tamsin] didn’t deliver you as quickly as he wanted.” Acacia has come to convince Tamsin to join her in bringing down the Wanderer. She suspects Rainer is The Wanderer, but Tamsin is less certain. She wants to be sure. Bo tells them she “just knows” that Rainer is not the Wanderer and was not responsible for kidnapping her. Sure enough, when references to Rainer start to reappear in the Fae history books, the ink still not yet dry, Tamsin sees a picture of Rainer and tells Bo, “That’s not my boss.

In Episode 412 (Origin), Lauren reads prophesies in the Fae texts that refer to Rainer by name and describe him as a fanged tooth, horned demon beast of pure evil. After a thousand years, the book reveals, he will be unbound to bring about hell on Earth and betray the Fae. Lauren later shows Bo a passage she found with an illustration labelled “The Wanderer” showing a fanged tooth demon beast who bears some resemblance to a bearded Rainer. But since Tamsin had already revealed in the preceding episode that Rainer was not the beast who hired her, then we must conclude either that the resemblance is a coincidence or that someone/something may have revised the Fae history books to implicate Rainer as The Wanderer. Who? For what purpose?

At the end of season 4, all we know for certain is that Tamsin was hired to find Bo by an evil beast who may or may not be The Wanderer, may or may not be Bo’s father, and may or may not occasionally make an appearance as a fire-breathing demon steed named Pyrippus.

In other words, we know jack squat.

jack_squat

As the final season begins (episode 501, Like Hell: Part 1) an entity who hired Tamsin — apparently able to track and influence events in Valhalla via blue courtesy phones — contacts her as soon as she arrives to remind her of her duty to deliver the One with “Eyes both brown and blue/Virtuous yet lustful/Heart both strong and gentle/ Neither Dark nor Light.” Tamsin knows the deal: “She is yours.” Later in the same episode, Tamsin tells Bo that the man who hired her is not the Wanderer as she’d previously thought (wow, she picked all that up from one phone call?) but someone “way more powerful.” Hmm, The Wanderer seemed pretty powerful to us, Tamsin, but whatevs. Her boss doesn’t seem to rule Valhalla itself but Freya is willing to take orders from Him and Stacey is clearly intimidated by Him.

It is never explicitly stated that the entity who hired Tamsin is Bo’s father but I think we are meant to infer this from the fact that: 1) Freya refers to the “Him” she has been holding off for Tamsin’s sake and the “Him” from another after-realm to whom Kenzi’s soul has been promised as the same entity and 2) Bo identifies the “Him” who lured Kenzi to Valhalla as her father: “I’m the one he wants. This was his plan all along. He knew that I would come” – though frankly, Bo is herself in the dark about her father’s identity and in episode 413 (Dark Horse) seemed quite prepared to believe it was Pyrippus.

The writers didn’t keep us in suspense for long. In the season’s second episode (Like Hell: Part 2), Persephone reveals that Bo’s father is Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Many possibilities present themselves at this juncture – and even more questions. Was Hades the evil beast who hired Tamsin? Was he the Wanderer? If so, did Hades assume an identity as The Wanderer — first with Tamsin & Acacia, later with Bo — merely as an alias, to conceal his true identity? From whom? Did He also plant misdirections about Rainer in the Fae texts to make it appear that Rainer was The Wanderer? Why? Was he masking his true intentions? From whom? Or was Hades hiding behind The Wanderer persona to protect Bo’s true identity? From whom? The Ancients certainly seemed unaware that Bo Dennis was Hades’ daughter until Hera found her name, along with her special power as a succubus, in Trick’s ledger at the Dal.

excedrinConversely, if Hades is not the Wanderer (or wasn’t posing as The Wanderer), then who is this Wanderer and what is the relationship between him and Hades? Did Hades engage The Wanderer to find and collect Bo and bring her to him? Or did The Wanderer merely use Hades for his own ends? My head hurts.

Equally puzzling is the fact that at the end of episode 505 (It’s Your Lucky Fae), when Bo reveals she was born in Hel (Tartarus) and that Hades is her father, Tamsin acts as if this is news to her: “That was him who I sat across when I made the deal. Eyes both brown and blue. That was Hades,” she says with a tone of wonderment. Who else could she have been referring to in episode 501 when she said she was hired by an entity “way more powerful” than the Wanderer, if not Hades? Is she playing dumb with Bo in episode 505? Why?

Valksy

In episode 501, we learn from Trick that we have to take anything Tamsin says with more than a pinch of salt: “A Valkyrie’s blood is bound by secrecy.” Tamsin has been keeping a secret journal and we are led to think (in a scene between Dyson, Lauren and Trick) that Tamsin is so obliged to keep secrets that she cannot even tell anyone she is keeping secrets. If she is not allowed to discuss the Underworlds and those within it under pain of death, then was anything much that she might have said up to this point actually the truth?  Or was she attempting to drop clues and hints without breaking the rules?

We must also consider – from the events after the lighting of the candle – that some entities (like Zee, Iris, and Hera) are non-corporeal body jumpers.  So we don’t necessarily know who Tamsin was speaking to when she was hired to track Bo because we don’t know if she was addressing a body or a person within it who might be someone else entirely!  If an entity is moving between bodies, this would explain why people don’t know quite who they are talking to or why the faces are unfamiliar.

candle

For all we know, the person who set up Acacia may have been Zee pulling strings while wearing a different body (I don’t know if that is so, but the nature of these entities is such that it could be possible)

Is what we saw, just before Tamsin & Dyson crashed at the end of season 3, a look at the non-corporeal form of whatever/whoever has been tracking Bo when it is NOT inhabiting a body?

Mahlers5th

In episode 502, Persephone tells Bo that Hades’ powers began to wane as soon as Bo escaped Hel/Tartarus as a baby. He wasn’t even able to hold on to his own guards. And yet Trick, Tamsin, and Acacia seem “terrified” of Him – or whoever it is who calls himself the Wanderer in seasons 3 and 4. He is able to vaporize witches by remote control, make ghostly carousels appear, insert himself into Bo’s Dawning, command the ravens to do his bidding, kidnap Bo and bring her across dimensional planes to the Death Train, and concoct a grand scheme to lure Bo across the BiFrost to Valhalla to find Kenzi. In episode 501, Tamsin refers to him as “way more powerful” than the Wanderer. It is hard to reconcile the image of this godly Fae mastermind maneuvering Bo into playing her prescribed role in his grand design with the powerless denizen of Hel who can’t hold on to his own staff. In fact, Hades apparently needs to feed off Bo – via the umbilical “Wanderer’s mark” – for sustenance and he needs her help to be freed from imprisonment.

This is reminiscent of Zee’s need to feed off the electricity/energy generated by the crowd of fans at the football game in episode 506 (Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts). Maybe both Hades and Zee need Bo as a source of energy or wish to exploit her ability to drain chi from a crowd. But if Hades were truly Bo’s father, then according to Trick, he already shares her group-chi-suck talents and ability revive the dead. Why hasn’t he used these abilities to date to power up and free himself? Is it possible that Hades is not Bo’s father or is merely posing as her father for unknown reasons? After all, the person who identified him to Bo as her father was Persephone and who knows how reliable she is or whose side she’s really on? If Hades is not Bo’s father then who is? Maybe Sister Epona and the crazy pony ladies were right about the Pyrippus all along (we know a fire-breathing horse will make an appearance in season 5b).

pyrippus

Just smite me right now, O mighty smiter!

Valksy

I agree that whoever or whatever haunted Bo in season 3 certainly seemed to have a great deal of power in both realms and does not seem to be the impotent and perhaps even contained, restrained, or otherwise enfeebled Hades. Persephone describes Hades as an increasingly impotent entity abandoned by his own people as his portion of the Underworld descended into disrepair.  You’re right to ask how this reconciles with an entity that can cross all realms and work magic at will. It doesn’t make sense. If Hades created Bo for a purpose and if, in doing so, he surrendered some (or most?) of his power then how did he also haunt Bo?  The Wanderer is powerful — if Hades is weakened and impotent until Bo bonds with Rainer then they cannot be the same entity.

Bo does ask Tamsin directly in episode 408 (Groundhog Fae) if the Wanderer is her father. Although the secret diary casts anything that Tamsin may say into question, her answer is to explain that the entity who hired her (who did not identify himself as The Wanderer) “would have done anything to claim his ideal mate. Even if it meant creating her himself.” I suppose if Hades is the Wanderer, an incestuous interest in his own daughter would be just one more deeply villainous facet to the character (as if the incarceration, abuse and rape of Aife were not enough). But I truly doubt that the Lost Girl production team would venture down this path. What’s more, if the Wanderer is the powerful force we are led to believe, and Hades is a weaker and fading force, this leaves a potential escape hatch for the production. If Hades and the Wanderer are the same entity then there can surely be no question of his villainy. If Hades turn out to be a voluntary minion of the Wanderer, then his crimes against Aife still remain concrete and inexcusable — this storyline doesn’t work either. But if Hades has been exploited, tricked, coerced, mind-controlled or otherwise manipulated against his will into fathering Bo, then is there some margin for Bo to be open to dialogue, at least, if not forgiveness?

Is Hades the Wanderer? Right now everything seems to suggest he is not — both practically and in narrative terms. So who actually is the Wanderer?

wanderer

Mahlers5th

Perhaps in inducing Bo to hand bind with Rainer and open the gateway to Hel, then luring her to Valhalla and Tartarus, Hades has regained some of his power by closer proximity to the hand mark. That might explain why Freya and Tamsin seem to respect his authority in episode 501, but it still doesn’t explain who/what the powerful entity was that haunted Bo in season 3.

Valksy

In episode 501, Trick unveils a map showing the various branches of the Underworld and how they seem to have a hierarchy; Valhalla is on the same tier as Tartarus, there are other “divisions” on the same tier and lower.  At the top of this tree diagram looks to be a place called “High Heaven.”

freya
That’s Ms. Functionary to you

Similarly, Freya herself reminds me of the undead civil servants in the movie Beetlejuice — people whose underworld experience is stamping forms and being functionaries.  But who appointed her and what keeps her in her place?  What created these underworld divisions?  Who set the “rules” and assigned the lackeys (like Freya’s Valkyries) and why?

In Greek mythology, Hades was the ruler of the underworld but here that is clearly not – or no longer — the case.  His power was fading – at least up until Bo’s hand-fasting ceremony with Rainer opened a portal to Hel and released him from prison; I have to wonder why that was the case.

I’m not crazy about the idea of invoking an even bigger and more powerful architect who is pulling strings over it all.  But something can and does see through time and tamper with fate at will. When Trick writes in blood, what is the mechanism that makes that real?  It’s almost like a sanguine letter to Santa which comes true. I am still puzzling out what determines the natural order of things and why some have power over the natural environment, time, space and reality, and some don’t.

Mahlers5th

Trick also seems genuinely taken aback by the news that Bo’s father is Hades. “It can’t be!” he say when Bo breaks the news in episode 507 (Here Comes the Night). Why does he sound so certain that Bo must be wrong? From the beginning, Trick has played his cards close to his chest regarding the identity of Bo’s father – professing ignorance yet seeming to know quite a bit about his qualities (including His ability – inherited by Bo — to draw life from many victims and transfer that life force to someone else). Why did Aife never mention she was kidnapped by Hades from the Dark King and imprisoned in Tartarus? And why is her tone almost rapturous when talking about Him in episode 313 (when she tells Dyson He would never let anything happen to his daughter) if this is the being who kidnapped, raped, and imprisoned her for centuries?

aife
These are rational questions and it’s totally valid to expect a rational answer from me

Valksy

If Bo’s father is capable of body jumping (like Zee), then the Dark King and Hades could be the same entity, inhabiting one body.  Or the Dark King could be a disciple of Hades and gave Aife to him willingly.  While it would be unsurprising that Aife did not know where she was when caged, why did Lou Ann not mention a journey between planes and how might she have achieved it? She is seen getting out of a body bag at the end of episode 108 (Vexed) which makes you wonder about other people who seem dead but are not (like the Ancients themselves).

Trick certainly does not think that Hades can be Bo’s father. Although he expresses fear of the Wanderer in episode 408, in episode 501 (in that same scene with Dyson and Lauren I referred to earlier) he explains that he thought Tartarus was just a myth. Since the Fae are human myth come true, what if the Fae have myths of their own which are also coming true now?  Could Hades be to Trick what a succubus is to humans?

The concept of multiple levels of existence – from the lowliest humans to the time/space/reality defying Ancients – also reveals a deeper aspect of Bo’s story. The Fae and the humans have an inherent collision of interests — while not all Fae kill, humans are still fodder for them. The Fae themselves indulge in the Dark/Light schism (is it simply philosophical in nature or is there a purpose to it?). Might there be a third tier of rivalry, perhaps one of an Overworld (represented by Zee and Hera) and an Underworld (Hades and perhaps Freya). Could the battle between Zee and Hades be the Ancient’s version of Light Fae versus Dark? And if so, which is Dark and which is Light, or is it even possible to discern the difference?

Underworld_realms_map_(501)

This line of questioning comes to mind with how Bo relates to Hades, in that her existence as half-Ancient by bloodline means that Bo has the capacity to invest in all tiers of conflict in her world — Half-Fae and half-Ancient by nature, but raised with human sensibilities. With hints of Bo as a Messianic entity in the past (episode 313, Those Who Wander, and episode 412, Origin), does this heritage make her the ultimate weapon for the Wanderer and, if so, reduce Hades to one facet of Bo’s past rather than the key to the whole story?

Mahlers5th

In episode 502, everything Bo does to Persephone in Tartarus is mimicked by the spirit Edimmu with Lauren. How? Why? Is there a point being made here?

Valksy

There is an inference of a psychic link between Bo and Lauren. We’re supposed to be titillated by the thought that they are actually making love to each other — except that it’s not Bo, it’s the demon creature, stealing Bo’s moves.

What? The Wanderer storyline might not be over? The horror!

I think we’re supposed to be reminded that Bo is a succubus and what the succubus myth meant. Bo’s nature as a predator from before the first episode is often side-stepped; the Edimmu entity is a proxy for Bo, red in tooth and claw and facilitated by sex-magic. It is also worth considering that some peril, particularly to a human, was required so that we would be confronted with the danger Kenzi also faces, and accept as plausible her decision to leave at the end of episode 502. If Kenzi herself was the target, then her choice becomes a more coerced one. As a witness to harm being done, is she making a more intellectual decision to leave? I have to think that we were explicitly shown than Bo isn’t always there to protect those who are most precious to her; the Fae world is an ever-present threat to humans, even if you have the most powerful entity in your corner.

Mahlers5th

Hades was banished to the underworld for thousands of years, so when/how did he manage to kidnap Aife from the Dark Fae, bring her to Tartarus, & impregnate her (presumably as part of a plan to create Bo)? What about Lou Ann? At what point in this sequence of events does she rescue Bo?

Valksy

While I am not sure that there is anything canonical to answer this definitely, given the presence of ancient grimoires that write themselves before the eyes, the flashbacks to Tamsin’s past meeting with the Wanderer (episode 408, Groundhog Fae) and the presentation of Rainer’s long term incarceration on the train, I have to wonder if the passage of linear time, especially on other planes of existence, is not necessarily a given. If Hades was capable of crossing planes of existence between life and death itself, is time itself just as flexible and open to being traversed? That is, of course, pure theory. The answer is that we do not know, since we cannot accurately place names and faces within this story. Perhaps this is completely intentional to sustain the mystery.   But why would the passage of time serve Hades? The answer may be in Trick’s belief that Tartarus itself was just a myth and his apparent incredulity that Hades could have sired Bo. Does it serve Hades to be all but forgotten to time? Certainly this ruse was used by Trick himself, the amiable barkeep-come-King.

It is possible that — having lost control of his daughter as she was carried from his realm — Hades simply did not know where Bo was while she was growing up. If there is any argument that his Underworld is not necessarily subject to linear time (since the kidnapping and imprisonment of Aife do not seem contemporary to Bo’s time with her adoptive parents) then was it possible that Lou Ann exited his Underworld without permission and outside his influence?

In considering the progression of time and events pertaining to Bo as an infant, it is also worth questioning how Aife came to escape from her cell and how Bo was removed from the Underworld with no apparent challenge from a doting father who had been seen crooning and singing to her as a loving father (episode 309, Ceremony). Is it possible that Hades had become imprisoned in the music box — an item seen in the nursery in episode 502 — at this point and was unable to intervene?

Certainly there seems to have been a connected chain of events: the starting point (Aife) led to a threat on Bo’s life at the end of S1, which compelled Trick to write in blood, leading to the unleashing of the Garuda whose presence led to Bo demonstrating her ultimate power by the end of S2.  I wonder if this acted like a beacon to her father, the Wanderer, or both?

MoeraeI also find myself considering the closing shot of Lou Ann in episode 108 (Vexed), in which she frees herself from a body bag, and wondering if there is a correlation to the fact that Zee, in the body of Elizabeth Helm, is seen freeing herself from a morgue drawer in episode 503 (Big in Japan). Is there a connection between these two resurrections and more hints about strings being pulled and machinations that tamper with Bo’s life path? Is anyone who they are supposed to be?!

The obvious follow up question for this is — why would anyone, especially someone with powers we might describe as “god-like” go to so much trouble? If time and reality are as fluid as they seem to be now, what purpose is being served by trying to (or needing to) covertly steer Bo down a path that is not yet revealed to us?

I would argue that the answer to this is in the fatalistic themes of the show — are we born or made, and how much choice do we genuinely have in what happens to us? If Bo’s pathway to whatever punchline is waiting in the closing episodes was inevitable all along, then what is the point of the story? I find it hard to believe that Bo can be genuinely reduced to just a pawn in the game being played. Surely free will must still be possible. Is Bo’s free will required for some future event by whatever forces are trying to control — even end — her world?

Mahlers5th

I think we’re generating more questions than answers, Valksy, but the questions are certainly worth thinking about. So here’s another for you:

Why does Bo’s father let her escape not once, not twice, but three times?

Having gone to all the trouble of creating Bo, why did Hades let her escape Tartarus as a child? Having tracked her down on the earthly plane (by age 30), why did he wait to kidnap her? Having kidnapped her, why did he (or The Wanderer) then let her escape the Death Train? Having gone to all the trouble to bring Kenzi to Valhalla so Bo would follow, why let Bo escape so easily? Couldn’t he have overpowered her in the elevator (in episode 502, Like Hell-Part 2)? Is this all so she will have the illusion of freely choosing to side with him in an upcoming battle?

Valksy

I think that the answer to this may rely on our conclusion that Hades and the Wanderer are simply not the same man. It is therefore possible that there are two entities trying to guide or control Bo to their own ends. Is Bo being called on to rule as the Dark Queen as consort or as a daughter? Is it her role to free Hades from his prison, or participate in some as yet undetermined endgame with something that seems even more powerful?

Whatever the endgame is in store for Bo, if it was possible to force her to do it, why not simply do so? Maybe Bo is facing tests and trials (like Hercules or Gilgamesh) but if so, who is setting them in her way and is she passing or failing?

Hades appears to be imprisoned and impotent and I think that incidents such as the delivery of the music box (addressed by “Dad”) are orchestrated by Persephone, who has misrepresented her interests to Bo, just as (in the original Greek tales) she was not always a reluctant victim, but also a queen of the Underworld in her own right. However, I am not sure that there is evidence to suggest that Persephone has any significant power in her own right – she may simply have a vested interest in Hades being freed and returned to a position of influence. Nor is there anything to suggest that the Wanderer is interested in Hades beyond the purpose which he has already served. Perhaps the reason that we cannot make sense of some of the more confusing elements across season 3 and 4 is because they are carried out by two different factions with two different motives.

But have I ever done anything suspicious? Except for sleeping with Bo under false pretenses, I guess.
But have I ever done anything suspicious? Except for sleeping with Bo under false pretenses, I guess.

Mahlers5th

Why haven’t we seen the Dark Queen so far in season 5?

We did see “Supersuccubus” in episode 501, chi-sucking the three brothers from the Hills Have Eyes, but there is no expression of thirst for power that we’ve come to associate with her appearance. Even when Bo was within spitting distance of her father (in episode 502), there was no evidence of the kind of possession we witnessed in episodes 208, 222, 305, 309, & most recently in episode 413: “I am your Queen whether you swear it or not, fool!” she hisses at Dyson. “And my true army cometh. I was bound by blood. Now we bathe in it. Humans. Fae. All will bow before me. All will break before the power of the Pyrippus!” Are we to infer that Bo is increasingly able to control her Dark Queen side? When/how did she learn to do this? Her control still seemed so tenuous at the end of episode 413.

Valksy

Bo chi-sucking the creeps in episode 501 kicks in when she is unconscious & hurt.  She extends it to cover the whole group when one of them prepares to point a shotgun at her.  Watching the scene, I’m not sure how conscious or aware she is, or whether it is an instinctive survival mechanism. Other than this point, is Bo in the kind of deep and serious peril which has tended to trigger it in the past?  I’m not sure that it has ever been something that she can produce at will, only under duress, and she was under physical duress on the mountaintop.  You could argue that she just wasn’t otherwise sufficiently provoked.

Mahlers5th

What about The Wanderer’s mark? It didn’t make an appearance in season 5 until episode 508 (End of Faes).

Bo and Rainer both believed the mark was left on them by The Wanderer when they were on the Death Train. That was certainly where it first appeared. We also know it was stolen from the Leviathan 600 years earlier. Yet, in episode 412 (Origin), Bo indicates she is somehow linked to her father through it – when it glows, she is weakened, as if drained of chi. Are we meant to conclude that the Wanderer may have placed the hand print on Bo but that Hades, her father, is somehow profiting from or feeding off it? I’m confused.

In first half of season 5, we’ve seen no evidence that Hades is exercising any influence over Bo via the handprint, as He did at the end of season 4. Why not? Bo seems so hell-bent on ridding herself of the mark (in episode 508) that she is willing to be operated on without anesthesia with a rusty blade by Zee, who has clearly established she is decidedly not the cool kind of aunt who buys you condoms.

Valksy

If the handprint was an umbilical cord and Hades was feeding off her, it would make sense that it was discrete and she was not so intent on ridding herself of it until the opportunity actually presented itself.  Hades seems to have a parasitic connection at this stage.

He was trying to give me a high five, but he missed.
He was trying to give me a high five, but he missed.

Mahlers5th

The Pyrippus may be making an appearance in season 5b. Is Rainer gone for good? Was he merely enlisted by The Wanderer — or Bo’s father posing as The Wanderer – to set in motion his plan to have Bo open the portal, releasing him from Hel, then lure her off the earthly realm to Valhalla? What did Rainer get out of the deal? Liberation from the Death Train and a trip to Valhalla? If Hades is influential in Valhalla, and Rainer should have been transported to Valhalla in the first place (before Trick erased him from history) why did the Wanderer or Hades keep Rainer imprisoned on the Death Train for hundreds of years?

Valksy

Perhaps the Death Train was a kind of emergency measure to stop Rainer from being erased altogether?  Trick wanted him completely wiped from existence – perhaps the train was a bell jar to keep him in stasis until the Wanderer was ready to move that particular pawn.  But that doesn’t explain why Rainer was selected — except for the fact that Rainer was trying to tamper with the Fae natural order of things and might continue to do so if given the chance (e.g. murder the Una Mens).

Honestly though, I think he was a convenient pawn who has been discarded.  To tamper with Bo’s meaningful relationships. And if he was promised Valhalla… well, didn’t he kind of give up in his fight against Massimo?  If it wasn’t a good warrior’s death, he gets nothing.

Did Massimo beat him fairly or did he give up, mission accomplished by playing a role?

Mahlers5th

In any case, we weren’t sorry to see Rainer go and hope he is gone for good.

What are we supposed to make of the Artemis candle? Bo “stole” it from Hades a little too easily, so presumably he – or somebody from the afterworld — wanted her to take it. To what end? Simply to allow the Ancients to escape to the earthly plane? Does that mean Hades was at one time in cahoots with the Ancients? It’s hard to believe Persephone could pull this off behind his back and without his knowledge – not with all those bugged blue courtesy phones all over Valhalla. What sort of arrangement is/was there between Hades and the Ancients? Zee seems to suggest in episode 508 (End of Faes) that they had been working together or were pretending to (“Hades may have inspired this shindig…”) but now she professes to want to prevent Hades from using Bo to end the world. Her look of terror when Bo opens her father’s diable-en-boite at the end of episode 508 suggests they are no longer on the same side. What happened?

Valksy

Bo was all but guided to the candle (incidentally, the music box was visible within the nursery in Tartarus, so it is also under Persephone’s control — is she as innocent as she seemed?).  In episode 501, Trick, Dyson, and Lauren read in Tamsin’s diary that “the wearer of the shoes can collect souls to build a dark army – the army to end all life.” Perhaps Persephone would want this since her mother, Demeter, is very much an entity of the realm of earth.  Perhaps Persephone is helping Hades destroy her mother’s realm out of vengeance or as some manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome.

Bo pretty much had that candle pressed into her hands, true.  And it did unleash the Ancients.  It does seem like a huge plot is playing out but I can’t tell who is on which side!

The mysteries remain!

Mahlers5th

The music box. What’s your best guess about what Bo sees at the end of episode 508 (End of Faes)? Why is Zee so terrified – slinking away as soon as she hears the music begin to play?

Valksy

I did love Amanda Walsh’s performance in this scene as the abject horror Zee seems to show has resonated with me since. Is Hades really so alarming to her? He seems to be on her tier of power as an Ancient — or perhaps even her inferior, since he was an Underworld custodian and therefore an administrator, like Freya.

I wonder if the terror is related more to who or what put Hades in the box, having had Hades play his part in creating Bo. If this is the Wanderer, an entity who wants Bo as a mate and would be inconvenienced by her being her father’s daughter, then what is he and why would he be so powerful?

There seems to be a hierarchy of potency across the species that inhabit Bo’s world. Humans are the weakest and have no additional power; Fae prey on humans and have some supernatural ability, the Ancients seem dominant to the Fae and exhibit powers outside the natural. What else might there be that is at the top of this food chain?

According to myth, Zeus and Hades were the children of the Titan Cronus, who was the personification of time and who engaged in a back and forth struggle for power with his own off-spring before being defeated and banished to Tartarus. Since Lost Girl understandably does not replay the myths detail by detail, might this defeat and banishment have been reversed and is it possible that Hades being released will re-ignite a conflict with the apex entity — the Wanderer.

While the Greeks considered Cronus to be the embodiment of chaos, the Roman counterpart character of Saturn is viewed as a positive and guiding entity who managed the divergent species who existed in his realm, provided laws for them to live by and presided over a Golden Age, although what might have been considered a Golden Age could just as easily have been a dictatorship, where the powerful ruled by threat of force and had dominion over all lesser species. This kind of ambiguity seems like a possibility for an ultimate foe for Bo to challenge and conquer, to determine who she is and what she represents to others by her own choice — and in doing so, fulfill the promise of the show itself.

“The local Nymphs and Fauns once lived in these groves,
and a race of men born of trees with tough timber,
who had no laws or culture, and didn’t know how
to yoke oxen or gather wealth, or lay aside a store,
but the branches fed them, and the hunter’s wild fare.

Saturn was the first to come down from heavenly Olympus,
fleeing Jove’s weapons, and exiled from his lost realm.
He gathered together the untaught race, scattered among
the hills, and gave them laws, and chose to call it Latium,

Under his reign was the Golden Age men speak of:
in such tranquil peace did he rule the nations,
until little by little an inferior, tarnished age succeeded,
with war’s madness, and desire for possessions.”

Aeneid VIII – Virgil

Mahlers5th

64kAnd saving the best for last — The $64,000 question: Is Doccubus reunited?

In episode 508, Bo tells Lauren there’ll always be one reason or another to put off their relationship, but she wants to be together, prompting Lauren’s immortal words, “Oh boy…” When Bo asks if that’s “Oh boy, yes” or “Oh boy, no,” Lauren hesitates. Why would Lauren hesitate? As soon as Lauren hesitates, Bo seems distracted, spots Tamsin, and tells Lauren they’ll finish this later. Huh? After pining for Lauren for, like, 23 episodes (or was that just us fans?) you’ve finally asked your ex to be with you again and…you get distracted by the girl you just dumped? “Aaaaannnnnd we’re back,” Lauren says, speaking for an entire fandom. Can you make sense of this for me?

andwereback

Valksy

I wonder if Lauren hesitates because Bo has picked the worst time for a chat. It’s not like she pops the question over candles and dinner!  And also keep in mind that Bo’s sense that time is short suggests that – in Bo’s mind at least – she may fail.  This would also be shocking to Lauren, who might have assumed they would eventually prevail, so didn’t see as much (if any) urgency to actually have this conversation.

It’s very much a “This?! Now?!” moment to me, and one that Lauren may see as unnecessary because she has faith in Bo and feels confident that they will win the day. I liked seeing another example of Lauren’s belief.

Bo is distracted by flesh – she’s a succubus.  There is a part of her that is compulsion and raw unregulated desire, but she wants to move beyond her programming and live the life she chooses.  It’s just not so simple for her given that she has already shown she’s not going to be capable of physical monogamy. Is this the closing note of the show? That there is more to meaningful connections with people than something as simple as sex, that emotional resonance is of infinitely more value? Would it be genuinely unique to ask us all to disregard physical intimacy and focus completely on the emotional bonding instead?

Mahlers5th

Do we dare to hope for a “fairy tale” ending or not?

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Valksy

Certainly none of us grew up with romantic tales that end with the girl getting the girl; this would not count as a traditional heteronormative “happy” ending. I think that it is fair to say that many of us have a deep longing to see a finale that would be unique and satisfying and give us all our “princess” moment (well, Bo seems to be the daughter of a King…maybe). Is it a happy ending for Bo to live a long and loving, but in the end sad life with Lauren as the weight of humanity takes its toll? Is it even a sad ending if time comes to pass, as it naturally will for the human doctor we love so much? Should Bo remain as the heir to the Dal, a place of neutrality and balance with the promise of protection if needed? What about Bo saying goodbye to her wife on her passing and returning to the world as the tumbleweed we first met, to become lost and found again in a new adventure with a new family of choice?

Might we, as the viewer, be called upon to make this choice for Bo in our minds as the credits darken, with ambiguity offering many paths to our beloved character and the outcome in the power of each and every one of us? In a show that is ultimately about choice, is this the final choice for us to make?

Mid-Season 5 Review

UNALIGNED welcomes Mahlers5th and Valksy, who join Sally in discussing the first half of Season 5 of Lost Girl. Gods, dads, families, Doccubus, Bo’s box – we talk about it all. Let’s dive in!

If the world were clear, art would not exist.
[Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus]

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
[Friedrich Nietzsche]

Mahlers5th

“Who am I?” “Where do I fit in?” “How does this world work?” “What really matters in life?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” “Is that all there is?” These are the kind of questions that Bo has been wrestling with since the premiere episode of Lost Girl.  While viewers have been drawn to the show for varied reasons, Lost Girl is fundamentally about Bo’s journey in search of her true nature, her lineage, and the larger destiny that awaits her. What does she really want? Will she finally live the life she chooses?

Some viewers find it frustrating that after three decades and a 4 ½ season search to understand herself, Bo still doesn’t have all the answers. I find it one of her most endearing human qualities (it is the human characters in Lost Girl — Lauren and Kenzi — who seem to learn, grow, and mature the most with experience, not the centuries-old Fae). Asking such existential, or meaning-focused, questions is a primary intrinsic motivation of human beings and it’s an important reason why I keep watching Lost Girl — insatiable human curiosity about this supernatural world in which we have been immersed and the characters who inhabit it, especially our lead protagonist.

Was all the time invested trying to understand themes, to search for meaning and make sense of character development wasted? I find myself thinking of Sisyphus, condemned by the Greek Gods to ceaselessly push a stone to the top of a mountain, knowing full well that in the end it would always fall back of its own weight.

sisyphus-jankovics1“They had thought with some reason that there was no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor,“ Albert Camus wrote in The Myth of Sisyphus, “[but] the struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

I still enjoy puzzling out the storyline, understanding what motivates characters, following the developing mythology, trying to make sense of clues, translating Runes, researching jack-in-the-boxes, and deciphering children’s nursery rhymes — even if the answers never come into sharp focus. We’re only in this wonderful universe of Lost Girl for a short while longer, and I feel almost compelled to pay close attention.

Sally

Greek gods are assholes.
[everyone who has ever read Greek mythology]

Season 5 is all about family,” said Michael Grassi, who has taken up the mantle of showrunner for the final season of Lost Girl. And so it is. But as we’ve seen throughout the entire series, family doesn’t necessarily mean only your blood relations. Family also means the family you choose. Over the years, Bo has been slowly been building her own family, which includes Lauren, Dyson, Tamsin, Hale (RIP), occasionally Vex, and of course at its heart – Kenzi.

In season 5, Bo finally meets some bona fide blood relations, the first since encountering Aife (who was hardly a source of comfort and solace) and then identifying Trick (who keeps secrets) as her grandfather. And so far, Bo’s new family of Zee, Heratio and Iris seem to be assholes. Bo’s father, named as Hades, continues to manipulate her from afar.

In fairness, I’m getting the sense that Zee, Heratio and Hades don’t bear Bo any personal animosity. Rather, all the signs seem to point to them wanting to use her for their own ends, just as they used Clay the heraclid to gain energy in episode 5.06 “Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts.” It was Tears for Fears who told us “Everybody wants to rule the world,” and that’s what I think is going on with these three. It’s the old story – all of the gods want to be the ultimate El Jefe.

Sidenote on this:  why does everyone always want to rule the world, the kingdom, or the country? Sure, you have power, but if you’re going to do it right, you also have a lot of responsibility – and administrative headaches. Plus, you’ll likely have a lot of other people plotting to overthrow you.

For Zee and Heratio, it seems like adoration increases their power, so I kind of get it, but I direct you to look up the approval ratings for the President and Congress, because being a leader doesn’t necessarily translate into being adored.

I just spent a bit of time googling a quote that I thought I remembered from Machiavelli or Mark Twain, but as it turns out, it’s from Douglas Adams (again):

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

–Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

This is why I love humor and satire, and more generally, representative art, including TV:  it takes philosophical points that are interesting in and of themselves and presents them in the form of entertainment, which makes them (perhaps) easier to understand, and attractive to a wider range of people.

Mahlers5th

Season 4 ended with a more clear-headed Bo, coolly determined to go to Hel and back if necessary to save Kenzi and to confront those who had lured her into the portal.  As season 5 opens, badass Bo is clearly back, with her fierce sense of loyalty and justice, her courage and defiance. She’s mad as Hell and she isn’t going to take it anymore.

In the span of the first two episodes — or a mere hour and a half of viewer time — Bo finds the missing helskór, infiltrates Hel/Valhalla, rescues Kenzi and negotiates her transport back to the earthly plane, survives a descent into Tartarus, sweeps aside taunts that her chosen family no longer loves her, defeats the maze, discovers her father’s identity, demands to see him to “have my say,” then fearlessly confronts him in the pitch black of his lair:

I can hear you breathing, Dad. Dad…I’ve waited so long to say that. To talk to you. Wondering who you really are. Are you gonna come out and face me? You’ve been hiding all these years. Why would that change now? You’re not my family. You’re nothing. You’re darkness. And I’m not walking into it.

This is a pivotal speech in the season and in the series-long arc of Bo’s personal coming-of-age story. In Bo’s mind, her journey is done. She has made her choice: she is NOT her father. There’s your biological family, then there are those people you meet along the way who love you and whom you trust to be at your side, and maybe that’s enough:

Keep hiding. I don’t want to meet you. I never want to meet you. I’m not going to jeopardize the people who truly love me back home just to meet you. I don’t need to know who you are to know myself. You wanna see me? It’ll be on my terms. With my true family who would never abandon me. I will never be what you want me to be.

Bo’s life, from the moment of her conception — if not before — seems to have been subject to a script beyond her control — she was to be the Chosen One or The Dark Queen, despite both being at odds with her frequently stated wish to live the life that she chooses. But as she leaves her father’s penthouse with the Artemis candle lighting her way, she seems to have taken back the reins of her life — or so she thinks.

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My true family who would never abandon me…

No sooner has Bo uttered those words than the bottom drops out of her world:  Kenzi abandons her. “Abandons” is not too strong a word to describe the emotional significance of this loss for Bo. Her love for Kenzi was the only thing she felt “completely sure about.” Despite her surface acceptance and understanding of Kenzi’s decision, Bo is devastated. Kenzi has chosen to be away from Bo, although Bo would have chosen to have her stay — a hard lesson. There isn’t a person with a beating heart who wouldn’t feel with Bo in that moment, “If she really loved me, she wouldn’t leave.”

Having descended into Tartarus, discovered her true birthplace, confronted Hades, and declared her chosen path, Bo is thrown back into paralyzing doubt. The emotional and psychological impact of losing Kenzi is painfully evident over the next several episodes and, in my view, Bo doesn’t fully regain her footing until episode 507 (“Here Comes the Night”) after the Ancients have thrown down the gauntlet and — probably not coincidentally — she and Lauren begin to reconnect.

Sally

Painfully evident, maybe – though as usual, Lost Girl requires the viewer to fill in a lot of the blanks. In 5.03, “Big in Japan,” Bo has lost her mojo. At the end of the episode, acknowledging the trauma she feels about having lost Kenzi and confronting her fears about losing the rest of her family enables her to regain what is central to her Fae identity – her libido. But other than a couple of mentions in episodes 4-8, a viewer might reasonably conclude that Bo has left the sadness of Kenzi’s desertion behind.

Not that I would have liked to have seen a mopey Bo for all of these episodes, don’t get me wrong. We had enough of that in Season 4. Tell us more about how it was evident, M5!

Mahlers5th

I think grief and trauma can take many forms, Sally. In the immediate aftermath of Kenzi’s departure, Bo seems to be managing through some combination of radical denial and detachment. Given the fact that she has just learned her father was Hades and then watched Kenzi walk away without warning, Bo’s behavior at the opening of episode 503 — dancing and repainting her crib  — is downright bizarre. Kenzi was her rock and anchor and she turned her back on Bo — how could that be anything but acutely damaging? Bo acts as if she has been unaffected by Kenzi’s departure. In fact, she is trying desperately to erase it and move on. The only hint of her deep hurt is her loss of libido.

It’s not just her sexual mojo that is MIA, at least temporarily (as you point out, she regains that by the end of the episode when her family rallies around her). Bo seems to have lost any sense of self, purpose, and confidence. She may not be mopey, but gone is the decisive warrior who fearlessly scaled cliff faces without ropes to find a shoe. It’s as if all the air has gone out of her. She was never truly gung-ho about being the Chosen One — that becomes abundantly clear in episode 503 (“Big in Japan”) — but she is more detached and astonishingly insensitive to the feelings and needs of her friends, notably Lauren. Did anyone mention to Bo that Lauren’s lab has been under attack and that her life was in danger? Did Bo think to ask? Lauren, armed and toned, learns to defend herself.

While Dyson and Lauren fill the void by taking on the investigation of a series of truly ominous events (the elevator crash, oddly untouched victims in the morgue who rise up and murder innocents, ritualistic killings) that point to something darker and more evil lurking in their midst, Bo and Tamsin fall back to the Case of the Week format — acting as bodyguards for Musashi in episode 503 (“”Big in Japan”) and chasing down The Hunter in episode 504 (“When God Opens a Window”).

It is only in episode 505 (“It’s Your Lucky Fae”), when her father sends her the Jack-in-the-Box wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, that Bo seems to wake up to the fact that her father may indeed intend to bring the battle to her turf. Even then, after her attempt to contact Cassie for advice fails, she puts the box away — because really, she was showered with enough fab gifts on her birthday, right? — and doesn’t mention her paternal lineage to anyone, as if keeping the news to herself makes it untrue. Out of sight, out of mind!

While Bo joins Tamsin for the latest Case of the Week in episode 505 (Cassie’s disappearance) and dabbles in online creep-dating, a ledger of Fae signatures and powers has been taken from the Dal and pieces to a larger game involving a mysterious Greek trio are slowly being moved into place.  As the designated Chosen One, Bo remains strangely oblivious and peripheral to the main action. She seems to be trying to keep her head down and her focus near.

At the tail end of episode 505, Bo confesses to Tamsin that Hades is her father, and finally seems to cotton on to the fact that this guy who has been chasing her for, like, thirty years/episodes isn’t going to let her walk out of his life as easily Kenzi walked out of hers:

No matter how hard I try to get away from him, no matter how much good I try to do, he’ll always be a part of me. And he’ll always find me. I need to find a way to separate myself from him for good, so he can never hurt my real family again. He’s trying to use me for something. Something terrible.

He’s trying to use me for something. I love you Bo, really I do, but Duh. He lured your best friend through that portal to get you to come after her, and only now are you realizing he’s trying to use you for “something terrible”? You mean, like that Fae Armageddon prophesied back in season 2? Wake up, girl!

There is no talk here of accepting her fate as the “Chosen One”– in fairness, a mantle she never asked to have — nor any acknowledgement that sooner or later she will have to face her father in the prophesied End of Faes; this is a battle only Lauren seems to understand Bo will have to fight, whether she likes it or not.

Through the seasons Bo has always taken on responsibility for the safety, liberty and lives of others and felt compelled to fight other people’s battles because her sense of morality insisted, even if she didn’t want to do it (recall that in episode 214 Bo initially told the Ash she would not be his champion, then reluctantly agreed in episode 220 only after Ciara was killed by the Garuda). At this stage, however, all Bo wants to do is circle the wagons, protect her remaining family, and escape her father’s influence once and for all.

Sidebar: This may help explain why Zee’s offer in episode 508 (“End of Faes’) to perform surgery without anesthesia and with a rusty blade no less — an offer that has “really, really bad idea” written all over it in bright neon letters — seems so appealing to Bo. She’s willing to try anything to rid herself of her father’s handprint — as if that would end the series-long battle she has been waging with the darkness within herself.

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In the following episode 506 (“Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts”), Bo is beginning to catch on that behind the Case of the Week — the football player’s murder — a major supernatural threat may be looming (actually it’s Dyson who catches her up about triskeles and such) but she is still mostly a bystander in the story, looking a little perplexed and unsure what her role should be.

She regains some of her old bravado in confronting Zee (“If you think we’re done here, you underestimate me”) but she doesn’t really know who she is up against and is swatted aside with a lightening bolt, the door slammed in her face. Could she look more powerless and clueless? It is Trick who begins to piece things together for her at the end of the episode: the Ancients, the most powerful Fae family that ever lived, have descended to the earthly plane to make a killing betting on college football games. Or something involving enucleated oracles? And there’s that jack-in-the-box in your closet, Bo, the one you dreamt about? Because the unconscious never forgets. We certainly haven’t.

Since season 2, when Bo began to have experiences of a dark potential within herself that was bigger and more powerful than anyone else, it was clear that the battle landscape that mattered most lay within Bo. Monsters are nothing — her inner space is what this show is all about. By the end of season 4, after a season and a half of wrestling with her inner Dark Queen, Bo suddenly seemed more “clear-headed,” and back to her defiant bad-ass self again. Kenzi’s death focused things for her. It gave her a clear path, places to go, monsters to defeat. Bo got her swagger back through physical battles outside herself.

Alas, you can take the girl out of Hel, Bo, but you can’t take Hades out of the girl. Slaying the outside monsters has always been relatively easy for Bo. Overcoming her inner demons is proving to be a deeper challenge. We can expect to see this battle played out once and for all in the second half of season 5. Bo has kept herself in the dark and delayed opening the box as long as she could, but at the end of episode 508 she finally peeks inside — and seems utterly taken aback by what she sees in the light.

If you’re feeling impatient about the setbacks and slow pace of Bo’s personal maturation, think about this: if her own internal crises and stressors were as easy to slay as a MoTW, would Bo be even remotely compelling?

Sally

These are good points. Overcoming our inner demons is probably the most challenging piece for most people, right? Bo has appeared to prefer repressing and avoiding the hard stuff during several crucial points during Lost Girl, though she has made steady progress over the years toward being able to face her problems head on.

What I find interesting about the portrayal of Bo’s father so far in Season 5 is that the last three episodes seem designed to cast doubt on the certainty that he’s totally a bad guy. He has consistently been portrayed as an evil person who has committed many terrible deeds – kidnapping, imprisonment and rape of Aife, for starters – and who was banished from the world for good reason. Also, let’s not forget that in episode 2 of season 5, his hand reached through the elevator doors to choke Bo when it became clear that she was beating a hasty retreat.

hadesBut Bo’s conversation with him in episode 5.08 seemed like it was leading us to view her father in a more neutral light. A lot of the things he said to her smacked of the ends justifying the means – “sometimes the greatest evil is also the greatest mercy.” He’s trying to confuse her and tempt her into joining him, since it must be clear by now that Bo would never willingly choose evil.

Bo’s Achilles heel that allows her to deceive herself into taking a trip to the dark side might end up being her longing for the care and regard of the father she never knew, especially given the rejection she suffered at the hands of her adoptive parents. When the Oracles were presenting Bo with the visions of the ones she held most dear, she saw Dyson, Lauren, and then her father. She’s vulnerable to believing there might be some good in him, I think – but I don’t think it’s going to turn out as well for her as it did for Luke Skywalker.

Mahlers5th

I loved the metaphor of Bo driving blind in episode 505 — the same episode in which the three oracles were blinded, ostensibly to prevent Bo and faemily from seeing what lies in store for them. The blind seer is a recurring theme in mythology. They are blind, and yet they can see more than others. Justice is blind, Odin plucked out an eye to gain wisdom, and the Graeae only had one eye between the three of them. Across many mythologies, the sacrifice of sight results in greater knowledge.

Maybe in keeping herself “in the dark” — without fully realizing it! — Bo is actually preserving a certain clear-sightedness about the larger picture, the whole forest, rather than getting lost in the trees (the shenanigans of the Ancient trio). That final image in episode 508 (Bo’s face illuminated by the contents of the box) suggests she may finally be “seeing the light.”

Sally

What do you think was in the box?

Mahlers5th

We’re given a few clues. Trick tells us (in episode 508) that it is “a toy box that can contain evil. The original jack in the box. Only a box of Adamantine, the ore of ancients, could contain such evil [emphasis mine].”  Michael Grassi sent us on a scavenger hunt about such boxes after episode 505, so we know that in French, a jack-in-the-box is called a “diable en boite” (literally boxed devil). Could the writers be trying to tell us that the box either already contains evil or is intended to entrap…Satan?!! [gif of Dana Carver as Church Lady might be appropriate here]. Seriously, I think we’re meant to conclude that by opening the box, Bo is either unleashing something evil (perhaps her father from some place of imprisonment) or has been given the means to contain something evil (perhaps the Ancient trio). Zee’s terrified expression could be consistent with either scenario, so doesn’t tell us much in the end.

We are given other possible clues in Bo’s dream that opens episode 506 (“Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts”). Lauren, dressed as a Greek Goddess is turning the crank on the box with an indecipherable (at least to me) smile on her face. Her smile looks bemused, almost lascivious, as if she already anticipates where the viewer’s mind is apt to go, seeing her opening Bo’s box (a play on words that was at the center of the scene between Lauren, Dyson, and Vex in episode 408, “Groundhog Fae”).

This dream image also brought up associations to Pandora for many viewers –the first human woman created by the Gods. The fact that Pandora was created by Hephaestus (who will appear as a character in episode 512) makes the association to Pandora’s box even more plausible.

In Greek mythology — which may be quite different from Lost Girl mythology as we’ve seen! — Hephaestus is a child of Zeus and Hera, and is craftsman and smithy of the Gods. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to mold Pandora out of earth as part of the punishment of humanity for Prometheus’ hubris in stealing the secret fire. Zeus then gave Pandora a golden box but warned her never to open it. Her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it anyway, unleashing all the evils that plague humanity (famine, greed, pain, sorrow, etc.) leaving one thing remaining in the box – hope.

pandoraIf the Lost Girl writers are playing with the Pandora motif, it’s possible that the mysterious contents of the box — the thing that lit up Bo’s face — is hope. Perhaps that’s what Zee is so afraid of — not that Bo was letting out something unspeakably awful, but was letting out the good, the one thing humanity can hold on to. Hope is what has kept someone like Lauren going against all odds — hope that she can make amends for the bombing deaths; that she can save refugees in the Congo; that Nadia will make it; that she can save both human and Fae lives everywhere; that she can find love and family and happiness. Pure hope. Ditto Bo.

Your turn, Sally:  does Hades want this? Why would a Lord of the Underworld want humanity to lose hope? What’s his long-range game? And who is the biggest bad here? We’re supposed to think the trio of ancients are “bad,” but are they really? They’ve certainly murdered innocents without a second thought, but Greek Gods tend to do that. Lauren and Tamsin were clearly outraged that Zee and Hera chained Iris to the bed. But when she was allowed to roam free, she killed people and unleashed mayhem, so were her parents wrong to have taken precautions? I suppose a good lock on the door might have sufficed! Zee professes to want to save Bo and the world: “You’re on a sinking ship. The balance is quickly shifting and I don’t want to see you go down,” she tells Bo in episode 508. “But we have to stop him [Hades]…from using you to end the world.” How’s a girl supposed to decide which family she can trust?

Sally

If humanity doesn’t have hope, then the battle is already over. Human legends are full of the underdog overcoming incredible odds to triumph over evil, or a small militia winning a war against an empire mainly through gumption and patriotic fervor, or for a scrappy baseball team with loads of heart but somewhat less money to win the World Series title over the well-funded New York Yankees.

underdogBo is an underdog, and that’s part of why it’s so fun to root for her. Any rational person would conclude that she and her ragtag band of outcasts didn’t have a chance in Tartarus of defeating the powerful Greek god juggernauts. If that person didn’t also have the capacity to hope, then there would be no reason to try.

While the comparison to Pandora’s box is enticing, I don’t know that adamantium would be necessary to contain hope, and hope doesn’t fit the definition of evil that the jack-in-the-box legends describe. I’m guessing that Bo’s opening the box will allow Hades to emerge in the real world once again, either directly or indirectly, and the next eight episodes will build toward a showdown.

Valksy

“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
[The Desiderata, Max Ehrmann]

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
[Nat King Cole, Nature Boy]

As threads of the meta plot begin to knit together in an increasingly elaborate tapestry and give us tantalizing glimpses of a much deeper story that ruminates on philosophy, free will and introspective notions of self and identity, the fundamental character notes of relationships — from friendship to familial, from merely sexual to the intensely romantic — remain very much in the foreground.  The romantic relationship between Bo and Lauren certainly received much of our attention as fans of female/female pairings.  Doccubus may have started as a sexy supplement to the central pairing of Bo and Dyson (as suggested by Zoie Palmer’s quotes about her initial uncertainty about the purpose and intent of her character), but once our imaginations were ignited, it took on a life of its own.  I wonder also if the Doccubus pairing is an allegorical parallel to the narrative and developmental journey of the characters themselves — learning to trust and accept themselves and each other, recovering from their individual hardships, and deepening their loving connection.

Season four ended on a positive note, from a Doccubus point of view at least.  Although Bo was caught in a morally ambiguous, confusing and challenging quagmire of a primary plot, the loving care that these two women had for one another was still very much present.  Bo chases after Lauren to “save the girl” and, in return, once Bo kills Massimo, it is Lauren who comforts her after her vengeful execution by holding and reassuring her: “Oh god.  Come here.  It’s OK, it’s OK, I got you.”  There is no judgment or condemnation, and Bo sobs in the arms of the woman who quite obviously loves her as a result.  As the scene progresses, Bo is revealed to be wearing the talismanic necklace that Lauren left for her; they express praise and admiration for one another (this recognition of parity is important); Bo issues a warning which Lauren meets with bravado (suggesting Bo will continue to feel concern although Lauren is clear she is no hapless damsel – again an act of parity), and then Lauren pledges herself to Bo with the line: “I’m yours.”

It is important to note that, unlike Dyson’s pledge, Lauren at no point adopts a submissive posture and is fastidious in maintaining direct eye contact at all times.  This is no fealty pledge or request for orders from her “queen”, an action that certainly must have put the Bo/Dyson relationship to the sword for good.  In order for Doccubus to continue, the women needed – at the very least – to perceive one another as equals, else the power interaction between them would always have been potentially distasteful.  In hindsight, the “It’s time” line that we all love from episode 301 (“Caged Fae”) was simply not true for either character in that moment.  In order to be a functional and well-balanced  couple, Lauren had to rise above subordinate or sidekick status (in agency or autonomy, if not screen time). Her story arc in season four, with its punchline of genetic manipulation and her victory over the Morrigan in episode 413, was absolutely necessary and can even be taken as a statement of intent by the production team to make Doccubus endgame.  Lauren becomes an independent, confident, balanced and recovered character who is finally ready for more.

And yet, despite Bo’s acceptance of Lauren’s token and Lauren’s confident acceptance of her bond with Bo, season five begins with little of Doccubus in sight.  What went wrong or what were we expecting?  The necklace does make a brief but meaningful appearance in episodes 501/502 and I wonder how symbolic it was intended to be for the viewership that it was taken from her.  It is a common trope for heroic characters to step away from love or romance because their status as a hero endangers all those around them by allowing them to be threatened, used as a leverage, or even a weapon — a fact amplified further for Bo by Kenzi’s death.  Bo must be aware that association with her is dangerous; Kenzi will go on to express this in no uncertain terms when she leaves at the end of episode 502.  If Bo is sensitive to abandonment, is this fear the reason that she takes a step back from Lauren?

The assumption that the “Lost Girl” was someone in search of her identity and lineage was thoroughly repudiated by Bo in episode 502 — her speech about how she is not her father and is not beholden to him in any way could not be a clearer expression of independence and autonomy, and rejects any notion that her thoughts and behaviour are ruled by ‘Nature’.  Perhaps the series’ thematic motif of being “lost” can be seen as not just about Bo being lost because she does not know who her family is, but because she is in anguish over being forced to be alone.  We have seen, from Aife, that a succubus can wield the power to have fame, fortune or influence if she wanted it (indeed Aife mocks Bo for working for a living), and yet despite having some command over her abilities, the only desire Bo clearly expresses for her future is to have a “normal” life and someone to share it with (episode 108, “Vexed”).

In considering whether or not Bo’s initial reticence about being with Lauren in season five is guided by fear, rather than a lack of feeling, it is worth recalling the many losses she has suffered throughout her life.  Bo is exiled by her family when she kills – a confrontation that also reveals that she was a foundling (and so may perceive herself as suffering dual abandonment in that moment, both historic by her birth mother and the immediate actions of her adoptive mother — whom she will go on to lose again when Mary Dennis is shown to have developed dementia). She loses Lauren and Dyson in series one, as well as her birth mother in an apparent fight to the death.  She loses the concept of a loving nurturing father figure before she even meets him.  Loss of life in orbit around her include Nadia, Ciara, Hale and Kenzi.  I am sure that exposure to repeated traumatic loss would count as an understandable psychological burden which challenges her sense of hope and ability to feel secure.  I wonder if this explains why Lauren’s invitation in episode 413 is not accepted until the season break in episode 508 — Bo has experienced little beyond the pain of loss and is only just coming to terms with considering whether the risk and sacrifice is worthwhile.  Bo’s courage is normally beyond reproach; she does not fear the monsters that she faces in her life, almost certainly because she understands how to fight them.  Her true fear is an internalized one — to be in a state of grief, solitude or otherwise emotionally lost and living her life as a lonely tumbleweed, as she was when we first met her.

In considering that Lauren seems to hesitate when Bo expresses a will to be together in episode 508, I find myself being grateful that Lauren does not simply jump at the offer.  It would surely have harmed the character and robbed her of some dignity if there was a suggestion that she was pining away waiting for Bo (like Dyson snivelling into his cups in the Dal or Tamsin throwing a tantrum when she does not get her way).  There is also a strong sense of surprise, as if startled that Bo has elected a dangerous mission to have a heart to heart conversation!  Perhaps Bo was feeling a sense of urgency driven by peril that Lauren simply did not share, because Lauren has faith that they will be victorious.  I can think of little higher praise than an “I believe in you.”

I am less inspired by thoughts of the well known idiom: “If you love someone, set them free.  If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t then they never were.”  I may not like the possessive language of this concept, but recognise that it is a common theme in romantic fiction.  If Lauren was thinking in terms of “if” rather than “when” their relationship would resume, this could explain why she was taken by surprise (this is the second time that Lauren has faced this if/when dilemma, her inability to save Nadia presented her with a similar question mark over whether her life can continue or if she should wait).  Bo’s glances at a bared back are surely not needed to remind Lauren of her nature, I imagine that this was more of a shorthand to us as viewers that their path was never going to be an easy one.

At this pause in the story, before the final episodes bring us all home, I find that I must conclude that the Doccubus storyline serves as a parable for mutual growth and recovery from trauma through love, for the embracing of trust and the power of forgiveness, and the importance of communicating both individual and mutual needs.  Most of all, Bo and Lauren accept one another as they are, with neither seeking to manipulate change.

Lauren’s emotional journey that eventually enables her to re-engage with Bo was faster than Bo’s.  Perhaps this is because Lauren’s assertion of freedom and associated recovery takes root quickly and flourishes well.  From rejecting the option to run away that Dyson dangles in front of her in episode 222 to her empowerment in the third season and beyond, Lauren is no longer victimized or broken by her experiences with the Fae and is able to express her own need for happiness and acceptance of Bo’s succubus nature.

In contrast, and perhaps because of  the unique nature of her existential crisis (“What am I? Where am I from?” is part of it, but “Why does everyone leave me?” certainly plays a significant part) Bo takes longer to reach the same state of readiness.  Bo’s expressed need to live the life that she chooses has overlooked one simple and yet unavoidable fact — she needs that life to choose her back too.  By the mid-season five break, Bo has realised that for life, love and Lauren to choose her in return, she must be willing and ready to expose her emotional vulnerability and risk losing everything by making her choice known and trusting herself to destiny.  For all Bo’s courage as a champion slayer of monsters, it is her bravery in this moment of hope which moves me the most.

Guest Post – Review of Lost Girl 5.05 “It’s Your Lucky Fae” by TF

Today we welcome a guest post by TF! Thanks for joining us as a guest author!

*Disclaimer from TF:  writer is Doccubiased

Okay, so the worst has happened. Tamsin finally weaseled her way into Bo’s bed. Meh, it was disappointing, but not totally surprising. That bit of unpleasantness aside, every episode of Lost Girl presents some challenges when attempting to analyze and understand it. At times some have fallen on a spectrum between perfume commercials and Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln spots.

Something that I personally find unique to Lost Girl is that it’s nearly impossible to consider the show itself without contemplating things on a meta level. I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom that’s become unavoidable.

As seasons have gone by, some fundamental changes in the show have resulted in Lost Fans. While I understand the attrition, unless Bo starts kicking puppies, I’m willing to stick it out until the end. Things might look bleak for us Doccubus fans, but I’m nothing if not annoyingly optimistic. As such, I’m not convinced they’ll (we’ll) be denied a happy ending yet.

Alrighty then, 5×05… cover me, I’m going in.

Things started off with Bo contemplating a birthday gift from her father. The turn-handle music box we saw in a season two promo. Well hello, continuity, it’s so good to see you. Realizing the need for insight, and generally being all WTF, Bo called our favorite snarky oracle Cassie and arranged a time to meet with her.

Sans lollipop and dressed like a grown up, Cassie was on a date with Heratio. I quickly ID’d him as the bad guy. Mostly because of the intense, extended eye contact usually reserved for optometrists, but him declining a reading from Cassie was a big clue too.

After dropping Cassie off at her apartment, and scoring a kiss Heratio Creeper, OD left. Giddily, Cassie contemplated a second date and prayed for him to be generous of peen, which has to be a little counterintuitive. Probably unrelated to her impure thoughts, Cassie seemed to be seized by the migraine from hell. Screaming in pain, she held her head, and squeezed her eyes tightly shut. The significance of which would become brutally apparent later.

Primary plot line, check. Next we saw Lauren and Tamsin hastily trying to find a birthday gift for Bo. Nothing says thoughtful like guiltshopping and buying the first thing you see.

Okay, show, I’ll play along even though I don’t believe for a hot second that the love of Bo’s life forgot her birthday, then bought her a meaningless knick knack. The woman who previously attended Bo’s birthday party, while knowing her only a short time, and on the same day her comatose girlfriend woke up from a five year cursenap, is not someone who would forget her special day. Yeah… no.

Inexplicably, Lauren and Tamsin presented Bo with a stuffed cat, and what I think was an oddly posed frog knick knack. Bo feigned appreciation well enough, but really Tammy, in all your lives you’ve never learned the fundamentals of gift giving? I guess not since you think taxidermy means you care enough to give the very best. Lauren, sweet, beautiful, geek-speaking Lauren, even if they’re just friends, no one should give that to anyone as a gift.

Bo’s array of presents were not fantastic. On top of Dead Kitty, Stuffed-Kitty-Little Ball of Doom, and the knick knack that immediately ended up broken at Bo’s feet, Trick gave her the finger of Alexander the Fae. Perfect, because every girl wants the necrotized digit of an old, dead guy. Dyson did not go to Jared, in fact, he didn’t give Bo anything at all. Hmmmmm.

Bo left to check on Cassie with Tamsin in tow while Lauren stayed behind to put together a party for Bo. To no one at all, Lauren bemoaned not being needed by anyone as she picked up shattered pieces of knick knack: a metaphor for her dignity perhaps?

The gift of the cat turned out to be truly awful in more ways than one. In addition to the gross factor, and failing hard as a decorative accent, the spirit with which it was imbued curled up in Bo because Lauren dissed it. So P.S., Bo started slowly turning into a cat. Seems legit.

Finding only the bloody aftermath of a potentially fatal encounter at Cassie’s place, Bo determined to find out what became of the missing oracle. Oh, two of her oracle friends had gone missing too.

Meanwhile, back at the clubhouse, Lauren was doing the “important stuff.” She herself stating for a second time that she’d been given a seat at the kid’s table.

Despite the possibility that Bo could end up on a permanent diet of Meow Mix, she decided to follow her instincts hoping they’d lead to Cassie and friends.

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Because she’s amazing like that, Lauren simultaneously baked while determining the crime scene blood types – human and fae, by the way. Hmmm. It wasn’t hard to imagine Kenzi’s look of revulsion as she delivered some gem about refusing to eat cake made in close proximity to vials of blood. Gosh I miss her.

After pumping skeevy old Seymour for information, and setting up an online dating profile, Bo went on a date with Heratio. During those respective scenes, two additional ‘peen’ comments were made. Specifically, blow job jokes: one by Tamsin (to Bo) and one by Bo (to Heratio.) Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like that’s at least two too many.

I don’t live in a convent or anything, but this sort of thing kind of made me feel like I was in a frat house. Adult female characters who seem like they’re channeling Eric Cartman are puzzling. They’re especially so when part of a show that emphasizes smart, ‘strong women.’ For me, the minimum requirement for a great female character is that she not talk and act like an immature dude.

I’m really bewildered by Tamsin’s tendency to manspread on the couch, eat like a savage, and talk like a 14 year old boy too. What’s even more confusing though is her vacillation between personalities ranging from Forlorn Misfit Tamsin, to Introspective Over Sharing Tamsin, to Lovesick (bordering on obsessive) Tamsin, to Mean Girl Tamsin. Love can make you do crazy things, but other than that, and being threatened by Lauren, I’m not grasping the reason for the erratic personality changes.

In a manner that could only be described as unfathomable, and, well, maybe insane, Bo insisted on driving to find Cassie… while blindfolded. Sure, no problem. Hesitating for only a minute, Tammy claimed shotgun. Lauren wisely thought better of it. After being goaded into it by Tamsin’s particularly obnoxious effort to one up her though, Lauren unwisely, and in no way gracefully, fell into the back seat.

That was the first of several instances where Tamsin taunted Lauren. Conveniently, the blindfold kept Bo from seeing Tamsin flip off the good doctor. Bo surely wouldn’t be happy since she undoubtedly still loves Lauren.

I’m sorry, but Bo has never and will never look at anyone the way she looks at Lauren. Fact. Bo still lurves Lauren. She tipped her hand with the longing, adoring look she gave her after Lauren removed that… thingy (who really cares?) from her shoulder.

Ostensibly, Bo being blindfolded was about forcing both Tamsin and Lauren to trust her. From what she heard, it’s possible that Bo could have perceived Tamsin doing that more readily. Really though, I didn’t feel as though Bo was paying all that much attention, and Lauren has implicitly trusted Bo since season one.

What happened to the amiable shopping buddy? When Bo was out of earshot, Mean Girl Tamsin informed Lauren that she’s not the only contender for Bo’s affections, to the tune of nonnie nonnie boo boo. To her credit, Lauren was both dubious and indifferent, stating that Bo was her concern at the moment. I’m grateful that Lauren isn’t pining for Bo, a la season 4 Dyson.

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The story rolled on to include a vestigial interaction between Vex and Mark. I didn’t enjoy them playing rock, paper, guillotine for the right to get it on with two young women giving them the eye. Mark won what turned out to be a fork tongued blow job, which is gross on two levels. I’m sorry, but this isn’t really what I’d call sex positive. In my opinion, it feels more like pandering to a young, male audience. Particularly since it wasn’t necessary to the plot.

Mark emerged from the tryst, gratuitously shirtless – like father like son. He was made to look clever as he eluded retribution from the woman’s boyfriend, which made it more distasteful. I’ve always appreciated the way Lost Girl, for lack of a better word, punished douchenozzle-ish behavior like that. I haven’t been a big fan of Mark from the beginning, but this, and his subsequent treatment of Dyson, reduced him to an insufferable tool in my book. Dammit, who talked him out of running away?

We know that the women made a chump out of Mark, but we still had to endure his cocky gloating, sleazy wink and all. He figured out that Trick’s Fae autograph book was stolen by one of the women, but wasn’t all that worried or regretful because hey, blow job.

Meanwhile, back at the pit Bo fell into, (landing on her feet – I see what you did there, show) CatBo found Cassie, and the other two missing oracles, Delphi and Pithia in a gruesome state. Their hands were bound and their eyes were missing.

Lauren cared for Cassie in her special, reassuring doctor-y way. All while wearing her white lab coat. Bonus. In an unexpected twist, Cassie explained that she and the other oracles removed their own eyes. I was horrified too, Lauren.

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It’s a feeling I experienced again when Tamsin came into Bo’s bedroom wearing a kimono, and bearing a cupcake. I fully anticipated Bo partaking of more than the cupcake. I wasn’t wrong. It’s not a huge deal that they had sex, it was the setup.

Aside from the fact that it’s nearly impossible to reconcile how this made sense given their history, Tamsin offered herself as a gift to Bo, bow and all. I cringed at both her wide eyed demeanor (complete with the turned ankle normally associated with coy innocence) and what could only be described as self-objectification.

It didn’t deter Bo, which I get. She’s a single succubus who has needs. Fulfilling them with Tamsin didn’t seem especially meaningful to her though. Perhaps that relationship will deepen, again, despite the logic in it. They did have post coital sharing time. The likes of which is long overdue for Bo and Lauren. It would be so welcome even without the sex.

This Tambosex on the heels of Bo’s uncomfortable, albeit accidental, romps with her step mother and her ex-boyfriend’s kid, really make it challenging to root for Bo.

That has become increasingly hard to do since she’s had her own unappealing personality shifts. Honestly, I had less of a problem with Bo sleeping with Dyson’s son than I did her deciding that sex was the best thing for a young man who was distressed and pouring out his heart to her. This was not the principled, protective Bo we grew to know and love throughout seasons one and two.

I think Dyson knew what happened because it’s very plausible that he smelled Mark on Bo when she came to see him. I suspect this will drive a wedge between Bo and Dyson, which serves to extract him from the now seemingly all female triangle. I wish this scenario could offer positive representation that was heretofore unknown. About this though, I’m not feeling so optimistic. I am, however, happy to be proven wrong, it’s happened a time or two.

Oh, P.P.S. since Seymour inhaled the cat, Bo was spared from life as a feline.

Guest Review of Lost Girl 5.04 “When God Opens A Window” by Maigray Bell

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.

When God feels indecisive about opening windows and doors. Lost Girl S5 ep. 4 – Cleo

How do you manage the issue of consent when the character, Bo, is cast as “irresistible?” The line between consent and coercion becomes murky. Bo the Succubus’s “irresistible” quality – the magic that makes her do that thing she do –  is a form of coercion, but at the same time a person’s inability to resist Bo’s mojo comes from within the person who finds him or herself on its receiving end. She makes you want her. So yeah, they’re going for comedy here. Of course. And the idea that the man -Tad – was scared is really not meant to be taken literally, in my opinion. It’s more like, Oh boy, will I be (literally this time) up for this? It’s like when you see a wave that’s a bit bigger than you’re used to, but you really want to ride it. Adrenaline. The potential for awesomeness. I know that sounded totally like cheesy Lost Girl double entendre, but I swear, I really was talking about boogie boarding.

And I do think that gender and power dynamics in society are such that you cannot really, fully, make the argument that it’s the same thing whether it’s a woman or a man being “shared.” I find Tamsin to be the most irritating character on Lost Girl, for the record. She was alright last season, and now she’s back to Oh, I’m just mean and bitchy and more than a little petty at times, because, yo, that’s my defense mechanism. Yet we are supposed to understand that her particular brand of feminism is to love ’em and leave ’em, as long as they’re men. Which is BS, of course. Take what you want; f**ck who you want; don’t get emotionally involved. In fact she herself is like a bro. Tamsin’s main arc this season has to do with love though, so we’ll see where that leads. Right now, it’s a misguided crush on Bo and banging random dudes. I think it’s a set up, and it’s meant to lead to a kind of “rock bottom” moment when Tamsin realizes that she just can’t go on like this anymore! Remember the interview in which Rachel Skarsten says something like it’s love or destruction for Tamsin this season. No in between.

Mark is not some innocent virgin child. If I recall, he is the one who kissed Bo initially. He’s a young heterosexual guy, living in a culture that encourages, even pressures perhaps, boys to have as much sex with as many partners as they possibly can (I am avoiding at least some gender/sex essentialism), and obviously he has the confidence to go for it. Younger men having sex with more experienced older women? Old, OLD (no pun intended), cultural trope! And recall: a few hours earlier Mark was feeding lines to that ill-fated young woman on the bus. Dude, he’s Dyson’s son, after all! A rogue, a rake, notorious throughout Europe. And the apple falls rather near to the tree it seems. Ok, not the most profound thing, but there you have it. In my opinion.  (Does anyone watch The Good Wife? I feel like I’m in front of that judge.) And anyway, as one  Canadian fan pointed out with regard to the episode, the age of consent is 16 in Canada. The US is among the few liberal democracies where it’s 18. I was not upset by that plot point so much as I found it a bit cliched. Predictable. Of course Bo and Mark are going to sleep together. A little nod to Dybo, why not? (all sarcasm intended). And that was annoying because, as Sally asks in her post: what is the point of all of this? I too remember a time when Lost Girl had some interesting things to say about a ton of social issues, especially about gender and sexuality.

Obviously, Bo had no idea he was Dyson’s son.

And finally about Doccubus… Well, it’s still difficult to make the mental leap between 4×13 and this season. But yeah, clearly they are slowly rebuilding Doccubus. They don’t want to give us too much too soon. But when? WHEN?? OK. Probably c. November 2015. 😦