This is a video tribute to the Lost Girl cast, production team, and fans. I originally posted it on YT in April but last week, it was blocked from viewing in US & Germany so I’ve moved it here. ICYMI, a head’s up – it’s more sentimental than sexy. Hope you enjoy it anyway!
Let your heart be bright
Let your heart be bright
Steady like the stars
Constant like the rain falls down
Fold it like a flag
Hold it until the Dark runs out
You find yourself
You find yourself
You find yourself
[“Dark Runs Out” from the record ‘Tunnel’ by Amy Stroup]
Have you ever attended the funeral of a dear friend or a close relative, someone you loved very much? Someone whose death left you with an acute sense of loss and the painful realization that you will never, ever see them again? I’ve had that funeral feeling since Lost Girl ended.
The funeral feeling didn’t set in right away. As I watched the credits roll in the series finale, my heart felt full – but in a good way. I was feeling that deep emotional satisfaction you get after finishing a really good novel. Maybe it wasn’t perfect, some chapters were uneven, but the characters had become like family to you. Their stories linger with you long after you have reluctantly closed the book. The book is finished, you know that re-reading it will never be the same. It’s a bittersweet moment. Don’t tell anyone, but sometimes I’ll actually hold a great book to my heart, prolonging the moment before I have to return to real life, because for a time it occupied such an important place in my inner world.
That’s how I felt watching the last episode of Lost Girl. Not sad exactly, not heavy-hearted or light-hearted, but with a full heart.
Sally said she didn’t cry at all during the episode. I swallowed hard a few times but the only scene that actually made me cry — to my surprise — was Tamsin’s death. Go figure. Maybe it was the fact that, as a mother, I imagined I could identify with her experience of being separated prematurely and permanently from her newborn daughter. I was moved by qualities in Tamsin we hadn’t seen before – not a trace of self-pity, grace in the face of adversity, courage, selfless love, empathy for others, and a sense of peace and acceptance that this last life of hers was ending and solace in the legacy she was leaving behind.
Call me a sucker for sentimentality, but I found the Valkyrie notion of “rising” (as opposed to dying) both moving and beautiful to behold. When that little feather floated down and settled on Dagny, as ethereal Tamsin ascended, I was reminded of the end of It’s a Wonderful Life: “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” Like Jimmy Stewart, I found myself smiling at the idea that Tamsin could finally spread those majestic wings again and fly (if only in the spirit world).
In Tamsin’s death, I also thought we might be seeing a preview of the inevitable final parting between Lauren and Bo that I had always imagined would be a perfect way to end the series (I was wrong):
Tamsin/Lauren: It’s my time.
Bo: I don’t want to let you go.
Tamsin/Lauren: I’ll be here. Through my/our daughter. She’s my/our legacy.
The whole scene felt like an allegory for the end of the series itself. We fans want to hold on, we want someone to swoop in and breathe chi – or more realistically, cha-ching — back into it, but ultimately we have to accept that we’re likely never to see another new episode ever again. Still, we have the legacy Lost Girl has left behind. Sure it wasn’t perfect — we’re all good and evil, we all have both inside us — but the show offered many indelible lessons to live by. Stop hiding. To thine own self be true. Spread your wings. Love is love, no matter who’s doing the loving, and it trumps hate every time. You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it, and if life has not supplied you with a loving family, go find a new one. Forge your own path. Live the life you choose.
And in the end, after we’d been bracing ourselves for the inevitable disappointment, Lost Girl gave the LGBT community our happy ending. Maybe it wasn’t the Doccubus wedding we’d photo-shopped but vows were exchanged on the hood of the yellow Camaro, and my God, how beautiful was that?
This show changed lives — it saved lives. It gave countless fans the courage and strength to overcome fear, shame, abuse and torment, to embrace who they are with pride. The show inspired me to attend a gay pride parade for the first time and to travel to a different country to meet cast members and connect in person with that brilliant and beautiful soul who gave me the confidence to start writing about Lost Girl — and so much more. Thank you, Valksy, and thank you Lost Girl for bringing us together.
I know there are fans all over the world — in 44 different countries at last count — each with their own story to tell about what the Lost Girl community has meant to them, the friendships formed, the sense of mutual understanding and togetherness, the random acts of loving kindness given and received. There was also an extraordinary degree of connection between the fandom, the cast, and the showrunners whether by Twitter, blogs, podcasts, or conventions — all thanks to this powerful little show. Souvent, une petite chose jette une grande ombre.
This wasn’t the first time I’d felt a sense of deep gratitude to the Lost Girl team, but don’t it always seem to go that you don’t fully know what you’ve got until it’s gone? And so it came to pass that, the day after episode 516 aired, the funeral feeling set in. I felt truly bereft — something I’d never experienced before at the end of any television show, ever. C’mon! It’s television! I tried talking about it, but tears welled up. Friends and family who had never seen Lost Girl tried to be kind (“I know how much it meant to you”) but I was hearing — and felt — “This is crazy! Get a grip!” I threw myself back into the Hillary Clinton campaign and that eased the heartache to some degree. Tearful goodbyes are so last season, I told myself. And teared over again.
In the last few days before the closing chapter of Bo’s story would be broadcast I found myself musing on the clue given by the episode title – Rise. Was this one word supposed to be suggestive of the sunrise, a new dawn and a new day, a fresh start? Is it the rise of a new ruling world order? A literal physical act of rising, as in a resurrection? Is it rising above in triumph, rising to the occasion or rising above all the odds? As the curtain fell, it turned out that, one way or another, all these ideas were close to the truth; as an LGBT viewer, I found myself rising in ovation at the glorious celebration of a successful same sex loving relationship, something which still remains enough of a rarity on television that I admit I had to work hard not to emotionally brace for impact in anticipation of disaster. I am deeply grateful to cast and crew, to Jay Firestone, Michael Grassi, Emily Andras and Michelle Lovretta for their commitment to authenticity and the choice to have the happy ending that so many of us craved. More than anything, as the end titles rolled, I was moved to tears by the thought of how many LGBT people, all around the world, of all ages, now and in the future, would get to see this story and the ending will be right.
The show also rose in one more spectacular fashion, elevating itself above lightweight romantic fluff, above weekly tales of monsters battled and slain, above a playful and admittedly weird curiosity, to something far more profound and philosophical in nature. I wonder how much of the final episode was part meta-communication and part love letter to so many of the fans at the beating heart of this strange little-show-that could?
Bo’s often praised and cited mantra “I will live the life I choose” could not have been more meaningfully portrayed in this episode, and yet it has never been more clear that the statement is not just related to basic romantic entanglement or the picket fence imagery of episode 108 (Vexed). It is true to say that this statement – in parallel with an open and sexually autonomous bisexual woman – was perceived as a powerful affirmation by many LGBT viewers, many of whom had faced discrimination and hostility because of their orientation and saw it as a defiant rallying call. These seven simple words proved to be Lost Girl’s modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s “This above all: to thine own self be true” as Bo grew more confident in her intellect, intuition and heart throughout five seasons in pursuit of an authentic life.
And yet I cannot help but notice that it is only Bo and Lauren (because they are a matched pair) who are granted their desired choice. Both Dyson and Tamsin serve as examples of the obvious counterpoint that Bo’s mantra raises – what if that life you desire does not choose you back? We may well celebrate the triumph of Doccubus — I certainly do and categorically would not apologise for this — but what would it mean if Tamsin or Dyson (or Aife, Trick or Hale) had spoken that line instead? What happens if we must recognise that the flaw in our chosen destiny is it being dependent on someone else who may not share our vision or fulfil that role? Surely that would suggest that the core philosophy that resonated so much with so many might actually have a secondary encapsulating purpose?
So what does it mean – if not choosing love, or home, or any of the relationships that you desire the most? It is entirely valid to try and seek the best for oneself, so I would not consider this a selfish motive at all. If Bo’s open title quote is placed in the context of her impulse to fight for others, to place their needs above her own, then might it be possible that Bo is referring to seeking to live her chosen life within a wider social framework — not just in terms of love and romance, but an end to sectarian conflict and a peaceful way of life that prizes the lives of others.
If we recognise that Bo has been a Fae game-changer since the very first episode, refusing to play by the rules and insisting on forging her own path, perhaps this urge to defy the strict and hazardous norms becomes more acute for her once Tamsin has placed Dagny in her care. When Bo pledges to Tamsin, as Tamsin lays dying, “I promise that I will do everything to protect her” is she really talking about fighting individual monsters? Bo’s best chance to keep Dagny safe is surely to craft a better, safer and more equal world for her to live within. Bo repeats this belief before sending the infant away to safety: “You’re my sister and I have to protect you, but right now I have work to do. Dangerous work.” I think that this work was a movement away from the factions of Light and Dark, removing the obligation for choice, and working to combat any remaining animus so that the colony can become a place of genuine sanctuary.
Bo’s work appears to be showing signs of success as, during the closing scene in the Dal, Dyson explains that Dagny does not have the obligation she seems prepared to deal with: “Not in this colony. We’re fighting to change some old rules, so that one day no Fae will ever have to choose.” (We will never learn what Dagny chooses or if she follows the trend of Bo, and then Mark, to simply refuse). What if Bo’s beloved statement can also be interpreted as: “Be the change you want to see in the world” (attributed to Gandhi). What a grand message that would be, to Bo’s contemporaries and also to us as viewers!
There are other messages to be read from this final episode that I found touching and inspiring. Like other viewers, I was saddened that Evony did not make a final appearance, but I find myself reflecting on whether I could consider her story closed and what I might draw from it. The Evony that we first saw in episode 101 (It’s a Fae, Fae, Fae, Fae World) is vicious and calculating. We will go on to see her engaged in violent intra-faction squabbles, attacks on the Light, and Machiavellian plots against anyone who defies her authority as the Morrigan; the casual murder of humans; even an expressed intent to commit genocide. And yet after her Fae nature is erased and she faces her own mortality (with fear but also with support from Bo), the parting view we get of Evony is of a woman who still enjoys her creature comforts (she is still no saint!) but who has robustly embraced the notion of serving a greater good. Evony may not have her powers (or so it appears…) but she still has intuition, insight, presence and influence and is using them in a positive way which seems to make her as happy and proud as we have ever seen. Evony has had an epiphany and moved beyond the strict and stagnating guidelines of the Fae world as she understood it to live a new life of both social benefit and personal satisfaction. Is this a proxy for what Bo might really mean?
I also wonder if there is a meta-communication to the audience in the strong emphasis on the notion of potential. The final battle between Bo and Jack focuses very strongly on the notion that each of us can contain positives and negatives, which the show paints broadly as good and evil, but which we are not inherently subject to. Once again, we can live the life we choose — but only once we have recognised our capacity for duality. Awareness and acceptance of who we are, who we might be, and how we move between the two is shown through Bo’s victory over Jack, and also by means of Vex’s redemption.
Vex’s story adds a further coda to this notion of understanding and living up to potential by showing that profound personal change is possible, that mistakes do not doom us for all time and contrition for wrong doing is a valid choice. It would have been easy, and entirely understandable, for the characters to reject Vex’s will and effort be to something other than he was, and commendable that they do not do so.
It should also be noted that Bo is careful to point out that Jack’s defeat is merely temporary. This concept of eternal vigilance might well resonate for LGBT viewers too — I know that it did for me — in that we fight many battles and have come so far in our quest for rights and equality, but there is always the chance that someone will work to take it from us. I found the lesson that we must move forward, while not forgetting the past and being alert (but not giving in to fear) was a touching and relevant one.
In terms of Bo’s alternate relationships, I appreciate the way that they ended. I enjoyed seeing Dyson as a far more balanced man who truly seemed like he was capable of protecting his pack. That Lauren expressed a distinct gladness that he would “be there” for Bo if she died first (this is by no means a given) I’m not sure that this can be taken as a statement of the inevitability that one day Bo and Dyson would begin their relationship anew. Dyson’s experience with the human woman, Alicia, and his acceptance that he need not obey the “rules” of his species by trying to mate for life open the door to his being able to form relationships independently of Bo, which is a far more mentally and emotionally healthy option for him than moping around being miserable (I had always assumed this was a biological imperative, it makes more sense as a taught ideology which he struggles to live up to and finally outgrows). I also ask myself, “Well, why not Dyson?” It is important to recognise that Bo is a bisexual woman, and I cannot imagine that anyone would wish her to spend her remaining days alone.
[Sidebar: This is why I hope and encourage people to refer to Bo and Lauren as an LGBT couple rather than a lesbian one in order to prevent erasure]
It should be remembered that we did not completely escape the “dead LGBT woman” trope which seems so pervasive in media — Tamsin dies. Her end was moving and perhaps a little easier to take following her multiple opportunities at life and re-birth (including those which she said that she made a “bad bargain” for). I found myself reflecting on what I hoped both Bo and Lauren would come to terms with — that even if there is a theoretical capacity for the gift of many years, the only thing which life truly promises us all is that one day it will end. I wonder how much this kind of thought might have influenced the choices that Bo and Lauren made.
Like many viewers, the joy of a Doccubus ending moved me the most. We did finally get our “true love’s kiss” moment as our hero seals their love with a kiss atop her (admittedly rusty!) steed rather than in a more intimate and potentially sexual scenario. In trying to determine whether the train tracks were indicative of the perimeters of Bo’s colony — a notion half in mind but which I couldn’t prove — I took to Twitter for opinions or pointers as to where my belief might have come from.
[Sidebar: If Doccubus fans are the beating heart of the show then perhaps twitter can be seen as its circulatory system! Certainly many deep abiding friendships were made here, many events were co-ordinated, many images were shared, and a great deal of shenanigans originated!]
I found myself very much in agreement with a theory put forth by twitter user @JordanThane when she said: “I like that the tracks seem to go on forever to Bo’s left, but are short on Lauren’s. Life spans/indicative of journey so far?” I think that the notion of the journey is most true in that Kenzi drives Dagny towards the distant vanishing point beyond Bo — this is the future. The shorter past is behind Lauren. Since nothing on television can ever appear by accident, I am sure that this imagery is symbolic.
I am also sure that there is a broad agreement that the speech on the Camero, initiated by Lauren, amounts to a proposal, vows and ends in Bo’s “I do”. I might have liked a more formal statement of a commitment, but am satisfied and at peace with avoiding any words which may cause issues in nations where the show airs. I think that there is no doubt as to intent. I loved that these two women recognised the nature of their relationship, and all relationships: “Lauren, we are messy, we’re complicated. That hasn’t changed.” This shows a greater maturity, particularly in Bo. But, more importantly to my mind, is how Lauren responds to this: “I hope that it never does.” Lauren’s lesson in trying to fundamentally alter herself, by making herself Fae, was an allegory on how much someone should re-write themselves and their core identity for the sake of a relationship. I found this moment of acceptance between the two deeply powerful.
Beyond these moments of love and promises made, I also appreciated another signature moment for Bo – her capacity to forgive. I have to believe that forgiveness is a core trait for Bo, she has been trying to forgive herself for the things that she did without her volition as a succubus and because of that I think that her immediate acceptance of Lauren’s commitment is correct for the character.
I watched the finale one more time (okay, twice) and felt heartened by the overwhelmingly obvious, irrefutable evidence (as I saw it) that there was more than enough story left in Lost Girl for a sequel or a movie. I found myself clicking into my usual commentary mode, piecing together the loose ends, weaving together a plausible story:
Jack has a plan for Tamsin’s daughter who has now reached puberty and is poised to assume her full powers. Maybe Dagny was Jack’s “Plan A” all along. Maybe Bo’s part was to group-suck enough collective chi to complete Jack’s demon steed Pyrippus engraving. Was this supposed to be like Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters? Will the real Pyrippus be busting out of his stone prison once the chi engraving has been completed? During the dream-coma induced by the Shtriga moth, the idea was planted in Bo’s head that she needed to search for the Pyrippus. Was that Jack’s doing? All that horse-whispering at Evony’s farm seemed to confirm for Bo that she was the Pyrippus. Was this all an elaborate ruse – hatched by Jack and facilitated by Evony — to make Bo think she was the Pyrippus when in fact she was merely the vehicle for raising the Pyrippus? [At end of episode 309, seeing a portrait of the Pyrippus, Trick had groaned, “Oh no, not him!” HIM]. By the way, Evony looked way too healthy in episode 512, didn’t she? Could she be working in cahoots with Jack, now that he has saved her life or turned her Fae again.
Jack may have been vaporized but has he merely been banished to Tartarus or Myth? Or has he assumed another form? Was it just my imagination or was there something a little different, a little disturbing, in Kenzi’s gaze as she drove away, with Dagny tucked safely in her car seat? Evil still exists in the world, Bo reminds us, and we can’t be complacent: “I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But it’ll be coming for you,” she tells Dagny. “We’ll be ready.”
It’s all sitting there, Emily, just waiting to be written! Michael! Michelle! Vanessa! Anybody! [I think in the grief literature, this is the stage known as “bargaining”].
And then came a less generous emotion: Anger. I guess we’ll never know for sure who made the decision that a five-season run of Lost Girl was enough — or why. We do know it wasn’t Showcase. I’m well aware that television is a high-risk business. You have to keep churning out 20 shows to find that one fluke hit series. I know the Canadian Television Fund only subsidizes the production of new programs for five years. No doubt some other program(s) had to die for Lost Girl to see the light of day. It’s the circle of life in the television industry. And I suppose we should feel grateful for getting those three extra episodes to end the story. Shows used to just stop cold if the plug got pulled, fandoms be damned. But dammit, Prodigy! You had a sure-fire thing going in Lost Girl — a ground-breaking sci-fi hit showcasing a messy, complicated, but beautiful love story between two kick-ass female protagonists played by actors who just happened to have great chemistry. When are you going to catch that kind of lightening in a bottle again?
I’m going to make a prediction for the Powers-That-Be who decided not to renew Lost Girl for a sixth season. When all is said and done, Lost Girl will turn out to be the best contribution you’ve ever made to this world. Being part of a story with passion and consequence, something life-changing, enduring, and larger than yourself? Priceless. Let’s all cherish the experience a little longer before moving on to the next shiny thing.
Acceptance seems like a distant shore for me at the moment, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. I’m still bargaining, holding out for the sequel. Hell, I’d settle for a reunion miniseries.
I wish I knew how to quit you, Lost Girl.
I loved the Lost Girl finale.
Lost Girl has always had so much heart. The finale, with its big moments of reaffirmation of friendship, callbacks to moments from episodes past, righting of old wrongs, and Bo and Lauren pledging to each other that they would spend the rest of their lives together, moved me so much.
This show has had such a tremendous impact on my life and has helped me learn so much about myself. It has given me new role models for what kind of person I want to be.
I want to adapt to changing circumstances with as much emotional honesty and resilience as Evony.
I want to believe, like Vex, that I can change for the better and forgive myself for shameful things I’ve done in the past and always keep trying to do better.
I want to be a living example of the courage of my convictions, like Hale.
I want to find the strength to endure and survive, like Aife.
I want to know as much stuff as Trick, and to help others as a way of atoning for past mistakes.
I want to be brave and dependable like Dyson. I want people to be able to turn to me for help when they need it.
I want to tackle life head on like Tamsin, drawing strength from the bonds I forge with chosen family and by facing my fears.
I want to be as loyal as Kenzi, never ever losing faith in my friends and counting on their unconditional love without question.
I want to be as smart and curious as Lauren, and as courageous as she is when she overcomes her trepidation about the Fae and loving Bo.
And finally, I so, so want to be like Bo. I want to trust people and see the best in them. I want to have my friends’ backs. I want to be vulnerable yet strong, sensitive yet resilient, and brave. I want to nurture the capacity to have an open heart and an open mind despite fear of abandonment. I want to accept my loved ones for exactly who they are. I want to own my sexuality without shame and live the life I choose.
I didn’t cry during the finale because I was too overwhelmed with wonder and delight, but I just teared up while writing that. I love this show so much. It changed my life in so many ways.
I started writing about Lost Girl at the invitation of my friend Doccuficient, one of the founders of this blog. I wanted to write about the show because I was so blown away by the relationship we were shown between Bo and Lauren.
The promise of that relationship was realized in a huge way during the finale, when Lauren tells Bo that she wants to spend the rest of her life with her, and asks if Bo wants to. A changing expression of mild consternation and the remembrance of past hurt flits across Bo’s face, then resolves into a brilliantly beautiful smile and she says “I do.”
I want to acknowledge and celebrate this SO MUCH, beyond the story for a moment. The protagonist of a show ended up with her female true love. No painful callbacks to past shows where female relationships ended in death, breakups, painful separation, unrealized subtext – nope. Bo and Lauren ended up together. I wrote before that Lost Girl was an LGBT TV game-changer, and with this happy ending, it’s even more so. It’s time.
Thank you, Lost Girl. Thank you to everyone who made this relationship happen through words and acting and discussion and decisions, who made it come alive on screen, and who cemented it forever with “I do.”
The message about love and friendship was also beautifully exemplified by Bo’s chi-suck of her friends. The memories we saw when she inhaled their chi were like a fanvid love letter. As we’ve seen so many times, the knowledge that you are loved can confer strength. Strength to throw off the whispering of Hades, the intoxication of a city’s worth of chi, and to find the courage to right your wrongs.
Friends are the family you choose. I met my BFF Rebecca because of Lost Girl. She lives in Canada, and I was visiting this past weekend before a work trip. I had to leave Sunday before the finale aired. When I arrived in Texas at 12:45pm Central time, with my roommate fast asleep in our shared hotel room, I shut myself up in the bathroom and Rebecca aimed her computer at the TV and replayed the finale so I could watch it via FaceTime. Friends stay up late and have your back, yo.
Let me tell you what else I loved about the finale. I mentioned righting old wrongs. Kenzi raised Dagny in the world of humans, paralleling Bo’s story. But she did it right this time. She told Dagny what would happen when she hit puberty, she told her about Bo, Lauren, Dyson, Mark and Vex and the group, and about the world of the Fae. Raised without shame and rejection, Dagny doesn’t carry the same scars that Bo did.
She does, however, carry Hades’ handprint. She will have challenges in her life – and also a strong group of friends who will help her and won’t hide the truth from her. She has the ability to live in a Fae colony without the structure of being forced to choose between Light and Dark.
What a great setup for a spinoff series or a movie! This made my heart happy. I was always going to be sad that Lost Girl ended, the question was how sad and why. But the potential for a spinoff keeps the story alive, and the possibility for new tales that preserve and bring back beloved characters is tremendously exciting.
This show came upon me in 2013 like a beautiful Canadian steamroller and cut a swath through my life that opened up my eyes and mind, expanded my borders, and brought me so much joy. I am very grateful to have had the good luck and good sense to become a fan of this show.
May all of you reading this have love, laughter and Lost Girl forever in your lives.
Thank you, Lost Girl.
I will live the life I choose.
I choose humans.
The first sentence is the last thing Bo the narrator says in the opening montage of Lost Girl for the first several seasons.
The second is something that Bo says when she defeats the three Fae and then refuses to choose Light or Dark. She’s always been the unaligned succubus, but she didn’t refuse to make any choice – she just didn’t choose the Fae.
Those words kept returning to me as I watched “Let Them Burn.” Kenzi, a human, has always been Bo’s heart. Lauren has been her great love. The Leviathan told Bo she wears Lauren’s humanity like a shield. The choice of and for humanity seems like it will play a role here in the final scenes.
The comic relief of the flatulent unicorn in this episode was very welcome, especially since the Tamsin storyline was so, so dark. Despite the dark themes that emerged in the first and second season about the Fae and Bo’s origins, actually seeing in real-time the rape, imprisonment and torturous mind games Hades played with Tamsin was shocking.
As humorous and Buffyesque as Lost Girl has been at times, seeing played out on screen these actual terrible things shocked me. I gasped when Hades appeared in the shot while Tamsin was trying to pick the lock with a fork. I thought up until that point that Tamsin would escape, and we’d find out that the baby was actually Dyson’s, not Hades, and Bo would take the teeth out of Hades’ plan in some roundabout and anticlimactic way, and we would have a happy ending.
Nope. The stakes are very high. Shit has gotten very real.
What’s going on, what do all the little asides about phoenix eggs and callbacks mean, why is Hades doing what he’s doing, and what’s foreshadowing what? Read Mahlers5th and Valksy’s post about this episode. They have really good ideas and hypotheses, and noticed many details.
That Bo has the Pyrippus inside of her and the Pyrippus is what you make it, neither inherently good nor bad, seems a good allegory for life. No one is necessarily good or bad due to their parentage or circumstances, and your life is what you make it. Make it the best you can. Live the life you choose.
Speaking of choosing, that Bo is choosing to play along so she can trick and defeat Hades, I have no doubt. I also have no doubt that Bo’s having Trick’s Blood King powers will figure in, as well as Evony’s reference to her ability to suck multiple chis. What her plan is, we’ll find out shortly.
I can’t believe it’s almost over.
[This was the first commentary Valksy & I wrote about Lost Girl but it seemed appropriate to bring it out of mothballs for the series finale]
Back in January , I was blowing by the SyFy channel hoping not to be hijacked by some gross-out scene from The Hills Have Eyes, when something caught my eye. Two women, clearly in love, were talking together in an intimate, urgent sort of way. On SyFy? Hm, this was worth a look. “It’s time,” one said, taking the lead, “Us.” The other woman, a blond in a lab coat, her eyes brimming with tears, responded in a tone that conveyed she hadn’t dared to hope for this: “Really?!” “I want to give this a real shot,” the first woman said. “To be together. Life is too short.” Then they embraced.
That’s all it took – I was hooked. But just as quickly as Doccubus had entered my vocabulary (and heart), there was trouble in paradise. In episode 306, Kenzi goes missing, nobody believes Bo (including Lauren) and the two have a serious falling out: “I’ll never forgive you for this!” Bo hisses. As if that weren’t bad enough, later in the episode, Bo feeds off a Valkyrie and is seemingly blown away by the experience.
Seriously, Lost Girl writers (excluding the infallible Emily Andras, of course)?! Are you telling us Bo’s going to throw over Lauren because some sassy blond with zippy one-liners wanders into your script? Geez, it had been all of two weeks/episodes since their “epic” love-making scene, and the ship was already foundering on the rocks? OK, I guess I over-reacted, because by the following episode, they’re curled up and cozy on Bo’s bed again and all has apparently been forgiven – but why does Trick tell Dyson that Bo’s relationship with Lauren is only going to be a “short term” thing? “Short-term,” like in Fae years or human years? And why did Anna Silk say in an interview just this week that in the season finale, “Some things really get ripped apart.” Doccubi Angst, welcome back.
Why do I care so much about this relationship? Maybe because I’ve been waiting, oh, 15 years since Ellen’s famous coming out scene at the airport to see television showcase (thank you, Showcase) a genuine, mature, monogamous, mutually loving, if complicated, relationship that just happened to be between two women. And here it was, finally, Lost Girl. It was devastating to think that this ground-breaking series might already be devolving into the kind of hot-girls-bed-hopping storyline for which The L-Word had been justifiably criticized – with Bo succubussing her way around Faedom in various hot couplings, one episode with Lauren, on to Tamsin, back to Dyson, heck maybe a drunken night with Kenzi, and other characters yet to be introduced.
The showrunners needed to do some serious thinking about authenticity in character development, I thought, or at least to have a long talk amongst themselves about how bi/lesbian couples had been portrayed on television up until now (i.e. DO NOT f*** this up!). Maybe I just needed to reassure myself that I hadn’t been imagining the depth of this love story.
I think it’s interesting to have a perspective from someone who has recently joined the show because a lot of us have been here for awhile and it is easy to overlook that journey new viewers are taking. And how, as you describe, for some of us it is jaw-dropping to see them do what they are doing.
I decided to take a retrospective look at the arc of Bo and Lauren’s relationship, how their motivations and perceptions of each other evolved over time, and when and why their feelings for each other deepened to something more than mutual attraction. Sexual energy had always been an important part of their relationship, but it seemed to me that love was the real foundation and it made the bond to each other sturdier than all the subtexts seemed to suggest.
Full disclosure: I peeked at episode recaps to get the general lay of Fae-land before embarking on a marathon episode-by-episode viewing of seasons 1 and 2. That meant that as I watched the scene where Bo and Lauren meet for the very first time, I already knew what Bo didn’t — that Lauren had a girlfriend lying in a pod on life support somewhere in the Ash’s complex. I’ve read that when this scene was actually shot, Zoie Palmer (and the writers themselves?) had no idea that a girlfriend was going to be written into the script.
It is a valid question to consider when what might have been serendipity – the chemistry of Bo/Lauren – went beyond perhaps what was originally intended. Is there an argument that it was never supposed to go as far as it did, and at what point did the writers find they had to change course? If the story is right and no-one really understood Lauren – who/what she was at the very start – how do they explain the chemistry?
We’ve often heard how KHR and AS had this big audition scene full of “passion” (they broke some dry wall) but only recently did we hear that ZP had to create chemistry “in ten minutes.” Now, I could probably shove someone into a wall. Could I create chemistry? Nope. So which is it? There is a contradiction here between a character they didn’t seem to know much about and the need for a huge chemistry from the very very start. It could be that the show writers created a “trap door” – by avoiding clarifying Lauren’s motives etc., they had a get out clause if the relationship was not positively received. But I don’t know if they’ll ever tell us the truth – certainly not when the show is current.
For Lauren, the attraction to Bo seemed instantaneous and unmistakable (“My God, you’re beautiful!”).
Being a stickler for internal consistency in my fictional characters, I needed to understand how Lauren – a fiercely loyal, usually demure, utterly professional doctor — could make such a naked declaration to a patient she was meeting for the first time. This wasn’t just Bo doing her Succubus thing – she hadn’t touched Lauren, yet. I reasoned that while Lauren surely hadn’t forgotten about Nadia (it becomes clear later just how bound she is to her girlfriend by some combination of love, loyalty, and guilt), after five long years of probably celibate servitude to the Ash, maybe she had begun to lose hope that Nadia would ever recover. Maybe she was beginning to wonder if she would ever experience romance again in her lifetime. Maybe “naked” is the operative word here – Bo was “all commando” at that moment. Maybe Lauren was just horny. Anyway, enter Bo, irresistible to just about everybody, with or without her clothes on. But for Lauren, it truly seemed to be a case of love at first sight (which does exist, scientists tell us).
If the writers did know that there was a chance – then having started, they took it upon themselves to be as credible and authentic as possible, something AS and ZP have referenced more than once. Someone has decided that there is a degree of burden upon them in terms of how they portray F/F sexuality. We do know Lauren is prone to emotional outbursts in season 1 and season 2. ZP chose distinct character traits for her (eyes rolling up for example, rapid eye blinking to indicate shock is another). A Lauren that is blown away by Bo and blurting out something she was thinking is – as we will see later – in character. Love at first sight, as we are told later, does make more sense. What Lauren does in this season seems so much more clear and of more sense if we view it through the filter of Lauren being in love with Bo.
As for Bo, she seemed to be enjoying the effect she had on Lauren, but it wasn’t clear whether she felt much of anything else – except thinly disguised anxiety about her identity and what is going to happen to her next in Fae hands, papered over with her signature confident swagger. She exploited her succubus charm to get Lauren involved in “fixing” her and helping her escape from the lab (“I can offer you things…” she purrs at one point, touching Lauren for the first time) but was seemingly indifferent to the serious risks Lauren would be taking. As Dyson cuffs her, Bo has the decency to apologize to Lauren casually (“Sorry, I had to try”) but she doesn’t look back as she is escorted away. Conversely, Lauren is deeply concerned (“Without training?! This is madness!”), already protective of Bo to a degree that seems just a wee bit stronger than a doctor’s usual professional concern for a new patient. Something’s brewing here but is it mutual?
Lauren takes a lot of risks for Bo – the very act of rendering aid when Bo is unaligned is not within the rules and required something of a leap of faith that Bo would be worthwhile. I honestly don’t think Bo had any means of understanding Lauren’s motives at this point. We know that Bo can see attraction and her familiarity with interpersonal relationships might well have led her to dismiss it as simply a physical response when I suppose we can see Lauren’s actions in the context of love now. If Bo made her first kill at 18, first boyfriend, etc, then rolled around like a tumbleweed for a decade, establishing no roots and avoiding capture, it’s possible that she was very much emotionally stunted and lacked the sophistication to realize what Lauren was experiencing.
Over the next four episodes, there are some occasional flirtations between Bo and Lauren, but nothing that seriously violates the bounds of their fiduciary relationship as doctor and patient. “Let’s see if we can ramp you back to randy…frisky even,” Lauren says with a smile as she prepares Bo’s injections in the next episode, but by the time she asks Bo to take off her jacket, she’s all business again. Later, they bump into each other at the Dal (episode 104) and there is some “serious sparkage,” as Kenzi puts it:
Bo: Booze does not affect my ability to perform, doctor.
Lauren: Well, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a drunken succubus call, so…take it easy.
But Bo is indeed intoxicated on whatever it is they all seem to imbibe in large quantities at Trick’s pub and anyway, she’s too busy trying to get Dyson’s attention. “Lauren is human,” she comments drily to Kenzi, “I sleep with her and she dies.” Then she promptly goes off to have revenge threesome sex with a married couple as Dyson looks on unhappily. I’m not seeing the love yet, Bo, but it speaks volumes about Lauren’s developing feelings for you that she has been willing to take a major risk to help you at all. Do you fully appreciate that?
As an aside, with regard to Bo and Kenzi drinking – Kenzi’s troubled childhood/youth leading to acting out, plus trying to keep up with Bo helps to explain her heavy drinking. Bo’s biology is oriented towards self-repair. If her body recognizes alcohol as a toxin, it might try to counter the toxicity and it becomes hard for her to get as drunk as she races her own biology.
A pivotal change in the relationship seems to occur in episode 106. Now, I realize we haven’t even reached the infamous “spy sex” scene (episode 108) which changes everything between them all over again, and for many episodes to follow, but I think we hear the first stirrings of something mutual and deeper than flirtation in this episode.
I agree that 106 is pivotal. Until this point their relationship was very much grounded in curiosity around one another. But we also know that there are “missing” scenes. I think it is 106 where Lauren suggests Bo has been “practicing” in the lab. What does that mean exactly? We are missing something – the point at which Bo/Lauren go from having a largely professional relationship with some minor flirting from Bo in contrast to Lauren’s strong but largely concealed emotional response, to deciding to go socializing together. Got to wonder how each character might have viewed that event. Social for Bo, date for Lauren perhaps?
The episode opens with Bo trying on various slinky black dresses, a push-up bra and sexy boots in front of a mirror for her “doctor’s appointment” later that evening with Lauren. Kenzi, who has an exquisitely tuned radar when it comes to Bo’s love life, thinks she detects a case of “date jitters.” But Bo insists it is “definitely, definitely not a date…maybe drinks…and dinner.” Definitely, definitely? Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
We next see Bo and Lauren at the Dal, throwing back more of that unidentified brown liquor Trick is always serving. The booze has definitely loosened somebody’s reserve: “OK, what about me, right now?” Lauren asks, sizing up Bo as Bo sizes up the sexual aura of other bar flies. “Call it scientific curiosity.” “Well….you are definitely curious,” Bo purrs, drawing herself closer (definitely, definitely not a date). “I’m not so sure it’s entirely scientific.” LOTS of sparkage here…but… something else in the look they exchange after they laugh off the moment. Sizing each other up but in a different way? Seeing each other in a new light?
Then the “test” – can Bo stop “feeding,” once she starts? Lauren hardly needs Bo’s touch to flame on and moves in for a kiss, but Bo pulls back: “This is crazy, I don’t want to hurt you.” Feeding? Pfft. This is a compelling and barely controllable emotion for both of them at this point. Lust? Not quite. Passion? Closer. I would argue that Bo’s willingness to put her own “hunger” aside to protect Lauren (and later to defend her when Kenzi calls Lauren’s motives into question) makes this an emotion approaching love.
The show really wants to differentiate a feed from a loving act. The rough screws between Bo and Dyson were often of necessity.
Later in the episode, Kenzi develops a bad case of hemorrhagic fever after eating toxic Aswag foot soup, and Bo brings her to Lauren for treatment: “You take care of her,” she orders the doctor. No sparks there, although a certain longing is still evident in Lauren’s gaze. “Was it just the drink?” she must be wondering. Later, Bo decides to break into Beren Chemicals and asks Lauren to come along: “I need your help…your expertise.” This is the first time the two have “gone undercover” together to solve a mystery (move over, Rizzoli & Isles). Once again, Lauren is taking a huge risk simply by leaving the Ash’s compound, not to mention breaking both Fae and human laws, but she does so with only a moment’s hesitation.
Something interesting happens during this joint caper: they disagree about how to proceed. “I don’t want to think, Lauren! I want to do something!” says Bo, all action-oriented. “I know you’re impulsive,” Lauren responds in a gently chiding tone (well, well, that’s new!), “But we need a plan…Use your head.” And Bo, who has been giving all the orders up until now, acquiesces. When the plan later requires some improvisation, it is Lauren’s turn to yield. “We’ll do it your way,” she tells Bo, who says with mock gratitude, “Well, thank you!”
The old adage that opposites attract seems inadequate here. There is a growing admiration for each other’s strengths and abilities and – perhaps more important — a willingness to share the lead (pay close attention, Dyson). These are two equals playing a duet and having fun. “Look at you, saving my ass!” Bo says delightedly when her “Succubus it is!” doesn’t subdue a guard, prompting Lauren to resort to the old two-by-four across the head to bring him down. “I know!” Lauren responds with a note of exhiliration, “It was incredible!” You get the sense she hasn’t had this much fun in years. This is followed by a gleeful high-five when they both realize Lauren’s injections have worked — Bo was able to stop herself from sucking the life out of the guard. Hm, so you mean Bo can probably have safe sex with humans now?
With their mission accomplished and Kenzi’s health restored, back at the lab Bo and Lauren again exchange “that look” and seem to be weighing the new possibilities in their relationship. This isn’t about “feeding.” In fact, they haven’t even had their first kiss.
Yes, exactly, exactly so. There is no dominion here – the two of them appreciate their differences and find a way to work together. It is mutual. We tend to focus of the loving stares, the touches, the intimacy. But there is more in play and it is so easy to overlook that. In many ways, it is another version of Bo and Lauren debating Bo’s trip to Grimley in episode 307 – they find a way to each contribute.
This may be a conceptual error with Dyson – he is a physical warrior archetype. But so is Bo. So either he steps on her feet and gets in her way (episode 221 and his fuck-up that gets Clara killed) or he has nothing much to do.
Bo and Lauren balance one another – strength and intellect are contrasts that are complimentary. Strength and strength is not at all.
I had forgotten Bo dressing up and taking care to look good. Notice how she does this again early in season 2 (episode 202) to try and re-ignite Dyson’s interest. She thinks that looking good is good enough and doesn’t conceptualize that she could wear a potatoe sack and if they like/care for/love you, it doesn’t matter. It’s not exactly mature, self-aware processing, is it?
The following episode opens with Bo mediating between squabbling past and future lovers. “Look, a threesome!” she jokes lamely when Lauren joins her and Dyson on a couch at the Dal. There is a growing tension between Lauren and Dyson as each becomes more aware of Bo’s affections for the other. Lauren is cool but restrained in her interactions with him; Dyson is petulant, even openly contemptuous of Lauren, which annoys Bo: “Why do you have to be…well, you!” she snaps after Dyson succeeds in driving Lauren away. Hm, allegiances seem to be shifting. In the same episode, when Bo consults Lauren about the mysterious symptoms she and Kenzi have developed (later attributed to an UnderFae spider bite) she apologizes for her “insensitivity” the night before. Lauren asks a little testily, “So, Dyson – what’s that?” but before Bo can answer, they are interrupted by Kenzi seeking treatment for her headaches.
For the remainder of the episode, Lauren’s intellectual and doctoring skills take center stage – she is poised, strong, confident, and decisive as she identifies the parasite (a bad-ass “nomadic Native American UnderFae” – gotta love it), helps Dyson track down the source, and cuts out it’s heart — reducing Dyson to a walk-on part and earning Trick’s grudging respect. Back in the lab, Bo’s admiration for Lauren’s “nerdness” is evident in her expression as Lauren launches into a jargon-heavy scientific explanation – she suggests later brains is even a turn-on for her: “Science… it’s nifty…But what really matters is you saved us. You’re getting awfully good at doing that.”
Dyson tries to rain on Lauren’s parade, calling her inconsistent and untrustworthy, but Lauren gives as good as she gets: “Is it really my loyalties you’re worried about, or that this time I was Bo’s hero?” Zing! She then looks at Bo with a knowing, satisfied smile that says, “You’re mine and we both know it.”
When Dyson tries to undermine Lauren at the end of the episode (“She’s too close to the Ash and you’re just too close to her…I don’t trust her”) Bo cuts him short: “Well, I do. If there’s one thing I can say about Lauren, it’s that she cares. Are you willing to say the same thing?” Double zing!
I’ll say it again: Bo and Lauren’s love story began well before their first kiss. It nearly ends when they finally do go to bed in the next episode, but it is noteworthy how deeply betrayed and hurt Bo feels when she thinks it was only “spy sex” – Lauren is clearly not just another fuck-buddy. There’s something deeper, tender and ineffable involved; I’d call it love. It takes the whole of season 2, with many twists and turns and selfless sacrifices – this time by Bo for Lauren’s sake – before Bo is ready to make the arresting declaration that got me hooked on the series: “It’s time – us.” But if love is true, the commitment remains constant through the best and worst of circumstances. Their love seems true to me. Said Paul to the Corinthians, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Valksy (who should always have the last word):
It’s a powerful and meaningful thing to a lot of us. To be simply gifted something equitable, credible, and authentic matters.
I have to begin any thoughts on this episode with the disclosure that I am willing to offer the production significant latitude for what is to come. In a more perfect world, the tale could have played out in a balanced pace across a season instead of having to be finished in just three episodes, so I anticipated revelations to come thick and fast and the concluding episodes to be crowded and overly hectic. In considering the fact that my dear show was ending, I was torn between the basic “wander off into the sunset for more adventures” type of ending (as seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation) or a conclusion to the tale itself (as when the crew of Star Trek: Voyager did make it home after all). The never-ending adventure variety might have worked if Lost Girl had remained a simple episodic MOTW series, but with the multi-season depth of the show — which by now is surely not open to debate — a definitive end makes more sense. Whatever the outcome, I am relieved that Lost Girl will not end on the obvious cliffhanger of episode 513 (Family Portrait), since I cannot think of anything sadder in the world of fiction than an unfinished story.
The obvious cliffhanger of episode 513. I have to confess that I have been in such dense denial about the fact that Lost Girl is really ending – we’re over?! – that until I read your commentary about Family Portrait, Valksy, it never occurred to me that episode 513 was likely intended to be the cliffhanger ending to season 5, with a sixth season waiting in the wings. Michael Grassi must have had some sense about where the story would be heading in episode 601, even as he penned Family Portrait. I suppose we’ll never know what those nascent thoughts may have been. Anna Silk told an interviewer she thought the show would get at least another season and that there was plenty of story left to tell. I feel such a sense of grief about that story ending prematurely and about all those unborn episodes and might-have-beens that will never see the light of day. But I’m with you, Valksy – mostly I feel very grateful to the production team for lobbying to get us these last three episodes and for bringing the wonderful journey to a fitting conclusion. I’ll be upset if Doccubus isn‘t reunited in the series finale but not as upset as I would have been if the series had ended with that operatic tableau of Bo staring blankly into the distance, Trick and Aife dead at her feet, Dyson at her side roaring with impotent grief and rage, and Lauren…where, exactly? Curtain. Unimaginable.
Despite my fears, I was pleasantly surprised last week (episode 514, Follow the Yellow Trick Road) to see a commentary on how characters are, and how they are perceived, and a refuting of any claim that Bo was emotionally illiterate. The Oz dreamscape made clear that Bo is attuned to and understands the stresses and fears of her loved ones, but in the real world, no longer feels compelled to try and “fix” them or solve their problems. This seems a character evolution from Bo’s drive to be everyone’s champion, and a new maturity in grasping that enduring change must come from within. I was pleased with episode 514 and more than ready for the closing chapters in Bo’s story.
I know some fans were unhappy that too many of the precious remaining minutes of this show’s lifetime were devoted to apparent “fluff“ in episode 514. I loved it. Follow the Yellow Brick Road felt to me like a parting gift from the production team to the fandom, a way of easing us from the dark cliffhanger that was episode 513 to facing the trauma that lies ahead. Okay, maybe it wasn‘t a gift like that opening sequence to episode 304 [Note to writers of Lost Girl: The Next Generation: fewer break-ups, more sex]. Still, the episode brought together many of the other elements of Lost Girl that have kept me coming back for more, season after season.
For starters, the entire team is reunited for one last MOTW caper (Trick all the more conspicuous for his absence). This is not the final conflagration with Jack that lies ahead, but lighter fare — saving Bo from the Shtriga moth’s deadly venom (you gotta love a show that has you looking up how to spell “Shtriga” and finding out about vampiric witches in traditional Albanian folklore). Each character has an important part to play in – here’s a switch – rescuing Bo. It will take a village to bring down Jack. This is the team’s dress rehearsal. It has been way too long since we’ve been treated to some light-hearted nerdy science from Lauren (“It always stores it’s victim’s blood in a sack – all I have to do is locate the sack“) followed by one of Kenzi’s classic rejoinders (“Remind me to make a sack joke once we’ve saved Bo”). Thank you, production team (and Ksenia Solo) for bringing Kenzi back to us for a proper good-bye.
Bo’s journey towards acceptance of Trick’s death and her own inner power – which could have been deadly serious — is lightened and transformed here into a fairy tale whose very familiarity feels reassuring. Not all fairy tales end well but we know this one will – at least in the dream world. And how delightful to see the actors flexing their comedic chops again in a kind of encore to Original Skin. It has been many, many moons since I laughed as hard as I did when a very stoned Lola yelled, “What?! Get it out! Get it out!” when Bo tells her the map is inside her head. This episode gave us a chance to breathe, laugh, and shed a tear. Even the settings – many of them outdoors – felt more expansive, a welcome change from the dark interiors of the crackhouse or the cool greys of the penthouse with its cage awaiting Tamsin.
As always, the episode also left me with questions: How did Mark’s characterization of Vex as “two-faced” (spoken well out of Bo’s earshot) find its way into her dreamscape? How did Jack know that Trick bequeathed the compass of Nirad to Vex? Did he arrange to have Bo exposed to the moth whose venom induced her coma? To what extent did he control the events that transpired in the dreamscape? Did he plant the suggestion that Bo’s next move should be to find the Pyrripus (the central action of this week’s episode, after all)? Why impregnate Tamsin? What the eff is his plan??! For once, I just let it go, let it go, let it go.
Given my admitted frustration with the character of Tamsin as a wasteful time sink and distraction, I have to say that as I watched her brutal experience unfold in episode 515 (Let Them Burn), I found myself tempted to regard her as a proxy for Aife. Granting both understanding and redemption for a character who had seemed irremediably villainous — attacking Dyson, using explosive-laden humans to assassinate members of the Light Fae counsel, repeatedly expressing an intent to commit infanticide — seemed a fair and reasonable option; showing an obvious parallel between Tamsin and Aife (from practicalities of the cage to the decor) allowed the viewer to feel a greater degree of sympathy and forgiveness. It is certainly fair to say that if Tamsin’s violation, imprisonment and mutilation was in any way a facsimile of Aife’s own trauma then that alone is enough to reconcile Aife’s harrowing descent into insanity.
Violence aside, I also mulled over the dilemma both Aife and Tamsin must have faced while their baby was still in utero — the shattering conviction that the infant they carried was quite literally the spawn of the devil. Tamsin threatens to abort her own pregnancy with the line “I know why Aife wanted to kill Bo — if this baby is evil, maybe I should do the same thing.” But her threat somehow rings hollow. How could she kill her own baby, knowing that Bo – conceived and born under similar circumstances – is not evil? In fact, Bo is a living example that attaching the “sins of the father” to an unborn child does not allow for the kind of redemption Bo has achieved. Or is Tamsin’s choice not to kill her baby simply driven by basic maternal instinct? I’m not certain how to answer this question. In episode 514, Lauren had to prompt Tamsin to accept the reality of her condition and Tamsin seemed utterly disconnected from the baby until it started to kick. If it is maternal instinct that holds Tamsin back from infanticide, then I suppose her threat was empty and Jack knew it. If she is held back by the knowledge that despite her similar origins, Bo is not evil, did Tamsin’s thoughts change by the end of the episode? Does this perhaps explain the depth of despair in Tamsin’s screaming? Not only is Bo not being her hero and acting to save her, but she — and by extension Tamsin’s unborn child – may genuinely be a monster.
I admit to feeling uneasy about this storyline. If it was simply to illustrate what a hideous monster Jack is, then I would consider it exploitative and unnecessary – we were given ample and indelible evidence of the depths of his evil at the end of episodes 513 and 514. If the point was to give Bo additional reasons to kill Jack — rather than simply banishing or imprisoning him — and thereby stop him from ever violating another woman, then it also seems unnecessary; Bo has carried out acts of extrajudicial punishment against Fae more than once in the past. It makes more sense to me that the writers included this story thread to prompt us to fully recognize Bo’s origins, without having to resort to flashbacks, magical temples, or other such televisual sleights of hands, while also adding to the mystery of why Jack is so intent upon creating hybrid offspring.
I agree that there is something poignant and awful in Tamsin’s plight that makes us reconsider what Aife’s experience must have been like. Episode 513 (Family Portrait) threw into question the circumstances of Bo’s conception – Was it rape? Was it exploitation of a mentally impaired woman? Or did Aife truly believe she loved her “bad-boy” rescuer and consented freely? Tamsin’s parallel plight seems to leave little room for doubt that by any definition, Bo was a child conceived by rape, not love.
[Side bar: as long as we’re reviving all these questions about the circumstances of Bo’s birth – Lou Ann tells Bo in episode 515 that when Trick found out Aife was pregnant, he hired Lou Ann to rescue Aife from “the Dark” (presumably the Dark King?). However, when Lou Ann arrived, Bo had already been born and Aife wanted to kill her, so she took Bo and hid her among humans. Doesn’t this contradict Jack and Aife‘s account that Bo was born in Tartarus – not to mention Persephone’s account that it was Aife who arranged for Bo to escape? Repeat after me: find your own narrative truth, let the rest go].
One thing’s for sure – at some point, it dawned on Aife that for Jack it wasn’t about love at all, it was about siring Bo. It is doubtful Jack shared his long range plans for their child but — not realizing that a rescue was underway — Aife surely must have believed that she would be leaving her baby in the hands of the Devil himself and that she was powerless to do anything about it. In a similar vein, it seemed to me that the full horror of her situation didn’t set in for Tamsin until she realized she would not survive to protect her child. Is that what drove Aife mad? [On a lighter note, establishing that Tamsin is doomed to die in childbirth begs the obvious question: who’ll be bringing up baby? Please, oh please, writers — throw us a bone! Let it be Doccubus].
I’m a little mystified by this ”plan B“ of Jack’s. Having waited this long to see his centuries-old game reach fruition, why did he give up on Bo so easily? Having just successfully engineered a break-up between Bo and Lauren, Jack chose that moment to throw in the towel and impregnate Tamsin? Huh? Bo seemed so ripe for the picking (“We’re over, Dad!“ she cried, throwing herself into his arms). And if he had truly moved on from Plan Bo to plan Tamsin, why bother to kill Trick and Aife, severing Bo’s other links to her life? I don’t get it. Was getting Tamsin pregnant and then abducting her just another chess move in his game with Bo, rather than a true “plan B”? I have no idea what Jack is really up to — and isn’t that in itself remarkable in this second-to-last episode of a five-year series? — but I’m beginning to suspect he may be more interested in beating death than achieving ultimate power. What do Bo and Tamsin have in common? Bo has the ability to suck chi from many and revive the dead. The Valkyrie have many lives. Jack tries to feed Tamsin Phoenix eggs – in Greek mythology, the Phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically reborn, going down in flames then rising up out of its own ashes. Jack also demonstrated a keen interest in Lauren’s research on finding the fountain of eternal life. Is that what he’s really after — true immortality?
I am sure that I am not alone in noticing that Dyson has had a limited role to play in the second half of season 5. Dyson’s scene with Mark offers a heartbreaking look at what the character could have been if he had been allowed to develop outside of his attachment to Bo. The sequence of Dyson finally provoking Mark to embrace his full shifter identity, and then encouraging him to return to his human form (explaining the process and defining the temptation to stay in beast form) was effective and character-rich, and offered Kris Holden-Ried something more beyond stone-faced stoicism or brooding stares.
I was also pleased to see a recognition between father and son that teaching could be a mutual act, and that Dyson’s urge to assert seniority and dominance faded to something far more paternal in nature. I did finally believe that he could love his son. While Mark’s defiant actions are a fairly typical youth independence trope, he was also reminding Dyson that making decisions based on the fallacy of an “appeal to antiquity” was small-minded and stifling, and prevented Dyson (and the Light Fae) from having the strategic agility to adapt to the oncoming battle. Both men impart useful lessons to one another and while neither is particularly likeable or engaging, I am pleased that their final role in the series is connected to the Fae Light/Dark faction schism and the fate of the resistance against Hades. It is a sad statement that separating Dyson from Bo’s orbit has made him a more purposeful character.
I enjoyed the scenes between Mark and Dyson, too, but geez Valksy, tempus fugit and we’re talking about everything except Doccubus.
It was disappointing to see that Lauren played no meaningful part in this episode. I have to reason that at least the break-up makes some narrative sense now; Jack would never have believed that Bo could pass his “purity” test by murdering Lauren if the two women were still in love. Bo’s ruse to play along with Jack (no one actually believes she means to kill everyone, right?) would not have worked if Lauren hadn’t already ended their relationship and if Jack had not witnessed Lauren appearing to break Bo’s heart. I still think that Jack played an instrumental part in the break-up — giving Lauren the tools she felt she needed to become Fae, then betraying her with bad information and undermining her confidence and sense of self (“Graduated top of my class, summa cum laude, and I can’t even resolve a simple bug bite –or do anything at all apparently!”). The emotionally injured and doubting Lauren we saw in episode 514 as “Lola” is perhaps more the woman who made the devastating choice to end the relationship with Bo, rather than the more heroic Lauren we are used to seeing— surely this was the main purpose in showing us her fun-house reflection in the person of Lola.
I concur that Bo has some plan up her sleeve and it most decidedly does not include murdering her entire chosen family. The writers went to an awful lot of trouble in this episode to loop Zee‘s horse shoe and a fire-breathing (but not-Pyrripus) stallion back into the story. They made sure to have Kenzi witness the fact that while the horse shoe didn’t fit the stallion, it did seem to protect Bo from the demon steed’s flames (and perhaps other forms of enthrallment?). I’d bet dollars to donuts that Bo left that horse shoe behind before she set fire to the crackshack with everyone she loves trapped inside. Whatever Bo’s ruse may be – and it seems to involve letting Jack believe he can control the Pyrripus in her — I suspect its success will depend heavily on the gang’s ability (in particular, the power of Lauren’s love) to bring her back from the Dark side. Lauren was able to do it in episode 305 and Dyson did it again in episode 413 when the cinvat opened.
We are reminded by the opening “last time on Lost Girl” preamble that Trick is dead, the episode is practically haunted by the spirit of Aife, and Lauren is carefully kept on the sidelines. I somehow doubt it is an accident that Jack has conspired, manipulated, or outright murdered, to remove every important anchor in Bo’s life (this does not include Dyson, and Tamsin has been taken to serve his own needs). Did Jack do what he thought necessary to “break” Bo, as Lou Ann describes breaking a horse — to receive Bo’s loyalty and servitude, and oblige her to prove herself through the act of murdering her friends? I find the concept that Bo is playing along, gambling her safety and those of loved ones on her courage and guile, gripping and nerve-wracking in the extreme! I do not for one moment believe that Bo could ever turn “bad”, and am very much reminded of the character that I fell for years ago. As she enters the endgame episode, Bo is brave, daring to the point of recklessness, ruthless if necessary, and driven to fight for what matters most — friendship, family and love.
Just as we always knew it would, Lauren’s love will rescue Bo, and the two of them will drive off in the Yellow Camaro, baby Tamsin tucked safely in her car seat in the back, to find that house with a white picket fence and with it the normal life Bo has always imagined (I can dream – if only for a few more days). If they don’t enjoy that happy ending, well, we’ll always have Paris — and five seasons of a ground-breaking urban sci-fi fantasy showcasing a realistically complicated, sex-positive, label-free love story between two quite unforgettable female protagonists.
I usually try not to read other blogs about Lost Girl episodes before I write whatever I intend to write, but I haven’t done that this week (or last week either, full disclosure). So what I’m giving you is still my own opinion and reaction after seeing the episode, and I’m trying not to be influenced by other things I’ve read, if that’s possible. Probably it isn’t, but I’m trying!
I really liked this episode. It was gripping, it made sense, it went from one thing to the next in logical and dramatic fashion – I was enrapt. And I didn’t see IT coming, the big twist at the end. The two big twists, I guess – that Trick and Aife would be killed, and that Tamsin was pregnant.
This episode was also really dark. I was afraid they were going to gloss over Hades’ rape of Tamsin, but they absolutely didn’t. When she realized what had happened, that he had impersonated Bo, she had such a visceral reaction to the violation that she threw up, and then afterward said to Bo “Don’t touch me.” That was good – and was commentary on that what happened was absolutely bad.
Having her be what looks like several week’s pregnant was also horrifyingly mind-blowing, since the logical assumption is that she’s pregnant with Hades’ baby (Bo’s half-sibling). Although, I did talk with a couple of people about the timeline for when she and Dyson slept together – maybe it’s not Hades’ child after all. Though honestly, that seems unlikely. For as dark as this episode was, having Tamsin contend with contemplating carrying Hades’ child, or contemplating not carrying it, seems important.
Speaking of what seems important – Trick’s comments to Bo about narrative truth. This struck me when watching, and reminded me of several comments I’ve heard about art and how it’s open to interpretation (what some have called the concept of “ulteriority”). There’s the art, there’s the viewer, and in between, there’s the message.
Trick was talking about each person’s version of events and what is true for them, but as a viewer of the show, I also take it as a commentary on each viewer of Lost Girl, and all stories and art, that each person will take different things from the same story. It also reminds me of how eyewitness testimony is unreliable – because memory is subjective, and because sometimes what you see is not actually the truth – like Aife thinking Bo visited her in the asylum, but it was actually Hades. Poor Aife – she never had a chance to strike back at Jack and take revenge, and now she never will.
It was Dorothy Snarker who observed that Bo’s visiting Estelle in the asylum – a woman who has been catatonic for 300 years because her entire family was murdered – was foreshadowing to the end, where Bo appears in a catatonic state after finding Trick and Aife murdered. I didn’t catch it then and I also didn’t catch it at the end. Thanks, DS. (I did catch how the “Family Portrait” tableau engineered by Hades was a clear shout-out to The Silence of the Lambs, one of my favorite movies of all time.)
Doccubus report – the interaction and tone between Bo and Lauren was a little weird in this episode for its very lack of drama and angst. Although they’ve broken up so many times now, maybe it’s old hat. I did appreciate Lauren’s statement that she has neither the right nor the desire to control Bo’s actions. Is anyone else a fan of Poi Dog Pondering? “The Hardest Thing” is a song that reflects this theme.
So sit down beside yourself and take a look around
There are no chains here
No shackles to be found
And if we are to be
Together you and me
Then nothing will hold us here
But our desire to be
Let’s end at the beginning. In the opening scene, Bo is kvetching about the horseshoe Hephaestus made for her, wondering how it will be useful in the battle to come. Aside from the good-luck superstition about horseshoes, you use them for shoeing horses. This could mean domesticating them, somehow harnessing the Pyrippus (and I’m eager to see what this infernal beast will actually end up being). But would shoeing the Pyrippus take away its power? Or would it contribute? The presence of gold with the adamantine will likely play a role.
The question I have, though, is: will Bo tame the Pyrippus? Defeat it? Or will she become it?
PS – oh hey, I forgot to mention this. As Trick is dying, he whispers to Bo “Don’t forget, you’re my blood too.” Maybe this points to what the eventual ending will be – Bo can somehow erase all the terrible things that happened, somehow. Maybe she can erase the Fae altogether. Perhaps the last scene of Lost Girl will show us all our old friends living happily ever after – as humans.