Tag Archives: Lost Girl

Guest Post: Lost Girl Season 5 – Who in Hel is the Wanderer (And Why We Still Care)

Today’s post is brought to us by Mahlers5th and ValksyLG. Thanks so much for your contribution, you two!

“Structure is key to narrative. These are the crucial questions any storyteller must answer: Where does it begin? Where does the beginning start to end and the middle begin? Where does the middle start to end and the end begin?”

                                                                    [Nora Ephron, Telling True Stories]

“You have to let me fight my own battles. Do that, and when the smoke clears, we’ll see where we are.”

                                                                    [Bo to Dyson, Lost Girl, episode 113]

 carolynrodhamMahlers5th

The closing episodes of season 4 left many viewers perplexed and many questions unanswered. The truth behind Bo’s lineage — at the very heart of her being the Lost Girl — remained unexplained. We were no closer to knowing the real identity of The Wanderer (uppercase W) whom we had been hearing about since episode 308 (Fae-ge Against the Machine). Could all the hints that he was Bo’s father have been red herrings? Was her father actually a bat-winged fire-breathing demon steed, as suggested by Sister Epona in episode 412 (Origin)?

Pyrripus_(309)
Daddy?

But if the Pyrippus is Bo’s father, imprisoned on some other plane of existence all this time, how did he manage to hire Tamsin to find Bo or sneak away to implant Recuerdo coils under the ocular membranes of her closest friends and family in the hiatus between episodes 313 (Those Who Wander)

and 401 (In Memoriam)? Are we being asked to believe Aife did the wild thing with a guy who spends his time looking like Secretariat on steroids?

And what was the deal with Rainer? OK, he was not The Wanderer, as we had been led to believe, but merely “he who wanders” (lowercase w) and Bo declared emphatically at the end of episode 409 (Destiny’s Child) that he was not her father – thank Goddess! But in what sense was he supposed to have been Bo’s “destiny”? In episode 412 (Origin), he said they were destined to “fight together for the good of the Fae” but promptly had his ticket to Valhalla punched by Massimo before he could fulfill that destiny.

Couldn't resist.
Couldn’t resist.

And speaking of prophesies, in episode 412, hadn’t Lauren read in Fae history books that Rainer was “the demon beast of evil pure, never to be trusted” destined to “wreak torment beyond comparison and betray the Fae”? Did that suggest he’d be back in season 5 to complete unfinished business? It was all pretty confusing. So before settling in to watch the next installment, Valksy and I decided to make one more attempt to reconcile all of these puzzling plot developments with the overarching storyline that has been unfolding.

Bo gets her looks from her mother's side of the family
Bo gets her looks from her mother’s side of the family

That was the plan until that fateful day in late August when Anna Silk blew fans a magical kiss and conferred upon us the terrible gift of Foresight. It was not revealed precisely how Bo’s story would end, only that everyone who has ever meant anything to us on this show — including Bo herself — would be lost at the end of season 5. The show runner had rewritten the future with his blood-tipped pen: END OF SERIES. And that “MMXV” — the Roman numerals that materialized on the Wanderer’s tarot card in episode 402 (Sleeping Beauty School)? Clearly it was just a teasing reference to the year “2015” when Lost Girl Armageddon would occur. And there wasn’t a blessed thing we could do to change that fate.

There’s nothing like the inevitability of death to drive us mere mortals to make something meaningful out of our brief flash of life…and precious television shows. But really, was there any point in continuing to cogitate about the identity of the Wanderer or the Pyrippus or Rainer or whether Bo was the Dark Queen or the Chosen One? There were more burning questions to consider now that we knew we didn’t have all the time in the world – like what fate lay in store for our beloved Doccubus? And would we ever see their Doccubabies — Ethan and Charlotte?

I needed a mojito. Make that two. It’s just a television show. It’s just a television show. It’s just a television show…

valksylgValksy

The first and most obvious explanation for why we still care so much about the riddle presented to us by the show is that we, as viewers, are prone to sharing a trait with our beloved doctor — we are “insatiably curious.” There is confusion for sure, but for many, a determination to make sense of the mystery that has been presented to us. The key to unravelling this conundrum is Bo herself as she moves from being a Lost Girl in the most literal sense — unable to find her way and oblivious to her heritage — to a more existentially Lost Girl who is challenged by her own moral ambiguity, temptations, and the life choices she faces.

As Bo’s tale transitioned from “what am I?” to “who am I?” and “why am I here?” it became clear that a central theme of the show was family — both the chosen and the biological. Like all of us, Bo’s identity has been shaped by her biological/genetic endowment, by the parents who actually raised her, and importantly by her adult relationships and experiences in life. But the wild card in her make-up has always been her paternal lineage: “Who is my father and what does he want with me?” In terms of character growth and narrative bread crumbs – through quests and monsters, challenge and conflict – there has always been plenty of evidence of an intentional meta plot in play, with a missing piece large enough to thoroughly pique my curiosity and make me long to know what happens next.

Evidence of an intentional series-long story arc of some magnitude is also suggested in several subordinate plot threads. Lauren and Bo first encounter humans tampering in the Fae world in episode 106 (Food for Thought) when it becomes apparent that a shadowy and well-appointed organization has undertaken experiments into biological weaponry targeting the Fae, despite Lauren’s charge to “track all clinically approved trials globally, make sure none are problematic for the Fae.” Although not further explained within the show canon at this point, it seems reasonable to find a parallel between the activities of Baron Chemicals in episode 106 and Taft’s empire in the latter stages of season 3. Certainly the knowledge Lauren acquired – to turn humans into Fae hybrids via genetic engineering – could serve as a foundation for the reverse act she performs on the Morrigan in the fourth season. This story concept – a battle for survival between humans versus Fae using advanced or transformative science – has been woven through all four seasons.

Evony and Lauren kiss
“Will you step into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly; “‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever did you spy. The way into my parlor is up a winding stair, And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”

Another plot thread, albeit a more subtle one, that seems to mirror the main story arc is the evolution we see in the relationship between Bo and Kenzi. A loveable Artful Dodger and light-fingered scamp in the early episodes, Kenzi is matured by her first brush with mortality in episode 106 (Food for Thought), then frees Dyson against all odds in episode 220 (Lachlan’s Gambit), saves him emotionally from the Norn’s curse in episode 221 (Into the Dark), and finally reaches her full courageous potential in episode 413 (Dark Horse) in an unforgettable scene of noble self-sacrifice for a greater good.

"Tell Vex to keep his hands off my mascara."
“Tell Vex to keep his hands off my mascara.”

While it is always vital to remember that this is primarily Bo’s story, both of these sub-plots seem intimately interwoven with the grander story. None of us knows which way the story will turn next, but Lauren’s progression from hapless and exploited slave to an intellect-driven warrior must surely serve a purpose; this development also ensures that she is elevated beyond any potentially objectionable position of helpless damsel to a more equal and self-actuated character. Likewise, although Kenzi’s traumatic passing will be an important catalyst for the next chapter in the story (as Bo makes clear in her monologue at the end of season 4), the evolution of the relationship between the two women – from strangers, to family, to fractured and estranged friends – also parallels Bo’s own plot-driven character modification. The changing bond between Bo and Kenzi is both an important story in its own right and a symbolic representation of Bo’s personal transformation.

Mahlers5th

Life is hard when you don’t know who you are. We have heard Bo say these words dozens of times during the opening credits of Lost Girl, and yet it is easy to forget this is the show’s central drama. Bo’s attention – and the viewer’s – may have been distracted along the way by this romance or that love triangle or another MOTW, but finding her true nature, where she comes from, and what larger destiny awaits her, has remained the driving force behind her personal narrative. It took center stage in season 3 during her preparations for and experiences in the Dawning (to the chagrin of fans who felt she had selfishly shunted Lauren aside) and was never more prominent than during the course of season 4, when love took a back seat to the task of Bo’s regaining her memory and finding out who had kidnapped her and what happened on the Death Train: “Can you really know yourself without memory? Can you really know what you want?” (Episode 406, Of All the Gin Joints). itstimebuttonThis is a journey she has been intent on doing for herself and by herself since the very beginning. In episode 409 (Destiny’s Child), when Lauren and Dyson insist on accompanying her back to the Death Train, Bo tells them, “I love you both. So much. But right now I need you to watch me walk away because I have to do this.” The stage has been set for this journey of self-discovery to reach a climax in the final season. It’s time.

Some people prioritize the intimacy and mutuality of relationships in life, but for Bo, the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” have always trumped “Who do I love?” Consider the fact that in episode 108 (Vexed), after Lauren and Bo spend the night together for the very first time, Bo doesn’t hang back in bed for some morning canoodling but, over her lover’s objections, is up early lacing her boots to save Lou Ann and find out the truth about her own mother. And in episode 413 (Dark Horse), after Bo takes time out from Fae Armageddon to rescue Lauren from Massimo (or was it Lauren’s guile – pocketing and crushing the twig of Zamora—that actually saved the day?), Lauren reminds Bo of her priorities: “Get out of here, Succubus. Destiny’s calling.” Season 4 has been full of references to the fact that there are things more important in life than a mere love story and that love must sometimes be sacrificed for the greater good. Just not Doccubus. Please, not Doccubus.

Valksy

Beyond my own natural curiosity to see what happens next and understand how the clues will eventually resolve the riddle presented to us, I also find the grander story both compelling and necessary to the intimate love story that caught our attention and brought so many of us to the show in the first place. There seems to be a deeply human instinct to view the greatest loves as something earned through suffering, strife and challenges, and often resolved by bargains, battles or sacrifices. This common theme of love conquering all is reflected in the historic story of Odysseus and Penelope, in the literary romance between Romeo and Juliet or between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, and in the cinematic love affair between Ilsa Lund and Rick Blaine in Casablanca or Han Solo and Princess Leia.

love-poster-quotes_734-2

Lost Girl continues this tradition of great romances tested through heroic actions, adversity, and strife. In episode 212 (Masks), Bo selflessly frees Nadia and willingly surrenders her own happiness in return for Lauren’s. In episode 219 (Truth and Consequences), Nadia sacrifices her life in order to save Lauren from the malevolent entity inhabiting her. Kenzi sacrifices her own chance of happiness with Nate out of love for Bo (in Truth and Consequences) and then goes on to play out a classically tragic love story with Hale, ending with his death in episode 411 (End of a Line).

Their sacrifices stand in marked contrast to Dyson’s bombastic, jealous chest-thumping early on in the series, and to his rescinding his “sacrifice” to the Norn when he fails to win the girl to his satisfaction. In doing so, it is arguable he proves his love is unworthy, according to classical narrative tradition.

Both Bo and Lauren are willing to sacrifice their own happiness, liberty, safety, even their lives, out of devotion to one another. These grand and symbolic acts require a greater story, with a deeper menace, as a backdrop. Bo’s brave, stubborn, and relentless quest to discover the truth about the Wanderer, and in doing so to discover herself, is surely an important reason Lauren loves her and an intrinsic part of the love story that has so inspired us.

Mahlers5th

It is astonishing how little Bo (or the viewer) knows about her father, his intentions, and the influence of his bloodline after four seasons. Historians tell us that people inevitably misunderstand the present when they live in ignorance of the past, so before making predictions about where the writers will be taking Bo’s story in the final season, let’s take a look back at what we know and don’t know about Bo’s identity, parentage, and apparent destiny.

Was Bo’s father the Dark Fae King?

Bo has known since episode 113 (Blood Lines) that Aife — a Light Fae succubus — is her birth mother. In that episode, Bo learns that her mother was imprisoned and tortured for centuries by a sadistic Dark King who “thought it a waste to execute a perfectly good succubus” and decided instead to “keep me for his own entertainment.” Aife never expressly stated that her Dark King captor raped her – although this is strongly implied – nor that he is Bo’s father. In fact, when Bo asked her pointblank in episode 113, “Is he my father?! Is he still alive?!” Aife answered sharply that she “[didn’t] want to talk about that (…) All in due time.

We hear nothing further about Bo’s parentage from Aife until episode 313 (Those Who Wander), when Dyson finds her in Taft’s castle where she has been held captive since her fight with Bo in episode 113. Aife tells Dyson she was tortured by Taft for information about “what’s the ultimate type of Fae…who’s the strongest” but says proudly that she never revealed the truth: “It’s my Bo, my daughter.” Whoever Bo’s father may be, his blood apparently confers abilities far more powerful than any other Fae, Light or Dark. “If your father were here, he would kill them all, resurrect them, and then kill them again!” Aife shouts in impotent rage when Bo is imprisoned with her in Taft’s cells, “He would never allow this to happen to his seed!” Would Aife be talking in such reverential terms about Bo’s father if he were indeed the monstrous Dark King who had tortured and exploited her for centuries? Uh, no.

C'mere, little seed.
C’mere, little seed.

In episode 301 (Caged Fae), Bo herself hedged her bets when discussing her fears about her origins with Trick: “My father was most certainly Dark [emphasis added].” Trick is non-committal, as usual, but twenty-six episodes later (in the season 4 finale), he finally gets around to telling Bo that she has “hybrid” blood. She has inherited her mother’s Light Fae blood and with it the ability to drain chi for nourishment and to manipulate others by touch. From her father, Trick tells her, she has inherited “the ability to drain life from many victims” and to “transfer that life force” to someone else, an ability we have by then witnessed several times, most memorably in episode 309 (Ceremony). But despite all that suggestive sliding of dark bottles next to light bottles on the bar, Trick never actually says that Bo’s father is the monstrous Dark King. He seems familiar with the powers conferred by her father’s blood and apparently knows him well enough – “whoever he may be” — to be “terrified” of him, as he tells Bo in episode 408 (Ground Hog Fae), but Trick steadfastly maintains that he doesn’t know her father’s actual identity. By this point in the story Bo herself seems fairly convinced her father is the Pyrippus, but Trick is silent on that point. [We’ll have more to say about the Pyrippus later, but suffice it to say for now, we don’t buy that he is Bo’s father].

Do we have solid evidence that Bo’s father is even Dark Fae? The most compelling evidence for this is presented in episode 404 (Turn to Stone), when the Keeper tells Bo that based on analysis of a sample obtained by the Una Mens’ gargoyle, “Your blood has spoken. You have chosen a side. You are Dark.” However, in the series premiere, it was clear that the Fae had no means of determining whether Bo was Light or Dark Fae (“someone hid her from birth from both our sides”) so she would have to choose. This would seem to suggest that one’s identity as Light or Dark Fae is mostly a matter of nurture or choice rather than Nature or blood. In any case, whether Bo’s blood is a hybrid of Dark and Light Fae, or some other unknown hybrid, an argument can be made that the Dark King is not her biological father.

Is Bo’s dark side embedded solely in her paternal DNA?

Bo_(Dark_Bo)_208Bo makes her first appearance as the “supersuccubus” (Dark-Queen-in-waiting) in episode 208 (Death Didn’t Become Him) when the Lich threatens to kill Lauren unless Bo feeds on her. In a seemingly possessed altered state, she expresses a will to rule in that weird Darth-Vader-castrato voice: “I could be more powerful than all other Fae. Everyone would kneel at my feet. There would be no more Dark and no more Light. There would be only me.” Interestingly, this will to rule is expressed in the conditional tense, as though Bo herself (or the dark side threatening to gain ascendency within her) is signaling that she isn’t fully “cooked” yet. In this episode, we also witness the first demonstration of her ability to siphon chi from a group and then use that life force to reanimate someone else. At that point, Bo wasn’t sure how she did it or what triggered her rage, nor did she understand anything much about her patrilineage.

In episode 222 (Flesh and Blood), having bound her friends to her with her blood to fight The Garuda, Bo reappears as the Dark Queen with the same message – a thirst for power and wish to dominate everyone: “I should have killed The Garuda sooner – him and every single one of his minions. I will seek them out and kill them all and anyone who tries to stand in my wayMy strength is unmatched! I will reign as Queen and all shall tremble before my power.” No conditional tense there! The Dark Queen surfaces twice more: in episode 309 (Ceremony), which I will return to below, and in episode 413 (Dark Horse), when Bo chi-sucks the revenants at the entrance of the portal to the Underworld to protect her friends and family and save her world. However, the consequence of using this power inherited from her father, albeit for the greater good, is to lower her defenses against her dark side: “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!” [I know, I know – the Pyrippus again. We’re certainly meant to believe he is Bo’s father, aren’t we? All in due time…].

darthhelmet

Since this thirst for power and domination tended to emerge whenever Bo exercised the group chi-siphoning abilities inherited from her father, and since it is invariably expressed in a voice we have come to identify as part Dark Queen/part Father, I have always assumed the darkness within Bo reflected the sole influence of her paternal DNA endowment. However, in episode 113 (Blood Lines), Aife expressed a similar taste for domination at any cost and used strikingly similar language. “I always had high hopes for my little girl,” she tells Bo in episode 113:

We’re going to take down the Fae…I know you hate the divide as much as I do, the Dark and the Light. And we’re gonna put an end to that, you and me…tear down the establishment. And then we let the world burn. And you and I reign over the ashes side-by-side.

This wish to tear down the Fae establishment and to reign side-by-side with Bo in some new world order is an ambition echoed by The Wanderer in season 3 and again by Rainer in season 4. Could this be a reason Bo’s father – whoever he is – chose Aife in the first place, i.e. because he knew she shared similar ambitions and could therefore be manipulated to take part in his own master plan? Perhaps a plan was hatched by her father centuries ago and Bo was bred by consensual choice to fight in some future conflict. Tamsin seems to suggest as much in episode 408 (Groundhog Fae): “The Wanderer. That evil that you met. Could he be my father?” Bo asks, to which Tamsin replies, “That thing would’ve done anything to claim his ideal mate. Even if it meant creating her himself.”

Rainer expresses this same thirst for power in more benign and idealistic terms (“to end the tyranny between the Dark and the Light”) but he is willing to slaughter the Una Mens without hesitation to accomplish his goal. The Fae prophecies that Lauren unearthed suggest his motives may not be so pure after all, and in the season 4 finale, Trick also tries to warn Bo about Rainer’s possible ulterior motives:

Rainer (to Bo):   Not only could your blood lift curses, but you could lead armies.                     Resurrect the fallen as they die on the battlefield. Free the masses!

Trick: Or enslave them, if she’s coerced by the wrong hand.

We believe Rainer may have been enlisted by The Wanderer — Bo’s father – to execute the Wanderer’s own plan to draw Bo off the earthly plane while still allowing her to think it’s all her idea. What did Rainer get out of the deal? At the very least, liberation from the Death Train and a trip to Valhalla, but perhaps there is a bigger pay-off still to come: the chance to fulfill his original ambition of defeating Fae tyrants – starting with Trick.

Valksy

There is an argument to suggest that the events across the four seasons to date have foreshadowed the Wanderer’s importance to the story in its eventual entirety. The series of events that began with Bo’s entry into the Fae world (and into ours), escalated to a conflict with her mother which in turn caused Trick to reluctantly invoke his blood magic in full understanding that there could be dire consequences: “You think I didn’t try to fix this thing with Aife long ago? I have rooms of books filled with my blood. Every time, something horrible went wrong!” (Episode 113, Blood Lines). It is confirmed in episode 213 (Barometz. Trick. Pressure) that writing in blood to save Bo from Aife in the season 1 finale awoke The Garuda, which in turn caused Bo to invoke or channel her father’s powers at the end of season 2.

trick_sweater
Every time I wrote in my blood something horrible went wrong. Like this sweater!

The fact that Bo’s mass chi-siphoning ability comes as a surprise to other characters suggests it is not “standard issue” succubus powers. Could it be argued at this point that Bo’s use of this power in episode 208 (Death Didn’t Become Him) and subsequent binding of others to her with her blood in episode 222 (Flesh and Blood) — both times associated with the expression of a sovereign will to power — acted as a beacon to her father that she was near-ready to join him and to take the next step in fulfilling her potential? Was the battle with The Garuda the final catalyst for Bo’s change? When we next see Bo, after these events, she is entering a transitional stage in life in terms of her pre-mature Dawning and is beginning to manifest character changes, while the Wanderer becomes a more pervasive presence in her life – notwithstanding the fact that his identity and motives remain hidden.

Mahlers5th

There have been many signs since the very start of Bo’s preparations for the Dawning that the entity we come to know as the Wanderer has been controlling the action from behind the scenes, slowly grooming Bo for a specific longer-range purpose. We previously speculated that as long as Lauren was actually in Bo’s life, her love acted as a counterbalance to the Wanderer’s growing power. However, beginning in episode 305 (Faes Wide Shut) when Bo hisses at Lauren to “get out of my way” – brought back to herself only when Lauren implores her to remember their love — to their break in episode 311 (Delinquents) and through most of season 4, Lauren and Bo are mostly apart, and her father’s influence grows.

Bo_(Dark_Bo)_&_Lauren_(305)
Yo Bo, imma let you finish, but first please remember our love.

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. At the end of that episode, Bo asks Tamsin, “So you wanna tell me what that Wanderer business was all about?” Tamsin professes ignorance (“You tell me”) but after she is showered with Wanderer cards falling from the night sky, Tamsin is forced to acknowledge that Bo is “the one” her boss – the Wanderer — hired her to find and has come to collect.

In watching episode 308 (Fae-ge Against the Machine) and episode 309 (Ceremony) again, I was struck by the many references to the Wanderer and ample evidence of his handprints all over the Dawning. Recall that Dion’s The Wanderer is blaring on the jukebox just as Bo and Dyson enter the Temple’s Dal-like antechamber. As Bo moves to switch off the song, the camera pans to a photograph of one of the Victoria Secret models from the “human feast” Stella had advised Bo to feed on before the Ceremony. Pictures of that same model reappear several times in subsequent scenes during the Temple ceremony – in a painting, a pin-up calendar, a police file. I remember being puzzled by this – among many other details of the Dawning – on first viewing. This time, as I saw the photograph and listened for the hundredth time to the lyrics of The Wanderer song (“I kiss ‘em and I love ‘em, cause to me they’re all the same”), it occurred to me that had Bo chosen to feed on the models as Stella urged, she would have been doing just that — using and discarding nameless women for her own needs. In fact, this is what she did during her ten year killing spree — wandering from victim to victim, loving (chi-sucking) and leaving (killing) them, until she met Kenzi.

Who would want to plant a reminder in Bo’s subconscious mind that at one time humans were just nameless fodder for her? Similarly, in a later sequence, Trick as police Chief tells Bo, his voice dripping with contempt, that “MacKenzi” — a confidential informant being groomed to testify against “The Family” — and all her (human) kind are expendable (“a dime a dozen”): “She’s not one of us and never will be.” Whose agenda does it serve to drive home that point of view?

In that same scene, Lauren and Bo are partners – but only on the police force. Their romance is actually on the rocks. Again –whose agenda does it serve to sow this seed of discord? Some might argue that it served Dyson’s purposes; indeed, many viewers felt Dyson’s projections dominated the Dawning. But this scene is not from Dyson’s subconscious mind (as I suggest below). If you’ll entertain for a moment that the Wanderer – Bo’s father – has choreographed most the action in the Temple, it could be argued that, among other motives, he is trying to drive a wedge between Bo and her family of human and Fae friends – especially the one person whose influence seems capable of exceeding his own: Lauren.

bo_lauren_cops_ceremony_lostgirl
Anything less than my best is a felony.

Think of the characters we meet along the way in the Temple (outside of Bo’s circle of friends and Faemily):

  • There is the “Just-Call-Me-Caretaker” guy who appears at the beginning of the Dawning, just after Bo switches off The Wanderer song blasting from the jukebox. He says doesn’t remember his own given name or even his mother’s (“they don’t even know my name”) yet seems to know everything about everything in the Temple. When he disappears, equally suddenly, The Wanderer theme abruptly resumes.
  • Then we meet a horned monster who arguably bears some resemblance to The Wanderer discovered by Lauren in Fae History books and possibly to Tamsin’s description of the “evil beast” who hired her to collect Bo.

[Sidebar: before they are confronted by the monster, Dyson and Bo find themselves in the Clubhouse where Dyson remarks, “To be more honest than a wolf probably should, I can’t really remember much else besides your bedroom.” Before I had a chance to throw up a little in my mouth, Dyson promptly cries out in pain, having hit his shin against a table. “So Karma does exist, huh?” Bo jokes – but is it Karma, a simple accident, or the Wanderer influencing the action, in effect rebuking Dyson for his tasteless remark? Later, just after Dyson launches into his “I’m willing to wait until Lauren dies” speech, the enraged monster reappears and knocks him to the ground. Could this be understood as Bo’s father’s reaction to Dyson romancing his daughter – don’t touch, not wanted?]

  • Lastly, we meet Bo’s father himself – hardly the monstrous Dark King we’ve been expecting to see, that sadist who tortured and probably raped Aife – but a nurturing father cooing lovingly to his infant daughter (“Sleep, sweet girl. You have so much ahead of you. I’ve waited so long to have you in my arms”) and instructing the babysitter to call him at any time, day or night, if his Isabeau needs anything. Wow, Super Dad. Meanwhile, Aife is depicted as a crazed madwoman who slits the babysitter’s throat and kidnaps Bo to keep her from her father – a bit of revisionist history.

[Sidebar: Yes, we noticed that the baby’s room has medieval glazed windows, each with a central panel depicting a HORSE. And we haven’t forgotten that in episode 413 (entitled Dark HORSE), just after Sister Epona tells Bo – albeit a little ambiguously – that the Pyrippus is her father, Bo remarks to Rainer that during the Dawning, in the room where her father held her as a baby, she saw a HORSE and was later haunted by visions of a CAROUSEL: “They were all clues.” OK, but clues from whom, Bo? And meant to influence you to think what? And why? We’ll return to these questions later, promise].

Could all three figures – the Caretaker (sometimes a synonym for “parent”), the horned monster, and the loving version of Bo’s father – all represent alters of the Wanderer, inserting himself in the Ceremony and attempting to guide Bo’s perceptions in a certain direction?

This is all pure speculation of course. The appearance of Bo’s father in the nursery could also be understood as Bo’s wishful fantasy of the gentle and nurturing father she never had. However, the interpretation we’re suggesting — that Bo’s vision of her father is an idealized image he wants her to believe – helps make sense of previously puzzling aspects of the Dawning and reconciles them with the series-long story line as we understand it, viz. Bo’s father is slowly maneuvering her into playing her prescribed role in his grand design while maintaining her illusion of free will.

Many fans were dismayed that Dyson seemed to dominate Bo’s Dawning but if you follow the sequence of scenes, it’s actually the Wanderer who appears to dictate virtually all of the action:

  • Bo and Dyson meet the “Caretaker” (whom I argue is the first of three Wanderer alters) in the Dal-like bar. He seems to be totally in charge and lays out the ground rules for the Dawning.
  • Bo and Dyson then find themselves in an adjacent Clubhouse-like space, where Dyson gets his shin karma-kicked for sexist jokes and is slashed by the horned monster (Wanderer alter #2) after cock-blocking Bo and telling her “I guess a thousand years of chivalry is hard to shake.” Kick him again, karma.
  • They flee to the next room – Dyson’s gym – where he deems it appropriate to declare his undying love for Bo (truly impeccable timing) and willingness to wait 100 years to be with her. Just as he leans in for a kiss, the monster reappears between them, howling in rage, knocks Dyson on his backside and disappears, dragging Bo after him. Oh Dyson, my hero!
  • While Bo is transported to the police station, Dyson confronts the Caretaker, demanding to know, “Where’s Bo?! Where is she?!” The Caretaker is rolling dice and leisurely moving pieces around on a crude game board, musing that “her subconcscious is such an extraordinary playground. I can’t wait to watch the next part unfold.” As if he’d seen this movie before? As if he wrote the screenplay? He mimics Dyson’s bombastic chivalry in sing-song tones (“I have to go. I have to find her”) and adds contemptuously, “Don’t you get it? We’re moving on. Or at least, Bo is.

We’re moving on. Up until now, it is hard to argue that this is Dyson’s show, right?

While Bo is playing cop, the Caretaker asks Dyson, in a teasing and seductive tone, “Aren’t you at all curious about what life you could create here, even if it’s an illusion?”

  • BAM! Then and only then is Bo transported out of the police station and into Dyson’s wishful fantasy of being an obstetrician living the perfect married life in the suburbs with a pregnant Bo. Still, the Wanderer manages to insert references to himself — twice. Neighbor Tamsin – she of the bloodied hands (because of her role in delivering Bo to the Wanderer, or perhaps because she has failed to deliver Bo?) – calls out to Bo cheerfully, “Hiya neighbor! Great day for a wander!” Uh, doesn’t she mean a walk? Nope, she said wander. And soon enough Bo wanders away from her perfect life with Dyson and his anti-psychotic medication (that’s what it takes to keep her home?) into the next room where she meets…her loving father. When she returns to Dyson, she appears to experience a miscarriage and Dyson’s beautiful fantasy is aborted – by whom? Who else would it be, other than The Wanderer – Bo’s father?
  • The last sequence involves Bo having to kill Dyson to get out of the Temple. Some might argue Dyson gets to play the chivalrous self-sacrificing hero here, but the fact is he ends up very dead, and whose agenda does that serve? The Caretaker strongly urges Bo to leave the Temple without Dyson, and warns her that if she tries to take Dyson with her, the Temple will claim her forever. Dyson is saved only because – much to the Caretaker’s/Wanderer’s consternation – Bo defies the rules: “See, that’s the thing – I’ve never been big on rules. That is who I am. That is my true self.” The Caretaker is NOT pleased.

But her father should feel some sense of consolation about the fact that immediately upon exiting the Temple, Bo makes a particularly dramatic appearance as the Dark Queen, blue eyes flashing, and intones in that dual daughter/father voice: “I will reign as he did for I am his daughter. Together we will bridle the masses and ride to victory. Even Death will fear us. Only I will choose who lives!” Yes, she revives Dyson (that was probably not in the Wanderer’s script for the Dawning) but she does so as the future Dark Queen in all her glory, using the power encoded in her father’s DNA to chi-suck the entire room – quite callously, as it turn out. The humans – Kenzi and Lauren – are rendered unconscious. They could have died for all she knew. Bo never stopped to check.

ceremonygoth

The episode ends with yet another replay of The Wanderer song (third time by my count) just as the credits roll. It’s true that the episode also ends with Trick unfurling a scroll on which is painted a fire-breathing demon HORSE, saying, “Not him!” Late in season 4, we’ll look back on this moment and wonder if this was the first reference to the Pyrippus – I believe it is (unless you count those medieval windows in the baby nursery). But note that Trick makes no mention of the Wanderer or of Bo’s father. Is it possible he is instead reacting to the appearance of another Big Bad on the distant horizon – is the Pyrippus an evil entity he fears Bo is destined to battle?

But the Wanderer isn’t finished. He is referenced a number of other times as season 3 draws to a close. At the end of episode 311 (Adventures in Fae-Bysitting), he inhabits one of the “bitches who be witches” to tell Bo: “You know not your true strength, child, but you soon will and the world will bow down before us” (note, he does call her “child”). As a minor demonstration of his power-by-remote-control, he vaporizes the witch. If there should remain any doubt about his identity, he leaves his calling card — a Dada-like phantasm of a carousel materializes just as a particularly ghostly version of The Wanderer song is heard.

The Wanderer’s handprints are all over the season 3 finale (Those Who Wander). As noted earlier, when Aife is imprisoned in Taft’s cell, she appeals to Bo’s father, saying if he were there, he would not allow anyone to harm his seed. She invokes him to kill, resurrect, and kill again. At this point, we know about Bo’s power to reanimate the dead but it is not until episode 412 (Origin) that Trick confirms Aife’s ravings — this is a power bestowed on Bo by her father’s DNA. Later in the same episode, Tamsin and Dyson see The Wanderer figure from the tarot card materialize before them on the road ahead. On cue, The Wanderer song comes on over the car radio. Dyson asks Tamsin, “Who is that?” “Bo’s father,” she replies. At the end of the episode, Bo disappears in a cloud of black smoke, as The Wanderer theme plays on the jukebox one last time. We are left with a newly minted tarot card showing the Wanderer and Bo herself, surveying a distant landscape together. Could it be spelled out any more clearly? The Wanderer is Bo’s father [NOT the Pyrippus].

The_Wanderer_card_with_Bo
He kind of looks like a horse, if you squint

There are fewer references to the Wanderer in season 4, but they add corroborating details that The Wanderer was responsible for hiring Huginn and Muninn to kidnap Bo and bring her off the earthly realm to an interdimensional Death Train. The Wanderer is almost certainly the “infinitely powerful” entity responsible for erasing her memory from human and Fae alike – with the notable exception of Aife whose Recuerdo coil does not seem to have obliterated all memories of her daughter. Hmm. In episode 401 (In Memoriam), Trick warns Kenzi that “someone’s been messing with the balance of space and time. Be careful. Evil comes in many faces.” Immediately the camera pans to something Trick has failed to notice: the tarot card with The Wanderer and Bo at his side. In episode 402 (Sleeping Beauty School), little Tamsin finds the tarot card which magically bursts into flame and turns out to be both an inter-dimensional ticket to the Death Train (in episode 402) and directions to the Spiritual Center for the Women of the Horses (in episode 412).

[Question: Why would The Wanderer leave behind a tarot card that:

  1. broadcasts to anyone who finds it that Bo is with him;
  2. provides access to the train where he is holding her;
  3. reveals the cartography coordinates for the Pyrippus’ temple?

Answer: Unclear. But would it be too convoluted to suggest that it may have been part of her father’s grand design all along to have Bo escape the Death Train, return of her own volition to liberate Rainer, and become convinced that her father was the Pyrippus?].

Is the Wanderer – Bo’s father – the God Odin?

We’ve come full circle to thinking this is indeed the case. Valksy will discuss this question at greater length, but to review some of the clues familiar to viewers:

  • In Norse mythology, Odin has been referred to as the Wanderer.
  • The Wanderer engaged Tamsin – a Valkyrie – to collect Bo. The Valkyrie were Odin’s handmaidens, charged with the task of deciding who among the fallen warriors would be resurrected and transported to Odin’s realm – Valhalla.
  • Tamsin has already violated this duty by transporting Rainer’s soul to the Death Train. But given a second opportunity to fall in battle – if that’s what you call Rainer’s baring his throat to Massimo — his dying words to Trick are to remind Tamsin that she can now take him to Valhalla – Odin’s realm.
  • Bo is kidnapped from the Dal by Huginn and Muninn who serve The Wanderer. Huginn and Muninn were known in Norse folklore as Odin’s two ravens.
  • Huginn refers to his boss on the train as “he who wanders” and “a father to many” (cf. Odin mythology below)
  • In sacrificing her life to close the interdimensional portal, Kenzi expects to go to Valhalla and rejoin Hale. Instead, it appears she may have been transported to an alternate afterlife, perhaps one presided over by none other than Odin’s wife, Freida (whom we have been told will make an appearance in season 5).

Just how many bread crumbs did Ms. Andras & Co. have to leave us to establish that the Wanderer – Bo’s father – is in fact Odin?

Valksy

The identity and purpose of The Wanderer is an example of the dramatic principle of “Chekhov’s Gun,” in which it was argued by Anton Chekhov that if a rifle is mentioned in an early chapter, it had better be fired at some point!

500px-Chekov's_gun_(poster)

Given the case we will be presenting that Bo’s father – The Wanderer — is based on the character of Odin, it is reasonable that the writers held back on confirming his identity for four seasons. Revealing Odin’s identity prematurely would have been like mentioning the identity of Darth Vader at the very beginning of the Star Wars saga, or disclosing the unfortunate truth about Norman Bates’ mother in the opening scenes of Psycho. Telling us too soon would spoil their own story, drain it of any suspense, and ruin the punchline that all evidence of a grand plan suggests is still to come. The decision to tell an elaborate multi-season story is an ambitious one and I am looking forward to turning the page to episode 501, seeing the final chapter, and answering that most fundamental question – How does it end?

The Odin Enigma (or What the Fae?)

No worse monsters than these, no crueler plague,
ever rose from the waters of Styx, at the gods’ anger.
These birds have the faces of virgin girls,
foulest excrement flowing from their bellies,
clawed hands, and faces always thin with hunger.
                The Aenied Book III - Virgil (Translation A.S. Kline)

Since the very first episode, Lost Girl’s world of urban fantasy has drawn heavily from human traditions of storytelling – from Greek epic poetry, to Japanese fables, European folklore, and beyond. My first thought in attempting to place Odin within the Lost Girl universe was to try and determine whose story is actually being told by dogma, myths or lore. How do we understand or explain storytelling becoming truth (and vice versa) in Bo’s world?

The production team has never established whether the legends of Fae creatures are fabricated by the Fae themselves – although it would be unclear what purpose this would serve since many legends serve as warnings or give guidance to humans to protect themselves. Acts of self-promotion would also make little sense in the sub rosa world of the preternatural. But if the fairytales are devised by humans struggling to come to terms with the unexplainable phenomenon surrounding an encounter with the Fae, why would the Fae be so quick to adopt – even eagerly embrace – the labels and mythos generated by a species that they clearly view as inferior?

In episode 201 (Something Wicked This Fae Comes), Lauren’s research on the Sluagh includes both contemporary and historical medical records, as well as reference books. In episode 113 (Blood Lines) the information on the Koushang amulet is stored on a database within the Light Fae compound. In episode 412 (Origin) Lauren pays a visit to the Dark Fae library to research Rainer in person. It must also be noted, as seen in Origin that the world of the Fae is a deeply magical one, nothing that is written is ever set in stone, and books write themselves in front of Lauren’s eyes!

Evidence within the show of lore keepers like Trick who only reveal information when it serves their agenda (and who may not be as in command of facts as they seem); of tomes of lore that still manage to be mutable; of the notoriously suspect nature of eyewitness testimony recorded by the victims and survivors of the Fae all leads me to conclude that we simply cannot decipher the riddle of who originates Fae lore. This would be for the show to clarify if necessary, and the fact that no one seems to have all the answers regarding the secret underground world of Lost Girl allows the production to use artistic license regarding the nature, appearance, motives and history of the Fae.

The argument that the production team regards the crypto-zoological source material as an inspirational springboard, rather than as canon truth to be faithfully reproduced, is evident in the visible manifestations of creatures in the show. For example, the above quote from Virgil’s Aenied describes harpies, and yet when we meet a harpy “of the Boston harpies” in episode 107 (Arachnofaebia), she is nothing like the bird-like creature of legend (although she seems somewhat ill-tempered, which would be consistent). The Mongolian Death Worm we encounter in episode 205 (BrotherFae of the Wolves) is also a humanoid, despite the legends of a cryptid creature. Lachlan, a naga, is hardly reminiscent of cobras. The feuding characters in episode 406 (Of All the Gin Joints), Bamber the Buraq and Marcus the Camazotz, are a winged celestial steed and a bat god respectively. Even Hale himself lacks any outward signs of supernatural morphology or heritage.

hale and his abs
No supernatural morphology, except for maybe these abs.

If there is a well-established understanding that myths serve only as a broad or general template rather than obliging a comprehensive facsimile (both in real world writing and production terms, and to the fictional characters within the show), then it is reasonable to suggest that Odin — if he were to appear in Lost Girl — could be conceptually similar to, but not necessarily a faithful reproduction of, the entity recorded in the thirteenth century Poetic Edda and Prose Edda.

If the character of Odin is to appear in the show, if he is the inspiration for Bo’s as yet unnamed father, it is reasonable to suggest that only a broad thematic overview would need to be identified. The puzzle pieces do not have to be flawlessly matched, as the shows “rules” that I have just described would seem to make clear. What’s more, if the show simply tried to re-tell the Odin tale by rote, it would offer nothing more to viewers than an unsatisfying cookie cutter story that would not showcase Bo herself.

Odin Lore and Legends (or Who the Fae?!)

While a rare few artifacts remain, the sources for the Norse mythology that relates the tale of Odin and his realm are the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda. Written in Icelandic in the thirteenth century, centuries after the Viking era, they may be considered a written version of the oral tradition of storytelling of the time. The works have been translated a number of times, and remain subject to linguistic theorizing and anthropological hypothesis to expand understanding of the saga. It is quite likely that Lost Girl may only tap into the broadest of themes, rather than specific complex details.

prose_edda

The most obvious part of the original Odin myth that Lost Girl might tap into regards the valkyries. In the poem Gylfaginning (The Tricking of Gylfi) the role of the valkyries in selecting the honourable or worthy dead is explained – although other works from the Edda also describe their role as dictating who is actually slain (Njal’s Saga). While dying in battle and being selected to reside with Odin in the hall of Valhalla was the aim of Viking warriors, it was never as simple as being rewarded with eternal carousing. Gylfaginning describes an eschatological event, Ragnarok, and explains that Odin’s chosen warriors would fight with him at the end of the world. Selection by the valkyrie was as much about recruitment for a prophetic event as for reward — and the fallen could be very much perceived as tools for Odin’s convenience.

An alternative to being selected by Odin’s valkryries was the chance of being chosen to attend Freya in her hall in Folkvangr (as described in Grimnismal or the Sayings of Grimnir). The poem Egil’s Saga suggests that Folkvangr — which can be translated as the field of the people — is a place where women who died a noble or honourable death (but not necessarily in battle) might find themselves. There is a linguistic and historical argument regarding whether or not Freya was Odin’s wife, based primarily around whether Freya and Frigga are the same entity (in much the same way Wotan/Woden is another way to say Odin). Given that the Lost Girl production crew has established that there is no obligation to produce a flawless facsimile of either characters or myths, the placement of Freya within Lost Girl is a clue to Odin’s presence, but the nature of her relationship with him or others is still very much ambiguous.

frigga-freya-day-of-delight-asatru-ring-72

Although Odin did have a warlike aspect, he was largely disinterested in his human worshippers and was far more focused on his own personal quest for knowledge. It was during a journey into the realm of the underworld in the Eddic poem Baldrs Draumar (Baldr’s Dreams) in his quest for wisdom that Odin concealed his identity by introducing himself as Vegtam the Wanderer. It is during this trip to Hel (a third destination for the dead, and the least desirable) that Odin is also observed practicing necromancy, in that he raises a seeress from the dead to question her. This ability is also exhibited when he consults a decapitated head in the Ynglinga Saga — is anyone else reminded of the denouement of episode 411 (End of a Line?). These smaller acts of life/death magic seem minor compared with Odin’s command over the power of mortality as described in the poem Voluspa (Prophecy of the Seeress) in which he participates in the creation of humanity itself by giving breath to the first humans.

The shamanic and magical nature of Odin is arguably the most fundamental part of the character. The saga Voluspa describes how his desire for knowledge and power drove him to sacrifice his eye in order to drink from the well of wisdom. The Wanderer card produced by the art department at Lost Girl is careful to show the male figure from the rear – is this why? A one-eyed character would surely have been a major clue. Odin’s willingness to risk everything for knowledge and magic is even more evident in the Runatal (Rune Song) stanzas of the Havamal verses, in which Odin was hanged from the world-tree Yggdrasil for nine days. The text suggests that Odin’s ordeal was a sacrifice of himself to himself, inferring again a mastery over mortality. The reward for this act of sacrifice was access to the runes which, according to the Havamal, could be used in divination or to raise the dead.

It should be noted that the Norse runes are visible at times within the world of Lost Girl. For example, they are shown on a plaque on a wall in episode 301 (Caged Fae) and are on the oozing lidded basket Kenzi tries to pilfer in episode 401 (In Memoriam). These incidences could be dismissed as simple fluke or art department whimsy, except for the fact that when Trick writes in blood in episode 113 (Blood Lines) the sanguine scribing is very much reminiscent of runes.

Odin’s collection of knowledge and magic (much of his Shamanistic power was taught to him by Freya, according to the Ynglinga saga) revealed to him that he was doomed to be killed by the wolf Fenrir during the Ragnarok cataclysm that would end the dominion of the gods and lead to the rebirth of a world populated by the surviving human pair Lif and Lifthrasir (Poetic Edda Voluspa and Prose Edda Gylfaginning). Through magic and the recruiting of his personal army, Odin sought to re-write his destiny and although he failed in the original source material, the Lost Girl production team is again at liberty to interpret the apocalyptic events in any way they wish — as a unique peril to any Odin-based character or a threat to the entire Fae realm itself.

The Odin of the Norse mythos is not inherently malevolent or tyrannical. His place in the life and death of the Viking people was as much as consequence of the time in which they lived. He was portrayed as a deeply magical entity, capable of traversing the planes of reality that made up his world, with a power of prescience that well exceeded Rainer’s seemingly short moments of foresight. Odin’s actions were motivated by the vision of his own destiny, seen well in the future, and steps taken to try and control the future.

odinIt must also be noted that Snorri Sturluson, who wrote much of the Prose Edda in the thirteenth century, referred to Odin as the Allfather (Ynglinga saga). This name may be ascribed to his position of the rule of all gods, or to his role in the creation myth where he breathed life into humanity. Odin was also the father to a number of notable characters within the written legends. Of his most noted children— all sons — three of them do not survive. Thor dies after a battle in which he was able to slay the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand, during Ragnarok. The heroic god Baldr is accidentally killed by his brother Hodur who is in turn killed by another of Odin’s sons, Vali, who was created for the purpose of vengeance for the death (Baldrs Draumar, Voluspa). A fifth son, Vidarr, was also a vengeful entity purposed with defeating Fenrir after Odin is killed (Voluspa). There is a strong argument that each of these sons was created to serve a purpose — combat or vengeance. As well as assembling a chosen army of the fallen to try and re-write his destiny, were his children also purposeful pawns?

Mahlers5th

Questions about Bo’s lineage and parental influences are intimately bound up with other questions about her fate: is she the Dark Queen, destined to betray and enslave humans and Fae and reign side-by-side with her father/mother/Rainer? Or is she the “Chosen One,” destined to save the Fae? Supporting evidence and prophecies for both possibilities are sprinkled liberally throughout the first four seasons of Lost Girl.

Trick has always spoken of Bo’s destiny with a tinge of dread and/or unhappy resignation as if it is an unpleasant but inexorable fate he is powerless to change. It is unclear what he is hiding and why he is hiding it, but whatever he actually knows, he has certainly worked hard to keep it a secret from Bo for four seasons. As early as the series premiere, we are given hints that Bo has a special destiny: “The girl from last night, is it her?” Trick asks Dyson. When Dyson suggests “there are ways of making someone disappear” – implying that whoever she is, Bo is bad news for the Fae — Trick responds, “No, what’s meant to be must be.” In episode 113, Trick tells the Ash that he “always knew Bo was a part of something bigger,” and from the tone of their discussion, that something bigger is definitely not something good. “Everything would be easier if the Succubus was dead,” Evony tells Trick in episode 412 (Origin). “I warned you about her from the start.”

We have already reviewed the instances from episode 208 to the season 4 finale when Bo transforms into a decidedly Dark Queen seeking power and domination. But there have also been numerous references to Bo as a heroic “Chosen One” – not just “the one” sought by the Wanderer but a kind of messianic figure destined to end the tyranny between Light and Dark for the good of all Fae (and mankind presumably). This destiny seems more consistent with the Bo we have come know and love – with her big heart, capable of feeling deeply, her powerful sense of moral obligation to defend the helpless and down trodden and to right their injustices, as well as the defiance, strength, courage, and just-plain-badassery to stand up to the oppressors. In episode 313 (Those Who Wander), Sunitha the Cabot tells Bo with a hint of wonderment that she “really [is] the Chosen One.” Everybody seems to have heard of “The One with eyes both brown and blue/strong yet gentle/virtuous yet lustful/neither Dark nor Light/yet both,” including the Handmaiden on the Death Train (episode 402, Sleeping Beauty School) and the Leviathan (episode 409, Destiny’s Child). This is also the description of Bo given to Tamsin by the Wanderer (episode 409). An ancient book of prophecies provided by Rosette (the Knight of Raina) includes an illustration of “the One with eyes both brown and blue” who bears a striking resemblance to Bo – except this Bo flies. Rosette pledges herself to Bo as “my Queen.” Fae history books retrieved by Lauren in episode 412 (Origin) include unmistakable references to Bo as Queen, and the final line of the centuries-old Zamoran Family Code, which materializes only when Bo reads the poem, seems to confirm that destiny:

Complexity, courage, strength, and beauty
Mindful always of your duty
To ties of blood and those we love
With gentle hands, wings of a dove
Ready thy self, on guard, be keen
To reunite with me, The Queen.

Tamsin identifies the crest on the poem’s parchment as the Order of the Knights of Raina and explains, “It means loyalty to their queen. Not just their queen. ‘The Queen.’” “It’s so much more than that,” Dyson adds, “Bo, it means you’re the One.” No-one sees fit to fill Bo in on what it means exactly to be the One, but the writers had to save something for season 5, didn’t they (besides a lot of hot Doccubus sex)? The reverential tone adopted by Dyson as he pledges himself to his Queen on bended knee in the season 4 finale suggests she is destined to be some sort of cross between Saint Joan of Arc and Nakano Takeko (I looked that up — the only female warrior samurai in Japanese history).

The only question that remains is what destiny will she choose — Glenda the Good Queen or the Wicked Queen of the West? Separate forces are driving her in both directions. A badly fractured, corrupt, and devolving Fae community is desperately in need of a redeeming Savior while Bo’s father is using all his influence to entice Bo off the earthly plane to free him, fight by his side to subjugate Fae and humans alike, perhaps vanquish the Pyrippus (“even Death will fear us!”) and rule with her father in a new social order. Will the life she ultimately lives be freely chosen, in accordance with the promptings of her truest self, or will she merely play out an unavoidable course of events that has been decided in advance by some omnipotent entity? Who. Is. Not. The. Pyrippus.

Is you is or is you ain't my daddy?
Is you is or is you ain’t my daddy?

Valksy

Throughout the third and fourth seasons we only catch hints of Bo’s father glimpsed from behind, as a frightening specter, on a tarot card (artwork based on Casper David Friedrich’s The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog – a metaphor of obfuscation for all of us, including Bo, as it suggests an outsider looking down into or standing apart from confusion) or in whispers and tales of all those who encountered him – or thought that they did.

As Mahlers5th has pointed out, the primary issue is who was controlling the Temple within the Ceremony episode, and was this our clearest look at the Wanderer’s intent and purpose (even if we did not see his face)? Consider the scene of Bo’s father when she is an infant – he is holding her gently, crooning softly to her and singing about fairies “going away.” But is that her imaginary ideal of him?  A true memory unlocked by the Ceremony? Or is the Wanderer’s mind the dominant originator of the Temple and it is His ideation of himself, or perhaps a projection of how he wants Bo to see him – as a compassionate and nurturing entity? But how does any of this reconcile to the imagery that many of us have of Bo’s father as a brutal and violating tyrant?

While nothing within the episode Ceremony can be taken at face value, I have long been troubled with the thought of Bo’s father as her mother’s rapist. I see no particular way of redeeming such a character or making him even remotely sympathetic. If Bo’s father is the rapist Dark King then how can he be anything more than a deeply distasteful supersized “Monster of the Week” whom I would assume Bo could only respond aggressively to? In terms of a narrative option to drive the story away from this disturbing element, I think it is reasonable to suggest that Bo’s father could have been someone else, a contemporary to the Dark King — present but not necessarily a participant (a disguised Odin visits a King’s court in secret in Grimnismal – Sayings of Grimnir). It has certainly never been explained how Aife escaped her prison cell in order to take the infant Bo and hide her with humans and she does invoke the vengeance of Bo’s father in awed terms rather than revulsion in episode 313 (Those Who Wander).

Although this inevitably drifts into the realm of speculation, if Bo’s father is Odin (or is at least based upon the lore) and if he was travelling the world trying to create off-spring who would serve him in the future (Huginn the crow calls him the “father of many” in episode 409, Destiny’s Child), is Odin necessarily Dark?  Light?  Neither? Might this be why Aife made the decision to deny him his child, since she was very much committed to ending the dispute between the factions in conquest?

Dyson-Lauren-Bo_and_Crows_(409)
Time to eat some crow.

We see throughout season 4 evidence of a deeply magical entity who is capable of traversing planes of existence, perceiving the future, blurring the lines between life and death and meddling in the wheels of destiny. In this context a sectarian squabble seems almost petty. We know Valhalla exists in Bo’s world and that chosen warriors populate it. Is this evidence of a future cataclysmic event in that the selected dead were to serve a purpose rather than receive a reward?

pawn-warrior_flag_canada_162x282-flI think that there is an argument that Rainer served as one of these useful tools.  We do see the Caretaker playing some sort of game in the Temple in Ceremony (it’s not chess and there are dice involved – interesting that chance is invoked) and we also see Rainer playing a (different) game while aboard the train.  I wonder if there is a chess metaphor – pieces to be moved into place, pawns to be sacrificed (It is terribly tempting to say that the show’s official tweets play with this concept). Rainer was a pawn of little consequence, perhaps this was why he did not fight back in any meaningful way against Massimo — as if he knew that his role was fulfilled.

I certainly do not think that Rainer can be based upon Odin. Rainer has a gift of foresight only seconds long, whoever the entity Mahlers5th and I think is Odin is has a far greater reach – far enough to seek the RED HERRINGknowledge needed to win against a presumed apocalypse, and to set the pieces in motion very well in advance. I concede that the data from the Ceremony does have an inherent question mark to it, but there is a statement that he has been waiting a long time for Bo. Whoever the father is, he is an architect of destiny, a game player trying to defeat the odds.  Rainer seems such a minnow in comparison and I think (and rather hope) that he has been discarded.

Reflecting on the Light/Dark schism I have to wonder what purpose such a factional conflict serves for the Fae, as the difference between the two really is no more complex than vaguely divergent philosophies with Light and Dark both representing shades of grey. My mind turns to Darwinism for a possible explanation. Is that what Dark and Light is for?  A state of constant conflict is one way to cause an arms race amongst the Fae to evolve greater potency and power. Or is it as simple as population control, since an environment cannot have more predators than there are viable prey, else they pick off all food and risk extinction through starvation. Might this be why tinkering with the factions, or even ending the war, is not allowed?

If there are external explanations for Light and Dark (population control, Darwinism), but no genuine reason beyond the same kinds of traditions and histories we see in sectarian conflict in the real world — some fighting over resources, and a whole lot more over historical animus — might this be why Bo’s father allowed her to be hidden with humans, to develop outside of the system of Light and Dark and oppose the concept from the get-go?  While deep in speculation again, if the factions are beneath him, and beneath Bo as a consequence, is this because something much worse is coming? I wonder if there is a suggestion that the show is playing with the concept of Ragnarok — the end of days for the Fae — and the long-planned battle to avoid it by an Odin-based character who has been pulling strings for a very long time.

Odin is someone who conscripts people into his army of the dead.  Bo is a creation who can force people into an army of the living. Ryan was an accidental draftee, the team in season 2 were volunteers, but Bo could compel people if she chose to. Between the two of them they seem able to blur lines between life and death and together they would be unstoppable.  This surely seems much bigger than a simple Dark/Light skirmish. We all know the idiom “bringing a gun to a knife fight” but Bo and her father in partnership against either human or Fae or both would be more like showing up with a tank…

I did wonder if this potential cataclysmic event was related to the Pyrippus, except this particular entry into the supernatural bestiary is extremely obscure. Hellhorses do feature in lore and literature – Hades/Pluto had a chariot pulled by such equine monstrosities, pestilential horses are referred to in the Book of Revelation, and if we look to Nordic lore there was an entity called the Helhest (hell horse) which was associated with death and disease. Certainly a hideous winged hellhorse would serve as the kind of menace which would be a disaster if it broke through into Bo’s realm of existence, but it does not seem exactly paternal in nature and it’s appearance to date has been an off-screen horror that roars and stomps and sounds distinctly animalistic rather than reminiscent of the softly-spoken man singing to his baby daughter in Ceremony (although it should be noted that The Garuda in season 2 appears as both man and flame-winged creature in episode 213, Barometz. Trick. Pressure and in episode 222, Flesh and Blood).

That the Pyrippus itself is never actually seen, and has no distinct presence, characteristics or notable features that anyone can describe, makes me wonder if it is simply another pawn being played in Bo’s life in order to facilitate a desired reaction from her. Although Bo does spend episode 412 (Origin) chasing horses and struggling with vague and ambiguous clues, the punchline to this story thread is not Bo engaging in a confrontation with a monster (the show has surely evolved beyond such pedestrian choices); instead, it serves as a catalyst for Kenzi’s final noble sacrifice in episode 413 (Dark Horse). While Bo does deliver a vengeful monologue over Kenzi’s grave, expressing a willingness to wage open battle against anyone in her way, she believes she was the one who caused the Pyrippus/Dark Lord to be released from Hel by the hand-binding with Rainer. Bo’s anger and regret regarding her role in compelling Kenzi to self-sacrifice is surely part of a destiny-based theme driving the story forward to a new chapter. In this case, like Rainer, the Pyrippus’ role may also be complete. Both Rainer and the Pyrippus each served a purpose to bring Bo to thoughts and actions that she thinks are of her own free will, but which have been orchestrated from the start in order to make Bo her father’s avatar and another tool to be used in whatever apocalyptic event he — if based upon Odin — thinks is to come.

The principle philosophical theme of Lost Girl has always been one of the power to choose balanced against the inescapable wheels of fate. If the theory expressed in this article is correct, and Bo’s father is (or is based upon) the mythological character of Odin, then the concept of destiny is even more relevant. Bo’s participation in her father’s plans, as an intentional creation with specifically evolved and desired powers, is dependent at least on her willingness to co-operate, or better yet (from Odin’s point of view?) a loyal and fervent believer at her father’s side. That Bo is capable of being a merciless killer (guided by Rainer) was evident in the deaths of the Una Mens, that she can and will command a willing army enthralled by blood was seen in the defeat of The Garuda and the loss of Kenzi to stop the Pyrippus caused her to express her own nascent version of the father/daughter voice of dominion and sovereignty when she pledges in episode 413 (Dark Horse): “Whatever it takes I will get you back. They want me to be afraid? It’s them who should be afraid of me.”

My biggest question for season five — Is Bo’s desire to search for Kenzi, and her continuing quest to reveal the true identity of her father, going to be at the cost of her own free will? Is Bo to be a servant, even a slave, to the destiny set in motion by her father? What will Bo finally choose?

 

All Good Things…

…must come to an end.

Anna Silk announced in a YouTube message to fans today that Season 5 of Lost Girl will be the last.

Here’s an article in EW where Anna gives more details about Season 5 and what’s in store for Bo and the gang.

At UNALIGNED, we are so sad (OMG SO SAD), but also so grateful and happy that this show existed and that we found it – and by extension, each other. We absolutely love being part of this fan community. And I know that we join a lot of you in being able to say that Lost Girl changed our lives.

lostgirl_changed

Anyway, it ain’t over yet – and for Season 5, we’ll continue to write episode reviews and hopefully some other fun stuff, as well as silly and/or salacious jokes and puns. And Sally will be at DragonCon 2014 in just three days and will try to regularly post some blog posts and tweets to keep you informed about everything – including the three Lost Girl cast panels that are scheduled! So stay tuned.

USA hearts Canada
We love you, Lost Girl. Thanks for everything.

“The Madonna” ? or “Femme Fatale” ?

keets twitter avatarkeets

 

The Madonna?

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Why is this painting called “The Madonna” ???  This is what I asked myself upon finding the title.   To me it looks like a woman who is fully consumed with passion, or has recently been consumed with passion.  She enjoys her body is the message my brain communicated.   And also,  she isn’t ashamed of enjoying her body.

According to the Wiki (yes I am a pretty lazy researcher so take what I have to say with a zillion grains of salt) the painting was also titled “Loving Woman” which I like much better than “The Madonna.”

The artist is Edvard Munch (a Norwegian Expressionist Artist) whom many of you may know is the very same artist who created what has now become an Iconic piece of art known as “The Scream.”  Scream I used this piece in Lost Girl’s Season Four finale as a means to express my feelings over Kenzi’s death.

This Madonna piece, however, had me down a rabbit hole again.   And this time the rabbit hole became a little dark and made me upset in ways I’m usually not when enjoying my love of paintings.  I still enjoy the painting, but I find some things repulsive when I think about how art work is received and perceived within the time period it is created.

The Madonna, was created with oil paint on canvas between the years of 1892 and 1895 (speculated). There were several renditions of the painting, up to five it is believed by some, two of which still exist for sure.

Munch later created lithograph prints of the painting by which the border was etched with images of sperm, and in the lower left hand corner an image of a (maybe) foetus.  I guess what we are supposed to understand with the additions on the lithographic version of the piece is that the woman was impregnated during her sensuous enjoyment of her body.

lithoMad

I also learned that the frame of the original painting had sperm carved into it (or painted on it) but that frame was lost during the war. The Madonna, or The Loving Woman, whatever you want to call it was also stolen (along with “The Scream”) in 2004.  It was later recovered in 2006 (random trivia).

Apparently, Munch had a model he was quite fond of who posed for this painting and held her in high esteem.  A friend named Dagny Juel-Przbyszewska.  There is all kinds of speculation about this painting and what it means, or meant, at the time it was created; from being a representation of The Annunciation to that of a Femme Fatale.  The intent and meaning is still disputed among art historians.

Is it because this subject matter was sensitive?  And, still, to this day is somewhat sensitive?   Women are still being called sluts if they enjoy sex, or want sex.   And, to me, this painting shows a woman who enjoys the sensuality of her body.  origLithoThe lithograph prints are much darker and take away from the sensuality that the original painting portrays.  To me, there is almost no comparison between the lithograph print and the original painting.  The lithograph is dark and flat, and has no reflective light;  it looks like death to me compared to the original painting.

Why am I going on and on here?  Well… because look at this picture of Bo.

BoMad

I was tempted to post these images side by side and just put a note that said: SEE!

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Because, really, Bo is the epitome of a woman who is purely sensuous and unashamed in her sensuality.   She is the embodiment of the word.  Episode 4 of Season One, “Faetal Attraction” displays her in this pose of utter fulfillment after a lovely romp with a married couple the night before.  She is content and happy.  It’s a glorious image and this depiction of Bo’s nature jumps off the screen.

So then, later, (getting back to Munch)  the  lithographs were created with a border of sperm to make sure everyone knew the reason this woman was having sex was to get pregnant.  Which is the only reason a woman should have sex, and she certainly shouldn’t enjoy it. LOL. origLitho Looking at the lithograph beside the original makes it  apparent (to me) that she is pretty much drowning in sperm.

And so, I found myself thinking and comparing these pieces to Lost Girl because that’s what I’ve been doing over the hiatus.  I’m unashamed to say that I am passionate about this show.  So, I’ve spent time writing these blog spots and looking at art that I love and comparing that art to a modern art form that I love.

It occurred to me that I am a little obsessed with my love of this Show.  But it also occurred to me that a lot of the fans are passionate and a little obsessed with their love of this Show.   Is that unhealthy?  I don’t know?

But the reason I’m obsessed is because they have created a few moments throughout the Four Seasons (to date) that speak to me of me.psycheeros  I’ve never had that before on television, or even in the movies: our modern art forms.

And so I embraced this Show for presenting something that represents me a little bit.  Not a lot, if I am truly honest with myself, but a little bit.  I see myself, somewhat, in the love story that Bo and Lauren represent.  The rest of the story is good too, but I watch it for Bo and Lauren mostly. I love the genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy and always have so that element is an additional bonus.

However, if this Show had gone the traditional route of making Bo a straight Succubus I wouldn’t have made it past the First Season.  Why? Because the industry is filled with straight women falling in love with straight men.   And so is the Science Fiction/Fantasy world filled with straight Vampires and Werewolves and Zombies falling in love with straight Zombies and Vampires and Werewolves.

It would be just another show with the same triangular formula.

And in many ways it is just another Show with the same triangular formula.

They have done something different and portrayed to me an honest and loving relationship with the characters of Bo and Lauren.  They have done the same to some extent with the relationship of Bo and Dyson.  But I don’t care about Bo and Dyson.  I understand the need for that dynamic to exist, but I, as a fan, do not care about Bo and Dyson as a romantic pairing.  I’m very clear on this matter.

I also know that the Show people don’t give a flying f**k what I care about.  LOL.  They are selling a product.  Some of them are creating ART.

How will their ART be perceived a hundred years from now?  Will it matter at all?  Will anyone notice or remember?  Will anyone ask why did Season Four Bo look so different from Season One Bo?  Season One Bo looks just like the original painting that Edvard Munch created.  A beautiful sensuous woman enjoying her body, enjoying her womanhood with no shame.

Season Four Bo looks an awful lot like that lithograph print to me.  For the love of God I hope they don’t make her pregnant for this Season Five.

threeMunch

“The pause during which the entire world halts in its orbit. Your face embodies all the beauty of the world. Your lips, as crimson as a ripe fruit, are half open as if to express pain. A corpse’s smile. Here life and death shake hands. The chain that links thousands of past generations to the thousands to come has been meshed.” (E. M.)

(Source links, read some varying opinions of Munch’s painting)

http://www.edvardmunch.org/madonna.jsp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_(Edvard_Munch)

http://www.edvard-munch.com/gallery/women/madonna.htm

 

Who is Bo?

keets twitter avatar

keets

 

I’m having so much fun with this game of Art and Lost Girl Mash-Up.  I am asking who is Bo?  Because we still don’t know that answer do we?  We are all still learning her.

Girl with a Pearl Earring.  Girl with a Bamboo Earring.  And, Girl with a Crossbow.

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gwcbowAlthough,  you can’t see the crossbow.   If you are a fan of the Show,  you know it is strapped to Bo’s back.  I tried to get that in my screen cap, but the filming was too fast and dark.   I wanted this angle exactly,  and ended up with the crossbow blending into the shadows and Bo’s leather jacket.  Bo is wearing a loopy earring (which is underwhelming compared to the other two earrings) but that doesn’t matter to me, because it’s the pose that is significant to my eye;  not the earrings.  “Girl with a Pearl Earring”  is a well known painting by the 17th century  Artist Johannes (Jan) Vermeer;  painted sometime between 1664 and 1667 (speculatively, unknown for sure).

Everyone knows of the painting, but nothing is known about the actual “Girl.”

gwpearlsmSure, a book was written and a movie made, but that was fiction.  Nothing is known about this Girl Jan Vermeer painted.  This type of painting was known as a tronie, which basically means the figure painted was not meant to be identifiable; in other words it’s not a traditional portrait.

Tronies are typically a head or bust with the focus on the facial expression.  The subjects are often dressed in costumes, which is believed to be true of  “Girl with a Pearl Earring”  (but no one knows for sure).

gwbamboo “Girl with a Bamboo Earring ”  is a contemporary piece by up and coming photographer Awol Erizku.

(From Huffington Post) “Erizku reworks art history’s classic portrayals of women by scouting models off the street and having them sit for classical portraits, retroactively adding diversity to the artist cannon with style.”

And so the girl who posed for Erizku is somewhat of a mystery too.  I’m sure I could find out all about her if I dug deeper, but I won’t.  Because it’s the intention behind the piece (all three of these images) that caught my attention.  Or rather, what my imagination imagines the intention to be. LOL.

Each of these Girls, or Women, are looking over their shoulder with a fixed expression on their face.  You can read all kinds of interpretations about Girl with a Pearl Earring (here) but no one really knows what she was thinking, or feeling, or wanting, or needing.

The Girl with a Bamboo Earring is more enigmatic to me.  I wonder what her story is?  Not the model, I could find that out if I looked for it.  I wonder what her story is?  Her costume is different than that of the Girl with a Pearl Earring.  It’s very similar, but  also very different.  This tronie tells a different story than the original.

And then we have Bo.  The Girl with a Crossbow. The way her hair is swept tightly back in that severe pony tail is very similar to the turban and scarf dangling from the heads of the other two.  The angle of her gaze, the line of her jaw, her shoulder.

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We know what Bo was thinking though,  don’t we?  She was angry and determined.  On a mission to get Vex for killing LouAnne’s family, and mad and hurt by Lauren’s so called betrayal.

At this point in the story Bo doesn’t know who she is though.  Who is her mom?  She doesn’t know that Trick is her Grandfather, and that he and Dyson have been keeping the secret of who her mother is from her.

Who is Bo’s Dad? A flying horse with Bat Wings is all we’ve gotten so far.

Each of these images are powerful portrayals of Women, but not proper portraits.  They are all in costume pretending to be someone they are not.

The Girl with a Pearl Earring was modeling in a costume for a painter who was (at that time) modestly successful.  The Girl with a Bamboo Earring was modeling in a costume for a Photographer, and pretending to be the Girl with a Pearl Earring, but not really.

Bo doesn’t have a clue who she is yet (during Vexed) or even what she is fully?  Her powers are still being revealed to her,  and her destiny.  So,  she armors herself with weapons, bravado, and a heavy dose of frustration and anger.

Bo wasn’t pretending so much as clinging.  Tightly clinging to her humanity in a world that doesn’t value human beings;  wanting vindication for a human family that was slaughtered to set an example.

That over the shoulder pose is what caught my eye.  The varying expressions each of the women is wearing.

Who are You?  Is the question I want to ask each of these women.  They are all compelling and intriguing to me.

“La Vie” meets “The Mourning After”

keets twitter avatarkeets

 

The fun thing about appreciating art is that it is often subjective.  We can learn about a painting, a sculpture,  a poem, or piece of music by reading what the experts have interpreted.  That doesn’t mean we have to accept what the experts say, or even the artists. We can experience, understand, and appreciate works of art through our own filters.   We all have unique lives that have formed the way we think, and see, and hear, and feel.

I once did a painting (all in blues) much like the piece I’m going to talk about.  My Grandfather took one look at it and said: “oh, it’s a goat… a blue goat.”  He smiled at me, patted my shoulder, then moved on to look at the other paintings on display.  I did not paint a Blue Goat!  But that was what my Grandfather saw,  and he was happy with his understanding of the image and colors he was seeing.

I fell into somewhat of a rabbit hole with this current comparison, which was supposed to be three different paintings about “Lovers” and ended up using only one piece.

laviesmI chose “La Vie,” painted in 1903 by Pablo Picasso,  as a means to introduce the complications of the relationships in Lost Girl.  Episode 10, of Season 1 ” The Mourning After”  highlights the diverse relationship dynamics.  Specifically, the two scenes that take place in Lauren’s lab speak to me of this painting: “La Vie”

In the beginning of the episode we have Bo going to see Lauren at her lab in the Light Fae compound.  Bo is supremely pissed and angry, still,  because Lauren deceived her in the intimacy they shared.  Her anger doesn’t prevent her from seeking Lauren’s help to solve a case that she and Kenzi are working on however.

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I imagine that this ^ is what happened in Picasso’s piece; a meeting of some sort (with the two women ) transpired beforehand. The composition  is also much like that of the painting, minus one figure. The distance between the women is significant.

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The woman on the left is content to allow the man to hold her but her gaze is fixed at the ground.  The man seems to be more aware, but his gaze is also fixed elsewhere.  His hand, however, is pointing at the woman in the robe with the child.  This woman’s gaze is firmly pinned on the couple.   Who is that woman? And what is she in relation to this couple?

It makes no difference, really, whether the women in Picasso’s painting talked or didn’t talk beforehand.  What I see, as a subjective observer,  is a triangle.  A Blue Triangle.  Three prominent figures that eat up all the space.  Other images are present (and a baby) but the three adult  figures are the meat of the image.

“The Blue Period” is a well known term that was attached to a  period in Picasso’s career by which his palette was monochromatic, with an emphasis on the color Blue.   The colors in these  Lost Girl scenes are monochromatic as well:  blues, white, black, gray and dull beige.

triangle

Later in this episode Bo returns to the lab, but this time with a dead body.  A man that Saskia (who we know is really Aife, Bo’s mom) killed.  Dyson is going to “make it go away,” in other words:  fix everything for Bo.

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Bo is overwrought and hugs him in front of Lauren.  She pulls away from Dyson though, and says, “I wish you could” because she knows that Saskia is something more and it’s troubling to her.    Her trust is placed in Dyson while Lauren looks on.

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At the end of the episode Bo is depressed ^ and lying in bed.  Kenzi comes in to console her. These images work nicely as the two sketches pinned to the wall in Picasso’s painting.  They are obviously significant and part of the overall puzzle.

I was tempted to make the comparison of how  we haven’t changed very much in this modern era.  Women are seen to be dependent on men to fix things, be the shoulder to cry on, and rely upon for protection.  My first impression of  “La Vie” was exactly that.  This Lost Girl story seemed to follow the same formula, especially in  “The Mourning After” episode.  I’m having second thoughts now; about the painting and the Show.

The woman with the child is strong and certain.    She represents something much larger than the apathy the couple is displaying.   And so, too, is the Lost Girl story evolving.  The triangle (in its early form) was much like this Picasso painting.  The future seems to be more certain, and the hues are multicolored.

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For those of you who want to watch the lab scenes to refresh your memory of what happened:  http://youtu.be/vM0dMEyssUo

Lost Girl Vs. The Masters

keets twitter avatarkeets

 

The Grammy Binks Rants

keets is bored outta her tree during this Hiatus o’ Lost Girl,  so’s she got herself a little project goin’ ta keep herself outta trouble, an’ ta keep her from buggin’ the crap outta me an’ Bertie. She’s been diggin’ ’round in Art Appreciation or some kinda Art History junk that seems a little tedious  ta me,  but she come up with some interestin’ pictures;  even if mosta her theories is just like throwin’ darts an’ seein’ what sticks ta the board.

As long as she’s includin’ my Grandbaby Lauren in mosta the pictures I ain’t gonna complain,  ‘specially ’cause I know she ain’t gonna be cuttin’ an’ choppin’ away at the story like some other folks do.  So’s…I’ma lettin’  her use my Blog Spot ta post her silly notions.

Thanks a lot Grammy Binks.  I guess, for that gracious introduction.

I am a bit at loose ends during the hiatus and decided to take a look at Lost Girl in still life, as a painter might.  How does the composition of a certain scene work?  How is the lighting used to elicit mood, drama, emotion? The costumes?  Can we understand this modern story using simple stills?  And can we compare this story to other stories told, in past?  Stories told by artists who didn’t have moving film to create their images.  Paint brushes, canvas, linseed oil, pigments, models, and natural lighting were the tools of these Old Masters, and some newer Masters as well.

I decided to use “Death Didn’t Become Him” (Season Two, ep. 8) as my first comparison piece;  mostly because this was the first episode that had me comparing the imagery to paintings I had seen.  The attention to detail that Lost Girl utilizes often, and the lighting,  has always stood out as dramatic and mood inducing.  They may not have a large budget for fancy CGI, but the makers of the Show use their limited resources to give us quality, moving imagery. I’m no expert in this field; I like what I like, and these are some of the images that I like, both old and new.

An Egyptian Fae (known as the Lich) has the power to resurrect someone who has recently died, and he uses these bodies and souls of the deceased mercilessly.  The Lich is a puppeteer of sorts, tapping into the talents these people had in real life and forcing them to continue to perform for his own personal pleasure, and knowledge.  He obtains a recenently deceased friend of Trick ( Christoph, a dancer) and so the story unfolds.

Bo, with Lauren as her back-up, proceeds to try and rescue Christoph.  A “Salon” performance is held, by which my first comparison is made. This scene reminded me of a painting by the impressionist artist (although he did not classify himself as an impressionist) Edgar Degas.  The piece is called “Ballet Rehearsal”  Yet, I discovered a subtitle for the piece in which it was also known as: “Fine Art Doll”.

degasvslich

In both scenes (Degas’ painting and the Lost Girl footage) a man is directing the performance of the dancer.  The lighting isn’t the same but the mood is.  The blocking or organization of space, or spatial relationships is strikingly similar.  Each performance is witnessed by others, but it is apparent that the man directing  (puppeteering ) is essential to each performance given.

The second painting:  “The Sacrifice of Isaac”  by Carravaggio (the 16th century Italian artist) is more representational and tells the biblical story of Abraham sacrificing his son Issac at the Lord’s behest.   In this same episode of Lost Girl (the very next sequence of events) the Lich proceeds to “Sacrifice” Lauren in order to get Bo to do his bidding.

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In the story of Abraham an angel appears and stops Abraham from going through with the sacrifice of his son.  In Lost Girl’s story, Bo becomes somewhat of an avenging angel and stops the Lich from kiilling Lauren.   Notice the expression on Bo’s face is filled with fright as that of Isaac’s.

sacrifice

Again the spatial relationships are quite similar, and the composition.  The angle of threat in the pose is basically the same, the highlights, and the warmth of yellow light is used in both pieces.

(Whatever! Look at the pictures and decide on yer own if keets is off her rocker. Lauren was a hella lot braver than that Issac fella; she just closed her eyes an’ waited fer Bo ta do her chi suckin’ business.  My Lolo wasn’t all screamin’ an’ panicky like that poor Lil’ Issac  in the picture;  Lauren had faith in her Bo is why.  

Also, that Christoph had no choice ’bout what the Egyptian creature was doin’ ta him; no more than the little ballerina with her nasty coach workin’ her ta death at rehearsal!! )

Um..er…thank you for your comment Grammy Binks.  I’ll be looking through all of the episodes over the hiatus and throwing more darts.  Next week’s theme:  The Lovers.

Lost Girl 4.13 – Dark Horse

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Lost Girl 4.13 – Dark Horse

I went to bed last Sunday night satisfied with how the season ended; at least with the things that matter the most to me: character development and relationships (ok, yes, Doccubus). But I also felt ok about all the ends that were not tied together, thinking that there is still plenty to do in season 5.

With season 5 ahead of us now, who knows what will happen and how the almighty powers that be will rock the boat. But I will say this: “Dark Horse,” what a romantic Doccubus episode! For now at least. There was talk of destiny, and then the little music came on, and there was Bo kissing Lauren before the battle, and there was all that love, and my heart overflowing.

If the series were to end with this most recent season finale, I’d be ok. In a way, I would almost prefer it, because I know that, as it stands now, Bo and Lauren have gotten back together, on different terms and stronger than ever. I also know that Dyson is beginning to understand and accept the nature of his relationship to Bo. He and she are warriors, brothers in arms, partners on the battlefield, and forever loyal. Will they have sex again? Perhaps, or perhaps probably. And that would certainly not be the worse thing in the world, because they care about and trust each other, and sex is something that Bo needs a great deal of. Being a succubus and a warrior in whom the force is strong, mama needs her chi.

Oh, and btw, when was the last time anyone saw this kind of female hero on TV?

Screenshot 2014-02-20 16.45.05

All this brings me to say that fae sexual morality is not normative contemporary sexual morality, and that with their freewheeling attitude toward sex, the fae also have a non-issue view of sexual orientation. This is something that Lauren, the human, may have come to terms with through her emotional arc from season 1. Emotional monogamy, yes, Bo can give that to someone she loves. But Lauren and Bo both realize that physical monogamy is not possible. And indeed, one may ask, according to what law of the universe should it be some kind of requirement?  Especially for someone like Bo. I think it’s worth noting that sexual monogamy is not necessarily an “ideal” espoused by Lost Girl. So that when people get bogged down into whether Lauren cheated, and whether Bo knows that she slept with The Morrigan, or is angry about it, I think they are missing the point. Having sex with other people is not the problem. Being secretive about it is. Projecting one’s emotional insecurities on Bo having sex with Dyson in order to heal is a problem. Sex with Dyson is not.

Please, spare me the vitriol on this one. I already know how most of the Doccubus nation feels about it. I, personally, have arrived at a completely different place with regard to Dyson. And I think the show has made very clear, without being heavy-handed about it, that Bo and Dyson’s relationship has long gone beyond being lovers.

Bo and Dyson are not a couple. They are too much alike, they struggle over nearly impossible things to resolve. This has been very made clear. I will give props to the more savvy among us Doccubus fans who said that season 4 would inevitably revisit Dyson and Bo’s relationship in order to give it a proper, non-supernatural, ending. RIP.

But who is to be Dyson’s love, ultimately? We don’t know, but I would like to think that it will be someone who complements him, someone like Ciara, with whom sparks flew from the get go. Or maybe it will be Kenzi who brings out the very best in the Wolf Man.

And finally, another thing that makes me satisfied with the ending is that I know that Bo will go in search of Kenzi and bring her back from the underworld, or Valhalla, or wherever.

Things are good right now. Ok, so we still don’t know who has Kenzi, or who Bo’s father really is, or what else he has planned, and so on. But while Bo’s, Lauren’s and Dyson’s first arcs are closed – leaving room for new ones to begin – Kenzi’s remains. And I look forward to seeing how it plays out. Much also remains to be discovered, potentially, about Tamsin, Vex, Trick, and Evony. And of course, new characters may join the cast.

Faemily. Everybody needs a hug.

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Screenshot 2014-02-20 16.45.35

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With their last interaction – before Kenzi gives her life to save the world – it was clear that Lauren finally understood that she is Bo’s equal, despite her being human. And it was wonderful to see this, as it was exactly what Lauren needed and what she set off to achieve towards the end of season 3. As of last Sunday, Lauren is no longer the insecure human bossed around by the Light Fae, who is never sure if Bo loves her really. And conversely, I think that Bo now trusts Lauren, finally. She understands why Lauren chooses to stay behind and take care of the vulnerable and fragile little human that is now The Morrigan. As we have always known, Lauren draws a line between fae and humans. And Lauren’s behavior toward the newly transformed Evony is another victory for Team Human. Why? Because being human is special; it is sacred and precious. And why does Bo falter; why does she feel like crying after she kills Massimo? Maybe because killing a human being, no matter how depraved, is not something that should leave us indifferent. What does this say about Bo? And what does this say about the fae?

Of Love and Necklaces

When we first encounter that other infamous “triangle,” the one made up by Bo, Lauren, and a necklace, it’s the necklace of “bondage.” It represents Lauren’s servitude to the fae, her lack of agency. It comes into play in the “spybang” episode. The Ash’s necklace offers a symbolic structure to Bo and Lauren’s relationship. It figures very prominently  “Vexed”  as Lauren and Bo flirt during the medical exam; and, after they sleep together, when Bo throws it at Lauren, calling it her “dog collar.”

Then seasons 2 and 3 ensue. Doccubus rises and falls. Lauren and Bo cannot make it as a couple the way they are, given their challenges, and their expectations of one another. When Lauren leaves to join Taft’s enterprise, she frees herself and leaves the Ash’s necklace behind. Bo finds it.

So in season 4 Bo and Lauren must go their separate ways, and each must gain strength and wisdom in order to be their authentic selves, and maybe come back to the other. I would say it is an epic arc. It is a hero’s journey in relationship terms.

Then, in “Turn to Stone,” we are introduced to a new necklace. A necklace that recalls the Ash’s mark, but is obviously not that. It is the opposite of that. This is a necklace that stands as an offer, as a choice to love. In her note Lauren tells Bo that she has given her the freedom to love, and she does! Forever! Bo now has a necklace that asks her to make a choice, freely. Not because she is bound by destiny, nature, tradition; not because she’s angry, pouty, whiney, or rejected, but because she wants to. That is the freedom to love.

When in “Dark Horse” Bo wears Lauren’s necklace, we are given to understand that she has accepted Lauren’s offer and made her choice.  The I chose you and you broke my heart in “Origin” becomes I choose you now, regardless of context, situation, or constraint.” This didn’t need to be spoken. In fact, the scene, with its economy of words, is more powerful for it. Bo chooses Lauren willingly because that is the choice her heart makes. Sure, there is all the unspoken, fill in the blanks, pacing, stuff that frustrates the hell out some people. But I think it is quite clear both Bo and Lauren have finally shed the baggage that prevented them from being together: feeling insecure and feeling like there was no choice.

And yet. Doccubus is undeniable.

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Dark as freedom. The new Human-Fae power couple?

You really are dark.
No, Bo. I am yours.

Ultimately this dialogue is about love, not “ownership” in any sort of crass or literal way. It is about freedom. Freedom to love, to give one’s love to someone else. The Ash could own Lauren outright, but he could never own her heart. Lauren tells Bo that yes, she can own her heart, because it is given.

In this way, Lauren’s arc was closed. She has found freedom and love, and she has also found power over her own “destiny.”

What began in “Vexed” ended in “Dark Horse.”

Whatever happens next season (and it better include lots of Doccubus goodies, or I shall pout), Lauren is a different person. Bo is a different person, and their relationship is on a whole other level.

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keets twitter avatar

keets

The Grammy Binks Rants.

I don’t have no coherent thoughts on this eppysode.   Well, ‘cept it seems pretty clear that my Lolo an’ Bo are understandin’ one another a lil’ better than they done b’fore.   Bo put on the “pretty”  necklace,  b’fore she run off ta rescue my Grandbaby.

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The  “Dark Horse”  was a tale of Savin’ an’ Sacrifice.   Bo had ta rescue Lauren, but she also had ta let Lil’ Kenz go.   Bitter.  No sweet.  Not really, even though my Lolo got saved.  Even though her Bo seems strong, an’ sure, an’ also “hers” again.

There wern’t no way ’round this choice was there?  Had Bo stayed at the Portal preventin’ Lil’ Kenzi from jumpin’ in;  that Bat Winged Horse woulda come chargin’ through ta take full possession o’ her.   Bo: The Dark Queen,  would have enslaved the masses with her Daddy.  Lauren would be dead, with all o’ their friends enslaved or dead too.

I just gotta say this “Dark Horse” was heartwrenchin’ ta watch.

Mostly ‘cos  the images was so potent an’ beautiful too.  Not that I ain’t feelin’ Lil Kenz’s death.  I am.  It just don’t seem real.

When Mr. Hale died that was a “Full Stop.”  I’m not believin’  Lil Kenz is gone,  even though we saw her precious lil’ body lyin’ on the ground.   That  Levi creature foretold it to Bo:  “I’ll be seeing you again soon,  someone you love very much is going to die.”

So’s, my heart hurt watchin’ all o’ that powerful grief expressed, but I’m believin’ Bo’s got a a chance ta save her dear friend an’ heart.

We never did see the BatWinged horse?  Nor figure out what Mr. Rainer was really up to?   Well, I guess he was an okay fella bein’ used by Bo’s Daddy?   Same as Bo, in some odd way, with those matchin’ handprints.   But, I ain’t sure we is done with Mr Rainer, even though Bo seems ta think so.   That paintin’ Lauren lifted from the Dark Archives seems ta tell a story all by itself.   Looks like Bo’s been travelin’ ta other Times and Places we ain’t heard ’bout yet?

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There is still confusion an’ worry over Bo, concernin’ this curse an’ possession she’s got goin’ on?   Seems ta me the curse was over once the kidnappin’ happened.  It was all a set-up ta git Mr. Fake Destiny off that train.

The Possession is what’s got me in a lather.  Her Daddy influences the Dark Queen inside o’ her.   We seen this possession emerge occasionally;  ever since her encounter  with that Egyptian fella: The Lich.  Seems ta me her Daddy’s got a stronger hold on her now, ‘cos o’ that branded handprint.  It’s why I think we ain’t done with Mr. Rainer.  Somethin’ happened at the Gate o’ Valhalla.  Somthin’ went wrong.  There wern’t no Kenzi, an’ there wern’t no Rainman.  Just poor Ms. Tamsin still grievin’, an’ frightened outta her wings.

I heard it said once: “A picture paints a thousand words.”  I’ll just let these pictures paint the rest o’ my words.

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One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. (Edvard Munch)

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The painter’s words sum up the feelin’s I had watchin’ Lil’ Kenz walk inta that Hel Gate.  Nature screams.  All of nature when somethin’ wrong is happenin’.  People die every day.  I know that, but some people is just more inspirin’ than others; they leave a bigger wake,  a bigger ripple in the pattern that ties us all together.   Lil’ Kenz is one o’ those souls.   She certainly wern’t without flaws.  No one is, but she done what she thought was right at precisely the perfect moment.

Bo’s heart is gone but not forever.  The story kin’t end that way.

This here is Grammy Binks Signin’ off…

p.s. No one seemed ta know what in all o’ tarnation that necklace was???  I found out that it’s some kinda Labrys symbol all bent up an’ twisted like.

I think ya’ll know this already, but keets is a little obsessive on occasion.  She was spending all this time tryin’ ta find clues, an’ draw pictures, an’ lookin’ up Egyptian symbols an’ such.  Then Ms. Lady Troll tweets out: ” it’s a Labrys “

Tee, hee, hee… ya’ll shoulda’ saw the tantrum that was had.

Bertie’s still out back teasin’ an’ tauntin’ her ’bout it, all the while keets is kickin’ Mr. Ricki’s poor little dwarf coconut tree.  Those two is peas in a pod.  It’s a good thing they’s got me ’round ta keep ’em from packin’ up an’ movin’ ta Canada.  Ever’body knows my Grandbaby ain’t really there,  nor Bo, nor Ms. Kenzi.  Hell, I’ll even include Mr. Dyson, Ms. Tamsin, the Trickster, an’ that rascal Vex on my list.   We may as well toss in The Venus Fly Trap since Lolo is gonna be stuck with that pain in the ass baggage fer a while it seems.  They is all in that interdimensional Time an’ Place. 

Some day, I’ll git my Grandbaby back… some day, but not anytime soon I’ma guessin’.

p.s.s.  Thanks for this link provided by Maudite Balvenie.  Information on the Labrys. http://potnia.theladyofthelabyrinth.com/symbols-of-the-minoan-goddess-religion/

p.s.s.s.  After readin’ this helpful information on this link, keets went all bonkers agin an’ made more pictures.  Have at it.  Read the junk, an’ decide on yer own what it all means.  I ain’t  got a clue.  I guess it’s kinda special my Lolo went through all the trouble she did ta make her Bo a Goddess necklace.  Her taste in art is a lil’ strange though.  Ever’ time I saw that big bummed nekkid girl on the wall in her apartment I  wanted ta jump through my t.v. screen an’ set the thing afire.

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Sally twitter avatar

Sally

This is the moment that made me cry
This is the moment that made me cry

After the dust settled on “Dark Horse,” I realized one thing about both the episode and the season. I completely, totally identify with Bo. Why, you ask?

Both Bo and I took our eyes off the ball.

Jodie Foster once said “There are very few things…there’s love and there’s work and there’s family.” She was referencing her own “so simple” life in this 1989 Academy Award acceptance speech, but this concept is somewhat universal.

Let’s view Bo through that lens.

Love. Bo’s love life is somewhat more populous and perhaps a little more complicated than most people’s, but at its core she really just wants what most people want – someone, or someones, to love and to love her back. Over the years she has fallen in love and fallen out of love, and it seems that there is more to be written for her and some of her lovers.

Work. In this context, Bo’s work is living the life she chooses. When we first met Bo, that meant figuring out her way in the Fae world, and deciding that she didn’t want to choose a side – the Light and Dark divide was not for her. Since she didn’t have the protection afforded by either side, she had to fend for herself. In Season 4, her work became figuring out why she was abducted to the Death Train, who the Wanderer was and what he wanted from her, and finally what all the prophecies meant and what she intended to do about them.

Family. Bo’s family has many members that she has chosen and collected over the years, but her heart has always been Kenzi. And it seems like during this season, she forgot that. I don’t mean the memory loss, either – what I mean is that Bo took Kenzi for granted. We’ve seen that before, in Season 3 especially when Bo was wrapped up in her new relationship with Lauren and Kenzi desperately needed to talk to her about the black slime on her arm, but this season took it to a new level. Bo didn’t take the time to listen to Kenzi, to talk things over with her, or to really check in with her. She also didn’t take the time to spend with Kenzi nurturing their relationship – watching silly movies, talking and drinking wine, or just being around each other.

I saw this gem linked from twitter (click the image for the original):

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That sums it up, doesn’t it?

I don’t want to be too hard on Bo, because she has had a LOT going on. Abduction, memory loss, people keeping secrets from her, and then finally a series of extremely chilling prophecies. She found out that her father was a terrible, evil being and sometimes winged horse who had been manipulating her for a LONG time in order to gain his freedom. And it seems likely that he did engineer her conception and birth so that she would have special powers and abilities and could rule at his side as his Dark Queen. It also seems possible or likely that, as Tamsin told Bo in “Groundhog Fae,” that he did this in order to create his ideal mate.

So that’s a lot to contend with. I was one of the people who thought for sure that Bo was under some kind of spell and that she would throw it off sooner or later and we would all cheer for the return of our spunky, cheeky succubus with the huge heart who always fights for the underdog and loves her chosen family better than anyone. Now that we know that she wasn’t under a spell that radically changed her personality, I’m left to think that Bo just coped the best she could.

All of the soothsayers that Bo encountered this season told her there was a darkness in her, but it seems like that’s been true from the get-go. (And don’t we all have some darkness in us? Kenzi would remind us that pobody’s nerfect.) But anyway, without the deus ex machina of a personality restoration in the form of lifting an ensorcellment, I’ve been struggling to figure out what it all means about Bo, and how I feel about it. Because from time to time this season, I didn’t like Bo’s behavior very much. I always thought she was good at the core, but this season she seemed to let some of her shortcomings rule her more than she used to.

So that’s why I’ve been devoting some time to trying to understand Bo and to see things more from her point of view. I’ve certainly had my share of bad days, weeks, months (and one stretch of a few bad years). During my own life’s journey when things weren’t going well at all, I’ve shut out my friends and family and have taken them for granted. Just like Bo did to Kenzi.

Selfless love, sacrificing yourself for your loved one because you’re her heart. Kenzi knew it, probably from the first time that Tamsin translated the prophecy for her. And even though she was so angry with Bo, whether it was wholly justified or not, she put her pain aside and jumped into the portal to close it, losing her life in the process.

Speaking of prophecies. I’m not a huge fan of prophecies as a concept in real life. The Calvinist theory of predestination is one that in particular never sat well with me. If your every action has been predetermined from the get-go, then what point is there in trying to do anything at all? If we don’t have free will, then why should anyone pretend otherwise? Let’s all go out and carouse and fornicate and live for hedonistic pleasure in the moment – because God has already determined that it will be so! Kill someone? No problem. It was predestined. All accountability goes out the window.

Prophecies also would seem to be in conflict with Bo’s ability to live the life she chooses. If Bo’s heart was always the thing that could close the portal, then Kenzi was set up to die from day one, before she was even born. Now that the portal is closed, what next? Will there be a prophecy about the succubus going to Hel to retrieve her heart?

As Kenzi said, “It’s always a metaphor with you Fae.” Prophecies can have many interpretations, and we all saw in Harry Potter that trying to control or negate a prophecy can bring about the very thing you sought to avoid. Given that the kitsune sorority sisters have already compared the Pyrippus to Voldemort, maybe we’ll see that his meddling to make Bo his queen will result in his downfall.

So prophecies aside, I’m going to end up concluding – like the show did, and as Bo does in the ending voiceover – that our choices are our own, and the idea that we have control over our lives is not an illusion. I think that Bo will live the life she chooses. Just like me! (But of course I would say that – it was predestined.)

That’s Bo. How did I, Sally, take my eye off the ball? Well, I alluded to this in my review of 4.08 – “Groundhog Fae.” I’ve never been shy about identifying myself as a Doccubus supporter. But after 4.08, I made a bit more of an effort to not view the show as ONLY a love story between Bo and Lauren, because it never was – and trying to force it to be that was only going to lead to unhappiness (specifically, mine). And I think I got a little more well-rounded in my viewing after that epiphany, but I also think that I, like Bo, took her love for Kenzi for granted.

I thought – of course this relationship will always be present on the show! Bo and Kenzi will always be hanging out, wisecracking, trying to cook and throwing out the results and then ordering pizza, reviewing their love lives, jollying each other out of bad moods, and going off together on madcap adventures.

Well no, they won’t. Not now. And even if Bo is successful in retrieving Kenzi from Valhalla, or more probably not Valhalla, since Tamsin seemed a little iffy when Dyson picked her up at the end, going to the afterlife and back is tough on people. Just look at Buffy Summers when her Scooby gang brought her back from Heaven – she was a wreck.

I’m going to sum up this section by saying that “Dark Horse” has left me pensive and a little mopey at first. I’m sad that Kenzi is dead, of course – and moved by her sacrifice. But I’m also sad that I was taken by such surprise by it. Every couple we saw in the earlier episodes, whether they were Fae/human, or on opposing sides, I thought that OF COURSE they must be about Bo and Lauren. Now, I’m not so sure. It seems more likely that they were about Kenzi and Hale, or about Bo and all of her relationships, or maybe just stories in and of themselves.

Other things I thought about “Dark Horse”

Doccubus thoughts. I’ll repeat something I said before – if I were a Fae who fed on Doccubus, I would have both feasted and starved this season. And by the time Bo put on the necklace that Lauren left for her, I didn’t feel the huge emotional impact that I would have expected. I was glad that Bo rescued Lauren from Massimo, but even their (admittedly awesome) kiss didn’t transport me to previous levels of feeling the love.

And I think I know why – these two need to talk to each other, work some things out, restate why they love each other, and figure out their path forward together if they intend to be together. And I, as a viewer, want to see their relationship get repaired and reestablished in order to return to the same level of emotional harmony. A fabulous kiss is great, and we needed it as much as they did, but they need to also talk.

Massimo as a super bad villain was unexpected. I found him much more chilling in the earlier part of Season 4 when he was intimidating Kenzi than when he was tripping on the Una Mens seed and giggling maniacally. I get it that the seed wasn’t really compatible with his human physiology, and I also get that he has mommy issues, but he became a little comical toward the end.

Tamsin telling Bo to snap out of it was priceless. One of my favorite parts of the episode, in fact. Harry Potter was pretty self-pitying at times, as well as Frodo, like most heroes. Although something about Tamsin confused me – I get that she was happy to have Rainer’s soul so she would no longer be exiled from Valhalla, but she seemed a little tone-deaf that Bo was sad that he had died. I go on to say in the next paragraph that Rainer’s character and subsequent death didn’t move me at all, so I’m not sure why I am pointing this out other than there is something about it that struck me weird.

Maigray, the author of our guest post about The Genre Elements of Lost Girl, noted that when Dyson found Tamsin at the end, the gates of Valhalla were still closed to her and she exhorted him to not allow Bo to find the Helskor. Given that the gates weren’t open to the Valkyrie, can we assume that she was unsuccessful in delivering Rainer’s and Kenzi’s souls to Valhalla? She seemed pretty shook up – was she waylaid by someone? I’m not sure, but I’m going to keep wondering and talking until I’m hoarse.

(get it?)

Finally… The Rainer character and the Rainer storyline really bugged me and here’s why. The Wanderer had been built up as a huge big THING that had stretched over time, even back to the beginning of Season 3. Now we know that Rainer was simply a tool employed by the Pyrippus to engineer his escape from Hel by manipulating Bo to think that she was destined to join with him to end the divide of Light and Dark. And Rainer also viewed Bo as a tool to help him end Light and Dark.

To know that he was a pawn is one thing. In fact, his death at Massimo’s hand was as anticlimactic as could be – when he died, I felt no grief, not for his death and not even on Bo’s behalf. And that might have been part of the point of his death happening the way it did. But the whole series of memories of him and Bo on the Death Train with the butterfly, the destiny, the great love – I’m not sure what to make of it even still. Did Rainer really love Bo? Was he simply manipulating her emotions and memories in order to enlist her in his cause?

But I dunno. It was such a huge THING for Bo to find out why she had been on the train, and then she went on and on about accepting her destiny. I just didn’t really like Rainer that much, and if he was a master manipulator, that didn’t come across. If he was an unwitting pawn, that’s more believable, but he was also in no way likable or interesting. To find out that he shared Bo’s goal of not choosing a side in the Light/Dark Fae conflict was…shrugworthy.

If I as an audience member was supposed to be invested in this character then I wasn’t. And I don’t think it was due to my shipping bias, either. He just wasn’t anything. He wasn’t as funny as Dyson, or as smart as Lauren, as endearing as Kenzi, nor as clever as Tamsin, and as for his big mission of ending Light and Dark, he was the diet Coke of Bo. If he’s the guy who ordered his crows to cut off Acacia’s hand, then we never really saw that side of him either.

Well, I guess that sort of wraps it up. The finale gave me a lot to think about. I’m not opposed to thinking, although I couldn’t help but compare the resolutions of the plotlines of Season 4 of Lost Girl to seasons of Buffy or to the Harry Potter books. I felt like in Buffy and Harry Potter, things were pretty clearly explained at the end of each season or book. For Lost Girl Season 4, I’m not even 100% confident in saying that Rainer was actually the Wanderer, although I think he was, nor that I understand much about the Pyrippus, who still seems kind of abstract and not that scary (Kenzi’s death notwithstanding).

As well, I didn’t watch Buffy in real-time, so I never had to wait weeks between episodes or months and months between seasons, so it’s possible that I didn’t take the time to reflect on what I thought it all meant – I just jumped right into the next set of DVDs. I’m also a lot more emotionally invested in Lost Girl – I love this show, and I want to understand what it’s trying to tell me about life, love, destiny and fulfilling our potential as people. Some TV I just watch and then go on with my life – but not this show. It’s special. I love it so much.

Perhaps we can take Season 4 as a commentary on the dangers of allowing outside forces to influence you. We must all live the lives we choose, meddlesome people and prophecies be damned.

As well, since I started out by saying that I identified with Bo, I’ll end up by saying this, which I’m also pretty confident is how Bo feels:

I want Kenzi back.

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Perspective and expectations. I’ve had a big dose of what those two words really mean this season. I’ve watched 12 episodes with such intensity and passion, completely invested in the characters and the story unfolding before me.

I had a few expectations going into the season finale. Surely one or all of these things would happen:

1. I expected there to be some sort of battle between Bo’s biological family and Bo’s adoptive family for her heart and mind.

 2. I expected The Pyrippus storyline to end in the finale with the closing of the portal.

 3. I expected Kenzi to kill Massimo.

 4. I expected Lauren or Kenzi would perish and Bo would travel to the Underworld and clash with the Leviathan to bring one of them back.

Boy was I completely wrong and because none of what I expected to happen came to pass I freakin’ hated it! I was so distracted by the incessant internal banter that I really didn’t SEE the finale the first time through:

Shit! Rainer’s dead? That was quick! Wow really Bo’s gonna kill Massimo? I thought Kenzi would do it. I mean he taunted her repeatedly about being weak and useless I thought it’d be poetic justice. Hmm. Lauren’s not going to be included in the final battle to close the portal? I didn’t see that coming.

 Every time I re-watched the episode (I’ve seen it four times now) I found new things I’d missed. My perspective was so driven by my expectations that I was incapable of experiencing the finale for what it was:

Not bad and it had some great moments.

I guess I’ve watched all 13 episodes with a sense of arrogance: that I know how the story should unfold. If Bo wasn’t Dark enough, I hated it. If the Doccubus storyline wasn’t focused on, I hated it. If Trick didn’t suffer any consequences for his actions, I hated it.

My point is I didn’t really enjoy this season. Not because it was bad. On the contrary, there were a few episodes I would put on my all time favorite list of Lost Girl.

I was too busy trying to guess where we were headed. Filled with anxiety about what would become of our Scooby Gang by the end of the season. It’s not what I envisioned but now with my new sense of perspective I have to admit, I appreciated the ambitious season. I like where it went and more importantly, I like where we’re headed.

Big things I noticed:

Am I the only one that’s shocked and appalled by Trick’s callousness regarding Kenzi? Kenzi explains to Dyson she is the one who must be sacrificed and Trick agrees, “Destiny. It has a sick sense of fun”.

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He figured out early on that Kenzi had to sacrifice herself to close the portal and he was totally fine with it. Not only was he fine with it he practically threw her in! He starts off in the middle of the room doling out a beat down with his broomstick and pretty soon he’s practically standing at the opening of the portal, having cleared the way for her. “Step aside bitches, sacrificial lamb coming through”.

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No tears. No, maybe there’s another way. Nope. Let me clear the way for ya Kenz!  It could have been pay back for stealing all of his shit and giving it to the Druid.

The significance of the mark on Bo:  I assumed it was a way for Rainer to have influence over Bo but it turns out to be the mark of the Pyrippus. So the question is when did Bo acquire that mark? When she was on the train? That would mean she’s been under his influence since the beginning of the season. But what does his “influence” mean? We still don’t really know what power the mark wields over her.

Rainer died a quick and anti-climactic death: As a character he was confusing and his arc felt unfinished. Will he be back? Is he the one who has stolen Kenzi’s body? I’d like to see this guy make an appearance in season 5:

Wanderer

Massimo’s knowledge of what happened in the Temple: During the battle with the Druid, he says to Bo “I know the keeper was right to warn you of the shit that’s coming your way”. How does he know what happened during Bo’s Dawning? How are the Dawning and the Pyrippus connected? The keeper warned her of consequences suffered for taking Dyson with her as she left the Temple. Does that mean that if she left Dyson behind, The Pyrippus wouldn’t have been able to mark Bo?

My rant in defense of Bo’s behavior toward Lauren:

I feel Bo has been unfairly maligned this season, especially in regards to her treatment of Lauren. Bo has endured a lot of rejection dating back to last season. Lauren’s mixed signals have made it virtually impossible to decipher her intentions.

From “The Break” to Taft’s office “And I loved you” Bo was left with a clear message that her relationship with Lauren was done. In “Turn To Stone” Bo found a necklace intended as a gift with a note addressed to her that confirmed (or so she thought) Lauren’s love for her.

In “Let The Dark Times Roll” Lauren opts to have sex with Bo and ignore her repeated requests to talk. Mistakenly Bo assumes they are back together only to have Lauren tell her she would prefer to stay with the Dark than be claimed by Bo.

Bo has repeatedly professed her love for Lauren, taken responsibility for her bad behavior and has asked Lauren to give her another chance. Bo greatest sin has been immaturity but she acknowledges that fact and knows she must rectify her behavior.

Yet Lauren lied and was dishonest about her plans to protect Bo. Imagine the heartbreak Bo endured trying to accept that Lauren didn’t love her anymore only to find out it had been a ruse. The rational behind the decision was irrelevant and Bo’s anger at the revelation was justified. Knowing Bo’s sensitivity to rejection, Lauren chose to play a game that caused Bo to feel inadequate. Weren’t Lauren’s feelings of inadequacy one of the reasons for “the break” in the first place?

So who’s responsible for their lack of communication? Is Bo really the horrible girlfriend she’s been portrayed? Just something to ponder.

I’m of the opinion that Bo kept the necklace but never wore it because it represented a love that no longer existed between them:

Findinghte necklace

“Lauren comes first”. That has always been the case in Bo’s heart. Always.

Deciding to put on the necklace was a huge moment for Bo. It symbolized that she understood Lauren still loved her and she was willing to believe everything Lauren had done (including sleeping with Evony) was for the sake of keeping Bo safe and alive.

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“You really are dark. No Bo, I’m yours.”

Finally!! Yet Bo’s response to this is lets go we still got the evil horse to deal with?!?!? A sweet moment for sure but I’m annoyed at the fact that these two don’t talk. How about some acknowledgement that when the apocalypse is over we’re gonna have mind blowing sex and then we’ll have that talk we’ve been meaning to have!

You’d swear Bo and Dyson were a lesbian couple. They’re constantly talking about their feelings for each other. O.k. sorry I’m going off on a tangent and I need to go back and rant about something I mentioned earlier.

What the hell is the pendent Lauren gave Bo?!?!? Seriously?!?!?  It looks like some weird ass beetle laying on it’s back. Or possibly a smashed cricket. Or an alien thingy.

Pendent

But more importantly what the hell does it mean?!?

I’m willing to bet Bo doesn’t know what the hell it is either! Yeah I know she says she loves it but I’m sure it’s because it’s from Lauren. After being rejected all season I’m sure she doesn’t want to rock the boat by asking WTF with the creepy ass pendent?

What happened to giving her a normal pendent? Here’s an idea how about a heart? Or maybe a bird, you know to go with the whole, giving me the freedom to love sentiment on the card?

Maybe I’m the problem. Me and my conventional gift giving ideas. Yes I’m aware Lauren’s hot and brilliant but she needs a little help in the picking out jewelry for the ladies department.

Things I loved:

 KenzipunchEvony

 Kenzi punching The Morrigan: “God I’ve been waiting for years to do that”.

Tamsin

Tamsin mocking Bo for being a whiner: “Why don’t you suck it up and get your shit together?”

Dyson

Dyson admitting Bo wears the pants: “I swear fealty to you Isabeau”

Some things I’m annoyed at:

 Where’s Crystal? No seriously. She’d better make a guest appearance next season. Preferably not  on top of  Lauren again.

What was the point of all the memory loss with everyone? Who created the Recuerdo Coil? Why was every one acting so out of character early on?

As I suspected, The Una Mens weren’t as scary as they were made out to be.

I didn’t get a scene in which Vex  kisses Lauren’s ass  profusely for reattaching his hand.

Things I’m looking forward to in Season 5:

The Morrigan being human. What a great opportunity to explore the differences between being Fae or human from a fresh perspective.

“Bo will break underneath the power of the Pyrippus”. That battle sounds promising.

Rachel Skarsten spending some time during hiatus with Anna Silk and Casey Hudecki wielding swords: I don’t believe for one minute she’s an extraordinary Valkyrie warrior. Casey Hudecki can change that. Anna Silk may run with a girlie shimmy but she sure is a bad ass with a sword.

Something I found extraordinary this season:

Ksenia Solo. What an unbelievable performance this season. She broke my heart during the last 3 episodes.

She’d better come back!