Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 13, “Dark Horse”

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If Lorne’s bar were operating in LA right now, there would be literally millions of hits on shitty YouTube phone videos of demons singing, hundreds of people would have their profile pictures of themselves with their arms around Lorne and a goofy smile on their faces, it would be one of the ‘Top Ten Places to Visit Before You Die’ on all the online travel sites.

Lost Girl is a genre show operating in a major city in 2014. It can’t get away with acting like its entire population of supernatural beings operates under the radar anymore. What it does, then, is place its operatives smack-dab in the middle of the radar technology itself – when we first meet Hale and Dyson, they’re covering up Bo’s feed as part of their fae-delegated duties. We’re then walked through how fae can feed without killing, how fae laws establish kills must be private, how there are systems set in place to make sure human/fae interactions are covered up, how fae powers don’t emerge until puberty so there’s no nurse to freak out over a baby who’s sucking blue light from a baby one incubator over, etc. It’s a show which has quite obviously learned from Angel, Charmed, Buffy, Xena, etc. who have come before. Real-world elements those shows were just scraping the surface of – cellphone cameras, cult of celebrity, keeping powerful kids hidden from both hostile powers and humans, the internet – are ubiquitous today, so Lost Girl works solutions into its worldbuilding.

Also important, tapestry painting.

That’s how we got here, and here is where Lost Girl shows exactly how aware it is of how the tropes and stories built up in those other shows over the years have embedded themselves into the consciousness of not just the audience, but the characters themselves. Thus we have Kenzi verbalizing Bo can find her in Valhalla: we all know that’s what happens in these stories. To ignore that giant trope elephant in the room (trope-lephant! I coined a thing!) would just make the audience roll its collective eyeballs. Xena went to the afterlife and back to get Gabrielle several times. Buffy was retrieved from there. Angel ventured to try, with mixed results. Etc. Anyone watching this show knows the history, and Kenzi is the most pop-culture saturated of everyone. She of all people knows how this works. 

To cap it all off, the episode references both broader mythological characters and its own mythology. It calls back to the first time Dyson kissed Bo, to the way Bo learned to stop her feed, to Bo and Tamsin out searching for Kenzi in the middle of the woods, etc. It acknowledges Bo will save the girl over the world. It dishes out more details about Bo’s blood, and how she truly is unique because of how her mythical genetics operate. (Though she flips that in the end, and we’ll get to that.)

If I had to pick one thing about the finale which really works, it’d be that it acknowledges all its heritage. It does so openly and fairly comprehensively. It does it in the obligatory ‘two against the hordes’ sequence and the levels of camp/cheese involved, it does it in acknowledging the way life sacrifices work in supernatural narratives, it does it by showcasing the way villains cause their own downfall, and it really does it by understanding in the way we as individuals process our current situations through similar situations we’ve been through before.

At one point, Bo's literally lying on a table out of pain and the guys are just arguing away. Healthy relationships!

Let’s back up and start from the beginning, where Rainer and Bo are having their argument and Rainer confirms he and Rosette ‘loved each other.’ Bo’s mark starts pulling on her, and they retreat to the Dal, where Rainer and Trick snipe at each other. Though both make valid points – Rainer is bad for Bo, Trick was a despot who abused his power – what they’re really doing is showing off for Bo, each crying ‘Choose me! I’m not so bad as him!’ They want her as a piece in their own chess game.

One reason they want her is her blood is unique in its composition and abilities. This is interesting worldbuilding, and could go somewhere in the future, but for right now the implication is Rainer wants to involve Bo’s special abilities in war, to essentially weaponize her.

Their argument also brings up one of the show’s central points about choice and free will: Trick again makes a big deal about ‘not having a choice’ about sending his own daughter to the dark, but his granddaughter insists she has a choice in everything (though Rainer has been the exception, as she kept saying he’s her ‘destiny,’ giant flashing warning sign). In the very next scene, Lauren tells Massimo it’s both nature and nurture which make a monster, and this effectively sums up the whole show. Bo’s succubus nature, how she was nurtured, and now how she chooses and who she surrounds herself with, ALL shape who she is.

After seeing how Trick and Rainer treat her as a battle strategy, Bo doesn’t seem broken up when Rainer dies shortly. In fact, killing Rainer seems to have brought our old Bo back.

Bo sees Rainer as a business partner, someone ‘on her side’ as a political ally. She loved the idea of him, yes, but he was never family. Now she has Kenzi’s resurrection to concentrate on in the next season, we can hopefully forget Rainer as a soulmate, and just remember him as the plot device which made Trick face his past, set a prophecy in motion, and brought Bo’s dad into play.

Nekkid lady suggestive much?

Speaking of plot devices! Massimo. Massimo has Lauren in the back forty as he digs her grave, and we’re just never going to figure out what transpired between those two and Evony in the bedroom, or why they went to the Una Men’s lair before heading out into the night. OK. I’m over it.

Lauren is literally a hostage after being one metaphorically for so long, but her reactions in this episode are better and more in-character than her emotional wreckage at the end of last episode. She verbally manipulates Massimo, she snaps back, she mentions nature versus nurture, she acts the expert on how Evony feels about things, she makes some blunt sexy-times references, and she gets out of handcuffs for the second time this season. I don’t think we actually needed the reference to Kenzi’s shadow-thief training here – because it was established earlier Kenzi’s street life gave her those skills which she passed on to Lauren, and it’s also a reasonable thing for an eco-terrorist/protestor to know – but once it sets Bo up for a foreplay joke, all is forgiven. Last, she manages ‘Oh hey also I should coyly mention via joke that Evony and I had sex. But we’re close to death by madman, so let’s not process that now.’

Massimo’s “tiny twig” – which Lauren so disdainfully references and which is so deliciously full of Freud – gives Massimo what is always the villain’s downfall: overconfidence. He toys with Lauren and Bo instead of going in for the kill; he reveals how he amalgamated powers from Rainer and the Raijū; he flaunts his immortality; he tries to show off for mommy; and in the end he’s defeated not by brawn but by brain and his own incompetence. That’s a definite theme for villains this season, from the crows to Clio, from the Morrigan to Massimo. Still, Massimo’s frothiness is cranked down a touch, and I preferred this to his pure insanity last episode.

'I just want my mommy! In the creepiest way possible!'

It helps balance his insanity when other characters also get to display properly heightened reactions: Bo yells and sobs at Kenzi’s death, Kenzi has to be restrained from jumping Evony, Dyson breaks down, Tamsin yells at Bo.

That yelling is what helps snap Bo back into it, and it’s delicious when Tamsin expresses how she’d love to kill Massimo over and over. Like last episode, Tamsin is not heavily featured, but makes the most of her screentime, even when she’s in the background. She’s the one who metaphorically slaps a wounded Bo out of her wallowing; one has to think if they did this in an episode with more time to spare, we’d get a sexual healing scene. She’s the key to Kenzi understanding the prophecy. She’s in the background as Bo and Kenzi embrace, being perfectly socially awkward as she wants to watch the intimacy but feels she’s intruding. She’s heartbroken as she has to take another fallen warrior to Valhalla, but this time a warrior who she loves as a friend and newfound family member (albeit one who was a little distracted when she tried to talk about ending her exile). She has to watch the two people she really wants in each others’ arms, but she still keeps it together and does what needs to be done. Aw, Bo and Dyson, are both of you really so blind?

Speaking of Dyson, his one-liners are pretty great; the simple ‘That little shit!’ and the way he imbues that “really?” (when Bo reveals she fed on Tamsin) with the perfect mix of pervy curiosity and surprise. His soliloquies don’t fit his character so well, and thus the whole bit about ‘looking for a queen’ is Velveeta levels of cheesy. But what I think they may be doing is using ‘fealty’ to write around the ‘singular mate for life,’ as in Dyson and Bo are bound as partners – which may include one or all of partners in crime, romantic partners, sexual partners, partners in fighting for good – but not sole-mates.

It also firmly shifts the power balance to Bo, though she immediately insists he be her equal; this is important both for their relationship and for Bo as a person if she’s not going to become a despot like Trick/her father/etc. The fact this scene clearly parallels the scene in Season 1 where Dyson gets down on his knees and says ‘I understand you’re a succubus but I never wanting anyone else’s hands on you body’ enforces this idea, and shows how Dyson has progressed over time.

Dyson takes still another step here by openly acknowledging he wants Bo to save Lauren because he cares for Lauren as a person, not just as some noble sacrifice for Bo’s love life. The character is much better when he’s not being so very chivalrous, and also when he’s delivering one-liners versus soliloquies. His banter with Bo before they split up, especially that “new material” self-referential interchange, was hat-tipping to how the show is bringing back elements of their past interactions.

More this. Please. That is all.

Also in this episode, Dyson and Tamsin, having each others’ back. Sure the fight at the hellmouth – er, Pyrippus vortex – is campy, we get that they’re outnumbered, and ‘if we don’t get out of here’ is the most genre’d thing in a very genre’d episode which includes an example of ‘world about to end. Let’s make out!’ But fight choreography is expensive, revenants are slow, it’s always funny when Tamsin tells people to SHUT UP with their emotions, and the random Canadian extras fighting in the background do up the stakes from the Garuda showdown. We’re not here for the giant set pieces. Most importantly, (improbably, what with it being two against a horde), the scene gives Tamsin and Dyson, and then Dyson and Kenzi time to interact, which is what we’re really here for. Interactions! 

Yet another case in point in this episode is The Morrigan with Trick, where they get to bounce off each other and accuse each other of various nefariousnesses, all whilst the still-sexpot Evony is experiencing being drunk as a human and discovering ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘wedgie’ actually feel freakily similar. There’s no overarching world-ending plot so solve, just two old nemeses re-negotiating their relationship.

On the side of somewhat creepier interactions, Evony’s relationship with Massimo gets stuffed even more full of the Oedipal, if that was possible. ‘Kill the father, sleep with the mother,’ and Evony as proxy for both. Not to mention she has “What all the boys want!” . . . Creepy sexual/murderous interactions with their mommies! 

I’m not sure whether Bo’s feed from the revenants was reflexive and driven by the blue-eyed side of her (anyone? ideas?), but the rest of her use of power here was very intentional. In a callback to S1, Bo talks about learning to stop as well as to suck chi, and how that’s what sets her apart. What allowed her to learn and then implement that stoppage was her support circle. It’s Bo’s friends, her new family, which allowed her to stop killing after ten years. What that means is it’s not her blood, but her love, and her loved ones, which makes her special.

She emphasizes those people as she beats Massimo up, ending, of course, with Kenzi. Kenzi, her heart, as she said to Tamsin last season, and as Kenzi tells Dyson before she dies.

I can't lie, a great deal of my notes were 'Ksenia Solo nails it,' in every scene she was in.

How central the relationship of these two is, and how imperative Kenzi is to Bo’s life, in addition to them referencing the traditions which comes before, is why I’m convinced Kenzi comes back. In fact, I, perpetual cheapskate and generally non-betting man, will bet you $100 that she returns.*

*$100 will be split between everyone who calls me out on this bet. And then I will be demanding Emily Andras et al reimburse me for my broken heart.

If it had been anyone else; Dyson (who has already died once), Lauren, or Tamsin, I would not be quite so certain. But besides having already permanently lost two ‘friend/lover’ characters (Hale, who set up Kenzi to have nothing to lose, and Ciara) and a few other peripherals (Nadia, Lachlan) and thus the show being able to believably bring one back, Bo without Kenzi is unimaginable.

The show has made Kenzi imperative to Bo, and has showcased what an amazing powerful actress they have on their hands with Ksenia Solo. They’d be mad to kill her permanently in the script. She works with every character, every cast member. That’s a great part of how this show got to S4; the chemistry between Kenzi and anyone, Bo and anyone, and especially Kenzi and Bo together. Kenzi is Bo’s heart – “It is always a metaphor with you fae!” – and they together are the heart of the show. You can’t rip the heart out like that and expect the show to continue. Kenzi will return. 

How, I’ve no idea. I’m not at all sure what Tamsin means by “you can’t let Bo find the second Hel shoe.” Did something go wrong at the gates of Valhalla, and Kenzi was taken elsewhere? If so, this also very Xena. Next season, then, could be like the beginning of Xena S4, then, but more of an ensemble.

I don't know if it's the sudden color shift, or the way the design is reminiscent of old fairy tale books, but I love, LOVE, this set. I hope we see more of this in S5.

Granted, there was a lot of camp, and obvious budgetary shortness, and it leaned heavily on the characters talking to and feeling at each other, but that’s exactly what the show works as. The episode is still jam-packed to the hilt, and would have benefited from more breathing room, but by acknowledging and referencing itself, its genre, etc., it gets its points and themes across with lot of shorthand while wrapping up some plots which need wrapping up.

By the end, it feels like the show is back to its premise of the first few seasons. He may not have been evil, but Rainer’s character threw off everything about Bo. Now Bo is back to being Bo, and also back to badass status. The focus is back on on love/chosen family and the way Bo’s relationship Kenzi relationship is most important. 

We end at the cemetery we saw previously this season, with Bo visiting Kenzi accompanied by appropriately sad music, and well-deployed use of voiceover, which they get away with because it plays as talking to the headstone. And then cello to top it all off! I mean, it’s specifically constructed to trigger an emotional response. Like the way the episode understands how it operates within its genre, the end scene doesn’t play in a vacuum. The music, the lone woman in black, the voiceover, it’s pulling on the strings of a hundred similar messages we’ve internalized over the years of watching these and other TV shows. And at that, like the rest of the troped, recognizable, character stuff it pulls, this episode succeeds.

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Stray Observations

- At some point soon I’ll be writing a season overview, some thoughts about how my predictions for this season played out, thoughts about the overall arc (which often got lost since I review so episodically), and some wild speculation about S5; for instance, what are they going to do with that Lauren/Evony relationship? If you have any questions about anything from colors to metaphors, from motifs to mythology, leave them in the comments, or Twitter, or tumblr, or email.

- Lauren telling Massimo only a pop song would make him immortal is a callback to Instant Star, the show both actors worked on with Andras.

- Hale got reclassified from ‘almost husband’ to ‘boyfriend,’ which is more accurate and not trying to wring more emotion from the relationship than it earned.

- I want to make fae-menopause puns. ‘Hot fae-shes’? Leave suggestions in the comments.

- “‘Bitch’ is just a word men use when they’re threatened by the chick in charge.”

- They cashed in all their swear chips for this episode. What’s SyFy’s policy? Will they get edited out?

- “The spiritual center for crazy pony ladies.” I can’t hear “filly” without connecting it to adolescent discovery of sexuality, which just makes this whole feature of the story that much more interesting, I mean, it’s been about Bo’s delayed development / sexual discovery all along.

- Spit the Una Mens seed, don’t swallow.

Comments
49 Responses to “Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 13, “Dark Horse””
  1. mactrapp says:

    what are your thoughts about the necklace, lauren and bo’s interactions? did you think they were simply trying to feed the fandom or continue the love triangle with dyson professing his love in this episode? My two cents is that EA knows who Bo ends up with (if anyone) and they do need to keep people interested, but I also think EA probably leaves hints on Bo’s final choice. I’d love your take on it being a filmmaker yourself.

  2. lbw8lrrh says:

    Ok, I’ll be the one to ask: what were your thoughts about the interaction between Bo and Lauren after Bo killed Massimo? [Full transparency: I love the idea of Bo and Lauren together, probably b/c it’s so nice to see f/f relationship with their chemistry on-screen–though as a therapist-in-training I totally agree with some of your earlier thoughts that their communication skills need serious work.] How symbolic is Bo wearing the necklace to go save Lauren (oh, ok, and the hug and the kiss)–and also wearing it when she goes to visit Kenzi’s grave?

    Re: that last scene, I really liked that it was Bo visiting the gravesite alone as it focused on their relationship and made the VO work.

    One of the major themes this season was how our choices (particularly the bad ones) have consequences; in particular, Bo’s choices led to the necessity of Kenzi’s sacrifice (though one of the many prophecies said Bo’s blood could kill Papa-Pyrippus). My hope is that if we get S5 that the theme will be redemption ’cause the show w/o Kenzi is too terrible to consider. I also wonder if we’ve seen the last of Papa-Pyrippus as that was a lot of buildup to never actually set eyes on him.

    Which leads me to a lingering thread that I hope gets tied up (did I mention S5 please, showcase?): who the heck hired Tamsin to find Bo (if Rainer was on the train and Papa-Pyrippus was trapped in a pyramid…) b/c it feels like an important loose end. I’m also still rather confused by the Rainer storyline as the book Lauren found has the prophecy that was true, but then Rainer isn’t really a “demon beast” who will “wreck torment beyond comparison and betray the Fae.”? And how did both Bo and Rainer get the mark of the Pyrippus on them? Was it the mark that made Bo be so un-Bo like and “Rainer is my destiny” b/c the Pyrippus was using them to get himself freed. If it wasn’t Rainer who had Bo kidnapped (which is what Bo tells Dyson in 4×11) then who the heck was controlling Munin and Hugin?

    Last thought: When Dyson finds Tamsin outside the gates to Valhalla(?), Tamsin said that Kenzi was “gone” and I wondered if that meant that Kenzi didn’t make it to Valhalla but was taken, perhaps to the underworld overseen by the Leviathan (who said she’d be seeing Bo soon) since Levi seemed determined to get the mark that Bo had (which, if I were Bo, I think I’d be happy to let her have ’cause it seems like nothing but trouble!).

    Thanks for another great review!

    P.S. I thought Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo, Rachel Skarsten, and Emmanuelle Vaugier really knocked their parts out of the park this episode-WOW!

    • lbw8lrrh says:

      P.S.S. Curious why Bo couldn’t have sucked chi from Trick, Dyson, and Tamsin to resurrect Kenzi (an actual reason, not a “because the writer’s wanted angst and to setup S5″ reason).

    • Red says:

      I find it interesting that Bo did not respond to Lauren’s “I’m yours Bo”. Thoughts?

      • mtrapp says:

        the kiss was the response from my point-of-view.

        I think we put so much weight on every word, but communication is only 20% verbal. I think the significant message is what they do and say.

        They took the time to show Bo put on Lauren’s necklace.
        They spoke and acknowledged the necklace (Bo saying she loves it, Lauren saying she noticed it)
        Bo saying “You are Dark”
        Lauren saying “No, Bo. I’m yours”
        Bo coming back and kissing Lauren.

        To me the last response from Bo, though not with words, has the greatest “weight”.

        It’s easy to say I am dark or I am light, but Lauren is saying her true alignment is Bo.

  3. Red says:

    Great read thank you. You didn’t say much about Doccubus though. Why, and what are your thoughts? Do you think the triangle still exists?

  4. Valentina Castillo says:

    HAHA thank you for talking about everything in this ep that DID make sense and barely anything about the ep that DIDN’T make sense. (which was probably wise because you’d be stuck writing for days if it was the latter)

    will try to categorize my grouses…

    things that they sort of built up throughout the season but didn’t give closure to:
    – the relationship between Rainer and the horned demon in the book Lauren found.
    – the relationship between Rainer and the Pyrippus.(now that Rainer’s dead we can never have closure to these things)
    – the relationship between the Pyrippus and Aoife. was she raped? why was she selected by the Pyrippus for impregnation and deemed to be the one who could produce the Pyrippus’ “ideal mate” as Tamsin said before?
    (now that the gate to Hell is closed, we’ll never know much about the Pyrippus despite all the suspense they’ve built up about him)
    – the relationship between the vision Bo saw in Season 3 where she was being cradled lovingly by what she recognized to be “her father”.
    – why did the Una Mens want the Helskor?
    now that the Una Mens are dead, we’ll never know why 9 episodes were devoted to building up the power-mad nature of the Una Mens despite this power-mad nature not coming into play much because Bo quite easily chopped their heads off.

    things that they dropped out of nowhere and still gave no closure to:
    – Aoife clearly would have some vested interest in the return of the Pyrippus because of her painful history with him. WHERE WAS SHE? (i get if they can’t book Inga Cadranel but at least acknowledge that the character has vested interest in the coming apocalypse)
    – the relationship between the Helskor and the fate of Kenzi. we know the gang were searching for the Helskor to prevent the Una Mens from getting it for their diabolical purposes, but now that theyr’e dead, the gang has no purpose for the pair of Helskor. so why would Bo want the other Helskor such that Tamsin would have to yell in distress “DON”T LET BO GET IT!!!”
    mythologically speaking, it makes sense that the Helskor is related to Valhalla and the idea was for Kenzi to *be* in Valhalla, so her disappearance (exclusion?) from Valhalla might have something to do with the shoes, but we were given NO CLUE about that because previously the Helskor had been about power, not about after-life fate. the only thing that makes sense would be that Kenzi is in the underworld with the Leviathan (because “somebody that [Bo] loves very much will be dead”)

    character developments which don’t show a clear trajectory:
    – WHY THE HELL does Bo refer to her biological parents with such affectionate terms as “my dad” and “my mom” when clearly a) she hasn’t known them for the greater part of her life and b) they are psychotic demons bent on destruction and world-domination? her affection for Aoife makes a little bit of sense because they did have screen time discussions as mother and daughter when Aoife tried to convert her to her cause, but even the slightest amount of affection for the Pyrippus
    that she showed (my “dad”) doesn’t make ANY sense.
    – Lauren has slowly come out of her “damsel in distress” archetype from season 1 through the current, and the pinnacle of that, to me at least, was showcased in the speech she made to Bo in s 405 where she doesn’t want to be owned by anybody, not even Bo. and THEN they reverse that development by having her effectively asking Bo to claim her. WHY did they undo so much development! the only reason i can see for the writers to do that is that now there’s a complicated power dynamic introduced to the love triangle: Dyson swears fealty to Bo, so she owns his sword (haha. double ententre!) and Lauren swears ownership, so Bo owns Lauren’s entire person. this will be an interesting dynamic to explore BUT it’s not consistent with the initial character development trajectory they were giving Lauren and so i feel it’s not justified to drop such a dynamic out of nowhere.
    – Trick: IS he still a despot? how much of his past has he repented of? he became a barkeep to escape from a power position because of his past mistakes, but now that he’s acting Ash he’s returned to a position of power, yet they haven’t suggested to us what kind of rule he will have based on his past and his present.

    old relationships in which development needs to be shown:
    – Tamsin and Trick: remember when she yelled at Kenzi “DON”T TRUST TRICK”? since she’s aligned with Trick ie. by Bo’s side, they have to be allies, but what kind of relationship do they have now in light of their shared history?
    – Kenzi and Hale: i’m sorry, i get that on-screen they’re conveniently available for each other but they didn’t show much romantic tension through the 3 previous seasons so i feel cheated that this was conveniently dropped on us.

    rah.
    i had a dream in which i said nonsensical things to my colleagues at work and they replied to me “you know, that makes total sense”
    THANKS, Lost Girl.

    • Melanie says:

      But most of this relates to the overall arc of the season(s) and has nothing to do with whether this individual episode works as an hour of television or not. You could have said this for the last few episodes just as much, and if they’d tried to cram it all in here, it would have been far too overloaded – if, in fact, such a thing were possible at all without everyone sitting around the bar while Trick lectured using powerpoint and old books.

      This is why I’m doing a season overview, where I’ll try to hit the big points here, though some of them are a little bit of a stretch I think . . . she calls them mom and dad because everyone knows who she’s talking about, though she does also say things like ‘mommy dearest’ and ‘daddy darko.’ etc. Also, I completely took the Lauren thing as a figure of speech. ‘I’m yours, body and soul,’ etc.

      I’m also not sure you’re going to like the conclusion I’ve come to, which is that some of these loose ends need exposition and/or closure (what happened in the alley between Trick and Aife!?) and some of them are just going to fall by the wayside, because this show is Buffy meets LOST, and growing heavier and heavier on the latter.

      • Valentina Castillo says:

        ah ok i see what you mean by internal consistency of season vs. episode.
        i suppose i was having trouble seeing the tree for the mass chaos of the forest.
        i’m probably missing a lot of the trope references LG is making to Buffy and LOST because i didn’t follow either of the latter series, but what i had the most trouble with in ep 413 was how clumsy the lines were.
        much kudos to the actors for trying to make sense of it for us all tho!

        • Melanie says:

          Since you’ve seen neither; the show’s metaphors and a lot of the concepts are in the tradition of Buffy and Angel; some of the plots and really bastardized mythology/history are more reminiscent of Xena; the show’s far-flung mythology and multiple running lines (often with lack of closure) follow LOST.

          Most of the tropes are used by all, and especially any shows within ‘supernatural’ genres; I just reference the ones I do because they seem to be more known by viewers, and I’ve recently seen them. When Mike subbed for me, he mentioned The Vampire Diaries uses the same, as I’m sure Supernatural etc do.

          • Valentina Castillo says:

            ah yes, Xena i do get. i followed it as a child and missed so much adult subtext, so when i finally discovered it last year on Netflix i revisited a few of my favourite storylines and my eyes were simply opened to how overt the subtext was.
            the bastardized mythology of Xena used to bother me as a kid because i really loved my classical mythology and i wanted it to be intact with each retelling, but now that i enjoy Lost Girl i can see the entertainment value in it. i just wish they would be more respectful of logical consistency when they bastardize the mythologies.

            (and now that you tell me of multiple running lines without closure in LOST i just might avoid it, despite having wanted to watch it before)

            • Melanie says:

              I personally love bastardization and retellings of myths and fairy tales, from ‘Til We Have Faces which has informed some of my interpretation of this season to the ad lit Beauty, which I highly recommend. [Wicked the book I disliked, but that’s another story.] The key is usually not to stick too close or stray too far, not to be too reverent or too sacrilegious, and that’s a really fine line.

              Honey, if you like closure and answers to everything, do not, I repeat DO NOT watch LOST.

              • Valentina Castillo says:

                ok. do not watch LOST. duly noted.

                well now that you bring some book titles up, i have to say i LOVED ‘Til We Have Faces (probably one of my favourite books of all time) and Wicked as well.

                so now two questions:

                1) how did Til We Have Faces inform your interpretation of Lost Girl?

                2) why don’t you like Gregory MaGuire’s Wicked?

                • Melanie says:

                  1) my belief Rainer/Bo is a play on that myth of Cupid/Psyche, which has evolved somewhat to Rainer being a general Jekyll/Hyde sort. I think his ‘good’ or at least beautiful side is gone, but that the prophesy about his destruction and the tales of The Wanderer’s horrible visage are of his other side, whether that be alter ego or what.

                  2) It’s been quite a while since I read it, but that won’t keep me from opinionating.

                  I felt it was too explicit in places it should have been understated, and breezed over passages which should have been explicit. I also remember the impression the story still turned out with its women defined and confined by narrow roles, even if their actions and emotions were viewed through different lenses. Also the dude was just a device, really one-dimensional. I wasn’t interested enough to read anything else he did.

    • overainbows says:

      - I like the play on the idea that History is written by victors. On the other hand, I would like a better explanation for Bo’s behavior, like she was under some spell, especially after they made her sound like an airhead teenager / battered wife saying she just knew Rainer was good. It’d be horrible to let her be right after all that. Plus, her first memories of the train brought by Yanka’s song really don’t fit what Rainer made her remember.

      – Though I wasn’t fond of Rainer because I didn’t trust him and because when he finally was on screen he was a non-entity, I would like them to revisit the character or at least explain his relationship to the Pyrippus, especially the marks he put on Bo and himself.

      – For me it was clear that the Una Mens wanted the Helskor because the Wanderer wanted it. The Una Mens were the Blood King’s will. They made sure what Trick established as law was followed by all. Rainer was banished by Trick, so the Una Mens had to keep him from rising to power or back into History. They had to get the Helskor first. As for Bo wanting it, it is still about power though probably they are going to play on the mythology related to afterlife. I do believe Tamsin was intercepted delivering Kenzi. The Pyrippus wants Bo and took Kenzi so she goes to the Underworld. Bo would want the Helskor as it’s been said it’s very powerful so she can face Levi and Pyrippus, plus it could have some the power to let her to leave the underworld by herself, without the help of the Leviathan.

      – I’m not sure what you mean by Aife clearly having a vested interest in Bo’s father’s return. She was tortured by him for centuries then ran away to save herself and her daughter from a horrible fate (possibly she was aware of his plans for Bo). I really don’t think she wants to see this creature ever again. Her mention of him while imprisoned by Taft didn’t seem like a desire to have him back, but more like a terrified person who is being tortured (by beings considered inferior no less) wishing upon them the worst fate she knows. I don’t think Pyrippus’ plans involve destroying the Dark/Light system as Aife (and Bo) would like either.

      – When did Lauren ask Bo to claim her? If you’re referring to her saying “I’m yours”, that’s a stretch! It’s not even a request of any sort! Bo had voiced her insecurities about Lauren’s decisions so it is fitting that she would want to let her know she was doing it for her. I took it as a reassurance to Bo that despite her aligning herself with the Dark and being with The Morrigan she’s Team Succubus, and obviously is still in love with her too.

      • Valentina Castillo says:

        indeed, it appears that i am taking Lauren’s final speech to Bo at the end a little to seriously.
        but how do you take “i’m yours” as a figure of speech in the Fae world, where everything is bound by blood oaths and swearings of fealty to the death?
        although your interpretation of that speech as being Lauren’s reassurance to Bo of her unwavering devotion does make sense.

        regarding Aoife and the Pyrippus, yes i am aware that she hated him bitterly. what i’m saying is that she’d want to have a say in his fate if he did return. perhaps revenge, Kill Bill style or something. i feel like it doesn’t do justice to Aoife’s past if they don’t at least acknowledge her inextricable link to the Pyrippus.

  5. Valentina Castillo says:

    OH. another lose end they didn’t tie up:
    relationship:
    Dyson and Trick: how is it that Dyson can just “take back” his fealty oath to Trick and give it to Bo?

    i now feel like Dyson’s oath of fealty is worth nothing.

    • Melanie says:

      I don’t know he has taken anything back from Trick, exactly. So long as Trick and Bo are on the same ‘side,’ IE fighting evil/Una Mens/Pyrippus, there’s no conflict, and he can serve the king and queen (hmmm, saying that makes it feel very Lancelotian). But if it comes down to a clash between Bo and Trick, Dyson will back Bo. He’ll leave Trick because he knows now what Trick has done / is capable of, and refuses to be part of furthering that sort of Machiavellian regime, and he trusts Bo will not go down that path.

      There’s precedence for this; Dyson left his pack when his king disregarded what was right, including the lives of his soldiers. If this is another step in Dyson’s growth, another addition to the moral quandaries the show is tossing around – do you keep your sacred oath when it involves murdering innocents and turning your subjects over for years of torture and abuse? – then I like it very much.

      • chaninkitty says:

        I agree with you melanie,It felt very much as though Dyson was saying that no matter what it came to he would always follow her.On another note I was reading this episode recap on heroes and heartbreakers and it seems the people over there have come to very different conclusions than the rest of us on this blog.Why do you think that is.

        • Melanie says:

          About the episode as a whole, or the Dyson fealty thing?

          Either way, I don’t know! But I’d like to hear what they saw or think differently and why. I’ll take a look at that review. It wouldn’t be the first or last time I missed something, or heard a unique point of view on the episode, or found a metaphor or other TV connection I hadn’t thought of.

        • mactrapp says:

          We will often interpret based on our own biases and prejudices. Its common to see what I want to see…as long as we also understand that about ourselves and be open to new thoughts and insights.

          I guess all that to say that I can see how people can interpret that Bo chooses Lauren or Bo chooses Dyson based on what was said in the Finale. One thing that is clear to me that no one has really refuted in any of the blogs I’ve read is that Dyson and Lauren choose Bo. Lucky girl.

          • Melanie says:

            I’ll be talking about this more when I try to speculate on the ‘where will the triangle be in S5?’ But both definitely chose her, despite her not deserving it much of this season. They gave her their love and trust and anything else she wanted, including some things – advice! muscle! prophesies and fae lore! – she didn’t want. As well, Kenzi and Tamsin, this episode and throughout. It really gets to the core of what love does, does it not? It’s not something we always deserve from those who give it to us, and it’s not always something we give in response to ‘deserving actions and emotions,’ and that’s what makes it powerful and not simply transient emotion.

            /end philosophical rabbit trail

      • Valentina Castillo says:

        what i mean by “fealty” is in the traditional sense, fealty is usually to one lord, regardless of allegiance. you see this in GOT where swearing fealty to Bolton means you’re bound to Bolton, even if they fight for the Starks for the time being. one can’t swear fealty to the Starks when one is bound to Bolton even if they fight for the same side. only if the Bolton lord is dead do you become a free agent and can swear fealty to someone else if you wish. “one cannot serve two masters” and all that. (the Bolton/Stark example was chosen precisely because eventually Bolton turned on the house of Stark)

        i can accept however the precedence of Dyson leaving his pack because his king disregarded what was “right”. but in order for the character growth to make sense for me, it’d be more consistent if he didn’t swear fealty per se to someone else after that (first Trick then Bo), but rather make a lower form of promise (ie. civil partnership instead of marriage sort of thing) so that he had a way out without breaking the honor of his word. to me, if he broke his first oath to his lord in Scotland in the 1500s, then broke his fealty to Trick (i assume the oath he gave to Trick was just as binding as to the Scottish lord in 1500s) by a) pursuing a relationship with Bo against Trick’s express orders and b) giving his fealty to Bo without retracting it from Trick, the lack of evolution in the nature of these oaths suggests to me that Dyson’s word is cheap by Fae standards.

        i do like that you pointed out the “sacred oath vs. murdering innocents” dilemma of Dyson’s that parallel’s Jaime Lannister’s dilemma. yet another LG concept explained by GOT comparisons!

        • Melanie says:

          I know you meant that, but I’m not sure the show meant that. The way it played out in this episode at least treated fealty as allegiance to obey and be on the same side, but not exclusive rights. Because Bo and Trick aren’t at loggerheads right now, I think it’ll fly under the radar, and they won’t address this until something between Trick and Bo comes to a head and Dyson has to come out and say ‘K, I’m with her.’ I could of course be wrong, but it seems Dyson won’t have broken his fealty to Trick without another, positive action which goes against Trick, which hasn’t happened yet; they were fighting on the same side in this episode. And yes, just by pursuing a relationship with Bo against Trick’s ‘orders,’ and giving Trick ultimatums (“If you don’t tell her right now, I will”) seems they’ve got a more ‘modern’ perspective on fealty.

          (Also, I started Game of Thrones, but when my watching partners got ahead I dropped off and haven’t found time or place to finish. I’ve only seen about half or three-quarters the first season.)

          • Valentina Castillo says:

            GET ON GAME OF THRONES!!! IT”S SO GOOD.

            also, shit, i spoiled that bit for you then.

          • chaninkitty says:

            this has nothing whatsoever to do with your post but do you ever wish we could see dyson go full wolf again? We have been halfing it for a while

            • Melanie says:

              I’d love that! I’d also love the resulting fun Kenzi and/or Tamsin could have with the loss of clothing which happens.

              I’m curious how much of the halfing is to do with story, how much with CGI budget and/or animal handling budget, how much with them not wanting to deal with logistics of a naked man running around the city, etc.

  6. So much to process in your review and, as usual, it’s full of insight. I want to mention this:
    “”The spiritual center for crazy pony ladies.” I can’t hear “filly” without connecting it to adolescent discovery of sexuality, which just makes this whole feature of the story that much more interesting, I mean, it’s been about Bo’s delayed development / sexual discovery all along.”

    I thought about the adolescent girl horse obsession as a metaphor for sexual development in both of the last two episodes and wondered why the show didn’t make some mention of it more overtly. Perhaps it means that Bo is through that adolescent phase at last. Her sexuality serves her now as an adult power and something over which she has control. In the scene where Trick mentioned that she could enslave and Rainer mentioned that she could destroy – in both cases with sexual power – she protested that she wouldn’t use herself to fulfill anyone else’s agenda.

    • Melanie says:

      The show is pretty great at not calling out its metaphors, and of all things not to be really explicit about, this is probably near the top.

      I take your point, and I add the fact she’s explicit with Massimo that she can bend her power to her will, stop as well as start.

  7. chaninkitty says:

    So I feel really bad because I have been keeping up with your reviews of lost girl for a little while, and I have only just noticed that it was on wordpress and I was on wordpress so i should probably comment. I found your Blog because i was google-fuing the hell out of other peoples recaps of lost girl.As I felt the show hasn’t gotten enough attention.

    So I’m going to use this review to thank you for your insight and also mention some of the things I have started to think about this past season.Its odd that while I grasp every comment and every allusion to scenes that you have made, when i try and articulate my own thoughts and feelings I always fall short.
    First I want to say that I found rainers death to be extremly anti-climatic and what exactly was he apologizing for at the end?When he said I’m sorry to Bo.Though I am glad he is gone as i really didnt like what Bo was becoming with him in her life.Also I know she ripped up her contract but somehow I dont think ripping up the original contract to the dark means anything.I feel like her being dark may need to be explored a little more.Though i miss when she was unaligned.
    The kenzi thing i started to see a mile away when kenzi first read that little paragraph about Bo’s heart and Tamsin was all does she need to rip her heart out?I was like crap i guess they found Kenzi’s part and then I started to get a really bad feeling about it.
    As for shipper talk,
    The whole Dyson swearing fealty thing, I thought was great it was like he was saying in no unclear terms that in a battle against anyone i am always on your side.(like say trick for instance).Also as a whatever you will take me as.The kiss with dyson to bring Bo back made me squeal with joy as I’m a very rare Team DyBo fan.Though now I feel confused as to her putting on Lauren’s necklace that she gave to her and then going to recue lauren, and then even the kiss with lauren it felt kind of like Dyson loves BO who picks lauren is the little feeling i got from that whole scenario. Which made me kind of sad.Then I also feel as though in this episode we kind of not really talked about the Tamsin/Dyson thing with the looks they gave one another and even the end when he picked her up instead of holding her against him like a fallen solider.It felt very princely?

    I wonder if in season 5 we will have Bo trying to find clues of how to get to Valhalla only with tamsin getting in the way. Maybe she needs the Helskoir shoes to get into valhalla or to enter into HEL.Is this season the last we saw of Vex? When he comes back will he get a butt kicking?When she goes into Valhalla or HEL to get kenzi Valhalla because that is where she should be,but i personally think her soul was taken and put into Hel it would make the stakes even higher for Bo.Anyway while she is there do you think she could pick up hale while she is there?

    Also the whole Lauren/Evony thing is lauren going to ever turn evony back into fae.What is going to happen in that relationship?Is there a relationship.Also was I the only one raising my eyebrows at the banter between Trick and lauren i mean there are more than one ways to end a divide between Light and Dark if you know what i mean.

    • chaninkitty says:

      p.s. Why does everyone still call lauren lauren and not Karen as her name we found out was?

      • Valentina Castillo says:

        because the words Lauren Lewis are imbued with an otherwise unutterable sexiness.

      • Melanie says:

        I was going to say because it’s the name Lauren has chosen, because it’s how everyone met her, and because she continues to refer to herself as such; it’s her chosen moniker, it’s her shaping her own identity and becoming a person separated from a past and events and losing a brother she regrets.

        But, Valentina’s response is funnier.

        • chaninkitty says:

          Does anyone else feel as though Lauren has become a bit of a mary-sue with her hey im a scientist/pickerof locks/eco-terroist and yet she still needs to be rescued when the danger gets rough?Also why is noone angry at her for turning a fae human.I know trick doesnt like Evony but you’d think he would get mad on her behalf on atop of the whole fae vs.human thing

          • Melanie says:

            I think all the characters should (and generally do) take turns being rescued and rescuing, but I do think Lauren’s frequency of being so recently could be verging on Otherwise Perfectly Competent Damsel In Distress (OPCDID, look I coined another thing!). What generally saves it is she’s being rescued by Bo, thus queering the Prince Saving the Damsel trope. Plus, she has rescued Bo and has also saved herself a couple times, mostly via wiles, which is consistent.

            Pragmatically, because the writers don’t have time to deal with the fallout. Otherwise, while on the one hand it makes sense all the characters would be secretly delighted since they don’t like Evony and/or are quasi-moral enemies with her, on the other hand you’re right, at the very least Trick should be furious about a human messing with a fae’s nature, even if deep down he smugly thinks Evony ‘got what she deserved.’

            • chaninkitty says:

              On another note do you also get bothered when they refuse to communicate for example the whole locking up Bo back during the dawning and believing Kenzi over Bo. I was a little shocked at how quickly Bo forgave everyone including girlfriend at the time over that betrayal

              • overainbows says:

                I think to a degree Bo had to agree she was acting very weird and being dangerous even though she was right about Kenzi. She attacked the Dark Fae guy who ended up in a coma, she had turned supersuccubus before, she was suspect of killing the girl she was seen with, later she needed shots to keep her from devolving. She had given them many signs she wasn’t ok so it’s acceptable from their point of view that the Kenzi incident seemed like one more step down the lost of control she was indeed going through.

                • Melanie says:

                  I agree with overrainbows there was precedent and logic behind people thinking Bo was losing it [although cutting the ‘peanut allergy’ line still bugs me, but I get the really tight time constraints, blarg]; she had shown plenty of signs in the preceding episodes there was something off with her, and Faux-Kenzi making opposite allegations and not having been so visibly ‘off’ for a while.

                  I’m with chaninkitty [which, until I had to type out I was reading as ‘chain-kitty,’ so that kind of changes things] in that it’s surprising how quickly Bo forgave Dyson and Lauren and Trick, although finding Kenzi made her understandably relieved, and looking back that could have been on of the things which started her slow-burning frustration with Trick.

                  Tamsin letting her out was a perfect fit for Tamsin’s unpredictability and intuition, and it was a nice step in moving the Tamsin/Bo dynamic forward, and another installment in their concept of chosen family. I really like those developments.

                  Last, Bo did turn around this season and quickly forgive Tamsin’s admission of trying to screw Bo with the potion, so I guess everyone’s benefited from her not holding grudges.

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks for the comment!

      So far as Rainer, maybe he’s apologizing for getting her into this mess? Hard to tell, but I THINK. (and I may be very, very wrong) that only the ‘good side’ of him died. I think the part Lauren found regarding the prophesy, and Tamsin’s insistence that he’s bad news, and Dyson’s concerns, etc., will come to fruition when his dark side/alter ego/Hyde-esque manifestation comes into play. In which case, perhaps that’s what he’s sorry for.

      If there’s anything which can bring Vex back into the fold, as it were, it’d be Kenzi’s death. He feels he needs something from the rest of the gang, but Kenzi’s the only one he actually cares *about.* Dyson obviously has a special bond to Kenzi, and Tamsin and she have a very lovely relationship since her rebirth, and this season showed us Kenzi and Lauren bonding over their humanity and Lauren being adrift, with Kenzi trying to call Lauren and going looking for her in this episode. Even Trick treats her specially. If there’s any one person everyone would move heaven and hel for, it’s Kenzi.

      I talked a little more about Dyson’s fealty to Bo here. I really have felt the whole season as if Bo was headed towards saying she couldn’t choose between Lauren and Dyson so she wanted to have a poly sort of setup, but this episode did make it feel as if she was going to stay with Lauren. Perhaps she and Lauren will negotiate a more open relationship which does include Dyson and/or others; however, I think Dyson and Tamsin may have a chance at something or other, especially now there’s been this fealty bit.

      I’ve rather expected Dyson and Tamsin to hook up since she slugged him in 3.02; it’s a pretty obvious trope, and their prickly relationship was too good to pass up. But if they were going to go beyond bang buddies or comfort-sex partners, I was wondering how they’d keep Tamsin from turning into another Ciara; someone Dyson loves but can’t admit he loves because WOLF DESTINY I SAID SOME WORDS AND NOW I CAN NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE FOR LYYYYYYFE! (I really disliked how painted into a triangle they got with that. If you can’t tell. It actually made me like the DyBo dynamic less. But, I think they have a nice out now, if they want it.)

      There are two easy writearounds for not bringing Hale back while Kenzi gets to come back. The first is that Kenzi was simply taken somewhere else, as it seems possible from what Tamsin says (ie she’s not in Valhalla, but got taken from Tamsin at the gates and put elsewhere, thus no rescue from Valhalla). The second is that Hale, as fae and heir of clan Zamorra, has gone on to some [insert special role/job here] and is at peace. I do not think the show cheapens death by bringing everyone back; in fact, to a small extent, killing Hale off is what enables them to bring Kenzi back, while still giving the show real stakes.

      I’ve got it in my season overview notes to talk about where the Lauren/Evony thing goes. I thought at first Lauren might hold the ‘cure’ over Evony in return for something, but now I wonder if they switch roles a little, and Lauren gets to direct Evony’s new life? I’ll put some more thought into it.

      • chaninkitty says:

        Random little nugget that would have been helpful to us.So we could laugh at the hidden joke the actress who plays tamsin once played in a movie called American Pie Presents Beta House which would have been helpful to know in season 3 so we could have been in on the joke with those two kitsunes

  8. I think this entire season was a big mess of things.
    Kenzi dying pissed me off but mostly because it is obvious she will come back. with all due respect to the all mighty Bo, Kenzi is our hearts as well and without her, to be honest, I don’t know if I’ll keep watching the show.
    As for Rainer, as a character, he is one big missed opportunity. We never really got if he was good or bad, if he really loved Bo or just used her, was his hold on her real or not and once he died, his loss was just as big as his presence in the entire season. small and unimportant.
    Bo’s dad seems to freak everyone out being all powerful and scary and the big bad but to be honest, I don’t find the story line leading up to him that interesting. Now above all you give her daddy issues? come on, that is so lame…
    Evony being human is the best part of the season for me, she is so pitiful and funny, I just love it.
    Dyson and Lauren mooning over Bo- Boring. been there, done that. please move on already.
    Massimo mostly annoyed me, with his Gollum like speech and being all crazy. I just waited for the moment someone finally kills him.
    This season was tiring. I’m not looking forward to the next one if this is the direction they are going to.

  9. overainbows says:

    Melanie, what did you think of Kenzi forgiving Bo so quickly in the season finale? I mean, I didn’t want them to stay apart forever and for Hale’s death to be the only or main cause for this, but I was hoping their friendship status was going to be shaken going into season 5. Kenzi abandoning her and death should be a catalist for Bo to realize how neglectful she has been of everyone she cares about and how far away she strayed from her human side. Kenzi willingly giving herself away sure that Bo was going to rescue her wasn’t as powerful as it could’ve been as if it was more of an accident resulting from Bo’s choices and Kenzi’s fragile situation in the Fae world (Kenzi could still die fighting, she didn’t have to be just a victim). It would tie all these themes together and open the way to discuss them in season 5.

    I got an impression that’s not how it’s going to play out. I thought it could be all connected way back to her Dawning. Bo has been extremely neglectful of her friends since the beginning of season 3 (when her Dawning process started) and when the Kitsune took Kenzi, she said how much she loves Kenzi (and we know she means it!) but after rescuing her she hasn’t really changed her behavior, it only got worse. As the Dawning was a way of her becoming fully Fae, I assumed Bo’s arrogant behavior since then was made on purpose and the writers would address it later. They still could do it, but the way they dropped Bo being lovey-dovey with Rainer to it being just a political partnership, her acceptance of destiny and very specific prophecies being all true made me question things. Do you think they’re still going to revisit these themes?

    Another missed opportunity was Bo’s reaction to Kenzi’s death. It materialized one of Bo’s biggest fear, which is outliving her loved humans. We know in a show like this the heroes will find ways to bring back their loved ones, but it would’ve been nice to see Bo struggling more before getting her bravado in season 5. Maybe they shouldn’t have introduced the Helskor this season. Not to mention, Lauren being able to turn Fae humans could have something to do with all of this in the future. It could be interesting for a character who struggles so much with her nature/roles and her wish to choose the life she will live.

    I don’t want to dislike what they’ve done just because it didn’t meet my expectations, but I do think they really missed huge opportunities to tie in and deepen themes they’ve been playing with for at least 2 seasons, especially when it’s all there, but got brushed over.

    And what did you think of the passing and structure? They seemed to struggle with it again this season, perhaps because of the more serialized structure. I understand they suffered in season 2 because they planned for 13 and got 22, then season 3 was the opposite. The first season was the one that worked better in my opinion.

    • overainbows says:

      *pacing

    • Melanie says:

      I’m answering most of this in the season wrap-up, but one thing which seemed to fit just here is the fact I don’t see Kenzi as a victim at all; I would see her as more so if it had been mistakes by Bo which directly led to her death. She made a clear choice, and sacrificial death is (especially in genre TV) held up as one of the highest things a person can do.

      I do think we’ll see how “It materialized one of Bo’s biggest fear, which is outliving her loved humans,” (well said) at the start of Season 5.

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