Lost Girl: Season 4 Redux

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I was going to write a more thorough breakdown, but then I was invited to talk to Drinks at the Dal in their season overview podcast (which you can watch live this Sunday and/or listen to later). We’re going to talk about structure and pacing and motifs and color and character arcs and all those sorts of things, so rather than redundantly repeat myself, I’ll just give you a quick intro and get into speculation – er, answering questions.

The show has certainly morphed from being more like Buffy to more like LOST. Both are things I love, but are also very, very different. The back end of this season was definitely overloaded with Big Picture plot, (though the climactic plot was more clearly spread out through the season than last), and it also suffered Spider-man 3 syndrome of having a lot of villains in a close space. If I had my druthers, Season 5 would stick closer to the relationships of the main cast, play on tropes within individual episodes, and keep the meta arcs on the smaller side of the spectrum with a smaller, Bo-centric story. Ie. more like Season 1 and the first halves of the rest of the seasons.

“Dark Horse” definitely sets up a starting arc for next season, and though Daddy will probably show up at some point, they effectively ditched Rainer and Daddy both in the same episode (neatly wrapping the three main external conflict plotlines within a couple episodes, though not answering all questions associated therewith), and can decide not to revisit Rainer if they don’t want. There’s still option to bring Daddy back when it’s convenient, even if that’s halfway through Season 5 – I am of course presuming at least the first couple episodes will be dedicated to getting Kenzi back.

And now the questions. I got some which were similar, so I combined or picked one representative question. Questions may be edited for clarity, etc., especially if I broke them from a larger paragraph. Last, please of course take everything with a grain of salt, and hit the comments for further discussion.

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What was in the box from episode 1?

The Una Mens.

Why did the Una Mens want the Helskor? Why were 9 episodes evoted 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?

The Una Mens stand on their own as the best kind of villains: those who eschew emotions and thus underscore how relationships and humanity are important even when including unimaginable pain; those whose monotone insistence upon letters of the law is maddening and unarguable; those whose schemes introduce the possibility of period and/or fantastical episodes like La Fae Epoque.

They wanted the helskor because they’re baddies, naturally, but also because it would solidify their power, and they believe they should have the maximum control, the better to impose their logical, stringent, fundamentalist rule.

As for how easily they were defeated, it rather amused me. They had a large Achilles heel, and once it was exploited, they got an anticlimactic end to contrast with their overdramatic presence.

Rainer’s death was also rather anticlimactic, which is why I’m not sure we’ve seen the end of him, though we may have seen the end of this side of him. (dun dun duuuuuun)

If Rainer was on the train and Papa-Pyrippus was trapped in a pyramid, who hired Tamsin to find Bo? 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”? 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? What about the relationship between Rainer and the horned demon in the book Lauren found?

I have a theory that what/who we saw die is just one half of a manifestation. IE Rainer, the beautiful, mostly ‘good’ Jekyll side died. The monstrous-beast-alter-ego which hired Tamsin and controlled Munin and Hugin did not die, or at least we did not see him die; perhaps he died with Rainer but we never saw him active. This also solves the incongruity between what everyone kept telling Bo about Rainer and what she and we saw. Thus Rainer’s alter ego, or one of the other two people on the train, could have snagged Bo, but I don’t know they actually plan to clear this up.

I’m not sure it was Rainer who was the demon in the prophesy, though . . . Bo appeared in the medieval painting, and perhaps it means she is to wreck torment beyond comparison, as she saw in her nightmare flashes before the dawning and after her sucking dry the rando outside the Dal at the start of Season 3.

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” because the Pyrippus was using them to get himself freed?

That’s how I took its effects, though I’m not positive how the mark got onto them; there were at least two other beings on the train who could have facilitated it, or they could have been mystically driven to mark each other while being controlled. Then how did they get controlled in the first place? Yep, good question.

Did you think they were simply trying to feed the fandom or continue the love triangle with Dyson professing his love in this episode?

While see it as a romantic gesture, I don’t think Dyson was merely professing his love; I think he’s going far further out on the chivalrous limb and declaring he’ll side with Bo even – especially – if it means going against Trick. While it may be cheating to assume everything we the audience has seen of Trick this season informs Dyson’s decisions, the way the show informs characters of things offscreen rather than have redundant conversations onscreen supports this. I see it as Dyson rejecting Trick’s sort of governing and throwing his lot in with Bo, and this practically guarantees it wasn’t merely a gesture towards the triangle and/or fandom.

How symbolic is Bo wearing the necklace to go save Lauren and also wearing it when she goes to visit Kenzi’s grave?

I saw Bo wearing the necklace similar to Dyson’s gesture: somewhat romantic, surely, but also more: in this case, a signal she’s accepted Lauren’s autonomy. Specifically, she’s accepted Lauren’s decision to leave the Light, and possibly it means acceptance of Lauren’s future decisions, whether it be to leave the Fae, emancipate herself from both sides, tear down the binary system, etc.

How far it’s meant to mirror Lauren’s wearing a necklace for three seasons remains to be seen. It’s also a strong signal they’re going to restart their relationship, but Bo’s always been better at big gestures than the mundane details of actually processing and sorting things, so I really hope she has a good sit-down with Lauren about what it actually means, rather than thinking this gesture solves all their problems (and there are many).

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.

I get the show, as most genre shows, tends to put a lot of weight in its words, “I’m your heart” being probably the most prime of examples. But I see Lauren telling Bo “I’m yours” as a romantic figure of speech, no more or less. “I give you my body and soul” doesn’t mean you actually hand someone your soul.

What about Lauren & Evony?

They took steps to point out Lauren feels responsible for Evony, and it seems possibly Evony becomes Lauren’s progeny of sorts; even a sort of True Blood idea where one fully grown adult becomes a sort of parent to another fully grown ‘offspring,’ teaching her the ways of the world and her new powers or lack thereof? Your guess is as good as mine, really, but limiting the Morrigan’s seemingly boundless power is probably a good move for a show of this scale (just as they neutered Vex), and it also presents some interesting narrative potential, so I’m game to see where it goes. I think a short sequence of Evony trying to keep her powerful position has humorous potential, and if she does get her powers back perhaps she’ll be more prudent with them.

Do you think the triangle still exists?

If they want it to.

Bo seemed unable to choose most anything or anyone this season, though some of that may have been affected by Rainer / whatever weird whammy they were under. What is clear is both Dyson and Lauren choose Bo, despite her not ‘deserving’ it much of this season. They gave her love and trust and sexytimes and anything else she wanted, including some things – advice! muscle! prophesies and fae lore! – she didn’t want. As well, Kenzi and Tamsin gave Bo what she needed despite her often ignoring them for shinier objects. It really gets to the core of what love does: 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. Wait, am I off topic?

Romantically, I’m not sure Bo keeps up the triangle act. Tamsin’s interruption of Bo and Dyson keeps the episode from committing to that side of the triangle next season and underscores its romantic tones because Tamsin reacts to seeing both people she has a thing for in each others’ arms. Other than wanting Tamsin to be able to catch a break, any break, I thought having her come in there was a brilliant way to move the episode along and avoid fully answering the question, as well as reminding us there are more than just two options for Bo, should she choose to examine them.

I don’t know the triangle will continue as it was. That is, between Tamsin and Dyson getting hot and heavy, and Bo seemingly signaling she’s going to be with Lauren in some capacity – ie be with someone who is willing to open the relationship up – and regenerated Tamsin clearly having some feelings, and presumably new actors joining the cast, there may be a couple different configurations the thing could take. Let’s be practical; at the least, there won’t be a lot of time for choosing anyone and going on dates for least 3-4 episodes while Bo and Co. get Kenzi back. The sexual tension continues!

That said, Season five is a 13-episode order, so whoever is going to be together, in whatever configuration, I vote they release online shorts which have nothing but all of them in small groups processing their past relationship stages and why they failed and how to fix it. Then when we begin, we can, erm, get right to it. I mean, for a succubus, Bo didn’t do a whole lot of going wild this season . . . 

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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.

YES. It being Bo alone is absolutely what made the voiceover plausible, and as it was a gravestone rather than open graveside we can accept the rest of everyone paid their respects and was giving Bo space to grieve.

When Dyson finds Tamsin outside the gates to Valhalla, Tamsin said that Kenzi was “gone” . . . 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?

Likely. Plus, that set could be recreated a lot of placed, it doesn’t require a specific building or whatnot.

WHY DID THEY KILL THE ONLY PERSON OF COLOR?

I have zero problem, narratively, with killing Hale. Hale wasn’t even the first significant love interest to die; that would be a straight white chick. Hale was the perfect logical choice of the remaining S1 characters who started this show, and it worked for the story.

My problem is with the fact he was the only remaining significant POC in the first place. Hale’s story was incredibly promising – fae of privilege who becomes a lowly cop and fights the system and has a human partner who fae and his family both treat as a pet, etc. – and it vanished. Even without that narrative richness, Hale was still great, and the only non-white main-ish character left. The rest have been killed or their stories dropped. That’s the real issue.

I get that on-screen Kenzi and Hale are 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.

Kenzi and Hale have been hinted at since Season 1, the fans loved it, and the actors sold it (partially on the goodwill, hopes, and dreams of the fans). It was convenient and rushed for the denouement, absolutely, but the bread crumbs have been liberally scattered for a while. While the relationship happened organically, the engagement was a quicky, a fairly blatant plot device. It marked Hale for death and artificially quickened the progression of their relationship; it heightened the stakes for Kenzi in the same way Hale’s death overall raised the stakes for the show.

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).

No idea. Don’t think it’s been established. If I were a writer, though, I’d pretty quickly establish that Bo/fae in general can’t revive humans at all. It solves this problem, but more broadly it also solves some potential worldbuilding problems about ‘well Bo/whomeer should just go to hospitals and cure everyone and be a Jesus/Neo figure!’ or ‘once humans discover fae can’t they just use them as an eternal life source, at gunpoint or by paying them or whatever.’

Why 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?

It’s shorthand. She does also refer to them as ‘mommy dearest’ and ‘daddy darko,’ so I don’t think it’s meant to suggest she thinks of them in endearing terms. And despite her reconciliation with her mother in “There’s Bo Place Like Home,” she doesn’t have deep and abiding connection with her other parental figures, either.

What about the vision Bo saw in Season 3 where she was being cradled lovingly by what she recognized to be “her father.”

Good question! Anyone? Bueller?

Is Trick still a despot? How much of his past has he repented of?

Once a despot, always a despot, but he’ll fight to preserve himself and show repentance where he needs to, and govern as judiciously as he needs to to keep his power. I take Dyson’s swearing fealty to Bo partly as a sign he doesn’t trust Trick’s position as Ash in the slightest.

What about Tamsin and 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?

Probably the same as Dyson and Trick have now; working towards a common goal while they must, but very, very wary of each other.

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 forgave her best friend because she knew if she died with Bo thinking she was still angry, Bo would be even more devastated. Kenzi was still hurt and emotional over Bo’s actions (not just irrationally upset about Bo ‘letting’ Hale die, but angry over the way Bo had been neglecting their friendship for Rainer), but she loves Bo, and thus she chokes that down and forgive her for both their sakes. After all, if you’re about to die, you should take the good and relinquish the bad, and you definitely don’t leave your closest loved one burdened with maximum guilt.

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. Do you think they’re still going to revisit these themes?

I hope this is a catalyst for Bo to come back to her chosen family and make some changes in herself. I think the lovey-dovey with Rainer had to do with her . . . whatever you want to call it, enchantment. It does feel like this season was a small series of events which happened under a really specific set of manipulated circumstances and they can still easily go back and hit the fae-vs-humans theme which was mostly dropped (and that includes how the S3 finale essentially declared war on all humans, but then mostly jettisoned that idea).

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.

We’ll get more into this in the podcast, but yes. Though I think only one episode really spun its wheels, and most worked as standalone, there was just so. much. arc. going on, plus the standalone Monsters/Episode Tropes Of the Week (METOWs). They did do more this season than last to tie the METOWs into the overarching narrative (the helskor, Ianka, Massimo), but to add the Una Mens, Rainer, erased memories, backstories for everyone! (Lauren, Dyson, Tamsin, Kenzi, and Trick), mythological nods to Krampus and Odin, whole episodes of metaphors unrelated to any of these arcs . . . it was just too much for 13 episodes to easily, comprehensively handle.

Comments
10 Responses to “Lost Girl: Season 4 Redux”
  1. Valentina Castillo says:

    is it weird that while reading this very wonderful, well-thought-out exposition, all i could think of was the glorious hairporn of Dr Arizona Robbins?

  2. Jack says:

    >I have a theory that what/who we saw die is just one half of a manifestation.
    To elaborate on that… Bo’s biological father has been imprisoned since Bo was a baby; i.e. most of Bo’s life. Rainer has been imprisoned during Tamsin’s second series of lives. The Dark King ruled the Dark Fae for most of Aife’s life. The Wanderer appeared at the end of season 3 and we haven’t seen him again. And then we have the Pyrippus which might be imprisoned for most of Trick’s life given that other Fae think it’s a myth.
    So we have the following manifestations: (1) dark king cq. Bo’s father; (2) Rainer, the Defiant; (3) The Wanderer; and (4) the Pyrippus.
    And it’s at this point I want to add Trick to the list of manifestations. In other words, I’m starting to wonder if every manifestation I listed, is simply a version of the original Blood King.
    Because the interesting aspect that season 4 has revealed about Trick’s powers, is that it involves more than “power at a price”…with usually his family paying the price. Trick’s power might be able to alter reality in some way, but the alteration seems to include the recipe to undo the changes that Trick made. In other words, every time Trick writes something in a book using his blood, a prophecy is created.
    So here’s the timeline I envision: the original Blood King removes the most evil part of himself which becomes the Pyrippus which is imprisoned so long that most Fae think it’s a myth. Then we have the Blood King from the flashbacks fighting Rainer the Defiant. Coincidence, I think not, given that these two are perfectly matched. Rainer gets put on that train, and who takes his place? The Dark King. We basically went from a rebellion, to a stand-off between Light Fae and Dark Fae. The death of his wife Isabeau, the death and banishing of Rainer, and the creation of Dark Fae/Light Fae (and the Una Mens) seemed to have happened during the same time period.
    And then we get to Bo’s timeline: Bo is born, Aife escapes prison, the Dark King is somehow absent, and the Wanderer of season 3 is wandering around.
    It would seem that the Garuda was more right than we would have thought. Which brings Bo’s vision of killing Trick (I forgot the details) into a new perspective. And given all the prophecies surrounding Bo, I think it’s not far-fetched to believe that Bo’s purpose in life is to undo all the changes to reality that Trick/Blood King made.

  3. Valentina Castillo says:

    Thank you, by the way, for addressing some of my questions.
    the thing for me is that i’m not sure how much weight to put on words (ie. a figure of speech as in modern usage vs. a “word of honor” in the archaic sense vs. blood oath zomgYourFamilyShallBeCursedForGenerationsIfYouBreakIt) because this is a genre show with butchered lore. so for example “i’m yours” takes different meanings in different cases:
    – Lauren to The Ash
    – Lauren to Bo
    – Dyson to Bo
    – Dyson to Trick

    my confusion comes because there are no markers to signal the switch in convention they’re calling up (modern vs. archaic)

    • Jack says:

      To me the answer is obvious: context. But you seem to be implying that you’re not recognizing the contextual clues. I’m not saying you’re dumb, or anything like that. For example, I seem to have a problem recognizing thematic cues, and wouldn’t have recognized the theme of alienating family if Melanie and other reviewers hadn’t pointed it out.
      So the question then becomes: how do we recognize clues we consistently fail to recognize? Maybe Melanie has a good answer, because I don’t.
      Anyway:
      – Lauren to The Ash
      This is not about romantic love, nor about loyalty to someone you care about, so what remains is Lauren re-affirming her indentured servitude.
      – Lauren to Bo
      Obviously romantic love.
      – Dyson to Bo
      Not about romantic love, yet also not so abstract as “loyalty for personal honour” so it becomes loyalty to someone he cares about.
      – Dyson to Trick
      Definitely loyalty for personal honour.

      • Valentina Castillo says:

        well i am aware of the contextual clues. i’m just saying they’re insufficient for a show of this genre and tropes applied.
        especially when they do things like:
        Episode 405:
        Bo: ….Claim you if i have to….
        Lauren: no one’s claiming me, not even you

        Episode 413:
        Lauren to Bo: i’m yours.

        i find that confusing. i’m not sure how it’s “obvious” this statement is purely romantic love and nothing else.

        and again
        Episode 406:
        Dyson to Bo, while boinking: Bo look at me, please…!

        Episode 413:
        Dyson to Bo: i’m yours.

        how is this statement of Dyson to Bo “obviously” more about allegiance than romantic love?

  4. Sally says:

    I loved this blog post! I had pondered trying to map out the timeline of when things happened from Season 3 into Season 4, plotwise, and who did what and why in the cases where it was unclear or unanswered, but you’ve answered many of the questions I had. So I’ll just link to your blog. ;)

    I have a couple of follow-up questions:

    1. Why did the Una Mens (RIP) have to travel as black goo in a wicker box? Why can’t they walk around or use the Fae travel agent that Bo used in Season 2? I didn’t think it was too clear for WHY other than it being a dramatic scene in 4.01 to show a mysterious oozing box.

    2. Any opinions on who kidnapped Lauren? She says it was the Morrigan, and I believe her, but I swear that the voice over the intercom when she and Crystal were being held prisoner was Trick’s voice. That was either a red herring meant to confuse us (though a viewer did say that the camera angle when the door finally opened appeared to be shot from the perspective of a shorter person, also implying that it was Trick), or there was an as-yet un-clarified conspiracy between Trick and the Morrigan to monitor Lauren’s movements and recapture her if she tried to escape again.

    As for Bo’s vision of being cradled lovingly by her father when she was an infant, if we take that to be a true vision and not a distortion engineered by the Pyrippus, I believe it’s possible that her father may have cradled her lovingly. We’ve seen in Lost Girl that very few characters are all good or all bad, and it’s not unreasonable to think that a new father might feel tender towards his infant offspring, even if he does have a nefarious plan to make her into his evil queen once she’s grown up.

    If it wasn’t a true vision, then it’s probably akin to the visions of carousels that Bo kept seeing, just something to pique her curiosity about her father and to make her have positive feelings about him so she will be motivated to seek him out (and release him from his prison).

    • Melanie says:

      Glad you enjoyed!

      1. Because they’re eeeeeeeeeevil? Because goo is the absolute peak of travel in Fae culture? I agree it was probably mostly for aesthetic value, though if someone wanted to, she could probably argue it was changing the memories/present which brought it to pass and that’s why we never saw the black ooze again.

      2. The camera angle was too low to be Trick’s POV, *and* Lauren’s eyeline wasn’t close enough to the camera to suggest the camera was supposed to approximate the door-opener’s POV. ‘Come on Melanie, now you’re parsing eyelines?’ Well, I’m saying if they meant the camera angle to be a short someone’s point of view, then they would have been more careful to direct Zoie Palmer’s eyeline downwards; she’s looking well above the camera. I take the camera angle to be either simply an interesting visual [which it really is] or a suggestion that the captor/audience is supposed to be ‘looking up to’ Lauren and the actions she just took.

      As for the question about Bo’s vision, I think it was more a question about timeline, as in ‘wasn’t Bo’s father held in the swirling vortex of evil when she was born and spirited away?’

  5. Valentina Castillo says:

    i was thinking about LG recently (weird. i didn’t think i do that anymore) and seems to me that over the seasons, as popular Dark Fae characters such as Vex, Bruce and Evony The Morrigan became season regulars they have also all eventually become “neutered” in some way (Vex first lost his powers from “old age” and ran to align with the Light because it was politically convenient, THEN lost hand to Mesmer Gangrene after he swung back to the Dark in the webisodes of “Season 3.5″, Bruce lost his autonomy in personhood after he made friends with Kenzi and was enslaved to Kai, and FINALLY the Darkests of the Dark, The Morrigan, was stripped of her powers by Lauren’s Magical Vagina Serum) which suggests that the writers are taking a pro-Light-Fae slant, which i find incongruous for a show in which a central premise is that the protagonist is strictly bi-partisan (among bi-other things).

    any thoughts about this?

    • Melanie says:

      It seems to be a corrective measure for overloading the Dark with powers in the first place. Trick’s powers have essentially been neutered because of their (usually unintended) consequences, but Dyson’s powers are basically the ability to get super strong. It only works when touching you. Lachlan’s was in his venom, which still had to touch or be bitten into you. Then we have Bo, who generally works via touch, other than when under extreme duress, but is supposed to be among the most powerful of the Fae.

      Now you bring in Vex who can kill you from across the room an leave no marks, Aife who can do most anything Bo could at first, Evony who can literally wave you into oblivion, Tamsin who can bring a whole room of soldiers to their knees . . . it’s pretty heavily weighted towards the Dark. (Bruce was always more muscle than anything, and he didn’t lose powers so much as lose privilege for defying the Morrigan. He didn’t lose his strength, and his personhood troubles are more parallel with Lauren’s and Kenzi’s stories.)

      I still think it’s a move towards the downfall of the fae system at large, though, possibly including their powers. Not to mention Evony may still regain some or all of her powers, as Vex did.

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