SPOILER ALERT I generally try to time my reviews to coincide with the American airing, but as ShowCase already aired and SyFy is not airing until next week, I’m not going to wait. Read at your own risk, but I will not be holding back. This is your last and only warning.
I mean it.
We open a few seconds after we left off. Bo is punching the chi out of the guard in an attempt to save Tamsin. When that fails, she tries a starry-eyed monologue for help, and then somehow we’re back at the clubhouse with an unconscious Tamsin on the couch and two Kitsune sorority sisters making out in the background.
I know. Not what I was expecting, either.
In the next couple disorienting minutes, Bo learns Tamsin is associated with a bad character, “like, Voldemort bad,” and we all learn Tamsin lives long and can self-heal to some extent, and at one point lived with the sorority girls. This possibly solves the mystery of Why Is Tamsin Living Out Of Her Truck.
While waiting for Tamsin to come to, Bo calls Kenzi. The framing on Kenzi is so extreme, I knew the wide shot would be ridiculous, and it didn’t disappoint. A tattooed beefstick is holding Kenzi, better for The Morrigan to taunt and threaten, my dear. Despite Kenzi flattering The Morrigan’s footwear, she’s saved from a severe tazing only by the gem Hale slipped her (not an innuendo, or is it?). The Morrigan, frustrated and not exactly long on patience, tells beefstick to take Kenzi out and kill her. Very Snow White’s Evil Stepmother.
Tamsin wakes up and is more flustered by thinking Bo may know something about her past than by the fact her hair is dying and she’s been listick’d. She’s even less thrilled to hear Bo’s plan consists of marching back to Isaac’s compound and getting arrested at gunpoint. Tamsin insists they make a stop to see the much-better-dressed-than-last-time Mossimo, who serves as Tamsin’s dealer of ‘juice’ and also the Rune glass. When they do meet the guards again, it takes them about ten seconds to get hauled in. “All we had to do is act like girls,” Tamsin pouts on her way in to the . . . I can’t help but call it a castle.
Meanwhile, things have happened quickly in the castle. Dyson and Lauren have gleaned from (a somewhat loopier-than-usual) Aife that Isaac is after powerful Fae. Last week, reader Rachel mentioned similarities between Gabriel (a Biblical angel reference) and Mengele, the Nazi Avenging Angel, and this episode makes it immediately clear Isaac is looking for the strongest of the master race to imbue himself with their strength and powers. Several Fae appear in background cages, and we assume they’re exemplary species.
The only non-powerful Fae in prison is a cabbit, a mythological hybrid between a rabbit and a cat. The wife of the now-deceased bartender, she’s slinky like a cat has 38 children like a rabbit. You don’t just introduce a character like this without her having some ramifications later, but at first she played like a humorous relief and a way for Lauren to flex her muscles a little and order Isaac around.
After Isaac gives Lauren what she wants – 10 minutes and some medical supplies to do her doctor thing – he takes her to his, um, throne room and waves his, ah, bone scepter at her while trying to seduce her. Move along, nothing symbolic here.
Man, does this guy not know how to woo a woman. Or how to tell which way she swings.
The most interesting part of Isaac’s story is that he, like Aife before him, was mostly a victim of circumstance. Both Isaac and Aife were neutral if misguided characters; it was insane asylums, imprisonment, and torture that made them insane and sociopathic. Miscarriage of justice and mistreatment led to their murderous rampages, not the other way around.
As his final act, Gabriel wants to ascend, like Lucifer wanted to, once upon a time. Lauren makes a decent, last-ditch threat the Light Fae will find him and take more than his head, but he’s put a lot of time, thought, and money into turning into a “cross-breed,” and he’s not about to stop now. He later uses the word ‘reborn,’ which also carries a lot of biblical implications. He’s obviously thinking on a grand scale.
Now the plotlines begin to converge. Bo is brought before Isaac, and Lauren cuts off their reunion with a curt “You came for Dyson.” Ignoring the overtly suggestive implications in that sentence, Lauren is pulling out all the stops to convince Isaac she has rejected Bo and is completely sold out for Isaac’s plan – not because Lauren believes in what Isaac wants, but because she sees this as a way out from under the Fae entirely. She even uses ‘loved,’ past tense.
It’s telling when Lauren verbally eviscerates Bo, she places herself between Bo and Isaac, showing only Bo her face while turning her back on Isaac. Everything Lauren says to Bo about her own situation is still true, from her pain at being abused for years at the hands of the Fae to wanting to do something meaningful. Isaac hears it as an endorsement of his experiment, but Lauren means quite a different thing entirely.
While Bo is taken back to her cell, Isaac waves a horsehair doodad, then goes to the operating room where Dyson is bolted down. He proceeds to fulfill homoerotic subtext which makes the Skyfall scene pale in comparison. He tickles Dyson’s feet and calls him “the most magnificent creature I have ever encountered” before leaning over and saying “I can’t wait to be the recipient of all that you have.”
I mean, really.
This subtext is topped only by the next scene’s subtext, where Tamsin gets super-charged while Bo gets an extra jolt. There’s so much sexual tension resolved you have to wonder if they planned the story around the imagery, rather than the other way around.
Let me back up a moment. When I start reviewing Lost Girl from the beginning (next week! mark your calendars), I plan to talk about how the scenes depicting sex between Bo/various men and Bo/various women differ, and why. There’s the obvious issue of directors having to cover more parts with the ladies (hi, FCC / CRTC!), there are aesthetic choices depending on what the scene is trying to get across, there is character personality to take into account, etc.
Interestingly, there has so far been no on-screen audio or visual depiction of orgasm when Bo was with a woman only (plenty of audio intimation in 1.04 when she had a threesome). There’s plenty of aftermath and suggestion of what just happened. One could argue for a little bit of 03.04, perhaps. But the first time there’s a visible orgasm during a woman/woman liaison is here, and it’s all metaphorical.
And what. a. metaphor. Lost Girl has plenty of phallic imagery (especially when Bo pulls that knife on guys; something else I plan to address with my upcoming episodic analysis), but has stuck to intimations and a couple joke-y references about battery-powered things and women making other women climax.
Until Bo sticks a needle into Tamsin, yanks her hair back, pushes the plunger while sucking her chi, and they make that face and those sounds; simultaneously, no less. I haven’t seen this better done since, well,
Also, Tamsin immediately makes a trojan joke.
So let’s make no mistake, while Tamsin and Bo didn’t jump into bed, they had metaphorical sex the way sci-fi does best: via suggestion, needles, and some after-effect blue sparklies.
I’m sorry, where was I? Ah yes. Bo and Tamsin proceed to take out the entire room of guards and free the prisoners. Bo and Aife run for it . . . straight into a freshly-mutated Isaac. He refers to Bo and Aife as ‘pets,’ which is a reversal of humans calling Fae that, and about to have an even better second meaning (hint: bunnies). Isaac goes for Bo with a knife, and – as we all knew she would – Aife steps in the way and takes the knife for Bo, traditionally a father-for-son sacrifice. When Bo has to run out following Tamsin and some shaky logic, Aife reflexively feeds on the cabbit to gain her strength. It’s just as well. Evil/Crazy Aife is good for the story.
It’s getting pretty heavy, so time for a little comic relief, as usual, via Kenzi, who is melting her beefstick Bruce into puddles. More surprising than Bruce’s being Hale’s employee is his Ph.D in medieval Fae verse. That face tattoo is more than shorthand for ‘badass,’ it probably references Chaucer.
The important takeaway from their interaction is that Kenzi confirms she wants to become Fae, the better to rescue her friends. Bruce’s response is ‘I’m coming with you, and we’re taking The Morrigan’s car,’ to which Kenzi squeals “I love you.” Dude’s not the greatest actor, but his delivery of “I love you, too” is priceless.
Back to the dark stuff: Tamsin’s betrayal and her showdown with Bo has finally arrived, and other than one awfully-timed reaction to being hit with a platter, it’s pretty epic. Tamsin and Bo really bring the toys to the party, and after they throw down, they bring the emotional impact, too. This one fight and post-fight conversation carried more weight than most of the Dawning. Bo and Tamsin may not love or trust each other (yet?), but there’s a deep-seated mutual respect.
No such thing exists between Dyson and Isaac, despite Issac claiming “we’re connected.” When Lauren told Dyson she injected him with six doses of anesthetic, my immediate guess was she gave Dyson something she knew he could handle and Isaac couldn’t, or something that would mutate with werewolf bone marrow. I was missing the more obvious answer, which was Lauren taking her time helping the cabbit to extract bone marrow, too. As cabbit-marrow turns Isaac into natural wolf-bait, it’s a pretty perfect solution, though I personally think making Isaac bear 38 children would be far worse. Brava, Lauren. (More of my thoughts about the whole Lauren plotline below.)
Tamsin picks up Dyson post-feed, and they start back towards the Dal to meet Bo when the truck stereo goes haywire and Tamsin sees The Wanderer in the road ahead – apparently his theme music gets broadcast in a 1000-foot radius. She floors it, only to hit a vapor which sends the truck over a convenient cliff. The vapor immediately shows up at the Dal to take Bo and leave a calling card in broken glass, thoughtfully composed so as to make a perfect final shot for the season.
TO SUM UP
While sending two characters over a cliff in a truck, leaving another character MIA, and abducting our main succubus all count as cliffhangers, there’s another one: Tamsin says the hairs are woven together “with the kiss of someone who will never betray you.” That someone is Kenzi, and the rune glass fails to work at all. Dollars to donuts this crops up again, and not in a good way.
This episode packs a lot into 44 minutes, but doesn’t resolve much other than Isaac. Tamsin got the most backstory, and Lauren is MIA after the surgery, which means the writers can do anything at all with her. She could still be a hostage. She can be trying to use this as a way to escape all Fae. She could be trying to rescue Bo and/or Dyson and Tamsin. Poor Lauren. She’s the perfect writer’s punching bag.
Speaking of Lauren. I can like the way a show does something without liking what it’s actually doing. I can like what a show does, without liking how it goes about it. (Luther, in particular, infuriates me both ways.) But there’s another category: loving what an episode does, and how it does it, but not the characters it uses for specific plot lines. Whether Lauren falls into this category or not for me depends entirely on one thing: when she knew what she knew; specifically, what Isaac is.
I would have been disappointed if Lauren had been playing this game for weeks. For Lauren – the character who in the first season talks about not being out in the field; who wants to carefully, with backup, figure out the best plan of attack; who is better with her wits than her physical capabilities – to take it upon herself to go alone, unarmed, and with no backup into Isaac’s castle would be unthinkable.
But Melanie, you say, it’s for story, like you mentioned the last episode did. Sure, willing suspension of disbelief has already been raised to a new form by modern sci-fi and fantasy (can I just call it sci-fan for short? I feel like this should already be a thing). We’re talking vampires and aliens and succubi. But.
What is so great about sci-fan is its ability to get to the truth of humanity in ways dramas and even comedies often can’t. It can explore our deepest fears in visceral ways, and bring to life our nightmares to teach us how to slay them. To do all this in the best way, its emotions, characterizations, and basic functions still need to be recognizable and consistent. Unless you have a character like Spock, who is supposed to lack human traits in order to help us figure them out, you have to keep humans acting in a way they would in ‘real life’, even if they’re in a campy atmosphere or occasionally stretch a reaction ot two. If careful Lauren, one of only two humans in the main group of characters, acts so out-of-her-established-personality as to seamlessly go undercover and change the basis of her character’s personality for three whole episodes, it blows the whole arc up for me.
Which is all to say, though the story isn’t clearly settled yet, the sense I get is Lauren wasn’t fully aware what she was walking into (partly due to her emotional reaction to go with Taft, partly due to the Light Fae’s insistence at keeping her in the dark, partly due to necessities of story), but managed to save the day anyways.
Everyone else stayed fairly true, as well. Kenzi was feisty and hilarious, while getting herself out of a scrape this time. Aife rambled. Tamsin came to her inevitable conclusion and fought her damndest but was ultimately swayed by mutual admiration and Bo’s goodness. Dyson got to hunt stuff. Hale ditched the politics which were dragging him down. Trick rode off into the sunset with Stella, probably to take a couple episodes off, only to return with more encyclopedic knowledge. The whole series is about Bo’s evolution from someone who is wholly lost to someone who knows herself, is a better person, and has found family, and while this episode didn’t do a lot for Bo, this season has, and I think her run-in with The Wanderer will kickstart another steep learning curve.
Thus, though we end on several cliffhangers, I’m quite happy how the whole thing went.
Bo/some writer really likes the word ‘kinky.’ It’s a fun word. Kinky kinky kinky.
Split ends. A fate worse than death.
Exactly WHICH battles did TamTam influence with the blink of her smoky eyes?
I don’t know where the magical rock garden is that Hale and Lauren get their stones from, but it’d come in great handy if I could find out.
I love that you can’t quite tell whether Tamsin would love or hate ‘slut heaven.’
Tamsin finally openly admits she’s willing to fight for Dyson. Season 4 love rhombus! But Dyson, word from the wise: if someone’s near-dying wish is that you get her Wilco bootleg, that’s true love.
Tamsin calling Bo ‘Meryl Streep’ was one of at least five movie references, including Wrath of the Titans, Pretty Woman, and Back to the Future.
“You really are the chosen one.” Chosen one as in female Christ-figure, as well as mythological implications?
I hope Bruce becomes a running guest star, a la Ranjit in HIMYM.
“It’s like my birthday, La Shoshan, and the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, all rolled into one.” Ah, I missed Vex.
The after-effects were pretty pedestrian; but then, they spent a lot of money on actors, sets, and likely Tamsin’s rocking jacket for this episode.
Wow, do those set designers ever like their squares.
Note something I missed or didn’t mention? Disagree entirely with a point or three? Want to ask about something specific in a Season 1 episode that I’m going to recap in the coming weeks? Let me know in the comments, or see the About/Contact page.