Lost Girl: Season 01, Episode 11, Faetal Justice

Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.

The episode opens in Vex’s bar with so much testosterone, it’s almost tangible. Threats, pushing, literal growling. Dyson snarls, thanks Vex sarcastically for the drink, and leaves. Jump to an ominous shot by the light of a flickering streetlamp outside the clubhouse. Turns out it’s not just predicting Dyson’s dangerous situation, it’s shuddering at the though of Kenzi and Bo inside, working over a disastrous pot of chili and foreshadowing ‘I wish I knew Dyson’s deep dark secrets’ before we cut back to the rather vampire-ish-ly titled Carpe Noctum.

‘A wolf and a bouncer walked out of a bar . . . SPLAT!’ Arterial spray decorates the alley walls. Aaaaand roll theme, then fade up on a bloody, disoriented Dyson and the body of a dead Ba’al.

'Is this a sex thing, because that . . . Wait, murder thing. It's a murder thing. Uh-oh.'

Dyson runs immediately to the Dal, where Bo and Kenzi have conveniently moved their conversation about wanting to know more of Dyson’s past. He invokes sanctuary, right before Hale calls and confirms it’s as bad as he thought – cops and Fae are looking for him. Bo jumps into savior mode, and Dyson predictably balks, but not simply for chivalrous reasons, but because Ba’al is in league with Vex. Oh yes, Vex is back. Bo angrily demands why Dyson kept this information from her, and the way Trick steps in and distracts her suggests it was Trick’s idea.

Six minutes in, we have a few intriguing setups. The ‘past rival ends up dead,’ the ‘did he actually do it?’ the ‘innocent man in hiding,’ the ‘man of action forced to sit by,’ and shortly, the ‘past partner is investigating current partner.’ Were this a Hitchcock film or Tom Cruise vehicle, Dyson would be prowling the streets for his own justice. Instead, he allows Bo (and Kenzi) to go as his surrogates.

Don't they inspire confidence as crime-solvers?

Hale isn’t happy with ‘the girls’ poking around, but admits their ability to go into dark Fae territory is useful. He runs down the facts and point out the three witnesses out of the hundred or so people in the bar, who will of course and of necessity all turn out to be involved.

Bo and Kenzi go to question them. First the bartender, who simply states it’s obvious Dyson did it. Then Vex arrives. It’s obvious he likes verbally toying with people as much as he likes physically manipulating them, and he pushes all Bo’s buttons, especially when he points out he and Dyson likely have about the same amount of deaths on their score card. To top it off, he suggests Bo sleep with if not him, any or all of the hundreds of club patrons.

I know it's a little thing, but the fact Bo orders the black orgasm, then we can see it on the specials board behind Silas, makes me SO HAPPY.

Kenzi sticks around the club to find Portia, which she does, only after getting hit on by ‘tall, dark and gruesome,’ who informs Kenzi Portia is a ‘thrall’ of Vex. Kenzi and Portia connect instantly, and though Portia’s story seems to confirm Dyson is the killer, Kenzi is still drawn to Portia, in part because she sees herself in Portia. Portia doesn’t want to be anybody’s ‘project,’ she’s obviously alone and independent, trying to project an image to match the confidence she’s desperate to actually obtain. Kenzi instinctually takes Portia under her wing, and offers the clubhouse’s couch. That couch gets a real workout.

Bo, meanwhile, takes Dyson some clothes and attempt to get stories of his past. Dyson never claims he wouldn’t kill Ba’al, just that he wouldn’t do it like this: publicly, with a direct tie to himself. Bo never blinks that she’s dating a guy who would kill, because it fits both their ideas of justice; just as she would have killed Vex at the club when the Fae let him get away with murdering Lou Ann’s children, Dyson would kill Ba’al as restitution for the couple he slaughtered. Redcaps come to function similarly to vampires in Buffy or zombies in The Walking Dead; soulless and harmful, they’re disposable and don’t come with much baggage for killing them. Other than the pesky little issue of their clans wanting to avenge them. Bo promises they’ll fix it . . . and the Morrigan golf claps into the scene.

The coat is a little over-the-top, but they sure find a lot of reasons for Bo to be out of it.

“So noble. Such a heroic call to arms. So adorably goofy.” She tries to claim Dyson by the force of her goons, but Trick enforces sanctuary with a shotgun, and the Morrigan leaves to take more official routes.

The Ash isn’t far behind, and he and Trick engage in a gravelly pissing match. The Ash, too, wants Dyson to give himself up. The better to set up a mock trial and avoid war between the sides, my dear.

More extreme framing over Trick's shoulder to approximate his POV, but while he doesn't have the upper hand physically, he takes it verbally.

Bo runs back to Hale, who – while being firmly on Dyson’s side – isn’t convinced Dyson is innocent. Hale knows Dyson’s past better than anyone but Trick, and he knows this is Dyson’s kill signature, and hardly outside Dyson’s nature. He also knows Dyson has plenty of enemies, mostly made after killing other Fae, so he’s diplomatically reserving judgement. The way he plays it safe is perfect for his future career in politics.

While they’re talking, Lauren arrives with Ba’al’s autopsy report, and things get awkward quickly, to Hale’s confusion and slight bemusement. Lauren points out the bites aren’t inconsistent with Dyson’s wolf-shape-teeth, and says Dyson will have to turn himself in and get an impression made for more conclusive analysis.

I think Hale has a pretty good guess at what went down, though.

1. I can’t believe the Fae don’t already have this sort of thing on file. Dyson’s fingerprints are on record, why not his wolf-shape-identifier?

2. Since they somehow don’t, this is the perfect place to send Lauren to the Dal and have her to collect blood or dental impression while squaring off with Dyson. Scenes with the two of them together are too few and far between; a scene where they spar while Lauren tries to convince him she is really there to help, and he comments about her motives – which are still murky – would be rife for dramatic tension, and even more amusing if Bo were there to awkwardly watch the verbal tennis match.

Instead, Lauren goes off to wait in the wings some more, and Bo goes back to Carpe Noctum and tries to get Silas the bartender to admit Vex could have killed Ba’al. Silas hedges, we learn nothing, Bo turns to leave, it seems a bit redundant.

The scene gets justified a moment later when Bo begins dancing and touching herself at the behest of a grinning Vex. Silk sells Bo as simultaneously sexy, repulsed, and controlled-via-Vex, and the scene also convinces us Vex – again, exactly like Dyson – is too smart to commit murder in public, or where it would endanger himself or the club.

Speaking of Dyson, his insistence at not remembering anything is no act, and Trick has called in a Kirin named Seebeck to retrieve Dyson’s memory. All Seebeck discovers is Dyson’s brain has been seared of all relevant events, save receiving a phone call at the end of his cop shift. “What, like a Fae roofie?” Dyson asks. ‘Yeah, just like that.’

I'm not sure what the motivation is here to darken an entire 1/3 of the screen with a shoulder, but sometimes a fun shot needs no motivation.

The bartender spiking drinks for people – specifically girls to lure them into sex slavery – is hardly a new storyline. But here, it’s used against the most machismo of characters: it’s Dyson who gets drugged, then later lured into the sex dungeon of doom, and he is never scolded or mocked for ‘falling for’ an old trick.

To follow the show’s MO and double-down on the not-blaming, the episode gives us Portia. Portia lays out her options to Kenzi: sleeping in parks, or working at a burger chain where she’s sexually harassed by the manager. She’s prefers the former, and Kenzi completely understands.

Portia is never shamed by any of the main characters for having been dragged into Carpe Noctum’s basement sex/pain scheme. She’s never told any of what happened is her fault; though Kenzi does tell her Vex should be avoided, Portia’s trust in Silas (and thus proximity to Vex, entrapment, memory roofies, etc) are never used to explain Portia ‘deserving’ anything, or ‘taking her consequences.’ When Kenzi sees Portia’s bloodied back, it’s not ‘what did you get yourself into?’ but ‘what happened?’ with ‘how do we get whoever did it’ implied. When Portia freaks and runs to Silas, it’s decidedly Not Good, but it doesn’t let Silas off the hook because it’s his actions which are wrong, entirely regardless of whether Portia goes back to him or not.

Pictured: the person whose fault it's not. Especially considering the show's target audience, THIS IS IMPORTANT.

It’s true many of Lost Girl‘s episodes don’t fully realize the dark, twisted show that was Vexed as the show’s pilot, but this episode and the previous The Mourning After are pretty damn dark, despite Portia actually surviving. Many young kids wind up on the streets: for guys, often the ‘solution’ is dealing drugs and doing others’ bidding, which for all we know is how Silas started. For girls, it’s often some form of sex, from being coerced into stripping, to being ‘played with,’ raped, and whipped by rich VIPs.

When Bo finds Lyle, one of those VIPs, she angrily confronts him as abuser of girls and accessory to murder, then chi-sucks him. For a moment, I thought the show was going to have her execute him the same way Saskia killed Bertram in The Mourning After. Instead, she settles for (hopefully) scaring him out of doing it again.

Bo calls Hale with the description of a girl Lyle gave her, and Hale confirms it’s a light Fae girl. Now it’s an issue of Light v Dark instead of ‘simply’ hurting innocent girls, the two sides will agree punishment needs to be meted out. They don’t care whether Portia dies in the process or not, they just need to make sure tracks are covered. This is one of the keys for how brilliantly the episode deals with the whole issue: girls are trafficked, coerced, raped, abused, and drugged every day. Most of the Powers That Be won’t move against powerful club owners, political players, or dangerous men unless there’s a distinct political advantage to doing so. That pisses Bo off, and it should piss us all off.

And you don't want to piss us all off.

Bo, though, has supernatural powers to do something about it. Though she can’t completely abolish the systems, we like seeing her as proxy: saving Portia, getting the bad guys, holding a (obviously CGI’d) poker to the Morrigan’s throat, and finally revealing Silas to the Dark, then leaving him with Vex and the Morrigan in the torture chamber.

The denouement is quite brilliant, actually. In addition to the flashback sequence to help us keep it all straight while showcasing the dark alley in the rain and the lit sign, it acknowledges some unpleasant realities. People who do dirty nasty things can still be motivated for ‘love’ to try and help a particular girl, even if they’ve no problem with a systematically abusing girls. Girls who have been abused will protect their abusers, often to their own detriment. It coolly shows-not-tells these realities, ties all the threads up, acquits Dyson while satisfying all the interested parties, and gives the Dark their murderer/victim. After they’ve revealed the truth, Bo and Kenzi cut down Dyson and leave.

There's an episode of Angel which uses almost this exact same scenario.Question: if it's a woman rather than a beefy guy, how does the scene change?

Again with the dark edge, Bo, Dyson, and Kenzi don’t have a problem walking away with some plausible deniability while the bad guy gets vigilante justice performed. This does clash with Bo’s protest after Saskia killed Bertram, but, um, plot convenience.

Also, assuming the Morrigan would be the one to decide Silas’s fate anyways, we can draw a very thin line of distinction between this and Saskia’s vigilante justice. There’s something here about our definition of justice being distinguished not by its inherent rightness or morality, but by the power figures who mete it out, but I think I’ve read enough into this scenario for now. Feel free to add in the comments.

I'm really torn between wanting to know exactly how that's being used in a sex dungeon, and really, really not wanting to know.

Stray Observations

– I love the idea of bar as church and Trick as high priest, what with all the ceremonies and sanctuary going down at the Dal.

– The way episodes eight/ten/eleven are so tightly packed makes me wish Vex had been brought up as a more significant possibility in the bathtub murder in The Mourning After. I know I’ve linked to that review a lot, but the themes are quite similar.

– A black orgasm sounds disgusting, but I admit anything with peach schnapps makes me shudder.

– Trick telling Dyson ‘I’m still running you a tab’ is his way of saying ‘Don’t worry, you’re going to make it.’ The words of comfort, they are not Trick’s strong suit.

– Hale directly foreshadows Dyson giving up everything for Bo, while admitting his initial assessment of Bo being bad for Dyson has changed. It’s true, Bo mostly has a positive influence on Dyson, not in small part because she often calls his asshattery (as when he didn’t want her investigating in the beginning of this episode, or during the Dawning when he pulled out all the worst rom-com stops), and in large part because she has Kenzi to help mediate.

– How does Kenzi never get carded? I know the drinking age in Canada is lower, but are they also this much laxer?

– Hale, the angel:

(imagine some unearthly voices ooohin and aaaahing here.)

Comments
24 Responses to “Lost Girl: Season 01, Episode 11, Faetal Justice”
  1. cleop527 says:

    I like how you link this episode with 1×10 thematically. And without going through every episode of LG again, it occurred to me that when it comes to instances of violence against women – in the broadest possible sense – there is no compromise: the show always metes out death by summary execution. It also made me think again about Taft waving his bone(r) at Lauren in 3×13. Not only that, but at a certain point Taft also holds some kind of phallic object (some sort of possibly African looking ritual object he’s collected?) to his crotch and waves it at Bo while telling her that once he gets Dyson’s DNA, he’ll “feel really familiar” to her. And the ultimate consequence of his actions? Death by wolf, ordered by Bo.

    • Melanie says:

      Yes! Lost Girl ensures violence against women is punished. I know I listed several in The Mourning After’s review, but since you also brought up 3.13, we dissected the Taft/Lauren bit in the comments, too, starting here http://bit.ly/14ocv8O. You note Bo ordered Taft’s death, which is something I had kind of glazed over; I found it mostly Lauren’s revenge, though Dyson had his reasons. But you bring up an interesting point in that it takes Bo from someone wholly opposed to killing a guilty Fae with use of powers in The Mourning After, to someone passively allowing it to happen in this episode, to someone verbally condoning it in 3.13.

      Another episode which stands out to me and which I find thematically similar to this is 02.07, Fae Gone Wild. In it, since there’s no physical or sexual assault, ‘only’ coercion into stripping, the guy responsible loses his power, he loses his club, and he goes to jail (or possibly worse; Dyson implies he’ll “get what’s coming to him”). The title pretty blatantly ties it into widespread cultural phenomenon of coercing women into sex/exhibitionism, and implies all people doing such things deserve to be punished.

      • vexundorma says:

        We’re entering on murky ground here, because let’s recall that Vex made a mother kill her children and he gets a free pass from the writers (and from a big chunk of the audience). So a guy who is in the business of using girls gets executed (OK) but a guy who forces others to kill themselves or kill their family gets… to discuss mascara with Kenzi? At the end of the day that’s the literal moral stand of the writers, even if they never wanted to make any stand, which I think they never did or wanted to do. Sometimes I wonder if we don’t read too much on what this show is and does.

      • Melanie says:

        I tend to think of “S1 Vex” and “S2-current Vex” as very different people: ‘deliciously, diabolically evil’ and ‘delightfully absurd with dark edge,’ respectively. As we’ve both noted elsewhere, the tone of 1.08 is pretty distinct from the rest, though as I rewatch I’m thinking it takes a 6-episode arc of darkness; with the exception of the trope-heavy country club, the last half of the first season is dealing with some heavy stuff, including rapes, sexual slavery in multiple forms, a barely-off-screen suicide, and the introduction of people who soak their hats in victim’s blood, for crying out loud.

        Ultimately, though, you’re entirely right. I should not be separating them so much in my head, because that leads to my making excuses for shortcut writing. Even assuming they let the 1.08 murders be eventually excused because of his ‘nature’ and repentance, there’s a huge redemption arc which needs to happen. Instead, his switch is truncated into two episodes and then voila! He’s still got a bad edge but he’s also a good guy. I can’t buy they’re trying to point out ‘even murderers have people they like!’ (like this episode did with Silas) because Kenzi of all people, who objects to Ryan and who is wary for so long with any shady creatures is OK with him . . . why, because they have similar fashion sense? At the least, there needs to be much more struggle, restitution, additional good deeds, anything to have the character ‘earn’ his status as one of the gang.

        • vexundorma says:

          We’re on the same page here. Thing is there are no redemption arcs in Lost Girl; there is also no organic character growth. Characters just change, and that’s it – a clear sign of a writing problem (there’s a brilliant post explaining what “writers” mean in the context of a TV show at stirpicus.tumblr.com/post/45847182675/how-a-tv-show-episode-gets-written-a-psa) that blows up sky-high in S3.

          • Melanie says:

            Same page as Vexundorma! *makes touchdown gesture*

            Writing rooms being so varied can be a huge plus – you have some better at pathos, some better with humor, some better at group dynamics and others more nuanced with isolated characters. When the show bible and season arcs are agreed upon by the group and stuck to, it can work. But, the writing being broken up – especially with larger groups or sudden episode duty switches – can easily also lead to one of my biggest peeves of the show, which is no character growth / instant character regression. And it’s not often one persona’s fault, and it’s not always intentional; your link does a good job of illustrating why, and I’d like to note how often episodes are being written simultaneously, so if the creator/head writer isn’t nuanced enough in character arcs, it’s especially easy. Thus, where we are now. When I say Dyson ‘learns’ something from the Dawning, or from a connection with Lauren, or an interaction with Kenzi, he may indeed to such in that episode. But it doesn’t seem to stick. Characters have been given archetypes and tend to stick there, and it’s frustrating as a viewer to watch a mini-progress-regression cycle with most characters, over and over.

            It kind of works with Trick because he’s a nefarious dude with a history of manipulation and etc. Lachlan, too, as he’s a type who would, IRL, use both carrot and stick, and I’m excited to analyze them side-by-side. Hale, though, manages to show two very different sides in regards to being progressive; which would be ok if someone confronted him as to his internal inconsistencies (hey, we all have them at some point), but it seems some of the writers simply have different ideas about his personality/ideals/mental capacities/etc. If you’re whipping characters’ personalities around to make your story work, it’s going to kill you in the long run.

            I’ve been asked to do some season recaps as I complete reviewing each season. I do intend to do that, and this is going to be a nice chunk of that, especially in S3. I’ve been noting which writers write what, and this really comes into play there. I’m not about to suggest anyone go all Aaron Sorkin and fire the writing staff and do it themselves. But without better character consistency, your stories will flounder and your viewers will either leave or be sad, sad people. Nobody wants sad viewers.

            • vexundorma says:

              You entered the main hall of the core problem of Lost Girl as a show. It will be interesting to read your take on the writers (most of them without any experience of a sci-fi/fantasy genre show, as far as I can browse the Net), but not everything can be put on the writing staff shoulders. I may be completely unfair here, but I seriously doubt that there was a show bible for the past 3 seasons, because if that existed for instance there wouldn’t be any doubts on the manner of Bo’s feeding and how sex and chi entered in it – that would be the very first thing to be defined in the bible – and yet even the showrunner didn’t seemed too clear about it when directly asked, during her appearance at a fan website after 3.08 was aired. The absence of a show bible would explain a lot of what you so well posted above.

            • Rachel says:

              I think I agree, but am still very murky especially with s3. As a viewer, if a character learns something in an episode and it doesn’t stick, then I just figure the character didn’t really learn it. Which is probably why I feel Dyson hasn’t grown a lot as a character. He’s had moments of growth in episodes, but they often don’t stick. Like your mention of a budding friendship with Lauren in 3×10, which seemed not to exist in 3×13. This ‘growth not sticking’ sucks as a viewer just because I think Dyson has a lot of potential as a character and it’s interesting to see him grow out of the ‘noble, chivalrous knight’ archetype. That growth is really interesting, I just don’t feel that I’ve seen it consistently. Also, when growth doesn’t stick then as a viewer I start to doubt the character, or feel that the show is settling for stereotypical characters rather than rich characters.

              The same holds true for me for Bo, Kenzi, etc. Bo has definitely grown from when we first meet her. But a lot of this growth happens in the world building of the first 2 episodes, and I don’t know that I’ve seen her grow a lot since then. Please correct me if I’m wrong, though. I am, however, curious to see what happens with her regarding her knee jerk lying habit, her lack of subtlety, her obliviousness to nuance and other peoples’ feelings, and how this relates to her fundamentalist upbringing. It’s interesting, and potentially sets her up for a lot of growth, just… will it stick? It seems to me that in order for a character to grow, they have to change an aspect of their archetype at some fundamental level, consistently. Thoughts?

              Also, I loved when in both s1 and s2 the show played with preconceived notions of ‘dark’ being bad and ‘light’ being good. I liked that the light was not always light at all, and the dark could be honest. Ryan was often honest. This wasn’t nearly as prevalent in s3…

              • Melanie says:

                They seem to let the characters backslide because it creates tension in the plot. When you’re keeping your characters static to drive drama, rather than letting external events drive it, or even letting the characters’ changes and growth drive it, that’s a problem, and it can only sustain a show so long.

                Bo was certainly more grown-up – if also somewhat idealistic and naive – in 1.08 than she was in most of S3. “There’s Bo Place Like Home” should have been the breakthrough to solidify much she had learned in S2, but was almost immediately trounced by everything which came after.

                And while I like the idea of addressing her habit of lying, her kneejerk defensiveness, and her fundamentalist-stunted-development, I’m not sure they’re going to get around to that, at least for a while. By the time they settle the various plots of 3.13, it may have fallen by the wayside. We’ll see.

                Tamsin in 3 was supposed to take much of that Ryan role of smarmy Dark emissary/token. She is as ‘good’ as Dyson, as shown by their cop partner roles, though with different methods. She’s honest, even brutally so. This is why she had that grudging respect for Lauren after Lauren told her the truth, then slapped her. But the thread of deconstructing dark/bad light/good is certainly fraying, though they throw out nods to it, such as when Tamsin takes Bo to a dark bar.

                • Rachel says:

                  That’s a helpful way to frame character growth. Thanks 🙂 And my only issue is that when they let a lot about a character fall by the wayside, as a viewer I get confused. My sense is that letting some things fall by the way side is going to happen, it’s part of the creation process. When it’s a lot of things, and those things are important to understand a character or theme… that’s when it gets confusing or it feels like the who the character is, isn’t clear.

          • Melanie says:

            I’m with you in guessing there’s not a show bible, or at least not a thorough one (though there’s also the potential writers treat the show bible like some religious adherents treat their bibles . . . but I’ll leave it there). It’s certainly more key for sci-fi where you’re creating not just characters, but worlds and laws.

            There are a few other things, though, which are odd, such as claiming the dawning invite machine must be operated by Bo’s ‘closest blood relative,’ and then having Trick operate it, when we know Bo at least has a mother, if not other blood family, running around. It’s a pretty simple fix for what Stella made into a dramatic, yet incorrect, deal. Someone needs a continuity checker.

  2. overainbows says:

    I see people talking of Vex as one of the gang now, but I never took it that way. Certainly Kenzi believed it and we had more of her perspective, which may have been impared with her loneliness in S3. For a moment he is just like her, powerless and is pretty much the only person at her reach who can spend time with frivolous human things while everyone else is super busy with Fae stuff.

    IMO that scene in S3 with the the axe and the one with the Morrigan in the end made it very clear that the Vex we were seing was merely the product of a situation in which he was rendered powerless. He lost his club, he lost his mesmer power, as a consequence he also lost his contacts in the clan and part of his prestige with the Fae as a whole Staying with Bo was the least worse option for him. If anything, it was ambiguous whether he killed the pig guy by accident or because he truely cared for Kenzi. That was by no means a redemption and the writers made sure to let it be known. It’s quite possible helping Bo was still a better option. The Morrigan only offered him everything he had before, which means he’d be a subbordinate all over again. Not to mention knowing that he was her biggest competion for the Dark leadership, it wasn’t even guaranteed she would keep her word and restore his influence to what it was.

    So the scene with her in the end proves that indeed it was better to wait longer by Bo’s side. People seemed to buy too much into Hale’s line that he had someone in. Vex is not helping anyone but himself in here. The Morrigan’s political stunt and possibly her knowing about Taft without doing much for the community can be really bad for her with the Dark. Hale offered Vex the chance to take her down completely. Now she isn’t powerfull AT ALL, the rapey imagery is very strong. He got his mesmer power back, he got her in a really bad political situation, he’s in full control of her (the other time he controlled her there were witnesses and she was in her territory, we don’t know where they are now) and we don’t even know if Hale offered him something else like money which would restore part of his influence.

    Now, I really hope they go in that direction with the conflict with the Morrigan before they redeem Vex completely, as I guess is almost sure to happen. There would be an opportunity for proper redemption with good build up. If I’m not reading too much into it, I believe they laid the ground for Vex to take over the Dark since S2 and do seem to be headed that way in S4. I’d really like to see more of the Morrigan, Vex, the Dark and politics in general. They could make next season Dark-heavy with Bo’s father possibly being the Dark Fae King, Aife, Tamsin, Vex, Lauren possibly. Also, Bo’s been too much with the Light to be the so called unaligned Succubus. I miss the S1/S2 in regards to that. It was sidetracked this season unfortunatelly. Sorry for writing too much.

    • Melanie says:

      No no, I’m not sure there’s such a thing as ‘writing too much’ on this blog.

      I read the pig scene in 3.03 as his intentionally killing the pig, but having to make a jokey remark so 1) he could protect his ‘tough guy rep,’ and 2) he could potentially continue to play both sides. It’s a defense mechanism Faith from Buffy often used, and I see the two characters as quite parallel.

      Vex is definitely using ‘the gang’ to his advantage, and Bo and the gang did the same thing to Vex in 2.21. I also agree Vex is still entirely self-motivated; Vex in 3.13 is absolutely trying to side with the ‘winning team,’ or at least the team he believes will protect him best / not kill him. But, even so, they let him sleep on their couch mere episodes* after he tried to kill Bo. Bo, meanwhile, was after him for forcing a mother to murder her own children, an event which has yet to be denied or apologized for by Vex. Yet despite any lack of even faked remorse, he remains unpunished and becomes the exception to the ‘abusers of women get their just desserts’ we’ve seen.

      Assuming you’re right, and they give Vex and the Morrigan a large conflict, either putting Vex on the run or creating a power struggle for the Dark side (and the scene we left them on does feel very rape-y, but the Morrigan and Vex have a twisted relationship anyways so I doubt we’ll get a clear exposition about this), that would greatly interest me. Hale backing Vex to take over the Dark entirely is a great little twist. Perhaps, though I’m not holding my breath, they could give Vex a redemption arc at the same time, helping solve the Dark-Bad Light-Not-So-Bad dichotomy problem they’ve had. As you note, we’ve not spent much time with the Dark. When we have, they’ve been ‘bad,’ so this could kill two birds with one stone. I sincerely doubt they’ll redeem Vex through sacrifice or death. He’s not that kind of character. Unless perhaps it goes a few more seasons and he becomes so.

      Finally, I would like to point out ‘he lost his club’ is a great euphemism, especially since his power trouble has been referred to as ‘Fae ED.’

      *it was many episodes, but with only a few actual Vex appearances in the episodes.

      • cleop527 says:

        I agree with Melanie on Vex’s motivations/defense mechanisms. Much is also left open. I do think that Kenzi got it in her head that she could “save” Vex (how typical…But then poor Kenzi is feeling useless and sidelined) And after the pig episode, she may have felt she succeeded. However, what makes sense to me, is that Vex’s “redemption” will have him continue to be dark but perhaps slightly less psychopathic (whatever that even means). It’s the whole “his experience with pain, disempowerment, and disability will make him slightly more compassionate to the pain and suffering of others.” But Vex is and will remain COMPLETELY self-serving, and needs to continue being an adversary/antagonist, albeit one who can work with you when necessary and will show up for a negotiation meeting.

      • overainbows says:

        I agree it could be just a defense mechanism but the possibility of a power struggle for the Dark leadership and a return of bad Vex to pave the road for more development on his good nature is so much more interesting I didn’t give much thought to it. I’m hoping they go there, especially with Vex redemption. Sharing an interest in makeup with Kenzi is not enough.

        I really can’t make a parallel with the Buffy character. Never watched anything Buffy. Idk why it never picked my interest back then and I’ve always been a sucker for sci-fi and fantasy heroines (loved Xena!). Now I get to read a lot about it because of Lost Girl. Guess I’ll have to check it someday.

        I don’t see sacrifice or death for Vex either. Something less dramatic would fit him better while preferably keeping his comic dark edge. With all the focus there could be in the Dark and Aife back in the game with her tortured history with her child and struggle with the system they could come up with something very interesting for Vex in this context that in the end would work as redemption without being too epic or melodramatic for him.

        “Finally, I would like to point out ‘he lost his club’ is a great euphemism, especially since his power trouble has been referred to as ‘Fae ED.’”

        Sorry, I’m not even sure of what you’re talking about. Season 2 is so blurry in my mind, much more than s1 was. I really don’t remember details of anything or how things actually happened, aside from the Baba Yaga ep. I just remember he doesn’t have it anymore. I’ll start rewatching it this week.

        • Melanie says:

          ‘Sharing an interest in makeup with Kenzi is not enough.’ Exactly! I hope they don’t use that to stand in for character development. As cleop527 notes, there’s reason for empathy there, and perhaps understanding as they’re both a little ‘different’ than the others. But it’s all surface, and giving him power struggle or development into good(esque, as I never see him as a shining beacon of morality) dark Fae leader would be much more deep and interesting.

          Buffy was the first heroine I latched on to (even being younger when i first came out, and missing much of the undercurrents, I really loved seeing a female role model). Whether that’s because I was born to be a total sucker for anything Whedon and his Buffy compatriots do, or whether Buffy turned me into that sucker, I’m not sure. But while I do think there are strong comparisons to be made, I probably over-make them, too. I’ll try not to be too spoiler-y with them.

          Meanwhile, several people have noted some Xena / Lost Girl comparisons, but I’ve never seen that, just a couple episodes of Hercules, and that in grade school, so I’m at a loss there.

          • OMG Melanie, while I want to spend time talking about why the Fae never seem to have grown up in their thousands of years, I just can’t right now knowing that you have never seen Xena. You must acquire the DVDs and get busy watching them! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

            • Melanie says:

              *raises hands in surrender* ok ok! After being told on multiple fronts to watch this show, for the sake of itself as well as parallels to Lost Girl, I have decided to squeeze it in. Somehow, somewhere. At least the first season.

              Anything in particular I should be looking for?

              • Like any show, it takes a few episodes to hit its stride, or at least for the viewer to get familiar with the premise of the show and its rhythm – and for Xena and Gabrielle to develop their rapport (kind of like Bo and Kenzi, although those two seemed pretty BFF after just one or two episodes). So I guess my advice is – stick with it, this is what I tell people who are just starting to watch Lost Girl too.

                Here’s what I recall of the subtext that started being deliberately inserted into the show – fans were buzzing about it after the first few episodes, and then the episode in Season 1 called “Altared States” was the first where the writers/actors deliberately put the subtext in there. It’s also a really funny episode. I’m not sure if subtext is something you personally are on the lookout for, but I recall Xena being one of the first shows where it became a huge, fan-driven thing. A popular fanfic writer even ended up writing a few episodes of the show in later seasons.

                While Xena is a dark, troubled character, Lucy Lawless is also a fantastic comedic actor, so the episodes that are more farcical or comedic are especially fun. Kind of like how Bo’s supposedly a badass succubus but Anna Silk brings a lot of vulnerability and idealism to the role. Renee O’Connor as well really inhabits the role of Gabrielle and the arc of that character is really something to watch. Alexandra Tydings plays Aphrodite, a recurring character, and I’m told that she runs a yoga studio here in DC now, though I have not yet checked it out.

                It’s all super good fun, and some of it’s campy, and some of the special effects are a little cheesy, but it’s so AWESOME.

                • Melanie says:

                  I’m very much the fan of subtext. My S3 reviews (and I think, just S3 in general) are much heavier on it, and it’s one of the main reasons I enjoy ‘supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi’ shows: pile on the subtext, metaphors, and visual imagery! While I’m 100% against censorship, I do mourn a bit about movies – especially comedies – not being made with as much subtle innuendo anymore. If you like dirty jokes, Some Like It Hot is chock-full of them, but still made it past the censorship board. Now we get . . . Grown-Ups 2!? [Yes, I’m cherrypicking, but I think the two are symptomatic.] It’s not that people can’t or don’t make movies with subtle innuendo/subtext any more, but since they don’t have to, it’s an uphill battle getting any money to support it. Down With Love comes to mind, but even that is a period piece. My love for that style is why when I wrote and shot my own film, I did so much in subtext.

                  I’m getting off topic. I’m determined to do the first season shortly. Everything I’ve seen Lucy Lawless in has been a serious / dramatic role, but in interviews and BTS and such she seems to have plenty of humor, which (just judging by the Hercules I’ve seen), will come in handy.

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