Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 06, Of All The Gin Joints

Exactly how linked to the Dawning it was I don’t know, but Lost Girl made an interesting move about halfway through last season. The show is taking their central figure and slowly making her more and more unsympathetic. Bo has gone from being a lost soul taken advantage of but standing up for herself and fighting the powers that be to almost an anti-hero. She’s self-absorbed enough to brush aside Kenzi’s jealousy because she, Bo, wants something from Ianka; Bois so focused she doesn’t even notice when Kenzi goes missing mid-concert. Bo is taking sex from Dyson with no regard for his feelings (and he has a lot of them). Bo ditched Lauren because Lauren has chosen to fraternize with a group Bo doesn’t like, even though Bo recently made a decision to be part of that very group. It’s ok, though, Bo rationalizes, because Bo knows what she’s doing! Bo does no wrong! Bo knows what’s going on, and if people won’t listen to Bo, that’s their problem.

The reason the change works is twofold. First, Anna Silk still gives us moments of the Bo from first season; exuberant and carefree, a la her dance in “Turn to Stone” and Bo’s dishing with Kenzi here. Second and most importantly, the show is able to shift the burden of sympathy to other characters, generally women: most often to Lauren and Kenzi; here, even the Morrigan starts to present a softer side for the audience to glom onto, perhaps even start thinking of her more as Evony and less as The Morrigan; and even guest characters like Crystal (speaking of which, where the hell is Crystal!?) and Ianka.

Yummy shadows.

Ianka’s white/black dualism, Romeo/Juliet/Hatfields/McCoys, forbidden love story doesn’t fully work as a self-contained A-plot. It has too many clichés, convenient holes (somehow Bo isn’t affected, but human Kenzi is?), and verbalizing. What Ianka’s story does do, brilliantly, is work in the overall arc of the series to reveal Bo’s hypocrisy, add more enslaved-woman-fighting-for-freedom parallels, and refute the idea women are merely pawns to bolster men in war and inspire men to fight.

When Bamber first shows up at the Dal, he’s looking for “my poor thing,” he’s a self-deluded benevolent owner. In fact, both Ianka’s ‘owners’ think they are doing well by her, but are simple being selfish. Last episode, Bo stuck to her oversimplified version of the world, then offered to own Lauren, as if that would poof! solve Lauren’s problems, now she comes face-to-face with the logical outcome of such a move. Bo rails against Ianka being owned, even though (plot twist!) Ianka and Marcus are in love. At least, they started that way. Marcus ended up being twisted into someone who would kill his own partner, corrupted by both his literal ownership of the woman he purported to love and his strict concept of sides, Us v Them, binary ideology with no middle ground. Lost Girl often gives glimpses into alternate timelines, and this is a clear picture of what Bo and Lauren could become should Bo follow through on her selfish whims.

Bo, all wrapped up in Bo.

The episode does make a couple of the same stumbles “Lovers. Apart.” makes. Both verbalize too much plot and motivation: example, Bo tells Hale ‘get the woman you love out of here.’ All writers everywhere, please stop using your characters to spell out the most obvious of things. It doesn’t play like a slip of the tongue – who slips with such a formal phrase? – but awkward exposition.

Both eps also set up a great metaphor then ditch it in favor of convolution. In fact, this episode perfectly establishes Ianka to be the titular character in the crane wife / crane maiden fairy tale, down to her dress being full of actual feathers, the way she presents as an unattainable object, the fact she offers a gift, how she asks for nothing but freedom, the fact she says “you promise me my wings but then you pluck my feathers” . . . It doesn’t feel so much like a missed opportunity as a jettisoned one, and I can’t figure out why.

On-screen TV pizza is the worst pizza. The easier to bite without making a mess, my dear.

Some of the other episode machinations make sense. The set department has found some work-arounds, too. More exteriors, more small businesses, more playing up existing walls with lights and of course fire! Tamsin is the MIA character, written out with a quick and acronym-filled letter. Last episode, Dyson was tracking. Before this, we’ve had episodes without Hale, Lauren, Evony, Kenzi, Trick, even Bo. (Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson about removing Kenzi. We/they/every show like this needs a hilarious audience proxy with impeccable timing and great physicality. Her righteous indignant delivery of “TOLL, for being not-helpful doucheballs” had me laughing out loud, mere moments after being unsurprised but angry no one else in the bar was reacting to the woman in distress.) The solution to having a large ensemble cast and revolving guest characters – you’ve seen Ianka as the moral-less journalist on the Canadian-heavy Hannibal, you’re welcome – is to write one or two out each episode, and that’s working pretty well to keep things less crowded, though the downside is character arcs take breaks, which in a 13-episode season can really stymie things.

Dyson hasn’t really gotten much development this season, and his response is always ‘we can fix this,’ where Bo’s response is SEX! Forbidden sex is hot, and also . . . Bo’s being dark means lots of sex from behind, apparently.

I mentioned last episode Bo spun Lauren around pretty quickly, and now she turns Dyson, too, and then at the end she refuses to look him in the eye. It’s a slow build, but Bo is not just changing, she’s becoming ashamed of herself. Will she actually admit that? Will she blame it all on external forces? Will she manage to change back, with or without help or supernatural intervention? No idea. But surely this are some of the questions in need of answers.

Trick isn't in denial any more. He's all parental and "Get your brains out of each other's pants!" instead.

Meanwhile in the B-plot, Lauren and The Morrigan are revealing more about the light/dark and human/fae machinations than the A plot.

When The Morrigan – excuse me, Evony – shows up with pizza and beer, we sense a theme. Amber showed up to Crystal’s with the same, and we know where that led. The episode keeps teasing the chemistry, the attraction, the way both of them are on some level looking for a connection, while unfolding some dark layers. Slowly, they relax, sitting down, getting more intimate, opening up in body language and getting down to brass tacks. We get outright mentions of humans being inhuman in their experiments ‘for science;’ by the way, besides injecting patients with TB and a hundred other things, Doctor Robert Knox was was famously involved with murderers who asphyxiated citizens to sell for medical learning. History is grim, but medical history is gory. Evony tempts Lauren with the idea of such learning, and again one must wonder what’s happened or is happening to Crystal. Perhaps we’re about to find out, because Evony gives Lauren access to a new lab, and I can only imagine Lauren is packing up her apartment so it can be revamped as a new dark lab set.

I heart this whole B plot because the two of them together is fun. It’s also remarkably forthright, despite the games both are playing, and it starts laying the cards on the table. Against my expectations they were just teasing, it really does deliver on the sexual tension and gradually opening body language and levels of intoxication, and then it flips that delivery the same as last episode flipped the dance-off and “Sleeping Beauty School” flipped the tracheotomy.

My money says Lauren is working on the downfall of the whole Fae order, whether on her own or with someone else – the voice on Taft’s phone, perhaps? It’s an interesting twist to make so quickly after she voices her regret over the unintentional consequences of her terrorism; obviously, this time she’s going to take a different tack (if it’s done right). When Evony says lauren is ‘team dark,’ maybe what she’s tasting is Lauren’s pragmatic desire to use subterfuge and do what it takes to accomplish what she wants.

And cheers to that.

I love the Casablanca hat-tip, “I think this might be the beginning of a beautiful . . . something.” It obviously works in the scene, and it works on the level that in Casablanca it was Rick the stalwart yet sneaky barowner who was more than met the eye and Renalt the brazenly corrupt police captain who were involved. It’s also possible it’s meant to work on the level of queering the relationship between Rick and Renalt, but perhaps I’m stretching. Perhaps.

Kenzi walking through the always-open door and in on the love/dark fest gets a strong vibe that nefariousness is going down. She’s much more sympathetic to Lauren now, but she has a hard time side with anyone Bo is siding against, and she really isn’t thrilled with Evony’s recent ordering her tortured and killed. It’s an interesting way to reintroduce conflict between Kenzi and Lauren, but withit it being so acrimonious. They still work together and acknowledge their friendship, giving hope the two humans will be standing together against the whole of Faedom quite soon. The two of them work together well in any capacity, and I’m still holding out for much more of it.

No idea if it is significant, but Kenzi gets a lot of red this season. Also, raise your hand if Kenzi wearing Hale's fedoras should become a constant thing.

Speaking of, finally, we get a declaration of love between Hale and Kenzi! . . . and Hale immediately lies. He was hurt, and his ear is bleeding. It is supposed to be significant Hale is lying? I’m not sure. I do think it’s plausible they’re setting him up to be long-term injured or at least weakened because like Vex, Hale’s power is too versatile – and by that I mean, neither of them have to be touching or even close to someone to incapacitate him or her, and they can do multiple things besides simply maim or kill. Rather than continually have them offscreen or winning victories, the writers will cripple their powers so the playing field is more level.

Speaking of powers. I thought the Una Mens reflected or ‘bounced’ Bo’s chi-suck, but it seems here they can also copy powers? Their response to Dyson seems more mimicry, and their faces shifted. Definitely seems different than what they’ve previously done. Their appearance was nicely understated, too, without the usual creepy music one hears before *gasp!* the bad guys appear in a mirror. One moment we see the glowing handprint on Bo for the second time this episode, the next moment, in a scene straight out of 1984, bam, they’re there, and they’re aware forbidden sexytimes are happening, and they’re going to haul someone off to torture.

It's a lovely shot, and they don't hold it too long. Really great, simple work here.

Stray Observations

– Since they’re not using the fae puns in the titles any more, they have to work them into the actual scripts.

– Assuming Alex Zarowney is the same person as Alexandra Zarowney and their parents didn’t have a terrible sense of humor and twins, this episode is written by the writer of “Brotherfae of the Wolves,” “Fae Gone Wild,” “Sleeping Beauty School,” etc. It also lists Alexandra Zarowney and Steve Cochrane as supervising producers, possibly because they collaborated and – as Emily Andras has said – each writer is on set to supervise the episodes s/he writes. The episode is directed by a newbie-to-Lost-Girl Mairzee Almas.

– “Balls of minotaur” is my new swear.

– Bo knowingly plays on male grandeur/delusion when she croons to Bamber, “people speak of your generosity, your benevolence.” Well done.

– If you want to make your way into my heart, the best way is to show up with beer, pizza, and books. I’M JUST SAYING.

– When Hale is talking to Ianka and Bo is on the stairs in the background, we only clearly hear Bo’s shoes when we see her in screen. It’s a nice way to let the viewer know Hale doesn’t notice her.

– wanderer=father has long been an assumption, but here we get it verbalized.

– “Little men and their little toys.” Ah, they SO enjoy weapons as impotent phallic symbols.

– They beat the death=freedom drum a lot, for such a theoretically positive show. Ianka here feels and looks a lot like Lisa the Duppy.

*Sings in her best The Decemberists voice* "The Crane Sho-o-ot . . ."

Comments
17 Responses to “Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 06, Of All The Gin Joints”
  1. hgprime says:

    I had to stop reading almost immediately because Bo did not in any way shape or form “ditch” Lauren because she didn’t like who Lauren was associating with, (the Dark fae…people that kill a wedding party just to avoid paying for catering & then offer surviving guests to Bo as a buffet.) Lauren ditched Bo. She ditched her in S3, then ditched everyone in S3, and then again when Bo asks her to come back to the hovel with her so they can talk! Can Bo be selfish? Yep. But people need to see that other characters on the show can be as well. For instance, while Kenzi is pinning for Hale, Bo is having serious doubts about what a person is minus memories. They don’t need to hang on every single word of the other in order to be there for that person.

    • Melanie says:

      I’m sorry one word choice made you jettison the whole thing, but thanks for not just leaving, but instead taking time to explain why you disagree. I genuinely appreciate it.

      Perhaps I was a little harsh, for instance you’re right Kenzi could/should have been more sympathetic and less pine-y, and more sympathetic to Bo’s frustration over her memory gap. Lauren said in 4.05, which I think is what you’re talking about she ‘didn’t feel she could go back’ to the clubhouse, but she didn’t say why and probably could have gone if she wanted. Sure. But overall, even though she does have her own burdens and troubles, Bo is generally not acting right right now when it comes to any of her relationships. Any.

      Yes, the Dark killed a wedding party. And the Light kill and put people in comas to manipulate their partners into slavery. The Light send people to death row for falling in love with humans and having to watch their children be murdered in front of them. The Light offer model buffets, and while it was so far as we know not under pain of death, it’s still very rape-y (and I made that point in my last review). That’s all pretty grim, too, even if it’s ‘less bad’ – speaking of 1984.

      Lauren’s associating with one side to save her life, but Bo has (apparently and of her own admission) actually chosen that exact side. And Bo made it clear she doesn’t want to talk to Lauren while she’s associating with the Dark, even though Bo has fraternized with the Dark before – Meyer, Evony, Tamsin, Vex lived in her house – when it suited her own needs. My point was, Bo thinks all that is ok because it was her judgement, she can tell right from wrong, she needed to do that . . . but she has a double standard to not ‘allow’ anyone else to do the same.

      I think the double-standard and problems with the system are going to end in Bo realizing what’s happening and attempting to tear down the whole thing, likely with the help of the whole gang. But right now she’s a mess. Narratively, it works. But Bo personally has a lot to sort out.

    • RH says:

      Kenzi said it best about the difference the Dark and the Light is the Dark has fun.

      • Melanie says:

        I picture 80’s Evony dancing around her penthouse suite as Cyndi Lauper, after signing her contract in blood, sings ‘Dark just wanna have fun, ooooooooh Dark just wanna haaaave fun.’

  2. Rachel says:

    What do you make of Lauren’s lip thing? Could it be some kind of science-y thing to throw off Evony (“I taste dark on you” she said something like to Lauren after kissing her… but was it really dark on Lauren she tasted?) or to protect herself or to gain Evony’s dna, or something mysterious as of yet unknown…

    I liked seeing Lauren and Evony bonding — it’s a potentially really interesting dynamic.

    And I agree with you about Bo… this episode there was definitely the Bo of seasons 1 and 2 in moments, and sometimes not… which is I think definitely intentional… and cool and unusual. I wonder where they’re/we’re going… 🙂

    • Melanie says:

      It struck me as a way to collect DNA and test it against things she has (for example, the fae elder whose blood she had to test). It’s possible she could have gotten DNA from a beer bottle Evony drank from, but this is so much more fun. The only other thing I can think is lipprint, like someone needs a fingerprint to get by a scanner, the Morrigan uses her lips. It’s weird, but something which I could conceive the Morrigan doing. This is a chick who is all about sex, and also keeps her own In Memoriam poster up. Why not.

      If we’re going to go full-ridiculous, I can also think she wants to construct a whole Evony clone, a la the Morrigan’s suggestion. Or she has a lipprint collection, and does this to all the girls. Or she is testing her new kind of chapstick, with which she plans to make billions and establish her own island.

  3. The thing that strikes me about this episode (I just got the recap of episode 3 up on my own blog – still behind) is that Bo is losing her grip on the one thing she owned and mastered about her identity: her sexuality. Everything else was lost but she at least had that in her control. Now she’s losing that to a fresh hell she doesn’t understand.

    • Melanie says:

      The lost of Bo’s memory and the muddling of her identity (which she already didn’t have a completely firm grasp on, as she’d been told most of her life that her nature was sinful, then she’d spent years on the run forging fake identities, then she’d discovered a new system she was forced to be part of, then had to forge herself a made family, then discovered a second set of biological family members) is definitely traumatic, and she wasn’t raised with a skill set to cope. She’s a capable woman and with the support of her friends and people who love her she can figure it out, but it’s a psychological minefield right now. And you nailed it, she doesn’t entirely understand how she’s losing her grasp, and the lack of understanding is maddening.

      The show is taking a turn for the dark [in tone], and also exploring more of what part of our identities are self-determined and what parts are forged by environment and events and circumstances, and I really enjoy that. During the process, Bo is definitely losing one of the things she thinks she needs, and that’s control. She thought she took control of her destiny and life by becoming unaligned, now that’s been ripped away. She balked when Dyson even mentioned their relationship having control over her, she fought Lauren when Lauren tried to tell her to abide by fae protocol, she refuses to accept Trick or any Ash or the Morrigan or the Una Mens are able to tell her what to do, she constantly declares she will choose her own path and ‘those rules don’t apply to me.’

      Tie this all together – a loosening of control over one’s environment and one’s self, believing one is being betrayed by one’s psyche and one’s loved ones [whether or not it’s true], being a chess piece between two sides – and one sees some resemblance to her Aife lost her mind. I hope we come out of this with a Bo more sympathetic to how others had little control over what happened to them, since until now, one thing Bo thought set her apart was her ability to control her own destiny *entirely*, and she’s realizing that’s impossible. She can still ‘choose’ plenty of things, however, especially her next actions, and I believe those choices are going to have great impact on not just herself but the whole fae order. She simply has to be more accepting of the fact her actions have consequences she may not like.

  4. overainbows says:

    When Bo sucked the Una Mens they did the same to her. I assumed what she took returned to them and then the woman in front of her takes longer sucking more from Bo. They said whoever attacks the Una Mens shall be their own victim. Whatever you do against them gets back to you. I thought it was the same with Dyson. Seems more like a protective enchantment other than a power though. I’m curious if Dyson did something else other than “fraternizing” with the Dark. Why take only him if both were involved and Bo was the one more determined to break the rules? I wonder if he did something else.

    Am I the only one not feeling Kenzi and Hale at all? Had it happened in s02 it would have made more sense. It’s so forced after Hale barely being in s03. And the writing is really not helping with all the verbalizing and contrived plots as you mentioned before. Also, Hale was bleeding but human Kenzi was just fine? Maybe there’s a reason for that. Or Hale is just trying to seem stronger since Kenzi’s been feeling so helpless.

    Absolutely loved Evony and Lauren’s scenes. Great new dynamics this season. Still waiting for more Lauren and Kenzi too.

    Nice to see the powerful and ruthless Morrigan become more human and being fooled by Lauren who’s usually so powerless. Her science is a huge power but so far has mostly made her hostage to powerful people. Good to see her trying to use it in her favor. Dangerous game she’s playing though. She’s completely alone. It’s possible she’s going to use it to help Bo quit the Dark, even if Evony said she has no power to cancel the affiliation. Only reason I can think of since Lauren was already given full access to the Dark Library so no need for bio password.

    I believe Evony is interested in Lauren mostly because she lost Massimo who possessed obscure ancient knowledge and practices equivalent to Lauren and her science. Both were capable of the same things with their methods. The Valkyrie hair business is big and maybe will play a part in sending the Una Mens or the Wanderer off? I’m sure she was playing a game with Lauren, but maybe there is more to her. Her conversation with Massimo makes it very likely she is indeed his mother. Interesting that she decided to bear a human child when she seems to despise humans much like most Fae Elders. Although she told Massimo one day you just wake up and you’re a mother. Hoping for some backstory like we had from Vex.

    • Melanie says:

      Previews for next week seem to suggest he did more, but I myself would be content with his grave sin just bring crossing lines for sexytimes. Not only is it very 1984, but it’s a lot more totalitarian/fundamentalist/orthodox than arresting him for murder.

      I will agree the Hale/Kenzi thing is a little stale after being postponed so long, and coming without any sort of resolution to the part where Hale kicked Kenzi out of forcing herself into his Ash affairs; she was in the wrong first, but he’s reacted wrongly. But I do like them together; perhaps it’s Ksenia Solo’s marvelous ability to have chemistry (romantic or otherwise) with anyone, but I like it.

      I assumed Hale was so vulnerable because his own powers revolve around music and so he’s overly sensitive to it. But the episode never explained how Bo was left unaffected, or why they said Ianka’s powers affected fae, yet Kenzi was also harmed. So, I don’t really have an answer for that. I do think Hale is putting on a show of strength for Kenzi, but if he keeps that up it will not be helpful, and it will continue the pattern of LG’s relationships falling apart because of subterfuge, lying, and lack of communication. To be fair, some of these things are forced upon participants by the system, remembering specifically Kenzi and Nate.

      Evony and Lauren are playing each other, though they are also to some extent interested and invested in each other. That’s a great line to walk, and at least in this episode, never a step went astray. As for the lip-peel, The Morrigan could have plenty of things under her personal control and not in the Dark library. Or Lauren could want to access things anonymously. Once I start conspiracy theorizing, it’s hard to stop. (I should post a long discussion I had with some friends over the Evony/Lauren/Massimo connections.) I’m not sure Lauren is completely alone. I believe she’s enlisted some help (the voice on the phone?) and plans to bring in Kenzi and/or Lauren and/or Dyson at some point. We shall see. But mostly, MOAR LAUREN/KENZI. Their dynamic is so interesting.

  5. overainbows says:

    It makes sense that Hale as a siren was more sensitive! Problem is Trick was all worried Kenzi shouldn’t stay for Yanka’s show because her “good” song could hurt humans. By the end of it she wasn’t there with Bo anymore (and we’re not sure why) but after listening to the death song she was better than Hale? Unnecessary to have Trick’s warning then.

    I assumed Bo was unharmed because she is mega powerful post Yawning. I thought she could suck multiple chi’s now without the super succubus trance but on a second thought it doesn’t count as the Una Mens are only one soul. It’s more likely and fitting with her having some difficulties to beat other monsters of the week. It’s good for the show she’s not that powerful. I’ll settle for Kenzi being affected because she’s human and Hale because of his musical powers. Bo didn’t because it wasn’t directed at her. lol

    Curious to hear the discussion about Evony, Lauren and Massimo. You should post it. Love all the speculation and conspiracy theories.

    • Melanie says:

      All right, your wish is my command. Our conversation – http://mehlsbells.tumblr.com/post/70500454308/conspiracy-theorizing

      Agree with you re: (below) Lauren and Dyson getting more interactions. I thought they may have been hinting at that with Dyson calling Lauren and even verbalizing that he (grudgingly) respected her as an opponent. Which is oh-so-very antiquated, but since Dyson is antiquated, I like his definition of ‘competing for your lady’s hand’ includes Lauren as a woman with no reservations. On the other hand, he still has prejudices/pragmatism about her as a human. It’s a fun dynamic to navigate, and the few scenes they’ve had together are witty and wonderful and I’d like more.

      • ovarinbows says:

        Lmao. Crazy theories! Big NOOO to the Morrigan being Lauren’s mother or her being half Fae. I hope the writers don’t smoke the same thing you guys do. lol

        I kind of ignored Evony kissing Massimo when I took her being his mom literally. I don’t know what’s worse, his breakdown was terrible. Either way the guy had some serious problems.

        When Lauren asked if those journals were written by the Fae, was it supposed to mean that most geniuses weren’t humans? I’m not sure what the point was with that line. Lauren (and Kenzi) being just human is what makes her so interesting.

        Also, we never found out if he really could turn Kenzi Fae. The more I think, the less I believe he could. He died too early. There were more things that could’ve been explored with his character. We don’t know if Lauren’s results would be stable on the long run either, but she could do it.

  6. overainbows says:

    Also, I’d like to see more Lauren and Dyson interactions. I really enjoyed the new found mutual respect and cooperation. I thought it was very interesting without all the triangle drama. And maybe the voice on the phone was her brother? She’s surely going to enlist Kenzi. Can’t wait for these two working together.

Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] ear start bleeding again, suggesting it’s tied to use of his power; he had used his power in “Of All The Gin Joints” before his ear bled, too. Generally, it would be a small price to pay, but this time it cost him […]

  2. […] Corbett (Stacey) is Victoria and Lara Jean Chorostecki (Ianka the Opera Singer in Of All the Gin Joints) stars as Jacqui in the soon to be released film BARN WEDDING, about a couple who must reschedule […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: