Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 11, End of a Line
My Shakespeare professor always said Romeo and Juliet was a story about how poor communication kills romance and people.
And what we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
Hale never told Kenzi what that pesky little twig did. Kenzi never told Hale she kyped it. Hale never told Kenzi about his ear bleeding. Bo never told Kenzi she was leaving for the night. Trick never told Bo about his seed, or that pesky little detail about not killing the Una Mens, until he needed something. Bo did not communicate with Tamsin about Rainer’s looks. Tamsin and Acacia obviously don’t so much as text.
All this lack of communication in an episode which telegraphs everything coming. That’s not a value judgement, simply a statement of fact. The moment Acacia mentioned Massimo, he was going to show up and wreak havoc. The second the big deal was made of drinking blood, Bo was going to have to do the same. The moment Hale pulled out the ring, he was a goner. The moment Kenzi said “we have all the time in the world,” he was a goner by the finale. The moment Kenzi came downstairs with the ring on her finger, Hale was a goner by this episode.
So it goes.
The episode uses a half-dozen callbacks (Hecuba, Dmitri and the identity theft, bobblepaw cat, even a picture of Kenzi undercover from “(Dis)members Only”, see picture below), and it is also wildly self-aware. The whole opening scene on the bed is essentially the writer(s) processing the past three years, probably down to referring to sad Dyson as Mopey Dick. Tamsin – instead of the usual Kenzi – serves as the audience surrogate: it opens with her asking, “is that it!?” and continues with her asking things of Bo, of Acacia, which get them to talk plot points.
Kenzi, meanwhile, is taking the power role in her relationship with Bo. She’s tired of waiting and being left and being patient. She’s angry, and she’s hurt, and she’s letting Bo know all about it.
Bo responds with vague feelings-y platitudes, and how “it wasn’t perfect” with Dyson or Lauren, and how her relationship with Rainer is “bigger than love.” She later babbles on to Tamsin and Acacia that she ‘just knows’ Rainer is a good guy, and doesn’t have it in for her. One wonders how much her being raised with a hyperidealistic, unattainable idea of a relationship has lent itself to her infatuation with Rainer.
Something else her childrearing did not prepare her for? Zombies. EVERYONE KNOWS YOU CUT THEIR HEADS OFF. This is why you need to let your children watch movies. It’s how we learn how to do things like make out and use tourniquets and kill zombies.
Acacia comes out from behind Bo’s head to finish off the revenant . . . no, really. There’s nowhere in the actual room for her to hide, so they use Bo’s silhouette in the left foreground of the frame to cover both her swinging the sword, and her stepping into the scene. Ballsy.
Lost Girl follows a current and generally interesting trend of ‘serial killers for hire,’ only adding an undead spin. So Bo is off to find the
As in Marie Laveau, the voodoo practitioner and manipulator of people in societal power. As in this song, which you should do yourself a favor by listening to right now. As in another powerful female opponent. While these are becoming more frequent (witness both ongoing Sherlock Holmes adaptations, one of which gets it right), they’re still more prevalent on Lost Girl than most places. The tale involves drinking blood and is dark, as becomes most fairy tales, mythology, New Orleans, and this season.
After Bo drinks the blood, her eyes are blue as she tells the revenants to “be at peace,” and the blood=power Bo is an interesting connection. Drinking blood has voodoo and various religious implications, it’s mentioned by Trick and Vex as a source of power, and has been a throughline in the series since the beginning.
Speaking of Trick. “History is written by the victors,” including Trick, one of a few left to tell his story. Even though he can self-censor and form his own legacy, he sees no problem admitting Rainer wasn’t evil, “just defiant,” and verbally comparing Bo and Rainer. He’ll manipulate anyone to get his way, and I rather doubt Vex’s father was in his army, let alone a general. Trick is playing him.
While those two match wits and Bo ditches Kenzi to chase another wild goose, Kenzi has her hands full, what with her mother, her cousin, and her lover all showing up to dinner.
Kenzi has always had an acrimonious relationship with her family, but she’s also shown herself to be forgiving. The scene where she spells out to her mom the things she was driven to do on the street, and how it’s amazing she’s still alive and as functional as she is, is heartbreaking, but watching her accept her mother’s apologies, just like that, is almost as painful. We know where this is going.
Kenzi can’t fully believe her mom kicked out the abusive boyfriend and is turning over a new leaf, but hope springs eternal. Kenzi loves her mom, and she wants to believe the good things are true, so she accepts her mom back . . . until the truth if confirmed. The whole thing happens really quickly (I wouldn’t mind seeing this story stretch over a few episodes; it’d be better served that way than as an arc packed into a B-plot), but it’s the too-common, heartbreaking story of an abuser, a con artist, an addict, an enabler, who will continually take advantage of everyone around her. The ones who truly love her are the ones who will get hurt the most and worst.
But Kenzi’s not into infinite chances. When she catches her mom’s raised hand, that’s the end. Kenzi’s story has always been been explicit about her overcoming abuse, and now she’s explicit about how her mom is a participant in that abuse. Lost Girl is not afraid to let family, friends, and loved ones be irredeemable.
It nags at me that the episode may be trying to draw faint parallels between Bo and Kenzi’s mom. It doesn’t really click, but there’s something there. Kenzi’s mom acted and is acting without regard for Kenzi’s wellbeing, all over a boyfriend she’s told is bad news. Bo is ignoring people telling her Rainer is bad, all because of her ‘feelings’ for Rainer; she’s also using textbook responses about ‘just knowing’ he’s good at heart. Kenzi calls her mom selfish, Kenzi and Dyson both point out Bo can be selfish. Kenzi said her mom chose the boyfriend over her, and Dyson clearly tells Bo she chooses. It’s not that Bo is Kenzi’s mom; Bo isn’t actively choosing someone who abuses Kenzi, and she hasn’t raised a hand to Kenzi, but cries over and rejoices with and legitimately tries to help her. Instead, it seems to show how Bo is heading down a path which could lead to this bad place, should Bo not actively turn from said path. It’s true the story doesn’t seem to be doing a great job of the comparisons. So either I’m crazy, or it’s not thoroughly fleshed out, or it was unintentional but thinly shows up anyways. Perhaps had the two stories been in different episodes, it would be clearer one way or the other.
Add to that confusion the way Silk is back in full form this episode. She’s been a bit uneven this season, sometimes downright off, whether due to general exhaustion, directors steering her character a different way (where Bo being ‘off’ begins and ends is still a puzzle), playing across from a lot of different actors and most of them Cases of the Week, something else intangible, a combination of all of the above, who knows. But she’s solid here, and of course her best scenes are with Solo.
It’s no coincidence the show is best when these two are together at its core, and it’s no accident Bo – who has waffled over her destiny and her love life and her every other choice the past several episodes – is insistent that above all else, she chooses Kenzi.
It’s quite the scene, capping an already intense story. I mean, Massimo had his foot on the throat of a woman recently facing her past abusers, and then Hale came in and beat Massimo to death, and then Hale was stabbed in front of Kenzi, then Kenzi lashed out at Bo for all the terrible that’s been happening the last few months, and then Bo drugged Kenzi into a stupor to forget her pain. Just . . . damn.
The fact they were explicit about Kenzi’s abused past earlier in the episode supports Hale’s intense reaction to Massimo beating Kenzi. After said reaction, and using his siren to presumably kill the druid, Hale’s 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 his life because he couldn’t hear Kenzi’s warning about Massimo’s rising (the sound mixing there was nicely done).
The other thing which enables Hale’s death is something which gets mentioned in passing in “Turn to Stone,” and that’s Kenzi stealing the Twig of Zamora. The twig was one of Hale’s family heirlooms, and it gives the holder immortality; thus, Kenzi’s stealing the twig both saved Massimo and enabled Hale to die. That’s going to be a lot of guilt and emotion to process.
Tamsin and Dyson may have their own processing to do, too. After reestablishing their partnership, they end up (presumably) having sex for the first time. Shortly before, there was a charged moment between Tamsin and Bo, with Bo saying ‘sometimes you just have to go for it, right?’ which I thought was going to end in at least a kiss, before they were mystically interrupted by a book which showed Rainer to not look like Tamsin’s hirer The Wanderer, meaning either they’re not the same person, or there are two forms, the beautiful and the hideous.
Thus stymied, Tamsin goes to the bar and channels her frustrated sexual tension onto Dyson, someone she’s been attracted to for a while, and someone who just had a frustrating conversation of his own with Bo. Tamsin reminds Dyson of the first time they met, when she punched him in the mouth and later kissed him (at that time, I thought they would be in bed together within a dozen episodes, so looking at it that way, this is overdue). They both get something they need out of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be all comfortable and happy in the morning.
As for the overall picture, the foreshadowing of Massimo, of Hale dying, of Acacia and Laveau, the blood drinking, of various upcoming power plays by Trick, etc., is quite pat. Much of this episode is paint-by-numbers, but the acting – specifically, Solo’s acting, and Silk’s return to form – and what we know of the characters from the past seasons, and the way this genre can fake deaths, and all the rest of the small parts worked. But what they add up to is less than it should be.
The Kenzi/Hale storyline is the perfect example of everything in this episode. The actors are into it; Kenzi’s mom whipping out her pink iPhone to record the moment is the perfect touch; Bo’s giddy reaction to her friend’s happiness is a flash back to brighter days; the ring with its giant stone as well as inherent promise to a poor girl and a human reminds us of how Hale struggles with the disconnect between his family and his own path. But the whole use of engagement to legitimize a relationship and make a death more ‘serious’ is such a cheap shortcut. All this, in addition to the audience empathy built up over time for these characters, makes us forget how truncated Hale’s storyline was from what it could have been, and glazes over how rote this particular episode is. The pieces of the story and the emotional reaction garnered from the audience are so great they add up to at least double the whole.
I get by complaining about an absence of something, ie a ‘lack of more Hale vs family/privilege/faetriarchy,’ I’m punishing a show for imaginary plotting which didn’t and can’t materialize. There exist a hundred storylines unwritten in every show, and it’s usually problematic to attack a lack of one particular plot. The difference is, they set Hale’s story up so clearly: it was a plotline rich for mining, a potential for one of the more interesting characters on TV in S2, and then they simply abandoned it, and then his end was glaringly signaled with a quickie engagement. Though the pieces were good, the whole was never given the respect and attention it deserved, and that is symptomatic of the whole episode. That’s the real tragedy here.
At least we’ll always have that last gratuitous ab shot.
– “You had me at a-hole”
– “She’s only my mother by birth.”
-“terror from the terroir.”
– Skeezeball getting his phallic camera stomped on by Bo was my favorite visual gag.
– Heaven help us if Kenzi decides Hale’s death plus abandonment issues is a catalyst for leaving, even temporarily. But, if Kenzi actually moves out, they’ll turn her room set back in Bo’s room set.
– CREDITS RUIN ALL THE THINGS. Such a rapid change in music and mood. We hates them, my precious.