#LostGirl: Season 05, Episode 04, When God Opens a Window
Two weeks ago I somewhat snarkily made the twitter tagline for my review ‘now with more incest!’
I apparently spoke way too soon.
This week we get even MORE incest! Two events, actually; Lauren’s explanation makes it pretty clear the brother/sister parasites operate by being attracted to each other, and Bo has sex with Dyson’s son. No. No, no, no, no. Even more so when Dyson tells Bo thanks for looking out for Mark like a ‘big sis.’ Just . . .
There are plenty of Mark/Bo parallels off the bat: no money or resources (Bo: “There’s something familiar about him . . . ” Tamsin: “He’s broke?”), on the run, confused, unaware of his powers, plays a con when he needs, a survivor by any means necessary. Mark looks a lot like the Bo of a few years ago. For a while it seemed unsure whether we the audience are supposed to sympathize with him as we did Bo when we first met her, or whether we’re supposed to see all these things as reason for Bo’s total blind spot where he’s concerned. With all this, we’ve plenty of things to explain why Bo was so empathic to Mark, without him having a blood connection to her loverboy. Why then did they need to make it incestuous? I have my doubts there’s a long-game reason which is really necessary. The episode’s writing was pretty spot-on in terms of character, etc. (and we’ll get to that); it’s the long arc I’m very unsure of. Especially since it seems it will involve growing amounts of incest, gods, suddenly appearing kids, and murder.
Tamsin has one way of responding to all this: with snark and eye rolling and no little amusement. She mostly exists this episode to respond to things, to counter Bo’s reactions, to give a little healing, and to provide some PI services. I really like it seems they’re going to bring back some of Season 1 & 2’s amateur-investigations-as-story-introducing-device, though of course losing Kenzi as partner and undercover disguisee extraordinaire is a blow.
Nobody can replicate or replace Kenzi, but they’re going to try and fill her shoes. Last episode Tamsin tried to make dinner (and was exasperated at the results); Bo took more time to put together a painting outfit than paint; Lauren provided the booze; Dyson tried to lighten the mood. This episode Tamsin steps into Kenzi’s very high-heeled boots as the other half of the PI team, making the clubhouse a very typical The Odd Couple setup, and providing a healthy dose of skepticism and snark to Bo’s more believing and accepting responses. Honestly, it’s amazing Bo survived on her own as long as she did. Granted, she’s got some pretty unique and deadly self-defense skills. But still.
While those two investigate the hunted kid, Dyson and Lauren were mostly partnered off together. When not sniffing out heirs or dealing with distraught one-night-stands, they’re investigating dead bodies with peculiar markings. The scene where they talk about everything from carbon dating to cult rituals to ancient sacrifices showcases how well their fields of expertise compliment each other.
My guess at how the rest of the season will play out involves a lot of the main foursome paired off in various iterations, because the show likes to shoot that way rather than lots of ensemble scenes. Thus, it’s well and good that all potential pairings can work. Of course, that includes pairing each of the four off with secondary and guest stars – Bo with Mark, Lauren with Evony, Dyson with Vex – and the success is always going to come down to the writing and acting. This episode has a lot of good one-liners, continuing character work, and then it’s up to the actors to carry it, and they do. So far, so good.Then we have three other main things going on in this episode: bringing back past characters/arcs, Mark’s storyline, and the mysterious murders. In that order, then.
Evony has become a gold-digging, helmet-wearing, lab-funding trophy wife. She’s been bribing, and is now threatening, Lauren to restore her powers. I’m all down with letting Emmanuelle Vaugier chew some scenery here.
I’m usually also down for Paul Amos chewing said scenery, but some of the props they gave him were just distracting. The mummy-like head wrap while he and Dyson were having a serious/threatening conversation was way too absurdist, and undermines what should have been an emotional exchange. I do like what happened with the rest of Dyson and Vex, and not just because Vex flirting with Dyson is my favorite thing.
Dyson’s uber-angry reaction seems sudden as it’s built on past events and characterization, but if you’re watching the show at Season 5, you should probably be with the program. I also really, really like that we’re getting to see a guy being emotional to the point of irrational over his friend’s death. Often, this is a girl’s role, (and even more often, it’s specifically the role of a queer character who has lost her partner, a word Dyson uses in relation to Hale; they weren’t romantic, but more than friends, more than work partners, they really operated as a bonded pair, albeit one who didn’t talk about their feelings.)
Weird and out of nowhere as last season’s revelation about Massimo and Vex’s relationship was, it allows for some interesting table-turning here. Dyson refuses to acknowledge Vex’s torn loyalties over helping his quasi-son, but then Dyson gets a kid of his own, and has all sorts of Loyalties and Feels and Internal Conflict over it.
The other part of the episode which is ‘doubled’ is springing a trap; Bo and Mark (and Tamsin and Lauren-with-a-tranq-gun, which is the best) set a trap for our hunter, and later Dyson and Vex do as well. The latter couple cue the audience into the fact it’s a trap because Dyson is acting quite out-of-character; he’s not the kind of guy who’s going to do the “go ahead and kill me” routine for real. This scene also underscores that while Dyson has changed or matured somewhat – talking Mark into seeing the flip side of his thirst for revenge earlier – he certainly hasn’t lost his shifter nature entirely.
That shifter nature seems to play into Mark’s story as well. He comes across as Fae nearly right off the bat, and that’s pretty confirmed after Bo gets an extra boost after kissing him, exclaiming “Wow” – not incidentally the same as her reaction to kissing Dyson for the first time. (Again. Ew.) The way the hunter say “tore them apart and feasted” sounds animalistic, and Mark’s story is vague enough he could easily be leaving something out, like he’s not saying “when he shot my mom, she was a wolf/bear/pillar of fire.” Though he wasn’t operating like the incubus we met, there was a slight vibe he could have been incubus-y. He quickly charmed Maggie on the bus, even though she seemed put out at first, and he seemed to attract Bo against her better judgement, even though he seemed way too young for her (which Tamsin was quick to point out). But Bo shrugged it off with her trademark “sex is totes the answer” and . . . well, there we have it. Like father, like son.
At least Bo didn’t get walked in on that time, unlike when Tamsin started macking on her. Poor Lauren walks in on a LOT of sex/foreplay/healing, and covers for her embarrassment with talking. “So much blood and kissing!”
The episode didn’t give Lauren a lot to do – she was mostly expositing, doctoring, or playing foil to other characters – but we did get another tidbit: President of PETA in high school. They do love giving Lauren flashes of information about her past (then mostly ignoring them), but, they’re a lot of fun. The in-joke with this one is she’s protecting Mark, ie a dog. She’s also obviously still into Bo, who seems . . . oblivious isn’t the right word. Passive. Very passive about the whole thing.
Despite last episode’s moment of connection, Lauren and Tamsin are still a little feisty with each other when it comes to Bo. Lauren gave a decidedly disparaging “Well, Tamsin” when Bo mentioned her attempts at healing, and here Tamsin kisses Bo and then looks pointedly at Lauren to gauge her response, getting a little territorial after Lauren’s flirting with Bo. Not that Tamsin even has anything concrete to be territorial over, but it’s not going to stop her. Lauren’s a big girl, and she can obviously hold her own in love and war, but what I really don’t want to see is this devolve into one giant catfight.
Maybe Lauren and Tamsin could use some of the techniques Bo and Tamsin use while disagreeing. The two of them pausing their good cop / bad cop routine with Mark to have a very respectful, very therapy-buzzword-laden conversation about their feelings and conflict resolution, while Mark looks confusedly on while sporting Dyson’s old Hale-centric shirt (the one he got into a fight with Ciarra over), is all kinds of genius. There are several of those little moments in this episode, which possibly make it feel a lot quicker and better than it’s actually constructed as when you break it down.
I feel about this episode a lot like I did about the last couple episodes. Fun dialogue, the main actors make it work, though not really advancing much season arc yet, which only worries me because of how plot-crowded the ends of seasons 3 & 4 tried to be. Balancing character growth with character consistency can be tricky but is essential, and Lost Girl doesn’t always do it well, but seems to be focusing there (and doing fine) these first few episodes. The episodic plots are more of a means to an end of character and introducing some new faces, and I’m still worried where they’re going with the overall arc, but surely (fingers crossed) the ritualistic murders, the Triskelion, and our mystery blonde goddess are all connected and that’ll start shaping up soon. I’m going to somewhat-patiently wait to see how it pans out.
Just one more thought: stahp it with the incest. Seriously. To paraphrase Tropic Thunder, here’s a tip (and this goes for all genre shows):
Never go full Greek Tragedy.
– Great. Now I’m hungry for Chinese food.
– Bus drivers like this guy are bus drivers who will make you pay again if your ticket is one minute expired, or make you return a day pass they accidentally issued. Seriously, screw those kinds of bus drivers.
– “She banged into some low hanging fruit and now she sucks.”
– Downton Abbey joke, good. Perpetuating that Catherine the Great lie, bad.
– Tamsin’s idea of sex: sharing is caring. Tamsin’s idea of being drunk: telling herself jokes.
– I kind of wanted Bo to go with, “Dyson, I think you have a little hunter in your beard,” but the sympathizing worked, too.
– Lining up the pictures, cool. Making them magically sizzle? No.
– I confess I am a total sucker for the thing where they have a character upside-down, and then show their POV.