#LostGirl: Season 05 Episode 06, Clear Eyes Fae Hearts

Lost Girl doesn’t do Epic.

No battles across sprawling fields, no cities exploding, no grand sweeping camera movements. Lost Girl lives in the smaller moments, the interpersonal connections, the plots where nobody leaves the room but a body swap forces feelings into the open. That’s not a knock: have a niche, make it work for you. Etcetera. Sometimes, stretch yourself, like this episode does, and go a little bigger, but don’t always expect it to work for you. This episode uses more extras than last season’s hellmouth Pyrippus vortex, several CGI’d effects, at least one stunt double, and more graphics work and props department than any episode to date.

BRING ON THE STORM! is definitely meaningful.

Problem being, the episode just doesn’t gel. That isn’t necessarily because it goes big, or because its writer doesn’t know how to deal with tropes (Sandra Chwialkowska did “Adventures in Fae-bysitting” and “The Kenzi Scale”), but it does feel sometimes as if it’s getting so bogged down in shooting football and getting unnecessary jokes in (that golden shower bit is really pushing it) it loses those character beats. And it definitely sacrifices sense for plot convenience. A random young guy is let onto a closed crime scene? Tamsin may be able to make the team ok with her having a ponytail and ovaries, but nobody has a problem with a brand new player who doesn’t know all the routes? Trick is just going air important info out in his bar where a strange lady is drinking a god-like cocktail? Dyson leaves a suspect board out in plain sight for Iris to see? C’mon.

At least Bo gets zapped as punishment for stupidly saying things out loud – it’s one of my pet peeves when characters say things out loud for the benefit of the audience, so when Zeus zaps her and that makes her unable to execute her plan to throw the game, that was intensely satisfying in the great scheme of TV and movie plotting.

It was also just a fun shot.

Yes, Zeus, the god of lightening and thunder, sometimes depicted with a hammer. This episode seems to finalize who the trio of gods are; Zeus, Hera, and Iris, with the first two being genderswapped and the latter having chosen a teenager’s body; especially fitting as, let’s be real, ancient gods are known for being hormonal, often irrational, etc.

Zeus frequently appeared in other forms/genders/species, but even without that, Lost Girl is comfortable genderswapping and toying with the ideas of bodies being immaterial to basic gender in general (remember this?) and the characters work really well as both bickering humans “mommy and daddy are just having a discussion” and petty gods who have no problem zapping anyone who gets in their way. Iris connects the gods to humanity – making the choice of teenager still more interesting – and Apollo is the one generally obsessed with oracles, but I think it’s fair to assume there is going to be some variance in the actual god traits, bent to suit this particular story. Lighting the Artemis candle seems to have brought these “ancients” back to Earth, or enabled them to inhabit bodies, and there may be more out there.

I do like the blocking in this scene.

Meanwhile, it ties into this episode because: Clay’s mom probably had sex with Hercules, making ‘Clay the heraclid’ Zeus’ grandkid. Besides having a name connected to human origin stories, Clay is a Michael Sam type: a football player who is really good, but who makes a lot more waves for being gay. There’s an interesting comment about originally wanting him to keep the gay thing out of the press, then realizing how good it was for the brand. ‘Nobody cares but everybody cares,’ which is exactly where we’re at in the sporting world today. It’s almost a Law and Order sort of moment, using a fictional TV show to comment on Real World Events.

I do wish the boyfriend didn’t basically fulfill a Stereotypes Checklist. Cheerleader! Nose surgery! Worried about carbs! Likes to gossip! Primping in front of the mirror! I get that those sorts of guys / gay guys absolutely exist, but they specifically used all those tropes to telegraph ‘this dude is gay.’ (This episode has a telegraphing problem; from the drink containing ambrosia clearly signaling goddess and ‘classic girl’ as in classical Greek, to the eerie music cueing things about to happen and the set dressing in our QB’s dorm room, this episode spells everything out.) Even just having other male cheerleaders, toning down his primping in the mirror, etc., would have helped us not feel so hit over the head. But those feel like the sort of details which got lost because they’re filming on a larger scale than usual.

I think they made Derek more stereotypical to present an alternative to the Gay Quarterback angle; in other words to showcase two very different ‘types’ of gay guys. Which on the one hand is nice, and certainly there are guys like both of these out there. On the other, it’s quite pat. Also, the show really telegraphed the “this one is gay” angle by having Tamsin first be aggressively hit on by Towel Guy, and then aggressively ignored by our QB, the idea being ‘no-one could possibly resist Tamsin unless they just don’t like the ladies.’ It’s very rote, very easy.

During Tamsin's locker room dressing scene, I kept hearing Barney Stinson saying "Suit up!"

Tamsin is having some sexual feelings of her own. She wakes up in bed next to Bo, suggesting they are ‘sleeping sleeping’ together on the regular. She also wakes up hungry, and a couple times casually kisses Bo, suggesting sex and makeouts are regular too now. But Bo wakes up saying Lauren’s name, and calls Tamsin ‘roomie,’ a word clearly juxtaposed with Tamsin’s use of ‘girlfriends’ later (a word which leads Bo to look more panicked than she did when facing literal hell). Tamsin continually drops comments about how hot she finds Bo, about her intense feelings – it’s all a little awkward and juvenile, but Tamsin’s ventures into romantic as opposed to sexual territory do still feel quite adolescent after reincarnation – and about how she’s not a fan of Lauren butting in . . .

Yes, I enjoy the current love triangle being between three women, something we don’t often see, especially not for an extended period of time. I do wish it weren’t quite so juvenile right now between Tamsin and Lauren, but it is fun to see that a dude doesn’t have to be involved. The Tamsin/Lauren antagonism dynamic is definitely being established pretty hard, and it could lead to a verbal showdown, or a throwdown, or Bo choosing one or the other or neither, or heck, they could be using it to set up a warm fuzzy scene where they all kiss and make up an then establish poly boundaries. I’ve simply no clue where it’s leading. All that seems clear right now is: Bo wants a roomie with benefits, Tamsin wants more than that, Lauren’s face in every scene where she talks to/with/about Bo is clear she also wants way more than that, and we’re running out of runway. There had better be a decision and/or orgy, and soon. Question being, does it come right before the break and leave everyone talking over the hiatus, or do they tease it for the episodes after the break?

DILEMAS!

Besides being very unsure of her sexual/relationship wants, Bo is keeping her suspicion of her dad’s identity mostly secret. She isn’t exactly lying to Dyson here, since she could creatively say she’s not sure who her father is, but she’s not telling him what she knows or suspects, either. Why is she not telling people who might have insight? What does she have to gain by hedging?

Dyson, meanwhile, is doing his detective work, back to how his character started, helping hide the fae world from humans. This is actually a super fascinating angle, and one I wish the show would take full advantage of. Plus, he and Lauren and their skill sets really compliment each other, and here they team up to poke fun at Tamsin, and what I’m saying is I would totally watch the spinoff show CSI: Wolfpants.

Dyson’s detective work starts tying all the pieces of the various plots together, and thankfully so, since we don’t want it all saved for the last three episodes. Plus, he and Grieving Widow are probably going to get it on. He does like helping damsels in distress, and he also reiterates his no human/fae rule. We haven’t heard that in while, so if it’s not setting something up Lauren and Bo (ground we’ve tread before and which the two of them should be able to settle between them), it’s possible the show establishing some relationship conflict for Dyson. 

I like Iris. Too bad she's walking exposition device.

Since we’re delving a bit into the random speculation end of the pool, then:

Why is it Lauren in the dream? Is it just Bo’s brain processing someone and something she is thinking about a lot these days, or does it have further portent? Early jack-in-the-box toys were meant to depict a caged devil, so Is Lauren going to release . . . Bo’s Dad? Inadvertently or not? Or what about Evony’s box containing ‘the evil so ancient it doesn’t have a name’? Is that too literal?

Since we’ve spent much of this season setting up these gods as a formidable group of opponents, it seems we may see Hades/Bo’s dad team up to square off against them. Besides the fact it makes sense to use an ancient god to defeat ancient gods, keeping Bo’s dad from being true ‘evil’ fits with the way Lost Girl blurs the good/evil dichotomy, and also the concept Dark vs. Light doesn’t necessarily mean good/bad. Even if it just works out that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ and Bo has to deal with her dad later, he could be the key to defeating the current . . . trio? Pantheon? Whatever we’re dealing with. Hades may be motivated by love for his daughter, though it’d be a pretty twisted love since he kept her mom all locked up. But, Lost Girl may not feel the need to excuse the behaviour other than ‘ancient gods be crazy.’ Which . . . yes. Yes they are. That much seems to have held true to form.

In the end, the episode’s plot serves up some mythology and a logo which move the main story forward, and also works as a wishful alternate reality for some Real Life Headlines. It’s a little ridiculous, it doesn’t serve any twists it doesn’t signal from a mile away, but it does its duty, and the Big Bads are starting to look more and more concrete every episode.

'I don't know if I have all the ingr. . . Oh look I don't even have to step out of frame to get them all!'

Stray Observations

 – They get more mileage out of creepy kid’s toys and the music accompanying them; first merry-go-round, now this, both episodes written by the same person.

 – Big bad dude being afraid of needles is decidedly Freudian, especially in an episode about gay football players.

 – References: Friday Night Lights (episode title, football); Mean Girls (“she doesn’t go here”); Bring It On (they literally say “bring it on”); Dirty Dancing (it’s such a Baby going to bat for Johnny twist), Taylor Swift; Michael Sam. If you caught more, leave them in the comments, pretty please.

 – The football practice used the same footage twice, and ADR’d most of QB’s locker room lines and Skarsten’s lines during the game.

 – Skarsten is obviously having a blast (she’s also a hockey goalie in real life). But I would kill to see what Solo would have done with this cheerleader bit, which was probably initially conceived with her in mind.

 – Are we assuming humans can’t see it when Tamsin goes valkyrie? Or part of her power is making them doubt what they saw? And does this qualify as ‘feeding’ and so long as not killing it’s acceptable?

 – CAN’T A GIRL LIKE WATCHING SPORTS WITHOUT AT SOME POINT QUALIFYING IT’S ALL JUST ABOUT HOT MEN JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ON A CRACKER. 

 – Nearly every episode, Bo is running up against plots and characters which are components of herself.

 – I see you making up for lost skin-screentime, gratuitous ass shot.

 – Mark doesn’t do much this episode other than punch things and check out three different women.

Comments
11 Responses to “#LostGirl: Season 05 Episode 06, Clear Eyes Fae Hearts”
  1. Mytwocents says:

    I thought about “The Mighty Ducks” (movie) while watching the episode. The color scheme is the same.

  2. C Captain says:

    So in this episode we establish that there is human/god/fae ‘procreation’ capacity. I wonder whether that speaks to Lauren and her role in al of this? Is there a possibility Lauren herself is part Fae/goddess? Her genius would suggest as much, as would her being somewhat manipulated in the Congo. Could Lauren’s role be bigger than we understand?

    • Melanie says:

      At the end of S3 after Lauren ‘turned’ Taft, and then again in S4 when Lauren de-Fae’d Evony, it was strongly suggested she could turn herself Fae, and thus be with Bo without the whole human/Fae restrictions, lifespan differences, etc. I was very much opposed to that idea, because part of what makes Lauren so damned interesting (and for me, part of what makes the romance between she and Bo so moving as well) is her very humanity. She and Kenzi were the only humans in this world, and Kenzi has already really explored what it means to try and change to fit into it. I also like that Lauren’s intellect is simply a product of her hard work and experience, just as Kenzi’s street knowledge and wit etc.

      But, now we’re getting into the mythology of half human / half gods, it would make sense for Lauren to have . . . something, in her genealogy which explains some of the absurd backstory she’s been given. If it does happen, though, it’d for sure be lampshading [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LampshadeHanging] and not having been planned for her since the beginning.

      Whether that happens or not, I do believe Lauren is going to have a far bigger role in the coming showdown/storm than her presence in this season so far suggests.

  3. Tristen says:

    The eps was good as far as Lost Girl can achieve these days. Immature Tamsin and Mark should hook up. They are on the same level. I love Lost Girl but its problems can’t be over looked and they are too numerous to name.

    I don’t think it’s Zeus and Hera. I think the trio are 3 Titans. Cronus was Zeus’s father so its still part of the same family. Hopefully we find out soon.

    My problem with Daddy Darko is this. First the show leads us to believe Bo;s father was The Dark King then possibly Odin. Both were dropped. Then they made us think he was The Wonderer. Dropped again. Then the Pryipuss and that was dropped. Now we are to believe her father is a greek god … maybe Hades. It is obvious that Lost Girl has no idea who Bo’s father is or how to bring him out of the dark. This constant switching of ‘who he might be’ has been a real disaster IMO. I no longer care who he is. No matter who he turns out to be, I’m sure of one thing. I’m going to be disappointed.

    Bo needs to man up. She is not the hero of the show she used to be. She is an unsympathetic anti-hero again this season, just like she was last season. Bo is BORING !!

    • Melanie says:

      I thought some other episodes this season worked better as stand-alones. Heck, every episode would be better with more Kenzi, but I think this one in particular could have used her.

      I get that Tamsin is supposed to be new at this ‘romance’ stuff, and also that she still has some newborn tendencies. But taking the snarling badass of Season 3 and making her *this* immature and desperate and just . . . awkward and petty, when it comes to anything Bo, this isn’t true to character. Or to the show. As for her with Mark, he did check Tamsin out as she walked by. But he’s checking out basically every woman with a pulse, so. And Bo already slept with both father and son, would the show really make Tamsin, too? (*sigh* Don’t answer that.)

      You’ve said it all along, and if you’re right I’ll be first in line to give you kudos. But I’m finding picking a theory and sticking with it for my reviews is easier. Otherwise, there’s just too many options to be equivocating over every week.

      I get Bo may be desperate to figure out who her dad is and grasp at straws, but the show isn’t playing any of this as *Bo* grasping at leads, it’s trying to convince the *audience* that all these options may be her dad, only to turn around and say ‘oh no that’s not him JK!’ That’s a crucial difference.

  4. Maigray says:

    I do tend to favor the genre heavy episodes, so I liked this one.

    I just rolled with Tamsin convincing the team. They did take the time to spell it out for the audience and make sure we knew it was her power making it happen.

    For some reason, I thought Dyson owned the gym…Not sure where I got that from, but again, it just kind of rolled over my head.

    Some of the things that did bother me: Why would Iris warn Mark?

    I’ve never seen Friday Night Lights, so I probably missed out on some of those comparisons. But the storyline must have been written specifically from Michael Sam. He came out a week before the final episode of season four. He’s in an interracial relationship, that he initially kept secret.

    The possibility of a romance between Dyson and the widow really, really bugs me. I just do not see how that can be a positive for anyone.

    Bo is clinically depressed to me, and really scared. Her reactions are..slightly off. Not wrong, exactly, but just not quite right.

    Did you see the horse head on the table?

    I read one of the Cinefillies articles with the showrunner and he said something I found very interesting.He said Tamsin was experiencing what it was like to live and work with a succubus, to be around Bo all the time, and how that would affect you. It explains a lot to me, not just about Tamsin, but Lauren and Dyson too.

    Ever since Tamsin dropped the bomb in S4 about him wanting the perfect “mate”, I thought it was the perfect vehicle for the series. Except for one thing – it’s way too dark. I didn’t think they would do it. It’s always been positive, and light and sexy, mostly tongue-in-cheek, parody and fun, with clever puns and backhanded humor.

    Lo and behold, the humor index has veered into the black. And eye gouging. I can’t remember an episode since 108 when they went as gruesome as they did in 505; and I thought 505 was worse. Mucking about in gray areas of of family, sex and consent. Giving birthday cards signed Daddy. The revelation that these ancient Fae feed off their children….

    Bo’s father either wants to feed off of her, and/or use her power for his own ends. Since that power is sexual in nature, I’ll leave it up to the imagination.

    • Melanie says:

      It didn’t really play any big Friday Night Lights references, definitely more into the Sam bit and Bring It On. But, I absolutely loved FNL; highly recommend.

      I think they might use the widow to help Dyson realize how absurd his anti-human prejudices are? As annoying and should-be-unecessary as it is to use an individual person or example to help someone overcome, say, racism/anti-gay sentiments/misogyny/whatever, [and as much as anything like ‘you have a mom therefore don’t beat women makes me angry], oftentimes peoples’ eyes are opened through their own experiences when reason fails.

      I did not see the horse head, until pointed out. Huh.

      It’s definitely dark and more sexually investigative. Kind of . . . Torchwood-y, actually. Just realized that is how this season feels. (That is not exactly a compliment. Also to be clear I’ve only seen partway through S2 of Torchwood.)

  5. chick666 says:

    Sometimes you find the most insightful perspectives in the least expected places.

    You truly should read this (contained within spoiler tag):
    http://s1.zetaboards.com/L_Anon/single/?p=15168332&t=5725906

    • Melanie says:

      There is definitely a lot there . . . the four most interesting things to me are:

      the point we haven’t recently seen the way fae casually interact out in the human world (as I recall, not since S3, mostly with Kenzi undercover in various situations) but we’re getting more of that here, both with Dyson’s coverup and with the football team in general. I like that aspect of the show, always have.

      the fact the writers are using Tamsin as a catch-all, personality trait wise. I don’t mind using Youthful Tamsin facets (as was in this week’s episode), but I do miss when she was just a straight-up prickly ass.

      the generational prejudice gap with Mark and Dyson, as how obvious it is to Mark that anti-human feelings are absurd. I was definitely reminded of that recently with some casually racist older people; there’s just a refusal to grasp or reason beyond the ‘well of course this is the way of things.’ In fact, this may be Mark’s most interesting trait so far.

      how Lauren has completely flipped her position from where we first met her; slave to boss.

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