Google +

Sexuality on Lost Girl: Monogamy, Objectification & Sexual Orientation — Episode 5

June 25, 2013 by Drinks at The Dal


Bo and Lauren in Fae-de to Black
We continue our conversation about Lost Girl series creator Michelle Lovretta’s rules for portraying sex and sexuality that she outlined in an interview with The Watercooler. In part one we discussed slut-shaming, and in part two we talk about her rules concerning monogamy, objectification, and sexual orientation. Our guest is writer and filmmaker Melanie Killingsworth. Melanie writes about film and television, including Lost Girl, at her blog mehlsbells, and you can follow her on Twitter @mehlsbells.

Rule 2: Bo is capable of monogamy, when desired

Does Bo’s Apparent Inability to be with Only Lauren Sexually in Season Three Contradict This Rule?
  • Could Bo have been more stable if she sucked chi from Lauren as well as having sex with her?
  • Writers are probably hedging their bets and bending the rule a bit. Bo is monogamous in that she only has one partner, so maybe the writers are redefining what monogamy is.
  • Dyson was having difficulty keeping up with Bo in season one, so there is a suggestion from the beginning that she might not be able to subsist on one sexual partner even if s/he were Fae instead of human.
Open Relationships
  • Samir & Olivia (“Faetal Attraction”): The show makes clear that Samir and Olivia don’t die in “Faetal Attraction” because of their open relationship but because Samir lied and cheated and broke the agreed upon rules of their relationship.
  • Bo and Lauren in season three

Rule 3: Both genders are to be (adoringly!) objectified — equal opportunity eye candy FTW

Sexual objectification: representing or treating someone like a non-thinking or feeling thing that can be used for one’s sexual pleasure

Maybe a Little Heavy on Female Objectification
  • Making out couples at the sex club in “Faes Wide Shut” — more naked women visible than naked men and yet there’s more naughty bits to cover up on women
  • There are three queer female main characters (Bo, Lauren, and Tamsin) and there have been many displays of female/female sexuality, but there are no queer male main characters and much fewer displays of male/male sexuality.

Lauren, Bo, and Dyson in Arachnofaebia

Rule 4: Sexual orientation is not discussed, and never an issue

  • No “coming outs” or firm declarations of sexual orientation, except for Kenzi
  • Bo being a bisexual lead character is very significant. With the exception of specifically LGBT shows such as The L Word or Lip Service, no other TV shows that we can think of have had a queer female lead character.
Does Bo calling Lauren “Lawrence” in “Adventures in Fae-bysitting” contradict this rule?
  • Bo swaps Lauren’s gender because of the environment she was in. To go undercover successfully, she needed to be accepted by this community, which meant she needed to appear to be just like them and have a male partner.
  • In season three in particular, the show often separates the human world, which is less accepting of difference, from the Fae world, which is more so (as long as you’re Fae and not human).

Rule 5: Bo’s male and female partners are equally viable

  • The pilot episode (“Vexed”) that was shopped around to networks has sex scenes with both Dyson and Lauren.
  • Sex between Bo and her male/Fae partners is portrayed as more animalistic and aggressive, but sex between Bo and her female partners isn’t just portrayed as soft kisses and snuggles.
Does making Bo’s female love interest human and her male love interest Fae undermine this rule?
  • Would it have been a better challenge to homophobia and heterosexism to make Bo’s female love interest Fae? Even though Bo and Lauren’s genders are not a barrier to their being together, they confront more challenges that are intrinsic to their relationship — it’s taboo for Fae to have relationships with humans, Bo will probably live much longer than Lauren, etc. — that echo obstacles that many same-sex couples face in the real world.
  • It’s innovative that the the supernatural creature/human star-crossed lovers relationship is between two women. All the other prominent immortal/mortal love stories have been with a male and female (Twilight, Buffy, Lord of the Rings, Tuck Everlasting).

Dyson in (Dis)Members Only

Listener Feedback

A couple of listeners sent in feedback in response to our episode about slut-shaming and mentioned a particular scene that we did not discuss.

The second case [of slut-shaming in season one] comes just episodes later with the episode “(Dis)Members Only” in which Dyson basically calls Bo a slut just without saying the actual word. He describes her methods as sleazy and not something he does; case wise it plays on how by the book Dyson is and how Bo will get in with the bad guys to solve her case if it comes to that but sexuality wise it was a CLEAR showing that Dyson was faulting Bo for being who she is and shaming her for it. — Aaron S.

Kate (@ImageFeeder) also sent a voice message about this scene in “(Dis)Members Only,” mentioning that she felt like it was an excellent example of slut-shaming in action because Dyson tries to control Bo’s behavior by calling her tactics “sleazy.”

  • This scene is very complicated. Dyson begins very upset and domineering, but by the end of the scene he is kneeling before Bo and being the most emotionally vulnerable we’ve seen him be up until this point in the series. But was his comment intended to manipulate Bo in some way?
  • Dyson’s “sleazy” comment is similar to Lachlan or Bertram in “The Mourning After” calling Bo a slut — it’s an instance of slut-shaming, but it doesn’t actually succeed at making Bo feel badly about her sexuality. However, unlike those other two instances, there is not a clear message that the person making those comments is evil and/or wrong.

Share your feedback or ask questions


31 comments »

We welcome relevant and respectful comments. You can read our comment policy for more details.

  1. […] This is part 2 of the podcast, which covers a bit more ground. As always, please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments, either of this post or the podcast blog. Or both! No sort of commentator binary here.  […]

  2. Melanie says:

    Thanks to the commentors for pointing this scene in 01.12 out! This episode is next up for review, and I’ll pay special attention to this scene when I examine the whole thing.

    -mehlsbells

  3. Kj (@kedrie) says:

    I think the one thing that bothered me about the Lawrence situation of 3.11, was the unfortunate timing. 3.10 was the Dawning, and visually the parts of Lauren and Dyson were switched (gender swapped) to push the story along and give Dyson the opportunity to “save” Bo.

    So you have the visual cues in 3.10 that Dyson needs to be the one in the loving//house//husband relationship with Bo.

    And 3.11 Bo changes Lauren’s name to a hetero-name to hide her gender.

    Having these back to back, really sent a (probable) unintentional message along to the audience, that f/f relationships will ultimately be secondary to the social//fae constraints of the day.

    • Melanie says:

      Perhaps if my reading of the Dawning as different, I would have had second thoughts about the line. I don’t read the Dawning as being pro-Dyson at all. Dyson’s manipulation of the Dawning is immature and ultimately unsuccessful, Bo saves him, and the character-swapping (or projecting the one onto another, or however you want to put it) underlined for me how much Dyson *didn’t* work for Bo.

      I wrote then:
      “First, brute strength isn’t what Bo needs to survive her Dawning. Second, Lauren is better for Bo than Dyson is, in her ability to help heal, and as a person. It’s a stunning, painful revelation, but Dyson realizes he can give himself for Bo, which of course he intended all along.* Perhaps that helps explain both his giddiness (may as well have a beer if you’re about to die!) and his willingness to indulge in What If games.”

      *This is his machismo talking, but it’s also partly why he was so desperate to create this utopian life with Bo: because if he couldn’t make that work, then he was going to sacrifice himself. And boy, did it not work.

      The lesson was for Dyson and the Dawning was mostly about Dyson, but it’s a negative lesson about Dyson being a gigantic asshole (which word Bo calls him during the Dawning), not a ‘Dyson is hero, should be in relationship with Bo.”

      All the ways in which he tried to project himself and/or ended up in, depending how you read his interaction with the Caretaker – I read it as Dyson ‘fixing’ the game – into the relationship were utter failures. His heteronormative dream* became a nightmare, almost killed him, and made him understand he couldn’t force the issue: Bo had chosen, and he should abide by that or suffer severe consequences.

      *I do think would have been the same had the love triangle been with another man: he doesn’t hate Bo being with Lauren because Lauren is a woman, he hates Bo being with Lauren because Lauren is not him. It’s tinged with some general anti-human prejudice, but we’ll see if he manages to work through that.

      Thankfully for him, Bo managed to save him from the worst of consequences, though chi-sucking the whole room to do so was . . . ugh.

      • keds says:

        That this is a totallly plausible interpretation of the dawning, but visually? What does the audience see? You do not see Lauren. You see Dyson. And that’s my point. It felt like there was absolutely no reason to swap their roles other than to make it more “comfortable” for a straight audience to watch. And fanservice. They could have easily written it differently. Also, I cannot be 100% confident that if the love triangle was two dudes and Bo, that they would have kept this the same visually.

        And the confusion factor was Dyson was Lauren …..but he was also himself. Self aware as Dyson at the end. Yes, the audience should have engaged the brain. But visually it was erasure.

        And then. Boom. 3.11 happens and Bo is nervous relaying the gender of her “partner” and falsified it. Again, I’m not saying the show does this on purpose or with a sense of itself, its simply a consequence of sticking them back to back for me. And I’m pretty sure I’m not entirely alone in that assessment.

        Anyway, I really enjoyed your podcast, it does stir commentary and thoughts. Thanks to everyone for their time on this.

        • First, let me say that I completely do not understand the writing choice to turn Bo’s Dawning into Dyson’s Dawning. That choice is probably the main reason I think The Dawning storyline was a dud, though I have other reasons as well. BUT “The Ceremony” provides probably the most insight into Dyson that we get all season. And part of that insight was revealed by Dyson choosing to switch roles with Lauren — not just to be with Bo in his fantasies, which the audience could have expected, but to actually switch places with Lauren. He placed the mistake he made going to The Norn on her, he turned himself into a doctor (a doctor that delivers babies even!) instead of a cop, he was more nurturing and open… So, yes, they could have written it differently, but if that’s the information the writer wanted to convey — that Dyson wanted to be like Lauren, not just be with Bo — I think the switch was the simplest way to do it.

          The more that I think about it, I actually think the Dyson and Lauren switch is kind of innovative because it suggests that a straight man longs for a relationship that two queer women have. It’s still not an uncommon storyline to have the one (sometimes token) queer character on a TV show pining for a relationship but finding themselves in a crowd of straight people. Even though he did get a boyfriend eventually, Kurt on Glee had that storyline just a couple of years ago. It’s kind of nice to see a queer couple represent something out of the reach of a straight character.

      • Aaron says:

        “Thankfully for him, Bo managed to save him from the worst of consequences, though chi-sucking the whole room to do so was . . . ugh.”

        It was out of character is what it was! Yes Bo would want to save a friend if she could but she’s not going to risk others lives by chi sucking them to death possibly without asking first; and no way she doesn’t apologize for having to do it in the first place afterwards. That scene was just so out of character for Bo it wasn’t even funny.

        The fact Stella didn’t get mad at the end of it was also unrealistic; she didn’t want Dyson involved in the process in the first place so to be chi raped in order to save him because he messed up…given her past objections to Kenzi being at the Dawning and people interrupting Bo’s practices I’d think she’d been more upset at being chi raped for a stranger like that. It was just an unrealistic scene which tried to mimic “Death Didn’t Become Him” to try and keep the triangle balance – something it’s never been honestly, but it failed miserably for a lot of fans.

        Triangle aside there is no way Bo risks Kenzi’s health like that because despite what the person who looked like Bo in that moment said, she didn’t know how in control she was and had Kenzi died because of that mistake she would have never forgiven herself. She didn’t even apologize to her, that jacked up line about “You know I had to do it right?” is NOT an apology! Yes Kenzi would help because she’s in love with Dyson but still normal Bo would has asked and again she would have apologized better afterwards; that was not our Bo.

        Instead of evolving Bo definitely devolved from the whole Dawning thing. She turned into an unlikable jerk at times to her humans, she actually got weaker as a supposed hero, and she lost what made her special by acting like being fae was the best thing ever. S1 “I chose humans!”; Bo may be genetically fae but she is human in every other way and her desire to make up for the deaths she’s caused along the way is what separates her from the rest of the fae and makes her who we use to cheer for…S1/S2 Bo needs to return soon I say! She is missed!

      • Melanie says:

        (Comment ‘stacking’ must be limited, so I’ll note who I’m replying to):

        Keds: Yes, the audience sees Dyson. And sees him behaving badly. Take out the fact he’s trying to usurp Lauren’s role, you still have a guy drugging Bo into staying married to him, keeping her in the Dawning game away from her life and her friends,* acting very paternal and controlling, tricking her into being pregnant in hopes that would ‘save’ them (something which sadly happens quite often in ‘reality’), and trying to avoid what his initial better nature led him into the Dawning for in the first place; to sacrifice himself for her.

        If watching that horrorshow of a ‘relationship’ was supposed to be ‘comfortable for straight audiences’ (not that the writers have done much towards that end, though network standards sure do), let alone Dyson/Bo shippers**, then I’m not sure the writers did a good job. I was intensely uncomfortable, even with Bo slapping him and ultimately stabbing him for his asinine-ness.

        *I’ve only rewatched the episode once, but it became pretty clear I missed something on first watch: since time moved differently, Dyson actually kept Bo in the alternate universe for years. That’s pretty twisted. I think Dyson learned more from the Dawning than Bo, and though he backslides when it’s convenient for the writers (see his at-that-point-OOC growling at Lauren in 3.13), he has grown some throughout the show. But during the Dawning all and I mean ALL his worst traits emerged.

        ** Anyone rooting for this relationship should pretend the alternate reality in this episode means it doesn’t count for Dybo, because it’s pretty gruesome.

        ———————

        Aaron: Yeah I don’t read it as playing into the triangle so much as WTF!?!?!?!? Possibly they try to ret-con it as the Dawning having changed Bo into someone totally devolved and unable to care about others (and actually I have an off-the-wall theory about the Dawning being meant to disconnect Bo from humanity – http://bit.ly/15L3V8s), but the way everyone else reacted was also OOC, because, well, convenience and the episode running out of time. It was an awful end to what would have been a fascinating study; I like the juxtaposition and I’m always down for some psycho-fkery, but it could have been done as a dream, or a Fae curse, or anything but this built-up Dawning that was supposed to keep Bo from devolving.

        ———————

        Kris: I agree the whole thing was Dyson’s desire to usurp Lauren, though I think it could work even if people miss that. Dyson sees ‘Oh, Bo’s with Lauren, so I’ll try to be that because it’s what she wants,’ and that’s what he gets the caretaker to create. He gets the surface things: doctor, nice apartment, nurturing (bringing food), and he’s also happy he can bring physical protection to the table. But he misses there’s so much else to Lauren that Bo is in love with, and he misses the fact Bo doesn’t need to be protected against her will (including physically and psychologically), he misses a whole laundry list of things. And I think it really starts to hit him in Delinquents, though the Dawning is part of what helps him come to that realization. So ultimately, the Dawning is more about Dyson than Bo – at least what happens therein, since we don’t seem to have finished with the fallout.

        General Note: I also think there’s a line between ‘trusting your audience’ and ‘not explaining because it would take up time being wasted on other things,’ and I think some episodes in S3 have too much left up to interpretation. I can psychoanalyze anything until the cows come home, and it’s fun! But in the end if there’s not several things I can point to to support my theories, if it all happened off-screen, there’s some ‘splaining to do.

      • Rachel says:

        As much as this is making my head spin, it’s also begin to clarify the Dawning a bit. I’ve just felt confused about that whole episode. Will comment on your blog 🙂

    • Kris says:

      Minor nitpick (sorry!): The Dawning was in episode 3.09. 3.10 was Delinquents.

      I see what you’re saying, but I thought the visual cues in the Dawning were signifying Dyson’s desire to be in Lauren’s place. He’s a doctor and their suburban home looks more like Lauren’s apartment than Bo’s or Dyson’s homes (to me). Yes, we see Dyson, but we see him trying to play Lauren.

      Everything’s always up for interpretation, of course.

      And the Dawning could probably be its own episode, anyway. Right, Stephanie and Annie?

      The “Lawrence” thing kind of threw me off for a second, but it didn’t really bother me because of the context of the scene. Also, there’s this great split-second look that Kenzi gives Bo when she adds the “-ence” — sort of a combination of surprise and confusion. That’s how I interpreted it, at least. I’m pretty sure I gave Bo the same look.

      • The more that I think about it, the more I think that the show’s choice to include Bo’s obvious revision of Lauren’s name was meant to reveal what Bo thinks of this woman/community rather than what Bo thinks of herself a queer person or her relationship with Lauren. Because Bo feels the need to edit herself, we as the audience are supposed to pick up that this community is very sheltered and small-minded.

        And, yes, The Dawning could be its own episode.

  4. Aaron says:

    On the topic of monogamy…

    Bo being a succubus isn’t capable of physical monogamy with anyone…they said that basically in season 1 when Lauren was examining her and working with her giving her the shots; it was said that no one person – fae or human was enough for Bo because she needed variety to help address some balance in her. Season 1 proved that no one person was enough for Bo in the form of her almost killing Dyson at times; he had to fight her off literally at times to get her to stop before she killed him…even Kenzi pointed out the effects on him with the comments “You’re looking a little green” when the frost giant tried to kill Bo and she fed from Dyson & then with “Being with her hurts you doesn’t it?” during one of the police station scenes as it was and Bo was still feeding as well from others during that season so it goes to show that again fae or human it doesn’t matter physical monogamy isn’t exactly in Bo’s wheelhouse due to being a succubus.

    Lauren always knew what Bo was and what she had to do to survive and she accepted that; in order to be with Bo you have to accept it and she always has, in fact she was the one who always told Bo she needed feed or was asking why she didn’t heal fully when she fed but didn’t take as much because she didn’t want to risk killing someone. Bo wanted to try physical monogamy so bad in S3 and be everything for Lauren that Lauren allowed Bo’s hopes and dreams to influence her as doctor but she always knew eventually Bo was going to have to feed from others, it’s just who she is; it has nothing to do with Lauren being a human, variety is just part of being a succubus. It’s why Lauren reminded Bo in episode 4 of season 3 that she had to feed and she was okay with it because the alternative of not having Bo in her life like that was just too much. Again she has always known and accepted what Bo is; the only thing she was really upset about in that scene I think was the fact Bo was forced to use an ex and thus came the whole rule thing.

    It wasn’t Lauren being upset about Bo as a succubus it was just the who she had done it with and really who would want their love with an ex? No one wants that. If Bo could be physically monogamous as well she would be but the fact is as a succubus she can’t and again Lauren has always accepted that fact because she loves Bo and accepts her for who she is!

    There is of course another type of monogamy out there and that’s emotional monogamy which Bo is fully capable of; in fact given her succubus side it’s really the only true form of monogamy she has, it coupled with how she was raised could explain why she never cheats on her partners. Remember in season 1 Dyson broke up with Bo because Trick told him to and he used the Dal waitress to do it but Bo never cheated on him. Could emotional monogamy be what Michelle meant instead of physical monogamy? Because Bo being physically monogamous would pretty much invalidate everything they’ve shown/said so far about succubi on the series.

  5. Aaron says:

    On the topic of objectification….

    I agree, there should be more shirtless Hale because oh my gosh those abs! K.C. wins hands down in the shirtless department; Kris might have the pretty hair and beard but when it comes to shirts off – K.C. is where it’s at! Ha. 🙂

    The lightness on m/m stuff is annoying; yes they’ve had gay males in each of the seasons but it was once in each season compared to the massive amount of f/f they show on there…that’s not equal objectification.

    The over abundance of f/f did get cheap in season 3 for sure because it’s like everyone was doing it and for what? As you said it sales better yes but are doing this show as Skinemax on basic cable or are trying to keep with the show lore of equality and how sexual orientation doesn’t matter in the world of the fae? Again the odds are they’ll never show Dyson making out with a guy even though we know Kris wouldn’t care about making out with another man just because Dyson is suppose to be the “straight alpha male” even though he’s a serious beta follower at best and was running around with dudes for a lot of his life but there’s still Vex who does seem to be very open with his sexuality and he has flirted with Dyson, be it just to irritate him or maybe he really would ride he wolf once, so how great would it be to see Vex just lay one on Dyson once? Ha.

    And again you don’t necessarily have to show m/m action with the core group, although it would be interesting to see, but at least have them mention it in a comment or allude to it would be something fresh and really show how free thinking in the aspect of sexuality the fae can be. There should be more m/m guest/background action though just to balance out all the f/f they have at times. Granted we probably won’t see it as much as we do still f/f but like a 40/60 mix or at least 30/70 wouldn’t kill them I don’t think.

    Another issue with the whole season 3 bisexual surge was the presumption that just because two characters are of the same orientation it means they’ll want to sleep together so there will be sexual tension. Which isn’t true; just because you’re gay, straight, bisexual, or whatever doesn’t mean you want to do everyone who’s the same way…there needs to be chemistry as well and not everyone has it together so when you try to put two people together without that chemistry it just feels forced and cheap.

    The out right establishment of Tamsin as bisexual on the Showcase blog did break the rule of sexual orientation not being discussed I felt. Yes Kenzi in the pilot does come out as straight but she does it in a throw like line – “You be you and all but I’m only into guys” so it was that one quick line that one time and still they have shown her making out with girls at times for various reason, the odds of Kenzi sleeping with one is pretty nil but they there is still those openings to play with for fans and it’s not like Kenzi is running around saying each week how straight she is; just like it’s assumed Dyson and Hale are straight guys but for all we know they could have had a moment with a man in their long lives we just haven’t heard about it yet. Still none of those characters, or any character on the series has ever had their orientation revealed like that and been so publicized so that’s why I say they broke the rule with Tamsin and wasn’t a good thing.

    Yes it’s nice to have another bisexual shown on the series to prove Bo isn’t the only one out there but at the same time they didn’t need to publicize it I felt; it would have been better to let it come out on it’s own in the story than made a big deal about it. That just felt wrong of them to me and like they were doing it to grab attention and that just makes you feel dirty. Honestly, what was the point of having her be the one who got revealed in the bio about her orientation when they’ve never done that with a character before?

    Up until then it was either figure it out for yourself or mentioned quickly once on the show and that was it – no big deals.

    I have to disagree on the apartment being Nadia’s choice because while the prints up is an artist thing, Nadia was cursed at that point so it wasn’t exactly like she could do apartment hunting with Lauren. Maybe they were prints Nadia had picked out from their last place together before they put things into storage before going to the Congo but I don’t think the design was due to Nadia because again she wasn’t able to be there you know?

  6. Aaron says:

    On the topic of not discussing orientation….

    Again they broke that rule by making Tamsin’s orientation known before the show even started airing episode one of season 3. And really there was no call for doing that; it was just cheap titillation. There were plenty of on screen ways to hint at her being bisexual without the big promotion to do over it. In my opinion it was a step back in the handling of the series and one they again didn’t need to make.

    While I can understand from an undercover aspect Bo might want to portray a certain image which goes against her own for this uppity area, I still understand the dislike for that scene and the need of it. As you said earlier in the podcast this is 2013, so shouldn’t realtors who want to make that commission not be so judgmental? It was a very controversial moment for the season/show and for obvious reasons. On one hand you can kind of understand why she did it, but on the other it’s like “Aren’t we above this by now?”.

    On the topic of both genders being viable…

    The switching of doing a female fae and human man…honestly, I’m not sure it would have been that much of a difference. Fae are still free to roam around so there wouldn’t be restrictions to that relationship like with the human and assuming the female fae was Light still then you still have the “good guy” vibe to them; the only thing there would be to comment on would be the orientation and possible personality of the character but the relationship would be the same. Just as the human male would still be referred to a chattel and there would be limitations to what their owner might let them do and of course the whole fae racism would come out over the fact they were human so it would be frown upon still I think. It might make some difference but I’m not sure it’d be as impactful as what they have now.

    You know I don’t think that’s something we’ve ever seen on the show before, a strictly gay female fae; we’ve had the gay male fae in Donnie in season 2 who was Trick’s friend but I can’t think of a Dark or Light female gay fae. Is that because the fae are so fluid in orientation and it’s just not talked about with them or is it an oversight in need of possible future correction? Because if there’s obviously not all fae are strictly bisexual or straight so where’s a strictly gay female fae I wonder?

    Let me make a note now that I would not want to see that fae hooking up with Bo because it’s presumptuous to think just because two people both like women they will sleep together; also everyone has been hooking up with her or trying to hook up with her as of late and it’s gotten a little old. Not everyone has to be into Bo you know.

    I will say on the “Buffy” comparison in hetro-normative, I don’t think you can fully count Buffy because she’s not exactly fully human – she’s got some supernatural abilities to her. Anya/Xander works but I don’t think you can fully count Buffy with her relationships unless you do Riley because he was human and she’s your supernatural side. But that’s just me. Ha. 🙂

    I agree with Annie on the fact that it probably would have been a harder sale if they had the human man in a submissive role, but still say had they gotten it on air then the relationships would have had the same issues because of fae society. You can bet there would be some issues and prejudice going on viewer wise because some people just aren’t as open minded as others, but show wise I think the relationships would still have the same issues or unlimitations.

    • Melanie says:

      I agree Tamsin’s sexuality being so blatant was botched, especially in light of the five rules, but I don’t think the writers had much if anything to do with it being the only thing displayed on the website. Too many cooks in the promotional kitchen.

      Well, everyone wants to hook up with Bo because she’s a succubus. I think they actually toned it down some; the waitress in the first episode nearly jumped her bones at the restaurant when Bo didn’t have cash for the tab!

      I see Buffy as ‘gifted’ (or sometimes she feels cursed), but fully human. Interesting take.

  7. Aaron says:

    The humans being fae thing…I still think that’s a bullcrap storyline because season 1 specifically says, pretty clearly in fact, that human DNA + fae DNA = humans so this suddenly being able to create fae thing just is illogical in my mind.

    If the fae could make random humans fae as well then wouldn’t the Light have forced that change on Lauren years ago so they can keep using her mind for their own purposes? It’s not like they’d have to treat her as a real fae and give her rights because she started out human, they just get to use her longer now is the only thing; and honestly if you were going to make anyone fae wouldn’t it make more sense to start with a half human/fae child? The fae DNA is still inside of them so you have a stronger building block than just using a normal human.

    I’m not sure Lauren really knows how to splice genes like that, I mean yes she injected Taft but they were trying to kill him anyways so it’s if she screwed up it’d be no big loss you know? And honestly who’s to say that power wouldn’t have ended up overloading his human system and killing him later had he survived Dyson? It’s just a huge continuity error I think to say that humans can be fae

    We saw Kenzi injected with fae DNA thanks to the kitsune vile at the Norn and it was destroying her arm; it wasn’t making her fae, if anything it was killing her! Even if you could give a human fae powers it doesn’t make them fae, the powers don’t grant you the longer possible life that’s the DNA. They have that moment in the S3 finale where Lauren says something to the effect of “We’re one step closer to curing heart disease! Or killing everyone.” so it doesn’t sound like genetics is really her area of expertise; she’s a smart woman don’t get me wrong and I know she’s been studying the fae and things that effect them for at least 7 years but to be at the point she can splice DNA…the fact you can even do that and it yield more just a hybrid with no abilities so they’re still human really is again just a ludicrous storyline to me especially give that S1 speech with Will and son.

    I mean if a human and fae doing things naturally can’t produce a fae offspring then how can science? You’re still adding fae DNA to human DNA and as season 1 said that equals human no matter how you do it!

    On the subject of Bo realizing she’ll live longer than her humans, I’d like to remind everyone the fae aren’t immortal and they can get taken out quite easily at times in very mundane human ways. Yes they could POTENTIALLY live to be in their thousands but they could also easily not and with Bo’s active lifestyle nothing is promised to her so while she might consider what life would be like beyond her humans I hate them suggesting she’s going to make it to that age necessarily because she could get wiped out any moment! Realize that yes you could make it to 1001 but also remember you might not not so you should start taking things for granted.

    I mean her grandmother got cut down in battle, Bo herself has killed fae in combat, the aswang died from basically food poisoning, the frog boy’s in season 2 “Raging Fae” parents drowned, Donnie’s husband Christoph the dancer “Death Didn’t Become Him” died in a car crash, Vex’s friend Scorpion man in “Better To Burn Out Than Fae Away” got taken out by a human with a shotgun, in season 1 the fury sisters got killed by a bomb blast, the vampire in “Vexed” died from massive blood loss I think they said, had Trick not intervened Lou Ann in “Vexed” would have died by lethal injection so these people aren’t immortal and to play with the attitude suddenly that they are just doesn’t sit right with me. >:(

    • I think Lauren’s technique that made Taft into a half-cabbit was truly novel. It’s true that Fae and humans breeding by sexual reproduction results in a human, that was established in the second episode about the Will o’ the Wisp. But I think there’s been ample evidence that Lauren came up with something totally new that can result in a half-fae and it had never been done before.

      It’s also been established that Lauren is brilliant, so I’m not surprised she could figure out how to do something that no one else could. She’s both the Madam Curie and the MacGyver of the Fae science world. And heck, human scientists in the real world are very close (within 30 years, I would say) to being able to combine DNA from two female humans into viable offspring, so figuring out a quick and dirty way to make Taft into a half-cabbit is probably child’s play for Dr. Lewis.

      Anyway, there’s no telling if Taft had lived longer what would have happened. Maybe his DNA would have rejected the cabbit DNA, maybe he would have self-destructed. But I don’t think we were meant to find out – Lauren deliberately turned him into easy prey for Dyson to dispatch.

      I don’t think Kenzi was injected with kitsune DNA, rather, she had something nasty spilled on her that infected her, but it wasn’t a DNA injection.

  8. Aaron says:

    I love that Bo doesn’t apologize in 1.12, why should she apologize to Dyson for being who she is – he’s the one with the problem with it not her. However, just because she doesn’t feel ashamed of herself doesn’t mean Dyson wasn’t wrong for how he said the sentence. If someone calls you slut and you don’t get mad it still doesn’t excuse them for calling you the name in first place. Regardless of Dyson’s actions after he said the sentence the fact remains he said it and it seems, to me anyways, he meant it in a negative fashion so again even if he didn’t say the actually word he still was derogatory towards her.

    Dyson didn’t have problem going undercover at the club until he saw the swinger party and got jealous because Bo was going to have a good time. They knew going in that the place was dirty, it’s why they were there, so the fact that he doesn’t use the term sleazy until after the swinger party leans it in my mind towards the negative side of things. To make that comment at that time after that event it just read more as sexual slam by him because he had plenty of changes to call them sleazy before had but didn’t; only when Bo got into with the swinger side did he lash out and still even if it was jealousy induced it still doesn’t excuse him from phrasing it like that because not only would it be a slut shame but it would be a double standard at that point I’d think.

    The scene just shows I think how mature Bo was in the moment with the “Hey! You talk to me!” and how childish Dyson was using a derogatory slam simply because he was jealous or angry that Bo is what she is; personally I definitely felt he was in wrong in scene, no matter how it ended the way he started it was so tainted that it just tainted the rest of the moment. Bo taking offense or not, him jealous/angry or not it doesn’t give him the right or an excuse to call or even suggest Bo is a slut in that or any other moment.

    Just because Dyson is the “leading male” doesn’t make him a good guy at all, he’s a lying controlling disrespectful jerk just like others on the series, and again it doesn’t give him the right to use words like that or even suggest Bo was wrong for her actions in that moment. They could have easily cut out that part and jump right into him saying “I don’t want to share you” but they didn’t and when you couple it with everything else in the episode it makes it seem like he was making negative comment to her.

    Another great podcast; I can’t wait to hear the next one! 😀

  9. Aaron says:

    “the waitress in the first episode nearly jumped her bones at the restaurant when Bo didn’t have cash for the tab!”

    True Melanie, however Bo used her powers on said waitress so she didn’t have to pay because she didn’t have the; it’s not like now where it seems they have people falling for her without a single touch. That’s what I took some issue with; yes Bo is beautiful but that doesn’t mean she’s everyone’s type if you will. There was a lot of “yes Bo” mentality going around season 3 and again I know she’s the lead but some more “no Bo”s or “I don’t think so Bo”s wouldn’t hurt you know?

    Stop handing everything to her. Bo can be a good person yes, but she’s not perfect. Not every new character on the series has to worship at the alter of Bo.

  10. Aaron says:

    “First, let me say that I completely do not understand the writing choice to turn Bo’s Dawning into Dyson’s Dawning. That choice is probably the main reason I think The Dawning storyline was a dud, though I have other reasons as well.”

    The only reason was Dyson screen time; Dyson was pretty pointless in season 3 honestly, there was nothing for him to do with Tamsin around but instead of using that time to explore and add much needed depth to the Dyson character they just injected him into storylines for the sake of screen time for his friends regardless of what it meant for the story.

    All the way leading up to the Dawning they made it seem pretty openly that this was something each fae did alone, “It’s just you in the temple, nothing else is real” was a line Tamsin told Bo just episodes before yet when the actual event comes around suddenly she’s allowed an assistant? Strike one. The fact it was, as you and MANY other fans have pointed out, about Dyson more than Bo was strike two. The fact the Dawning has never been explained in regards to Bo was strike three; was it because of the added power she had for awhile with the Garuda thing or is it something Wanderer related? All we know is that it’s happening 200 years too early and that’s it.

    For an added strike out just for good measure, you have the fact the it was a bust because instead of evolving Bo massively devolved from who she was; she went from being the hero at times to being the basic sidekick (a woman in a camo suit best her down for crying out loud) and she most sadly of all went from being this progressive person in the fae world to being a jerk like a lot of fae. She had a very elitist attitude to her and that was not a good thing. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to change Bo like that and have the reason be so ambiguous (is it because of the Dawning she’s like this or not?) but they need to change her back FAST! Fae elitist Bo is NOT the character we care about, “I chose humans!” Bo is and without her they are playing a dangerous game with the series.

    Humanity has always been the most important thing to the character of Bo Dennis so they need to make sure to keep it on the series or else they might not have a series.

    Bo trying to atone for her past actions, no matter if they were due to biology and she had no real control over them at the time, is what makes her unique on the series and worth cheering for…if you take that humanity aspect away from her then you are left with an unlikable lead character like we saw post Dawning for the most part and that’s not a good thing. Again, Bo may be genetically fae but she is human in every other way and it’s important to remember that; “I chose humans!” is where it’s at with this character and thus the show! 🙂

  11. Izabell says:

    Great discussion. It’s been my opinion from the very beginning (with many hiccups related to the Lauren story line) that LG is a completely groundbreaking show, and on so many levels, mostly having to do with sex and sexuality. I agree with Melanie that swapping human/fae-Lauren/Dyson would neutralize one of the most important messages the show puts out there: that the epic, even archetypal, love story – here between a fae and a human – is the one between Lauren and Bo. Way to queer the cannon! And boy, has that pissed people off.

    I was taken aback when Bo switched Lauren for Lawrence in ep. 311. I completely get that Bo and Kenzi were in some steppfordish human suburbia, where, for the sake of the case, Bo had to step into a temporary closet and feign heteronormativity, for all the reasons you guys describe. LG has created a world where sexual orientation is not an issue. Great. But it has also created two fairly distinct worlds: one fantasy, and the other “real” and connected to real spaces beyond the frame: the spaces of real television-watching audiences in the 21st century, where sexual orientation is most certainly an issue, . Fae and Human. For the most part the human world of LG exists to bring meaning to the world of fae, to throw it into relief. And we human television-watchers are seeing the various goings on among the fae as fun and gripping fantasy, but also as metaphors that connect back to us. In certain ways (not entirely or exclusively), Lauren and Kenzi are also props in the Great Fae Drama as it is lived out, particularly, by Bo. Well, perhaps I’m exaggerating… The above mentioned scene in 311 made me think about how LG loves to have it both ways, but sometimes doesn’t quite manage to negotiate the complexity of moving from metaphor to plot and story line devices, and then back again. So while the human world is there to facilitate stories about the fae, the metaphors that these stories generate comment on the human world – our world. But it doesn’t really work, or not completely. Since our frame of reference is the “real” world in which we live, the idea of a faeverse where characters look and at times act like us, and where homophobia simply does not exist, rings hollow and ends up appearing at times disingenuous. The subtext is there, huge, glaring at times. And one wonders: are the people creating this series not aware of what they are doing? I think that what really demonstrates the ultimate impossibility of presenting homophobia as non-existent, while making many of the fae-human/ Lauren-Bo metaphors clearly about homosexuality and the challenges of non-normativity, is the rhetorical violence to which Lauren’s character gets subjected among a certain segment of the fandom.

    • Totally I agree with you that Bo and Lauren have been set up to be the great epic romance by virtue of their differences. I think I read an interview with Emily Andras where she compared them to Romeo and Juliet, who also had some challenges – whether Fae and Human are more dramatic divides than Montague and Capulet remains to be seen.

      Let’s hope Bo and Lauren’s ending is happier than Romeo and Juliet’s, tho…

    • Melanie says:

      ‘Having it both ways,’ indeed! As mentioned in the podcast, the human/fae metaphor stands in often for classism and racism, but also sometimes for homophobia. It’s their way of addressing these issues without addressing them. But yup, when you try and have it co-exist with modernity, the storyline/metaphors/worlds will collide in weird ways. It’s the nature of the game.

      Sometimes it’s easier to jettison it all and start from scratch, though personally, I prefer shows which are set in or against our approximate reality. Though that leads to some weird moments, for reasons you expound on well, I wouldn’t see the Fae world any other way. As Jane Espenson said in an interview with Advocate.com, “You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.”

  12. I enjoyed this episode a lot – great job, Stephanie, Annie and Melanie! I just guested on Dave and Wayne’s Faetalists podcast tonight and name-checked Drinks at the Dal when discussing the swinger’s scene at the country club.

    Your discussion about Dyson’s calling Bo’s techniques sleazy reminded me of the great contrast between that interaction, where Dyson tells Bo he doesn’t want to share her and she says she’s fighting her nature for him, to the other scene with Lauren after Bo’s had to sleep with Dyson to heal, and Lauren’s disappointment/devastation but quick understanding and acceptance of who Bo is.

    I have to think that comparison was intentional even though it crossed two seasons. Bo has to fight her nature for one partner who is very much the jealous type. By contract, her other partner accepts who she is and what it means. Not that it’s easy for Lauren to deal with these feelings necessarily, she clearly struggles with the desire to have Bo remain monogamous, but she’s also realistic and loves Bo. If she loves Bo and wants to be with her, she “has to be okay with it.”

    Anyway, thanks for jogging my memory about the attempted slut-shaming while undercover at the country club!

    • That is, by “contrast” – not by “contract.”

    • Melanie says:

      I agree the comparisons are highly intentional, and I also agree Dyson acts quite single-mindedly about the whole ‘not being willing to consider Bo’s succubus nature.’ Though I would like to think he has learned from both how his ‘one love’ thing stymied his relationship with Ciara, and how Lauren’s more open acceptance of Bo’s nature allowed their relationship to work [yes it imploded, but not for that reason] . . . There’s some discussion on my blog at the moment about whether characters in Lost Girl are really allowed to learn and be dynamic, or if they only have temporary growth spurts where they need to, and revert to their archetypes afterwards; Bo perhaps being the only exception. Dyson has seemed to learn various things through the series, and then ignore those lessons when it suits the plot. Granted a several-thousand-year-old Fae is going to be resistant to change.

      But even if he can learn, there’s the question of whether one is completely able to fight one’s “nature.” IE if Lauren and Dyson accept Bo’s succubus nature is to be monogamous, and they and she can’t fight that, isn’t it a bit hypocritical to claim Dyson’s monogamous nature is more malleable and he can ‘fight it’ for Bo? Yes we see Lauten struggle with it, but perhaps Lauren’s nature is simply more temperate. (If I’m going REALLY far, perhaps it’s Lauren’s very humanity which makes her more capable of changing or working on her nature’s instinct, the Fae being biologically and evolutionarily different.) The nature/nurture destiny/willpower ideas are strung throughout the series, and I don’t think we’ve yet a clear idea where the story will land on them. Perhaps it will remain ambiguous. But I’ll say unless Dyson can change his nature – while that doesn’t make him a ‘bad’ character, any more than Bo’s need for multiple partners makes her so – it does make the two of them incompatible.

      • “There’s some discussion on my blog at the moment about whether characters in Lost Girl are really allowed to learn and be dynamic, or if they only have temporary growth spurts where they need to, and revert to their archetypes afterwards; Bo perhaps being the only exception. Dyson has seemed to learn various things through the series, and then ignore those lessons when it suits the plot. Granted a several-thousand-year-old Fae is going to be resistant to change.”

        I’d better hop on over to your blog to join that discussion, because I’ve thought about this a few times. On the one hand, being several thousand years old might make a Fae resistant to change. But on the other hand, shouldn’t a Fae have learned a lot and be wise and you’ve seen it all, and maybe not get stuck in what seem like pedestrian human emotions like jealousy?

        We can only imagine how a person several thousand years old would behave, of course, since nobody lives that long for real, but I’ve always wondered at how petty the Fae can be when you’d think they could have worked all of this stuff out a long time ago.

        Although maybe that’s part of the message here, years don’t impart wisdom, something else imparts wisdom.

        I do like the idea that Lauren can be more flexible than Dyson potentially because she’s human, although I’d say that lots of that is due to her own nature and her love for Bo. There are plenty of humans that would probably not be able to deal with an open relationship as gracefully as Lauren does.

      • Melanie says:

        Come on over, the water’s fine! So far mostly on 1.11, I believe. But it kind of trickles everywhere.

        It’s true personality and such play the greatest role in the Lauren/Dyson differences, and as I’m always an advocate for nurture and choice over nature and predestination, (though all play a part), I happily second your motion.

        It’s interesting, you’d think people would learn with age and not ‘get stuck’ like you say, but in our own society, it certainly seems to be the opposite. I know I’m painting with broad generalizations, and I know some people who defy what I’m about to say. But, it’s often people who are older and/or privileged who are the most resistant to progress, or even most blind to the fact change is needed.

        Two big cases in point recently being 1) gay rights. yes, the plaintiff against DOMA was a kickass older woman, but studies and polls show basic acceptance, let alone marriage equality, are heavy skewed with older generations not in favor and younger in favor. 2) voting rights and also NA familial rights, in which a bunch of privileged white people ruled that region-specific, institutionalized, opportunistic racism ‘just isn’t really a thing anymore.’

        Now I’ve reduced three complicated cases to a couple sentences, let me be even more broad and note things from weed legalization to trans* rights to polygamous marriage have a stronger resistance the older the voting block. Whether it’s basic resistance to change or simply ignorance (willful or not), there’s s distinct trend against aging = acceptance.

        To tie this political rabbit trail back to your comment, I certainly believe not age, but experience, brings acceptance. When you don’t experience anything outside your community (and the Fae are obviously invested in a closed community), you grow immune to the needs of others, you become impressed with your own superiority, and you become convinced you and your ways are best and need not compromise for anyone or anything.

      • Rachel says:

        I don’t remember the exact thing Ciara says to Dyson at the end of season 2, but isn’t it something like ‘be good to yourself’… something about becoming happy with himself first, before finding happiness with someone else? I thought it was poignant and a clue about Dyson’s character. Thoughts?

        Also, agree about Lauren’s nature being more accepting of Bo’s succubus nature than Dyson is. As a character, Lauren is usually tolerant, open-minded, open to nuance, and has the capacity to love somewhat selflessly.

  13. […] week I was a guest on a podcast talking about slut-shaming (amid a myriad of other topics) on Lost Girl, and someone suggested we […]

  14. […] listening pleasure. Click here to listen to that smorgasbord, and check out the other two here and here, if you haven’t […]

Share Your Thoughts

Contact Us

Categories

Tip Jar

Donations are used to cover expenses associated with producing the podcast.