Hats Off to Hale — Episode 25

Hale in Hail Hale
Hale has been through some changes since we first met him, evolving from a more one-dimensional ladies’ man character to a more fleshed out individual struggling with people’s expectations of him. With our guest contributor Sally (@sheaven), we discuss Hale’s journey from sidekick to acting Ash, Hale’s approach to power, how his character challenges gender expectations, and more.

Drink Special: Santiago Cocktail

½ tsp Powdered sugar
¼ tsp Grenadine
Juice of 1 Lime
1½ oz Light rum

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.

First Impressions

  • Kris: Nice hat.
  • Sally: Snappy dresser, nice abs, Dyson’s sounding board
  • Annie: This man’s a player (playa?)
  • Stephanie: Kind of gross/sexist, until he befriends Kenzi

Hale’s Background

  • Sally thinks Hale has deliberately chosen to be in the sidekick role, because he is one of the “non-idle rich.”
  • Empathy for humans became a prominent storyline for Hale and his family in season two. We couldn’t recall any references to Hale’s stance on humans in the first season.
  • Hale and his mother are sirens, and Val (and possibly their father) are pomberos, who steal voices. Perhaps this unlikely marriage affected Hale’s perspective of humans?
  • Stephanie thinks Hale has the best powers of any of the main characters.

Hale’s Transition to a Leadership Role

  • Sally points out that we never see Hale use his powers in his role as acting Ash.
  • Hale’s off-screen transition in season three from hesitant leader to Ash-hole has left us with questions.
    • Stephanie is curious about the transition from not wanting to be involved in politics in season two to being acting Ash in season three.
    • Kris thinks it might have to do with seeing everyone’s lack of action in response to the Garuda.
  • Sally saw season three Hale as a John F. Kennedy type character.
  • Annie points out that Hale’s relationships (especially with Kenzi) suffer because of his new role. There is a struggle to balance the personal with the political.
  • Ash-Hale is unlikable, but he became likable again once he abdicated the office (if that’s what actually happened).
  • Sally posits that some people aren’t suited to leadership. Stephanie mentions that Hale seems to like being in a supporting role.

What’s Coming In Season 4?

  • Is Hale still up to something at the end of the third season? Hopefully we’ll find out!
  • Annie’s surprised that Hale outright declared his love for Kenzi.
  • Does Hale want Vex to become leader of the Dark Fae? Or is it an unintended consequence? Necessary evil?
  • Was The Morrigan in on Taft’s plan? Sally wants answers, Lost Girl writers!
  • We’re looking forward to seeing Hale in season four! What lasting impact will his time as Ash have?

Why We Love K.C. Collins

  • I think we might all have crushes on K.C. Collins.
  • He has a beautiful smile and a warm disposition.
  • He’s very sweet and seems to blush easily (particularly when his cast-mates are trying to embarrass him).
  • Abs. (Which he shouldn’t have to show us if he doesn’t want to!)

Share your feedback or ask questions

17 Replies to “Hats Off to Hale — Episode 25

  1. I thought of another apt quote that is a good parallel, description, whatever, about how Hale came to be the Ash.

    “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” –William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

    I hope that we haven’t seen the last of Hale in a leadership position. While I do think that some people aren’t suited to leadership in a governmental sense, I think we’re all leaders of our own lives, and Hale has a lot to contribute to the mutual understanding and (hopefully) eventual detente between humans and Fae.

  2. Hey, great job DATD (oooo, perilously close to DADT) and guest Sally! I can see I’m going to have to pull a 24-hr DATD marathon to catch up on your lively and intelligent discussions.

    A few responses to your thoughts about Hale:
    As you all noted, Hale specifically rebels against his father’s values and his own assigned role as scion of a notable Fae family, and this has included explicit rejection of the Light Fae elders’ notions of racial (species) superiority over humans. He believes in law and order, he’s just not that into wielding power over others. I agree with Sally that Hale was never temperamentally suited to be a leader — at least the kind of leader the Ash is expected to be — he’s more of a lover and healer than an autocrat and a fighter — which made his choice as Ash mystifying. I have to believe this was a choice of convenience on the writers’ part, a way of maintaining KC’s foot in the door of the Dal without requiring his actual presence. Unfortunately, his absence through most of season 3 just emphasized the power vacuum created by his leadership style. Having assumed the mantle of Ash, it is consistent with Hale’s temperament to do the job “right,” to the best of his ability — namely, to defend the old letter of Fae law versus honoring democratic values that would resonate better with his personal mores, even if this means coming on as a heavy with the humans. I don’t see this as an example of power corrupting or revealing his “true” character. Rather, as someone wrote (Sally will find the quote!), with great power comes great responsibility. Hale takes his responsibilities seriously. Unfortunately, he’s acting a part that doesn’t come naturally to him so comes across as wooden and rigid. This shift in style, adopted in an effort to be effective, actually makes him appear weaker. Nobody’s afraid of him.

    Sally saw echoes of JFK in Hale as Ash. But since Lost Girl premiered in the same year that we have just inaugurated our first black President, I saw more parallels to Obama — not simply because Hale and Obama are both men of color, young, idealistic, embodying change and hope for a more truly egalitarian society but because (I hate having to admit this about our President), neither is a natural-born politician. Did the writers’ of LG have this in mind as they prepared season 3 (well into Obama’s first term)? Who knows, but the comparison to Obama seems more apt.

    In listening to your interesting remarks, I was suddenly struck by parallels between Hale’s dilemma and Bo’s. Like Hale, she rejects the power and values of her Fae Father(s) — biological and cultural, but like Hale she finds herself in conflict about “living the life I choose” versus “choosing how others will live.”
    In her case, the role of autocrat is not chosen but thrust upon her by the Wanderer, but I think with both characters, the writers are playing with a basic theme: how to live in a civilized society of law and yet remain free.

    Side bar: Hale doesn’t abdicate — he was forced out by the Morrigan at the moment of his planned coronation, wasn’t he? It is true that whatever deal he made with Vex, it was to dethrone Evony (and to avert all-out war against humanity?) not to wrestle away power for himself.

    I’d love to hear a DATD podcast about the different visions of social order presented in LG. I’m voting for a true democracy, and not the Jeffersonian version where we preach equality and sleep with humans, while maintaining slavery.

    Last question: Any thoughts about who called in the Thought Police (Una Mens) to restore order?

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Carolyn!

      It’s unclear to me about Hale abdicating. Yes, he was forced out by the Morrigan, but he also tells Trick later in the episode that being Ash wasn’t for him. Given that he dethroned the Morrigan and now the Una Mens are around, it’s unclear to me whether The Morrigan’s actions in 3.13 would have stuck. So did Hale decide regardless of the outcome of the current crisis that he didn’t want the job anyway even if he could get it back?

      As for who called the Una Mens, that’s a really good question. Is it possible that the events at the end of the last season “called them forth” mystically? Was it a joint decision of the Dark and Light Fae elders? I’m hoping we’ll get more information as season four progresses.

      1. They did say that Bo’s way out of The Dawning would have consequences. Really, Bo’s been breaking all kinds of Fae rules since they found her. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what they attribute the appearance of the Una Mens to.

    2. Carolyn, thank you for tossing me that softball. I’ll swing for the cheap seats. “With great power comes great responsibility” is the admonishment Ben Parker gave to his nephew Peter – also known as Spider-Man. (And as confident as I am in my answer, I need Kris to back me up on this, since she’s the comic book expert.)

      I do wonder whether the Lost Girl writers had any US presidents in mind at all when they were writing Hale as the acting Ash. Not that a predominantly Canadian writers’ room would be prevented from modeling any character on someone from the US, but I’m sure I see things in TV shows that are based on my own knowledge of history as an American, and I call up the archetypes and historical figures with which I am most familiar. Here’s another question: will we see any Fae characters modeled upon Rob Ford? I hope at least one of the writers decided to take a crack at that.

      So Thomas Hobbes and the social contract. One of the ideas I find most powerful about a social contract is the consent of the governed voluntarily giving up some individual freedoms in order to enjoy safety and order. The Fae society wasn’t really formed as a social contract at all. They moved from what appeared to be monarchy, whether or not it was hereditary, to another somewhat arbitrary and bloodthirsty system. But instead of choosing it for themselves, they had it forced upon them by Trick and his blood. Could this be one of the reasons the system appears to be breaking down? Participatory democracy is many things, maddening and inefficient to name just a couple, but it’s also invigorating.

      Who called the Una Mens? Definitely Karen Amber Beattie. I don’t think it was on purpose, though – she’s pretty prolific on twitter and I imagine she let something slip in a tweet that was intended to be a DM. Sure, she deleted it, but the internet is forever and it was TOO LATE. Thanks a lot, Beattie.

      1. You crack me up, Heaven! I needed a laugh-out-loud moment.

        As for the quote (how do I break this gently?) — it’s Voltaire, dude.

        1. Aw, dude. Well, at least I said the cheap seats. If you want me to be correct as well as entertaining, then you’ll need to spring for box seats at least. In Yankee Stadium.

          The internet tells me that Voltaire was ripping off Jesus Christ, anyway. “To whom much has been given, much will be expected.”

  3. I’m such a completist; I’m still working/enjoying my way through the eps. My holiday-binge is not quite complete, but I’m getting so close. I just had to drop in to say that Sally was blowing my mind/rocking my ears off about JFK/LBJ. Thoughtful, interesting, like always, peeps.
    I maybe will talk about it on the Of All the Gin Joints ep when I get there, but it slightly bugs me that Bo pointed to Lincoln when talking about slavery being over. They’re in Canada, riiiiight? No one threw down, particularly, in my understanding, to end slavery finally in Canada. Slavery was abolished with an act of Parliament there, along with the rest of the British colonies, in 1833, a full 32 years before the U.S. Emancipation Proclamation. But, it’s such a small point, maybe no one cares. I mean, Lincoln is amazing, I’m all for people pointing to U.S. heroes occasionally. We need a few positive presidential shout-outs. You know, for my delicate U.S. feelings. Else I might stuff myself with Big Macs and cry. 😉

    Sex, religion, and politics are all over this show, which makes it hard to talk about at Thanksgiving, but great to talk about here! Thanks for being awesome at talking about it, everyone!

    1. Hi Elizabeth! The JFK parallel felt so strong to me that I was sure Hale was going to be assassinated. But his storyline seems to have diverged from that parallel, if it was ever done intentionally. I suppose charismatic reform-minded leaders are common in history anyway. Although it leads me to wonder whether JFK (and Elvis! And Jimmy Hoffa and Anastasia) were Fae and faked their own deaths so they could get back to whatever it was they had going on in the Fae world.

        1. Are you up-to-date with Season 4? I was going to say something, but I don’t want to give you any spoilers in case you’re not watching Season 4 yet.

            1. I was going to reference the Morrigan telling Lauren that several of the scientists whose journals she plopped in Lauren’s lap were Fae. 🙂

              1. Excellent! I love that interaction (Lorrigan? Levony? Are we doing that?), that ep, and I’m really hoping that we keep seeing little tidbits like those journals. Evony’s connection to the human world– that she feeds off talent and so has to keep an eye out for it– means that we can get lots of good name-dropping and revised Fae-history out of her particularly. *nerds out*

  4. In doing the re-watch of LG episodes leading up to the S5 premiere, I was struck once again by Trick’s speech to Hale about doing what was necessary even if it is more than you can bear. Trick was specifically referring to Kenzi in that moment, but Hale really took that advice and ran with it. He really does become a totally different guy, particularly in regards to how he treats humans. Instead of having a conversation with Kenzi about boundaries, he completely shuts her out; similarly, for the first time we see Hale treat Lauren as a human slave rather than a respected equal as he does in S1 & S2. Lauren is neither a child nor an idiot; Hale could have had a reasoned discussion, but instead chooses to treat her as property (wow, he gave her an entire weekend off!). He even refers to her breaking up with her girlfriend rather than giving said girlfriend a name because it dehumanizes the situation. Hale was so concerned with living up to Trick’s expectations and permanently becoming the Ash that he turns away from his own values and moral positions (Note: “All the Kings Men” by Robert Penn Warren shows exactly how political power can corrupt a good man). In 4×10 when Bo talks about traveling the world with Lauren, it shows exactly how out of touch she is with Lauren’s position in the Fae world.

    Re: whether Hale voluntarily gave up the position of Ash, in 4×12 the Light Fae give him a vote of no confidence and Hale was not inaugurated. When he rescues Trick, he indicates that taking care of Evony was one of his last acts as acting Ash. Also, what happened to the Stag Hunt (S2x2) as the way of selecting an Ash? That was an odd bit of discontinuity to me given the big deal they made out of it when Lachlan became Ash.

    The discussion of where Hale and Val got their powers was also interesting. I haven’t read the wiki, but I do recall from 2×17 that Sturgis can move very quickly (speed of sound?) whereas Val can steal voices (which, no offense, is not nearly as cool as being a Siren) but we never see her move quickly like her father (and we don’t see him steal voices). Also, in 1×10, Bo is discussing her probable parentage with Saskia, who tells her that Fae lineage is complicated but that one or both of Bo’s parents were chi eaters, including but not limited to succubae/incubae. This all leads me to wonder if exact powers are passed from parents to children or if they pass powers from the same class of Fae (e.g., chi eaters, Fae with sound related powers, etc.). Also, in 4×13, when Trick is discussing Bo’s hybrid powers, that Aife had inherited some of her abilities from his as a Light Sage. This was a bit surprising to me b/c Trick is not a chi eater (in fact, I have no idea how he feeds) and I guess I always assumed that Bo’s grandmother, Isabeau, was also a succubus but I’m not sure that is ever explicitly stated in the show; however, Trick does tell Bo that she gets her healing abilities from her grandmother in 2×22(?) when he reveals the vial of Isabeau’s essence hidden in the handle of the sword (note: how did Trick get Isabeau’s essence into a vial since she was killed while on a secret mission?).

    And I agree that Hale’s powers are awesome! They are so expansive as he can: lure people (1×04), knock people unconscious (1×01), heal hangovers (2×06), cauterize wounds (2×22), and kick ass (1×08, 2×05, 2×20, 4×01, 4×11).

    As always, thanks for a thought provoking episode!

  5. One other note, Evony smirked when she heard Dyson had been kidnapped and that Lauren’s name was on the vial b/c she is an opportunist and this situation allowed her to sow discord by calling for a vote of no confidence in Hale as Ash while also declaring all claimed humans as enemies to be killed. P.S.: Does anyone think a genius like Lauren would put her name on a vial and leave it around for the Fae to find? Uh, no, duh…but the Fae were worked up and believed what they wanted to believe.

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