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“Vexed” — Episode 61

July 24, 2014 by Drinks at The Dal


Bo and Dyson in Vexed

Image credit: CindyB1017


Continuing our series of in-depth discussions about some of our favorite episodes, we discuss “Vexed.” Even though it is the eighth episode of the first season, “Vexed” is actually the pilot episode of the series. We will talk about some of the inconsistencies in “Vexed,” which are common for pilot episodes, as well as our thoughts about the character development, production design, and direction.

Spoiler Warning: This episode is not spoiler-free. We approach the discussion of this episode with the context of having seen through Season 4 of the series.

Drink Special: Sour Cherry

1½ oz Cherry brandy
1 oz Simple syrup
¾ oz Lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Why We Enjoy This Episode

  • Annie: A certain scene with a song called “Madman”! (But she likes the scene with “Sour Cherry,” too.)
  • Stephanie: It’s a good, solid episode with good relationship dynamics, a colorful villain, and it focuses on a lot of the themes of the show.
  • Kris: All that, plus John Fawcett (co-creator of Orphan Black) directed it!

It’s the Pilot

  • “Vexed” is the pilot episode — not to be confused with the premiere episode, which in this case is “It’s a Fae, Fae, Fae, Fae World.”
  • This episode is the one that they made to sell the series to networks.
  • Drops you right into the middle of the action
  • This episode is a great way to sell the series, but not the best introduction to the world. But they do work in a lot of exposition in a pretty subtle way.

Kenzi in Vexed

Pilot Inconsistencies

  • Bo’s hair and makeup are WAY less involved than in the rest of the season. Also, her hair is shorter.
  • Scenes with Lauren were re-filmed — Kris Holden-Ried claimed it was because there was a problem with the film, but K.C. and Paul mentioned at Dragon*Con last year that a different actress was originally cast to play Lauren. (Sarah Allen?)
  • BIG HAIR BOO-BOO: Bo’s hair changes from when she storms out on Lauren after their sexytimes and when she storms in to Mayer’s restaurant.
  • Kenzi’s hair is wavy and blonde. Luckily, we can write off the change to Kenzi’s love of wigs, but that was actually what Ksenia’s hair looked like at the time.
  • Kenzi is also dressed a lot more “street urchin-y” than in any other episode. And her color palate is more earth tones — much less goth
  • Bo’s eyes go black instead of blue when she is healing during sex with Dyson (and there’s no chi transfer). We like that they changed it, though. Blue is more distinctive.
  • Bo can tell that Lou Ann is Fae, but she does not have Fae-sensing abilities in any other episode.
  • The tone is much darker, and Bo is much darker and colder in this episode. We’re glad they shifted the tone of Bo’s character. Bo’s warmth sets her apart from the more stereotypical “kickass chick” type of character.

“Sour Cherry”

  • Opening shot was a happy accident: John Fawcett saw the hallway at the location where they were filming and thought it could look really good.
  • The initial camera pan down Bo’s body would normally be very sexualized and objectifying, but the focus of the shot is the blood that’s dripping from Bo.
  • A fan-favorite song choice for this scene: “Sour Cherry” by The Kills
  • Annie describes the sex scene as “feral.” Stephanie points out that Dyson gets to be really vulnerable, both physically and emotionally.
  • Nudity! It’s a good thing the actors are so comfortable with each other! Bums!
  • It’s hot! (Part of what makes it a good pilot.)

Dyson in Vexed

Lou Ann Heidegger

  • Siegfried is no Twilight vampire. Both Stephanie and Kris really enjoy him.
  • With this storyline, we get more of a focus on the Fae vs. Humans dynamic rather than Light vs. Dark, though there is some of that as well.
  • Great demonstration of Bo’s idealism, Lou Ann Heidegger’s story parallels Bo’s
  • Big hanging plot thread about Lou Ann — Trick mentions that he helped her escape to Dyson in “Fae Day,” but a lot of people wonder if we’ll ever see/hear of Lou Ann again. Season 5, anyone?

Bo vs. The Moragh

  • Stephanie loves the fight scene between Bo and the Moragh!
  • Kris loves the way that scene starts, with the Moragh creeping in behind Kenzi.
  • Annie misremembers the scene in hopes of more nudity.
  • Moragh’s face tattoos — an example of the branding that was referenced in the first episode?
  • Intercutting the Bo/Moragh fight scene with Kenzi playing a violent video game in which she “kills robot hookers” — why do we think they did that?

Bo and Lauren in Vexed

Lauren

  • Yes, Annie, we’re going to talk about Lauren now.
  • We learn from Trick that Lauren is ward — not employee — of The Ash.
  • She’s portrayed as being really subservient to The Ash in this episode.
  • Kris’s Big Question/Theory! The Ash tells Lauren about Vex, then sends her to keep Bo preoccupied. Why would he give her that information? The Ash is so manipulative, do we think it’s possible that he wanted Lauren to spill the info to Bo?
  • What is Lauren wearing? Does she have business to do when on safari?
  • Lauren was tasked with distracting Bo. We think she was obligated to meet with Bo because of being a ward of The Ash, but not to sleep with her. She did that because she wanted to.
The Sex Scene
  • Annie thinks the Doccubus sex scene is beautifully shot. And loves it. No one is surprised.
  • Lost Girl uses great music for their sex scenes, including “Madman” by Clara Klein for this scene.
  • Sex scenes on Lost Girl serve the plot. Yay!
  • AFTERMATH: sounds of distress
  • It starts off extra sweet, which makes the betrayal and fallout hurt that much more.

Vex in Vexed

Bo vs. Vex

  • Bo seeks help from Mayer, and his restaurant set looks particularly awesome in this episode.
  • We like that Mayer seems fairly kind to Bo, even though he’s “Dark.”
  • Stephanie doesn’t like first season Vex. Too over-the-top. She realizes that she is the only person who thinks so.
  • The ending is anti-climactic! Really? Bo doesn’t even get to kick Vex’s ass a little? He SO deserves it.
  • Why did Dyson have to be the one to stop Bo? Couldn’t Kenzi have done it?
  • Continuing the parallels between Bo and Lou Ann, scenes of Bo strapping on weaponry are intercut with scenes of Lou Ann being strapped to the lethal injection table.
  • Dyson says that no one knows anything about Bo’s mother. Stephanie calls Dyson a liarface.

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18 comments »

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  1. Aaron says:

    Anna definitely favors Mary Louise at times, especially in the earlier seasons.

    Love Zoie Palmer. Definitely glad they did the hallway scene, it’s a beautiful shot and into. The blue eyes definitely work better. I can’t believe no one discussed Kenzi’s moment in the warehouse nicknaming Lauren given that’s such an iconic thing in its way. Definitely love biologically fae but human in every other way Bo.

    I personally actually like it better that Bo doesn’t know if someone is fae; she just learned what she is and so it wouldn’t make sense she could tell what others are just by looking at them. Unless they were acting really strange and maybe she could guess but still if you’re watching it as just number 8 it doesn’t fit we the Bo we saw. Had it been the pilot it would mean Bo knew about the fae before we meet her so you’d have to address that reveal via flashbacks or talks with other characters. You definitely wouldn’t have that same buildup factor we got with 1.01 and on. Plus not knowing who’s fae opens the door to it being anyone as they address in 1.01. If Bo knew who was fae then it’d take away surprise reveals such as Aife in 1.10 or the reveal of Massimo as human and those are to see.

    I think if we see Lou Ann again it’ll be something related to Aife, either it’ll be in flashbacks during her time imprisoned or it’ll be her asking her for help again. Outside of that I’m sure why Lou Ann would get involved with the group again, she did her part saving baby Bo so she’s paid them for the help escaping. How do you all think she might come back if we were to see her again?

    I think they use the game as a parallel/mirror in a way, Kenzi is injuring video game people while Bo is being injured; that or it could just be the cliché as well where someone misses something happening due to loud music. Because the game does cover the fight upstairs for a bit until Kenzi realizes what’s really happening. Is that the only time we see the game actually being played? I know we see its pause screen in a lot of other episodes and we hear it mentioned and see I think it is Vex playing the game but we never see the actual game play again do we? So maybe it was a link between the scenes the violent factor and a play towards the old “loud music” move but with a game instead of music.

    While the Ash makes the suggestion to use sex, “she’s a succubus I’m sure you can think of some way to keep her occupied”, I do think actually having sex was Lauren’s choice; I don’t think she went into the house with sex as the first plan of defense, it just happened in part because of Bo’s words in the couch scene. While Lauren clearly knows a succubus favors sex, I don’t think she’s the type to go in planning on using that as the only way to keep them there. I think she first planned to try and talk Bo down some but she got caught up in what she said and coupled with her already crush on her it just ended up sex is what happened in that moment. She didn’t sleep with Bo because the Ash told her to, she slept with her because she wanted to…it just so happened it slowed Bo down and was a way to possibly protect her had she stayed.

    I definitely think Lauren trusts Bo. I definitely think Bo had a right to be mad in the scene that followed, but I love Lauren told her the truth right then instead of continuing to lie to Bo like others have and she took responsibility for her part in things which we didn’t see other characters really do at times. I don’t think Dyson really saved Bo in that moment, I think he more so saved Vex in the scene. Bo actually had Vex in a pretty precarious spot and while it’s arguably what their next moves would have been I think Bo was actually winning the fight at that point and Dyson actually helped Vex which does keep Bo out of trouble yes but I wouldn’t say he saved her necessarily in the physical sense. Yes politically he saved her, but physically I think it’s arguable.

    I don’t think you can argue Vex can off Kenzi but he couldn’t off Dyson, he could have offed Dyson as well if he wanted. Granted it’d be a little harder to off him than Kenzi but still he could kill them both so I don’t think that’s a good argument point. I don’t think the fae would turn against Bo for having Lauren in her life, one: they’re already against Bo and two: depending on who you talk to they actually value Lauren more than they do Bo. They might frown on her not feeding from her and treating her not like a pet like they would their humans but turn on her especially given how she’s been in regards to the topic I don’t think that would change; they either like Bo or they don’t.

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      I agree. I think it’s better that Bo can’t sense Fae. Or it seems like she can now, but only when she feeds off of them. It’s fine that Dyson can, but if you give your lead too many abilities it gets difficult to write believable A stories.

      I mentioned in our hanging plot threads episode that I’m not sure if Lou Ann is still relevant. But if she is going to make an appearance again not in flashback (which I’m not a big fan of, so I’m not advocating for flashbacks here), Season 5 could be a good time for her to appear. Since Bo seems to be hot on the trail of finding her father, Lou Ann could be used as a link to finding more information about him if the writers don’t want to use Aife to convey that information to Bo for whatever reason.

      I didn’t mean to imply that I thought Dyson saved Bo. Not at all. I think he just interrupted the fight, and that’s what bugs me. Bo didn’t make a decision — Dyson pulled her off of Vex. I would have much rather Bo made the decision not to kill Vex because someone reasoned her out of it or she came to the conclusion herself. I hate that Dyson physically stopped her, which is why I think Bo isn’t left with much autotomy at the conclusion of this episode. Though (and I forgot to mention this) I do kind of like the moment when Bo goes dark and turns the Siracon against Dyson.

      • Aaron says:

        “Lou Ann could be used as a link to finding more information about him if the writers don’t want to use Aife to convey that information to Bo for whatever reason.”

        This would mean a road trip episode I think because I doubt Lou Ann is back with the fae; she seems on a hit list for the Dark fae for her involvement with Aife’s escape/baby Bo napping. But yes, now would be a good time for her to be used again if they’re going to since she has links to Bo’s birth parents.

        “Bo didn’t make a decision”

        You don’t think she did? She seemed pretty set on beating the crap out of Vex for information or killing him possibly if need be given her current emotional state in that scene. Granted her plan wasn’t extensive but she was pretty set in a choice I thought – she wanted Vex to tell her what he knows. “I would have much rather Bo made the decision to not kill Vex because someone reasoned her out of it or she came to the conclusion herself.” – I can get that, however I’m not sure there was much reasoning with Bo in that moment you know? She was very passionate in this episode, especially learning about her mother so that definitely would have been a longer scene I think had she come to the decision, either way, not to kill Vex. “Though I do kind of like the moment when Bo goes dark and turns the Siracon against Dyson.” – that was a great moment for sure; and this is in part why I don’t think anyone could have rationalized with Bo in that moment, she was pretty set on getting some answers.

        I get wanting a longer fight scene, though if Bo did get information out of Vex I think it would have been a set up of some kind – either it’s truthful but leads to a really dangerous situation for her or it’s false information.

        • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

          No. Bo didn’t make a decision to stop her assault on Vex. (That’s the decision I’m talking about.) Dyson made it for her. Even if they had to make the scene longer (which I don’t think they would have), I think a slightly longer scene would have been worth it to see Bo have to go through that process of talking herself down/being talked down.

    • Kris says:

      My comment about Vex being able to kill Kenzi but not Dyson was about what Vex could “legally” do within the Dark Fae rules. Killing humans is acceptable and to be expected — killing Light Fae could start a war (or, at the very least, would cause a political incident).

      • Aaron says:

        Sorry; I thought you were speaking in general. Legally it makes sense had Kenzi been in that position as a possibility then. Bo really would have killed him then.

  2. Jessalyn says:

    One of my favourite episodes. I loved the darker tone, though I agree they made the right choice in settling on a lighter tone for Bo and the show in general. I would, however, like to see the show go ‘dark’ more often. This episode shows they can really pull it off. Happy to hear a Farscape shout out from Annie 🙂

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      What did you think of some of the Season 4 storylines in terms of their darkness? Because I think that’s what they were going for, but it didn’t seem like the audience’s response was too great despite a lot of people really liking this episode for its darkness.

      • Jessalyn says:

        It did cross my mind after I wrote this that season 4 was probably intended to be ‘dark’. But it didn’t really land that way for me. I think they definitely set up some potentially ‘dark’ plots, the Una Mens and their ‘war on humans’ (seriously, Lauren who is ‘hidding it terror’, just casually walks into their lair) Rainer and his true intentions and also hinting at a dark Bo. None of these stories went anywhere and certainly didn’t reach the dark tones I was hoping/expecting. Ultimately the reason this episode works for me is because we have 7 fairly light episodes leading up to it and then things take a turn for the dark. I wasn’t expecting it and it played really well. Season 4 kind of hit this weird middle ground where it wasn’t light enough to be the Bo and lost girl that we love but also wasn’t dark enough to justify the change in tone. That’s how I saw it anyway.

        • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

          Fair enough. I think that they did have some successful “dark” moments in Season 4, primarily in “Of All the Gin Joints.” Bo jumping to threatening Ianka (eyes going blue) and then later when she is having sex with Dyson and won’t look at him were both pretty good, in my opinion. I also thought The Una Mens having Vex in that very comfortable looking torture device was pretty dark and creepy, but they ultimately lacked bite.

  3. Sally says:

    I loved hearing your discussion about “Vexed.” Laughed out loud at some of the things Annie said and when Kris kept saying “I NEED TO PUT MY FACE ON YOUR FACE.”

    I very much agree with what you all were saying about Lauren and how she had developed some kind of Stockholm syndrome after working for the Ash for so long – waiting for him to dismiss her, etc. I think Bo came along and really shook things up for her. After we learned more about Lauren’s backstory in Season 4, I think it makes a lot of sense. She feels like she has something to atone for, which made her all the more vulnerable to subjugating herself to an authority figure – having Nadia’s life at stake just gave her a reason, but a strong and independent woman like Lauren willfully submitting to indentured servitude, there had to be more behind it.

    I am super super curious about what the things are that Annie requested to be edited out!

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      It was such good stuff, Sally! I know — it gets the imagination running wild given the stuff that Annie lets me keep in!

    • Kris says:

      I don’t know why, but I can’t stop talking about people putting their faces on other people’s faces. Expect to hear variations of the phrase during the 30 Days episodes.

      Stephanie sent me the audio that got cut out. I listened to it about six times in a row. It’s REALLY good. 🙂

  4. Rhys says:

    Vexed is definitely on my top 5 Lost Girl episodes and it was great to hear some trivia, which makes watching the episodes even more enjoyable (and I’m really glad ZP is the Doc since it has introduced me to other work she has done!) and explains Anna Silks ever changing look in s1e8!

    ZP said in a radio interview that Lauren was originally only in a few episodes in S1 but the role was expanded (guessing due to her acting chops and awesome chemistry with AS — honestly, who has better eye sex than those two??) and she made it to the main title in S2.

    ZP does such an awesome job playing the oft conflicted and always tortured soul of Lauren Lewis, and it really shines in her last scenes on this episode. Lauren asks the Ash how she can help keep Bo safe and he makes a “suggestion” that logic and exposition are not the best ways to distract or sway a succubus. I really think that Lauren slept with Bo: a) to try to keep her safe b/c she cared about her; b) b/c she was affected by Bo’s “normal life” speech; and c) b/c they had been slow building to this moment across the previous episodes (plus, have you seen Bo? Duh…). Also, Lauren sleeps with Bo at great risk to herself given Bo had killed every other human she had slept with.

    Of course Bo was pissed at what she saw as a betrayal but it’s also an interesting contrast given how she bangs Dyson to heal earlier in the episode with seemingly little regard for his feelings.

    Re: The comment about how difference the sex was in this episode b/w the m/f and f/f scenes: Bo & Dyson’s first sex scene in e2 was also less athletic, but by e8 they’ve done this a few times so Bo isn’t really afraid of hurting Dyson physically; conversely, Bo is afraid of hurting Lauren and the scene reflects her protectiveness and caution (as opposed to s2e5). It feels particularly revealing when Bo says, “You have no idea what I think and even less about what I feel or you couldn’t have done this.” Bo & Dyson’s relationship started on mutual attraction but also about Bo healing; w/Lauren it was all about the feels.

    PS: In S1 Dyson is so jealous about Bo’s relationship with Lauren but they don’t even kiss until this episode (though what a kiss it is w/Lauren moaning & unbuttoning her shirt). Guess he noticed the eye-sex too.

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      Re: The comment about how difference the sex was in this episode b/w the m/f and f/f scenes: Bo & Dyson’s first sex scene in e2 was also less athletic, but by e8 they’ve done this a few times so Bo isn’t really afraid of hurting Dyson physically; conversely, Bo is afraid of hurting Lauren and the scene reflects her protectiveness and caution (as opposed to s2e5). It feels particularly revealing when Bo says, “You have no idea what I think and even less about what I feel or you couldn’t have done this.” Bo & Dyson’s relationship started on mutual attraction but also about Bo healing; w/Lauren it was all about the feels.

      Right. I completely agree. Bo is much more cautious, and it’s a sweeter love scene at the end of “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae” because she had killed everyone? almost everyone? she had ever slept with before then. Similarly, Bo and Lauren’s love scene is more tender and cautious here because of the same reason — Bo is worried about hurting Lauren. And, like you said, it makes a really interesting contrast between the first love scene with Dyson.

      I’m glad we were able to answer a question for you! That’s why I asked Kris & Zoie about it — the different hair styles/lengths on Bo in this episode were driving me crazy! 🙂

  5. Maigray says:

    I also like the lighter tone the series ended up taking, but this episode remains a stand out for me. Easily one of the hottest, grittiest ones they ever made; I thought it worked so well. I remember my jaw dropped during the opening sex scene with Dyson. Tidbit from a Jay Firestone interview, but the reason they started with an mid-season ep was because Showcase was really nervous about the show. They wanted something that would demonstrate what a typical episode would be like, versus a pilot. Michelle Lovretta also said in an interview that she doesn’t actually write with specific themes in mind, that she’s more organic. The show had been in production much longer at that point, but she thought the news that True Blood had been picked up helped green light them. She was not expecting it, because genre shows were not in vogue. It also caused them to lighten their tone and content.

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      Thanks, I had read those comments from Jay and Michelle Lovretta. She also mentioned that they ended up going with a lighter tone for Lost Girl because of True Blood and wanting to stand out from their darker, grittier feel. I think it works as a darker moment in the first season, but like we said I much prefer warmer, goofier Bo that we got in the first episodes of the season.

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