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5×13 “Family Portrait” — Episode 119

October 12, 2015 by Drinks at The Dal

Bo Jack and Aife at dinner table in Family Portrait
Bo learns that her mother recently escaped from a mental institution and that her father has left his cage. She goes looking for them and finds a very different reunion than she was expecting. Bo isn’t sure who to believe about her mother’s past, Aife, Jack, or Trick.

Drink Special: Blood and Sand

1 Tbsp Orange juice
½ oz Scotch
½ oz Cherry-flavored brandy
½ oz Sweet vermouth

Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

Aife

  • Why did they send in that new guy? He broke all of the rules the nurse told him seconds before he went in. Use a tray!
  • While seeing Aife again (finally!) was great, it felt like all we got in this episode was a recap of information we already had. Couldn’t we have dug deeper into Aife’s past?
  • Really? Dyson and Kenzi didn’t tell Bo they had seen her mother? Of course Trick lied, but Kenzi? That doesn’t sound right. Dyson’s line about it not being his call to tell her hearkens back to his keeping secrets from her in Season 1.
  • What exactly was Jack’s plan?? Get Aife to escape so he can stage a “happy family” scene for Bo and try to get Aife to destroy him and/or go mad? Why??? Is his plan to drive Bo mad from confusion????
  • Stephanie was also very disappointed that Jack apparently killed Aife. (And off screen!) The idea of Bo and Aife confronting him together was so appealing.

Trick in Family Portrait

Trick

  • Bo and Trick had some great scenes together. It’s too bad we didn’t get more of them exploring their complicated family situation throughout the years.
  • “Where are you going?” “To find my mom, make sure she’s safe.” “Bo!” “One of us needs to care.” Ouch.
  • Where has Trick been all season? He has been largely absent, which is super strange given that this whole season has been about Bo discovering more about her biological family.
  • Kris feels like even a small scene every episode or two would’ve made this episode more impactful.
  • While Trick is likely dead dead, Stephanie wonders if he might be in the next episode if they go surreal and dream-like, which seems like a distinct possibility.

Lauren & Tamsin

  • Lauren and Tamsin’s storyline was kind of delightful, even though Tamsin referred to Lauren as Bo’s “unstable ex” in the beginning.
  • But Lauren, why are you talking to Tamsin about this NOW? Why didn’t you talk to Bo about it BEFORE? We’ve seen similar behavior from her back in Season 4 though, spilling her guts about her past to Crystal.
  • Annie had mixed emotions about the Lauren and Tamsin scenes. She liked the moments of friendship but doesn’t like that it’s still very awkward between the two of them.
  • Stephanie and Kris thought we saw some real growth and development in their relationship here. At the beginning of the season, Tamsin wouldn’t have hesitated to tell Lauren that she had slept with Bo to rub it in her face.
  • It was nice seeing Lauren being a doctor and using medical problem solving to process her break up with Bo.

Lauren and Tamsin in clinic in Family Portrait

Bo & Lauren

  • Stephanie thought that the scenes between Bo and Lauren felt off. It was surprising, but nice, to see Lauren being the one to talk about the break up here when Bo was the one who seemed so blindsided.
  • There didn’t seem to be much emotion there in the one scene in which they interacted.
  • Annie and Kris think that Bo was too focused on the situation with her parents. Maybe she was dealing with the pain by bottling it up and concentrating on something else.

UGH SEXUAL ASSAULT UGH

  • This episode clarified that the encounter between Bo and Tamsin in “Judgement Fae” was actually between Jack and Tamsin.
  • It’s very disappointing and upsetting that the writers are using a sexual assault of one of our female main characters (as well as the resulting pregnancy) just to augment the characterization of a secondary male character. We get it: Jack is a bad guy. You didn’t need to do this.
  • This writing choice is also disappointing given how sex positive the show has been previously.
  • The writers treat what happened to Tamsin as very much like a sexual assault, which makes the lighthearted manner with which they treated the ghostly encounter in “Like Hell, Part 2” all the more baffling.
  • Aife also refers to what happened between her and Dyson in “(Dis)Members Only,” which looks to be a sexual assault to many people but has never really been treated as one by the show.
  • Why bring up the Aife/Dyson encounter at all? It was really awful reminder that Lost Girl has not done well addressing sexual assault in the past.

UGH MYSTICAL PREGNANCY UGH

  • Stephanie was hoping we could get through Lost Girl without a mystical pregnancy. But alas, no.
  • Okay, there was a mystical pregnancy in “Caged Fae,” but it wasn’t a main character.
  • Mystical pregnancies are a problematic trope and unfortunately a sci fi/fantasy staple. They depict pregnancy as awful and scary, and these pregnancies are never of the female character’s choosing. They exploit women’s bodies for dramatic effect in a very upsetting way.
  • Why the hell are they going so gross with this? Why is Tamsin pregnant with Bo’s father’s child as the result of a sexual assault? How in the hell are they going to address this serious situation in a meaningful way in three episodes?
  • WHY DID THEY HAVE TO GO HERE???
  • Some fans have pointed out that the baby might not be Jack’s. It’s early days yet for the fetus to have a heartbeat but mystical pregnancies are often accelerated. This episode certainly strongly suggests that Bo’s father is the father.
  • Tamsin’s hair is falling out, which accompanies the end of her lifetime, and it’s suggested that the pregnancy is the cause. What does that mean for Tamsin?

Bo and Aife in Family Portrait

Stray Thoughts

  • Tons and TONS of family talk in this episode with Bo seemingly caught between her biological family (Aife, Jack, Trick) and her found family (Dyson, Tamsin, Lauren)
  • Why include that awkward moment with Estelle groping Bo? The enhanced version of the podcast suggests it could be evoking Bo and Lauren’s future.
  • Stephanie points out that there have been a lot of elevators in this season. She has thoughts but will share them at a later date.
  • “Stay together. No one travels alone,” Bo says as she leaves BY HERSELF.
  • Tamsin totally blew off her assignment to stay at the clinic to look for Jack. No one was listening to anybody this week!
  • Laura says:

One thing that made me happy (in such a dark episode) was the musical scoring/ source music. Boy, Beethoven 7 2nd movement already had a dirge-like quality, but now that tableau of Trick & Aife creepily staged for Bo will be forever branded in my memory when I hear that symphony. The use of classical source music throughout leant an operatic quality to the scenes with Hades and with his handiwork, which I think was fitting for the gravitas of the scenes. The use of classical music also made the over-the-top plot and scene elements work for me a bit more. Bravo to the music editor.

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6 comments »

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  1. Little Bad Wolf says:

    I’m curious how Persephone’s account of Aife being kept a prisoner (“he only let her hold you to feed you”) fits into the story. According to Jack and Aife, Aife was kept in a cage due to PTSD causing her to want to kill Bo, and that’s also why “they” sent Bo away. Yet Persephone indicates that Aife wanted to leave Tartarus with Bo but let Bo go when she realized only one of them could get away. [Will we ever find out how Aife got away from Tartarus?] In the institution, Aife says she needs to kill Bo because there is darkness in Bo. Did Bo making the cut across the glowy handprint get rid of the darkness or is there more to it than that? In 510 Jack tells Iris that he IS darkness. Is that something that can be passed down? We’ve only really seen darkness in Bo when she goes Dark!Bo, which seems directly related to Daddy Darko.

    I love the Tamsin and Lauren interactions (yay, #copdoc sorryAnnienotsorry). They have this great awkward chemistry that is snarky yet honest and moving towards caring.

    Are Tamsin and Bo still roommates? I though Tamsin moved out in 508 and didn’t seem to be living there in 511, but maybe she has moved back in by 513?

    I agree with a lot of comments that I’ve seen that the show handles sexual assault really poorly and Tamsin’s storyline continues this, though i was glad that at least everyone seems to acknowledge this was rape. The baby doesn’t have to be weird or evil as Bo isn’t. I actually thought they were going to go that route with Lauren after ghost rape in 502 but they seem to have only wanted that to be a joke. Who the hell thinks that is funny??? Also, what about Zee controlling the Oracles to have sexual interactions with various people in the guise of someone else. In this case, both parties are being manipulated by an outside force but no one on the show seems particularly bothered. It just occurred to me that all three of Bo’s main love interests have had sex with someone in s5 that they thought was Bo but wasn’t. Geez….

  2. Angela (AMP) says:

    I made that photo you asked for… It’s on my facebook with your FB page tagged in it. 🙂

  3. The only thing that’s in character with that rape is the fact that it’s almost a trademark story in Greco-roman mythology.

    I’m still waiting to see how that develops. At least this once the rape was treated as such, and I liked the reveal scene. Other than that, agreeing with all your UGHs.

    What I still don’t exactly get is why doing it and why Tamsin. Did the writers really make up the whole Lauren-is-a-conduit storyline only to lead to a head-scratching break-up so they could justify Tamsin being raped and impregnated by Jack? Like, all the dragging of Tamsin/Bo and Lauren/Bo throughout the season (despite 4×13 having made Bo’s choices rather clear) just to lead to a mystical pregnancy by sexual assault?

    Because to me it felt like that.

    So yeah, wondering why and for what. Jack wanting to mess Bo up any way he can? Jack having a specific interest on Tamsin? Jack wanting to breed (yuck) and of all the Fae available Tamsin’s the only option because he totally knew what would go on with Lauren and he’s not interested in humans? Jack just throwing plot twists left and right as they come, no explanation needed because he’s the personification of most writing choices this season? He needs a baby? Doesn’t really want to kill Tamsin but needs her out of the way?

    Two episodes left, let’s see what they’ve cooked.

    Thanks as always for taking your time in doing this podcast! Gonna listen to this episode now 🙂

  4. Simone says:

    Hi,
    1) Trick killed off screen
    I expected a fight because a Trick stunt double is mentioned for the ep in IMDb (Was it cut?)

    2) CopDoc. I strongly dislike this stuff (SorryNotSorry). And I don´t know how the word FRIENDship can be used? I´m rewatching S3 right now and Tam has been treating Lauren like sh*t since then and now she sleeps (or think so) with Bo only hours after BoLo´s break up in S5? No thanks, not my kind of a friend. Not even as a tv show character.

    Besides that..thanks for this podcast ep. Was a pleasure as usual.
    @sim_leu

  5. takeela74 says:

    Not even going to approach the rape but it’s kind of eye opening to see people that were ok with it, even if it is tv, it isn’t.

    I think ZP should have played the older woman because that would have been sweet to see Bo interact with Lauren in that state like they were aiming for but used another actress.

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