Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lost Girl Season One, Episode Seven: Arachnofaebia

Two senior sisters live together and for some reason one takes her knitting needles and stabs the other in the chest.  The camera then pans down to the ball of yarn and we see a spider perched on top of it.  I think that I should say right now that the producer should have spent some money on the spider. It looked like a cheap Halloween gag. Kenzi gets a gig to clean out the house where the sisters died through the real estate agent, before it goes on the market.  She pretends to be a gypsy and then lights sage and wonders around the house with it chanting nonsense.  Really?  The burning of sage this way is outright appropriation, but hey, whatever makes the plot work.

Dyson and Hale are canvassing the neighbourhood, because Dyson feels that there is something not right about these deaths.  It seems that there have been 4 murder suicides recently within a very small radius. They meet Bo and Kenzi and agree to go back to the fae bar.  Once at the bar, Dyson asks Bo to help him with the investigation by speaking to her dark fae contacts, to see if something is up. Lauren shows up  to have a drink with Bo, but when Dyson learns that it is not doctor patient related, he decides to stay. Bo asks Dyson to move over so that Lauren can sit, but he refuses and she is forced to squeeze herself into the corner. Bo attempts to make small talk with the three of them, but Lauren and Dyson are far more interested in verbal sparing. 

At the bar, Hale and Kenzi sit together.  Kenzi tells Hale that Bo really needs to choose. She then reaches into her bag and is bitten by a spider.  When she complains of being bitten, Hale reaches into her bag and removes a series of weapons, and tells her that she probably cut herself on one of them.

At home, Kenzi is clearly getting irritated. She even throws the laundry basket across the room.  Bo decides to take a shower, but while in the shower, the spider sneaks up on her and bites her.  When she gets out, Bo immediately starts to show symptoms, and begins to bicker with Kenzi.

Hale finds a huge spiders web and tells Hale about it.  When he learns that other houses had the same web, Dyson decides to give the sample to the fae lab. Once at the lab, Lauren and Dyson engage in yet more verbal sparing. When Lauren asks him why he is so tired, he tells her that if she and Bo were so close, she'd already know. This if Dyson's way of letting her know that he is sleeping with Bo. Can't have a supernatural relationship without a little possessiveness and marking of one's territory.

After a night of not being able to sleep, Bo heads off to the police station and tells Dyson that she has not been able to find out anything from her sources, but intends to keep looking. She asks him if he could run a background check on Kenzi.  This throws him for a loop, because Bo has never suggested anything but the greatest of faith in Kenzi.  When he expresses this, she tells him never mind because all she needs to know is that Kenzi is a thief.

When Bo returns to her home, the paranoia level increases markedly. Both she and Kenzi start to hallucinate.  Lauren calls Dyson and tells him that the sample he gave her belongs to "a Djieiene, a nomadic native american under fae. It infects its victims with a venom that cause hallucinations and paranoia.  The venom circulates through the nervous system, producing increasingly powerful bursts of aggression, persecution anxieties, and finally homocidal rage.  Without a target for that rage, the victims often end up attack each other. The Djieiene then feds off then psyically feeds off the flood of hormones". This is the second Native American fae on the series thus far.  I actually find this quite refreshing, because normally when we see fae in urban fantasy, all of their roots are European in origin.  So far we have seen creatures from Asia, as well as those that originate with First Nations tribes.  I believe that this is something quite rare to the genre.  

Dyson tells Lauren that he believes that Bo is infected based on her paranoid behaviour.  Lauren informs Serene, the Ashe head of security.

Back at  Bo's house, Kenzi tells her about the spider, but when they can't find it, they decide that perhaps the best option is to leave the house. Unfortunately, when they try to leave, they hallucinate a brick wall baring the way.  Hale comes into the house believing that he will be able to simply use his siren powers to lure them out, but Bo knocks him unconscious with a frying pan, and they tie him to a chair with saran wrap.   Bo realizes that something isn't right and decides that she needs to feed.  Kenzie backs away and runs to the other room. Kenzie leans in and kisses Hale, which cures her from the spiders bite.

Outside of the house, a quarantine has been set up. Dyson convinces Serene to give him a few hours to figure out what is going on before killing everyone in the house.  Serene sees no harm in this because no one can escape the house.  When Bo tries to exit the house to find help after being cured, she is forced back inside the house by Serene.  She calls Dyson and he tells her that she has to kill the spider.

Dyson goes to the fae bar to talk to Trick, in the hope that Trick can help him to save Bo, Kenzi and Hale, but once there he sees Lauren.  Immediately the two begin to argue, because Dyson is upset that Lauren called Ashe security. She tells him that the Djieiene are responsible for 600 people dead in a mining town in the 1800's, and for the bulk of the Sudanese genocide.  This is me giving the writers the side eye.  I assume that they are referencing Darfur, and they should be ashamed.
In 2003, two Darfuri rebel movements- the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)- took up arms against the Sudanese government, complaining about the marginalization of the area and the failure to protect sedentary people from attacks by nomads. The government of Sudan responded by unleashing Arab militias known as Janjaweed, or “devils on horseback”. Sudanese forces and Janjaweed militia attacked hundreds of villages throughout Darfur. Over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions of civilians were forced to flee their homes.

In the ongoing genocide, African farmers and others in Darfur are being systematically displaced and murdered at the hands of the Janjaweed. The genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people continue to die each day; five thousand die every month. The Sudanese government disputes these estimates and denies any connection with the Janjaweed. (source)
This is not just a twisting of historical events, this is outright erasure of the cause of genocide. Western nations failed to act to help end the north/south divide, because the people who were dying were of color and were poor. You don't take something of this magnitude, and twist it for the sake of a plot point. It is reductive and re-victimizes the countless who have died and or were injured. I suppose the writers felt that it wouldn't be right to make it through an entire show, without showing the world their collective asses.

At that point, I stopped caring how Bo and Kenzie were going to get out of the house.  It was yet another case of false tension, because Bo and Kenzie were in no real danger and the ridiculous  juxtapostion of Dafur and what was happening to them, made be absolutely ill.

After Lauren rescues Bo, Kenzi and Hale,  Dyson tells Lauren that he does not trust her. "First you call a strike on her, and then you almost kill a man to save her," he said. Lauren responds with, "Is it really my loyalties you're worried about, or is it the fact that I'm the one that saved her?"  This had me laughing because once again, Bo the great and powerful succubus had to be saved. Sometimes I wonder what these characters do when they are no busy saving Bo.

At the fae bar, Dyson tries to warn Bo about Lauren, however, she dismisses him when he tells her that this is not about how he feels about her, and that it's about Lauren's closeness to the Ashe.  When he cannot make Bo understand that she should potentially be alarmed, he walks off and tells her to call him when she needs to be healed.

Note: I gave this episode 2 fangs because of the treatment of genocide. Not all fails are equal, and this one was simply the most disgusting I have seen in the genre to date.