Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lost Girl, Season 5, Episode 13: Family Portrait

Time for the return of Aife – yes, Bo’s long lost mother who is constantly thrown into various prisons, institutions and assumed dead. She is currently locked in one of those institutions and decides to escape. She’s a powerful determined woman and one of her guards is a Black woman – which on Lost Girl means she’s 2 seconds away from spontaneously dropping dead anyway.

Bo is kind of perturbed that Trick, her grandfather, didn’t tell Bo that her mother is alive – nor did Dyson, Kezi or anyone else; this is all put down to it happening when Bo was on the train in that very very bizarre storyline that makes my head hurt just to think about. Also, Aife apparently has psychotic episodes whenever she thinks of her daughter

Also the whole gang realises that Hades, god of the underworld, uber powerful fae and general scary dude, can’t actually be imprisoned by a sheet of glass. Funny that.

Bo goes looking for her lost mother and finds her having dinner with daddy dearest Hades. It is Awkward. But they both present a different family history to the one Bo had been taught: when Trick ended the great war between the Light and Dark Fae Aife didn’t want to go along with that and kept on killing. To prevent a new war breaking out, Trick handed Aife over to the Dark fae for execution and she spent several centuries in a dungeon with lots of nasty things happening

While everyone agrees this makes Trick a terrible dad, no-one pauses to think that it probably made him a good king (and Aife a pretty shitty princess who was willing to drive her people back into a blood soaked war for her own revenge fantasies.) Hades then rescued Aife from the dungeons and was her saviour – but had to keep her in a cage forever to protect Bo from her angry insanity.

Naturally all broken up by the idea that her beloved granddad is the bad guy, Bo leaves – only to be followed by Aife who actually really really wants to imprison Hades again. While she kind of agrees with Hades’s version of events, that doesn’t mean she thinks he’s a good guy or anything close (which means Trick’s version – that Hades rescued her in order to exploit her and combine his Ancient Fae god power with Trick’s uber-magical blood – may also be true)

Unfortunately, Aife is super unstable and violent and is convinced that Bo visited her in prison – when Bo insists she didn’t, Aife completely breaks down. Bo returns her to the institution.

From there she tearfully confronts Trick – who decides the best way to convince Bo what happened is to open up all of Aife’s journals, medical files et al for Bo – because the Mentally ill don’t get privacy, right? I get the whole “stop keeping secrets from me to keep me safe” because damn that needs repeating constantly and loudly. But that doesn’t mean other people don’t get privacy!

Bullshit #1: that Aife’s imprisonment, Aife’s torture, Aife’s insanity, indeed everything that happened to Aife is all about poor Bo. Not Aife. Is anyone even spending a second on Aife’s pain here?

Bullshit #2: that Aife being “crazy” and having “PTSD” means she’s a raging psychotic who is dangerous to everyone around her.

Bullshit #3: Absolutely no-one trying to find the truth of Aife’s life (because, let’s be really really clear here, while Trick talks about different people’s truth, what he actually means is Aife’s truth. This is ALL Aife’s story) decides the best person to ask is Aife.

Bullshit #4: Rather than ask Aife and trust her to know her own experiences, they decide the best thing to do is freely share her highly confidential, private medical records. They treat Aife as a thing, as a pet – never never as a person.

The fact Aife is mentally ill means she loses her personhood. She gets to make no choices, she has no rights to even the slightest privacy, she is assumed to know nothing about anything and she is assumed to be dangerous to everyone around her (not herself).

Anyway back to the plot – Bo discovers that she did visit Aife in the institution, like Aife claimed. They realise Hades can shapeshift – just like his brother Zeus.

Tamsin realises that this means when she thought Bo slept with her last episode, it was actually Hades. In one of the very first times I’ve seen rape by deception depicted, everyone treats it as rape. Everyone treats Tamsin as a rape victim. In so many shows I’ve seen this kind of rape has been completely ignored and dismissed and never ever treated as real rape. It’s excellent to see the outrage and fury from this violation treated with the severity it deserves. It’s sad that this is refreshing, frustrating that this blatant rape is so often ignored and dismissed

Dyson, Bo and Tamsin go to attack Hades… which doesn’t work so well because death god and all. He responds by killing Aife and Trick. I can only assume that he’s given up on trying to recruit Bo

I expected Aife to die – I didn’t expect the death of Trick… he’s been such a major character for so long. And equally I wanted so much more from the Blood King. I only hope in the next episode they treat his death as the epic loss it is and it isn’t quickly brushed over.

In the aftermath, Bo cuts through the mark on her chest, destroying her link with Hades.

And Tamsin is pregnant….
Wait… I mean… what?
Hades raped Tamsin, a cis woman, while disguised as Bo, a cis woman.
And now Tamsin is pregnant…

Ok then.