Downton Abbey season 4: Comments are Open

Downton Abbey returned to PBS for season 4 last night. I’m not going to recap it here, but I did want to open up this post to reader comments about season 4. As the weeks go by, please feel free to use the comments here to share your thoughts with me and other readers.

The first comment shall be mine. It was lovely to see everyone back again doing the things we love them for much for doing. Hurrah!

Much of the first episode was about grief. My other comment is that it’s a little simplified to think that grief can be overcome in such ways as those demonstrated here, but it’s also a bit exaggerated to think that grief can be so overwhelming that life stops.

What are your thoughts?

Review: What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew is based on the Henry James novel of 1897. It stars Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan as Maisie’s horrifyingly bad parents. Maisie is played by Onata Aprile.

What Maisie Knew poster
What Maisie Knew poster

Alexander Skarsgård and Joanna Vanderham are also in the film. After Maisie’s parents divorce, her father marries the former nanny (Joanna Vanderham). Her mother marries a convenient bartender (Alexander Skarsgård) and these two surrogate parents are left largely in charge of the neglected and forgotten Maisie.

Moore and Coogan do not sugar coat their performances as the unlikeable adults. They are as selfish and unfit as two people could possible be to fill their roles as parents.

Like the book, the film is told from Maisie’s point of view. Onata Aprile is remarkable as Maisie. She’s  natural and real, completely childlike rather than actory. It’s hard to remember she’s performing – saying lines, taking direction. She absolutely makes the film work. It breaks our hearts as we watch her trying to survive in her often awful situation.

Like all neglected children, Maisie loves her parents. But when she’s with Margo, daddy’s new wife, or Lincoln, mommie’s new husband, Maisie recognizes that this is the way it’s supposed to be. Lincoln bumbles his way into child care – he doesn’t even know that you should hold a child’s hand when you cross a Manhattan street. But he does naturally all the things her mother does not do. He listens to her, he plays with her, he makes sure she has something to eat.

If a film about something so depressing can be called beautiful, this is a beautiful film. The performances are outstanding, the way the camera follows Maisie and lives in her world is brilliant. The ending is emotionally satisfying even though it is unrealistic to expect Maisie’s situation to be wrapped up in a red bow for any length of time.

The film was released on DVD in May 2013 and is available on most streaming services now.

Watch This: Theatrical Trailer for Veronica Mars

Although we’ve been getting all kinds of pre-release peeks at Veronica Mars, this is the first actual official trailer. It gives you a lot more insight into what’s going on in the movie’s plot.

Bring it!

Watch This: Sex After Kids Trailer

Saw a tweet from Zoie Palmer about this trailer and thought it was worth sharing. A lot of familiar faces in this comedy, plus it looks really funny.

The difficulty for those of us in the U.S. is that I don’t know where it’s playing. It’s been on the festival circuit in Canada, Australia and the U.S., but I’m not sure about release in theaters. According to the Sex After Kids website, it has shown in some U.S. theaters, but they don’t have a 2014 calendar update (or didn’t on the day I looked.)

Sex After Kids – Redband Trailer from Jeremy LaLonde on Vimeo.

Follow @SexAfterKids on Twitter for updates such as this one:

 

 

Recap: Lost Girl S4, E7 La Fae Époque

In this episode of Lost Girl, we are through worrying about Bo’s memory for a while. In “La Fae Époque,” Bo goes into Dyson’s memory.

We begin with a frantic Bo (Anna Silk) and Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) dragging a monk into the police station for Hale (K.C. Collins) to interrogate because Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) is lost.

You read that right. Now Dyson is lost. Well, technically, the Una Mens have him.

Bo tries charming the monk into spilling, but there’s no glow. Must be a eunuch. She wants to know why the Una Mens only took Dyson when they were both breaking Fae laws by consorting with each other while naked. Hale nails him with a siren song. The monk caves immediately and tells them Dyson will be executed for treason for killing both Fae and human in 1899. Bo says, nope, that doesn’t sound like Dyson at all.

The monk utters some Latin and dies, giving Kenzi a chance to quip about dead languages.

The Una Mens with their one speaking character, The Keeper (Christine Horne) mutter some Latin themselves, which results in a gagantic knife being plunged into a woman in a cell; the Scavenger is no more.

Chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain

Behind the cell, Dyson is chained to the ceiling. Naked. (No full monty, sorry. That damn gargoyle is in the way.)

Lauren (Zoie Palmer) and Bo talk about how much time they have to save Dyson. Lauren is rigging up Bo with electrodes. Lauren wants to know how they got Dyson and Bo says, “They caught us while we were . . . um.” Lauren gets what um is. The look on her face makes Bo say, “So, you and The Morrigan are getting close.”

Bo’s not jealous, she merely wants to use all that dark Fae equipment to save Dyson. Lauren claims she doesn’t ask – she just takes: Think dark to be dark.

Lauren continues sticking electrodes on Bo, finally putting one near her heart. Bo says, “Oh, hello,” and smiles. Lauren is sorry for the cleavage contact – so she claims – but Bo tells her not to be.

The science with subtext is interrupted by Cassie (Vanessa Matsui), the Oracle we met a couple of seasons ago, who waits impatiently. She’s rigged up with electrodes, too.

Get me into Dyson's memory
Get me into Dyson’s memory

Cassie has to get Bo into Dyson’s memory so Bo can prove he’s innocent. Cassie says, “I thought you were going to ask me to look inside the gaping black hole in your memory.”  Bo looks at her like, hey, could you? Cassie says, “Impossible, even for me.”

Cassie is disappointed with Bo. When she read her years ago, she thought Bo was the one who would lead the Fae into a new era.

The red string of fate
The red string of fate

Bo gets warned that even though she’ll be inside Dyson’s memory, she’s going to see things from her own perspective, too. Lauren steps up with a red string. Cassie says, “The red string of fate. You might as well lobotomize Bo right now.” Lauren insists it’s the only way. She wraps one around Cassie’s ankle and one around Bo’s ankle so it can secure Cassie’s connection to Bo and Bo’s connection to Dyson.

You could go insane from this
You could go insane from this

Cassie warns Bo that she could be in a straight jacket when she comes out of this but Bo is sure, and would, in fact, do the same for Lauren.

May I scrub you down?
Not looking, promise.

Dyson meanwhile is undergoing some kind of ritual cleansing that involves scrubbing down his bare body. Kenzi disguised herself and  joined the Una Mens long enough to help with the scrubbing. Kenzi is carefully behind him or she might have been the one who got the full monty. Anyhoo, it gives her a chance to tie a red string to his ankle.

As soon as Kenzi gets the red string on Dyson, everything goes a little crazy.

Bo’s inside Dyson’s head. Most of the time we see Bo acting out Dyson’s life, unless Bo looks in a mirror, in which case we see Dyson.

Here's Dyson
Here’s Dyson

Dyson/Bo is in bed with two lovelies. Their father enters in a rage and Dyson/Bo flees by shifting. We see a wolf in the street, who shifts into Bo’s form. Dyson/Bo steals some clothing – some badly fitting clothing – and heads off, stopping only to admire how ruggedly handsome she is in a shop window.

Dyson/Bo grabs a newspaper and sees an ad for Cabaret du Ceil starring Flora Blooms. Two guys start chasing her. Turns out it’s the mad papa.

My precious daughters
My precious daughters

They battle in an alleyway and Trick appears, beaning them both with a stick.

A bo staff
A bowstaff

“A bowstaff,” says Dyson/Bo. She doesn’t know who he is, but he says, “Follow me if you want sanctuary.”

Yoda?
Yoda?

Trick sits Yoda-like in his sanctuary and tells Dyson/Bo, “You’re capable of more. Of good.”

Dyson/Bo goes, but Trick/Yoda calls him back with, “The helskór. The ancient hell shoes sought after by the most powerful Fae, including the one who wanders.”

Dyson/Bo says he’s heard of them. They can only be worn by “a worthy hero.”

A prince has them and is selling them to the highest bidder. Trick wants Dyson/Bo to get them. Trick introduces himself to Dyson/Bo with his full name, and Dyson/Bo calls him Trick instead. The birth of a nickname.

Back in the reality of the bedroom where Bo and Cassie are wired up, Bo mutters things like shoes, boobs. Lauren is glad Dyson was an intellectual. Then Bo mutters hell shoes, bowstaff, trick. Lauren thinks its a non sequitur party and they’re all invited. She tries talking to Bo, which is silly because Bo is off in Dysonland. Bo says he who wanders and Lauren gets excited but Bo smiles and goes back to muttering boobs.

Dyson/Bo enters Cabaret du Ceil. Kenzi, speaking with a French accent and dressed up in a skimpy outfit, blonde curls, and white wings, greets her at the door. In the Bo version of Dyson’s memory, Kenzi’s the bartender, Angel. She serves Dyson/Bo a drink.

Mai oui
Mai oui, cheri.

Bartender/Kenzi flirts with Dyson/Bo. It’s a world outside of time where dreams come true. Dyson/Bo spots a familiar dude in the cabaret.

What a prince of a guy
What a prince of a guy

Yes, it’s Vex (Paul Amos), who just for tonight gets to be a prince. Dyson/Bo also spots a man in modern garb – a red nylon windbreaker and baseball cap – who will appear and reappear several times in the next few scenes.

Bartender/Kenzi reveals in her flirtatious French accent that the main attraction doesn’t attract the crowds she used to. Bartender/Kenzi then mounts the bar, strolls across it with her Betty Grable legs, and announces the evening’s entertainment, Mademoiselle Flora Blooms.

Mademoiselle Flora Blooms
Mademoiselle Flora Blooms

Mademoiselle Flora Blooms sings a french tune, works the audience, tickles the prince’s beard. To Bo-as-Dyson, this charmer is Lauren.

Zoie Palmer is singing. In French. She’s got a little of that Edith Piaf vibrato going. It’s fabulous, I tell you, fabulous. Television can never be more fabulous than this.

Dyson’s wang apparently likes it, too, because we get to laugh at Bo dealing with her first ever hard-on. Then Dyson/Bo walks out, sideways, as if propelled by an outside force, complaining all the while that Lauren/Flora isn’t done singing yet. In French.

Caged Fae
Caged Fae

Dyson, the real Dyson, is clean now and dressed in white. He’s in a cage. Hale pleads for his release saying that Dyson is innocent. The Una Mens says he’s guilty and won’t consider Hale’s arguments. Kenzi’s phone rings and her disguise is blown. The Keeper is not happy to discover a human lurking about and says that Kenzi will be executed with the wolf.

In Lauren/Flora’s dressing room, Dyson/Bo enters. There’s a kind of crazy ballet next. First Lauren/Flora threatens Dyson/Bo with a knife. Then she kisses her. Then she slaps her.

Lauren/Flora complains that it’s been weeks. Dyson/Bo says, “You care?” Lauren/Flora answers that she does not and he needs to leave. Dyson/Bo kisses Lauren/Flora again.

Let’s talk about Zoie Palmer’s voice for this character. It’s pitched about 2 octaves above her normal speaking voice into French coquette territory. It’s hilarious.

the little coquette
The little coquette

Dyson/Bo talks about the prince and the helskór. Lauren/Flora wants to sell them for a fortune. She talks about what she could do with all that loot if they get the shoes. Lauren/Flora is willing to share a perk with Dyson/Bo for the tip.

Back to the French ballet.

A perk
How’d she get Dolly Parton’s wig?

There’s kissing.

back to the ballet
Come closer. No, go away.

There’s dancing.

A look in the mirror
There’s sex in the mirror

There’s sex, which we see from both Bo’s head, and – in a mirror – from Dyson’s head. Even in the mirror, Bo sees Lauren and not Flora – confusing, but go with it. In case you wanted to see Lauren and Dyson together, there it is. And if you were longing for a threesome with Bo, Lauren and Dyson, this is almost it. Almost. If the idea of Lauren with Dyson makes you cringe, I apologize for this screen shot and hope you can erase it from your mind forever with an image of Lauren with Bo.

Bo likes her super stud self as she thrusts away. She watches in the mirror and says, “So this is happening. For investigative purposes, right?”

Then the most confusing part of the entire scene happens. The camera turns away from the mirror, so according to the rules set up so far in this plotline, we should see Bo and Lauren. But we don’t. We still see Dyson and Lauren. What the hell did the writers mean by that?

In the real bedroom where Bo is wired to electrodes, Lauren watches and wonders what Bo is seeing in there. Bo says Lauren and moans out an orgasm. Lauren smiles and says, “Even in Dyson’s subconscious you’re thinking of me. Score one for the doctor.” Then she looks grossed out and horrified and says, “Unless that’s Dyson talking.”

Cassie begins counting backwards from 100, which can’t be good.

A knock on Lauren/Flora’s door interrupts the love fest. It is the prince.

Where have we seen walls like that before
Where have we seen walls like that before?

Lauren/Flora scoots Dyson/Bo out the back way.

It is the prince.
It is the prince.

In comes the prince with a shoebox, which Lauren/Flora quickly relieves him of. His accent is execrable! To be honest, Lauren and Kenzi aren’t doing too well with the accents either, but I think this one from Vex/Prince is more deliberate.

She kisses him. Blindfolds him. Does things with her mouth to his neck and ears while digging in the box for the hell shoes. They are ugly woven flats – hell must refer their style. They are not red, which they really should be, because, as we learn in a bit, once you get them on you cannot get them off.

Vex/Prince gets upset when he realizes she’s after the shoes. Dyson/Bo took the intervening time to get dressed and comes in to punch out poor Vex/Prince with a right hook.

Perfect fit. Cinderella much?
Perfect fit. Cinderella much?

Dyson/Bo puts the shoes on Lauren/Flora. Lauren/Flora immediately gets crazy eyes. (Apologies to Orange is the New Black, but she does get crazy eyes.) She says she’s been denied, the shoes are not intended for her. Dyson/Bo tries to get them off but cannot. A kick in the face for Dyson/Bo and off glides Lauren/Flora.

In the clink
In the clink

With Dyson and Kenzi in the clink, Dyson says he’s impressed Kenzi got in there. He wants to start training her as soon as they get out. He can feel Bo in his memory. Kenzi asks if he really murdered someone. He says, “It’s a long story and it starts with a pair of shoes.”

Back in memoryland, Dyson/Bo follows a trail of dead people that Lauren/Flora left in her wake as she ran off. She says, “Flora did all this, why is Dyson being blamed?”

It stinks here
Cut the red string. Cut the red string.

Cassie appears in the dreamland where Bo is Dyson. She tells Bo to cut the string. The modern guy in the red windbreaker walks past them. Cassie says Bo has lasted longer in someone’s memory than she’s ever seen, but she needs to get out now. Cassie says, “You’re brave. And something else. Something new.” She pulls off her red string and backs away counting down from 10.

When Cassie gets to 1, she wakes up, unhooks herself from all the electrodes, and tells Lauren to get the straight jacket ready for Bo because she stayed behind. She mentions shoes. Lauren says, “What shoes.” Bo mutters so much blood.

I can't stop
I can’t stop

Dyson/Bo catches up with Lauren/Flora, who is kneeling over a kill. She has Freddie Kruger knuckes and says she can’t stop killing. Lauren/Flora attacks Dyson/Bo and we get to savor a lot of kick ass pushing, kicking, hitting and struggling between Bo and Lauren.

The wolf
The wolf

Dyson/Bo goes wolf on her.

I ain't scared of no wolf
I ain’t scared of no wolf

Lauren/Flora maintains her French accent and Betty Boop voice throughout this entire fight scene. Finally Lauren/Flora comes back to herself a bit, says, “What have I done?”

Dyson/Bo tells her its the shoes and tries again to get them off. Dyson/Bo says, “I’ll fix it.” Typical Dyson.

Dyson/Bo says, “I love you.” Lauren/Flora says, “No, your love hasn’t come yet. And when she does, she will . . . ” This sentence doesn’t get finished, because someone shoots Lauren/Flora in the back. Was the prophecy from Flora to Dyson, or is it from Lauren to Bo? It could be either.

In the real world, Lauren tries to get Bo to wake up. She almost removes Bo’s red string. Instead she puts a red string on herself and says, “I’m coming in.”

Back in Dyson’s memory land, the shoes are off. The dude who shot Lauren/Flora tosses his pistol on top of them.

They will think it was you.
They will think it was you.

They will think you killed all these people, he tells Dyson/Bo. He wants the shoes. He tells Dyson/Bo to run like he’s always done. Calls him a waste of flesh. Tells him it’s all his fault.

Back in their cage, Dyson explains to Kenzi that he felt guilty because he was the one who made Flora put on the shoes and he almost did run. Finally, however, just as he told the guy he’d have to fight him for the shoes, Trick knocks him out with his bow broomstick.

That’s twice Trick saved Dyson in one day. Not to mention that Lauren and Bo are in the process of saving him once again in the real world outside memoryland.

Trick doesn’t want the shoes. He wants a second for the new world – a Fae colony that will live in peace. He invites Dyson to his prayer room before dawn to talk about it.

I seek a second
I seek a second

Dyson and Kenzi talk about how they thought they would die.

She always saves the day
She always saves the day.

Kenzi has faith that Bo will show up in time to save them. The Una Mens walks in spouting Latin and says, speak your last words. Kenzi says, “Oh, god. Oh, god,” which the Una Mens consider Dyson’s last words. Oops.

Dyson tells them he will give them the hell shoes if they release the human. He has one in his possession and will give them the location of the second as soon as they release her.

Back in dreamland, Dyson/Bo has buried Flora. Lauren enters the scene and Dyson/Bo says, “It’s not you.” Lauren tells her she’s getting confused. The guy in the red windbreaker shows up with a huge version of Dyson’s champion belt. Lauren tells her to cut the red string, that Dyson needs her.

Cut the red string, Bo
Cut the red string, Bo

She looks down and has the belt in her hands. She figures out the message. She removes the red string.

Back in reality now, Bo jerks up on the bed. Lauren is still off in memoryland. Bo sees Don’t cut the red string written on the mirror in lipstick. How will she get Lauren out of there?

With a kiss, of course. True love’s kiss. Solves all sorts of sleeping disorders. Lauren comes out of it.

I know how to save Dyson
I know how to save Dyson

There’s another kiss just to say hello, and Bo smiles. She knows what to do.

Lookie Here
Lookie here

Bo shows up with one of the helskór. It was inside Dyson’s framed championship belt, wrapped in a jock strap.

A guy in a mask says the magic Latin. Bo says, “You,” and removes the mask. It’s the guy who shot Lauren/Flora in the back. Which means the Una Mens knew all along that Dyson was innocent because they sent mask-face to get the shoes years ago.

The Keeper says, “She is more than we expected.”

“I’m glad you finally got the memo,” Bo answers.

The gang's all here
The gang’s all here

Bo, Lauren, Kenzi, Hale and Dyson plant themselves at the bar in the Dal. They are eating hot dogs and happy to be all together again.

Even though Lauren is sitting right there, Dyson says, “That was intimate. You in me for once.” Bo says their minds work well together. I’m not sure if all their meaningful glances made Lauren uncomfortable, but I got a little nervous myself.

Bo mentions that she felt the red string tied her, Lauren and Dyson all together, although Lauren points out that it was meant to tie only two people together. Maybe a bit of foreshadowing that the not-quite-a-threesome scene might be something Bo actually wants to make real?

Kenzi asks what Dyson did after he buried Flora.

Fealty to the blood king
Fealty to the blood king

Dyson says he went to Trick’s prayer room and pledged fealty to the Blood King. Dyson thinks Trick is the true savior.

Bo disagrees. He’s done nothing for her lately. Dyson says, “He doesn’t know about the mark on your chest.” Lauren wants to know about this mark but Bo dismisses her question for now. “He is the Blood King. He is my grandfather. Why hasn’t he helped me figure out who took me?”

I’m with Bo on this. Trick’s secrets have been a serious impediment to her and I don’t blame her for being unhappy with him.

Bo says, “I need to find The Wanderer. Find out why he took me. Why I’m dark.”

Lauren asks how. Bo says, “Something he wants. Something he has always wanted.” She asks Dyson where the second shoe is. He gave it to Angel, the bartender, who is hiding it until the true hero comes for it.

Here comes the true hero
Here comes the true hero

Bo says, “We’re all done waiting. Cause here I come.”

Personal Thoughts

  • In case you aren’t familiar with the fairy tale about the red shoes, here’s the Wikipedia article. For more on the red string of fate or the red string of destiny, Wikipedia has the info once again.
  • Helskór, also know as hel-shoes, were put on the dead so they could go to Valhalla, according to Wikipedia.
  • Fairy tale references littered this episode. Myths, fairy tales, what’s the diff, eh? There were a couple of movie shout outs as well. Acknowledge your genre and it’s forebearers and fans everywhere will embrace your efforts.
  • We’ve now seen every possible sexual exchange (of at least kissing) among the characters available. Well, Tamsin and Hale still have a couple of available options. Will they ever stop and let anyone settle down to a single partner. I really doubt it.
  • Tamsin is gone more than here. Come on, people. We want the full cast in action in each episode.
  • Here’s a little present from Ksenia Solo:

     

The Twitter Buzz

Michelle Dean wrote a fascinating article at Flavorwire: 2013: The Year the Social Media Dam Broke. She talks about how social media buzz, particularly on Twitter can make or break a show.

Her cases in point are Girls vs. Enlightened and Scandal. Here’s what she said about why Girls survived and Enlightened did not:

And it wasn’t that Enlightened didn’t provide really great personal-essay fodder, because a lot of its episodes posed giant philosophical questions about what it means to be a person in our day and age. It was a little weird and offbeat, but then a lot of more popular things — I’m back at Girls again — are, and they survive.

Enlightened, I have come to believe, died from something simpler: a lack of “buzz.” It was missing the entropic quality which kicks in somewhere between a thing being good and it being perceived as such by a large number of people, and that damned it.

Then she gets into the Twitter storm around Scandal:

I spent the rest of the year thinking about just what buzz is. In large part, lately, it seems to be a matter of Twitter. The most accessible example of that is Scandal.

She talks about the effect of all that tweeting and how it begats more conversation.

I think it’s helped the show’s word of mouth. You see, journalists — good ones! — write entire articles about the Twitter storm that arrives reliably on Thursdays. That produces more articles about the show than otherwise. And the effort replicates itself endlessly. People read the articles about the tweets, and decide to join in. People tweet the articles about the tweeting to each other. People like me wonder what all the tweeting means and write year-end pieces about it. And so on.

Good social media and success

Is the secret to success related to social media and nothing else? Should only new shows that appeal to the crowd that tweets be approved? Should the most important hire for any new project be the social media director?

Here’s an example of my own. Orange is the New Black. Brilliant social media work around this show keeps it in the conversation every week. This is a show that appeared in one big batch – a full season on Netflix posted all at once meant most people watched all 13 episodes in a day or two of binge watching. Over until next season, right? Been there done that, right?

No, because Orange is the New Black won’t let itself fade away. Constant updates with Pinterest ready photos, quotes from the characters, jokes about the characters, images for every occasion – all that issues forth from whoever the team is at Orange is the New Black who do these things. And it works! The first season is well over, the second season is yet to come, but #OITNB is a hashtag in constant use. The buzz works.

Hashtag to the past

The buzz doesn’t apply only the current shows. A show like Enlightened may not make it now, but I feel sure there will continue to be viewers talking about it, complete with hashtags, for a long time. Look at past shows like Firefly, The L Word, The X Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and others. These shows are still under discussion on Twitter every day.

I remember a couple of years ago, let’s say 2011, I tweeted something about the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which Buffy’s mother dies. That series ended in 2003. Nevertheless, my tweet brought a complainer out of the Twitterverse who berated me for revealing such an important spoiler because she hadn’t watched that episode yet.

It made me aware that shows never end now, not with on demand and streaming services and sets of DVDs. There’s always someone out there who is just getting in on the buzz for the first time, even if the show is 15 years old. Everything is a spoiler to someone.

Here’s something I find myself doing. I didn’t watch Friday Night Lights when it first started, even though all sorts of people were telling me it was a great show. When it was completely over, I binge watched it all and found it one of the best shows ever on TV. I was years late to the Friday Night Lights party, but I was talking about it and thinking about it and tweeting about it as if it were fresh, because it was fresh to me. Not long ago, I did the same thing with Fringe.

The point is, hashtag buzz can keep a show alive for years, even after it’s over and gone from the weekly schedule. Buzz can generate current success, but it can also generate a brand of belated success.

The social media dam broke 2013, but it broke the past as well. Where digital media is concerned, the past is no more. Everything is in the eternal now.

Recap: Lost Girl S4, E6 Of All the Gin Joints

Lost Girl continues to confound our expectations in “Of all the Gin Joints” by using opera to restore bits of Bo’s lost memory and by putting Lauren in the middle of a plot we don’t yet understand.

Ianka sings
Ianka sings

Episode 6 begins with a woman (Lara Jean Chorostaki) singing an aria to an audience of one. She wears a white dress covered with feathers. After her song ends, she tries to run away. A man stops her in her tracks with a whistle that does to people what Hale’s siren song does – it brings her to her knees in submission. It also makes me hold my ears at home while reaching for the volume control. She recovers enough to continue running.

At a certain familiar gin joint, Bo (Anna Silk) and Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) conduct parallel disconnected monologues. Kenzi’s is about reading a note from Tamsin about how she has to go somewhere. (Again with the missing cast members in season 4.) Bo’s monologue is about witness signatures on dark contracts and really knowing yourself. When they finish their unrelated speeches, the say how glad they are to have each other to talk to again.

She speaks Russian. Cool.
She speaks Russian. Sweet.

In walks the opera singer, who collapses at their feet. Yeah, of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she stumbled into this one. They get her into a booth. When the singer sees Bo she says, “You,” and mutters a whole string of excited Russian, which Kenzi translates to I found you and I came just like you told me to. Bo claims never to have seen her before.

Let her rest
Let her rest

Trick (Rick Howland) installs the singer in his lair and brings her things to help her get better. Bo wants to talk to her but Trick says she needs to rest and heal. Ianka is an alchemist, a rare descendant of bird people.

Trick says, “The alchemist’s song evokes powerful memories.”

Bo wants to know what kind of memories since she’s been looking for a few of those lately. Trick says some of the memories can take life.

Lauren packs it in
Lauren packs it in

Disco music, packing boxes, Lauren’s apartment: a happy Lauren (Zoie Palmer) moves her hips to the beat as she fills boxes. The door is wide open as usual. In walks Evony (Emmanuelle Vaugier) bearing pizza and beer. Pizza and beer have an effect on Dr. Lewis, as I recall.

I'll help you move
I’ll help you move

Evony wants to help her move – wants Lauren to party while packing with Dark Belch beer from Evony’s own microbrewery – wants Lauren to call her Evony. In a shout out to Words with Friends fans, Evony calls the pizza za and plops it down on a cardboard box labeled “mini electron microscope.” For some reason, I find this cardboard box to the coolest thing in Lauren’s whole apartment.

Evony slides a box out of her way and Lauren tells her to be careful. It holds her entire Star Trek DVD collection and her Khan collectible action figures. I think this makes Lauren super cool in her special nerdy way, but Evony thinks she has something even cooler. She hands Lauren some old journals.

Bo finds Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) in the Dal. He informs her that Lauren has gone with the dark. Bo says, guess what – me, too. She says her hand was forced by The Wanderer or Raynor or whoever the bastard is. Dyson wants to fix it. Bo wants sex. Dyson says it’s forbidden between dark and light.

Guess who wins the argument about whether or not to have sex?
Guess who wins the argument about whether or not to have sex?

That argument stops Bo for not even a millesecond. She drags Dyson to a back room and starts tearing off his clothes. Trick finds them and says, “What’s wrong with you. Get your brains out of each others pants.” Bo is unconvinced that giving up her quickie is a good idea until she hears that Ianka’s awake.

From Ianka, Bo learns that Ianka sang for her when they met before. Bo made Ianka promise to find her.

Ianka's song brings back memories
Ianka’s song brings back memories

She sings. It takes Bo back to running in the woods in the white nightgown, to the train, but the memory is vague. Bo wants her to sing more, but Ianka says they had a deal. She’d sing and Bo would help her get her freedom.

Ianka says she needs to sing her special aria for an audience to feed, but she’s only been allowed to sing for a powerful dude called Bamber. Ianka says Bo knew she would not remember their deal, and that she should look in the handle of her knife.

Look in your knife handle
Look in your knife handle

Bo finds a paper in her knife. It says, “Ianka, you will sing for me and I will bring you freedom.” Bo recognizes her own handwriting on the note.

From upstairs, a loud guy yells for Ianka. He says he owns her. Bo goes upstairs and makes a “nobody owns her” speech about Ianka. Bamber (Alex Karzis) says she’s been in his family for centuries. He’s wearing a beaded and embroidered outfit that would make Liberace jealous of his wardrobe.

I've owned her for centuries
I’ve owned her for centuries

Bo mentions the Emancipation Proclamation. He mentions the GPS in Ianka’s necklace. Bo says that the famous aria needs to be sung. She appeals to his ego and convinces him he’s generous enough to make this happen.

Lauren learns the journals are by famous scientists. You know, Einstein, Curie – like that. Evony implies that they were Fae and says she has a whole vault full of them and tosses a few more into Lauren’s lap.

Experimenting on humans
Experimenting on humans

Lauren reads aloud from one, an entry about experimenting with tuberculosis on humans. She immediately thinks it was a dark Fae doctor writing the journal, but Evony tells her the doctor was human. They have an ethical discussion about scientific research. Weird.

Scout's honor
Scout’s honor

Evony wants Lauren to feel free. Lauren says if she agrees to work with the dark Fae, it will have to be on her own terms. Evony says, “Fine. Scout’s honor.” Golly, I believe her, don’t you?

Trick and Kenzi talk at the Dal. Trick wants her to leave because an alchemist’s song can hurt humans. Hale (K.C. Collins) walks in and Kenzi goes all twitterpated. She smooths her hair and looks at Hale with expectation.

It's my man!
It’s my man!

Hale walks right past Kenzi and hugs Ianka. Ianka squeals and hugs Hale like an old friend.

As everyone gathers to hear the famous aria, Kenzi  – who might be a tad jealous – catalogs to Bo all of Ianka’s failings and says singer means whore in Russian. Well, not really. Bo, who isn’t really paying attention to Kenzi in this conversation either, says Ianka is the key to her finding Raynor.

The crown
The crown

Ianka sings and Bo remembers more about the train. She remembers finding a crown with the name Isabeau inscribed on the inside. She remembers being angry at seeing the crown.

She's wired to explode
She’s wired to explode

A tall bald guy, Marcus, (Colin Lawrence) enters and stops the song. (Gee, he looks a lot like Kit Porter’s son.) Marcus says the singer is wired to explode. He’s got a gizmo in his hand that will detonate the necklace.

Marcus and Bamber are ready to start a war over possession of the alchemist.

Trick tells them to cool it because unrest will bring the Una Mens. Ianka gets taken to Trick’s lair once again, to heal and rest. Bo wants to take a closer look at the crystals in her necklace. Trick tells her that liquid volcanic argon can freeze the crystals so they won’t explore.

Bo sends Kenzi off to the volcanic liquid argon store. I’m not making this shit up, people.

Doctor's Log. Star Date 4365.
Doctor’s Log. Star Date 4365.

Evony and Lauren are laughing, flirtatious. Lauren starts a Doctor’s Log Star Date journal entry about being on the couch with Evony. She’s letting her inner Trekkie out in front of Evony. It feels intimate and more open than she’s been with anyone lately. Lauren notices that the beer they are drinking is 25% alcohol. Oops. She’s tipsy.

Kenzi, who’s come in through the ever-open door, sees their behavior and asks the alternate reality Lauren to go get the real Lauren for her.

A face from the past
A face from the past

Ianka likes seeing Hale’s face. He likes seeing hers. They smile, hug, kiss. Bo happens to see the kissing. Oh oh.

Lauren reaches into her cabinet for a canister of liquid volcanic argon. What, you don’t keep a few vials in your pantry?

How's Bo?
How’s Bo?

Lauren explains that Evony (Evony? says Kenzi) is helping her find a new place. Kenzi sniffs the beer bottle and says, “Hmm, this doesn’t smell like Kool Aid.” Lauren gives her a serious I’m-not-really-drinking-the-kool-aid look and asks how Bo is. Kenzi says, “She misses you. We all do.”

Lauren clicks into scientist mode and realizes something about the clear quartz Kenzi mentioned.

In Trick’s basement, Marcus is planning to take Ianka and go. Bo confronts him, but leaves when he threatens to blow up the crystals with his gizmo. (Not that gizmo. The gizmo in his hand. Oh, never mind.)

Upstairs. Dyson has made a receiver, which they use to listen to a conversation between Marcus and Ianka. They all hit the floor because they think he pressed the detonator. Nothing goes boom.

Kenzi arrives to tell them that the detonator didn’t detonate anything because of the transparency of the necklace, which of course, she learned from Dr. Lauren.

How is Lauren, asks Bo. Kenzi says, “Good, in a general alone sense.” Such a liar. Kenzi asks where Hale is. Bo says he’s around probably. Such a liar. Their conversations may be disconnected, but they still protect each other in matters of the heart.

Marcus is bent on hatred
Marcus is bent on hatred

Marcus and Ianka are gone. Bo finds out where using her succubus charms on Bamber, who claims Marcus is a radical bent on hatred.

Dyson does something that makes Bo say, “I love the sight of you.” This makes her realize that Ianka and Marcus are in love. She thinks Ianka and Marcus are going to use songs to kill all the bambers.

Kenzi says, “Hale’s gone and I haven’t even told him that I . . .”

We're spreading the word about your death note
We’re spreading the word about your death note

Bo and Kenzi arrive to tell Ianka not to sing. She denies the song will be a death note. Instead it will tell her and Marcus’ families about their love.

Marcus lets the pretty girl in the feathered dress down by telling her some things are bigger than love. He blows his horrible whistle thing to make her sing a death song, but Hale shows up and sirens Marcus. Marcus aims his big gun at Hale. Bo gets between Hale and the gun. Marcus aims his big gun at Bo. Ianka gets between Bo and the gun. Marcus aims his big gun at Ianka. They’re lined up like soul train.

Marcus makes the mistake of calling Ianka a bitch and she sings a death knell that kills him. Take that, buster. The song hurts Kenzi and Hale, but not Bo for some reason. Hale picks up the suffering Kenzi and carries her off.

I'll be free
I’ll be free

The song weakens Ianka so much she collapses. Bo holds her and promises her freedom. Ianka will die to be free. She says stories of the unaligned succubus made her believe she could be free. Bo says I’m not unaligned any more. Ianka says, “Your heart is what you want it to be.”

Ianka puts something in Bo’s hand, says, “For you. As you wished,” and dies in Bo’s lap.

MY EARS
My ears! Plus, love the red boots.

On a bench, Kenzi is moaning about the pain in her ears. Hale sits beside her. “You’re finally here.”

I've always been here
I’ve always been here

Hale’s remark must make sense to Kenzi. She says I’ve always been here and kisses Hale. It’s a sweet, tender kiss, unlike Bo’s kissing of late. The exact opposite of Bo, in fact. Bo’s been all wham bam thank you wolfie for a while. Hale and Kenzi cuddle on the bench. Hale’s ears are bleeding, but he doesn’t let Kenzi know it.

What is this?
What is this?

In her bedroom, Bo opens the thing Ianka gave her. It glows and creates music that takes her back to the train. She sits in front of a mirror. A light colored hand print appears at her throat, makes Bo stand up and say, “No. I can’t do this.” Bo puts the lid back on the thing. Dyson comes into the room, sees Bo looking upset. He says, “Bo.” She just looks at him. She’s confused, stunned.

Evony gives Lauren the key to the dark science facility and the key to Lauren’s new condo. Lauren says, “I’ll never trust you.”

I wouldn’t respect you if you did, answers Evony. She tells Lauren, “This was fun.”

Look who Lauren's kissing
Look who Lauren’s kissing

Lauren kisses Evony. Yes, she really does.

Evony says, “This could be the beginning of a beautiful . . . something.” She doesn’t say friendship as the nods in this episode to Casablanca would require. She comments that she knows Lauren has really gone dark because she can taste it.

Evony DNA, perhaps
Evony DNA, perhaps

The second Evony leaves, Lauren digs out a mirror and some tweezers. She pulls a layer of something off her lip and puts it in a petri dish. A little sample of Evony in a petri dish – what’s Lauren going to do with that? She looks very satisfied with her sample. She raises her beer bottle and toasts, “To it beginning.”

Bo deals with her problems the only ways she knows how. With sex. Rough and impersonal sex.

Look at me, Bo.
Look at me, Bo.

Dyson keeps telling her to look at him but she won’t. She keeps her eyes firmly closed. Finally she clamps a hand over his mouth to shut him up so she can get on with it. “Don’t tell me what to do.”

They pull apart. “It’s okay.” Dyson says, “No one owns you.”

She’s afraid she’ll become like Marcus, bitter and choking on thoughts of revenge. She says she doesn’t even know the other Bo. The Bo who spent a month on a train hatching a plan and who joined the dark, willingly.

She kneels in front of the mirror. We see a hand print at her throat.

This is forbidden
He marked me

He marked me! Who, asks Dyson. The Wanderer. Raynor. He might be my father.

Three of The Una Mens appear in the room, complaining that the codex of laws have been broken. By Dyson. He responds with wolf growls.

We can growl, too, wolfie
We can growl, too, wolfie

The Una Mens can growl, too. The episode ends with snarling.

Personal Thoughts

  • Lauren is up to something, but I’m afraid to predict what it might be. There’s no predicting season 4 of Lost Girl. No predicting.
  • Bo’s Fae Alzheimers is is causing havoc. And dragging on. And on.
  • Kenzi and Hale are acting like they’re a thing now. That’s actually sweet and charming and hopelessly romantic.
  • Inappropriate as it was, devious as it was, I really enjoyed the light-hearted exchanges, near flirting, and laughter between Lauren and Evony.
  • The Bo and Dyson sex scenes this season have been strictly sex with no feelings – something Bo boasted about to Lauren earlier, but now are reality. She seems to be using him without regard for his feelings, and he’s letting it happen!
  • Speaking of sex, since Bo learned 3+ seasons ago that she was Fae and a succubus, her sexual nature has been the one thing about her identity that she was able to comprehend and master. But now even that part of her is turning hellish and torturous. Our Bo is in deep trouble.
  • Bo was supposed to be babysitting Vex but he’s nowhere around. Where’s Tamsin, what’s up with Bruce, and will we ever find out what happened to Crystal? What happened to Bo on the train? Will Bo ever be the Bo we love again? Who is Bo’s father? Did Bo and Lauren break up while they were frantically kissing in the last episode and not tell us? The never ending tension in every single story line is killing me. Can’t we resolve at least one of them?
  • If they were going to make references to Casablanca, couldn’t they have found a reason to include “As Time Goes By” in the soundtrack as well?

BBC Announces a 3rd Series of Last Tango in Halifax

On Christmas Eve, the BBC announced that a series 3 of Last Tango in Halifax is a go. The announcement quotes writer Sally Wainwright.

Writer and executive producer Sally Wainwright says: “I’m so happy we’ve got a third series, it’s so exciting to be able to take these characters further and to find out loads more stuff about them. What’s so great about writing for characters like Celia and Alan is that there is a wealth of back story to explore. Series three will be a whole new emotional ball game.”

The characters Sally Wainwright created in Last Tango in Halifax are hugely popular in America as well.

The third series of the drama goes into production in 2014, and will be broadcast later in 2014.

Awards for the series include 2 British Academy Television Awards (Best Drama Series and Best Writer). BAFTA nominations included Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid and Sarah Lancashire in the Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. It’s received 3 Royal Television Society North West Awards. It’s been shortlisted for Best Drama Series at the Broadcast Awards 2014.

Review: Girl in Progress

Girl in Progress is a coming of age story about a girl who writes her own coming of age story based on research on the coming of age genre, then attempts to live it out according to plan.

Starring in this 2012 film are Eva Mendez as the mother, Cierra Ramirez as the girl in progress, Matthew Modine as the mother’s married boyfriend, and Patricia Arquette as the girl’s teacher.

Girl in Progress poster

Ansiedad, the girl in progress, is Cierra Ramirez; you may know her from The Fosters. She’s an extremely bright and creative teen who is captured by a remark her English teacher makes about coming of age tales. She has an interesting reltionship with her English teacher.

Lunch with the English teacher
Lunch with the English teacher – doesn’t everyone?

The mother of this wise but naive teen is often gone, either working or conducting inappropriate relationships with married men. In her absence, Ansiedad plots out a complete coming of age story for herself which includes stealing, hanging with the mean girls, dumping her best friend, losing her virginity and leaving home. She then proceeds to live this plan out so she can have the needed epiphany that will carry her into adulthood.

The movie is out on DVD and available from streaming services now. Take a look at the trailer for the film.

I have to admit I watched the film because my granddaughter recommended it to me. She’s in the throes of her own coming of age saga right now, which is why the movie appealed to her. I found it good as well, even at my advanced stage in life. On a scale of 10 stars, I would give it at least 7.

Top 5 Posts of the Year on Old Ain’t Dead

Old Ain’t Dead began on July 16, 2013. Since that day, about 120 posts have appeared. Normally, I’d give you the top 10 posts of the year, but Old Ain’t Dead is still a baby. In light of our 6 months of operation, I’m only going to list the top 5 posts. Next year, I’ll aim for 10. Hope you’ll stick around for it.

  1. Lost Girl Season 4 Trailer: Here’s What We Know – Updated
  2. Outtakes from The Heat
  3. Recap: Last Tango in Halifax S1, E5
  4. Recap: Last Tango in Halifax, S1 E3
  5. Sarah Lancashire in Rose and Maloney

Thanks for reading, for commenting, and for taking the trip with me.