The “Family Portrait” episode (season 5, episode 13) of Lost Girl is all about getting to the truth of Bo’s (Anna Silk) blood-related family and her reliance on her chosen family of friends. Inga Cadranel is back as mama succubus Aife; she’s all over this episode and gives an incredible performance.
There are spoilers ahead.
The story begins in the clubhouse, where Bo and Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) are wondering what Bo is supposed to do with her horseshoe. Tamsin thinks the dagger of Amethusto she stole from Zeus and Hera might be more useful.
Surprise! Aife is alive and in a hospital. She’s getting her daily meds from a new nurse who is instructed not to touch her. He should have listened, because she grabs him, strangles him, takes his keys, and runs off.
Somehow Bo heard that Aife was alive and escaped. She goes to see Trick (Rick Howland). They argue. Trick tells her that Aife went crazy and was put in a Fae institution for the mentally ill. Bo goes looking for her.
Tamsin discovers her hair is coming out in clumps. Not a good portent for a Valkyrie.
Bo soon learns that Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) knew where Aife was the whole time, too. She’s not happy with him either. Dyson takes her to the mental institution, where Bo talks to Aife’s roommate, Estelle (Anna Ferguson). Estelle hasn’t spoken for 300 years. She’s been catatonic all this time because she lost her whole family.
Bo charms her into talking.
Estelle points out that Aife had baby pictures of Bo on her wall. She said the doctors were going to release Aife, but something frightened her recently. It was as if everything that was once wrong came rushing back.
Bo has to repeatedly throw the charm on Estelle to keep her talking. Estelle’s eyes light up and she kisses Bo. She makes a grab for Bo’s boobs, too, which Bo gently deflects. If we were wondering what an older Lauren might look like getting sexy with Bo, this is supposed to give us a clue. Apparently we are supposed to be frightened by the prospect. Bah, humbug.
Or possibly, the scene merely foreshadows how long a woman can be catatonic after losing her whole family.
At the same time Aife made a run for it, Jack (Eric Roberts) walked out of his cell. Dyson will look for him at the back door to hell in case he’s bringing out a dark army. Bo goes to the penthouse where the Ancients have been hanging out.
Bo finds Aife with Jack in the penthouse. Jack is fixing dinner. Aife smiles and says Bo should be very happy because “mother and dad are back together.”
Bo wants Jack to let Aife go. He says she can leave any time she wants. Aife asks Bo to stay for dinner. She tells Bo that Jack saved her from the Dark Dungeon where Trick put her.
Lauren (Zoie Palmer) and Tamsin discuss Jack’s escape. Lauren tries to get Tamsin to reveal if Bo is upset about Lauren breaking up with her. She asks if Tamsin spent any time with Bo. Yikes. Tamsin says no.
Lauren notices Tamsin’s hair is falling out. She asks a lot of doctory questions about Tamsin’s recent life, including about her sexual activity. Tamsin is still mum.
A skeptical Bo sits down at the table with mom and dad. Jack says, “Have I ever lied to you?” Bo thinks maybe he has. Aife asks if she can say the same about Trick. They say they will tell her the truth.
Aife says in the Great War, she killed a dark Fae elder in revenge for Isabeau’s death. Trick gave her to the dark for execution. They kept her prisoner instead and Trick did nothing to save her. She went mad. Jack saved her. She tells Bo that she loved Jack and that Bo was born of love.
Bo asks about the cage she saw in Tartarus. Aife says she had PTSD, and when she was having bad days, she tried to kill Bo. So Jack caged her to protect Bo. Aife was glad he did.
Jack says it is time for them to get justice by rising up together as a family. He and Aife hold hands. He reaches out for Bo’s hand, but she walks away. Maybe she’s wondering just who it is that needs all this justice Jack keeps talking about.
Overwhelmed with the powerful emotions and confusion in her day, Bo gets in the car. She’s been close to tears all day and intends to have a good cry. Aife jumps in complaining that Bo isn’t playing the game right. They are supposed to be sending Jack back to Hell where he belongs.
Bo takes her to the club house, where Aife digs around for the perfect dress for their “grand seduction.” Bo just wants her to put on a pair of sweat pants and sit down for a talk.
Bo called Dyson. He arrives and asks Aife what her plan is. Aife says, “Ask Bo.” Bo is even more confused by this than she was already.
Aife says, “We came up with a plan together when you came to see me at the institution.” Bo tells Aife she didn’t even know Aife was there.
Aife freaks out. She says, “You’re not real” and goes crazy again. She grabs the dagger and tries to kill Bo, but Dyson stops her. Bo says, “I do make you crazy.”
Lauren and Tamsin continue hanging out. Lauren is still trying to process the breakup. Lauren asks Tamsin if she thinks she made a mistake. Tamsin can stand it no longer and confesses to sleeping with Bo the night Lauren broke up with her. Then more of her hair falls out.
Lauren considers the confession and says, “I don’t care. Bo can do whatever she needs to do.”
Bo again confronts Trick in an effort to get the truth out of someone, anyone. She tells Trick she had to put Aife back in the mental institution. She tells him he was a bad father and he drove Aife crazy. She says, “Did you want to drive me crazy, too?”
Trick’s version of the story is that Hades did not save Aife from her illness. He used her to create the thing he wanted – Bo.
Trick tells Bo she needs to find her own truth. He gives her a box full of files about Aife from the mental institution, including film taken during her time there. He tells her he is keeping nothing from her. He also tells her he’s sorry.
Bo takes the material to the clubhouse. She takes Lauren and Tamsin with her. They view the old film with a projector. They see Aife acting crazy and wanting to kill Bo. They see Trick visiting her with care packages. So he didn’t abandon her, after all.
On CDs, they see more recent video from the institution. One is of Bo visiting with Aife. Bo realizes it was Hades impersonating her and that’s why Aife thought they’d made a plan.
Tamsin then understands that Hades was the one with her, not Bo. She vomits when she thinks about it. Bo confirms it wasn’t her. Tamsin vows to kill Hades and feed him to dogs.
Tamsin, Dyson and Bo go to the penthouse. Tamsin attacks Hades with her fists, but it has little effect. Hades confirms that he can impersonate other people, but only those he shares blood with.
Bo stabs Hades with the dagger, but he is unhurt. He pulls it out and hurls it into Dyson. Bo and Tamsin take Dyson to the clinic.
Bo slices open her chest inside the handprint. This opening will allow Hades’ mark to leave.
As Bo’s wound bleeds, Hades’ hand turns blue. He says, “Ouch.”
Trick is at the institution encouraging Aife to keep fighting, to not give up. Jack comes in and finds them together. Trick says, “This ends tonight,” and Jack agrees.
Bo wants to see Trick. She says she’s made a terrible mistake. Bo finds a film playing in Trick’s lair, but no Trick. So much for him not holding anything back. The film is of Aife begging her daddy not to leave her.
Bo goes to the penthouse. She sees a rope and pulls back the curtain on a tableau.
Aife and Trick are posed in the tableau. Both have slit throats. Aife is dead. Trick is barely alive. Bo pulls him away from the scene and apologizes for not believing him. He says, “Remember you are my blood, too,” and dies.
I’m sure there is some message in the way they were posed; it looks familiar. My mythology background is so skimpy, I don’t know what it represents. If you recognize the reference, please share in the comments.
Lauren struggles to figure out why Tamsin’s hair is falling out. She does a sonogram on Tamsin and they see that she is pregnant. Tamsin looks happy to hear the news at first, then worried. I’m thinking, oh shit, that is Hades’ baby, but nobody in the cast says it out loud.
Dyson arrives at the penthouse to find Bo with Trick and Aife’s bodies arranged on the floor beside her. The spot where the handprint had been is bloody. Bo stares into space – immobile, unresponsive.
This episode was written by Michael Grassi and directed by Ron Murphy.
Inga Cadranel simply owned this episode. She was fantastic. I’m glad Aife came back before the end. I’m not sure which version of the truth is really the truth, but she is important for Bo and for tying up various threads in the 5 season long arc of the story.
Anna Silk did a marvelous job of being put through the wringer time and again by lies and confusion. Her outstanding performance as Bo has been the glue holding Lost Girl together for 5 years.
I’m starting to have Anna Silk withdrawal symptoms. Only 3 new episodes left! She’s due to have her second child soon, which may mean it will be many more months before she takes a new role post-Bo. Whenever it happens, I’ll be happy to watch and I’m sure all Lost Girl fans will be with me.
I’m glad they choose to have Tamsin react to realizing she’d been raped by Jack by throwing up her guts. It shows the effect rape can have on a woman’s psyche and illustrates the fact that rape is not sex. Rape is assault.
I thought it was really a strong episode, even though I don’t like the way it ended with Trick and Aife dead and Hades still running free. Rick Howland has been there from day one. It hardly seems possible they killed him off.
Trick was the rock, the touchstone for all the characters. Is it “the king is dead, long live the queen” now on Lost Girl? There comes a time in everyone’s life when they no longer have parents or living ancestors, when they become the oldest generation, and they finally face adulthood. Maybe that needs to happen for Bo. Except Hades is still about and Bo is currently catatonic.
What were your thoughts on this episode?