(Note: I wrote this after the Canadian finale, but I waited to post it until after the American finale)
I know I don’t actually blog about Showcase’s Lost Girl on here but I have referenced it a lot in other posts. But, the season four finale and Rachel Skarsten and Tamsin’s transformation over season four was great that I wanted to talk about it and Twitter just wasn’t enough room so I am going to do it on here.
For those you who don’t watch Lost Girl but are familiar with my blog go check out what I wrote about Lost Girl and how it is better than Once Upon A Time. Lost Girl is my favorite show and I actually like it because things are fun and if the majority of the fans will enjoy it the show lets whatever happen.
Anyway to Tamsin. When Tamsin was introduced at the beginning of season three, we weren’t supposed to like her. She isn’t a likable character, she’s a bitch and she is trying to frame Bo for murder. But, throughout the course of season three I started to like Tamsin. I realized, unlike how OUAT refused to realize about Regina for so long, is that Tamsin changed. And yeah, maybe she did a bunch of bad stuff and was Dark but she is a good person and still trying to help out our heroes. We should give her a chance.
We realize this at the same time Tamsin does. She admits to Bo that she is working against her but doesn’t want to be. Then at the end of season three she drives her truck off a cliff in hopes of helping Bo and we think she is dead.
Rachel Skarsten tweeted right at the end of season three that she would be back, but Showcase made her take that done. That was both to trick us into thinking maybe Tamsin was dead or maybe Rachel Skarsten wouldn’t be playing her anymore. Because when Dyson does find Tamsin, she is eight-years-old.
It takes four episodes for us to get the original actress back, but she is not Tamsin anymore. She is different. Kenzi was calling the younger version Baby Tam-Tam and she is now a combination of sorta adult, teenager Baby Tam-Tam. It was so great and Rachel Skarsten was so great. She was the same, but she was different. The way she said things and the way she interacted with the other characters were different.
In her relationship with Bo for instances, when Tamsin comes back for the Christmas/Yuel episode she and Bo make out a ton. It’s like Valkbus and how their ship has been since Tamsin was introduced, but it seems different. They are just kinda friends with benefits now and both seem to be enjoying it. Last season, it was always Bo getting with Tamsin but she seemed like she was too embarrassed to tell the rest of the group. Because it was Tamsin, she was still a Dark bitch and didn’t real fit with the group.
Now, Tamsin is Kenzi’s daughter, which should make Valkubus creepy but it doesn’t and Bo just told Dyson she makes out with Tamsin sometimes.
I love all that stuff about Tamsin, but the real reason why I wanted to write this post is about her in the finale and her relationship with Kenzi. Kenzi takes on raising Tamsin after she is found at the beginning of the season. She becomes her mom and the relationship continues even when Tamsin is looking and sort of acting like the Tamsin from season three. But, Tamsin and Kenzi never really had a scene together before this season and the fact that they could make the relationship so strong in such a short time frame is why I love this show.
So, Tamsin does I lot of things in the finale but the first I want to talk about is her telling us that it is OK if we hated Bo for most of this season. When Bo is whining about everyone getting killed and kidnapped and the big bad is coming, Tamsin says suck it up and get your shit together you need to lead us.
I can’t really talk about the finale without talking about how great Kenzi was. Though she made Bo unclaim her and hasn’t spoke to her in a while, Kenzi finds out that the daughter’s heart will close the portal with Tamsin’s help. Kenzi says they aren’t going to tell Bo. Tamsin’s face shows that she doesn’t think this is the right thing to do, but Kenzi is her mom and she trusts her so she does what she says. She also follows Kenzi around for most the build up of the episode like a kid that feels slightly out of place.
Kenzi never tells anyone her whole plan, but it seems that Tamsin had a feeling that she wasn’t telling her something. Bo seemed to be feeling the same when Kenzi says “you’re going to be fine” when she hands her the sword instead of “go get your girl” or “kill that bastard.”
Ksenia Solo was amazing with how she sacrificed herself to save Bo and to save the world. Everyone’s reaction faces are great. But, Tamsin is the one that really got me with the frantic little kid run she does toward Kenzi. Tamsin is being so adorable and the scene is beautiful done.
When Dyson finds her outside Valhalla, Tamsin gives us another prophecy that she says so quickly like she is worried she will forget it. Tamsin having to be carried out of the scene because she was so weakened and torn up about Kenzi being gone is a great cap on how Tamsin has changed since she was introduced.
I’m super excited to see Tamsin and the rest of the characters get Kenzi back in season five because I don’t believe she is gone forever. And Tamsin is my favorite character now. Sorry, Lauren.
So, for a while I have been wanting to write a post about how Canadian television is so much better than American television. A few weeks ago, I realized I had the perfect opportunity. One of my favorite episode of Showcase’s Lost Girl, a Canadian show about a bisexual succubus, was going to be airing for the first time in America on SyFy. I was fully prepared to write this post about how SyFy edited out all the lady-on-lady parts and how LGBT representation is far better in Canada. But, SyFy pleasantly surprised me. Sure, it moved the airing time from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. but it did not cut anything from the Canadian version of the episode. And, I applaud you for that SyFy. So, with that chance lost to me I decide I would compare Canada’s Lost Girl to one of America’s worst at handling LGBT characters shows: Once Upon A Time.
Let me start out this post with a simple comparison of how these two shows handle five of their femslash/slash ships:
Once Upon A Time: Swan Queen
Lost Girl: Doccubus
Once Upon A Time: Red Beauty
Lost Girl: Valkubus
Once Upon A Time: Sleeping Warrior
Lost Girl: Lauren and Crystal/Doctress/Hotpantsless
Once Upon A Time: Captain Charming/Hooking
Lost Girl: Levony
Once Upon A Time: Red Snow
Lost Girl: Bo and Kenzi
Sometimes I feel like if Once Upon A Time was open minded and handled on-screen chemistry between actors like Lost Girl does it would be America’s Lost Girl. On Lost Girl, if two characters have chemistry the show seems to say, ‘hey, we didn’t intend this but it is there so let’s go with it.’ Bo and Tamsin/Valkubus are the best example of Lost Girl following that principal. Sure, maybe the show always intended for it to be a thing. But, when Tamsin joins the show we are not supposed to like her and she hated Bo. Once Bo gets to know Tamsin, she realizes she isn’t evil. And once Tamsin gets to know Bo she realizes there is something about her she can’t get away from. Sound familiar:
Now maybe I am being stupid comparing a Canadian show that operates in a post-gay society and an American show that is made by Disney, which is all the straightness all the time. But, like any good show in the Internet age, Lost Girl is incredible aware of its fan base. Yes, I am sure there are many DyBo (Dyson and Bo) and Kale (Kenzi and Hale) shippers and Lost Girl sometimes gives those fans what they want. But, they also have Bo wash a car in a very revealing tank top, give roles to Canadian gay-for-pay actresses Mia Krishner and Ali Liebert and have queen of Canadian lesbian characters Dr. Lauren Lewis wear a corset and sing in fluent French.
So why isn’t Once Upon A Time as cool with its fans? The show runners have to be aware of how many gay people are watching. Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla sure are, just scroll through their Twitter feeds sometime. Almost everyone involved in the show went into PR crisis mode when a minor actor insulted the Swan Queen fans. Also, the show has had the Merry Men and fairies living in Georgia O’Keefe paintings. Emma and Regina have been committed to saying ‘our son’ this season. Regina gave up everything so Henry and Emma could be happy and the main character rocks as many tank tops and leather jackets as Lauren Lewis does.
Does American just suck? Is that what I should be taking away from the difference between two of my favorite shows? Gay marriage was made legal everywhere in Canada in 1990. And I am hoping that it is placed on the ballot of my home state of Ohio this year, but I would still be happy with it being on in 2016.
Now, I don’t watch every Canadian television show so maybe there is a Canadian verison of Once Upon A Time, with thousands of frustrated fans, out there somewhere. But for the three Canadian shows I have watched with gay/bi characters — Lost Girl, Bomb Girls and Orphan Black — were so great because the gay/bi characters never had to declare their sexuality. They were just attracted to certain people and there we were.
Even through I love SyFy for keeping everything from the Zoie Palmer/Ali Liebert episode of Lost Girl, it can never be as great with how it handles sexuality on its original series Warehouse 13, which I sometimes feel like is a wanna-be Lost Girl. On that show, H.G., who is bi, and Steve, who is gay, both had to declare their sexuality and after they did it was hardly ever addressed again.
Maybe the sexuality declaration thing is just something Americans are too stuck on. Look at Mulan from Once Upon A Time for instance. She went back to Aurora and Phillip’s castle to confess her love. And even though she smiled when she saw Aurora and said she wanted to tell her something not Phillip, the fandom is still split on if she was confessing her love to Aurora or Phillip. Now, I think the people who think it was Phillip are idiots, but they still exist.
And in all honesty they and Once Upon A Time make me sad. While Lost Girl has lots of gay fans and lets Bo and Lauren be a thing, Bo and Tamsin be a thing, Lauren and Crystal be a thing, Lauren and Evony be a thing, Vex cross dressing be a thing, Once Upon A Time has one rather minor character sort of come out as bisexual. And Once Upon A Time gave her so little screen time, the actress took a role on another show.
Before I get to my thoughts on this episode of Once Upon A Time, I would like to say two things about the title. One: I will try to not make too many references to Showcase’s Lost Girl and two: the title seems like a spoiler. All our heroes are in Neverland, where boys abandoned by their parents escape to and become last boys. So, it is easy to amuse that the show lead character, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is the Lost Girl from the title. So, she is going to have to accept or admit that at some point, right? Though Emma did almost get me to cry when she admitted to Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) that she is just a scared orphan who doesn’t know where she belongs, I feel like the title already told us that.
Regardless, this episode was good. The show must have decided that the lighting was too dark last week and Neverland was lighter, but still always sort of night. But, most of the time was spent in the “Dark Forest,” so I guess that was our explanation. We start with Rumple (Robert Carlyle) in Neverland cutting his shadow off and spending it off to hid the dagger.
We join our heroes still walking through the set of Xena or Lord of the Rings or any other epic that was probably shot in New Zealand. Snow is being all cute telling Emma she needs to drink more water and Emma calls her Mary-Margret. Snow that maybe she could start calling her mom. Their awkwardness is broken up by the rest of the hero squad fighting. They decide to camp for the night.
Emma is worried that is might be too late to save Henry (Jared Gilmore). Snow says it is never too late/we always find each other/optimistic is her only setting. We then flashback to the pilot episode with Charming (Josh Dallas) arriving at the coffin and their theme music is playing. I was worried that this was going to be another series of flashbacks to tell us something we already knew, but it wasn’t. We are finally given the start of how Snow and Charming take back the kingdom.
Evil Regina (Lana Parrilla), decked out in amazing outfits, speaking in deep voice and glaring while her theme music plays, tells Snow she can either give up her claim to the throne or she will kill someone every day. Regina also says that Snow has to be aware of what Regina has done to take everything for her, which adds a layer of explanation to the curse. Snow seems to take the first option and Charming tries to think of what to do to convince her otherwise.
Back in Neverland, Emma wonders off from camp and runs into Peter Pan (Robbie Kay). He gives her a map that is blank but will reveal Henry’s location when Emma accepts who she truly is. She goes back to camp and everyone fights in between Emma explaining her back story to the parchment but is doesn’t work. Regina keeps telling her to admit that she is the savior but that doesn’t work either. All the awesome Swanqueen stuff makes up for the fact SleepingWarrior did not appear in this episode. Regina finally gets pissed and uses a locator spell on the parchment, which leads them to Pan and the lost boys.
He tells them cheaters can’t win and sets the lost boys on them. They are shooting arrows that are dipped in the poison Hook (Colin O’Donoughue) used on Rumple last season. Of course, idiot Charming is grazed by one. Charming, just go sit on the sidelines and let your wife handle this. Emma has a knife at one of the lost boys but can’t hurt him and Pan calls off the attack.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Charming goes to Rumple for help. He pretty much just laughs at him and says he doesn’t need his help to get Snow to see that she can lead the kingdom and defeat Regina. Charming then takes Snow to retrieve Excalibur from the stone because she is the lands true leader. The sword ends up being fake and the whole thing was a trick by Charming to show Snow she could do it. She fights Regina, cuts her on the face and says the kingdom will be hers.
All the story lines mirror each other nicely this episode, so back in Neverland Snow is trying to convince Emma she can figure the map out. She admits to Snow that the island is making her feel more like an scared kid, whose parents abandoned her and she never knew why they didn’t want her. It’s hard not knowing who you are and its even harder not knowing what you are. Snow admits that she did abandon Emma right after she admits to being a sadly straight version of Bo Dennis. Snow says she and Charming are going to make up for what they did to her.
Peter Pan runs into Emma again and he says she hasn’t forgiven her parents for abandoning her, which seems rather true and explains why she called herself an orphan and didn’t want to call Snow “Mom.” Peter Pan tells her it doesn’t matter that she had the map to Henry’s location because once they reach him he will not want to go with her because she abandoned him too. He also says Emma will actually be an orphan by the time she gets off the Island. The thought of Snow dying has me far more worried than anything happening to Henry.
So, this is getting rather long but this was a good episode. Jennifer Morrison did really well with the emotional stuff and story lines connected really well. But, there was no Storybrooke, present-day Enchanted Forest or Henry (but I’m not complaining about that). Belle (Emilie de Ravin) did appear as a vision to get Rumple to admit who he really is — a coward — just like Emma had to.
I have been tying to think of a way to introduce this into my blog. I have not cared if it was settled or not. But, most constant readers have probably guessed from my liking of Aurora and Mulan from Once Upon A Time to hoping Missandei was aged up so Dany from Game of Thrones could still become bicurious on a boat sailing between cities she conquers, I am into women. I was going to make this a loud and proud exploit of my favorite lesbian couples, but I decided against that. Not really for any particular reason, I just thought doing something different would be fun. Ally characters in television and film are usually even more under-represented than gay or lesbian ones. And though I like seeing characters like Naomi and Emily, but seeing a straight friend willing to support them–and not trying to sleep with them — is almost more heart warming sometimes.
Sidenote: Sorry if you disagree with me. I have not seen every lesbian television show (but the girls of afterellen.com have), but for perspective I am really into Xena: Warrior Princess and Lost Girl right now, I’m not the biggest fan of The L Word and Emily Fitch is at the top of my best lesbian character list.
I always liked Effy, but ever since she had that conversation with Naomi while waiting in line to get into a club in season three of Skins, I loved her. Effy is one of the best Skins characters in my opinion. She has the high school popular girl vibe but it is so more complicated than that. She is also everything you never excepted. She befriends every member of the second generation from Katie to JJ to Naomi. Nobody even had to tell her about Naomily. She know from the moment she first saw them together and she never cared. And she is good enough friends with them to be roomies in Skins: Fire. I’ll try to contain my excitement.
Autolycus totally found out that his friends were gay (I’m all for the subtext in this show) and together in the most awkward way possible. While Xena was in the underworld, she used his body to finally kiss Gabrielle. Though it was Xena in that dreams cape, it was the unsuspecting Autolycus in the real world kissing the young — and at that time straight — Gabby. Though his slip up of keeping his hand on Gabby’s butt a lit too long was seen as a blunder, his causally response of “Did you guys sort some things out?” was perfect. Time period aside, if it was ancient Greece or 1996 his reaction to the start of their relationship –based on my view of the subtext– and afterwards was perfect.
Though most of her time is spent being the comic-relief, sidekick (who told us she was straight in the pilot to avoid becoming gothic, Canadian Garibelle), Kenzi plays into the perfect ally vibe of Syfy/Showcase’s Lost Girl. The show does not treat Bo and Lauren any differently than they treat Bo and Dyson. Kenzi is the same. It might have seemed like a fine line to have the best friend be a self-proclaimed members of Team Dyson/the male love interest, while disliking the Team Lauren/same-sex love interest. But, Kenzi had her reasons for liking Dyson and not liking Lauren in the first two seasons. From the “spy-banging” to Lauren being “bossy and controlling,” Kenzi could be against her best friend dating Lauren but had nothing to do with Lauren being a lady. And she finally had a well-needed bonding episode with Lauren. Comic relief or not, Kenzi is a freaking awesome ally character in North American’s most sexuality-is-not-an-issue show.
Okay, The L Word has its long list of problems and don’t get me wrong I agree with most of them. I related the most to Dana, how dare you kill her with super-cancer! Anyway, Kit, Bette’s older sister, was an excellent addition to the cast. With so many lesbian characters it was good to have one straight women among them. So, the audience was forced to either cringe or open their minds when Kit got closer and closer to transgender Ivan and the into-older-women, sex-addict Papai. Though Kit owned a gay restaurant and nightclub she stayed undyingly straight while still being the greatest ally in The L Word‘s Los Angeles.
I’m 22-years-old, which I feel like is about four years too old to admit to watching Glee. I haven’t watched it in a while. I watch it in spite and like most good lesbians, I only watched it for Santana. So, when she went away to college — aw Louisville, I feel your pain — and was mostly written off the show, I stopped watching. I hear she is back but I have Netflix now and there are too many distracts. I watched all the earlier seasons and every time the former host of Guts yelled at his stepson for calling Kurt a “fag” I started crying. It is more of a single moment experience than a character arch, but Burt Hummel has earned his ranks among ally characters everywhere.