An episode dedicated to Bo’s (Anna Silk) twisted family history marks a turning point in the final season.
Let’s bitch it out…
The aptly titled ‘Family Portrait’ immediately telegraphs its intention to focus on Bo’s personal life when we open on Aife (Inga Cadranel) in an asylum. While it’s never truly a surprise to discover that anyone previously thought dead is still alive on sci-fi shows, I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to see Aife again in this final season. It’s been quite some time since she last appeared (IMDB says it was 4×01 ‘In Memoriam’), but she quickly makes her presence felt when she escapes and hooks back up with Jack (Eric Roberts).
There’s not a lot of time for Bo to process the fact that her mother is still alive, has been secretly institutionalized by Bo’s grandfather and is now mouthing seductive come-ons with Bo’s father. If there’s one significant problem with ‘Family Portrait’ it is that it asks Bo to run through a gamut of emotions in a relatively short period of time and it is a little hard to believe all of the ups and downs. Most significant is Bo’s disillusionment of Trick (Rick Howland) following Jack and Aife’s tag-team truth talk during dinner – I spent the entire scene waiting for the shoe to drop and for Bo to raise the fact that they’re both untrustworthy liars. And while she certainly does so, it’s an understated response that makes her seem more haughty than anything and is immediately followed by tears when she leaves Jack’s penthouse. The next scene is Bo angrily ripping into Trick when she tracks him down.
Now obviously Bo has the right to be angry with Trick for lying about Aife being alive and for keeping them apart. Sure, that seems reasonable. It’s when she suggests that he’s a bad father, that he’s no better than Jack, and that she never would have let him into her life if she had known the truth about him that I think the writers push things a little too far. Although Trick has never been entirely truthful with her, he’s also never done anything to purposefully hurt Bo and as a result her rant feels more than a little unwarranted. Considering that Bo knows how manipulative Jack and Aife are, I can’t believe she would ever take them at their word…or at least not so wasily.
Despite the inconsistencies of Bo’s attitudes to her parents and grandfather, the reveal of the titular family portrait is a truly horrifying moment. It’s clear from the moment that Jack appears in the doorframe of Aife’s room at the institution and Trick threatens him that we’re headed for something bad. The red curtain operated by a dangling rope lends the proceedings a theatrical flourish that would be comical if it weren’t so clearly delaying a moment of horror. The murder tableaux featuring Aife and Trick is just that: a Grand Guignol showcase that may just have rendered Bo catatonic. The dual murder is a testament to Jack’s power (Trick only just explained to Bo how powerful he and Aife are and Jack has seemingly killed them with ease). I would also argue that the tableaux is a twisted love letter to Bo – proof of Jack’s desperation to force a connection with his daughter that has been evident since his introduction. Now that he’s killed the rest of her family, she will be driven to pursue him, even if it is solely for revenge, which means he’ll have her full and undivided attention.
So RIP Trick. His demise, while incredibly upsetting (and graphic!) should serve the remaining episodes well – the stakes have been dramatically increased and the vendetta between father and daughter will now be that much more personal. While I’ve always felt that Rick Howland was ill-served by the writers (he was too often sidelined or given bizarre C-plots), I will miss his sage Blood King.*
*If nothing else, at least Trick got a more dignified exit than Hale did!
- That Fae institution needs to work on their security. Not only does Aife escape with ease, she is seen sucking the chi out of a guard on the camera footage. Don’t these people know who they’re dealing with?!
- Inga Cadranel gives good succubus face. When she’s sucking the dinner girl’s chi at dinner, she looks truly ravenous and insane.
- The reveal that Jack has been impersonating Bo dovetails nicely into why Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) is feeling ill. Turns out that her dalliance with Bo at the end of the last episode was actually with Jack and she’s now pregnant with Bo’s step brother or sister. That’s a fun unexpected twist!
- As usual the team’s attempt to stage a dramatic confrontation does not go well. Just like Bo’s attempt to banish Zee in 5×10, their attack on Jack is an abysmal failure. Tamsin’s slap happy routine is mildly amusing, but I have no idea why Bo actually thinks she can kill her father with a dagger. The moment daddy dearest pulls it out and throws it into Dyson’s (Kris Holden-Ried) gut should give Bo an idea of just how unprepared she is to deal with her father.
- Not to quibble, but why doesn’t Bo give Trick some chi to help him heal? She’s done it before in extreme circumstances with Dyson and you would think she would be up for trying anything to save her grandfather when she realizes that he’s not dead yet.
- Today in foreshadowing dialogue: Trick’s dying message about Bo’s blood is clearly what will help her destroy Jack in the finale.
- The cliffhanger is arguably more of an uncertainty. Has Bo used her own blood to travel somewhere or is the blood mark on her chest some kind of wound that has temporarily paralyzed her?
- Tamsin (considering her recent diet): “Cheesies from Bo’s vending machine.” Lauren: “Ugh, those things have been there for years.”
- Lauren (: “Of course, wake up like that…naturally flawless.”
- Aife (eating sea urchin): “It feels like the ocean just spawned in my mouth.” Ugh.
- Aife (listing Jack’s many good qualities): “A cunning linguist.”
Your turn: did you see Trick’s death coming? What about Aife? Do you think that Bo’s mistrust of her grandfather was unwarranted? Has the group learned nothing about attacking Ancients unprepared? Is Tamsin’s baby twist intriguing? Sound off below.
Lost Girl airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showcase. Please note that there may be no review next week due to holiday travel, but I’ll try to make it happen.