Oct 12 2015

Thanks Given by TeraS

It is, at least in this part of the universe, Thanksgiving. Being that it is, and this day tells of family, a short story today that speaks to that most of all … at least to me, at any rate.

To those that I love, so dearly, you have my …

 

Thanks Given
By TeraS

 

The day broke upon the Realm with a golden-orange sun peeking out over the Lake of Fire. Overhead, thin wisps of cloud mixed with the light, turning shades of red that—if perhaps only a little bit so—had a familiar shade to them.

It was the fall. The trees had turned colour; shades of orange, red, and brown mixed in with the green that still remained. A crisp wind blew through the trees, making them shift, the occasional few leaves coming loose and fluttering through among the forests, over the paths, and along the boulevards and streets of the Realm while most still slept in their beds, tails entwined with one another, or cuddling with their pets. Of course, some were not so sleepy, for their fun and games were still going on from the night before.

Over near one particular home, a tall, ancient maple tree rustled in the winds, its leaves being shaken this way and that, until, at last, one single leaf broke from its stem and spun off into the winds. It moved this way and that until, pausing above the front steps of the home and fluttering downwards, it rested between two small, rather cute horns that were that familiar red that seemed to be appearing all through the Realm.

As a pair of so-green eyes looked up to see what had landed in her hair, a smile passed over her lovely red lips as she carefully tucked the leaf between her raven curls. Picking up her mug, Tera stood and looked out upon her Realm. After one last sip, placing the mug on the table there, she picked up a small stack of cards and placed them into the pocket of her so-very-familiar red jacket. A brush of her hand over her black fuzzy sweater and jeans, and she was off, her heels clicking on the sidewalks as she made her way.

Her only company as she walked through the Realm was the warmth of the sun, the dew on the grass, and the sounds of the winds flying around her. As she went about her way, she stopped here and there, placing a card in a mailbox here, tucking another into a window there. One pushed through a mail slot in a door, the occasional greeting given to a pet, thrall, or toy. The Queen made many stops that morning, until every card had been delivered, every note was given away, and all that she needed to do, on this day, was taken care of.

The sun had risen to about mid-day when she had completed her set task, pleased with herself for managing to do so and still have time to do the other thing she needed to accomplish. So she continued on her way, stopping to gather things on her list. It was a short list, one that she had learned and held tightly to for this day every year.

It was into the mid-afternoon as she made her way back home, and, along the way, found those for whom she had left cards waiting for her to appear. In each case, she smiled, hugged them with her tail and wished them her thanks and hopes before continuing.

Some asked to help, if she would allow, but, as was her way, she insisted that they look after themselves, their loves and lives, tor their doing so was the gift she cherished the most. That’s not to say that there weren’t some attempts to see what she was carrying, or to ask what she was up to, but, in every case, her reply was the same: a tap of a finger on the nosey nose, a wink, and a simple wish for the inquirer.

She came home in the late afternoon, walked into her home, to her Eternal, and, after pushing him out of her kitchen, set down her package and began the one thing she needed to do to complete the day. Soon there was the sound of something being sliced, of mixers mixing, and, occasionally, a puff of sugar or flour drifting out of her kitchen … which her Eternal would watch from just outside, knowing that this was all in answer to her needs calling to her, and knowing better than to get in the way.

As the sun began to dip towards the opposite horizon from where it rose, the aroma of something being baked came from her home, drifting over the Realm. A familiar bouquet, one that was well known, considering who was baking and what her particular scent was, after all. She rested now, watching her oven, sipping from her mug, and waiting. She brushed a hand through her hair, sure that it was a mess after the day, and stopping when she felt the leaf she had tucked there. Carefully slipping it out, she carried it out of the kitchen and into her private, if small, library.

A particular shelf held a particular book, waiting for her—one with many red maple leaves pressed between the pages, each one with a date written beside it. She added this new one, after which she put the book back and returned to her kitchen once more. The book glowed, slightly, the words on the cover telling of the secrets that the leaves represented.

She expected to see her Eternal in the kitchen, the oven opened, requiring her to tell him to close it again. He was there, smiling, waiting with a knife and a serving plate for her. But there was something more than that. You see, the cards had expressed, to each and every person they were given to, her thanks for being part of her family, her world, and more. They asked if the recipients might, if they wanted to, come visit her home, to share this day she thanked her family with her, also sharing in something she had made for them.

What she didn’t expect to find was that she wasn’t the only one that had been baking that day. There, sitting in the middle, was her own cherry pie, and all around it were all of the cakes and pies you could imagine, each and every one made by each of those that jammed into her kitchen, den, and up and down the stairs, with still more coming in the front door with every moment that passed by.

She smiled, shaking her head and trying to explain to them all that they had no need to, but they all smiled in a very familiar way in return before offering her pieces of their own creations. The day turned to night, the evening carrying the sounds of the mirth, love, and joy within the home that spilled out upon the surrounding lands. Within the home, light came anew, and, without, the night brought out the stars among the wisps of clouds.

The night closed with the last of the creations being enjoyed, hugs shared, and thanks given for always. When all was settled once more, she curled up on her sofa with her Eternal, watching the fireplace and its warm glow. As she drifted off to sleep, comfortable in the knowledge that her thanks were given, she was at peace with herself, for her hope in this day came true.

To give thanks is only part of the story. It is in loving while expecting nothing in return, asking for nothing more, that makes any day when thanks are given and love shared matter most of all.

And, along the way, love always seems to come back, many times over, and that love is sweeter, warmer, and more filling to our bodies and souls than any pie we might imagine …

Oct 11 2015

A Review of The Gender Swapping Succubus by Laurel Greene

The Gender Swapping Succubus by Laurel Greene

The Gender Swapping Succubus by Laurel Greene

One of the most important things about characters in a story is that they have character. A personality quirk, some humour within them. A focus to them, something that makes them stand out in the story.

Another important thing is… their name. To write a story in which a character is called by what they are, and not who they are, tends to have a problem. You cannot just say what they are, as their name, because it makes for some very odd sentences and conversations. Perhaps the problem might be in finding the right name for a character. Perhaps their character is so unique that coming up with a name is impossible.

That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try.

This work tells the story of:

Saul gets more than he bargained for when he summons a Succubus who promises to make him irresistible to the opposite sex. (Un?)fortunately for him, she gets to decide what the “opposite” of his sex is, and her ability to shift not only her own gender but his as well leads to some certain sexy surprises!

Saul summons a Succubus who, almost instantly, knows what he wants and decides to give it to him. The Succubus has her way with him, soon becoming a she, and things are never going to be the way they were. For the Succubus, that is exactly what she wants of the deal.

The most interesting part of this work is all of the background that is told about the Succubus. In fact, there’s so much more about her than Saul that the work is more about her view of things than anything that Saul says or does. She has the most amazing sense of dark humour that put a period on her personality from the first words of the story. I liked how she was described, how she seduced her way into Saul’s mind, and how thing unfolded.

I thought that how she transformed Saul’s gender wasn’t quite what one might expect, that there was a certain flair to doing so that, again, fit into her personality and goals. There was some subtle, and not so much so, succubus mind control as well that I liked, mainly for when it wasn’t too openly pushed in the story.

The problem I have is a very simple one. The Succubus never has a name in this work. She’ always referred to as “The Succubus” and that got old very fast. By continually referring to her as such, in the moments when this term keeps getting used, and it is a lot mind you, the story loses a lot of what makes it what it is. A darkly humorous tale about a student that really should have known better and a Succubus who is more than willing to take, and give, as a result.

The erotica is of a hot flash nature, but there isn’t really so much heat as there is a focus on the transformation of Saul, how he becomes a she, and then the story abruptly ends with a stereotypical transformation, and a short note about what happened to Saul and what came after when the Succubus came back into his, now her, existence.

I would have liked a better ending than there is, mainly for how abrupt things end and how little of the “after” is told. Much of that could be said to be in who Saul becomes and that there isn’t a lot of story as a result. But there could have been something more than a few short paragraphs to close things out.

The writing is very good, especially the wry humour that threads its way through the story. Really that alone I found to be the most wonderful part of this work. There’s just something about a Succubus that is amused that I do enjoy. I just wish that she had a name.

Three out of five pitchforks,

Honestly, the humour I liked, I thought the Succubus herself was interesting, and along the way there was a story about her that was interesting. But the problem here is that the Succubus not having a name made the story awkward to read, uneven, and at times when knowing her name would have added a lot to the story, it didn’t happen.

 

Tera

Oct 11 2015

A Review of Erotica Lover’s Collection by Glen and Vivian Gilbert

Erotica Lover's Collection by Glen and Vivian Gilbert

Erotica Lover’s Collection by Glen and Vivian Gilbert

Sometimes there are some erotica collections that are… missing something in them. I think in a lot of cases it is a good idea for the summary of the work to be more than a single paragraph if for no other reason than to give a reader a good idea about what the collection has in it beside a short description.

It’s also a bit of a problem when the work itself doesn’t have any descriptions of the stories and they are, as a whole, a series of mysteries to unravel as one reads them. It’s a bit more troubling when, by the end of the work, you find that there is just something… off… about the stories and what they represent. Knowing what to expect, even if a little does I think change one’s perspective as well…

  • Title: Erotica Lover’s Collection
  • Author: Glen and Vivian Gilbert
  • Length: 49 Pages
  • ASIN: B00PAY3LIY
  • Publishing Date: November 5, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

This collection’s summary is very short:

A collection of fifteen over the top erotic adult fantasy stories. The stories are straight and transgender friendly.

The hardest thing for me in reading this collection was how to approach the entire work as a whole. The summary was so vague and really didn’t give any sort of idea what to expect. Within the collection itself there was no sort of tease or summary of the stories and that I think would have helped a lot in putting this work in some sort of content if nothing else. As the collection is presented, it is a work of mystery in both substance and themes and that brought about an odd situation.

In each story’s case, it was a mystery to read, to find the plot, the characters and try to put the ideas into some kind of mental picture so that the story could be enjoyed more. However, I couldn’t find my way into the stories, to want to see where they were going, to relate to the characters. The writing wasn’t the problem, for that is very good, nor are the characters, because they all have a clear voice to tell their stories. I did not find the erotic parts of the work had a lot of heat or passion to them and I think that had a lot to do with the tone of the stories.

They were, as a whole to me, rather sad and depressingly so. There just did not seem to be much joy, little passion evolved, and the saddest thing of all was that at times the characters in some of the stories read as if they were sleepwalking through the story. There was a disconnect between the story and myself as the reader and that is a shame. I can’t put into words exactly why I felt this way about the work emotionally save to say that I… just didn’t feel anything at the end of each of the stories and the collection as a whole.

There are two stories that have, in some way, sort of a connection to succubi. But that connection is vague and doesn’t exactly come out of the stories very well. It is there, but if you are not aware of the legends about succubi it isn’t exactly in the forefront of the stories. The one story that caught my attention has more of a transition, transformation theme to it which refers to the idea of succubi in a way. Like the rest of the stories in the collection, it did make me pause and consider the story, but the heat in the story wasn’t there for me and the sadness that soaked into the characters and what happens to them is painful at times, but that is part of the story’s core and makes sense… I just didn’t find my way to being part of the story as much as I felt I should have.

The themes in the work are very varied and there is really something for everyone in the collection. The question that any reader will face I think is one of: Does the story work for me? I really do wish that in this case that would have been true for some of the ideas present here.

One and a half out of five pitchforks.

I just am not sure how to approach this collection as a whole. I felt a bit lost, a bit confused, and in a lot of ways I think that might have been the main theme that ran through the collection as a whole. The question of being lost and then being found and what the implications are of that realization. It isn’t the easiest thing to read, at least I found it to be that way, but that does mean one needs to think about the stories in their entirety and what they represent.

 

Tera

Oct 10 2015

The image is nice… Not so sure about the music though…

I think, at least it is my own thought, that Succubi, if they had some sort of theme music, would have something that is perhaps whispering seductive, seeping into your thoughts, promising dreams unspoken… I’m not quite sure that this piece of music would be what I would associate with them.. At least most of them, though I am sure that some of the Succubi would like this quite a lot…

And if you cannot hear this music on the Tale, try this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okRjglvio9o

What caught my attention was the image associated with this music however:

Succubus Sage

I think the art is really quite well done, I like her form and this strikes me as sort of a charcoal work and I really don’t have many of those in my Succubus art collection,

Does the music match with the image? Sort of maybe? I think that she might be a little bit too seductive and not enough “hard and forceful” as the tone of the music seems to be for me.

Getting back to the music itself, I’m not one that really enjoys this sort of thing, so I will admit that I have a bias. It seems to me that if it was a bit less repetitive that would make it quite a lot better overall. Some guitar? A bit of vocals? I’m not quite sure… But it seems to need a little something…

I do hope the artist manages to find what’s missing…

 

Tera

Oct 09 2015

Did anyone ever teach Lost Girl about the Birds and the Bees?

As much has I want to focus on the plots, the characters and what happened in this week’s Lost Girl episode, I find myself pondering something that really bothers me about it. That’s isn’t Aife appearing, Trick dying as well as Aife. It isn’t even about some of the disjointed plot lines and confusing moments that occurred. No, really what gets to me is one, very simple question.

How is it, exactly, that Hades managed to cause Tamsin to be bearing his child… and Tamsin didn’t even notice the… let’s call it… Physical differences… between Bo, a woman, and Hades, a man. Are the writers actually trying to convince me that Tamsin didn’t notice something… poking her that wasn’t a pitchfork?

And no, I’m not going to accept “Hades is a God, it happened just because.” That’s a major cop out and even with all of the flaws that have been creeping in this season, that answer, to be blunt, is sucky. I don’t accept that Hades looked like Bo, took Tasmin to bed, and then… “poked” her without Tamsin wondering “Huh. That seems odd?” This I think is the one really seriously wrong moment in the series where I just cannot get around that moment and accept it.

As well, why do this plot on top of everything else that is going on? What’s the point of adding Tamsin being pregnant to the episode? Other than adding some need on Tamsin’s part for revenge, there’s nothing in this happening that makes a lot of sense. Hades wants his own Valkyrie? Decided that as he couldn’t trust Tamsin, he might as well use her? What’s the reasoning behind doing something like this? Especially when, as has been said over and over again, Hades wants Bo, has plans for her, and it always seemed like what happened to Tamsin is what Hades wants for Bo.

Setting that aside, for the moment, then Aife returns and she’s less than what she needed to be. There needed to be some kind of resolution between her and Bo and what we wind up with is a fashion show, some dinner, and a lot of ranting. Ending her character arc as it seems to have doesn’t feel right in a lot of ways. If nothing else, some clear, real explanations, with a flashback or two, would have been better than to watch Aife go insane once more.

The hardest thing to watch was, by far, Trick’s death because it didn’t fit, nor did Aife’s, but that’s a completely different rant. It seemed like Trick was appearing less and less this season and they end his part in the series by putting him and Aife on display. It’s a poor ending to one of the most complicated and interesting characters on the series.

This wasn’t so much an episode of resolution as it was a massive train wreck that one couldn’t stop watching. It’s a shame that so much was lost and nothing of real value was left in the ending. It was also really heavy-handed of the writers to put a character into the series the lost her mind because her family was killed and it left her closed off from the world. Foreshadowing is fine, but beating us over the head with it… that’s too much.

There is a difference between hoping our interest and making us watch. That line was crossed over a lot in this week’s episode.

The thirteenth episode of the fifth season, also episode seventy-four of the Lost Girl TV series was this week. Bo finds out that some secrets need to be never unearthed while Hades has Dinner with Aife, who makes a mess at the table. Dyson gets the point while Tamsin gets screwed, in more than one way. Lauren wears her heart on her sleeve, then tries to dissect it as Trick finds that there’s always family to screw things up… royally.

 

Lost Girl Logo

This is the thirteenth review of the fifth season of of Lost Girl. A summary of this episode has been added to the SuccuWiki, but won’t be adding my commentary to the articles there as that is what the Tale is for….

Bo learns from her parents that there’s never such a thing as a good…

 

Family Portrait

 

The episode opens with a recap of the previous episode including: Lauren and Bo in the shower together, Lauren feeding from Bo’s Chi as Bo tells Hades that he is interfering with Lauren’s life and Hades responding that Lauren wanted to be Fae more than anything in the world. Lauren is seen telling Bo that she took an antidote and is no longer Fae, followed by Bo telling Hades that her relationship with Lauren is finished. Hades tells Bo that they are capable of many things but love is not one of them. Zee is seen reminding Bo of her responsibility in having power and also warning Bo that Hades’ evil comes in many forms as what seems to be Bo is seen kissing Tamsin before being revealed as Hades in disguise. Zee and Hera are then seen banishing themselves from Earth and Bo discovering the horseshoe that was left behind for her, Trick noting that the horseshoe symbolizes protection, warding off evil and bringing good luck.

The episode begins with Bo (Anna Silk) and Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) at Bo’s home, talking about the horseshoe. Bo comments: “A weapon, forged by the Gods, just for me, and this is what I get.” Tamsin replies: “It’s not that bad.” Tamsin then takes the horseshoe from Bo and explains: “You can punch with it. You can… scratch your back. You can throw it.” Tamsin does so, Bo calling out “No!” and then the horseshoe smashes through the vending machine in Bo’s home, shattering the glass front. Bo sighs: “Of course.” as Tamsin walks by with a smile, taking a bag of snacks out and adding: “Jackpot.” As she opens the bag, Tamsin mentions that: “Ever since I took down Frejya I have been starving.” Bo retrieves the horseshoe and asks: “Seriously, what am I supposed to do with this? Last thing I need is another freakin’ mystery in my life.” Tamsin asks: “Didn’t Trick say you needed it for protection?” Bo shrugs this off, asking what from and Tamsin answers: “The obvious. Jack-in-a-glass-box.” Bo tells her: “If the King of the Underworld ever becomes a problem, I’m going to need something a lot sharper than a horseshoe.” Tamsin then shows Bo a blade that had been laying nearby and asks: “Like this? Stole it from Zee and Hera.” Bo replies: “The Amethusto dagger.” Tamsin replies: “The cut your daddy out of your live dagger.” Bo steps back from Tamsin as she presses the dagger to Bo’s chest, telling her to wait but Tamsin tells Bo: “The longer we wait, the stronger he gets. It’s only a matter of time before Jack makes his move.” Bo tells her: “Yeah, and the your only operation experience is the board game.” Tamsin considers this a moment, then comments: “Fine, if you wanna call your emotionally unstable ex, even after we…” Bo interrupts with: “All our lives, all we’re told over and over again is the important of family. Like it or not, he’s mine.” Tamsin agrees, but adds: “Or are your family the ones who’ve been there for you all along?”

The scene then shifts to a hospital where a nurse is explaining to a male nurse: “Always the same. Two of the greens. One of the blues. Don’t talk to her. Don’t look at her. And whatever you do, don’t touch her.” The male nurse then tells a patient it is time for their medication and when the patient is revealed, it is Aife (Inga Cadranel), Bo’s mother. She takes the pills from him, but does not swallow them until she is ordered to, tilting her head back to show that she did so. When the nurse moves to check, Aife pulls off his belt, draws him close and then while choking him with the belt, spits the pills towards him, growling: “Swallow that.” The nurse falls to the floor, still being strangled and then passes out. Aife takes his keys before rushing out of her room, pausing just outside where a female nurse is sitting at her station. The two look at each other for a moment, the nurse’s focus then falling on a red alarm button between them. Aife warns: “You don’t wanna do that.” but the nurse manages to move to the alarm and triggers it before Aife can stop her. Aife nonetheless feeds on the nurse before the nurse collapses to the floor and Aife runs through the halls of the hospital to make her escape to freedom.

After the opening credits, Bo is confronting Trick (Richard Howland) in his lair, demanding to know why he did not tell her that Aife was alive and being held. Bo tells Trick that she saw Taft kill Aife, adding: “She died saving me and you knew she was alive?” Trick asks Bo to allow him to explain: “I saw her. When you were on the Wanderer’s Train, Aife was sane. Even though her memory of you was wiped, deep down she knew she had a daughter. She came looking for you.” When Bo asks what happened, Trick continues: “Once she regained her memory she…” Trick does not finish the sentence, but Bo sighs: “She when crazy again. I remind her of the darkest period of her life. Why wouldn’t I make her crazy.” Trick tells Bo that Aife was placed in an institution for the Fae mentally ill, and that “she escaped last night.” Bo then storms out of the room, and in reply to Trick asking her where she is going, Bo answers: “To find my mom, make sure she’s safe.” When Trick calls out to her, Bo turns on Trick and tells him: “One of us needs to care.” and then leaves Trick alone in his lair.

The scene then moves to Tamsin who is showering at Bo’s home, as she washes her hair, she finds a clump of it tangled in her fingers and startles, dropping the hair and shivering as she continues to pass her hands through her hair.

Bo and Dyson (Kristen Holden-Ried) are then seen at the Fae mental institution, Bo telling Dyson: “Not only Trick. You, Kenzi. You all knew she was alive.” Dyson tells Bo: “I wanted to tell you. It wasn’t my call to make.” Bo replies: “Yeah well, lying by omission got old a long time ago.” Dyson tries to explain that: “After the train, you were suffering from memory loss. Trauma. And the longer we waited the harder it became.” Bo scoffs, telling him: “Oh, well, I’m sorry it was so hard on you.” Dyson admits that what they did was wrong, but adds: “We made it because we love you. That’s what family does.” Bo sighs as she looks around the institution, wondering how terrifying the experience was for Aife, adding: “If I was her, I would have escaped too.” Bo and Dyson are then led into Aife’s room by a nurse who tells them: “You won’t find much.” Bo stares across the room to an elderly woman and asks if they can question her, the nurse explaining that: “Be my guest. But Estelle hasn’t talked in 300 years.” When Bo asks what happened, the nurse replies: “Her family was murdered. She shut down to survive.” Dyson leaves with the nurse and Bo approaches Estelle (Anna Ferguson), trying to communicate with her. Bo explains to Estelle that she is looking for her mother, asking for Estelle’s help in doing so. As Bo reaches out to touch her, Bo whispers: “I hope you don’t mind” and pushes some of her Chi into Estelle which makes her responsive again. When Estelle looks at Bo, Bo introduces herself and Estelle responds that she recognizes Bo. When Bo asks how this is possible, Estelle points towards Aife’s bed where a series of picture of Bo when she was a child are seen. Bo stares at the pictures for a time then asks Estelle: “If the thought of me drove my mother crazy, why did she keep me above her bed?” Estelle replies that she doesn’t know and when asked why Aife escaped, Estelle replies: “Doctors talk. I hear them. They said she was doing well. They were going to release her.” When Bo asked why they did not, Estelle tells Bo: “One day something happened. I could see it in her eyes. You can tell everything from a person’s eyes.” Bo smiles as she replies: “The window to the soul. You have beautiful eyes Estelle.” Bo then asks if Estelle knows why Aife changed, she answers: “Whatever it was, it was frightening. As if everything that was once wrong came rushing back. All… at… once.” Estelle then goes quiet again, Bo using her powers to try to bring her back, Bo manages to do so, Estelle kissing Bo, then groping her which makes Bo gently push Estelle away as she thanks Estelle for her help. Estelle then returns to the state she was in before Bo reached out to her as Bo leaves the room. As Bo walks past Dyson she tells him: “Something triggered Aife, we need to find out what.” Dyson approaches the nurse and asks for all of Aife’s records, which she agrees to send out as soon as possible. As the nurse leaves, Dyson answers a phone call from Lauren who tells him: “I called as soon as I saw.”

The scene then moves to Lauren’s clinic where Lauren, Bo, Dyson and Tamsin find the cell Hades had been held in is empty. Lauren has no idea how long the cell has been empty and Bo wonders how many times Hades had escaped before. Lauren then reveals that: “He left me a note, thanking me for my hospitality” and also shows Bo the sketch he had been making of Bo in an earlier episode had been left behind as well. Bo rolls her eyes and comments: “So my father is now an artist”, Tamsin replying: “He’s insane.” Dyson ponders: “First Aife escapes, now Jack.” Bo wonders if Hades had something to do with Aife’s escape and makes the decision that they need to find Hades. Bo turns to Dyson, telling him: “If he wants a dark army, his first stop might be he backdoor to hell.” Dyson nods: “The Cinvat. I’ll go.” As Dyson leaves, Bo asks Tamsin if she will stay at the clinic in case Hades returns, to which Tamsin nods. When Lauren asks where Bo is going, she replies: “I’m gonna check the only residence fit for an Ancient.”

The scene then shifts to the condominium which had been abandoned by Zee and Hera, where Bo finds a table set out for dinner, with three place-settings, as she enters from the elevator. As Bo walks in, Aife enters from the side and calls out: “My god you’re gorgeous.” Bo whispers: “Mom” as Aife continues: “Of course you are, you take after me… mostly.” Aife takes hold of Bo’s hand, but Bo stops Aife, telling her: “Let’s go. Now.” Aife asks: “Where? You’re just in time for dinner.” Hades (Eric Roberts) then enters the room, calling out: “I’m preparing her favourite!” Bo asks: “What the hell is going on here?” Hades answers as he walks over to Aife and holds her close: “Hard to believe I know.” Then Aife adds: “Oh, Bo. Aren’t you happy? You mom and dad are back together.”

After a commercial break, we return to find Hade, Aife and Bo standing near the bar, Hades asking: “Any special requests darling? I know you’ve always loved Bach.” Bo tells him: “I don’t want music, I want to know what my mother, who I thought was dead, is doing here with the man who tortured her and kept her in a cage.” Hades brushes this off telling Bo: “Noted, noted and noted. But I was asking your mother. Aife, baby, requests?” Aife replies: “Bach sounds delightful. As long as it is followed by Sir-Mix-A-Lot. Mama loves her baby got back, and I know Bo does too.” Bo whispers to Aife that they need to leave, but Aife insists: “Will you relax? I want to be here.” Bo angrily asks Hades: “What did you do to her?” Hades turns to Aife and asks: “Care to explain to her what I’ve done to you?” Aife replies: “Yes, he’s kindly made me dinner. Oh, and since you’re here you should join us.” Hades proclaims: “A family that eats together, stays together.” Bo tells Hades: “We’ve never been together. so that’s pretty much null and void.” Hades comments that the last time they spoke, they agreed to say clear of each other, adding that he doesn’t recall inviting her to dinner. Bo’s answer is: “Too bad. I crash. And I’m not leaving until you free her.” Hades tells Bo that Aife can leave whenever she’d like to, then comments: “Holding her against her will sounds more like your grandfather.” Bo warns Hades: “You leave Trick out of this.” Aife tells Bo: “Jack saved me from the Dark Dungeons.” Hades smirks as he leaves the room: “Told you.” Aife continues: “Just like he’s saving me now.” When Bo asks from what, Aife tells Bo: “The institution.” Bo replies: “Yes. Trick knew you were in there.” Aife laughs: “Knew? Honey, your grandfather is the one that had me committed.” Hades then calls out that dinner is served and walks out of the room as the scene ends.

Returning to Lauren’s clinic, she is talking to Tamsin and cannot explain why she never saw that Jack had escaped, worrying about this and putting the blame on anything that might happen on herself. Tamsin tells Lauren: “It’s okay, you’re only human, you couldn’t have done anything anyway.” Lauren frets: “Yes. I’m a human. We all get it. Thank you.” Tamsin sighs: “Still recovering from your god swap with Zee?” Lauren rants: “Oh what’s to recover from? The guilt? Humiliation of almost getting myself killed? No big deal.” Tamsin replies: “It all worked out in the end. Well, sort of.” When Lauren stares at her, Tamsin asks why she is and Lauren answers: “Nothing. I don’t want to get into this with you.” Tamsin tells her that she might as well finish and Lauren asks if No said anything to her.” Tamsin pauses at the question, then stammers: “No, about your break up? No. No.” Lauren tells Tamsin that she doesn’t want Bo to be alone with all that is happening and when Lauren asks if Tamsin spent any time with Bo, Tamsin answers: “No… no, not really.” Lauren then looks concerned and picks up a clump of Tamsin’s hair, commenting: “Tamsin, you’re molting.” Tamsin grabs the hair away from Lauren, telling her not to worry about it, but Lauren refuses, asking why Tamsin’s hair is falling out. Tamsin replies: “I don’t know.” Lauren begins to examine Tamsin, asking if it has happened before and Tamsin casually answers: “In past lives when I was about to die. It would fall out when I doubted. As a sign I was about to expire…” Lauren is shocked by Tamsin’s admission that she is dying, but Tamsin replies: “Yeah. Yeah, with no legacy, not a big deal.” Lauren comments: “But you’re just a young Valkyrie?” Tamsin sighs: “I know but maybe every time I doubted Freyja and Acacia, I wore myself thin.” Lauren then insists that she examine Tamsin to find out what is happening, but Tamsin replies: “Oh yeah, cause that’s how I want to spend my last few precious moments. In this clinic. With you.” Lauren then asks: “Have you eaten anything unusual in the last 24 hours?” Tamsin answers: “Cheezies from Bo’s vending machine.” Lauren says in disgust: “Ugh! They’ve been there for years!” Tamsin smiles: “I know.” Lauren then asks about anything new Tamsin might have used, but Tamsin says she has not. Lauren sighs: “Right. You wake up like that, naturally flawless.” When Lauren asks about any recent sexual activity, Tamsin answers: “Um… You know what, I really think it’s this new shampoo.” Tamsin then starts to leave, commenting that she needs a drink and is going to the Dal Riata. Lauren replies that she is going with Tamsin in order to “go over more symptoms.” Tamsin sighs as Lauren leaves before her: “Yeah…” and then she whimpers as she follows Lauren out the door.

Returning to Hades’ dinner, he comments to Bo: “Sea urchin. Used as model organisms in developmental biology since the 1800s.” After taking a bite, he continues: “Artificial spawning” and Aife adds: “Feels like the ocean just spawned in my mouth.” Bo glares at Aife as she is told to try some, but Bo refuses to do so. Hades asks Bo if she is saving her appetite for the main course, commenting: “You’ll be glad you did.” Hades then calls out two names, Christian (Nykeem Provo) and Victoria (Jocelyn Hudon), and two, seemingly, humans, walk into the room. Bo ignores them both, commenting that she isn’t hungry, Hades warning Bo: “It’s not polite to look a gift horse in the mouth.” Bo looks at Victoria and tells her: “You’re nobody’s gift, you’re free to go.” Victoria replies: “We serve Jack because we want to. It’s an honour. Aren’t you grateful?” As Victoria finishes speaking, Aife approaches her, then comments, “More for Mommy” and then begins to take the Chi from Victoria in a violent manner. As Aife does so, Bo warns: “That’s enough” but Aife does not respond. Then Bo more forcefully exclaims: “Mom! You’re going to kill her!” Aife then suddenly breaks off the feeding, throwing Victoria into the arms of Christian who helps Victoria to leave as Aife chuckles and returns to the table. Hades then asks Bo: “Have I ever lied to you?” Bo replies: “Maybe. Maybe not. I do know you’re been creative.” Hades is puzzled by this, and asks: “Creative? How so?” Bo points out that Hades left his cell without telling her, Hades replies: “I thought we agreed I was going to give you a little space. And you said so yourself, that little box couldn’t hold me.” Aife then asks: “Bo, has he lied to you about anything that truly matters? The past? Think about it.” Bo is silent, then answers: “Not that I know of. No.” Aife then asks: “Can you say the same thing about Trick?” Hades then comments to Aife: “It’s time we told her the truth.” Aife then asks Bo: “Where do I start?” and Bo replies: “The beginning.” Aife then tells Bo: “The Great War. My father, your grandfather, wrote a truce in his blood between the Light and the Dark. And me, always the rebel, I refused to choose.” Hades smiles: “Like mother, like daughter.” Aife continues: “My mother Isabeau died during that war and I avenged her death by killing a Dark Fae elder. I went to Trick for protection. But to maintain order, he gave me over to the Dark for execution. And instead of killing me, they kept me as their prisoner.” Hades continues: “They did terrible things to your mother. Unspeakable.” Bo breaks in, adding: “But then Trick found out you were alive, and he tried to save you.” Aife refutes this: “Oh no, he didn’t and I lost my mind.” Quite literally Bo, I went mad. Then Jack found me and saved me.” Bo asserts: “You mean he took advantage of you.” Aife claims: “No. He loved me and I loved him.” Aife then comes close to Bo and tells her: “You were born of love.” Bo presses on, telling Aife: “I was in Tartarus, I saw he kept you in a cage.” Aife responds: “And I’m glad he did. The cage was to protect you from me. I had PTSD and in my darker times I threatened to kill you.” Hades explains: “A consequence of being kept in the dark.” Aife then sits with Hades, telling Bo: “We never wanted to send you away but Jack thought it was for the best with me unwell and your father bound to Tartarus.” Hades continues: “Trick found you first.” as Aife adds: “And all he did was feed you lies.” Bo points out to Aife: “So did you the first time we met.” which Aife explains away as: “You called yourself unaligned, but you were clearly with the Light. I didn’t know if I could open up to you, it wasn’t easy for me.” Hades then stresses: “You mother understands struggle. I understand struggle and like you, we crave justice.” Hades holds Aife’s hand, his other reaching out for Bo as he offers: “It is time for us to rise, together, as a family.” For a long moment, Bo says nothing, her parents looking on expectantly, then Bo stands up, turns and begins to leave, telling them: “Don’t bother scheduling a family portrait.” Hades calls out after her: “Bo! You deserve to know the truth!” Aife calls out Bo’s name, but Bo replies: “I need to go, I need to think.” Hades’ final parting comment is: “Consider one thing. Perhaps, all of this time, you’re chosen the wrong side of the family.” Bo says nothing as the elevator doors close and she leaves.

Bo is then seen walking along a sidewalk before getting into her car. After closing the door, she stares off into space for a moment before beginning to cry. Then, suddenly, the passenger door opens and Aife gets into the car as well. Bo is shocked and asks: “What are you doing?” Aife replies: “What are you doing? You are off your game young lady.” When Bo asks what game. Aife replies: “We’re sending your father back where he belongs/ Hell.”

After the next commercial break. we return to find Aife at Bo’s home, showing Bo a series of dresses and asking: “I want to be your hell bride red or… or Belle of the underworld black?” Bo replies: “How about a pair of sweatpants so you can relax and tell me why you are playing dress up?” Aife explains: “Seduction takes the perfect outfit and tonight is the ultimate conquest. Mother and daughter working together.” Bo asks: “So everything you said at dinner was a lie?” Aife replies: “No. It was all true. I loved your father. He was the ultimate bad boy. Handsome. Charming. A cunning linguist.” Bo asks why Aife wants to send him back to hell and Aife explains: “I thought there was some good in him. Deep down… I was wrong.” Bo asks what Hades did to Aife and she answers: “See, that’s the thing. It wasn’t me. It was all about you.” Bo sighs sadly: “Oh mom.” But Aife asks: “Haven’t you ever fallen for the wrong guy?” and then leaves the room with one of the dresses. Dyson then enters the room, Bo admitting to him: “I didn’t know who else to call.” When Dyson asks how Aife is, Bo explains: “She went from eating a sea urchin to wanting to destroy him. So, up and down I would say.” Dyson asks about Bo herself, and she answers: “Confused.” Aife then reenters the room, wearing the dress she picked out, smiles and asks: “Dyson, tell me, would this outfit work to seduce you? Wait, wouldn’t be the first time would it?” Dyson then asks Aife what her plan is, and Aife replies: “Ask Bo, she came up with it.” This confuses Bo and she asks Aife what she is talking about. Aife replies: “Don’t mess with me.” When Bo insists she isn’t, Aife begins to lose her grip as she starts to rant: “Just… stop. Okay?” Bo warns Aife: “Mom, whatever you are planning it’s too dangerous, you’re going to get yourself killed.” Aife becomes more confused, telling Bo: “We came up with the plan together when you came to see me at the institution!” Bo whispers to Aife: “I didn’t even know you were in there.” Aife starts to lose her grip on reality as she rants: “Yes, yes you did! Yes you did! Because Trick told you I was doing better so then you came to me and then you told me your plan!” When Bo tells Aife again that she didn’t, Aife shrieks: “Stop saying that! Stop, stop, stop!” Aife then turns on Bo, whispering: “You… you tricked me. This was his plan, you’ve joined him. You’re on his side! Oh no! This is happening, this is all happening! And it’s what he wanted!” Aife then comes apart, crying out: “This isn’t real. You’re not real!” Aife then turns away, and when Bo asks what she is doing, Aife turns back with a knife in her hand, growling: “What I should have done a long time ago!” as she attacks Bo. However, before she can do so, Dyson takes hold of Aife’s wrist, stopping the attack. As Dyson disarms Aife, Bo whispers: “It’s true, I do make you crazy.” As Aife calms down, she repeats Bo’s name twice as Bo looks at her sadly.

Tamsin and Lauren are seen at the Dal Riata drinking, Lauren asking: “How’s your beer?” Tamsin replying: “It’s beer.” Lauren continues: “Mine’s quite hoppy actually. I’d guess about 50 IBUs which is my max.” Tamsin sighs: “Is nothing sacred?” When Lauren is confused, Tamsin explains: “Don’t do that! It’s cold, it’s refreshing, it’s not… science!” Lauren insists: “I don’t think everything is science.” When Tamsin ask Lauren to name one thing, she answers: “Well, my relationships, for one thing. Although I do believe in chemistry. Even though we had our differences that was one area that was no problem with Bo. This is totally weird talking to you about this isn’t it?” Tamsin winces: “Just a little, yeah. But if you must…” Lauren asks Tamsin to be honest with her, asking: “Do you think I made a mistake? I wanted to be Fae for us, so we could be together forever. Is that so wrong?” Tamsin replies after a moment: “No. I get it. I made a really bad deal for seven extra lives.” Lauren sighs: “Thanks for being real. That’s the one thing I can always count on you for.” Tamsin then blurts out: “We slept together the night you broke up. I feel guilty for not telling you. Which is crazy because I don’t normally care what you think. But if I’m dying I’d like to do it with a clear conscience.” Tamsin pulls another lock of her hair out and then adds: “I think the guilt is making me lose my hair.” Lauren tells Tamsin: “I don’t care.” and Tamsin sighs: “I didn’t think you would” but Lauren continues: “No, I mean about you and Bo. I don’t have the right or desire to control her actions. She’s free to do as she pleases.” Tamsin considers this: “The high road. Can’t you just punch me in the face like a normal person?” Lauren replies: “When have I ever been normal?” Then Lauren asks: “Speaking of Bo, has she texted yet?” and Tamsin replies: “Nope, thought she’d be here by now.”

Trick is then seen walking down the stairs to his lair where he finds Bo waiting for him. Bo tells Trick: “You kept me in the dark. I found Aife.” When Trick asks if Aife is alright, Bo replies: “I had to put her back in the institution because what you did broke her.” Trick tells Bo that he is sorry that she had to do what she did, and Bo tells Trick: “I know why you didn’t tell me what happened. Because you’re guilty. You are not a good father.” Trick answers: “You’re right. I’m not. But I tried the best I knew how.” Bo questions this, asking: “When Aife was a problem to your rules, you put her in the Dark Dungeons. You drove her crazy and when she needed you, more than anything, you locked her in an institution, because that’s how you solve problems, you lock them away. And the worst part of all of this? You kept my mother from me. Do you want to drive me crazy too?” Trick answers: “Of course not. Bo, please.” Bo presses on: “Keeping me in the dark does not protect me, it makes me want to scream. I don’t know who to believe. I don’t know what to believe. Jack told me he saved her from the Dark Dungeons, that he tried to save her from insanity!” Trick forcefully tells Bo: “He did not save her from her illness! He took advantage of it!” Bo yells back: “That’s what you wanted me to believe!” Trick pointedly tells Bo: “Think Bo! Her strength and powers combined with my blood? The perfect fertile ground for what he wanted to create! You! There was no saving, only the intention to create and use.” Bo growls: “You want to talk about using? You used Aife to make a point of your rules. You are no better than him.” Trick sighs: “I’m not perfect. I’ve destroyed lives. Cursed nobel warriors. Torn families apart, including my very own! And if I had told you all of that when I first met you, you never would have let me into your life.” Bo angrily tells Trick: “You’re right and I wish I never had.” Trick then turns away, picking up a large box and carrying it over to Bo, explaining: “When someone recounts the past, it becomes a narrative, a story. I have mine, your mother has hers and he has his. And now you, Bo Dennis, need yours. And for it to be true, you need to draw your own conclusions find your own truth.” Trick then hands the box to Bo, explaining: “These are Aife’s files from the institution and everything I’ve had from her past. Medical records, tapes, it’s all in here. It’s time. Nothing is kept from you anymore.” Bo moves to take the box from Trick, but before he lets go, he tells Bo: “I’m sorry.” but Bo does not answer, yanking the box from Trick and leaving.

Bo is then seen at her home, setting up a movie projector as Lauren and Tamsin enter. When Tamsin asks what all of the items that are piled up around the projector are, Bo explains: “Answer I hope, want to help?” Bo then starts the projector which shows an image of Aife which says: “There’s evil inside of her. I should have killed her when I had the chance. You have to let me out! I have to kill her! I have to kill Bo!” as the film ends, Aife is seen attacking someone off the screen, drawing them into the frame and then drawing their Chi from their body. Lauren tells Bo: “She didn’t mean it. She’s not well.” Bo answers: “I know.” Lauren then finds a compact disc marked ‘Visitations’ which Tamsin plays. The first image is of Trick visiting Aife, Bo whispering: “He didn’t just let her rot.” Lauren comments: “It looks like he took care of her. Her response is positive. Calm.” Tamsin comments: “There’s another visitor.” As they watch, Bo appears and seems to have a conversation with Aife. Lauren asks Bo: “I thought you said you didn’t know she was there?” Bo answers: “I didn’t.” Tamsin asks: “Is it possible that someone wiped your memory?” Bo exclaims: “No! I think I would remember visiting my own mother!” When Lauren asks who could have done this, Bo whispers: “Zee said that Jack’s evil takes many forms. She didn’t say what they were.” Lauren replies: “Jack wasn’t just escaping from his cell.” Bo begins to walk away as she says: “No, he was impersonating me.” Bo then calls Dyson, telling him: “We need to get Jack now. I’ll fill you in on the way.” Once off the phone, Bo continues: “That’s why Aife thought we made a plan together. She’s not crazy. She was tricked. We need to get him.” Lauren tells Bo: “Yeah. Before he does this to someone else.” As Bo rushes out the door, Tamsin asks: “The other night. You… you were with me.” Bo whispers: “When?” Tamsin replies: “The night you and Lauren broke up.” Bo whispers: “Oh Tamsin.” Tamsin says nothing for a moment, then falls to the floor, throwing up at the realization that she had been with Hades and not Bo.

Returning from commercial, Tamsin stands up again, Bo touches her shoulder, promising that: “He is not getting away with it.” Tamsin pushes Bo away, telling her: “Please don’t touch me.” When Bo asks if she wants to talk, Tamsin’s answer is: “I’m going to kill him. I’m going to rip him into a million pieces and feed him to dogs.”

The next scene is of the elevator opening to what is now Hades’ condominium, Tamsin, Bo and Dyson leaving the elevator to confront Hades, who is laughing softly as they enter, Tamsin taking the point, Bo and Dyson following close behind her. Hades then comments: “Impressive entrance. I like the formation.” Tamsin then repeatedly strikes Hades, but to no effect. When Tamsin pauses, Hades asks: “Are you done?” Bo answers: “Not even close” and then stabs Hades with the Amethusto Dagger in his chest, but to no real effect save for Hades telling Bo: “That wasn’t very nice” before pulling the dagger out of his chest before throwing the dagger at Dyson with the taunt: “And… They… All.. Fall… Down.” Bo and Tamsin rush to Dyson’s aid while Hades gloats: “Are you regretting it? You said you would right before we…” Bo confronts Hades warning him: “Don’t you dare. Don’t you even look at her you pathetic, worthless coward.” Hades continues: “Not a fan of my old trick I see? I learned it from my brother Zeus. He impersonated Amphitryon to sleep with Alkmene. The catch? I can only impersonate those I share blood with.” Hades then looks at Dyson: “Speaking of blood.” When Bo moves towards Dyson, Tamsin attempts to attack Hades again, but Bo stops her, explaining: “No. We need to get him to Lauren. I’m not leaving you here alone.” Tamsin warns Hades: “We are not finished” as she helps Bo move Dyson to the elevator. As the doors close, Hades waves and tells Bo: “See you soon.”

The next scene begins in Lauren’s clinic where Dyson has been operated on as Tamsin enters and asks how Dyson is, Lauren telling her that Dyson will be fine. Dyson tells Tamsin he is more concerned about her, Tamsin replying: “I’ll live. I think.” as she pulls another clump of hair away. When Bo asks what is happening, Tamsin say she has no idea. Lauren asks Bo what she is doing as Bo takes the Amethusto Dagger and tells Lauren: “I don’t want to be part of that ever again” then cutting herself in the chest with the dagger in an attempt to remove her father’s mark from her body. As Bo does so, the mark glows brightly. Then Hades is shown looking at his hand for a moment, then commenting to himself: “Ouch.”

After still another commercial break, we return to Lauren’s clinic where Bo has dropped the dagger, and is gasping in pain. Making her way to Dyson, she is warned by Lauren that Dyson is weak, but Dyson insists and Bo then feeds from Dyson to help her heal, the wound on her chest closing up as she finishes. Bo apologies to Dyson and when Lauren asks if Bo removed the mark, Bo answers: “It better have.” Tamsin comments: “And now we kill him.” Bo tells Tamsin that she needs to see Trick first, saying: “I made a terrible mistake, I need to see him.” Dyson moves to go with Bo, but Bo insists on going alone. She adds: “Stay together, no one travels alone” as he leaves.

The scene then moves to the institution where Aife is seen strapped to a bed. Trick enters and calls out Aife’s name, but she tells Trick to leave, which he ignores. Trick then removes the straps from Aife, telling her they have to hurry before Hades arrives. Aife whispers: “It’s over. He won.” Trick asks: “Since when do you give up? You’re a fighter, you’ve always been a fighter. My little fighter.” Aife tells Trick: “You’ve always hated that about me.”Trick replies: “I failed you.” Aife then hugs Trick, telling Trick: “You saved her, you saved Bo. One day she will know. She has to… she has to find out for herself.” The door to the room then opens, revealing Hades standing there. Hades calls out: “Father in law. What a pleasure.” Trick stands up to Hades, warning him: “I’m taking my daughter home. This ends tonight.” Hades smiles as he replies: “Yes. It does.”

Bo is seen walking down the stairs to Trick’s lair, calling out his name and telling him: “You were right!” However, Trick is not there, and Bo finds a projector instead. Turning it on, she sees a film of Aife crying: “Alone… All alone. There’s so much noise. Daddy, please don’t leave Daddy. Please don’t leave me alone. Daddy, please don’t leave me.”

Bo is then seen driving through the city until she arrives at Hades’ condominium. Calling Dyson, she tells him that Aife was not at the institution and that she is looking for her at Hades’.

Bo is then seen exiting the elevator into Hades’ condominium, classical music playing as she does so. In the middle of the room, Bo finds a rope hanging from the ceiling and after a moment, she pulls on it. When she does so, a curtain on the far side of the room opens to reveal a diorama entitled Family Portrait in which Aife and Trick are seen, Trick sitting on a throne, Aife kneeling beside him, their throats slit and bleeding out. Aife does not move, but after a moment, Trick does, gasping for air and Bo rushes over to him. Bo helps Trick from the throne, moving him onto the floor and kneeling beside him. Bo cries out: “This is my fault. I brought him here, I let him in. I’m going to go get help.” Trick clutches onto Bo, and tells her: “Stay with me.” Bo apologizes over and over again, but Trick tells her: “Granddaughter. My granddaughter. Always remember. You are my blood too.” Bo smiles and nods before Trick takes his last breath and passes away, the scene ending with Bo sitting beside Trick’s body and crying uncontrollably.

After the final commercial break, Tamsin is seen at Lauren’s clinic staring off into space. Lauren approaches her and tells Tamsin: “There’s one more test I want to run.” Tamsin is then seen laying on a bed, telling Lauren: “I don’t see anything. Can we stop?” Lauren tells her: “Not yet, just a few more seconds.” It is then revealed that Lauren is performing an ultrasound on Tamsin, and a moment later a faint heartbeat is heard. Tamsin asks: “Is that?” Lauren replies: “It’s a heartbeat.” The two then stare at the ultrasound which reveals that Tamsin is pregnant with Hades’ child, neither saying a word.

The final scene of the episode begins with Dyson leaving the elevator and rushing over to Bo where Dyson sees the bodies of Trick and Aife, he howling in anger as she kneels beside Trick’s body. Dyson growls to Bo: “Where is he?” But Bo does not reply. Dyson then tells Bo they must leave, but again she does not reply to him. Dyson then looks at Bo and it is seen that she is staring off into space, her chest covered in blood and is unresponsive to Dyson. The final image of the episode is Dyson’s hand on Bo’s shoulder and she continuing to look into space, not saying a word.

 

 

Fade to black…

 

I have two thoughts about this episode and it mainly is that on the one side, yes, there’s a lot going on, there’s a lot revealed and a lot happens. But on the other there are so many moments when things don’t make sense, conflict with past episodes, and in general, rather than having the episode neatly move from moment to moment, it is more of an unending series of train wrecks where characters slowly fall apart over the course of the episode.

I can say that from the perspective of the series actually getting somewhere that this episode did, in fact, actually move things on dramatically… Even if some of the dramatic moments didn’t sit right, didn’t make sense and seemed not to fit together correctly. There were some moments where I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and throw popcorn at the television. The extended length scene of Aife running, in slow motion mind you, was a waste of time as far as I was concerned. Why spend nearly a minute just watching her run? It also got very odd when Bo confronted Trick during the episode because it didn’t make any sense what Bo’s thoughts were and how Trick answered them.

Then comes the moments were it was more for exposition than anything else. Watching Dyson examining the open door to Hades’ cell, for one. Or the extended fashion show from Aife that turned dark, sadly, when neither Dyson or Bo could manage to figure out that perhaps their attitude and questioning might be pushing her over the edge. Or Bo’s seemingly callous use of Estelle to gain information, not seeming to really care about her. More so, if Bo was able to bring Estelle out of her mental isolation, why didn’t she tell the nurses about it? She’s cared more about others and not doing something? That isn’t the Bo we’ve seen in the series.

That brings me to Bo and something that struck me as she was on the screen. Was it just me or did her looks, not just her hairstyle, but her entire look, seem to have really changed a lot from the previous episode? It’s like Bo is tipping over the edge, her personality changing and it’s not clear why that is happening. There’s, for lack of a better term, missing light in her appearance. Previously in the series, there just was more light around her, and in this episode there seems to be a lot more darkness there.

I mentioned earlier my issue with Tamsin being pregnant, and I think, when the series is done, that is the one thing that will be the point for me where the series jumped the shark. It just makes no sense at all and it passed so quickly that it felt like an afterthought in the episode. Tamsin has died once in the series so far. She’s been in a lot of bad places over the series. Does it really make sense to dump this on top of her? Moreover, what’s the point of this in the end? If it happened, just for the sake of it, that’s not good storytelling, that’s dumping an idea in because someone wanted to.

I will admit that Lauren’s drink with Tamsin was some of the better character development I have seen in both characters. There wan’t really a lot otherwise for Lauren, but managing to get to  the core issues that Lauren has makes a world of difference in her character. It’s a shame that it’s taken so long to get that out in the open.

Another confusing moment was how, suddenly, Hades has two… let’s call them Thralls, that appear out of nowhere so that we can watch Aife lose control while feeding. It didn’t add anything to the episode, it didn’t tell anything we didn’t know about Aife or Hades, or Bo for that matter. It felt like a throwaway scene that had no purpose, direction, or meaning. It’s a problem that keep coming up quite often.

I had hoped for something better for Aife in the episode than to be on the edge of insanity all of the time, then going over it. I wanted to know more about her past, to tell what she was like then compared to now. There were some hints, some vague comments, but otherwise there wasn’t enough character development before she was tossed back into her cell and forgotten again. She needed to be more that the scattered mess she usually was, and she wasn’t. Opportunity lost and with her seeming death there’s nothing more we’ll ever really learn about her and never know what was the truth. Neither will Bo really.

I can’t say that I liked what happened to Trick, nor would I think it would be a meaningful means to bring his character’s arc to a close. Assuming that Trick isn’t coming back, his last words were telling, meaning something, but to understand them is questionable. The thought comes that as Bo is of his blood, then does that mean she has his powers to rewrite reality? It’s something to ponder from Bo’s perspective. However, losing Trick is a lot like when Hale was written out of the series. It didn’t feel right, didn’t have the meaning it needed, and it felt too slipshod a moment for Trick’s character. It could have been done a lot better by far.

There was a lot of foreshadowing in the episode, Estelle being in a vegetative state after watching her family die was like taking a baseball bat and tapping us on the shoulder with it. It made it obvious that someone was going to die, and when Bo revealed Hades’ art project I honestly wasn’t shocked by it. In truth, I was disappointed because it was so over the top as to be caricature, without form or meaning. Such an important moment and it is reduced to a handful of moments that cannot really bring out more than a passing note of what happened.

The most irritating parts of the episode were the moments when things went wrong for no reason at all. Bo’s anger with Trick, there being no communication between them. Hades and Aife telling their story, with little caring about Bo herself, only upon themselves. All of the starts and stops of Tamsin trying to ask Bo what happened between them getting knocked out of the way and we are left with Tamsin throwing up as the payoff to all that has happened. It’s all very weak, sad, and just took a lot out of the series that needed to be there.

In spire of all of the problems, it’s hard to think of another episode this season which mattered as much as this one did. On that point then, yes, the episode might well be one of the best of the season. But there are a lot of flaws, mainly in the storytelling, that could have been better dealt with, told, and expressed. There’s more to telling a story than the aftermath. There’s how things came to be. I didn’t feel that happened.

On to the characters in the episode…

Bo… Too much reaction, not thinking, and just being led by her nose to all of the events that unfolded around her. Yes, she has the right to be mad at everyone, but being blind to her father’s actions doesn’t make a lot of sense. She’s better than this, has shown it before. In this episode it was Bo at her worst. She’d better find her best really soon.

Dyson…Saying sorry, sorry and sorry. Then becoming a pin cushion before arriving too late except to howl in anger. A bit thin this episode, needs to be stronger as the series comes to a close.

Lauren. Playing doctor, taking on all of the mistakes around her, and then not being able to express herself. Not so much character development at times as it was character going around in circles.

Tamsin: Angry Tamsin is angry. That really hadn’t appeared in the series and seeing her like that was shocking at times. With all that she has gone through, why is it that she can’t ask for help but needs to be pushed into accepting it?

Trick. If this was his swan song, I can’t say it was all that I wanted it to be. He’s been missing a lot in the season. He was there more in this one, which I enjoyed, but the way things ended, if they did, is very disappointing.

Hades. Can someone please just pitchfork him and be done with it? Yes he’s evil, we get that already. Yes, he’s a manipulative, arrogant ass. Wouldn’t everyone know this by now and not trust him at all?

Aife. Still crazy after all these years. Really need more character and less crazy. More truth instead of stories. It’s a sad life with a sad ending and it didn’t mean as much as it would have if she had kept her sanity and managed to die working with Bo instead of losing her mind and being the usual knife-wielding manic she’s been throughout the series.

Estelle. Just wonderful by far I felt. She held the scene she was in, told a meaningful story, and in a lot of ways, she needed a better ending than she had. It’s a shame because she was amazing.

Victoria: Is it just me or did she look, in a way, like Bo, but younger? I thought the dialog with her was telling and it seemed to make something out of what otherwise would have been a passing character. She’ll never be seen again, of course, but she left behind a lot of questions.

The nursing staff, all of them, were less than memorable, mainly because there didn’t seem to be any… call it caring in them for their patients. It rubbed me the wrong way and it shouldn’t have. Christian, the other Thrall, was mostly eye-candy, and needed to be more involved honestly. The rest of the minor character didn’t register much, mainly for the train wrecks that kept happening around them.

Sometimes an episode is supposed to have a point. One that matters. Sometimes that gets lost in trying to stuff as much as can be in the episode when it is see that time is running out.

 

My Review of Family Portrait

Keeping my interest – 5 Pitchforks

Portrayal of a Succubus – 3 Pitchforks

Overall look and feel – 3 Pitchforks

Storyline – 5 Pitchforks

Main Characters – 5 Pitchforks

Mythos – 3 Pitchforks

Overall Rating – 4 Pitchforks out of 5

 

While I admit that I had a lot of issues with this episode, I really didn’t stop watching. Whether that was the constant train wrecks or something else, I cannot really say. But there was no doubt that I watched every moment. So it was good on that part of things, even if there were so many moments when I shook my head and sighed sadly. I wish there had been more substance than there was, perhaps with that it would have been less waiting to cringe and more watching for what was told.

Compared to just about every episode since the middle of the third season, this one had a lot of succubus action going on. Now, most of that was Aife, when she was losing her mind, and it was over the top, brutal and really did nothing for me. Even when Aife was feeding on Victoria, that could have been so much better with a little mind control, perhaps a little bit of “play” but no, we got a quick “lunch” scene and not a lot more. Bo also fed, from Dyson, but that was sort of a “quick, we need a way that Bo can get going” moment. Succubi yes, feeding yes. But not enough good things otherwise.

The episode was shot very dark again for the most part, and in particular Bo’s entire look went almost completely black to the point that she seemed to suck the light out of the rooms she was in. That may well tell something, but making the scenes so dark as to wash the details away didn’t work for me. I did think that the diorama that was created for Trick and Aife was well done, though the pull cord hanging from the middle of the room was really too much. I almost wish that Bo had just walked to the curtain, drawn it aside and been face to face with the aftermath. I think that would have been a lot more powerful.

As much as I rant about the storyline, the parts that didn’t make sense and how much that irritates me, it really is a telling episode. If it was Trick and Aife alone, that would be more than enough, but there is a crisis in belief for Bo and for Tamsin for that matter, and it both complicates and interested me. Good things, really, but needing some better execution… In more than one way honestly.

Character development was, for the most part, strong and it made for a good episode. There are moments, especially with Bo’s last memories of Aife, saying that she died, but she was alive when Bo left her, plus there wasn’t a body, so that was bothering me. The characters told their stories, but it was like their memories became selective in a lot of ways. Bo didn’t think, and in that comes the problem she needs to overcome. You can’t fight Hades by strength, you need to out think him. Perhaps that will come, assuming that Bo gets into her mind again and soon.

The mythos grew, though I still do not believe that Hades could look like Bo and make Tamsin pregnant. I don’t care how good he is, there’s a physical issue and that can’t be overcome, god or not. I thought it was good to see things from Aife’s perspective, even if we can’t be sure any of it was real in the first place. As well, Tamsin’s problems, while reminding of the past, have a new source and in telling that comes a good story I hope.

It was a good episode, mostly. But it should have been so much more by far..

 

Next Week: Follow The Yellow Trick Road

While under lockdown, the gang rallies to save one of their own.

 

Again, a wonderfully inept episode summary. Whomever is coming up with these really needs to either learn how to write them better, or, possibly, actually watch the episode in question in order to make a decent summary, or tease.

That said, I really hope that this episode isn’t going to be a “let’s see what’s going on in Bo’s mind and how screwed up that is” episode. Now I say that in full knowledge of an image that has appeared of Bo looking like Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz. So, needless to say, I am, at this moment, terribly disappointed in the series writers.

Why exactly are we moving from an episode where two major characters were killed into what really looks like a fantasy epic more than anything else. Would it be so difficult to keep on point with the episodes and actually continue to tell the story of the series than to go on tangents? What’s wrong with trying to get things set up for the final episode of the series?

Also, as I am ranting anyway, if this turns out to be Bo dreaming this, or imagining it, or, even more sadly, that it is real and we are losing characters for what appears to be no good reason at all… I will be disappointed more than I think I am at this moment. I think, as a whole, that there was at least one episodes worth of time wasted in pauses, long looks, walking or driving.

Knowing that the series was coming to a close, wouldn’t it be wonderful to actually spend time in telling the story that the series began with? Bo, dealing with who she is, and coming to terms with that. Even when there was the chance to get somewhere in Bo’s past, really there’s no threads to pick up and carry forwards into making a cohesive story.

Now, a large part of that is, I know, who Hades is, what he does, and so on. Still, there was opportunity wasted in this episode and with what seems to be coming I see more of that instead of a focus to things. Time’s ticking away and we are left with things that don’t matter… They should.

It feels like the next episode isn’t going to move things forward so much as make for a lot more questions, complications and misunderstandings. Answers are needed, if for no other reason that to settle what happened to Trick and Aife, and if they are with us or not. At this point, I won’t go too far into just how disappointed I am if we have lost both characters so close to the end of the series. But it feels very much like how Hale was written out, which had no class, was a waste, and could have been so much better.

Three episodes left. One to tell a story that seems not to matter, one to try and jam all of the needed questions and answers in before the last, where the ending won’t be anything like anyone wants to see. I don’t like this, at all, because there’s a really bad sense of the writers not caring about telling the arcs, but rather their own ideas and stories instead.

Next week I think will likely be the worst of the season, sadly. To hope that the last two episodes will be more and better is a lot to ask for. I’m hoping to be surprised, but somehow I have the most distasteful thoughts bothering me.

To forget the past is to lose the future. It really seems like that is becoming the theme of the series of late. There are better ones. How about seeing them?

I wonder if there’s enough popcorn here that I’ll be able to cover my television…

 

Tera

Oct 09 2015

A Review of The Magic Corset by Alina X

The Magic Corset by Alina X

The Magic Corset by Alina X

A review of an anthology work today. There are very few writers that can tell stories about transformations, changes and magic well. Part of that is trying to tell the story about what happens in a way that doesn’t seem like the author is “telling” the reader what is happening but instead allowing the imagination to “show” what is happening.

Teasing the imagination, making the reader put themselves into the story and wondering, fantasizing about the “what if’s” and “what would I have done” moments makes connections to the story better, and that is a very special ability for a writer to have.

  • Title: The Magic Corset
  • Author: Alina X
  • Length: 49 Pages
  • ASIN: B00NJ02ETI
  • Publishing Date: September 11, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

This anthology contains the following works:

A living sex doll, an enchanted garden, a succubus with a bite, and more tentacles than you can shake a stick at. Four erotic stories with paranormal twists from the dubious depths of Alina X’s imagination.

  • The Magic Corset: A year after her husband’s death, Amy finds a parcel addressed to her. Inside is a beautiful corset, and leather boots and gloves. Wearing them excites her, drives her to find a man to satisfy her. But it is a magic corset, and once worn can never be removed. Caught in its embrace, Amy’s lust burns hotter and hotter, even as a strange paralysis grips her – and soon she is as helpless as she is horny.
  • The Garden and You: You escape the modern world and become a solitary gardener at an ancient and neglected mansion, but there is something strange about this garden.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Three young men summon a succubus to live out their dirtiest fantasy, but the beautiful demon they trap in their circle isn’t the most submissive of creatures.
  • Taken by the Sea Serpent: Andromeda is taken by the great sea serpent to a peaceful valley where she is transformed into a sea creature and must live in symbiosis with tentacle plants.

As I normally do with anthology works, I will be reviewing the Succubus story on its own and then I will review the entire work as a whole.

Three foolish mortals summon a succubus, intending for her to do as they command. However, playing games with a succubus means that your rules are not hers and if you do not accept that, then the succubus has the upper hand from the first deal and then you should… Be Careful What You Wish For.

The succubus story is quite a bit different from the balance of the collection in that the story isn’t one of transformation or similar themes, but rather the way in which succubi know what others desire and use that to their own end and benefit. The succubus herself is never named, but considering that the three that summon her do not treat her as a person, rather a thing to be played with, that does fit with the story. The succubus physically has hooves and some of the features of succubi that I do not personally like, though there are some aspects of her physical form and personality that I did enjoy quite a lot.

It is very clear from the first words she speaks that she is intelligent, she knows the rules she is dealing with and more importantly, she knows how to use them and those around her to her advantage. There is quite a bit of verbal wordplay between the succubus and the mortals that are trying to trap her. I found that done in a deliciously diverting manner that ensnares them and draws them into her clutches. There is even a hint of some light succubus mind control and other powers being used which all work really well and heat up the story in a lot of ways.

The work is a slightly longer hot flash piece of erotica, not the longest in the work by far, but there is quite a lot of character development and story leading up to the erotica itself. Some of the erotica is quite violent and that didn’t do much for me, but as a whole I liked the majority of what happened.

But really the main thing for me was the power of the succubus herself, how she wields that power and what she is capable of doing. The story is short and ends at a point where I would have liked to see what comes next, but doesn’t. It is one of those stories where I wonder about what the Succubus will do and what the fates will bring.

For this story…. Four out of five pitchforks.

The balance of the collection are a series of transformational stories as a whole and what those transformations do to the main characters of each story. A theme that runs through most of them is a good, wanted thing which then gets turned inside out and upside down. A twist in the story that reveals that things aren’t quite as they seemed to be, sometimes with decidedly poor results for characters in the stories.

The single work in the collection that I enjoyed the most was the first, The Magic Corset. The story is simply very hot and for those that enjoy freeze stories or mannequin and similar works it pushes all of the right buttons with the additional touch of a bit of a clothing fetish that is described in wonderful detail. The erotica is very hot, sexy, and there are moments that are squirmingly erotic and enjoyable. There is a twist, a rather surprising one that dims the passion and heat very much but nonetheless a very enjoyable story by far.

The other two stories really didn’t do as much for me however. Partly for one being very short and a bit on the horror side of things that i didn’t like very much, the other simply for the subject matter and that I felt somewhat disconnected from the story for some reason.

Overall, the collection is well written, the heat in the stories runs to a wide range of tastes and I think that it would appeal to many erotica readers in many ways. I do think that the author should think about taking some of these stories and expanding them into their own larger works, there is more than enough within them to make that happen and it would be interesting to see where things go from where they end here.

For the collection as a whole, three and a half out of five pitchforks.

An interesting collection of erotica that runs a bit hot and cold, but tells good stories and has heat to make them come to life.

 

Tera

Oct 08 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 403

Quite the unique piece of Succubus art this week on the Tale, though I have to admit that I was given pause when I saw one thing about her. It isn’t what she looks like, as I do like her a lot… What bothers me are her fingernails…

Temptation by SB-Mario

Temptation by SB-Mario

This work is called Temptation and is by an artist on DeviantArt named SB-Mario. You can find the original page on DeviantArt with this art here and this artist’s page can be found on DeviantArt here.

I think this is one of the most dramatic images of a Succubus that I have found this year. By that I mean while she is seductive and has a certain temptation about her, there is an implied danger as well and I think that’s reflected in her expression. but more so in the length of her fingernails.

I have to admit they were the one part of this art that gave me pause as I spent some time looking at them and wondering how she would be able to do anything with her hands if her nails were that long. Of course, she could very well change the length of them of course… I just found they draw my focus.

Setting that minor thing aside, I love her skin tone, her hair, especially her eyes and her tail is really quite interesting. As a whole she is a very lovely example of a Succubus and one that I really love for how much character this artist has placed into her form.

The other thing that I was attracted to were the background Succubi… models? Carvings? Something like that. They make an interesting framing device for the main subject of the art, almost looking, in a way, like echoes of wings behind her…

A beautiful work of Succubi art…

 

Tera

 

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