Episode 8: Fae-ge Against the Machine
If you’re expecting an answer to Bo’s cliffhanger question last episode, you’re out of luck … Kenzi’s not in this one at all. This episode starts with Bo walking around the Dal with a blindfold on. No, she hasn’t suddenly lost her mind; she’s trying to catch a cricket by following the sounds of its chirping. The cricket is supposed to bring her good fortune when she undertakes her Dawning ceremony. Stella Nashira is still coaching her, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much good, as Bo can’t find the cricket. (It was behind her the whole time.) Stella gets all snotty about Bo’s chances of successfully completing the Dawning and even mouths off Trick when he tries to intercede. Bo’s tired of all the prep work and is thrilled when Stella tells her she can take the rest of the day off, since the next step is to wait for the Invitation to enter the Temple.
Stella asks Trick to dinner to apologize for being snotty with him; Trick is thrilled because he’s totally hot for Stella. Lauren calls Bo who says she’s looking forward to a nap and then spending some time together. While she’s talking to Lauren, Bo starts turning a dial on a weird machine that’s sitting in the Dal … it looks like some kind of steampunk cappuccino maker. After Bo leaves, the machine starts working. You’d think she’d know by now not to touch anything at the Dal. Elsewhere, we see a girl hooked up to another old-fashioned machine; this one seems to be harvesting her tears.
Before Bo can leave the Dal, Lauren shows up and says she just won some sciency award and she’s totally nerding out about it. She asks Bo if she’ll be her date for the award banquet and of course Bo says yes. Lauren leaves to get dolled up (and write a speech) and Tamsin shows up. She says everyone has been lying to Bo and offers to take her to lunch. Tamsin’s idea of lunch is bloody marys at a Dark Fae bar. (Tamsin: “Tomato juice, celery, vodka … looks like lunch to me.”) Tamsin says all of Bo’s friends are downplaying how hard the Dawning really is. She says it’s the most intense thing Bo will ever go through. As they’re talking, we see some doofus across the bar is watching them. At the Dal, Trick is getting booted and suited for his date with Stella. She comes in and they notice the weird contraption by the bar. Stella says it’s Bo’s Invitation to the Temple and she’s already activated it. Apparently, the Invitation is in the form of a game, like a steampunk version of Mousetrap; whatever happens in the game will affect Bo in real life. Since Bo isn’t around, Trick has to play for her.
At the Dark Fae bar, Tamsin says Bo’s friends are trying to protect her, but she needs to have her shit together if she’s going to get through the Dawning. Some Dark Fae assholes start mouthing off and Bo and Tamsin get ready to throw down. The weirdo who’s been
watching them indicates he has a way out, so Tamsin causes a distraction (by decking the Dark Fae leader) and they take off through the kitchen and out the back door. In the alley, Bo tells the weirdo (whose name is Balzac) that she owes him one, then shakes his hand. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a Spriggan (a Dark pixie), so the handshake and promise are binding. She now has to help Balzac find what he truly seeks, which is apparently a cookie. Bo realizes she has no choice, so she resigns herself to do what he wants (and Tamsin invites herself along for the ride).
At the Dal, Trick has to choose between two paths, either of which could help (or hinder) Bo. He chooses and hopes like hell it’s the right one. Bo and Tamsin follow Balzac into the sub-sub-basement of some building where he says they’re going to get something back from a dude named Fang. Fang is a Tong boss, and apparently pretty intense, but Balzac figures Bo’s succubus mojo will be all the edge they need. He can’t find the way into Fang’s hideout, but Bo locates a secret door (very D & D) and they head in. Trick and Stella are watching with the machine and Stella says if Bo had failed, the screens would turn black and Bo would be in deep shit. I’m not sure exactly how Trick’s decisions are affecting Bo, but there are definitely real world consequences to what he does. I guess it’s something like that DS: 9 episode “Move Along Home”, except Bo can actually die if Trick chooses wrong.
Bo and the others meet Fang, who’s a teenage hipster dude. Tamsin insults him but Bo uses her succubus power to calm him and asks where Cookie is. At the Dal, Trick is asked to choose between Food and Drink (apparently this game is one that needs to be fed), so he chooses Food. The result is yew berries, which freaks Trick out because yew berries affect different Fae is different ways, usually negatively. He has no choice, so he shoves the berries into the machine. That doesn’t do Bo any favours, as she starts slurring like she just got back from the dentist and her succubus power stops working. Fang pulls a gun and Bo grabs it and asks about Cookie again. Fang indicates a chest behind him, then gets hit in the back with a poisoned dart. Bo runs to the chest as other poisoned darts fly past her and finds a bunch of fortune cookies inside. Balzac tells her to choose, so she grabs one and they all take off.
Balzac says somebody named Whitman is trying to kill him (hence the poisoned darts) because Whitman has something Balzac wants. Bo figures her obligation is done, but Balzac says the fortune cookie just grants them passage … somewhere. First they need to see someone called the Landlady about a prescription. Lauren calls and it seems like she’s been hitting the champagne early. She tells Bo a goofy science joke (“Why do scientists like nitrates? Because they’re cheaper than day rates.” Ba-dum-bum.) and Bo says she’ll be a bit late for the award banquet. Bo says they’ll have to skip cocktails, but can still make the main event, but she also lies and says she’s at the Dal.
Balzac leads Bo and Tamsin to a place called Brazenwood, which Tamsin says is a lawless Dark territory, full of assholes … a wretched hive of scum and villainy, if you will. Bo’s ready to take off, but Balzac says he’s a bounty hunter for a school that gives rare and outcast Dark Fae an education and a place to belong. He claims someone named Hannah is being exploited by this Whitman guy and he wants to rescue her. Bo, being a soft touch, agrees to help and they go to see the Landlady, who looks like pure trailer trash. She asks Bo to choose a card from two that she deals out of a Tarot deck. Simultaneously, Trick is forced to choose between Infinity and a pit of snakes back at the Dal; he chooses Infinity, and Bo pulls the top card off the deck instead of choosing from the two in front of her. The card she chooses is The Wanderer, which freaks out both the Landlady and Tamsin. This is the first mention of the Wanderer in the show, but he ends up being a running theme (and an important character) for pretty much the rest of the series.
Bo’s wondering why everyone is so freaked out about the Wanderer card, so she looks at the two cards she was originally dealt, both of which are also the Wanderer. In fact, the entire deck turns out to be just Wanderer cards, which really freaks out the Landlady (and Tamsin). At the Dal, the machine wants feeding again, so this time Trick chooses Drink. It asks for Bo’s least favourite drink and Trick makes an elderberry cocktail with nectar of gnome. I think that might be my least favourite drink too. At the Landlady’s trailer, Balzac gives her a handkerchief soaked with Hannah’s tears (which are apparently pretty powerful) and the Landlady gives them a prescription and tells them to get Bo the hell away from her. Whitman shows up, spitting poisoned blowdarts at them. The Landlady is hit and Balzac takes one in the arm. They push Whitman into the trailer (which is full of dogs) and lock him in. Balzac gives Bo and Tamsin the cookie and the prescription and tells them to rescue Hannah from Brazenwood.
Brazenwood looks like some kind of moonshiner’s camp straight out of L’il Abner, complete with a toothless hick manning the gate. Bo reads the fortune from the cookie
(“You will always get what you want through your charm and personality”) and the hick opens the gate. Bo figures Tamsin won’t be joining her, since she’d expressed reluctance earlier to entering Brazenwood, but Tamsin says she’s in until the end, even though Brazenwood is outside her experience as a Dark Fae. She asks Bo about the Wanderer thing, but Bo has no clue what it’s all about. It’s obvious Tamsin knows (or suspects) something about the Wanderer, but she figures Bo is hiding something. They look for someone to give the prescription to. At the Dal, Trick pours Bo’s least favourite drink into the machine, which immediately makes Bo start acting drunk … and not “happy drunk” either.
She starts bitching to Tamsin about Dyson getting his love back and wonders if he still loves her. So, I guess we can assume Kenzi did spill to Bo about what she was doing at the Norn’s place? Tamsin says Dyson is crazy about Bo and Bo realizes she’s drunk when she tastes some elderberry and gnome in her mouth. Bo asks Tamsin to slap her sober,
which Tamsin does with obvious relish. At home, Lauren is finishing off the bottle of champagne (and cracking another one), while trying to get a hold of Bo. They have a phone conversation (both of them kinda hammered) and Bo ends up insulting Lauren, who hangs up. Bo’s drunken state gives way to a hangover and Tamsin says she’s found the “pharmacist”. This dude definitely looks like someone who you’d buy drugs from. Bo gives him the prescription (which is just a big X) and he gives her the key to the Apothecary’s shack behind him. He recognizes Tamsin as a Valkyrie and wants some of her hair, but she tells him to fuck off.
Bo finds Hannah restrained in the shack and hooked up to the machines that harvest her tears. Tamsin recognizes her as a Squonk, whose tears are hot in the Fae drug trade. Bo says they’re there to rescue Hannah, but she’s not really all that keen on leaving. Apparently Hannah’s been told all kinds of horror stories about the real world (designed to make her cry more), so she doesn’t want to leave. Whitman shows up and tries to bust in and Tamsin says they can’t just drag Hannah out because if you move a Squonk involuntarily, they literally dissolve into tears. Bo’s succubus mojo doesn’t work either, so she has to convince Hannah the old-fashioned way. Bo tells her she’ll be happy at the school for exceptional Fae (Hannah: “Will there be boys there?”; Bo: “Super-weird boys.”) and she agrees to go with them.
Bo grabs a knife and they all take off out the window. But Whitman and the pharmacist stop them and say they have to settle their dispute over Hannah by Dark Fae rules; Bo agrees. At the Dal, Trick is given another choice by the machine and Stella says this is the first time she’s ever seen an Invitation threaten someone’s life. In Brazenwood, Bo squares off with Whitman in a shoot-out … except she doesn’t have a gun. She draws her knife, but Whitman splits in two, so now it’s two of him against Bo. Tamsin tries to help, but is restrained. At the Dal, Stella is coaching Trick and he tells her to shut the hell up. He decides to think like Bo and instead of choosing one handle, he pulls both at the same time.
In Bo’s fucked up re-enactment of High Noon, she uses her earlier “cricket training” to hear Whitman sneaking up behind her. She realizes the two Whitman’s in front of her are fakes and whirls around, tossing her knife into the real Whitman. The fakes fade out and Trick and Stella celebrate back at the Dal … with a big smooch. They’re in contact with the machine, which seems to have an influence on Bo’s situation, as Tamsin gives her a big smooch too, which kinda freaks them both out … though they looked pretty into it for a bit. They leave with Hannah.
At Lauren’s place, she’s passed out on the couch when someone knocks at the door. She’s surprised to find it’s a colleague of hers named Dr. Taft. He brings her the award she won and butters her up by talking about her scientific achievements (“You make morphogenesis and RNA splicing seem exciting.” Yeah, this guy knows how to talk to women.) He asks her to go for a drink so he can pick her brain about science and she agrees. She tries her “nitrates” joke on him and he laughs. This dude is smooth, but I think he’s barking up the wrong tree if he’s trying to bang Lauren. At the Dal, Trick’s freaking because he can’t get a hold of Bo. Balzac shows up and starts ranting about everything that’s happened until Bo and the others finally show. The machine offers another choice, this time between happiness and unhappiness. She puts some of Hannah’s tears into the machine and it spews out some confetti and starts playing a calliope song.
Balzac gives Bo her official Invitation to the Dawning (which was apparently his role all along) and he and Hannah leave. Bo remembers Lauren and rushes off, leaving Tamsin to make an awkward exit so Trick and Stella can get down to business. By which I mean … boning. Bo finds Lauren’s place empty and she and Tamsin drink some flat champagne. Bo thanks Tamsin for helping her and says she’s “one of the good ones”, which makes Tamsin uncomfortable. She leaves, but when she gets outside, it starts raining Tarot cards … all of which are the Wanderer. That freaks Tamsin out (“Please tell me she’s not the one!”), so she obviously knows (or suspects) something about this Wanderer stuff that she’s not sharing. She also seems to kind of have a thing for Bo; I’m not sure if that’s just residue from the game, or if it’s the beginning of Tamsin’s “crush” on Bo, which we’ll see more of in later episodes. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.