Guest Blogger Series: “The Evolution of Doccubus” by Mahlers5th

We’re back with a new piece in our Guest Blogger Series. This one titled “The Evolution of Doccubus” is written by Mahlers5th (who was recently introduced to Lost Girl), with contributions from Valksy. Click on “read more” for the entire piece. Hope you enjoy their discussion of the Doccubus relationship.

Back in January, I was blowing by the SyFy channel hoping not to be hijacked by some gross-out scene from The Hills Have Eyes, when something caught my eye. Two women, clearly in love, were talking together in an intimate, urgent sort of way. On SyFy? Hm, this was worth a look. “It’s time,” one said, taking the lead, “Us.” The other woman, a blond in a lab coat, her eyes brimming with tears, responded in a tone that conveyed she hadn’t dared to hope for this: “Really?!” “I want to give this a real shot,” the first woman said. “To be together. Life is too short.” Then they embraced.

That’s all it took – I was hooked. But just as quickly as Doccubus had entered my vocabulary (and heart), there was trouble in paradise. In episode 306, Kenzi goes missing, nobody believes Bo (including Lauren) and the two have a serious falling out: “I’ll never forgive you for this!” Bo hisses. As if that weren’t bad enough, later in the episode, Bo feeds off a Valkyrie and is seemingly blown away by the experience.

Seriously, Lost Girl writers (excluding the infallible Emily Andras, of course)?! Are you telling us Bo’s going to throw over Lauren because some sassy blond with zippy one-liners wanders into your script? Geez, it had been all of two weeks/episodes since their “epic” love-making scene, and the ship was already foundering on the rocks? OK, I guess I over-reacted, because by the following episode, they’re curled up and cozy on Bo’s bed again and all has apparently been forgiven – but why does Trick tell Dyson that Bo’s relationship with Lauren is only going to be a “short term” thing? “Short-term,” like in Fae years or human years? And why did Anna Silk say in an interview just this week that in the season finale, “Some things really get ripped apart.” Doccubi Angst, welcome back.

Why do I care so much about this relationship? Maybe because I’ve been waiting, oh, 15 years since Ellen’s famous coming out scene at the airport to see television showcase (thank you, Showcase) a genuine, mature, monogamous, mutually loving, if complicated, relationship that just happened to be between two women. And here it was, finally, Lost Girl. It was devastating to think that this ground-breaking series might already be devolving into the kind of hot-girls-bed-hopping storyline for which The L-Word had been justifiably criticized – with Bo succubussing her way around Faedom in various hot couplings, one episode with Lauren, on to Tamsin, back to Dyson, heck maybe a drunken night with Kenzi, and other characters yet to be introduced.

The showrunners needed to do some serious thinking about authenticity in character development, I thought, or at least to have a long talk amongst themselves about how bi/lesbian couples had been portrayed on television up until now (i.e. DO NOT f*** this up!). Maybe I just needed to reassure myself that I hadn’t been imagining the depth of this love story.

Valksy:

I think it’s interesting to have a perspective from someone who has recently joined the show because a lot of us have been here for awhile and it is easy to overlook that journey new viewers are taking. And how, as you describe, for some of us it is jaw-dropping to see them do what they are doing.

Mahlers5th:

I decided to take a retrospective look at the arc of Bo and Lauren’s relationship, how their motivations and perceptions of each other evolved over time, and when and why their feelings for each other deepened to something more than mutual attraction.  Sexual energy had always been an important part of their relationship, but it seemed to me that love was the real foundation and it made the bond to each other sturdier than all the subtexts seemed to suggest.

Full disclosure: I peeked at episode recaps to get the general lay of Fae-land before embarking on a marathon episode-by-episode viewing of seasons 1 and 2. That meant that as I watched the scene where Bo and Lauren meet for the very first time, I already knew what Bo didn’t — that Lauren had a girlfriend lying in a pod on life support somewhere in the Ash’s complex. I’ve read that when this scene was actually shot, Zoie Palmer (and the writers themselves?) had no idea that a girlfriend was going to be written into the script.

Valksy:

It is a valid question to consider when what might have been serendipity – the chemistry of Bo/Lauren – went beyond perhaps what was originally intended. Is there an argument that it was never supposed to go as far as it did, and at what point did the writers find they had to change course? If the story is right and no-one really understood Lauren – who/what she was at the very start – how do they explain the chemistry?

We’ve often heard how KHR and AS had this big audition scene full of “passion” (they broke some dry wall) but only recently did we hear that ZP had to create chemistry “in ten minutes.” Now, I could probably shove someone into a wall. Could I create chemistry? Nope.  So which is it? There is a contradiction here between a character they didn’t seem to know much about and the need for a huge chemistry from the very very start. It could be that the show writers created a “trap door” – by avoiding clarifying Lauren’s motives etc., they had a get out clause if the relationship was not positively received. But I don’t know if they’ll ever tell us the truth – certainly not when the show is current.

Mahlers5th:

For Lauren, the attraction to Bo seemed instantaneous and unmistakable (“My God, you’re beautiful!”).

Being a stickler for internal consistency in my fictional characters, I needed to understand how Lauren – a fiercely loyal, usually demure, utterly professional doctor — could make such a naked declaration to a patient she was meeting for the first time. This wasn’t just Bo doing her Succubus thing – she hadn’t touched Lauren, yet. I reasoned that while Lauren surely hadn’t forgotten about Nadia (it becomes clear later just how bound she is to her girlfriend by some combination of love, loyalty, and guilt), after five long years of probably celibate servitude to the Ash, maybe she had begun to lose hope that Nadia would ever recover. Maybe she was beginning to wonder if she would ever experience romance again in her lifetime. Maybe “naked” is the operative word here – Bo was “all commando” at that moment. Maybe Lauren was just horny. Anyway, enter Bo, irresistible to just about everybody, with or without her clothes on. But for Lauren, it truly seemed to be a case of love at first sight (which does exist, scientists tell us).

Valksy:

If the writers did know that there was a chance – then having started, they took it upon themselves to be as credible and authentic as possible, something AS and ZP have referenced more than once.  Someone has decided that there is a degree of burden upon them in terms of how they portray F/F sexuality. We do know Lauren is prone to emotional outbursts in season 1 and season 2.  ZP chose distinct character traits for her (eyes rolling up for example, rapid eye blinking to indicate shock is another). A Lauren that is blown away by Bo and blurting out something she was thinking is – as we will see later – in character. Love at first sight, as we are told later, does make more sense.  What Lauren does in this season seems so much more clear and of more sense if we view it through the filter of Lauren being in love with Bo.

Mahler’s 5th:

As for Bo, she seemed to be enjoying the effect she had on Lauren, but it wasn’t clear whether she felt much of anything else – except thinly disguised anxiety about her identity and what is going to happen to her next in Fae hands, papered over with her signature confident swagger. She exploited her succubus charm to get Lauren involved in “fixing” her and helping her escape from the lab (“I can offer you things…” she purrs at one point, touching Lauren for the first time) but was seemingly indifferent to the serious risks Lauren would be taking. As Dyson cuffs her, Bo has the decency to apologize to Lauren casually (“Sorry, I had to try”) but she doesn’t look back as she is escorted away. Conversely, Lauren is deeply concerned (“Without training?!  This is madness!”), already protective of Bo to a degree that seems just a wee bit stronger than a doctor’s usual professional concern for a new patient. Something’s brewing here but is it mutual?

Valksy:

Lauren takes a lot of risks for Bo – the very act of rendering aid when Bo is unaligned is not within the rules and required something of a leap of faith that Bo would be worthwhile. I honestly don’t think Bo had any means of understanding Lauren’s motives at this point.  We know that Bo can see attraction and her familiarity with interpersonal relationships might well have led her to dismiss it as simply a physical response when I suppose we can see Lauren’s actions in the context of love now. If Bo made her first kill at 18, first boyfriend, etc, then rolled around like a tumbleweed for a decade, establishing no roots and avoiding capture, it’s possible that she was very much emotionally stunted and lacked the sophistication to realize what Lauren was experiencing.

Mahlers5th:

Over the next four episodes, there are some occasional flirtations between Bo and Lauren, but nothing that seriously violates the bounds of their fiduciary relationship as doctor and patient. “Let’s see if we can ramp you back to randy…frisky even,” Lauren says with a smile as she prepares Bo’s injections in the next episode, but by the time she asks Bo to take off her jacket, she’s all business again. Later, they bump into each other at the Dal (episode 104) and there is some “serious sparkage,” as Kenzi puts it:

Bo: Booze does not affect my ability to perform, doctor.
Lauren: Well, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a
drunken succubus call, so…take it easy.

But Bo is indeed intoxicated on whatever it is they all seem to imbibe in large quantities at Trick’s pub and anyway, she’s too busy trying to get Dyson’s attention. “Lauren is human,” she comments drily to Kenzi, “I sleep with her and she dies.” Then she promptly goes off to have revenge threesome sex with a married couple as Dyson looks on unhappily. I’m not seeing the love yet, Bo, but it speaks volumes about Lauren’s developing feelings for you that she has been willing to take a major risk to help you at all.  Do you fully appreciate that?

Valksy:

As an aside, with regard to Bo and Kenzi drinking – Kenzi’s troubled childhood/youth leading to acting out, plus trying to keep up with Bo helps to explain her heavy drinking. Bo’s biology is oriented towards self-repair.  If her body recognizes alcohol as a toxin, it might try to counter the toxicity and it becomes hard for her to get as drunk as she races her own biology.

Mahlers5th:

A pivotal change in the relationship seems to occur in episode 106.  Now, I realize we haven’t even reached the infamous “spy sex” scene (episode 108) which changes everything between them all over again, and for many episodes to follow, but I think we hear the first stirrings of something mutual and deeper than flirtation in this episode.

Valksy:

I agree that 106 is pivotal.  Until this point their relationship was very much grounded in curiosity around one another.  But we also know that there are “missing” scenes. I think it is 106 where Lauren suggests Bo has been “practicing” in the lab.  What does that mean exactly?  We are missing something – the point at which Bo/Lauren go from having a largely professional relationship with some minor flirting from Bo in contrast to Lauren’s strong but largely concealed emotional response, to deciding to go socializing together. Got to wonder how each character might have viewed that event. Social for Bo, date for Lauren perhaps?

Mahlers5th:

The episode opens with Bo trying on various slinky black dresses, a push-up bra and sexy boots in front of a mirror for her “doctor’s appointment” later that evening with Lauren.  Kenzi, who has an exquisitely tuned radar when it comes to Bo’s love life, thinks she detects a case of “date jitters.” But Bo insists it is “definitely, definitely not a date…maybe drinks…and dinner.” Definitely, definitely? Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

We next see Bo and Lauren at the Dal, throwing back more of that unidentified brown liquor Trick is always serving. The booze has definitely loosened somebody’s reserve:  “OK, what about me, right now?” Lauren asks, sizing up Bo as Bo sizes up the sexual aura of other bar flies. “Call it scientific curiosity.” “Well….you are definitely curious,” Bo purrs, drawing herself closer (definitely, definitely not a date). “I’m not so sure it’s entirely scientific.” LOTS of sparkage here…but… something else in the look they exchange after they laugh off the moment. Sizing each other up but in a different way? Seeing each other in a new light?

Then the “test” – can Bo stop “feeding,” once she starts? Lauren hardly needs Bo’s touch to flame on and moves in for a kiss, but Bo pulls back: “This is crazy, I don’t want to hurt you.” Feeding? Pfft. This is a compelling and barely controllable emotion for both of them at this point. Lust?  Not quite.  Passion? Closer.  I would argue that Bo’s willingness to put her own “hunger” aside to protect Lauren (and later to defend her when Kenzi calls Lauren’s motives into question) makes this an emotion approaching love.

Valksy:

The show really wants to differentiate a feed from a loving act. The rough screws between Bo and Dyson were often of necessity.

Mahlers5th:

Later in the episode, Kenzi develops a bad case of hemorrhagic fever after eating toxic Aswag foot soup, and Bo brings her to Lauren for treatment: “You take care of her,” she orders the doctor. No sparks there, although a certain longing is still evident in Lauren’s gaze. “Was it just the drink?” she must be wondering. Later, Bo decides to break into Beren Chemicals and asks Lauren to come along: “I need your help…your expertise.” This is the first time the two have “gone undercover” together to solve a mystery (move over, Rizzoli & Isles). Once again, Lauren is taking a huge risk simply by leaving the Ash’s compound, not to mention breaking both Fae and human laws, but she does so with only a moment’s hesitation.

Something interesting happens during this joint caper: they disagree about how to proceed. “I don’t want to think, Lauren! I want to do something!” says Bo, all action-oriented. “I know you’re impulsive,” Lauren responds in a gently chiding tone (well, well, that’s new!), “But we need a plan…Use your head.” And Bo, who has been giving all the orders up until now, acquiesces. When the plan later requires some improvisation, it is Lauren’s turn to yield.  “We’ll do it your way,” she tells Bo, who says with mock gratitude, “Well, thank you!”

The old adage that opposites attract seems inadequate here. There is a growing admiration for each other’s strengths and abilities and – perhaps more important — a willingness to share the lead (pay close attention, Dyson). These are two equals playing a duet and having fun. “Look at you, saving my ass!” Bo says delightedly when her “Succubus it is!” doesn’t subdue a guard, prompting Lauren to resort to the old two-by-four across the head to bring him down. “I know!” Lauren responds with a note of exhiliration, “It was incredible!” You get the sense she hasn’t had this much fun in years. This is followed by a gleeful high-five when they both realize Lauren’s injections have worked — Bo was able to stop herself from sucking the life out of the guard. Hm, so you mean Bo can probably have safe sex with humans now?

With their mission accomplished and Kenzi’s health restored, back at the lab Bo and Lauren again exchange “that look” and seem to be weighing the new possibilities in their relationship. This isn’t about “feeding.”  In fact, they haven’t even had their first kiss.

Valksy:

Yes, exactly, exactly so.  There is no dominion here – the two of them appreciate their differences and find a way to work together.  It is mutual.  We tend to focus of the loving stares, the touches, the intimacy.  But there is more in play and it is so easy to overlook that. In many ways, it is another version of Bo and Lauren debating Bo’s trip to Grimley in episode 307 – they find a way to each contribute.

This may be a conceptual error with Dyson – he is a physical warrior archetype.  But so is Bo.  So either he steps on her feet and gets in her way (episode 221 and his fuck-up that gets Clara killed) or he has nothing much to do.

Bo and Lauren balance one another – strength and intellect are contrasts that are complimentary. Strength and strength is not at all.

I had forgotten Bo dressing up and taking care to look good. Notice how she does this again early in season 2 (episode 202) to try and re-ignite Dyson’s interest.  She thinks that looking good is good enough and doesn’t conceptualize that she could wear a potatoe sack and if they like/care for/love you, it doesn’t matter.   It’s not exactly mature, self-aware processing, is it?

Mahlers5th:

The following episode opens with Bo mediating between squabbling past and future lovers. “Look, a threesome!” she jokes lamely when Lauren joins her and Dyson on a couch at the Dal. There is a growing tension between Lauren and Dyson as each becomes more aware of Bo’s affections for the other. Lauren is cool but restrained in her interactions with him; Dyson is petulant, even openly contemptuous of Lauren, which annoys Bo: “Why do you have to be…well, you!” she snaps after Dyson succeeds in driving Lauren away. Hm, allegiances seem to be shifting. In the same episode, when Bo consults Lauren about the mysterious symptoms she and Kenzi have developed (later attributed to an UnderFae spider bite) she apologizes for her “insensitivity” the night before. Lauren asks a little testily, “So, Dyson – what’s that?” but before Bo can answer, they are interrupted by Kenzi seeking treatment for her headaches.

For the remainder of the episode, Lauren’s intellectual and doctoring skills take center stage – she is poised, strong, confident, and decisive as she identifies the parasite (a bad-ass “nomadic Native American UnderFae” – gotta love it), helps Dyson track down the source, and cuts out it’s heart — reducing Dyson to a walk-on part and earning Trick’s grudging respect. Back in the lab, Bo’s admiration for Lauren’s “nerdness” is evident in her expression as Lauren launches into a jargon-heavy scientific explanation – she suggests later brains is even a turn-on for her: “Science… it’s nifty…But what really matters is you saved us.  You’re getting awfully good at doing that.”

Dyson tries to rain on Lauren’s parade, calling her inconsistent and untrustworthy, but Lauren gives as good as she gets: “Is it really my loyalties you’re worried about, or that this time I was Bo’s hero?” Zing! She then looks at Bo with a knowing, satisfied smile that says, “You’re mine and we both know it.”

When Dyson tries to undermine Lauren at the end of the episode (“She’s too close to the Ash and you’re just too close to her…I don’t trust her”) Bo cuts him short: “Well, I do. If there’s one thing I can say about Lauren, it’s that she cares.  Are you willing to say the same thing?” Double zing!

I’ll say it again: Bo and Lauren’s love story began well before their first kiss. It nearly ends when they finally do go to bed in the next episode, but it is noteworthy how deeply betrayed and hurt Bo feels when she thinks it was only “spy sex” – Lauren is clearly not just another fuck-buddy.  There’s something deeper, tender and ineffable involved; I’d call it love. It takes the whole of season 2, with many twists and turns and selfless sacrifices – this time by Bo for Lauren’s sake – before Bo is ready to make the arresting declaration that got me hooked on the series: “It’s time – us.” But if love is true, the commitment remains constant through the best and worst of circumstances.  Their love seems true to me. Said Paul to the Corinthians, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Valksy (who should always have the last word):

It’s a powerful and meaningful thing to a lot of us. To be simply gifted something equitable, credible, and authentic matters.

9 Responses to Guest Blogger Series: “The Evolution of Doccubus” by Mahlers5th

  1. Valksy says:

    I appreciated going back to an episode like 106 and reviewing some of the interactions again with someone who was new to the show.

    I can admit that I was, and still am, a bit prone to lingering on the big over acts of loving interaction. But the balance between the characters in 106 and how obviously they both just appreciate each other, is every bit as meaningful as a look, a touch, a kiss.

  2. modernlover says:

    Excellent piece, love the double perspective play-by-play. Agree with your analysis of the joint caper in 1.06. The way Bo and Lauren matches each other is so swoon-worthy. Another less prominent example (but one of my personal favourites) is in 2.03 when Bo and Lauren were investigating a case together at an apartment building. Lauren was examining a patient while Bo was looking into air vents for critters.

    Bo: I can’t believe you made me catch a cockroach.

    Lauren: Well I can’t believe you screamed.

    I know it seems like such a throwaway line but it was that small banter there that convinced me that Bo and Lauren would still be doing exactly that many years down the road, like I could see them bantering like that about something else in their kitchen, and that certain intangible understanding, comfort, and affection would still be there, unchanged.

  3. Nancy says:

    WOW, a good review for S1. I guess the chemistry between Bo and Lauren was so strong that I did not realize that they did not have a kiss before 108. Their eye-kiss must mess up my memory and let me believe they had already kissed thousands of times…

  4. Kelli Anne says:

    I usaully don’t post just lurk here but after reading this blog I had to simply express how I felt about this. Everything that was said by both people who wrote this to me was spot on and portrays the feeling I have toward the Doccubus situation in a whole. This is not simply a story about two hot women that are having great sex but about two people who through chance and situation have fallen deeply and toatlly in love with the other. I just in the last few months became a fan of the show watching because of the Buffy like vibe many of my friends said it had. So I said okay I give it a chance. I watched a few of the first episodes and I was hooked and as time went on finding myself falling for the couple who everyone was referring to as Doccubus. Bo and Lauren from the start intrigued my by the way the both could just look at the other and without saying it you felt the passion, hunger and eventually love that was happening between the two. What really pulled my in was the chemistry these two women had when they were opposite the other, they could draw the audience in with just the way both of there dark brown eyes looked upon the other. They pulled an tugged at my heart from the start. What also made me stop and look was the fact that the show never made you feel that there love was any different from any other star crossed lovers because they happen to have been two women. There little banter at the bar as Bo is taking her as she called it multiple orgasim quiz to the awesome scene where the two just couldn’t hold in how they felt about the other and the urgent matter in which the needed to be with…feel and love the other in the second season rocked me. The third season gives as good as it gets with this couple showing that a relationship and loving someone that deeply comes with challenges and trials and is not always easy but you fight because you really couldn”t imagine yourself living in a world without that person in it by your side.
    I love that this show takes every opportunity to show that the love and passion that these two women share for the other is real and that just because they are two women doesen’t make it any less important. I agree and do hope that this is not turned into a show about hot blondes with Bo having steamy emotionless sex. They made me believe in this couple and see how beautiful there love is over three seasons and it would be a shame if they didn’t see just how important that is today. Since we do know that this season was finished before what we are now seeing and gauging and that what we are watching unfold now with Tamsin being thrown into Bo’s atomspehere for whatever purpose she does serve. If they want us to believe in whatever this is then please do sell it to me the way you sold Doccubus to me. Let me see the passion, hunger, neeed and love that these two have for the other. But no so far all I have seen is some bitchy banter, eye rolling a few emotionless kiss between the two. At lease I can process why Bo would question her relationship with a certian wolf that will go un named. He does love her and she has feelings whatever they may be for him are there. We all know that Bo in many ways wants to be loved and needs this most importantly. Why then would she trade something so very epic for some girl on girl, kinky succubus booty call blonde action. For that matter if that’s all that wants to be seen then they do have movies and channnels for such a thing.
    I do hope that this season’s ending shows us that what I have been witnessing over three season and hopefully the next is Doccubus. Two women that love the other deeply and fight for that love through the good and bad times. They anchor the other firmly to the ground emotionally in a world who says two poeple shouldn’t love the other because they are different. I hope the writer’s do realize how very important these two women are and the Doccubus stroy in a whole and treat it with the repect they have since the beginning. I for one will not be watching if they tear down something that it took so many loyal fans to put together.

    • Patricia Luart says:

      spot on the comments..believe that all couples in their lives will face challenges and will come make it true because of love..as seen in this lastest season ep 5 where wth a stroke of her hand ( i’ve said this before, me thinks ), Lauren was able to bring back Bo from her dark side. And i know that the writers will not divide this reality that Lauren’s love will eventually save Bo from being the Underfae..whether she’s human or whether their love is temporary ( as says Trick ), Doccubus is the END game..i like the wolf but i think there’s some she wolf out there for him..Succubus is for 1 human – Lauren.PERIOD :)

  5. nic says:

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