Lost Girl and Fairy Tales, Part Two

Last April, I started getting into the Canadian TV series “Lost Girl.”  Excited by the potential for fairy tales on the show, I wrote a post called “Lost Girl and Fairy Tales,” predicting their appearance in the series.  Yesterday, my predictions came true; “Lost Girl” finally aired “Mirror, Mirror,” a fairy tale themed episode!

For those unfamiliar with the show, it stars Bo (Anna Silk), a succubus who, having been raised by humans, only recently realized her Fae nature.  Now, she works as a sort of supernatural private investigator, helping others in the Fae community.  Meanwhile, she is still searching for answers about her own mysterious heritage, navigating the murky waters of Fae politics, and doing her best to have a personal life.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Best friends Bo and Kenzi are forced to face Baba Yaga in this week's episode of "Lost Girl."

Still hurting from her breakup with Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried), Bo decides to join her human pal, Kenzi (Ksenia Solo), for a drunken girls’ night.  Unfortunately, Kenzi invokes Baba Yaga (a witch of Slavic fairy tale fame) while she’s under the influence and asks her to lay a curse on Dyson.  Once sober, however, our heroes seek to get the curse reversed.  Baba Yaga agrees, but takes Kenzi as payment, leaving it up to Bo and Dyson to get her back.

While the episode paid tribute to the Baba Yaga fairy tale stories, some of the details were changed for the show.  For instance, the old stories depict the witch’s house as a cottage with chicken legs; in the world of “Lost Girl,” however, Baba Yaga lives in some sort of alternate Fae dimension of her own and only travels by way of mirrors (kind of like a Fae version of the Bloody Mary urban legend.)  My guess is that a house on chicken legs probably sounded a little too far-fetched for network television.

Although parts of the Baba Yaga story were altered, “Lost Girl” stayed true to the original tales in many ways.  Just as in the old stories, the “Lost Girl” version of Baba Yaga is both powerful and scary.  She has the ability to grant wishes and offer wisdom, but is also known to kidnap and eat young people.  Seeking her counsel is considered extremely dangerous.  Not only that, but both versions depict her using human bones as building materials; in the fairy tales, her fence is often made of bones, and the show claimed she built her entire house out of them.

The episode also made reference to several other fairy tales.  At one point, Kenzi references Snow White by speaking rhyming commands to a mirror.  She even starts these commands with “mirror, mirror” (also the name of the episode). There are hints of “Hansel and Gretel” to be found, as well.  For instance, the witch tries to fatten her victims up before eating them, but is defeated when Kenzi closes her inside her own oven.  Of course, I can’t say I’m surprised that the writers went in that direction; in some Polish fairy tales, witches living in gingerbread houses are called “Baba Jagas.”

All in all, Bo’s first fairy tale encounter was a delight to watch.  I can only hope that more such episodes crop up in this and future seasons of “Lost Girl.”  In fact, I’m sure they will; the end of the episode suggests that Baba Yaga may have survived the fires of her oven.  Who knows when she’ll be back for revenge?

Want to learn more about “Lost Girl,” or discuss the latest episode with other fans?  Visit the “Lost Girl” subreddit (r/lostgirl).

Breadcrumbs. Gingerbread. Flesh.

This is a writing exercise I did, for a class.  We spent ten minutes listing what a character of our choice saw, heard, and stood upon.  I chose Gretel of Hansel and Gretel.

Breadcrumbs.  Gingerbread.  Flesh.

I saw the bread crumbs my brother dropped behind us.
I heard the crows cawing as they carried these away.
I stood in the forest, mud soaking into my shoes.

I saw less animals in that part of the woods.
I heard the voice of my father and couldn’t believe he would let this happen to us.
I stood in awe of the giant gingerbread house that loomed before me.

I saw candy of every kind imaginable and didn’t know where to begin.
I heard the ominous creak of the door.
I stood inside the house and saw everything change.

I saw the witch’s true face.
I heard her plans for Hansel.
I stood near his cage.

I saw him getting fatter–getting ready for the stew pot.
I heard the beginnings of a plan in my dreams.
I stood near the oven and waited for the witch.

I saw her bring my brother into the kitchen for her meal.
I heard his cries, likes sounds of a wounded animal.
I stood behind her as she sprinkled pepper on Hansel’s head.

I saw my hands reach out and push her in.
I heard her screams and felt almost guilty.
I stood watching as she burned.

I saw her flesh blacken and peel.
I heard my brother calling for me, ready to escape this place.
I stood in shock of what we had done.

I saw the world change.
I heard our story being retold through the ages.
I stood still in time and was a child forever, always with bread crumbs, and gingerbread, and baking flesh.

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