Lost Girl: Season 3, Episode 5, Faes Wide Shut
First things first: the episode has too much going on, on too few sets (more on this later). Too much mystery, too many plotlines; which may be a side-effect of the writers coming off an extended season into another shorter one. There are essentially four investigations going: Bo/Lauren/Kenzi into the goop death, Dyson/Tamsin into the goop death, Dyson/Tamsin into the mysterious succubus death, and Bo/Audience into the faux Kenzi.
If you’ve been watching the show, the Kenzi thing is not a revelation, let alone a spoiler. The writers do well, though, to slowly reveal to the audience what we suspect, until the point where Kenzi asks Trick what she owes for her drink. At that point, she’s just jumping up and down with a neon sign. (Though Kenzi’s post-credit outfit was the most un-Kenzi outfit, the post-credit Kenzi/Lauren interactions were the most Kenzi interactions. I think the writers don’t want to tear apart too much of their tenuous appreciation for each other.) Ksenia Solo is having a ball with her character, which is only fair considering in “Original Skin,” Kris Holden-Ried got to have all her fun. But I digress.
Lost Girl has a habit of not resolving all an episode’s problems within the episode – this show is unusually good at bringing things back up later and making the characters honestly address them. Faux Kenzi playing Lauren and Dyson games and taking Bo’s phone, for instance; though it plays a pivitol role in confusing the issue in this episode (and from the look of the promos, the next), at some point I have faith it will serve a purpose in another good ol’
open-relationship but not the ex talk human/succubus/not-the-wolf talk.
This habit of juggling storylines partially excuses Lauren being so mysterious over the phone at the end, but mostly it’s just baiting us. We’re already hooked, and Lauren already has two hiding-too-much strikes, so this seems unnecessary. Yes, she has residual fear from what happened to Nadia, but Lauren works best when not being obscure. Three strikes is not going to look good even if it is, once again, ‘in Bo’s best interest.’ Let’s hope Lauren was calling Trick, especially because his reactions to everything world-shaking are so deliciously hilarious.
The multiple storylines can’t, however, cover up Dyson being an unusually terrible investigator. Yes, he’s a good, tenacious cop with the smarts to position himself near a reflective bowl of fruit. But he also takes a body to Lauren, throws suspicion on Bo, then blames Lauren for a cover-up. Exactly what did he think would happen?!
The issue could be solved by, say, he and Tamsin having an argument about what to do with the body, bringing the decision to the Ash, then the Ash declaring a Light doctor having to be the one to examine the corpse, due to the disarray on the Light side the only one available as Lauren, blah blah blah, problem not necessarily solved, but explained in 40 seconds of exposition. But the show runners didn’t want to have to pay K.C. Collins (Hale) for this episode, so they didn’t have him in it, and the whole world was saddened. Similarly, the show doesn’t have money for an Ash set, so Lauren gets to work from home and dissect near her kitchen. I think a great deal of the shortcomings in this episode are due to lack of budget, and that sucks. I do expect the writers to possibly ret-con this into some sort of Dyson Was Truly Just Hoping Lauren Could Save Bo’s Ass storyline, as they’re getting pretty good at workarounds (see Tamsin’s “You ever mix up the liver with the liver?”). But it would be nice for them not to have to write around at all. Speaking of nice to see, I NEED MORE HALE. Preferably, more of more of Hale. Give the show some dough, is what I’m saying. Take some out of the eyeshadow budget if you have to.
Quibbles aside, the show’s best level (as with many supernatural shows) is the metaphorical one. This episode is firing there. It makes at least three barely-veiled references to obsession with potency and size not equalling adequacy, and the main mystery is based on a metaphor for STDs. It also furthers the overarching metaphor, and that is Bo’s fear that she may be a monster. This fear has reared its ugly head since episode 1.
It’s important Lauren, the human, is the one to tell Bo ‘you are not a monster,’ explicitly in episode 1.01, 1.06, 2.10, and now here, 3.05. Dyson’s opinion doesn’t really count, since he is also a ‘monster’ to humans; and he half-buys the fae=monster theory. Kenzi’s enjoyment of the mythological side to Bo is played for humor in episode 1.01 (Alien, Demon, pick one), and later as a welcome blasé acceptance; something Bo needs, as well as a realistic depiction of many peoples’ coping mechanisms.
What does the ‘monster’ symbolize? Within the show’s universe, Bo is afraid of being a literal monster, killing those she loves, as she did in the past. But it works on another level, and that is: a woman who does what she wants, especially one who has a strong sexual appetite, is a monster. Female agency is a beautiful and powerful thing, and women are sexual creatures. But society condemns and shames these things at every turn, and the most confident and powerful of women have their dark nights of believing the lies, turning against their fellow women, or even taking it too far and becoming terrible creatures. Lost Girl gets a lot of comparisons to Buffy, but its departures are the key: it’s a show explicitly about adult struggles, and it internalizes many of the monsters.
If the episode hadn’t been so crowded, perhaps it could have done a better job with the many bacchanal/succubus parallels, or given Dyson and Tamsin more work in their investigation. Based on the promo for next week’s “The Kenzi Scale,” we’ll soon have a more focused episode dealing with the monster within and how it impacts all the rest of the characters. Also, the Morrígan!
- I’m honestly conflicted as to whether the episode titles are my least favorite thing about the show, or my most favorite thing about the show.
- “Oh my lord, there’s choking.”
- Bo wasn’t the only one appreciating Lauren’s walk down that staircase, ahem. Dyson was particularly impressed.
- Places the budget should not be cut: the blouse/oxfords allotment. Or the coat/blazer budget, because I need my CoatPorn.
- Blouse is such a weird word.
- Friend Dale has a great theory about how we subconsciously accept Bo’s preternatural ability to do everything from swordfight to relationship counsel because her sexuality and culture give her privileged status. How that both works yet stands in conflict with her sexual appetite making her a monster is an essay unto itself.
- I came for the girl power and Buffy parallels and stayed for the snark, adult metaphors, and female agency. I won’t have time in the next few weeks to do regular reviews (you only got this because I basically transcribed my half of a conversation with the aforementioned Dale), but I’m considering working through past episodes then staying current, a la my Luther reviews. Let me know if there’s any interest in this. Until then, here.