Lost Girl: Season 01 Episode 06, Food for Thought

Editor’s note: You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 3.48.49 PM

Open on Bo’s dilemma: to wear black ruffled, black sparkly, or black sheer to her doctor’s appointment? And by ‘doctor’s appointment’ she means ‘session of insane sexual tension.’

This episode and the next two are where Lauren really gets established. We see her inside and outside of the lab, which superficially means, yay, more tailored suit coat than white doctor coat, but also means we discover who she is outside of her job and out from under the Ash’s thumb. The Lauren/Bo/Dyson scene in 1.07 exposes a full episode’s worth about all three of them, but in this ep we learn Lauren:

– likes tequila.

– has a quick, dry wit.

– can improvise, but prefers to systematically plan ahead.

– generally defaults to best case scenario while working on worse case scenario.

– is compassionate to a fault. This is important because often TV doctor types who say things like ‘I’m in it for the science’ are going to be somewhat cold and calculating. If the next episode happens without the reveals in this episode, we don’t know enough about Lauren to understand she’s operating out of necessity and a sense of the big picture, rather than purely clinical calculation.

– will do what she thinks needs to be done in light of said big picture, whether it be going undercover or calling a Fae-sterminator.

– is unfazeble, save when it comes to immediate physical confrontation. Get sick after eating people? Lauren doesn’t blink. Accidentally commit cannibalism? Lauren is merely annoyed. Bleeding from the eyeballs? Lauren is already working on a solution. Can literally kill humans with sex? Lauren will flirt your pants off.

The sign says "BEWARE PICKPOCKETS [something] WOMEN."

While Bo’s pants ultimately stay on, it’s this episode which confirms Lost Girl is really going there, full steam ahead. And not only does it go into love triangle territory, and immortal/mortal love territory, but cannibalism, too! 

The plot needs Kenzi to eat infected foot, but for someone who is so streets savvy, and who is about to justifiably complain Bo is oblivious to the feelings of those around her, this is an inconsistent move. Accidentally eating foot soup isn’t just Kenzi’s punishment for being nosy, but also karmic payback for being so anti-Lauren. As Dale mentioned in his guest review of the previous episode, Kenzi is somewhat invested in Dyson’s relationship with Bo, because she encouraged it and in some ways its success will reflect on her. She also has a personal affinity for Dyson, and will play favorites especially in Season 1, and the first half of season 2 is a bit threatened not only by Lauren being the only other human in Bo’s life (as Lauren astutely observes) but also Lauren’s general life success, as perceived from someone who was told growing up consisted of things like getting a steady, respectable job.

While it could have been interesting for the writers to go down the route of Kenzi distrusting Dyson (and Hale) because of the cop/authority role, I like the direction it takes instead, Dyson being the protective older brother to Kenzi’s helpful and sarcastic younger sibling. Thus, Kenzi directs her mistrust of authority towards Lauren, as human representative for the Fae authority whom Kenzi rarely comes in contact with. Their relationship is somewhat complicated, as human interactions tend to be, and I love there’s no easy answer, no ‘oh Lauren saved my life twice in two episodes so OK, we can be friends now,’ but instead a slow boil over several arcs and a few confrontations before they come to a mutual respect and true friendship.

Three attitudes in one frame - adoring, exasperated, and businesslike.

Kenzi’s mistrust of Lauren  – “Ever ask yourself what she’s getting out of this little arrangement?” – could have been vindicated had the writers decided to make Lauren more of a duplicitous character. This episode hedges some bets with Trick (more on that later), and uses Kenzi to hedge bets with Lauren.

But I’m getting ahead of the story. Right now, we’re at the Aswang’s house, where Lauren shows her necklace as proof she’s there acting on behalf of the Ash, and Bo watches Lauren do her doctor thing on a dying old woman. Watching Lauren use her smarts while being all caring is probably as much as a turn-on for Bo as the earlier hand-holding, or at least would have been had she not been so thrown by the revelation the sweet old lady eats mostly corpses. In the form of soup. Soup which Kenzi is currently consuming.

Kenzi darling, if they eat human corpses, who KNOWS what they have in their medicine cabinet.

Bo and Kenzi go to the funeral home to find out who the foot belonged to, then go to the foot-owner’s house, where Bo is attacked by a thug and strokes his arm while noticing a tattoo thereon but not charming him out of shooting her because hey, it’s more clever for the plot to have him shoot and cut to a bleeding Kenzi who, surprise, hasn’t been shot, but has apparently caught what Helima, the Aswang, had. 

Rush to Lauren’s lab, where the stakes get raised and the waters get muddled. Helima is worse, and Lauren determined it’s a virus, but the exact type and origin of the virus are still a mystery.

Rush to the cop shop, where it’s really convenient to be sleeping with the guy who has access to everyone’s private life and is willing to not only use it, but show it to civilians. Lost Girl does not in this episode nor ever strive to imbue viewers with confidence in authority in general, nor cops in particular.

Bo and Dyson track down the guy who discharged a firearm in a residential area, and after getting the name of the chemical plant foot-owner was seen entering (Behren Chemicals), the cop who just got promoted for solving a murder spree doesn’t make an easy arrest, and Bo and Dyson head back to the lab. While Dyson shows a Kenzi a little of the tenderness he’ll display in full a few scenes later, Bo convinces Lauren to go undercover with her at Behren Chemicals to figure out the source of the infection.

This camera move, panning from Dyson's face to over his shoulder where Bo is obviously leaning into Lauren, is bloody fantastic.

This episode is the first time we’ve seen Dyson’s softer side; he’s not simply protective of Kenzi, but nurturing, and it’s not in opposition to his character, merely something he doesn’t often display; likely for reasons of societal perceptions of tough, wolf-like manhood blah, blah, blah. It’s a good side of him, he should indulge more often.

Lauren, too, gets to show another side of herself, and starts by playing someone else entirely. Remember the blatant lack of regard Dyson showed by letting Bo see private information of someone who did nothing more suspicious than die with an infection and a lot of money? That’s nothing compared to planting drugs and a pipe bomb (eh, why not!) on an innocent woman and holding her for 24 hours while Lauren impersonates her.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Kenzi wakes up to see a flatlining Helima. She decides to make her escape, aided by the clothes of the nurse who injected her with a sleepy-time drug the scene before. Dyson finds her on a cemetery bench, contemplating, and sits with her for a while before they go back to Trick’s place. Kenzi lies weakly on the couch and begs Dyson to do what’s best for Bo, and watch Bo’s back if Kenzi isn’t there to do it. At first this plays as an obvious angle on Kenzi’s preference for Dyson – living on the street for so many years obviously taught her to find the alpha dog and stick with him for better survival chances – but when Kenzi adds “even if it means cutting her loose,” we see Kenzi is aware Dyson may not be the best for Bo emotionally, and despite her championing the Dyson relationship, she has some reservations and isn’t a blind advocate.

Not a blind advocate, despite the eye-blood.

Trick’s story involves an old acquaintance who deals in rare goods. The dealer lusts after Trick’s Gleipner, a chain forged by dwarves which was once used to hold the Fenris wolf. This begs the question: does Trick have this collar in case he needs to use it on a certain other wolf he may want to keep in check? Discuss.

The B plot doesn’t always directly intersect and impact the A plot, but in this case, such a short scene which is seemingly non-sequitor must come into play, and it does when Trick must barter the Gleipner for a rare horn he uses to extend Kenzi’s life until Lauren has finished compounding the antidote. Since Trick is such an inscrutable character, I can’t help but wonder if he traded a valuable, useful item for a mere health aid for a human for his own ends – in other words, should Kenzi die, Bo becomes much more likely to join the Dark Fae, or go even more rouge, or do something else entirely unpredictable. While Trick’s relationship with Kenzi evolves to the point he offers to be her owner in Bo’s place should anything happen to Bo (and let’s face it, though he obviously becomes fond of Kenzi, that’s not much of an evolution, despite his use of the word ‘family’), here Kenzi is little more to him than an impudent pet. I’m not saying the Trick we know now didn’t have some affinity for Kenzi, I’m saying the Trick the writers were still toying with could have been doing this for his own purposes. Bets, still hedged.

Speaking of complicated topics, covered quickly: Lauren is undercover as a quality control inspector, but Bo is the new assistant to Behren’s legendarily lecherous chief of operations. While Bo is seducing the key card and passcode from said COO, Lauren is gassing security guards and filling the prop department’s favorite syringe. They meet up in hallway where they tag-team another security guard, high-five over Bo’s ability to not-kill him, and find the secret room with a dank, green tank containing a deadly basilisk.

Nothing says "creepy on a budget" like a slimy green tank in a yellow-lit room.

Lost Girl does not in this episode nor ever strive to imbue viewers with confidence in chemical companies or big corporations. 

They jab the basilisk, and Lauren insists on putting it out of its misery, then run for it and magically escape without (apparently) being caught by any security cameras. Lauren whips up the antitoxin in time for Kenzi to eat her weight in chili cheese dogs.

While the episode centers around Kenzi, its main purpose is to cement how these four characters interact with each other, and the final interchanges between Bo and Lauren, then Bo and Dyson, firms up the love triangle. A sexy, supernatural love triangle, which is about to get a lot more complicated.

My favorite part about this shot is the lack of rack focus. It'd be too obvious. Keeping Lauren and Bo out-of-focus in the foreground is perfect. And, it won't be the last time we see this same blocking.

Stray Observations

  • Lauren holds her tequila better than I.
  • “I’m not scared or anything. I’m just bored, and you amuse me.”
  • Everyone hears ‘horny dude’ and thinks, ‘let’s ask Bo to take advantage of him.’
  • Lauren: “So our work is paying off, you can control it. You know what this means?” Bo: “It means I have a lot to thank you for.” Lauren says nothing, thinks: “How, exactly do you plan to ‘thank’ me? I accept payment in sexytimes. WHICH IS WHAT IT MEANS, THE FACT YOU CAN CONTROL IT.”
  • Related to the above, Bo’s oblivion to peoples’ feelings is consistently well-done, and a realistic mark of her not having much experience with the getting close to people thing.
  • “That is not a fish, that is a snake.” “That’s no snake, that’s a basilisk.” So many jokes!
  • The body language in this episode; between the way Bo is touching Lauren, the way Lauren is obviously trying to resist doing the same until the very end, the way Dyson gently approaches Kenzi, the way Bo acts around the various employees at Behren, it’s really good.
  • Sorry about the plethora of gigantic run-on sentences in this review; I should have split them but I suppose sometimes when I read things back to myself I miss the fact it may work ‘out loud’ but be a disaster on paper and this was obviously one of those times, er, ten times.  
9 Responses to “Lost Girl: Season 01 Episode 06, Food for Thought”
  1. Rachel says:

    Episode 5 was when I started falling in love with Lost Girl and this episode cemented that love. I mean, really… within 5 minutes Lost Girl totally went there with Bo and Lauren’s, um, mid-term, and then the nice old lady opens the fridge to make foot soup. I love this show and the open-mindedness it forges with its risks.

    Maybe the “mid-term” and the foot soup are examples of Lost Girl navigating the waters of self-determination within the webs of existing stereotypes in the media and society… albeit with wit and lightness. Maybe it mirrors Bo’s endeavors at self-determination within her relationships and her society.

    I have no idea if Trick uses the Gleipner collar on Dyson… good research though 🙂

    This episode made me wonder about Kenzi’s back story. She really really wanted to get out of that hospital, and even before she was sick (while they were waiting for Lauren) she wanted to get out, and she didn’t want to be around the sick Aswang. I wonder if she’s had some traumatic experiences with hospitals and doctors, which might also make her so anti-Lauren. Maybe it’s part of the reason she ran away earlier in her life.

    Thanks for reviewing ❤

    • Melanie says:

      Now there’s an angle I hadn’t thought of: Kenzi simply hates doctors. If they’re going to make a big anti-doctor backstory for her, four seasons in is a little late in the game, but it would be internally consistent. Or perhaps she simply had a lot of peanut incidents as a child as was scarred for life by the aftermath. I know if you try to stick a needle in my arm I instantly revert to 4-year-old-traumatized-me (which is why when I manage to donate blood ‘like a big girl’ I immediately reward myself with something fancy).

  2. Rachel says:

    We don’t know much about Kenzi’s past yet, other than she ran away, is a survivor (Mayer said that about her last ep), and really doesn’t get along with her stepdad for some reason.

    Do shows ever set characters up for stories, and then drop the story they were thinking of? I’d imagine that happens sometimes.

    • Melanie says:

      Most shows have detailed backstories for all the characters; regardless of what comes to the screen, if all the writers have access to a basic story, the characters’ motivations and actions will stay fairly consistent. (The actors don’t always have access to this show bible, in case the story does get added or changed.) And yep, often plotlines or character backstory gets planned then cut, either for time – especially in a show with shorter runs and fluxuating seasons – or money, as they’re often more expensive to produce, requiring additional sets, wardrobe, different H&M, etc.

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