Lost Girl: Season 02, Episode 01, Something Wicked This Fae Comes

You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.

As I mentioned, I’m shortening, tweaking, and doubling up on S2 reviews so as to catch up by the time S3 premieres. Like it, loathe it, want to hash anything over further? To the comments! 

A lens looking at an eye through a lens looking at a lens . . . nope, too many lenses.

What better way to get into a show in which our heroine’s wolfy boyfriend has lost his love, her mysterious doctor has attempted to get back in good graces after a deceptive turn between the sheets, the entire Fae world has been thrown into chaos by bombs, and a crazy un-dead mother has escaped than to . . . ignore all that completely.

Hale, Kenzi, and Bo are the ones whose ‘status’ we’re really sure of, so they’re the perfect candidates to recap what happened last episode and since, establish it’s been three weeks, and keep us in suspense at least until after the credits roll, and they meet with Lauren, tending to Trick back at the bar.

Turns out the mighty threesome (I know some of you just went there) have been hunting UnderFae who are prowling humans, Lauren has been monitoring the Ash, Trick has been tending bar, and Dyson has been having some primordial time. The Scooby Gang gets word of someone being flayed, and they’re off again.

As always, Kenzi's facial expressions are priceless.

You’d think Bo, who brings Lauren by saying ‘this could get science-y’ instead of ‘I want to get you nearly-alone out in the woods,’ would notice when others do the same. It’s obvious Lauren is really saying “I will jump at your every beck and call because I’m in love with you” just as later, Dyson is saying “I’m refusing to emotionally engage because I can’t love you.” But this is Bo, and reading people is not her strong suit.

Kenzi, on the other hand, can read people and especially Bo like a book, and she’s busy trying to convince Bo Dyson is going to be OK, and also Bo shouldn’t feel guilty. Rationally, one can’t be expected to carry the weight of another’s actions, but that hardly stops Bo. Guilt is a powerful motivator, and is part of what drives Bo to first understand, then attempt to ‘fix’ Dyson over the next few episodes. Hale, meanwhile, advises Dyson to talk and/or use his lips for other things.

Insert comments about handcuffs as you wish.

The baddie of the week is Zael, the leader of a traveling circus comprised of Sluagh. Within this particular circus is an eater and regurgitator of skin, and the less said about that particular talent, the happier my gag reflex will be.

The circus works as a parallel microcosm to the rest of the Fae world: a place where those deemed societally ‘abnormal’ can find refuge, and thus a place where plenty of nefarious schemers can hide. This creates a fascinating Catch-22 in which ‘keepers of societal order’ are both biased into looking towards the misfits for answers, and yet repulsion causes them to be less likely to delve past the surface layers of tattoos, tent abodes, and atypically structured life. And though they’re “friends of the family,” other Fae who are closer to normalized life still look down upon and distance themselves from the sideshow freaks/industrial performance artists, so as to be better accepted by human society.

Someone human society does embrace is Elder Buzz Porter, acting Ash, white dude, and opportunist, drunkard. He likes the position for his own personal networking opportunities; it’s a chance to boost his Klout score and get some free drinks and fawning, but he’s not particularly interested in serving his constituents. Lauren and Trick (and likely Hale) are using Buzz’s resources and clearance codes to do the real serving, behind the scenes.

Buzz calling Kenzi ‘meatbag’ is a perfect example of how he’s allowed to openly exhibit prejudice without any sort of corresponding punishment or fall from grace. Trick may mouth an apology, but nobody is willing to take Buzz to task. By the end of the episode, he and Zael are shown to be two sides of the same coin, only one side has a pretty face for the public to fawn over. Zael’s not just an indiscriminate flayer, though. He’s killing to obtain (and conspicuously leave behind) skin which is tattoo’d with a map and a significant tri-pronged marking.

Lauren brings over case files about the skin, its owner, the tri-pronged mark, etc., for she and Bo to pore over. Or rather, Bo pores over it as Lauren attempts to pore over a plate of pasta, and falls asleep mumbling about isotopes.

Lots of sleeping happens on this couch.

Whilst reading, Bo has figured out the dead trucker was a Guardian, one of three who gave their bodies as protectors, and Kenzi arrives to proudly inform Bo (after double-checking to make sure Bo hasn’t just sexed Lauren to death) the map and guardians all have to do with the Sword of Agros.  Just then Dyson calls, with news that the second Guardian, literal bearer of said sword, has been murdered. Boom Boom Boom. It’s like Law and Order: Fae Justice up in here.

The Sword of Agros is a means to an end. (The writers have had a few months, so this plot is going to be throughly convoluted.) The sword is part of a ceremony in which the Ash literally marries the land. It used to mean better crops, less disease, not it means longer-lasting infrastructure, less crime. It’s a nice touch, to update how the ceremony still works in a slightly modernized way.

The obvious implication of someone trying to forcibly perpetuate the ceremony and have sex with the land – represented by Gaia, a woman, naturally – is that person is going to ‘rape the land,’ a term which usually means pillaging or burning its crops or destroying its ground, but is here literal rape. Of course, Zael and the Sluagh are raping Gaia as a power play, because in so doing, they will destroy her husband the Ash, and break his rule over his kingdom. Feudal systems and their archaic ways are brutal and not exactly favorable towards women, yo.

And like I mentioned last week: group shots around a computer! It should be a drinking game.

Buzz is the nefarious neighbor with the friendly face who will unlock the back door and let the rapist in. Nice dude. When he’s cornered, he gives up the plan, and Kenzi is easily able to track down the sexy pagan underground flash rave. It’s here Bo’s juices start flowing, and Dyson decides to put the Norn’s work to the test. I dunno what exactly he didn’t feel, but pretty sure everyone else in the club / on the couch at home felt that kiss. Yowza.

That high gets killed pretty quickly by Zael in the act of assaulting the land on a spinning plastic box (why? Because art department had a box and a turntable and a lotta neon lights, that’s why). Bo interrupts and sends Gaia away. Zael quickly changes tacks and urges Bo to join him: “You must realize you have more in common with us than those others out there. We’re all outcasts, just like you.” He claims he ‘wants to stop’ – though he obviously has a funny way of showing it – then Bo crescent-kicks him up on top of the box and mounts him in a mirror image of how he was atop Gaia mere moments before. She chi-sucks him before making the declaration which is the culmination of the who first season: this home is mine.

Immediately after, Trick reassures us Bo didn’t actually kill Zael, he and the Sluagh were just ‘run out of town.’ Apparently there’s no punishment for killing fellow Light Fae and leaving their flayed carcass to potentially expose everyone to the humans; perhaps because a flaccid Ash, who knows.

Then, having theoretically learned his lesson about keeping secrets for long periods of time, Dyson comes clean to a devastated Bo that the Norn took “us.” She’s fairly incredulous, and to top it all off, the creepy child appears and tells her something old and terrible is coming for her.

Safe to say, Bo is not having a great week.

Bo is playing my new 'I see a shot of people grouped around a computer' drinking game to make herself feel better.

Stray Observations

– Can we get a cheer for the dude in the fast food bathroom, who – while being kissed and groped – wants to make sure he’s not pressuring a beautiful woman? 

– “Possibly some digestive secretions. Neat!”
“Wow, do we ever have a different definition of that word.”

– I’m curious as to whether Bo hears the Nain Rouge knockoff horror movie noise, or if that’s just us.

– ‘Why are carbs so damn tasty? Actually, I know why. And I’m going to proceed to be simultaneously scientific and adorable about it.’

– Speaking of adorable, Kenzi goes all Hermoine on Trick over a rat. ‘I’m calling PETA. Er, FETA? Do the Fae even have some sort of protection agency . . . ‘

– Bo says what she and Dyson do best is ‘fight.’ If she thinks hard enough, I bet she could come up with something else more fun.

– Several elements of this episode play it safe with resources. The travelers salt their path so Dyson can’t follow, meaning he’s not always a sure bet. Trick has ‘liberated for safekeeping’ books from the Ash’s library, so at some point in the future when he doesn’t have answers, it can be blamed on his lack of access to such volumes. etc.

– What I want to know is, who is the Ash of Milwaukee, WI, and exactly how bad is s/he at sex!?

The rave must have been a fun shoot. By which I mean, a logistical nightmare, but still fun. Hard to be in this business without a touch of masochism.

Comments
6 Responses to “Lost Girl: Season 02, Episode 01, Something Wicked This Fae Comes”
  1. vexundorma says:

    After the season 2 finale I became convinced (still am) that eps 2.01-2.13 (what some people call season 2A) were the “real” second season of the show, already mapped out, written and possibly half shot when they got the back nine episodes order. From what I’ve read it seems the production team was taken by surprise and had to cobble up something in a hurry around the main theme and, perhaps, a couple of ideas that had been thrown up for the following season. That’s why I think that eps 2.14-2.22 (that many reference as season 2B) make up a kind of sketched “would be” season 3, the third installment of a sequence that closely follows and closes the first part of a “hero’s journey”, in the Joseph Campbell’s sense and description of the concept.
    In this season (S2A) the main theme is Consequences, and by its end (the grand finale of 2.13) Bo finds herself at the threshold of a new life facing a jump into the unknown, with the Ash’s invitation to be his Champion.
    In this initial episode, the Overture of the season, the first immediate consequence of Aife’s attack is the change in how Bo looks at the fae power structure – she’s now upholding it not opposing it – because she realized the need for a system of checks and balances among the fae and the dangers of a power vacuum, as the move by the Sluagh dramatically underscored.
    The rebellious Bo is subdued, which doesn’t mean she takes the existing rules and structures as judicious or in some cases even as acceptable, and she starts, in her own peculiar way, to play the fae political game. This new stance has an impact in the Bo-Lauren dynamic, as Bo fully realizes the delicate position and status of Lauren in the fae world and the risks, for Lauren, of a direct challenge to that status; by restraining herself she’s also protecting Lauren.
    Another more protracted consequence, hinted by the presence of the Nain Rouge, is the return of the Garuda and the shakeup he’ll bring to the fae world.
    I’m almost certainly in the minority here but I find this “second” season more sharply written than S1 and the more consistent of all “four” seasons (for me the official S3 is the fourth, that’s how distorted is my vision).

    • Melanie says:

      Most certainly. You can also tell by the way they shuffle actors around starting with 02.14, at which point many of them had other obligations; the characters do their ‘traveling,’ we get Ryan and various guest Fae to fill some space.

      I’m in agreement with you: 2A is more sharply written, and better exhibits themes of love and power, death and immortality (looking ahead to “Death Didn’t become Him” especially) the balance between human and Fae worlds, and even tropes of the medium and genre (homages, body switching, bottle episodes, childhood ‘monsters,’ etc). And because the writers had to cannibalize their planned third season, and then – I’m fairly sure – bet on an extended fourth season only to have it truncated, it was almost inevitable the fourth/third season would be really uneven. Like the girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, when it was good, it was very VERY good. And when it was bad, it was horrid. I personally think the good far outweighed the horrid, but I know others disagree.

      [edited to add] I do think S3 plays with tropes – suburbia, small towns, teenage delinquents, women’s prisons – better than 2, and better than many similar shows. But it doesn’t do everything else as well as 2A, what with the constant undercurrent of plotlines, character personalities, etc.

      • vexundorma says:

        I don’t understand why people keep talking of a “truncated” season 3. Showcase renewed the show for a 13 episodes third season in December 9, 2011 and production started four months later without any change in that order. They might have expectations of something different but these are professionals that know you cannot plan a TV show season on expectations or you’re dead (and let’s not forget Emily Andras saying at the time they were prepared for a 13, 18 or 22 episode season, no sweat). So, unless I’m missing something either the production team made a colossal and inexcusable mistake waiting for Godot, or S3 is what they planned it to be from the start, which I do believe it is. But I understand the comfort a lot of people get from an “outside forces influence” theory to deal with the insane mess of the last 6 episodes.

        • Melanie says:

          Truncated was the wrong choice of word. ‘Incomplete arc’ would be better. If they were planning for the potential of an 18 or 22 episode arc, then it stands to reason some of the throughlines are not completed, but will be so in S4, and so I reserve judgment on them. I do like how they finally handled Lachlan, for example, but that wasn’t clear by the end of S2A. (Actually, I like how Lachlan worked throughout, but having him remain a jackass for the sake of it would have been boring and repetitive; his ending refreshes his arc and subverts some expectations.)

          The Dawning – more specifically, its bloviated importance and its awfully handled aftereffects – is the real problem, not the number of episodes.

          • vexundorma says:

            I understand what you’re saying and I agree that the stories are incomplete. What I’m saying is that to leave a ton of unresolved storylines and a game of ‘where in the world is everybody’ playing on was the plan from the very beginning – basically a midseason finale as season finale – as was the string of cryptic episodes in the back half. It does not make a lot of sense to me but it is nothing new; the show did the same in 2.13. People just didn’t notice then because there was a back nine order, the hiatus was short and the episode went by as a midseason finale.

            • Melanie says:

              Correct on the What Happened To S3’s Finale. Yes, even if they planned for 18 or 21 eps, they would have known 3.13 and its dangling threads were likely to be left hanging, and they plotted the cryptic and absurd Out Of Nowhere twists with that in mind, most of which are poor Random Externally Manufactured Conflict (Karen Beattie, The Dawning) or Characters Unlearning Things To Service Plot (Dyson, Bo’s personality fluctuations).

              As far as arcs being half-finished, they knew they were renewed and it makes sense from the network’s standpoint. Thus, I still won’t fully determine what I think about especially Tamsin’s arc until I see more. (I know what I think about Dyson’s and Lauren’s character arcs in the back half; changing on a whim and too egregiously ignored, respectively.)

              Some S3 cliffhangers I loathe, and some I’m fine with, and parts of both of those two categories are what networks use as ‘keeping an audience hungry for next season.’

              But there was time after the additional order of 9 to ‘massage’ (through rewrites or editing or both) 2.13 and the storylines leading to it, so it’s hard to judge exactly how much they originally intended to leave things hanging. Other than the Garuda as a presence being left wide open, the actual characters’ arcs could have been more satisfactorily concluded. Perhaps they wouldn’t have been! But it’s hard to say definitively it’s a pattern. S2 could have conceivably ended more along the lines of S1 than S3.

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