Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 04, Mirror Mirror
You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.
I haven’t done a scientific study, but I’m hazarding a guess the awesomeness of any given episode is raised 38% for every minute of screen time Kenzi gets. She brings the funk and says the irreverent things we’re all thinking.
And jump-starts a lot of plots. This one she kicks off because she’s mad at Dyson. Well, mostly Bo is mad at Dyson, and Kenzi is sympathizing the way one does when one’s best friend’s boyfriend has started hanging with waitresses who drink Sex on the Beach. Also, Kenzi’s drunk. So she scrawls Dyson’s name on the mirror in lipstick, says a curse, and the next morning both Bo and Dyson have been ‘marked’ and every woman is turned into a spitting lunatic in Dyson’s presence.
This episode again confirms my believe Kris Holden-Ried does better when Dyson is given something funny to do. His plot with Gloria, down to his lines about ‘just remember how it felt every time Roberto slept with your sister,’ is ripped from a telanovela, and it’s glorious. When Hale shakes his head and says “You could talk a nun into a three-way,” Dyson chirps “Ah, the Crusades, good times.” Like with him snarking about never doing Jane Austin again, (really, the entirety of “School’s Out”), Dyson is best when he’s not constantly brooding in a dark corner. His open jokiness about his sex life makes much more sense, and makes his character much more interesting, as pointed out here. It’s a great deal of why Season 2 Dyson is better than Season 3 Dyson, who makes a couple half-hearted jokes after Tamsin eggs him on, and one comment about sex when having drinks with Lauren.
Hale makes a good point about the womanizing: Dyson could not flaunt the lady magnetism around Bo. “It’s called subtlety.” There’s no reason the whole group can’t hang out without all the drama. Dyson, though, like Bo, isn’t the greatest at considering the feelings of everyone in the group.
HulkWolf comes out after Dyson is cursed (and his perfect obliques are marred), and most of his rage lands on Kenzi. There’s obvious affection in the Kenzi/Dyson dynamic, as well as mutual trust, a fierce desire for Dyson to protect Kenzi even when he rags on her like one would a younger sibling, and of course Kenzi’s appreciation for Dyson’s forms and curiosity about the wolf junk. All this combines in a very comfortable friendship. This is about as strained as the twosome get, because Kenzi is trying to empathize with Bo’s pain, while Dyson is taking out stress over his personal and professional life on Kenzi for doing something admittedly ignorant.
To right her wrong, Kenzi goes first to her aunt, a fortune teller who embraces the gaudiest of stereotypes to lure in tourists and who is also “a wee bit racist.” Bo succu-kisses Aunt Gypsy – and grosses Kenzi out – to convince her Baba Yaga is real, and desperate measures are in order. The summons works or backfires depending on how you look at it; most such summons are designed to backfire. Kenzi is mirror-sucked into Baba Yaga’s world, full of “nubile young women.”
Kenzi is key to the plot not only because she would be the character most likely to have heard of/summon Baba Yaga, but because the plight of the girls imprisoned by baba Yaga hints at a life Kenzi has managed to escape. Kenzi’s darkest timeline surely involves being kept with other women, made to work in a nightmare, and eventually dying and being thrown out on the cobblestones, so to speak. The language Lachlan uses to speak of Kenzi and Lauren to Bo is similar to that used of prostitutes: just get another one, I’m fond of ‘mine,’ etc. And of course Baba Yaga treats her pet much the same way most Fae would see no problem treating a human. The stories all reflect upon each other; fitting in a story in which mirrors and water sources are key.
The way Kenzi stays alive in Baba Yaga’s house is the same way she managed on the streets: some lying, general strategy, a heavy dose of stubborn, an uncanny ability to snark in the face of death. It’s still heartbreaking when she finds a mirror, yells for it to take her ‘home,’ and goes nowhere. This is a girl who, until recently, really hasn’t had a home, and now she’s found it, she seems about to lose it.
Of course, that’s the way these plots work; they have a couple false ends to make things as bleak as possible before the final triumph. Always darkest before the dawn and all that. While Kenzi is yelling at a handmirror, Bo has managed to wrangle her way into a bathtub and gotten herself sent under. She doesn’t actually function as a savior, just as she didn’t really ‘save’ Kenzi in the beginning; Bo and Kenzi did and continue to save each other. Bo triggers Baba Yaga to reveal the secret to using the handmirror Kenzi procured, then holds off the witch as Kenzi saves the other girls with shards of the now-broken mirror.
Now the mirror is gone, an unconscious Bo slumps in the corner as Kenzi and Baba Yaga dance around the room, and around topics of Kenzi’s childhood she’s tried years to forget. When Baba Yaga’s pet snaps his chain and runs her into her own walk-in furnace, it’s because of the work Kenzi did earlier to befriend him. Her ingenuity and kindness are what save her, as they’ve helped save her before. Kenzi credits Bo with helping turn her into a woman and not a scared girl, but Kenzi has done much for herself and Bo along the way.
To cap the episode, Kenzi does one more thing which is important to Bo: she gives her her blessing. Kenzi encourages Bo to drink life ‘to the bottom,’ to fight for Dyson, for Lauren, for what makes her happy.
– “You back off, or I will drop-kick you into a Women’s Studies conference.”
– If Baba Yaga is trying to fatten the girls up, slop seems hardly the best means.
– The chi-suck during mouth-to-mouth after minutes of frustrated CPR puts a fun spin on a tired cliché.
– Bo’s proclamation about ‘probably lost Lauren’ sounds like it would have come after 02.06 “Not Faed Away,” really almost any time after. Other than Dyson having met Ciara in the next episode, this whole ep could have been slotted into anywhere they needed, and I think the plot was sketched to do just that, and then polished as a ‘buffer’ either around Zoie Palmer’s shooting schedule or just to prolong the will they / won’t they.
– The colors are more uniform between scenes than usual, really making use of reds and oranges and flame colors, other than the cool blues when Bo is going under.
– Correct me if I’m wrong, but this hand in the mirror [below] never comes into play again?
In the Buffy episode “Teacher’s Pet,” also the fourth of the season, the last shot is of creepy She-Mantis eggs fermenting in the closet, with similar music over the shot. The eggs are never seen or referenced again. If this is an intentional call-out, I would love to kiss whoever’s idea it was.