Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 06, It’s Better to Burn Out Than Fae Away
You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.
Some courtship rituals are obvious: you take someone for Italian and a movie; you pick someone up for a street fair and have brought a box of fine chocolates and a book of middling poetry; you serenade someone with a boombox outside their window.
Some are more iffy: you go halfsies on a pair of season tickets for your favorite team; you’re always at the mall together; you offer up your bed and laugh at high school horror stories, then throw pizza crust down their shirt. These could go either way, right? We do these thing platonically, too.
Except everyone involved, or close to the situation, or just happening to spot the two of you at the smoothie bar, totally knows whether you’re best pals or whether you’re dancing around the issue. There’s a special way you sit on the couch, and have to nervously comment on every rearrangement so the other person will think you’re cool and funny and ohmygod I’m blushing do they notice my skin is on fire also my arm is asleep but I can’t move it because what if then they think I don’t want to be touching so they move and then we’re not touching anymore, but then if we’re not touching maybe they won’t notice my hands are all sweaty oh crap wipe them on the jeans casually no that wasn’t casual make a comment about the movie oh look the lions are mating NO WRONG EEEEH BUZZER NOISE ABORT ABORT.
And everyone is placing bets on exactly how long it takes for you to have a mental breakdown and admit it.
When Kenzi calls Bo out on the ritualistic courtship dance and brings up, again, the reality that Lauren’s presence is putting everyone in danger and something, anything, should be done, Bo replies “I liked it better when I was the mom.” Kenzi rolls her eyes. “Honey, you were never the mom.” Despite being annoying about it, Kenzi’s the realist here. The situation may be in Bo’s favor so far as wooing a captive audience, but something’s gotta give.
The Morrigan summons Bo from her purgatory of couch-sitting, and we get a slightly clearer idea of what, exactly, the Morrigan does in the Fae world. She signs artists and inspires them, giving them a talent boost in return for their royalties. If the show creators wanted to make sure the Dark Fae were conflated with Evil, they couldn’t’ve done any better than a music exec / talent agent.
That makes Bianca A&R assistant, using her powers to bring in talent and then sway them into signing on the dotted line. But she’s unable to bring Jason – who has spent his free time making elaborate paintings betraying Vex – in, so she brings Bo in, to bring Jason in.
Bo and Kenzi use Kenzi’s old contact Tryst (yes, Tryst) to find Jason, mostly to kill time and provide comic relief while getting relevant information on an easily obtained set. The same with The Eye, only The Eye brings more ick factor.
Then Bo runs into Vex, who uses his powers on her, someone as strong or stronger than the Morrigan to he can indirectly get at the Morrigan.
When Bo tries to up and quit the whole thing, the Morrigan dangles in front of her a possible reprieve for Lauren. But really, Evony kind of wanted to give Bo the nail all along, because she wanted to be the one to spill the beans Lauren has a guuuuuurlfriiiiiend! What can she say, she just wants to watch the world burn.
And Lauren, after coming within milliseconds two episodes ago of telling Bo what the deal with her secret project, manages to still not tell her, and cuts Lachlan off before he can elaborate for Kenzi or the audience.
Basically, characters spend most of the episode doing everything the hardest way possible.
They obscure their machinations with smoke screens like ‘I love him,’ and ‘my unpaid internship is great because it’s high profile,’ and ‘I personally came to threaten Bo’s pet Kenzi instead of sending my minions because science is super important to me!’ The last one is kind of implied, but it’s a bit absurd Lachlan would have come himself, even if he was hoping to rub it in Bo’s face yet again. Does he have no other duties?
The tropes are strong with this episode. The incredibly talented artist is mentally tormented. The dirty boy Vex is into BDSM, and the dominatrix is evil; even before she’s supernaturally convinced, her only objection to murder is it ‘isn’t my thing.’ Both of these are explained via Fae being under the sway of other, more powerful Fae, but it’s still trope-y as all get out. The downtrodden underling is so angry she attempts a coup. Then the same underling/failed painter offs herself to ‘make something beautiful’ when that doesn’t work. And last is the faking-love-to-get-what-you-want, though it being a powerful woman doing it to a pretty young man instead of the other way around makes it almost worthwhile.
Bo falls for the lovesick Evony bit because she’s . . . well, because the plot requires her to be more dense than usual, but also because at heart she’s a hopeless romantic, and she’s currently in a state of presumably endless yearning, so she’s a sucker for that sort of story.
Her wait, however, is about to come to
an end a tiny reprieve. Lachlan’s visit, Kenzi’s assertion about how much Bo cares for Lauren, and especially her own impending return to Fae prison has pushed Lauren to go for the pre-climax climax.
But again, characters this episode must make things difficult before getting what they want.
Lauren is a gorgeous woman who didn’t have sex for five years (!) before her last encounter with Bo – who’s confirmed in 3.10 as the best lay Lauren (or Dyson) will ever have. Said encounter was a little tenuous until it confirmed she and Bo can have sex without Lauren dying – always a plus. The clubhouse has been charged with sexual tension ever since Lauren arrived; Kenzi can practically cut it with her katana. Now, with the house to themselves and Lauren facing imprisonment or worse, Lauren puts her hand on Bo’s face, leans in, thinks about this perhaps being her last opportunity . . . and asks to make sure she’s not the rebound girl.
I’m unsure whether this is the most brilliant or ridiculous thing Lauren’s ever done. On the one hand, you want to make sure you and your partner are on the same page before you dive into bed. On the other, you’re about to go away for a long time, maybe forever, and Lachlan’s surely not going to allow conjugal visits. The sidekick has drunk all the wine, so the coast is finally clear. Have all the hot succubus sex you can handle.
Well, hot succu-sex does happen as soon as Bo assures Lauren she’s no rebound. The shots go from medium, to closeup, to far away, to extreme closeup, to medium, changing distances as the camera is kept mostly in motion and still managing (in some cases barely) to keep everything TV-friendly. The double-take editing and cutting from one shot to the same shot an indeterminate amount of time later isn’t a hiccup but a style choice, making it seem frenetic and driving home some parts while drawing others out. Or maybe it’s covering something up, along with the digital zoom and pasties. Either way, it works.
Despite having drunk her weight in wine, surely Kenzi realizes she’s sleeping in Lauren’s spot, thus Lauren was going to be in Bo’s bed, right? I mean, Lauren could have gone and slept in Kenzi’s theoretical bedroom, but . . . lez be real here.
For this and other reasons, Kenzi’s bathroom overreaction – fun as it generally is to watch Solo ham it up – makes no sense. Even as a Team Dyson reaction, the gag pantomime is too absurd. Next scenes we see Kenzi, she’s all empathy for Bo and sad feelings Lauren had to go back, which is where she’s been otherwise headed despite her loud protestations and broad threats. While Kenzi’s initial denial of Lauren’s presence was motivated out of self-preservation, Lauren giving herself up when Kenzi was dangling from a goon’s chokehold, right after being honest and asserting she wanted the best for Bo, struck a chord. The two of them are certainly the best at reading people and situations, and watching Lauren respond to Kenzi’s ‘best friend routine’ is perfect. All this is part of why Kenzi comes up defending Lauren at the end. “Maybe she has her reasons.”
Like, maybe her girlfriend is in in a biodome which keeps her in suspended animation while Lauren fights for a cure and serves a supernatural multi-headed ruler to ensure funds and safety.
Well that, that’s just crazy.
– I’m aware of singular/plural pronoun agreement and how many different ways I violated it up in my opening pps, but trying to go s/he all the time or every-other with the pronouns in all the descriptions felt absurd, so until we come up with a widely accepted neutral pronoun, the plural it is!
– If all old fogies who don’t appreciate art on city walls were equipped with scorpion tails, we’d be in trouble.
– Fae who can control people’s inner motivations, of course she’s Italian.
– I know Lauren is sometimes mistreated by various characters / the writer’s room while usually managing to keep her head, but nothing underscores her general diplomacy so much as charitably telling Bo Kenzi “drank some wine” after the way Kenzi was an asshat the first half of the episode. If I were Lauren, I would’ve laced her wine, she would have woken up in an AA meeting, and I would have told Bo she was at the Dal drinking her weight in sangria, so let’s do it on her bed.
– That tank-top/bra trick feels like a temporary solution to an omnipresent problem.
– Bo darling. That’s not what The Eye means by ‘the second stroke of midday.’
– As if I needed another reason to want me a Hale, he cures hangovers!