Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 11, Can’t See The Fae-rest
You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.
We all drool over pretty things. Some of us lust after jackets, which may also be the only thing which made Wisconsin winters bearable. Also, one of the reasons we started watching Veronica Mars in high school. What I’m saying is, if those of us with a thing for jackets also had Bo’s powers, we may not be as judicious about when to use them. Bo using her powers for personal gain keeps cropping up, usually with Kenzi as instigator, without being directly addressed. Perhaps in the future there will be a Big Dilemma about it, but I like how it’s an undercurrent.
Enter Ciara, who was shopping in the very center of lusty jackets. She offers to take Bo to lunch, Bo declines on the flimsiest of excuses and coughs, because ‘I’m not getting any on a regular basis, and you’re getting some from my ex, so I’m gonna go ahead and make this awkward.’ Kenzi, always skilled at breakups, isn’t so good at the rest of relationship-dealing. Though it is in her character right now to be high-school about the whole thing, Bo needs to get a grip. Ciara may be shagging her ex-wolf, but Bo and said wolf are getting along, Bo likes Ciara, Ciara is bending over backwards to make friends, they both know what it feels like to be insecure in a relationship, there’s no reason for them not to be big girls and get along, other than to give them their nice little chat with their actual bodies at the end of this ep. Once that’s over, Ciara and Dyson can deal with their internal relationship workings.
Part of the problem with the Dyson/Ciara coupling is – despite the fact they’re good for each other, despite the fact there’s chemistry and history and compatibility and understanding, despite the fact Bo has moved on and Bo and Ciara get along when the writers aren’t foisting a little awkward jealousy on them, despite Bo and Dyson working well as friends and partners in crime-solving – the show never intends for Ciara to be a viable long-term option. They use her to test and demonstrate the whole One Love thing. Thus we the audience can’t buy the coupling, either; though we do buy the end-of-the-world sex.
While I often make Buffy comparisons, this half of Lost Girl‘s second season abounds with comparisons to another fantastic show often treated as fluff it’s anything but: Gilmore Girls [spoilers til end of paragraph]. Christopher is an inferior character to Ciara, but the shows use them similarly. Gilmore Girls insisted on making Lorelai take Big Steps with Christopher, while never actually building him into a realistic obstacle to Luke. It plays this angle up to and through the absurd quicky marriage fiasco, akin to Ciara’s buying a house and insisting Dyson toss his Hale-face t-shirt. (More ways the two shows are similar in next week’s reviews.) The shows don’t buy the relationships, so they can’t properly sell said relationships.
When Ciara has some insecurities, then professes her love for Dyson, we feel sorry for her; we know it could and should work, but won’t get to. Dyson’s “I will give you everything that I can” is an honest but flimsy answer. Considering how well Ciara seems to read people – knowing immediately Bo is putting her off, telling Bo she has to accompany Dyson because Lita is a predator who’d prefer to chase Dyson with his woman watching, etc – she should pick up on this, but she’s willing to grasp at straws.
While Kenzi and Bo are coveting jackets, the people who get offed this episode simply have to have a one-of-a-kind, super expensive trinket. Not that having nice things is wrong, but the methods used to obtain them can be. Humans seem to be in the practice of getting things whether it means killing elephants, working children in sweatshops, or depriving people of their homes.
If there’s another tie between the A and B stories, it’s women being exploited, fighting back, and being mercilessly treated for their efforts. After years of being taken advantage of by the system and the men who run it, Maganda and Lauren put their respective feet down; Maganda by killing those who are chopping away at her spirit and have taken her home (theme alert), Lauren by defiantly refusing to continue obeying the Ash’s orders without assistance for her task of curing Nadia. Both have some ground to stand on, but both are imprisoned for their actions. Life isn’t fair, but it’s even less fair for certain people.
Of course, Maganda’s story and revenge are more extreme, and mirror the plight of many indigenous people: have your land and customs taken from you, fight back until it escalates to killing, get crushed by those in power because they’re bigger and stronger. Then those in power co-opt your culture, lifestyle, and goods, and make loads of money off of it. If you so much as complain, they crush you harder.
Lachlan makes two interesting plays here. Rather than crush Maganda entirely, he imprisons her until Hines the ‘antiques dealer’ gets all her tree back, seeming to take pity on her situation. He doesn’t actually care that humans are murdered, and it’s nice we see some Light indiscriminately killing without major repercussions, but there’s ground for worse punishment akin to Lou Ann’s, both in a human court system and the fae world, as her killings had witnesses.
Then, for the far lesser legal matter but more personal affront of defying him, he imprisons Lauren indefinitely, and amuses himself by walking Bo past her cell. The specific item he picks to quibble with Lauren over – and thus set her off – is an insect fae, which life he obviously treasures more than that of Lauren, a human. Yes, Lauren’s reaction escalates quickly, but Lachlan is driving her towards it, and he’s very, very good at pushing peoples’ buttons.
The framing and filming style helps the shortcut, too, mirroring the characters’ positions and emotional states. Lachlan is shot at a semi-extreme upward angle, Lauren at a downward angle, emphasizing how he forcer her to look up to him while he looks down at her. But what I really love is how the camera movement stay small and calm while on the Ash, but get more shaky on Lauren as she gets more upset, finally zooming in and resembling shaky-cam as she’s taken off to the dungeon.
In neither of these matters does Lachlan actually care about the two women and their situations; he’s merely using them as tools to manipulate a third woman, Bo, because he needs her. Or more accurately, because he believes the fae need him to use her – a narcissist always puts himself at the center, even of others’ narratives.
Yet he is about to get deeply involved in Lauren and Bo’s personal lives. Why? For one, because the way their personal lives play out will benefit him. Lauren will reaffirm her pledge, so he gets her doctoring abilities. Bo will not be so distracted by Lauren’s, er, charms, and so will play better with Lachlan. But also, he just loves to play God. And you’ve got to admit, he’s pretty damn good at it.
Like last episode, this is basically quicky filler to space out the story while throwing us a couple juicy tidbits of character formation. Like last episode, CGI and makeup is kept to a minimum, probably because of the money for extra locations and actors. What exactly happens to develop character and plot? Bo and Ciara bond, superficially via shopping rituals but mostly because Bo comes to respect Ciara; “She’s ballsy.” Kenzi’s a bit jealous, just as she is over Lauren, but she’ll get over it. Dyson and Bo work together platonically. Lachlan lays more ground for his endgame, telling Bo and the audience that he will do absolutely anything to protect the Light fae.
The real thing of import is Lauren and Lachlan finally, openly butt heads. The nail and the biodome and the Lich’s information have built the framework over the past several episodes, and Lauren throwing those folders starts the Rube Goldberg machine’s inexorable march towards Nadia.
– In this podcast, my lovely hosts and I talked about how fae don’t address safe sex. We also mention ways – humorous, prop related, and serious – they could bring it up. I’d forgotten the scene here where the guy asks his date about condom type preference. So, they do work it in once, with people we don’t consistently see shagging.
– This redirect from obvious villain to actual villain works better than last episode’s. Perhaps because the boxing trope is more well-worn than the designer trope, and because the party with multiple talking extras allows for more viable suspects.
-There’s potentially a reading Maganda has mental illness or falls somewhere on the autism spectrum, especially because people with mental differences often wind up homeless. Her particular species as tree fae, added to distress over seeing her home dismantled piece-by-piece, causes some of those impressions. But the idea of someone being disadvantaged – especially older indigenous female – and thus becoming homeless and misunderstood appears more likely, especially in context of the entire show. I don’t see enough of Maganda to really support something otherwise.
– I love how Kenzi spins from Tony Soprano to Jane Eyre on a dime.
– Dyson: “What can I say, I’m a snake charmer?” Masturbation joke, or more homoeroticism hints?
– The perry fae are getting killed by backyard bug zappers. Guessing that was Lauren’s theory.
– Bo’s line ‘come on, tree-hugger’ is unnecessarily disrespectful, especially when she turns around and lectures Hines and fights for Maganda. The ‘that’s OK I don’t need a hug’ would have been enough levity.