Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 13, “Barometz. Trick. Pressure.”
You know the drill. Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here.
Having found out partway through production the season had been extended to 22 episodes, some shuffling had to be done. This episode manages to integrate plots fairly well with the housekeeping of getting Zoie Palmer and Ksenia Solo out for a few weeks (presumably on contract for prior obligations). Some other characters are introduced or expanded to cover any shorter shooting availability for the main cast.
Bo is emotionally traumatized by Lauren leaving, especially since in her fervor it didn’t occur to her Lauren would give Lachlan credit for Nadia’s awakening, but next episode Ryan will step in to help distract her and fill some screen time. Kenzi is getting serious with Nate, as Ciara is with Dyson; Lachlan steps up his plan; the Garuda makes himself known and thus makes Trick central to a running plot for the first time.
Meanwhile, the various sideplots and Big-Bad-puzzle-pieces are cheap to produce yet effective: body switching which requires minimal CGI and lets Anna Silk play two roles, and projection at an off-season drive-in is simultaneously trippy and effective. All this to save money which will be spend on choreographer and the firewings. Money well spent. Swordplay and firewings are awesome.
Against the backdrop of serious plots like An Ancient Power Coming To Start A World-Ending War So He Can Feed Off Fae Anger, Ciara’s t-shirt hating comes across even more contrived. Perhaps juxtaposition is the point? Perhaps though she seems mostly levelheaded, her weird jealousies are sparked by Hale’s handsome mug being worn on Dyson’s chest? Whatever the case, Dyson has bigger issues. Prompted by supernatural fingersnaps, he admits he “can’t” love Ciara. Maybe he was deluding himself to think he could. Maybe he should get super psychoanalytical and ask, if he’s so worried about hiding this fact to not hurt Ciara, is that in itself the type of love? Must a relationship have romantic love (or whatever specific concoction the Norn took, since it wasn’t overall capacity for love) to survive? I suppose I shouldn’t be expecting that level of introspection from a character who growls and runs at things to avoid mental engagements.
Contrivance, too, is Nate finding a letter Kenzi wrote to him years ago and writing a song about it, but this result is hilarious, corny, and perfect in entirety, including Kenzi’s reaction faces.
Wai Lynn is the first hint at what’s to come regarding Trick’s sexuality, and also suggesting even darker past than we’ve heard of yet. They apparently have a history, and she’s not about to let him off with a sheep plant hallucinogen without a little personal gratification. (Man, I hate when that happens.) But Trick gets what he came for, and goes into a trance with Dyson and Hale watching over him carefully.
His trance involves an abandoned outdoor movie theatre, Trick’s former wife, and a mysterious, popcorn-munching man watching from a car. The man can clearly see all the action, because it’s projected on the screen.
The production team is happy because they have a fairly controlled environment, and it’s an all-day shoot; half for Rick Howland and Alisen Down to shoot what will be projected onto the screen, the rest for the night shoot. I’d bet money it’s the same exact location, with an easy backdrop thrown up for the projection’s cliffs; since it was going to be desaturated, brightened, and projected, it doesn’t need to even be very realistic.
This arc of Trick’s, including this vision and his flackbacks in the season finale, both entrenches his ruthless personality trait and somewhat humanizes him. He really considers undoing what he wrote in blood to gain back his wife; so we get a picture of a man in love, and haunted, and (understandably) selfish. But he only rejects her offer when he realizes he can’t have her back. We’re left to wonder if he would have undone everything for his own gratification.
The Garuda says “We have smelled where you are, the Dal Riata,” and it feels very much more than a blanket statement of war against faekind, but a personal vendetta against a powerful king who went into hiding as a simple barkeep to save his own skin. Then, when we see how the writing came about (in 2.22), why Trick waited so long, and what finally made him open his veins, we realize even then it was about him: his power, his love, his desire to be the ruler who was remembered for greatness.
All this is doubled in Lachlan. Heck, even the love story, if you think about it, because Lachlan is completely in love with himself, in equal measure to how determined he is to beat the Garuda.
Make no mistake: Lachlan’s machinations having a Greater Purpose don’t make him a good guy, just as Trick’s refusal to undo the laws don’t make him one. Trick realizes his wife is an illusion, and undoing the laws will get him nowhere. Lachlan is still a jackass, he’s just more drunk on his sense of self-importance than we realized. If I haven’t used the word Machiavellian enough yet to explain his behavior, let me use it again here. He thinks because he’s got a master plan to defeat the Garuda, it excuses anything he does in the meantime, giving him cart blanche to treat his subjects . . . well, exactly how he would have treated them anyways, because he’s a conceited power-hungry person. He says he didn’t enjoy the torture and imprisonment and taunting Bo, but he _totally_ did.
He’s conceited enough he never dreamed of losing to Bo, so challenging her never endangered his big plan. After he throws her a sword and then they travel all over Canadian Hogwarts, Lachlan always either retreats to give him more time to talk instead of taking the win, or toys with Bo. Once he’s said all he wanted to, she surprises him by mentioning the Nain Rouge. He throws his sword because they have each others’ attention, but also because he’s confident in Bo’s enduring and occasionally misplaced compassion, and perhaps most importantly, her curiosity. Then he spills his plan and makes her an offer. Game, set, match.
There’s of course an argument to be made civilizations need people like Trick and Lachlan to survive; people who are coldblooded, confident, manipulative, bent on succeeding and beating their opponents at all costs. The flip side of that is it simply breeds more like themselves, more like the Garuda, and the cycle will never end. Bo is not like these leaders. But perhaps the Wanderer is. And perhaps Bo may be facing that dark side of herself in S4.
– While it’s so short it may play as merely a sight gag, the scene of the two Bos is also rather loaded. One of her threatens violence to get what she wants, the other uses sex. What does this say about Bo? Are the two manifestations of her two sides to her, or part of the whole her? Is Suit Bo really planning to use the violence? What about Bo Bo’s repeated use of sex-touching without consent, implied or otherwise? Is threat of violence better, worse, or on the same level as actual non-consensual sexual contact? Are they the same thing? QUESTIONS ARE SO INTERESTING.
– Having come up with the nickname ‘Boobycakes,’ the only question is why Kenzi only uses it once.
– Trick has had 20 years to find both the hallucinogen and the ring he needs for his trance, and is only obtaining them hours before his ritual. A procrastinator after my own heart.
– Props makes a lot of fun contraptions out of spare parts.
– “Is that like a fae boy band or something? Because I don’t think Justin Timberlake keeps members of his old band in a box.”
– “I’m going to get up early tomorrow and . . . save the world” not only ties back to the end of last episode, with Bo grumping about her inability to sleep in as a crazy cat bobbled in the background, but its delivery is perfectly reminiscent of Buffy. (Which I haven’t referenced for at least a couple weeks of reviews, so give me a pass on this one.)