Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 01, In Memoriam
This is probably a terrible episode to start with if you’re watching the show for the first time. It’s an episode full of fakeouts, callbacks, fanservice, fanteasing, and beautiful new sets, carried entirely on the lovely shoulders of Ksenia Solo. If you’re just jumping in, you’re probably still confused.
This review is not going to help with that feeling.
Shooting without Anna Silk meant some writearounds, and taking it . . . wherever they’re going to take it this season, meant resetting some things and establishing new groundrules. The episode also pulls several fakeouts along the lines of “Caged Fae” as opener (though none quite as successfully as that ep making Bo rogue).
Doing all this with mixed-and-matched romances on top could have been schmatlzy and/or terrible, but spotlighting Kenzi/Solo was the perfect move. Kenzi has fantastic chemistry with every other character. She easily slips into the role of Dyson’s investigative partner, and I would definitely watch a spinoff which is just the two of them tracking down fae petty crimes. She also sells being Kenziana Jones (alternate name: Double-O Kenzi), snarky sidekick, damsel in distress, and oh yes how did it take them until season 4 to write her onto a dance floor? Though we have no idea what happened with her quest with Bruce [where Bruce? MOAR BRUCE!] to get fae powers, here Kenzi’s finally lashing out against the anti-human aspect of the fae system. Rage, baby, rage.
Along with humor, physicality, and rage, Solo deftly navigates the more subtle emotional beats, too: the weird romance with Dyson; the vulnerability when Massimo is sexually and monetarily taking advantage of her, another glimpse into an alternate timeline where Kenzi never met Bo; the chemistry with Hale; the acceptance and verbalization of BFF status with Dyson; and finally, the way she misses her best friend even when she can’t actually remember Bo’s existence.
The plot here is fairly simple: Kenzi/Dyson/Hale/Vex/Trick/Aife have forced-lost their memories back until at least the point Bo came into their lives. They all still met, probably because Dyson picked up Kenzi for running a P.I. scam. For purposes of plot simplicity, certain things have not been erased, such as memories of Tamsin and Stella. They need to get a compass to set things right. George Takei is a snake who has said artifact. What’s interesting is what the characters – and visuals – do along the way, so I’m just going to break it down in list form.
First, have some samples of notes I took during the episode:
Um, it’s creepy his wolfnose is COUNTING HER THONGS
He can SEE the thongs.
Thought he was smelling them.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
this is also a fakeout, right?
All the nope.
Did they switch bodies again?
THIS IS WRONG
nopity nopity nope nope
they’re trying too hard to psyche us out.
[much later] ooooh. there it is.
– Warehouses again! Warehouse for the party set, too, just with fancier screens and fewer boxes.
– I love this restaurant set. Those poles really do it for me.
– Orange and teal! But also every other color. They use a lot of colored lights, playing them across fog and curtains and faces, etc.
– Takei’s picture just hanging out in the background before we see him is great.
– That dance scene uses people, costumes, and lights to full effect.
– They splurged on lots of well-dressed extras. [In the US, at least, extras list whether they own ‘formal wear’ on their resumes. Actors get an extra few bucks for the clothes every day they’re on set, and a cleaning stipend every full week they have to wear the item.]
– George Takei coming around the corner is gold. It’s better in motion, so no picture, but I’m sure there’s already a .gif of it somewhere.
– This bit with Vex is so fucking fantastic, the heels, the codpiece, the tophat, but Paul Amos throwing himself into it is what really makes it land.
Character Personality Throughlines
This is something the episode excels at, because it’s able to bring traits out and really show them off, even having characters mostly-unknowingly exposit about themselves. The episode can show character details explicitly because it decontextualizes their behaviors. We see the essences of their personalities operating outside familiar contextual structures, and it crystalizes what’s been going on below the surface for four seasons.
Her loyalty and love have never really been subtle, and they’re what this episode uses to bring her to a realization of Bo’s loss.
He has a hatred for change. He’d rather keep an OK thing than explore other possibilities, like he did when he and Bo were together. He never recognizes the bad, he just pushes it off, and he’s always trying to get back to some ideal moment which is only ideal in his head.
His anger at being left out of the inner circle drives him to constantly perform. He didn’t make the Morrigan play for the power, he did it for the attention.
He is never as smooth with the ladies as he thinks he is. It’s great to have this rich, suave playboy character who isn’t actually so suave, but who is loved anyways.
She, like Kenzi, is a survivor. And owner of many wigs.
“All that’s kept me alive is my hate.” If they play their cards right, she’s not going to be a redeemed character, but a true lost girl.
– Kenzi wearing the ubiquitous kimono.
– Aife touching the waitress. Bringing back a flash of Bo from 1.01 is a questionable editing move, but I get in addition to triggering Kenzi, they’re trying to introduce new viewers to the fact the two and their powers are related. However, this is a terrible episode for any new viewers.
– Aife downplays her rape of Dyson again/still, and though it’s a part of her personality, it’d leave new viewers thinking she and he had a regular sexual history. [Also, has Aife always had that tattoo on her wrist?]
– Aife’s photo of Bo is the one Dyson had in his drawer.
– The best part of the restaurant scene is its extended callback reminiscent of Kenzi’s cat lady client in “Dead Lucky.”
– I love Kenzi’s klepto tendencies, and they’re never not funny. But in Trick’s lair, it kind of takes away from what she just said. They barely pass it off because she has a different memory/personality.
– Dyson has subconscious hots for Vex! Waving that scroll around, having a ‘Mexican standoff’ which excites them both . . . oh yes. (Of course, he also pictures Hale when making out. “That’s very open-minded of you.”)
– “I’m . . . well-endowed” is a callback to Vex’s ‘performance issues’ last season. He neatly ties the two together here, using his powers while talking about his package.
– We still get a triangle, just a totally different configuration.
– Aife has a thing for Fleet Week (also carried through on at the end of the episode).
– Is “wouldn’t you shut up and let me lead for once” a call back, too? It felt familiar.
– Vex and Kenzi’s mascara tips.
– ‘You fought by my/our side’ from Hale to Vex, where before it was Lauren to Hale.
– Is Terrible Ginger Lauren a callback to Karen Beattie’s terrible hair?
– Apparently if I go on a ‘cheese, popcorn, and vodka’ diet, I’ll look like that. Done.
-The holding of the “s” sound is overdone, and misses several starting Ses. Cut it.
– Not one but two mentions of a stuffed unicorn.
– See what they’re going for, but don’t like use of ‘asexual hobo.’ It comes across as ‘an asexual person’ being an insult, instead of reading as ‘a person in clothing with is ragtag and without discernible sexuality.’
– Kenzi: ‘Suede in this weather? You beautiful badass.’
– Dyson: ‘She’s beautiful.’ Kenzi: ‘Yeah if you’re into faces and bodies. Whatever.”
– Kenzi: “I could be a Kardashian.” Dyson: “You could be shy.”
I hope Dyson keeps this personality after the amnesia wears off. Kris Holden-Ried should be this well-used always.
Dale noted this season was going to pull in regional authorities, Melanie noted ‘authority figures galore.’ Kenzi’s conversations with Trick suggest that’s accurate.
It’s also possible-to-likely we were right about at least Tamsin getting yanked to another place/dimension, since Dyson can’t sniff her out.
Other than that, this episode gave us nothing.
Bo is not in the box. Other than a ‘dick in the box’ joke, I’ve really got no alternative suggestion for what is.
Trick ran off with Stella, so are we to assume whoever messed with his memory brought him back? I expect flashbacks to resolve this.
Massimo’s quasi-rape-y scene plays up his total douchiness, but also, if Lost Girl keeps up its record, Kenzi will get to pay him back with some sort of fitting punishment.
That Clio-being-like-Kenzi foreshadows the nymph will be used to double Kenzi at some point, or possibly Kenzi will pass herself off as Cleo . . . maybe [here’s the stretch] because the nymph is a member of the una mens?