Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 02, Sleeping Beauty School
Right off, let me explain why I love the last episode (4.01), but call out this episode as so much fluff and filler, even though this episode technically gets us closer to the presumed objective of ‘get Bo back and the gang together again’ than 4.01.
Last episode was essentially a freebie. Despite having many things going on which were technically inconsequential to the season’s plot (all characters could have been in almost the same situation without the memory loss, and the compass could have been a key to getting to Bo’s plane, or whatever), the actions were all consequential within the episode. There was a defined objective – get the compass – and a path to it: charm the not-pants off George Takei. Though there is also plenty of mystery and misdirection, it’s all given reason and/or purpose at some point because memory loss.
“Sleeping Beauty School” has a much broader endgame – get to Bo – and additionally and most damningly, it’s given no clear path or objective. Thus the rules can get made up and changed along the way. Boy, do they ever. The beauty school is a fun setpiece (why are none of the salons I go to fronts for mystical sex rings?), but ultimately doesn’t add to a single plot point or character beat. The entire plotline of waking a genderflipped Sleeping Beauty ends up for naught, because he as a character exists to spout sexist crap and get hit by a train.
Essentially, everything deadends or exists for the sole purpose of obfuscation.
If that feels familiar, and this episode comes across eerily reminiscent of last season’s “Fae-ge Against The Machine” – everyone gets split up, a big deal is made about a kiss, characters whose power seems to be confusion and annoyance pop up everywhere, a Rube Goldberg of plot devices with continuous expositionary Tell While Showing scenes, elaborately contrived torture devices – that’d be because it’s the same writer. Only instead of a parallel stories and a clear child trafficking parable we get every character for his/her self and an unclear story about how Bo is . . . abducted by a traveling circus? There’s no plot, there’s just stumbling from one device to the next.
Additionally, play the penultimate scene of 3.04 next to the final diner scene of 4.02 and the lines about getting kissed over a confession of sex and hugged over a deletion of video ring so similarly, because again, same writer. Last episode, the multiple lines of similarity were used to jar a response both from characters and audience, and we also got some phenomenal setpieces to make up for any places the plot wore thin; not just George Takei as a snake, but Ksenia Solo trotting out her moves, lots of fireworks, absurdist theatre. Here, no such thing. Wide swaths of dialog are purely unnecessary, either because the characters are saying what they feel instead of showing it, or in the most egregious instance, Vex has Clio repeat “it’s a deal” just so Dyson could overhear it. Things get rehashed for the heck of it.
Big chunks of this episode are bait-and-switch or just plain trippy, sometimes verging on creepy. It opens on Trick talking to a photo of Bo, and wiping blood over her pictured boobs. Perhaps it’s his blood, spilled from the cuts Aife made, and it’s somehow going to affect what happens next? I’m unsure what was meant here: no matter what, a tad weird, no? Then Kenzi shows her awareness/involvement in Bo’s sex life, which is normal and funny but then when it starts hitting really specific notes, toes that creepy line. Then Hale gets sexed by 20 hairdressers at once, leaves there to almost immediately overpower Kenzi with his faeremones, then has awkward moments with a teenage Tamsin which vacillate wildly between hilarious and creepy. To top it off, Dyson uses a spritz kiss to have the world’s most awkward threesome with an unconscious dude who upon wakening starts blathering sexist nonsense (more on that later).
Then, what does the episode do well? Generally, while its overall coherence is nil, it lands some nice interpersonal moments, and forwards a few arcs.
The episode solidifies the fact Lauren is important in/to the fae world, not just individuals in it. This arc is being slowly drawn out, and we’re not entirely sure yet why she’s important to the Una Mens in particular (though I have some guesses), but the anti-human crusade coupled with what she knows cannot bode well.
It gets in some really interesting commentary on the overall futility of masculine force. Dyson continually tries to confront things with brute strength, but continually it’s sex, speech, logic, or a combination of those three which solve the problem. The one exception is the funny bit where he forgoes even attempting to open the safe in favor of ripping it out of the wall, after Kris Holden-Ried carefully avoids feeling the boobs on the painting cover.
Tamsin-kid is generally funny, and whether good kid actor or crafty editing, her timing on the AGAINs is fantastic. As someone who’s spent the better part of the past 3 years living with young kids, the constant attempts to curtail swear words, explain various items, and most especially entertain/distract with videos on a cell phone is really quite perfect. It wouldn’t’ve taken much longer for Young TamTam long to figure out how to play the video on her own, though. Nor would it have taken much longer for her to get unbearable, so thanks for warp-growth.
At some point all the characters ramble on about love, some under the spell of the Endymion, and some under a barrage of kid questions, but only one really sticks. Kenzi’s soliloquy on love is so much better than Dyson’s or Hale’s, not only because it’s more her personality to verbalize, but because it doesn’t take itself so seriously. (Also, yo, Hale, if you really need to explain at that much length you like them, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Not to mention, there’s a pretty blatant insult to Kenzi’s humanity at the end there, and “I want to be a part of you” also is really weird/meh.)
Dyson and Clio get on the train, Bo gets off the train. This could keep Anna Silk’s role small in the next ep, prolonging the time she doesn’t have to act across from other people and thus could shoot around her schedule. It’s pragmatic and smart writing, though if it ends up with another episode like this, it may not be worthwhile.
My mostly list-based format last week was meant to be a one-off, but I think it actually serves this week well, too. Here goes.
Some Veiwing Notes
That’s a nice twist.
I’ll allow it.
this Hale thing might be getting old
i can’t tell
what is happening right now. Dyson is using his words?
no. NO. “I still fight for her.” damnit.
he works so much better how he is right now.
why didn’t they jettison this storyline?
The script notes for Lauren/Amber must read, ‘Appears on screen in worst shirt/hair combination possible.” “Arrives at work wearing the most terrible pants.” “Amber really looks awful, as if the world has kicked her to the curb and then a doubledecker bus has driven by and soaked her with gutter refuse.’
The dude’s ex owns a salon and the troutometrist was an eye doctor . . . they’re gonna hit up all of Toronto’s small businesses. It’s great way to expand set repertoire.
Cleo with a cigarette behind her ear, Hale’s hat, and that shirt just screams ‘oldschool movie intrepid female journalist.’ I’m not generally a fan of puffy shirts, but I am a fan of His Girl Friday, so, SOLD.
A camera moving to come up behind someone is always meaningful, and here you expect Kenzi to see someone when she turns around; instead, it’s a realization of what Kenzi’s doing. There’s nothing particularly vital about this, I just found it interesting.
Character Personality Throughlines
This season so far seems to have reset small parts of everyone’s personalities, mostly by keying them up to fever pitch, and I dunno if that’s gonna stick.
Vex continues to do whatever best benefits himself. If he can help some people he kind of likes along the way, sure, but he puts himself first no matter what.
Kenzi steals from Trick with no remorse, and this ramp-up of a throughline from Seasons 1-3 started last episode.
Dyson always goes to that motorcycle, but it’s not just fleeing the scene when it gets emotive, it’s that Dyson always runs when it gets to the not-fighty parts. Look how he leaves Kenzi to babysit so he can track down leads with Hale, then leaves Hale at the mercy of the hairdressers so he can tear a door off things. Finesse, schimesse. He doesn’t want to take time to understand things he can’t physically engage with. All this is why his exposition on love feels so forced; it’s not in his character.
Trick’s default is still keeping secrets from Bo! Will he never learn? (I’m unsure if Dyson’s ‘there’s a lot of things Bo must never find out’ was sardonic.)
Lauren is just over there saving lives/the fae world without much fanfare. It’s not a personality trait, perse, but it’s definitely something that’s coming into play more and more. Likely, humanity and fae oppression (faepression?) are major things she’ll be coming to terms with this season, along with Kenzi.
Tamsin still keeps her property of having no social boundaries. Just as she moved into Lauren’s house as a drunken adult, here she pokes in Bo’s drawers, plays with Kenzi’s sprite paste, and eats whatever she pleases.
‘How are you still alive.’ Nobody ever knows how Kenzi survives.
The kimono, which is well on its way to being worn by every single character. I want them to finangle Trick into it.
Cherry Pie (see Lauren’s picture).
Turkish bath indeed. All the mens want a piece of Dyson.
Not exactly a callback, but our Sleeping Beauty wakes up calling women whores and trollops, and gets run over by a train posthaste. He’s misogyny personified, and he gets offed right away for it, which is a trend in Lost Girl, as I’ve noted. Still, so much sexism this season, and sure to be more when Massimo gets back on screen. Sure it’s presented negatively, but why the proliferation?
– Ah, I was waiting for a flashback. They gotta reuse that crash, it cost a lot.
– Salon as front for a sex ring? Why don’t I ever accidentally make an appointment at one of those!?
– Lauren can put down her liquor. Apparently, it’s champagne which really gets her.
– ‘All I got was a head massage.’
– ‘Kicks you in the box.’
– ‘No cream no gleam.’
Bo’s presence is indeed light, and likely all these scenes were shot not at the same time as the rest of 4.02.
We are correct about people being on a different plane! Just Bo (possibly Tamsin at some point, it’s unclear how valkyrie-generation works), but still correct.
The authority figures are definitely here, and definitely a new weight class.
Bo’s not in the box, which was something I called last week. Still unsure what IS in said box A small taco-craving Chihuahua, perhaps?