Lost Girl review – 2×08: ‘Death Didn’t Become Him’

Courtesy of Syfy / Showcase

Lost Girl hits the stage for an episode that delivers a metric ton of exposition, wrapped in an otherwise “okay” package. It’s a strange combination: an episode that I can’t say I “enjoyed”, but that I loved moments of.

Let’s bitch it out…

I suppose that the reason I was less than enthused is that I never really bought into the conflict between Bo (Anna Silk) and the Lich. I appreciate that he was eating humans and stealing bodies to reanimate them as part of a baroque one-of-a-kind collection, but let’s face it, the guy is less than threatening. As a result the threat of danger never feels real and I was never truly concerned for either Bo or Lauren (Zoie Palmer).

With that said, however, I did really enjoy the idea behind the episode, which highlighted the role of performativity in love. In essence everyone is playing parts in ‘Death Didn’t Become Him’, which serves to reinforce the artificial manner in which these characters are tip-toeing around each other.

The most obvious example is in the A storyline with the way that Bo and Lauren are treating each other. For several episodes they’ve been dancing around the fact that they keep coming thisclose to connecting and then something comes between them (The Ash, Nadia, etc). And so they continue to play the charade, with Bo in the role of supportive friend, pretending to help Lauren out of kindness and poorly disguising her pain when Lauren comments on the importance of their *gulp* friendship. Lauren reciprocates with her own performance, tagging along to the Lich’s macabre performance under the pretense that she’s there solely to acquire information to liberate her frozen popsicle girlfriend, Nadia.

It’s only when the two of them refuse to play roles for the Lich – first as passive audience members to the show, and then as featured performers in the role of succubus and “lover” – that Bo is finally forced to break character. And what a show she gives us, complete with blue eyes and a pulsating body of chi, sucking the life force from the Lich’s entourage all at once (and from a distance!). It’s an exciting moment because Bo finally stops “pretending” and let’s herself be her. She’s spent so many of these first S2 episodes not caring about Dyson and Lauren that it’s incredibly refreshing to watch her embrace the quality that makes her unique (those awe inspiring succubus powers), as well as her personal “do no harm to innocent bystander” policy. That moment of release is followed by a a few seconds as Bo proclaims how powerful she could be (strong enough to end the distinction between Light and Dark since they would all bow to her). This, ladies and gentlemen, could be the start of a brand new act in this production.

Consider this: We’ve known that Bo hasn’t finished developing/exploring her succubus skills (her mother told her as much in 1×13 ‘Blood Lines’). Add to this the fact that everyone is falling over themselves to talk about how special she is (tonight it’s Rick Howland’s Trick) and it’s clear that Lost Girl wants us to know that this girl is something special. This moment supports that: this is a Bo that’s scary and dangerous (no wonder Lauren ends up smooching her!) and I love the idea of an exciting new direction for her and the show.

The issue, then, is that this is all more interesting to dissect than actually watch. On the whole the episode is a bit of a chore to watch until Bo and Lauren arrive for the performance, and the B storyline is a complete write-off. Looking back, I think I’ll consider ‘Death Didn’t Become Him’ as an episode consisting of interesting ideas and that BIG moment, but not one I’m eager to revisit anytime soon.

Courtesy of Syfy / Showcase

Other Observations:

  • Bo and Lauren aren’t the only ones acting: Hale (KC Collins) and Kenzi’s (Ksenia Solo) babysitting gig is the closest we’ve seen to them playing house yet. The potential romance between these two has been on the slow burn for the better part of the series, so it’s nice to see some development there, even if it did require spending far too much time with annoying and caricaturish teen socialite, Tori (Courtney White)
  • I’ve been very supportive of Doccubus fans thus far (since I am Team Lauren), but I gotta say that it’s nice to see a little homo representation on the show too, even if Christoph (Chad Connell) is little more than a hot mute and Donovan (Von Tores) is basically a grieving lover. Meh…I’ll take it
  • More interesting by far is Gary (Salvatore Antonio), the uber-creepy flesh peddler who supplies Lich with bodies in between eating his own finger. That is truly disgusting, so kudos to Lost Girl for making me squirm. I definitely wouldn’t mind see Bo go up against Gary again – he’s a much more formidable foe than the Lich
  • I will say though, Lich knows how to put on a good performance, himself. I especially liked how he went through an entire death scene before proving Bo’s Picture of Dorian Gray theory is bunk.
  • So we now need to find a table with Nadia’s nail in it and remove it to wake her up? What does that even mean?!

That’s it for this week’s Lost Girl. What did you think of all the role-playing this week? Did you enjoy the artifice of the Lich and his entourage or were you hoping for something more threatening? And any guesses on what that cure for Nadia’s curse means?

Lost Girl airs Mondays at 10pm EST on Syfy.

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

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