After more or less taking a pass on anything mythology-related last week, Lost Girl bounces back with great episode exploring Hale’s (K.C. Collins) backstory, which also serves as a broad reintroduction of the Garuda storyline.
Let’s bitch it out…After thirty episodes of Lost Girl, it’s nice to be able to say that we finally know a little more about Hale. Admittedly we got some backstory on his status as Fae royalty from 2×02 ‘I Fought The Fae (And The Fae Won)’ when he was able to participate in the “stag” hunt to elect a new Ash because of his noble background. But it’s only after ‘The Girl Who Fae’d With Fire’ that we have a better understanding of why Hale is the way he is.
And that’s…surprisingly tolerant. In a nice twist, we learn that Hale is something of an outsider in his noble Fae family because he’s tolerant of humans. He wants to prove to his racist, blue blood family that Fae and humans can co-exist. Good intentions, yes. Good timing, no. Electing to use the Inverell, a big Fae partay, as an excuse to have Ksenia Solo’s Kenzi pose as his girlfriend and bring her out to the fam sees rather poorly thought-out (Anyone else also get the impression he just wanted to piss off his pops, Eugene Clark’s Sturgess?). Whether Hale consciously or unconsciously makes the decision to upset both his family and Kenzi is unclear, but it’s solid dramatic territory to mine, especially since Hale has been so long resigned to the background while others get the big, loud, moody storylines.
In ‘The Girl Who Fae’d With Fire’ there’s a nice balance. Although this is clearly Collin’s chance to shine, the episode doesn’t come at the expense of the many other emotional plots the show has been exploring. Additionally, it features a kick-ass monster-of-the-week (which is especially nice after some lacklustre ones in the latter half of this season). As a result, 2×17 appeases both the character development and “witty bitter and action” blend embodied by all the best Lost Girl episodes.
In addition to the domestic conflict, Bo (Anna Silk) and Debbie Downer Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) are hot (see what I did there?) on the trail of a Fae that’s turning the other Fae nobles into crispy critters via spontaneous combustion. Naturally the paths intersect at the Inverell, where we get our Fae history lesson (the three Fae noble clans put out a hit on the fourth and then reneged on the price – not smart) mixed-in with some fun action (Bo and Kenzi freeze the Cherufe monster in the kitchen while Kenzi is dressed to the nines).
Most importantly, however, ‘The Girl Who Fae’d With Fire’ restores the sense of fun and adventure that’s been absent in many of the second season episode. Although it’s not all sunny and strawberries, the episode is well rounded enough to employ most of our main cast, has an entertaining-enough villain wreaking havoc and reintroduces the main narrative thrust that we can only assume is driving the remaining S2 episodes: the threat of the Garuda. And although Bo and Hale’s pleas for the powerful Fae gathered at the Inverell to form a united front in the upcoming battle falls on dull ears, the fact that Hale manages to convince his father – and maybe even gain some ground on the Fae/human co-existence front – feels like a win at this stage in the game.
- I love a good hissable character and Hale’s sister, Val (Erica Luttrell), fits the bill perfectly. She is clearly a grade ‘A’ b*tch, so hating her interactions with Kenzi and Dyson proves pleasantly enjoyable
- Speaking of Dyson: the disaffected sad wolf continues to spiral downward. It’s a little too obvious that Dyson and Hale would get into a disagreement considering where they start off the episode, but it’s a surprise that Dyson is so non-chalant when it comes to sleeping with Val. I think we all feel better when Hale slugs Dyson near the end of the episode because the move feels justified
- Kenzi, meanwhile, is testing her relationship with Nate (Aaron Ashmore) by agreeing to pose as Hale’s girlfriend. While I don’t buy that Kenzi would be so obtuse as to realize it’s not appropriate, I freakin’ loved this storyline. Not only do I think that Hale and Kenzi have great chemistry, it puts the scrappy sidekick in a very uncomfortable position that allows Solo the chance to rock a dramatic scene for once. I guess the fact that her experience allows her to admit she loves Nate should count as character development, but Nate still feels awkwardly thrown into the mix and something about him doesn’t always gel (see also: Athena Karkanis’ Nadia, and even Anthony Lemke’s Ryan, to a certain extent)
- There are good aural-visual mash-ups, and then there are nudge-nudge, wink-wink ones that feel like cheap, easy writing. Guess which category applies when Bo tells Kenzi “it’s hard to be in a relationship where you can’t be honest” just as Lauren and Nadia walk through the door. Zing! Groan
- Finally, although I haven’t been a huge fan of Nadia as a character since she woke up in 2×12 ‘Masks’, at least Lost Girl now appears to be doing something with her. Much like our early suspicions of Lachlan (Vincent Walsh) and his chest-o-heads, Nadia is not what she appears. Tonight she’s rocking some crazy expressions, and her jealous gf status is off the charts suspicious of Bo. And then comes the final scene when she slices open her hand like a Christmas ham and gives the camera dead fish eyes as she hugs Lauren (Zoie Palmer). Memo to Lauren: Girlfriend, something is not right with your girlfriend! Did no one give this beyotch a physical after she woke up from her five year coma (and I’m not talking physical in the nudge-nudge, wink-wink sense – I mean a doctor who is not her hot-bloodied girlfriend giving her the once-over)? At this point it seems like it’s just a matter of time before Nadia begins bringing home dead animals and luring boy scouts into the basement with promises of merit badges and ice cream. And when that happens, nobody wins
- Kenzi (responding to Hale’s bitching about Dyson): “I’m sorry you guys are having a boy-fight.”
- Bo (discussing the noble clans): “Like the mob, but will mermaids?” Sigh…Bo honey, sirens are not mermaids. Time to go back to studying!
- Bo (dispensing the Cherufe): “Asian fusion is so hot right now.” Oi, that’s…not good.
- Kenzi (yelling at Hale, after being insulted by his family): “Okay yes, our relationship works because we’re the best dressed out of the group.”
- Announcer (performing introductions at the Inverell): “Kenzi, Hale’s bitchin’ girlfriend, of family What Up, of clan Hey Now”
- Announcer (ringing his bell and continuing introductions): “The unaligned Succubus, family unknown, clan-” Bo (snatching the bell): “Will you zip it?”
And that is our episode. After last week’s so-so effort, do you agree that this is a huge step-up quality-wise? Did you enjoy all the antics at the Inverell? Are you tired of Dyson’s moping around? And what the eff is going on with Nadia? I suddenly wish that Nelsan Ellis’ Lafayette from True Blood were here to perform a seance and make bitchy wise-cracks because you know he’d be down for cracking wise about splinter girl.
Lost Girl airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy