If our emotional response to television shows is directly proportional to our investment in it, then Lost Girl has long had me wrapped around its little finger. And while this may help to explain why I love it so much, it also means that I’m much more let down when it makes a misstep. And then there are the events of ‘Truth And Consequences’: an episode that makes such an atrociously terrible narrative decision that I literally cussed out my television.
Let’s really bitch it out…Let’s get this out in the open: I have disliked far more of the second season of Lost Girl than I have liked it. Aside from the thirteenth episode ‘Barometz. Trick. Pressure’ and a few other good episodes, the first half felt aimless. Lost Girl felt like a series in search of an endgame / villain / cohesive piece to pull the disparate elements together. And then back nine began and things got worse: thus far nearly the entire second half has felt poorly conceived and executed, as though no one has a clue knew where things are headed. “We’ve got this Garuda-thing, let’s reference that and the upcoming war but never actually show or do anything with it.”
The Garuda has been a big disappointment thus far, but that’s not the show’s greatest misstep from where I’m sitting. No, the greatest problem with Lost Girl‘s second season has been Nadia (Athena Karkanis), the poor cursed girlfriend of hot lady doctor, Lauren (Zoie Palmer). We learned about Nadia early in the second season, saw her comatose in her Lady Gaga egg, and saw her wake up when Bo pulled a nail from a peg in Africa. This is a character we were supposed to speculate about, to decipher, to decode and deconstruct – what is her role in the show? How is she connected? What will it mean when she awakens? Interesting questions…all of which have amounted to exactly jack squat in the interesting answers department. If she has been anything, Nadia has been a plot device – little more than a lesbian Ciara, existing solely as a means to keep Bo (Anna Silk) and Lauren apart.
It’s been frustrating, but I could have taken it if the writers had done something - anything - with her once they woke her from her coma. Instead, they sent her on a vacation with Lauren and had her walk around Lauren’s apartment for a few episodes. Umm, what?
The result is that Nadia has never existed as anything other than “Lauren’s girlfriend”. She’s not a fully formed character. Hell, she’s not even a character. She’s someone who occupies space within the realm of the show; she exists to take away screentime from the other characters and plotlines (no offense to Karkanis, who has nothing to work with).
When, in 2×17 ‘The Girl Who Fae’d With Fire’, we saw Nadia cut herself and then lie about it to Lauren, it seemed like a promising beginning. Whether she was evil, or possessed, or even Single White Female obsessed with Bo as “the succubus who sexed-up her gf while she was in a five year coma”, it didn’t matter. Finally, Lost Girl was doing something – anything - with this person who has dominated so much time and space this season.
So imagine my surprise when, in ‘Truth And Consequences’ big climax, Nadia pleads to be killed…and Bo actually does it. WTF?! Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not surprised because it’s shocking or daring, but because this death feels like the biggest freaking cop-out in a series of narrative failures this season. A Fae with all of Bo’s powers – whom we saw disarm two guards without messing up her hair less than fifteen minutes earlier – needs to stab a regular human? Even if we assume that Nadia is super-powered thanks to her possession by the Garuda, that’s hardly an issue for Bo, who could have easily knocked her unconscious instead of killing her.
So why was Nadia killed? Obvious answer: It’s the easiest way out for the show.
This is character who has clearly confounded everyone on the writing staff (it’s as though she surprised them most of everyone when she emerged from her coma – “Oh crap, now what are we gonna do with her?”). And so the decision is made to turn Bo into a murderer and eliminate this troublesome person. It’s two birds with one stone. Nay, three birds since it’ll help to instigate/raise the stakes of the forthcoming war. Everyone wins! Everyone except the loyal viewers who are left wondering why we were forced to spend so much time on this person. Why bother even bringing her back? Why bother introducing her at all? If this was always the endgame for Nadia…it sucks. And if it wasn’t…it still sucks.
There’s no doubt that this is sloppy, inconsistent and even amateurish writing and plotting. And believe me when I say that I feel bad for b*tching out the show because I can see the actors doing their damnedest to rise above the sh*t material they’ve been given (except perhaps Kris Holden-Ried, who’s been stuck on somnambulist mode for most of the season). I just don’t know how I can move past this error in judgement unless Nadia is revealed to be immortal next week, wakes up and becomes an all-powerful second hand lieutenant to the Garuda. But I know that that won’t happen, and the result is that I lose just a little more faith in Lost Girl.
I love the show, but I have to wonder why it doesn’t love me back, at least not enough to respect my intelligence and my investment in following it.
- Even the “case of the week” feels phoned-in as Bo is sent to determine the allegiance of The Glaive (Ingrid Kavelaars), mother of Tori (Courtney White) from 2×08 ‘Death Didn’t Become Him’. I like the character, but they do nothing with her and there’s no resolution when Bo drops her off with Lachlan (Vincent Walsh). I realize that Bo’s refusal to kill The Glaive is meant to prepare us for Bo’s shocking murder of Nadia, but it doesn’t work. Bo has no relationship with The Glaive, whereas Nadia is the lover of one of her closest allies. It’s simply not comparable and Bo is barely even given enough time to react before the episode ends. Fail
- The hits keep on rolling as Hale (KC Collins) is caught between Lachlan and Trick (Rick Howland). They distrust each other equally and both ask Hale to spy on the other for information about the Garuda. Instead he “outs” them to each other and gets them working together. It’s like a children’s television plot about teamwork and does little more than lay the groundwork for the forces of
GoodLight to work together. War coming, yada yada…
- And then there’s Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). If there’s a compatible character for Nadia, it’s Nate (Aaron Ashmore). The difference is that although he’s been given about the same amount of character development, he’s got far less narrative significance. Who is this guy beyond “Kenzi’s boyfriend”? We don’t know, but apparently he’s Kenzi’s saviour because she can run away with him. Obviously Kenzi chooses the opposite route and stays, so it means goodbye and tears, but how can we care when Nate was never anything more than a distraction to keep Kenzi occupied? We got rid of Ryan (Anthony Lemke) last week and this week we get rid of Nate and Nadia. So we’ve essentially cut out all of the new S2 characters at this point. It’s pretty much “narrative modeled on The O.C. circa S2″. Not a great role-model, Lost Girl
- The only part of the episode that works for me? The ending, which reunites Kenzi and Bo as they cry and comfort each other. But let’s be clear: this scene works because Solo and Silk sell the sh*t out the emotional stuff. Even here, Bo’s ability to appear casual and reassure Kenzi goes completely against the intended devastation we’re meant to infer from her first human murder in a long time (ie: since she stopped accidentally succubus-ing people to death)
- If you think I’m a prickly beyotch, compare this episode to the S2 episode of Buffy, ‘Ted’, which finds Buffy accidentally killing her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Check out the writing and the emotional intensity that results. Then tell me that ‘Truth And Consequences’ achieves the same feat…
So that was…a huge waste of time. I’m moving on, but I want to hear from you: am I overreacting or are you as p*ssed as me that the show wasted our time with Nadia? Do you anticipate a huge fall-out from this act? Do you care whether the Garuda was behind the possession (considering we haven’t seen him since 2×13)? And are you excited for the inevitable return of Dyson? Stab it out below! (Ohh…too soon?)
Lost Girl airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy