Now that is what I’m talking about! After spending what seems like the entire second half of the season griping, I’m happy to report that Lost Girl is back in fighting shape in the penultimate episode of its extended second season. The rejuvenation is courtesy partly to a script that doesn’t require our characters to make stupidly impulsive decisions (like last week), but also courtesy of some very welcome guest stars in the form of Vex (Paul Amos) and The Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier).
Let’s bitch it out…Although I recognize that not everyone appreciates it when I compare Lost Girl to Buffy, I’m going to have to go there because I think the difference in how the latter addressed upcoming apocalypses is something the former could benefit from. Last week’s episode, 2×20 ‘Lachlan’s Gambit’ had the makings of a decent episode, but it carried the weight of having to convince us that war against the Garuda was a) inevitably close and b) earth-shattering (without the special effects budget to support it). Compare to this Buffy‘s final season which was struggling with the same ideas. There’s even an episode (7×18 ‘Dirty Girls’) when Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) makes the unwise decision to impulsively attack The First – the season’s Big Bad, comparable to the Garuda (Raoul Trujillo) – and her ranks are decimated.
The difference is that nearly every single episode of Buffy‘s seventh season was spent building up the conflict with The First. By the time the vineyard attack came, you couldn’t help but feel the same tension as Buffy and her Slayer potentials. You dreaded it, knew it was coming, and it was far worst than you could have expected. Contrast this with ‘Lachlan’s Gambit’ and the emphasis on upcoming doom feels unwarranted. There was no prepwork done to convince us that the end was approaching. Save for scattered references and Trick’s (Rick Howlands) newspaper articles are unusual animal behaviour, it felt like there had been no build-up at all.
This is but one of the reasons that ‘Into The Dark’ works. It pulls back from last week and acknowledges that the actions of our crew were inane (Anna Silk’s Bo recognizes that she shouldn’t have abandoned her role as champion, while Hayley Nault’s Nain Rouge mocks the group’s misinterpretation of the wolf spirit’s predictions). There’s also a better balance to the stories being told as our core cast struggles with the implications of the deaths they’ve suffered – primarily Ciara’s (Lina Roessler) and Lachlan’s (Vincent Walsh) – and there’s a greater sense of impending doom. Amusingly enough, ‘Into The Dark’ also provides some sly recognition from the show itself that the upcoming epic battle hasn’t been first and foremost in everyone’s mind: Bo refers to herself as Chicken Little (running around and talking about an apocalypse that no one seems to care about) and the Morrigan suggests that if it is the end, everyone is more interested in doing other things like leaving town or using barnacle geese to get your sex on.
In this way the reaction to the end of the world is very similar to the penultimate episode of Buffy S7, episode 21 ‘End Of Days’ which opens with Buffy walking among cars stuck in perpetual traffic (abandoned and otherwise) as residents leave town. Later in the episode, various members of the Scooby Gang kill time in meaningless ways, simply waiting for the moment when the battle will begin and they will survive or perish: Xander (Nicholas Brendan) and his ex-girlfriend, Anya (Emma Caulfield) make love in the basement. ‘Into The Dark’ has the same kind elements at play when – in the appropriately anti-climatic confrontation between Bo, the Red Caps and the Morrigan it’s revealed that football and “Fae Viagra” were the root causes of the entire drama. Bo may be incredulous and repulsed at the selfish acts committed by the Dark Fae in the face of the upcoming war (drink!) but she’s overlooking the fact that, even in the face of disaster, the globe will continue to turn and people will go about their mundane, everyday actions.
- Huge shout-out for Emmanuelle Vaugier’s Morrigan, who infuses some much needed levity to the show. The Morrigan is a like the missing ingredient you never knew you missed until she reppears. If you doubt me, just look at the number of Best Lines attributed to her. Whether it’s a tart pun about sexual positioning, a searing cut-down or a high-larious visual gag involving “unsexy breakdancing,” Vaugier is always a breath of fresh-air in the Lost Girl world.
- The case-of-the-week, the briefcase and the Red Caps are MacGuffins – used by the show as stop-gaps to let the audience percolate a little longer before the season finale – but they work. Unlike the other distractions we’ve witnessed this season, the screwball comedy inherent in briefcase heist storyline feeds into personal conflicts (Vex is nothing if not a conflict generator) and simultaneously allows our characters to go around psyching themselves up for next week’s battle
- Is anyone surprised that many of Kenzi’s (Ksenia Solo) deals involve power-tools? The pint-sized sidekick earns her stripes procuring Dyson’s (Kris Holden-Ried) ability to love back from The Norn (Kate Trotter). As far as recurring characters back, I like The Norn enough to enjoy her infrequent appearances (last seen in the forgettable 2×14 ‘Midnight Lamp’ episode), but I do wish they’d explore her backstory a touch. This isn’t the time or place since the crew is at war (drink!), but perhaps next season we’ll get to know her a bit more when things slow down and whatever inevitably brutal punishment she inflicts on Kenzi for cutting her tree comes to pass
- Two big timeline moments: Dyson gets his love back (whatever), and Bo learns that Trick (Rick Howland) is her…grandfather?! Well, I think most of us were on the same line as our favourite succubus in thinking that the barkeep with whom she shares a unique relationship was her father. At least we weren’t far off. I also really appreciated that Bo not only indicates she has a million questions to ask once the Garuda has been dispatched, but that she ponders to Kenzi why it took “the end of the world” to prompt Trick to reveal his secret. Good question indeed
- Poor Lauren (Zoie Palmer) is stuck dispensing Hallmark-esque statements to Dyson about grief and awkwardly not-making out with Bo in between coagulation experiments (who knew science could be so hot?). And while Dr. Hotpants isn’t necessarily getting the job done with Bo sexually speaking, there’s enough tension between them (and Bo and the Morrigan) to make this one of the most girls-who-like-girls friendly episodes of the season. More please!
- Finally, some predictions for next week’s finale: Lauren’s reference to Bo’s ability to multi-suck chi – seen way back in 2×08 ‘Death Didn’t Become Him’ – will play an important role. In addition to that, we have yet to see the Nain Rouge’s vision of Bo killing Trick – experienced in 2×09 ‘Original Skin’ – come to pass yet, so expect a non-homicidal reinterpretation of that, as well. And, guessing from the previews, Bo goes power crazy. Such fun!
- Trick (contradicting the Nain Rouge): “Bo hates tradition”
- Morrigan (to Bo, at Lachlan’s funeral): “Oh honey, black leather again? Mix it up now and then.”
- Morrigan (when Bo suggests she and Vex are an “evil Hall and Oates”): “They’re not evil?”
- Morrigan (to aspiring artist Paolo): “You’ll entry in whichever position I choose…”
- Morrigan (when Bo laughs at her): “Save it succu-bitch. At least my moves don’t leave my lovers pureed.”
- Kenzi (upon hearing Trick is Bo’s grandfather): “Owes you thirty years of birthday gifts.”
- Kenzi (when asked by the Norn what she wants): “Dyson’s love back…or a sweet harvest table.” You’re right, Kenz, you lack nuance…and I hope you never get it!
- Vex (at Bo’s unfamiliarity with the Red Caps): “You’re just as ignorant up here [gestures at her head] as you are brilliant between the thighs.”
- Duncan (elaborating how they know about the Morrigan’s briefcase): “She’s been bragging about it on Twitter” I love it when the show randomly introduces distinctly human technologies into the world of the Fae
- Morrigan (as Bo climbs atop her): “You are a dead woman…who’s in for a treat!” Moments later, as Bo kisses her neck: “Stop it. Stop it right now. Lower!” And then “The pepper spray is in the drawer.” Wha???
- Bo (incredulous upon hearing what’s in the case): “Wait, all of this is for football and Fae Viagra?!”
So Lost Girl is back in my good books, but what about yours? Are you psyched for the big battle with the Garuda, or not quite feeling it? Happy that Dyson got his “wolfie mojo” back or worried about the price Kenzi will pay for it? And how do you think Trick will survive the Nain Rouge’s vision (as we know he will)? Theorize below!
Lost Girl airs its second season finale next Friday at 10pm EST on Syfy