Lost Girl review – 4×13: ‘Dark Horse’

Courtesy of Showcase

After one of its most confusing (and least successful) episodes of the season (series?) last week, Lost Girl rebounds with a decent season finale that thinks it shakes things up more than it actually does.

Let’s bitch it out…I’m tentatively willing to go on the record and suggest that ‘Dark Horse’ is a mostly solid final episode for the season. Compared to last year’s clusterf*ck of a nonsense finale, this is practically a masterpiece, but it still suffers because it has to clean up after all of the crap that went wrong this season.

First off: Kenzi’s (Ksenia Solo) dead. Well…at least she is at the end of the episode (does anyone actually think for a minute that she won’t get rescued from Valhalla next season? Don’t fret). All of the sudden Hale’s death a few episodes back feels a little more earned. Without Hale’s murder there’s no way that Kenzi would have so willingly walked into the portal and sacrificed herself to save the world. Not only did his passing make her realize how valuable love is, she’s far more open to giving everything up in the not-so-secret hopes of seeing her lost love on the other side.

With that said, it seems to me now more than ever that bringing back Massimo (Tim Rozon) was a HUGE mistake. I feel like the writers thought that he’s a charismatic and funny character who would be capable of selling all of this Una Mens seed shite. But guess what? They were really, really wrong. As the last three episodes have proven, making Massimo a snivelling mama’s boy for Evony (Emannuelle Vaugier) and having him become a major antagonist simply doesn’t gel. His final confrontation with Bo (Anna Silk) wherein he nearly fatally sucks his own mother’s chi, feels like it should be much more dramatic, but all I felt when she finally stabs him is relief that we would never see him again.

Unfortunately this underwhelming feeling – a lack of epic awesomeness – also applies to the major battle. We all know that Lost Girl operates on a Showcase budget and the vast majority of the time I’m more than happy to go along with things. It can just be a little harder to ignore because the finales typically highlight the apocalyptic nature of the current conflict and the ambition of the showrunners routinely outweighs their capacity to deliver on the screen. Usually that’s tolerable (S1 felt like five people running around a castle, but it was still enjoyable).

Unfortunately that’s not the case here because ‘Dark Horse’ features a seriously poorly staged battle. I mean those dead soldiers look like they’re just walking by and yet we’re meant to accept that Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried), Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) and Trick (Rick Howland) are on the verge of being overwhelmed when Kenzi saves the day. Plus, if Teen Wolf has taught me anything, it’s that egregious use of slo-mo is never a good thing unless the desired result is campiness. So for these reasons the ending of this episode doesn’t really deliver for me.

Thankfully there’s a heavy emotional impact seeing Kenzi finally realize her destiny and make the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of her friends. (Side Note: This has nothing to do with the fact that Ksenia Solo is the beating heart of this show…)

Courtesy of Showcase

Other Observations:

  • I know that we’re meant to feel something for Tamsin, but I just can’t muster it. The happiness Bo reads in her chi clearly stems for her horizontal mambo session with Dyson, but – as expected – Dyson obviously pledges fealty (and eternal love) to Bo so it’s all sad faces for Tamsin. Here’s the thing: clearly there’s been chemistry between the two since Tamsin came on the show, but the actual love affair was introduced far too quickly for me to make any kind of emotional investment. I love Tam-Tam, but this show has a love triangle that’s set in stone and nothing has ever suggested that’ll change (including everything that happens in this episode!)
  • Biggest shock of the episode: Evony is still human. I thought without a doubt that Lauren’s “magic snatch” spell would prove to be temporary.
  • Holy pun overload! This episode sure did feature all sorts of corny, cheesy, awesome one-liners. Very enjoyable.
  • Oh yeah Rainer (Kyle Schmid) died. Umm…who cares? Good riddance to this plotline because no one was buying that relationship.
  • Both Kenzi and Bo mention that there’s a greater adversary coming but with the portal closed, who are they referring to? Did I just completely miss some major plot point?
  • Finally, I’ve held off for nearly 900 words but I have to raise a criticism of ‘Dark Horse’ that bothered me the entire time I watched: this finale is essentially the S5 finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! I’m not even talking about mild similarities, either. In ‘The Gift’ Buffy saves her friends (and the world) by sacrificing her body/life to close a magical portal. There’s even a final shot of a freaking inspirational gravestone message at the end of the episode! I’ve made the comparison between the shows a number of times, but I’ve also always wanted to let Lost Girl stand on its own. Such obvious copying sure does make it tough, though.

Best Lines:

  • Kenzi (when Evony describes sexing with Lauren): “Eww graphic and disturbing”
  • Evony (when Kenzi  asks if Vex is her son): “As if I’d let him wear those too old for goth clothes if he was”
  • Bo: “Ready for a threesome?” Dyson: “And you say I need new material?”
  • Zoie Palmer’s Lauren (telling Bo she’ll be out of her cuffs in minutes): “I learned a lot from Kenzi’s shadow training. It’s not all panty removal tricks”

How did you feel about the season finale? Did Kenzi’s sacrifice redeem Hale’s death a little? Were you surprised that Evony is still human? Did you find both battles a touch underwhelming? Anyone else think of Buffy? Sound off below

Lost Girl has finished airing its fourth season. At this time Showcase has yet to pick it up for a fifth season (seems inevitable, though).

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

6 thoughts on “Lost Girl review – 4×13: ‘Dark Horse’

    • Can you clarify? I was probably nicer in the review than how I felt while watching the episode (if we’re being honest). But then again, I’ve often had difficulties with the season finales; they often have trouble sticking the landing.

      • Sorry for the (very) late reply, I just really didn’t like the direction of the show this season. I couldn’t really get into the plot very much or care as much about the characters. When that happens, I tend to just fastforward through stuff, which sort of exacerbates the problem. Perhaps most importantly, I don’t believe that Kenzi will stay dead as she’s one of the most likeable characters on the snow. Her death means nothing to me then. I was just thinking, there’s going to be some big mystery next season about her coming back to life and it’s going to be as boring as this season. It wasn’t just a comparison to Buffy, the same plot point was in Fringe when Peter sacrifices himself to come back, in Stargate when Daniel dies to become an ancient for a season only to come back. I cared about all three of those more than this.

  1. See I wouldn’t have read your review as being “enthusiastic”, just as someone who’s sat through a truly difficult season of this show and managed to find some redeeming qualities.

    The thing I loved about the first and second season was the fact it seemed to know exactly what it was: A campy sci-fi drama that had a real sense of fun. Sure it had the inner struggles and journeys into darkness the latter 2 seasons have contained, but it never seemed to lose site of what it was at heart.

    My main gripe with the current, and previous season, was that it seemed to be trying to become this epic fantasy saga, with the fun being drained from it’s veins. Unfortunately, when you throw in the corny dialogue and hilariously cheesy scenarios, it ain’t gonna work.

    This was the first episode for a long time to actually elicit some form of major reaction from me, because Kenzi is, and always has been, the heart of the series, and the growth of the character has been the greatest highlight for me. She was the outsider who never felt like she truly belonged in this world, and we all root for the underdog to come out on top! Her sacrifice did feel like a logical conclusion to her arc, and while I agree that next season will more than likely see her returned from Valhalla, a part of me would like to see how the show progresses with such a center piece missing, and how the core dynamic reshapes itself to compensate.

    The finale went to great lengths to try and paper over some monumental cracks that have formed this year. I really do hope, if the series is renewed, it regroups and finds a way to return to its roots.

    P.S – Totally agree with your Buffy comments. The comparisons were hard to ignore.

  2. SERIOUSLY! The battle was terrible, half the time they showed Trick he was just standing there watching Kenz and it looked like the dead soldiers were just like, bumping into each other. As if that’s much of a threat. All of the emotional scenes seemed really awkward and forced, and wtf with Massimo? He was channeling Smeagol half of the time, and the whole thing was just stupid. He seemed pretty normal when he killed Hale and then went all psycho/deranged/infantile. Disappointing!! I still love Lost Girl and will keep watching but man, I wish they’d go back to the fun silly stuff they used to have in the beginning. Also I miss Bo and Dyson together, I was never a fan of her and Lauren together.

  3. For me, Kenzi and Hale were as important the continued success of the show as Bo. I get tired of the lazy writing. I get tired of everything centering around who Isaboe has sex with. The good thing about this episode is that to me Kenzi is still grieving for Hale and her true sacrifice in my opinion is born out of hoping to be with him again. Shows like this are not loved by the fans because of the lead character. It is the supporting characters that contribute to making the show what it is but so many writers just don’t get that. They focus far to much on the lead. My interest in this show is quickly waning and I believe at this rate that they will lose ratings over time. It is not like there aren’t other great shows out there with better writing that could replace it.