Lost Girl enters the home stretch as the second half of S5 begins with the return of Bo’s (Anna Silk) dear old dad!
Let’s bitch it out…
Heading into the mid-season premiere, I didn’t realize that Lost Girl was highlighting its meta-ness with the episode title ’44 Minutes To Save The World’. In the span of a single episode, the entire conflict from the first half of the season is erased. Oh sure, Zee (Amanda Walsh, hiss) is still kicking around, but the world-ending plot that she’s been plotting since the premiere is neutered with relative ease by Bo (Anna Silk) and her dad, Hades (Eric Roberts).
If there’s a single dominating critique to be made about the premiere, it is that it lacks any sense of urgency. Everyone understands that the world will end at midnight when the darkness spread by the Nix/Iris (Shanice Banton) reaches the earth’s core and extinguishes all life. So why then is Bo slowly sauntering around? Why is Trick (Rick Howland) hanging out in his lair, entertaining a roster of visitors? Why does Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) bother to take calls from “oh god, why is she still here?” Alysia (Lisa Marcos) and indicate that Mark (Luke Bilyk) will need a change of clothes? I don’t want to undersell the obvious here, but the freaking world is ending!
In the many years that I have covered this show, I’ve often complained about Lost Girl‘s unusual pacing. When it comes to its procedural case of the week episodes, the series is relatively sure-footed and evenly-paced. When mythology episodes dominate, however, it’s a very different story. In the last few seasons there’s been a severe imbalance as the series has become increasingly serialized. I had hoped that hanging the narrative around the hunt for the Nix would keep things moving forward, but unfortunately ’44 Minutes To Save The World’ contains a surprising amount of languid downtime. As a result, there is often a sense that nothing of consequence is happening.
In hindsight, that feeling is disappointingly true. The vast majority of the episode finds Bo bickering with her father about her abandonment issues as the pair use Mark as a relationship bloodhound to track the Nix. There are virtually no fight scenes or violence outside of the CGI heavy demos of the Nix’s power, but this visual grows tiresome after the first charcoal body. Even when we reach the climax at the boxing gym, the encounter is filmed in long shots that make everything feel like it’s happening at a distance. Making Hades impervious to the Nix’s power robs their meeting of any danger, allowing him to stand around with the restrained girl while Bo negotiates her conflicting feelings about killing an innocent. Perhaps this would carry more heft if we cared at all about Iris, but the girl was effectively a bit player stranded in Mark’s B-story line for the majority of S5A. It’s hard to work up any emotion over her eventual death, a fact that Lost Girl seemingly realizes by refusing to show Mark’s reaction to the news or any other hallmarks of significant deaths (sad music, slow motion, montage etc). If the show barely cares to acknowledge Iris’ passing, then why should we care?
If nothing else, ’44 Minutes To Save The World’ rightly recognizes that its most compelling story line is Bo’s relationship with her father. There’s a lot of talk about the importance of family, as well as a late in the game revisionist take on how Bo’s fractured upbringing was actually Hades’ attempt to protect her. All of this feels like exposition intended to set the stage for a great deal of father/daughter discussions to come. My question is whether this will be the driving force in the remaining episodes because Lost Girl seemingly lacks a central conflict now. Is Hades and his plans for Bo the new threat? Or does that honour still belong to the dull-as-dishwater Zee, who will surely be out for blood now that her world-ending scheme has failed?
- It must be said: Mark survived. Boo.
- Thankfully Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) survived her mid-season finale lightning encounter with Zee. She spends the episode imprisoned in the penthouse by Heratio (Noam Jenkins), whom she masterfully manipulates against Zee. While I’ll admit that I’m not entirely certain how Tamsin thought her plan to turn the husband/wife team against each other would liberate her, I also don’t really care. I’m just happy that the Valkyrie is still around, dropping one-liners like they’re going out of style. Somebody’s gotta have some fun on this show…
- It’s debatable whether we should trust Hades’ revisionist history. He infers that by casting Bo out, he was protecting her. By locking Aiofe in a box, he was protecting her. By coming back to help Bo and staying put in his new glass cell, he’s proving that he loves her. These suggestions might be worth entertaining were Hades portrayed by anyone other than Eric Roberts. After a distinguished career playing shady characters, the guy is basically the living embodiment of smarm and mistrust. I’m inclined to take everything Hades says with a grain of salt as a result.
- The coda – in which Lauren (Zoie Palmer) is struck dead by a car – is a tad obvious (whenever someone stands in the road, they’re basically asking to eat a bumper). The kicker occurs when she begins stealing Bo’s life force. I guess she was only near death (lots of that already in this episode with Heratio). Lauren will probably nearly drain Bo dry and then require that life-extending stem cell research she and Hades conveniently discussed earlier in that throwaway conversation in the lab.
- While I would be incredibly shocked if Lauren doesn’t survive, she does have a starring role on Dark Matter, which could complicate matters. I imagine her schedule was worked out in advance, but this is what happened with Ksenia Solo and Orphan Black.
- Speaking of Solo, Kenzi is repeatedly name-dropped, making me hope that we’ll see the character a few final times before Lost Girl wraps. Start the Kenzi countdown!
- Finally: do you think that Anna Silk got tired of holding that music box for the entire episode?
- Tamsin (as Zee and Heratio bicker): “Ok guys, my hands hurt. I’m kinda over this”
- Zee (disrupting Trick): “Oh I’m sorry, were you in the middle of a session with your burn book?”
- Tamsin (to Zee): “Just do it already. Stop dragging it out. It’s super tacky.”
- Bo (to Hades, as he sits in his cage): “You seem to have a thing for boxes.”
- Tamsin (pouting after Dyson and Lauren refuse her offer of a drink): “Okay.”
Your turn: did this mid-season premiere feel a little too languidly paced? Was the Nix too easily defeated? Is Hades the new Big Bad? Sad that Mark survived? Happy that Tamsin did? And will Lauren die? Sound off below.
Lost Girl airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showcase in Canada. Please note that there will be no review next week. See you in two weeks!