“Barometz. Trick. Pressure” S2 / E13
- B+ Community Grade
When Trick tells Bo about his once-in-a-Blood-Moon opportunity to enter a trance and glimpse the future, he very bluntly tells her to forget about her plans to confront Lachlan about concealing the truth of Nadia’s rescue from Lauren. That order threatens to take this episode in the direction several others have gone this season, shifting to side quests in the interest of delaying an overarching plot that was seeming mapped out for a 13-episode season instead of the surprise full 22-episode order. But thanks to Bo’s instinctively rebellious and foolhardy ways, Lost Girl prunes away Lauren, Kenzi, Ciara, and most of the other supporting players to leave an episode focused on two characters uncovering past and future and finally providing some much-needed momentum heading into the home stretch.
Bo wants answers from Lachlan about lying to Lauren, and chooses to casually ignore Trick’s orders—with a little assist from Dyson—and infiltrate Light Fae headquarters. She finds more than she bargained for about Lachlan in a face-to-face confrontation that brings about a backstory-dump that tries to rewrite the Ash’s jackass behavior as a test of Bo’s mettle and leadership abilities.
Lachlan is a Naga, and his locked chest—left out in the middle of the room like a key item in a Zelda game—is full of severed heads that look exactly like his used to be attached to his shoulders. They were cut off for his venom, used to fight the ancient evil now threatening the Fae existence. This shift from total dickhead to benevolent mentor is sudden and suspicious, and I don’t think anyone is supposed to believe Lachlan right away. He talks a big game and appeals to Bo’s heroics, but she still needs to see some action that justifies the huge reversal. For now, let’s hope Bo remains skeptical of Lachlan’s motives.
Meanwhile, Trick’s trance is both visually exciting and narratively compelling. He walks through a drive-in movie theater, his actions reflected on the screen in a much more serene setting. He sees his dead wife, who attempts to coerce him into opening his veins and undoing the Fae laws that ended the Great War. When he realizes that his wife would never ask that of him, the true puppet master is revealed: a Garuda, an ancient phoenix-like creature believed to be extinct long before Fae came into existence.
The Garuda feed off the rage and aggression of Fae like the Fae feed off humans, but Trick nipped their supply when he ended the war. That drives the Garuda to find him, and by getting him to cut his hand open in the trance, the scent of his blood will lead the Garuda straight to him like mythical sharks. The whole sequence is well paced, teasing out the information while the parallel staging of Trick in a serene setting flickers on in the background. The fiery wings of the Garuda even looked like a more than half-competent visual effect. So there’s the Big Bad that spent over half the season in the shadows. It’s unclear exactly how this will all play out logistically with a lot of key friend/romantic partner pieces so spread out, but a much more focused and streamlined Bo-saves-the-world plot that slowly blends the side characters back in seems like the best option available. This episode provides a nice template for how to make many concurrent C-plots orbit the A and B-plots while still getting somewhere without distracting too much.
I wasn’t all that surprised to see that removing Lauren from the story as anything but a motivating factor for Bo’s actions improved the show. Other viewers may care about that storyline, but it just doesn’t click to me. Still, Lauren’s predicament recommitting to the Ash is what drives Bo to seek out Lachlan and uncover all of this new information.
Even more impressive is the fact that this episode succeeds while largely pushing Kenzi off the field of play entirely. Nate is extremely hokey and cheesy, but he’s also kind of sweet. The song he plays based on a note Kenzi wrote when she was a kid is adorably terrible, and she’s clearly taken by him even as she throws up artificial defenses. He’s leaving for some out of town gigs, and he wants her with him, and the sudden surge of happiness looks good on Kenzi. She deserves happiness after all this time sitting on the bench.
This is one case where I find myself rooting for what’s best for the character within the show instead of what’s best for the show as a whole. Kenzi can’t disappear forever. She’s clearly going to come back, and I’d be surprised if she missed more than one episode, but letting her drift off into bliss with another human for a while will hopefully allow Lost Girl to hone in on Bo getting to the bottom of the central plot of the season. Letting some of the characters drift away from Bo while she uncovers more of the mystery behind Lachlan’s hunt for the Garuda and his true intentions means more focus on Anna Silk, who has shown she can carry the weight of even the most overwrought melodramatic dialogue.
The transition from spinning wheel episodes in recent weeks to a much more assured serialized plot feels very sudden, as though the characters have been adrift in some knockoff version of the show for the past month and have just been snapped back into place. Though it’s jarring, it’s a welcome return to form in a stripped-down fashion. Now the show just needs to find a way to drop each of the disparate supporting characters back into the plot in the right fashion, so they click without distracting from this newfound momentum.
- Two interesting one-off characters tonight: The shape-shifter with the ring that Bo procures for Trick feels like a leftover from an earlier draft of the script that wandered off in a stalling-for-time direction; the mystical apothecary that Trick visits, on the other hand, is simply delightful, with her questions and forcing truthful answers.
- Hale is the last to know Trick is the Blood King. Poor Hale can’t catch a break now that Kenzi is hitting the road with Animorph’s twin brother.
- Ciara helps Dyson to pack up his things and prepare to move into her house, but while helping Trick, Dyson is forced to admit the truth: He can’t love Ciara. That’s been obvious for a while, but now it’s out loud and weighing on his mind when Bo gives him a thank-you kiss on the cheek.
- The whole Dyson’s favorite shirt bit was pretty corny and well-worn, but at least that arc got very little screen time this week. They’re headed for a rocky breakup, but for now it’s staying out of the way of more interesting events.
- Fae have been around for an extremely long time in the show’s world, but Bo is exceedingly new to this world by those timeline standards.
- “Don’t ever let Kenzi know you’re hiding gold bricks in here.”
- “Is that like a Fae boy band or something?”