“Masks” S2 / E12
- B+ Community Grade
It’s never easy to be the third wheel on a date, but by the end of tonight’s episode of Lost Girl, Bo is a seventh wheel. She has to watch Dyson and Ciara canoodling, though she wants to make the leap to new home ownership and he’s drinking morning beers at Trick’s bar to avoid dealing with his emotions; Kenzi and new beau Nate rekindling a long-dormant attraction from childhood; and after Bo’s heroics, she’s rewarded with watching Lauren introduce Nadia, awake and walking around for the first time at Bo’s birthday party. Sure, Hale and Trick are there, but Bo fixates on the coupling, and that makes sense. Unlike her friends who desire a relationship for happiness, she’s a Fae who needs to feed off physical contact and passion in order to live.
“Masks” is largely just a solo Bo, and for once that’s a good thing. This is the first episode in a long while to juggle two somewhat meaningful themes in one story. In order to help Lauren’s coma-bound girlfriend Nadia, Bo takes on Lachlan’s task of tracking down the Dark Fae shaman responsible for the curse that affected her. That journey takes her magically from Canada to the Congo and Madagascar, and into a side quest to heal the shaman before he agrees to take out Nadia’s cursing nail from the central beam in his hut, dotted by hundreds of other curses.
The extra bit of meaning is pretty clear, it’s an example of the silent tasks we complete for our loved ones that they’ll never know about. Bo’s effort is all a selfless act. She has to go through all the hurdles, risking her life and transporting halfway across the world, just for the personal satisfaction of saving the girlfriend of someone she loves but can’t be with. Even better, the show doesn’t hit us over the head with that message. It just makes it clear that Bo has to complete the quest without saying anything to Lauren, threatening dire consequences. It keeps Anna Silk the center of attention, instead of a particular relationship or hackneyed expositional conversation. Lost Girl needs more of Bo grappling with her relationship problems in ways that don’t involve a five minute episode-capping scene that summarizes the events of the previous hour and fail the Bechdel Test simultaneously.
I’m typically tough on episodes that don’t have enough Kenzi humor, but this week a lot of the laughs came from Bo’s exasperated reactions. The travel agent in particular was pretty great, with a nice contrast to Anna Silk’s abrasive race against the clock demands. I’ve got some minor quibbles about the logistics of that Fae teleportation power—only on the third and final visit to the agent does anybody mention anything about a return trip or how that is executed—but otherwise those were some nice bits of levity sprinkled in to lift up the anti-romantic pity party.
The Kenzi subplot—flitting around organizing a surprise birthday party for Bo—is standard and unmoving. But it’s nice to see her finally get a romantic interest of her own that isn’t fated to die before the end of the episode. Aaron Ashmore plays a decent terrible musician, but he was pretty good in his recurring role on Veronica Mars way back when. If nothing else, it finally gives Kenzi a bit of romance when she’s been perpetually on the sidelines for everything involving Bo. Her sort of interest in Hale doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so in swoops Nate to join Ciara and Nadia on the list of recurring romantic partners who probably won’t survive the season because they’re easily expendable.
And even though I found a lot to like in the humor and pared down focus on Bo’s journey, there are still troubling elements. Trick just up and references his wife when information about her isn’t pertinent unless the writers are hiding something. Lachlan continues to beat his one jackass note over and over. The bit about the previous Ash being the one to enact Nadia’s curse in the first place reaches desperately to close a potential loophole in the easiest way possible. And lastly, it was already difficult to root for Lauren to reunite with Nadia already, but seeing her just throw herself at Nadia only underscored how far she went with Bo. I’m pretty sure the show doesn’t want viewers to enjoy seeing Lauren reunited with Bo, since that’s not what makes the main character happy, but it’s just a frustratingly manic moral compass. Perhaps these are the strains put on a show that unexpectedly gets a back-nine episode order tacked onto what was previously a 13-episode arc.
- Kenzi wants to give out digital cameras as a party favor, but a mix-up through her cousin at the docks leaves her with a bunch of creepy cat statuettes.
- Trick mentions his wife when giving Bo a bracelet and then an antique walking stick that conceals a blade. He’s not the only one giving weapons to Bo as a birthday gift. Only Kenzi manages to get something Bo actually appreciates on a more than practical level, but that’s typical.