Lost Girl is struggling as it limps to the middle of its second season. The overarching plot for the season appears to be Bo and Lauren’s developing relationship, and how Lauren’s girlfriend, Bo’s lingering feelings for Dyson, and the new Ash of the Light Fae interfere with the possibility of the two of them being together. Last week, Bo learned a lot about the Dark Fae and earned a hint to solving Lauren’s problem from The Morrigan, but this week, everything got muddled in some lethargic plotting and scattered characters. In the end, when Lauren and Bo stare at the contents of The Morrigan’s box—a nail, or needle, or some kind of sharp object—they have no idea how that item pertains to the problem at hand, and I’m inclined to say the same about this episode as a whole within Lost Girl’s universe.
What cripples “Fae Gone Wild” from the outset—besides another eye-roll worthy episode title—is a thoroughly undercooked case of the week. A dangerous criminal named Zephyr sits in a police station, when a group of scantily clad women enter and seduce the clothes right off the officers. That right there is a totally ludicrous scenario, worthy of mocking laughter. Instead, Dyson and Hale have to take the case seriously, interrogating a detective who may have given a key card to a very persuasive stripper at the Naughty Girl Gentleman’s club.
Meanwhile, the mother of one of the seductive women goes to Bo and Kenzi to ask them to find her estranged daughter. The meeting is completely out of place in a sunny park at a picnic table, and their side of the investigation is just as contrived and haphazard. Kenzi’s Russian heritage helps Bo track Zephyr to a warehouse, but for some reason, Kenzi gets cut out of a lot of the investigating. I get that Bo is the center of the show, but she’s more dynamic and wittier when working with someone, whether that’s Dyson, Lauren, or Kenzi.
Dyson and Hale pursue the case one step behind Bo, who finds Zephyr hanged, missing a hand and some flesh right before the cops show up to confront her. When the next step moves to a strip club operated by a sketchy owner and Selkie strippers—seal-shifters with seduction abilities who look like humans when they don’t wear their pelts—Bo gets there ahead of the cops again, becoming a bartender right as Dyson and Hale show up as part of their investigation. All the details, from the severed hand to the Selkie revelation, points to idea that someone is building a Hand of Glory, a thieving device that can basically help steal anything. The strip club owner has a mysterious safe, made of an inter-dimensional metallic material, in which he keeps the pelts of all his strippers, binding the Selkie to his service. Bo's missing person, who is Dyson and Hale's suspect, is merely trying to free all the Selkie and recover their pelts. It's a paint-by-numbers progression, moving through the heist and final arrest, before getting sappy as the ringleader pleads for leniency from Dyson, which is granted with very little fuss.
As a succubus, Bo needs to use her attraction abilities in order to survive, which comes into conflict with ideas of romantic desire and relationship balance or equality. Selkie, on the other hand, are traditionally characters in romantic tragedy, captives on the shore, unable to return to the sea. They have similar seductive powers, but not the same need to consume the same life essence as sustenance, which is what makes Bo’s romantic struggles at least somewhat compelling. The mother/daughter separation always tugs at Bo’s sympathies, but other than that, she has no real connection to this case.
The final scenes are designed to be emotionally powerful, but there’s no reason for us to care about these characters. A one-off appearance isn’t enough to develop that kind of emotional attachment when the episode keeps hammering home the idea that we should care. It has to come from less ham-fisted character development and emotional manipulation, which is where Lost Girl has been struggling over the past few weeks.
I’ve been re-watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer lately, and this episode reminded me of several clunky first season episodes of that show, where the case of the week dragged down some already mediocre serialized material. Worse still is when I look back at my notes and can’t find a single line that made me laugh out loud, and especially suspect this is because the plot finds a way to strand Bo on her own while giving Kenzi little or nothing to do. Her comic relief is frequently the best way to bring levity into some artificially raised emotional situations. Sometimes Hale serves the same purpose, though sadly not this week, when he’s reduced to banging on a table in an interrogation room and looking just as dour as Dyson.
Also similar to several of those early Buffy misfires is the way Lost Girl grasps desperately to right the ship at the end with some more background information to feed the season-long arc. When Bo finally talks to Lauren alone, she gets the truth about Lauren’s girlfriend Nadia—still in a coma five years after catching a rare illness in the Congo. She apologizes for being angry at Lauren, perhaps unnecessarily. But the biggest problem with the Bo/Lauren relationship becoming the central plot arc of this season is that it doesn’t have the same kind of sympathetic drive that Bo’s search for her mother did. This is more complicated, with layers of servitude, class-based society, and modern relationship etiquette blended into a supernatural detective procedural. And that’s leaving Dyson and his pretty little fling off to the side, and Trick’s mounting suspicions that Fae violence is on the rise. Right now, Lost Girl has too many plates spinning for a coherent episode that gives each plot its due.