Sometimes we make big mistakes in the name of loyalty. Someone wrongs a friend, we seek retaliation, but only make the situation more strained and harder to deal with. It’s how bar fights get started, or any stupid act under the guise of honor and friendship. But there is a good sentiment behind the stupidity and wrongheadedness. Tonight’s episode of Lost Girl is one of the best of the series so far, and it explores the good and bad ways of expressing loyalty to a friend. It gives some scruples of back-story on Kenzi’s family life, and reinforces the bond between her and Bo as the most important on the show.
Bo is slowly moving on from Dyson, but she’s still hurt. Kenzi senses this, and while the two of them get blackout drunk, she offers up the idea of cursing Dyson as revenge. Something to cut off his manhood—or another equally grotesque measure—is quickly shot down, but Kenzi brings up Baba Yaga, a witch from Slavic folklore who helps scorned women take out their grudges on men who have wrong them. Bo rejects the idea, saying they’re “still the good guys,” but Kenzi, recognizing a deeper sadness in Bo, decides to try and summon the witch anyway. She has no idea if that creature even exists, but she writes Dyson’s name on a mirror in lipstick, speaks some Russian, and suddenly there’s a curse.
Kenzi makes a drunken mistake. Did she do it because she was too far gone to think of the consequences, or because she truly wanted to take vengeance on Dyson for hurting Bo? She’s just trying to be a loyal friend, but she ends up making the situation much, much worse. Any woman flies into a rage whenever Dyson is around, and he and Bo are both branded with a mark from Baba Yaga as a sign of the curse between them.
Dyson is incredibly frustrated, and he takes out his anger on Bo, who then turns on Kenzi, blaming her for their predicament. It’s true, but not fair, since she was only trying to help. For some reason, it reminds me of Darcy advising Bingley in Pride And Prejudice—another situation in which someone makes the wrong decision that prolongs emotional suffering in the service of a friend. Kenzi tries to do something for Bo to ease her suffering and give them both a laugh, but she’s so new to the Fae world that she doesn’t understand the consequences of her actions. Dyson is old enough to remember charming nuns during the Crusades, and he never misses an opportunity to come down hard on Bo and Kenzi for not knowing enough.
In order to reverse the effects, Kenzi and Bo seek out Kenzi’s aunt, a fortune teller in a trailer park. It’s clear that Kenzi stays away from her family due to some nasty childhood trauma, particularly at the hands of her stepfather. But it’s nice to see that not all was bad, as her aunt is a sweet and strange woman, who reluctantly helps bring Baba Yaga forth in a kind of blood ritual that puts Kenzi into a trance. In exchange for lifting the curse, the strange mid-world dwelling witch wants to take ownership of Bo. That’s when Kenzi gets hit with an idea for self-sacrifice, and gets pulled through the mirror into Baba Yaga’s world, a cottage lined with jail cells for women caught in the same reverse-bargain trap.
This mini-world outside of Fae control forces Kenzi to face her leftover childhood fear of this witch, and trying to save all the other girls before they get tossed in a big furnace. Meanwhile, Bo is busy fighting to get into Baba Yaga’s cottage, going so far as to offer up freelance services to Lachlan, the new Ash, whom she despises so much for looking down on humans. With the help of a water nymph and Dyson, Bo makes the jump into Baba Yaga’s world, where her powers don’t help her, but just showing up seems to give Kenzi the power to face her fears, fight back, and win for the first time without Bo’s physical help.
The cottage is sufficiently spooky and creepy, and though the fight scene at the end isn’t well-choreographed, I found the emotional journey far more important. Kenzi does some good investigative work to find a mirror, the way back to the real world. She breaks it during the final confrontation and hands a piece to each of the other trapped girls, telling them to look into it and think of home. One by one the girls disappear, and Bo gets knocked unconscious. Kenzi’s little bit with the man-pet creature pays off, as he saves Kenzi and destroys Baba Yaga. Dyson still has to use some mouth-to-mouth to bring Bo back, but in the end, everyone is safe and sound, curse removed, and Kenzi all the tougher for making it out alive.
As frustrated as I get when watching Bo fight for a romantic future with either Dyson or Lauren, I feel a swell of sympathy whenever she and Kenzi fight for their friendship. More than the romantic relationships on Lost Girl, that bond is integral to Kenzi and Bo’s sanity and survival. They’ve both been alone for a long time without someone they can trust in good times—and more importantly, the bad times. In that final scene, as they take another drink “to the bottom,” not only does Kenzi fight to save strangers and to reverse what she’d accidentally done to Bo and Dyson, but she still offers encouragement that Bo can fix her relationships with Dyson and Lauren.
You fight for your friends, fight to keep them safe, and encourage them to do what’s best for them even if it comes at a personal cost. Sometimes you screw up, massively, in ways that can seem irrevocable, but it’s how you respond at the bottom, and claw your way back, that shows the strength of friendship. Lost Girl can get lost in the soapy romantic facets of its characters at times, but its greatest strength lies in the committed, platonic relationship of the two female leads as they navigate a fantastical foreign world.
It’s really awesome to see these characters let loose and drink constantly. They hang out at a bar all the time, and even when they’re at home, Kenzi and Bo can put back a few drinks.
No Lauren this week, but with Kenzi’s final speech, I don’t think it’ll be too long before Bo gets that relationship back on track.
The final shot has a hand coming out of the mirror, but I’m assuming Baba Yaga is dead. Is that just a kicker with no continuation, or is something else really coming through from some other world?
Straight guys talkin’ ’bout Lost Girl (on loan from Glee): Ksenia Solo is gorgeous, and the way she changes her hair makes her look like Ramona Flowers with a much harder edge.
Bo, warning Dyson to stop yelling at Kenzi: “Stop it. Or I will drop-kick you into a women’s studies conference.”