Lost Girl: “SubterrFaenean”
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Lost Girl: “SubterrFaenean”

About two-thirds of the way through tonight’s episode, there is a scene that exemplifies my problems with Lost Girl’s slack storytelling, which is getting in the way of a group of awfully compelling characters for me. Bo and Kenzi have recovered Kenzi’s missing friend, but he’s bleeding from his nose and eyes and has no memory of what happened. They take him to a Dream Weaver that Trick brings in originally to examine Bo for her night terrors, and Trick recognizes the boy’s projection as a string of numbers on a shipping container. Trick knows the location, St. Thomas shipyard, but points out that in the picture St. Thomas carries a Bible in his left hand instead of his right. Less than a minute later in the shipyard, Bo deduces, apropos of nothing, that the vision was displayed in reverse because of the St. Thomas picture, and she and Kenzi are looking for the wrong container.

This all leads to Bo opening a shipping container with a large group of missing people, all with the same strange bleeding symptoms as Kenzi’s friend, which movies the plot along. The problem is that glut of details: the picture, the Bible, the numbers, and Bo figuring out the mirror image. It happens in the space of only a few minutes, and none of it has any bearing on the plot, it’s just stalling for time, a few minutes of padded deduction before it gets to the moment where Bo discovers something, then has to argue with Dyson to stop going down the wrong investigative avenue—which leads to the second turn.

Episodic plots like this one don’t feature enough of the best Lost Girl has to offer, even if the underlying concept is a strong one.This take on the Pied Piper is creepy, even if the idea isn’t exactly original. The effects may be low budget, but they’re certainly a little unnerving. But when little filler twists assail an intriguing take on a familiar character and takes time away from better character moments, that’s disappointing.

And then there’s the matter of Dyson’s new partner, Tasmin, an attractive blonde who happens to be Dark Fae, part of some new peace agreement between Hale and the Morrigan. So much for keeping the company of players to a minimum, as I can’t imagine Vex will be sticking around too long with Tasmin around. Her introduction is the same kind of objectification every other female character gets: strutting into a boxing gym, getting whistled at by everyone as she approaches Dyson sparring with a random guy. It’s not easy to defend how Lost Girl frames its female characters anymore—even Kenzi, with her fierce independence and strong friendships, can’t escape the leery eye of the camera.

Tasmin challenges Dyson, even keeping information from him before interrogating Bo about a Dark Fae she fed on at the end of last week’s premiere. After a bit of a weak partnership with Hale, this kind of fire is the kind of partner that will challenge Dyson, but in the end Lost Girl goes back to the most disappointing character twist and has Tasmin kiss him. Sure, there’s sexual tension between them—that can be said about pretty much every character pairing that doesn’t involve Trick among the main cast—but that doesn’t mean every single person has to hook up. It’s frustratingly repetitive to go through the same motions, even when a new and promising character pops up.

But despite the catwalk introduction and that ending scene, Tasmin is a welcome curveball, and helps move the police investigation along to intersect with Bo and Kenzi. That second turning point I mentioned earlier isn’t as arbitrary, but a drop-in guest star telegraphs it. A random city manager has never shown up to pester Dyson about Fae dealings kept secret from the mayor, but he does now, and it doesn’t take much for him to appear suspicious.

Dyson basically takes Bo’s information about the captives in the shipping container and then accuses the city manager right back, threatening to talk to Hale himself, which makes the turn fairly obvious. Hale’s plan all along was to relocate the subterranean Fae, not exterminate them, as the city manager kept prodding Dyson and Tasmin to do, so when he’s revealed as the Slender Man, or Pied Piper, it’s not much of a surprise. Still, he’s one eerie villain, blurry face, elongated arms and all. He’s the one who’s been terrorizing the subterranean Fae and concocting some disease gambit in order to have Fae to feed on, which is highly illegal in that world. The final resolution with the Alligator Fae leader is a nice touch, as is Bo’s solution for punishment.

Two episodes into a shorter season, and Lost Girl has only scratched the surface on an overall plot: the remnants of whatever affected Kenzi and Bo’s evil streak. Dyson defended Bo to Tasmin, but she’s clearly guilty, and that’ll catch up to her. With this narrative scope, I thought we’d get a more streamlined, compressed, focused story, but instead there is more of the same meandering, convoluted plots that have plagued the show’s worst episodes. The start of this season isn’t as horrifically boring as some stretches of season two, but when the show doesn’t play to its strengths time and time again, an imaginative episodic plot can’t do all the work.

Stray observations:

  • Bo uses the same technique on a regular police officer to escape the interrogation room twice, earning a tiny bit of respect from Tasmin. That was clever.
  • So yeah, there’s an extended sex scene between Bo and Lauren tonight, but all it does is show the two of them are doing fine and going at it constantly, at least enough to need some better hydration.
  • Barring a massive uptick in demand and discussion for tonight’s episode, this concludes regular coverage for Lost Girl. If this is indeed the end, it’s certainly been an interesting ride watching a strangely fascinating little genre show constantly fiddle around while trying to figure out what works.
Filed Under: TV, Lost Girl

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