Lost Girl build up

There seems to be a great deal of hate on for the past half season of Lost Girl. There’s a lot of complaints about filler episodes, story line not making sense, writers sucking, etc. But I think a more careful examination will reveal that there is a lot less suckage than there appears on the surface.

Let me make it clear before I proceed that I do not believe that Lost Girl is perfect. It has issues. In fact, some of the issues I discount here are not completely absent. Rather, I am pointing out that they are not necessarily as egregious as people like to think they are.

First, let me address a general complaint I see regularly. The first is that Bo is supposed to be a bad-ass succubus with mad fighting skills so why does she always seem to need rescuing? Well, consider, most of the time she’s going up against fae who can match her enhanced strength with their own, or she’s going up against someone she really doesn’t want to seriously hurt. You can see why she might not want to employ her maximum potential. The same goes for her succubus power, and that is not counting the guilt she carries from her years on the run before the series starts. Also consider that she knows next to nothing, comparatively, about the fae world so there is a level of confusion dogging her actions too.

As far as Bo always needing rescuing, if you watch carefully in a lot of those rescue situations, you’ll see that the rescuer has barged in before Bo has had a chance to even figure out what the blazes is going on and get out of the predicament. Just because she has been rescued, it doesn’t mean she would have been doomed without the rescue. And it doesn’t mean she can’t be grateful nor does it mean the rescue didn’t have a net beneficial effect (less injury, etc.). In other cases, when the rescue is needed, there is usually something bigger at play – a broken genie trap, mind altering juju, or something Bo hasn’t the experience to know how to fight. You can be smart, strong, and skilled and still be in a pickle because you don’t know what you’re up against.

Now on to recent episodes. Last week’s episode felt rushed and choppy. But when you dive into it, it was about hard choices and the cost of the upcoming battle. If there is one thing about Lost Girl that sets it apart, it is that rarely is everything all unicorns and rainbows. The bigger the pay off, the bigger the risk and the bigger the cost. Also, Nadia’s death is commonly viewed as an easy out because the writers didn’t know what to do with Nadia. That is really not the case. The point of the scene was not Nadia’s death. The point was that neither Bo nor Lauren wanted to harm Nadia. It was Nadia that killed Nadia. Bo had her knife out but it was Nadia’s actions that brought it fully into play. Given a few more moments, Bo herself might have taken the action more directly (and probably would have). The point was the emotional cost of doing so, a cost paid by both Lauren and Bo. I do have to agree with a lot of commentators that the Kenzi/Nate story line overshadowed Bo’s story line but I think that is only because it was emphasized more. It sets Kenzi up as much more than a sidekick (not that she ever was). It sets her up as a rock of constance in the brewing chaos.

On to this week’s episode and we have chaos brewing. The Garuda is coming! No, wait, the Garuda is here! Everything is going weird. Lachlan is acting weird. Dyson appears and acts all self-important on account of he spoke to the wolf spirit. Trick is rude. Ciara reappears for the fight. Bo checks her brains at the door. And Kenzi follows along with Bo out of loyalty. The final battle is here and by the end of the episode, it seems to be lost. But in the end it turns out not to have been the final battle after all. Now, the episode, if watched superficially, seems like things do not make sense, but a deeper analysis suggests otherwise.

Let’s consider Lachlan now. He behaves rather oddly at the start, attempting to force Trick into using his blood magic to end the conflict, only being stopped by Bo and Dyson when Bo connects the weirdness with snakes to Lachlan being the naga. Lachlan evidently works out that Dyson and the others are headed into a trap for he prepares for that eventuality by having Lauren extract his venom for use after his death. This may just be an example of being crazy prepared or paranoid prepared, of course. He’s been down this road four times before after all. So Lachlan ends up dead while the others step into the trap.

As for the others falling into the trap, the have Dyson claiming communion with the wolf spirit whom even Trick respects. But we have seen that even powerful fae are swayed by the Garuda (see the Glaive for instance). There is no reason to believe that the wolf spirit would be impervious to manipulation. And what is to say that Dyson actually heard the wolf spirit and not the Garuda in disguise? So we know that fae can be influenced directly or indirectly by the Garuda so there is no reason to suspect that our heroes were acting fully rationally when they chose to enter the trap. And that isn’t counting emotional interference with reasoning. As for expecting Trick to recognize the trap, remember his judgement was probably compromised by anger.

Now let’s consider Dyson. We know he has been less than reliable of late. He has clearly not been thinking clearly and it is entirely likely he has misinterpreted what he heard during his communion with the wolf spirit. It is also not inconceivable that he could be fooled into believing that he was speaking to the wolf spirit even if it were the Garuda in disguise, but let’s assume the wolf spirit was real. What we saw in the flashback was not particularly specific. Instead, it merely tells us that Dyson will regain what he is missing as a result of the fight and that the Garuda can only be defeated when he believes he has already won. It may be that in the end the one who actually kills the Garuda will be Dyson but it clearly is not as easy as it seems. Of course, the scooby gang charges off into danger without thinking things through, to the point of taking Kenzi along without a second thought. That, alone, should be a clue that people were not thinking clearly – there wasn’t even a token effort to dissuade her from coming.

Now consider Bo. She gets caught up in events as she is wont to do. She is, after all, passion embodied. By her own admission, she wanted Dyson to be the champion which also led her to play along. It took Ciara’s death to snap her back to reality. Then, she arrives too late to save Lachlan, who also sacrifices his life. Then, later, in perhaps the most emotional scene of the whole episode, we have the “of course, you know this means war” moment when Bo finally commits to the battle, when she sees Kenzi wheeling a badly beaten Dyson through the darkness. This may seem like a redundant episode but consider all along that Bo has been a reluctant hero at best, fighting when forced to but always looking for a way out.  Here she comes face to face with the brutal reality of her indecision and it galvanizes her.

Finally, we have Kenzi. Kenzi has consistently shown a strength of spirit that puts the others to shame, even from the very first moment when she and Bo meet. It is Kenzi above all that finally grounded Bo and it is Kenzi who time and again acts as a rudder as Bo navigates the tempestuous seas of fae society. Repeatedly we hear how some of the strongest fae, at least those not prejudiced against humans, who come to know her are amazed at her strength. It is clearly not physical strength nor weapon prowess to which they refer. Rather it is her indomitable spirit in the face of impossible odds that they all admire. She has, more than once, achieved goals when stronger, older, and wiser fae have failed. During the body switch episode, even Dyson came to appreciate Kenzi’s inner strength. It may come to pass that Kenzi’s presence will turn the tide of the fight in the end even if she does nothing other than be there. (I can see this happening given the strong anti-prejudice themes in the season so far.)

To sum up, a great deal actually happened in the most recent episode. Much of it is overshadowed by two very prominent deaths at the hands of the Garuda. However, there is much more going on beneath the surface. While this is one of the show’s greatest strengths, it is also the very thing that causes much of the criticism. People simply do not see the subtexts but instead focus on the overt things. In so doing, they miss the truly brilliant plot points. Yet these same people, if they had the same information revealed to them with overt dialogue and actions would call the plot contrived. It’s the subtlety that makes the show so good. Instead of complaining about this inconsistency or that “writer cop out”, try looking for a reason for it. Distance yourself from your initial gut reaction and actually analyze the scenes objectively. You may be surprised to find that it makes a great deal more sense than the first reaction suggests. (That’s not to say everything is a brilliant action by the producers. Even some of the brilliant points may be accidental. But don’t jump to the default “producers screwed up” mode before trying hard to prove that they did know what they were doing.)

Let me finish with a couple of predictions. All the prophecies will come true. Every single one. They will happen exactly as we have been shown. There is a precedent for this. That means Bo will at the very least start to kill Trick, or someone that looks like Trick. I predict that Kenzi will prove to be the chaotic factor that compromises the Garuda’s plans. I further predict that scary über succubus Bo will reappear – after all, that Chekhov’s gun was loaded quite a few episodes ago now. I suspect that Bo’s blood magic will also turn out to play an important role. (Wait, Bo doesn’t have blood magic you say? That was the point of the wedding episode. Go ahead, watch it again. I’ll wait.)

And one final guess. The Morrigan will not call in her favour from Kenzi during this fight. Instead, she will wait until a most inopportune moment after the fighting is done, when Bo is at her weakest and Kenzi will be put in a difficult spot – defy the Morrigan (at what consequence?) or betray Bo. This will probably occur in Season 3.

So, if you are reading this on or after April 1, do feel free to post comments mocking my horrible predictions, or, alternatively if I get things right, accusing me of having an inside source.

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