Friday, August 09, 2013

Lost Girl Re-Watch from the beginning. S1E1 It's a Fae, Fae, Fae, Fae World.

**SPOILERS AHEAD** **Possibly for the entire series.**

I can’t recall how it is I found Lost Girl but I did see it from the first episode on SyFy when it aired during it’s first run and I was drawn in instantly because it had a noir ‘root for the underdog’ feel to it and I liked that Bo, who has abilities that surpass any of my own, still had a pretty fucked up life and that, quite frankly, was OK. I’m not saying it’s the same as when I watch Hoarders just to feel better about my house being untidy, but its close. Initially I intended my re-watch to just experience the show, but having seen it already it’s impossible not to recall everything that I know happens and be effected by that. But having seen it already I can now appreciate what they tried to lay out from Day One, see what they were hinting at, and also see what they left behind (and lament the loss of that story potential).

So onto the episode! These are thoughts I typed out as I was watching the show, (expanded and edited later):

Bo knows exactly what she is doing when she targets the creep from the bar. She knows who he is and what he is up to. She decides to intervene to save Kenzi and she knows that she’s going to kill him in order to do it, because as we find out later, she doesn’t know how to control what she does. So when she steps into that elevator, it’s with intent. When she pushes him against the wall of the elevator and asks for the kiss, it’s with intent. As the audience, we seem to give Bo a pass because the man she kills is clearly a scum; one who uses drugs to rape women, (and as Dyson later states when he looks in the victim’s past he’s done so many times). Missed opportunity: it’s never addressed later if any of the other people Bo killed during her ten years on the run were ever targeted for being creepers the same way as “smiley guy” was.

Enter Dyson with a swagger, and Hale as his sarcastic partner. They engage in typical cop talk but when a human patrol officer sticks his nose in the fae duo keep their cool. They are definitely old pros at keeping fae cases away from prying human eyes without raising any red flags.

Enter the hovel. It’s decidedly messier and with lighter hues then the place we get used to seeing. I find it curious that after Bo discovers her true nature and is pretty much told to stay put in town that she and Kenzi go back to illegally squatting at the hovel and have done so for three years with no one ever discovering that they are living in a house they shouldn’t be. Did someone (like Trick maybe) secretly purchase the property and keep the city from bothering the two? (Also noted, the place has electricity in the first episode. How? Hell. How does it have electricity now?)

Kenzi wakes up from the night’s adventure and it’s confusing on how much time has passed since Bo carried Kenzi out of the elevator because they seem to play it as if Bo went straight to work getting out of Dodge, (and they introduce the “Bo costume” of black on black and cleavage), yet she is intercepted by a waking Kenzi and when they go out for milkshakes it is daylight outside even though both of them make mention of the events happening as if they were the night before. But I love how Kenzi goes from freaked out to scheming in a span of 30 seconds and that her biggest issue with Bo isn’t that she sucked some guys face off but that she helped a stranger. That’s what makes Bo a freak to her! Ha. Then as they’re having milkshakes, (and it seems to me that Bo is shot in a way that depicts a lingering immaturity), Kenzi talks to her with an empathy that I don’t think Bo ever expected. In return it looks like Bo decides to show off a little for Kenzi when she whammies the waitress into skipping out on the bill. She practically says out loud with her look to Kenzi that says, “Check out what else I can do.” Again the showing off speaks to some immaturity, which I suspect is since her emotional growth as a person pretty much stopped the night she ran away from home.

Trick and Dyson at The Dal: Trick says, “It’s beginning then.” “I can try and stop it.” Dyson offers. What is beginning? What does Dyson think he can stop? (By the way, so far it’s never been truly explained how Trick knew that Aife had a child that she gave to a midwife to hide among humans. Nor is it ever revealed just how much Dyson was told by Trick about his relationship to Bo and I think what he knew had an effect on his actions in the first season that would go a long way to getting people off his back for not telling Bo the truth sooner.)

Bo is taken by Dyson and Hale (in the first awkward moment of the episode, in my opinion) and she is not pleased. They’re at the Ash’s compound, yet The Morrigan has no qualms about barging in and then trying to nab Bo despite the fact her kill happened on Light territory and her actions don’t concern the Dark at that point. (Wasted opportunity: They could have implied that perhaps The Morrigan knows more about who Bo might be than she does. Instead they just start off with her sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong just because she can, making her seem nothing more than selfish and self serving. I don’t think one gets to be as powerful as she is, even for the Dark, by being so two dimensional and petty.)

Slightly creepy scene with Bo and Lauren, because it’s clear that Lauren is attracted to Bo even before Bo whammies her and Lauren isn’t subtle or professional about it either. It doesn’t faze Bo, who is used to admiration from people and all she’s concerned about is what Lauren can tell her about what is going on. Lauren tells her everything she knows, and I think Bo appreciates that even if she doesn’t understand it all. After Lauren explains that she’s fae, Bo quips, “And for those of us who flunked biology?” To me that line was to categorize her as a non academic right off the bat, situating her as an exact opposite to Lauren. Also during the conversation, Bo mentions that she “wakes up next to dead lovers” which is basically an admission that she takes people she likes to bed knowing that they’ll probably die. Lauren gives her the lay of the land which is, ‘join a clan and they can help you not kill people anymore.’ Despite considering herself a “homicidal freak” she declines. Which is puzzling that Bo wouldn’t jump at the chance to NOT be a “homicidal freak”. She doubles down on her bad decision later when the Morrigan empathizes with Bo about having been alone and tells her she could be a part of something. She seems sincere in her concern for Bo as a fae, as one of her own. Bo asks, “Why the hell would I want to join you?” Gee Bo, maybe to learn to NOT KILL PEOPLE ANYMORE? Yet Bo turns her down for no real logical reason. (I think I would have liked it if the Morrigan kept up with the dual confrontations throughout the show. On one hand she’s vampish and cruel, but on the other I’d like if they had showed a depth of concern for Bo (as a fellow fae) and trying to get her to join the Dark.) But then they force her to fight a pair of underfae in duels to the death. (And Dyson calls humans barbaric just a few episodes later. Ha!) What they don’t explain is where it was that Bo learned to fight because she grabbed weapons she was comfortable with and wielded them with experience and skill, and then without much hesitation she dispatches the underfae when he was down. Is that part of her fae nature? Are they inherently more callous? (Missed opportunity: either another side effect of Bo’s power is that she temporarily gains the skills of the last person she fed off of, in this case Dyson, or having her get in the lucky shots but later Dyson gives her lessons in fighting, which could have been hella sexy…) Then the second underfae gets into her head and tries to use her guilt against her to get her to kill herself, until Kenzi intervenes. That is when Bo chooses humans as her clan, even though she does so right after she instinctively claims Kenzi as hers.

Dyson drops them back off in another alley that is laden with graffiti and they walk away after he tells Bo that the elders want her to stick around in town, (something he doesn’t seem to unhappy about.) (And what happened to the blue car? Missed opportunity for a running gag: Always have Bo with a different car whenever she needs one because she doesn’t actually own one but just “borrows” one from people with her whammie powers. Look, if we’re going to give her a pass on serial killings, I think it’s OK to have fun with her using her skills for grand theft auto.) Bo and Kenzi walk down the street, high on their newfound knowledge of a fae underworld and Bo’s inclusion in it and Bo agrees that she and Kenzi should team up.

The end.

As far as pilot episodes go it does a pretty good job of introducing all the elements of the world of Lost Girl, but it’s full of mixed messages, some in a good way. Most of the characters are contradictory and hint at complexity from the very beginning. Like Trick, the lowly bartender who is comfortable giving orders to a fae that works for The Ash and taking the leaders of both the Light and the Dark to task for being short sighted, The Morrigan who is clearly smarter and more intuitive than she seems, actually shows concern for Bo having been alone all her life, and Dyson is depicted as the heavy for The Ash but his actions and reactions place him on Bo’s side. But with Bo, I get the sense that her contradictions are more because the writers don’t really know who Bo is rather than laying down foundation for any nuance.

Bo’s supposed to be the heroine of the piece, but at this point she’s just sketchy back story and conflicting actions. They demonstrate that Bo is “good” because she has guilt over all the deaths she caused, even though she can get people to do what she wants, she doesn’t use that power for anything other than bare necessities, and she saves Kenzi even though it means sacrificing her new found place. But yet she kills a guy in the first 5 minutes of the show. Her history is filled with death due to a power she can’t control yet she indicates she takes people she likes to bed despite knowing the consequences. She’s been on the run yet has inexplicable skills. And despite being ready to run at the beginning of the episode after dispatching “smiley” she stays at the end for no real reason. The fae don’t offer her anything other than attitude & she states she refuses to be dictated to, yet she does the very thing they want even though there is no reason to. She doesn’t even infer that she wants to stay in town to find out more about being fae. Yet we are supposed to look at Bo as a woman on a quest to find out who she is, even though up until she runs into the fae completely by accident, it’s obvious she’s never done a thing to discover the truth about her ‘freak’ nature.

So here I am going to play back seat writer, mostly because I don’t understand how she could spend 10 years on the run but never attempt to figure out what is wrong with her, why she does what she does, or even attempt to use it yet do the least damage. That last part especially rubs me the wrong way because they could easily have implied that she tries to use her power only one other creeps and criminals like the one that went after Kenzi. Skip the sad talk about killing lovers with Lauren and instead have Dyson mention a trail of other victims like “smiley guy” with similar rap sheets. Nor do I think it would have been too difficult to establish that instead of her finding the fae by accident, have it that Bo has been searching for answers and heard stories about other people like her and was in town searching for clues and that perhaps “smiley guy” was not only just another creep for her to take out but was also bait for the fae. And I think I would have liked it if The Ash made it clear he’d prefer that she just moved along to be a thorn in someone else’s side but Bo makes the decision to stay put and team up with Kenzi to help humans that are being used by the fae, (a fact I think she should key in on right away.) This would establish her inquisitive and investigative nature that lends itself naturally to her sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong as well as put her on the side of not wanting to use her powers to do harm even though she couldn’t control her power before. (And it would make her seem less childish when she refuses to join a side even though she is told point blank by Lauren that if she joined the Light they would teach her how to feed without killing people.) It would also lend credibility to Bo and Kenzi selling their skills as investigators seeing as Bo has pretty much been one for the past 10 years.

Despite the inconsistencies with her character, I still was rooting for Bo and she has an inherent likability that rises above what is on the page. And I liked the rest of the characters instantly as well. I love Dyson’s obvious admiration for Bo from the beginning. Hale is smooth but clearly kept in the dark about Dyson and Trick’s relationship. The mystery of who Trick was and what he and Dyson knew about Bo sucked me in immediately. I was intrigued by the “two party system” set up of fae society and was looking forward to watching Bo navigate this new world she found herself with nothing but her spunky attitude and being backed by Kenzi and her quips. I thought the choice of sets and scenery where perfect for giving the sense of a whole world among our own, one filled with wonder and danger and creatures that would terrify if we only paid the slightest bit of attention and realized they were right there all along. Basically, I was sold. And continue to be.

My other complaint and I’ll admit that it’s a quibble, is the lack of other characters from up coming episodes being seen in the background of the “test” scene. Because the show shot the 8th episode first, which included some remarkable characters like Sid, Vex, Sid’s dumbass nephew, etc. they could have asked if any of those actors to be there to just be in the crowd while Bo was taking on the underfae. Instead we have a group of extras that are never seen again.

Notable quotes: Kenzi, “Can you get asthma!?”

Bo, when she head butts the Ash just because he gets too close to her.

Bo, “Did I spit in your coffee or something? What is your deal?” Dyson, “Kiss me.” Bo, “Wow are you bad at reading women.”


LL said...

She reappears!!!

Although... nah... nevermind... ;P

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