Monday, April 22, 2013

Finale Fun: Lost Girl "Those Who Wander" Review

Lost Girl's second season received criticisms for its narrow serialization and its attempt to drag the major arc of the season for 22 episodes after a surprise order of the back-nine. Season 1 was a great season because of its focus on stand-alone genre episodes. Michelle Lovretta's series about a succubus felt like a throwback to TheWB genre dramas, e.g. Buffy and ANGEL, Roswell, even Smallville. The most common comparison was with ANGEL. ANGEL's second season is, perhaps, the best season of the show. Joss, Greenwalt, and Minear made the decision to write the series like Buffy, which meant ANGEL had long-running arcs spanning a season, deep and detailed, and awesome. Lost Girl tried its hand with ambitious serialization in season 2. Season 2 was a mess, and I thought about quitting on the show. The promise of a thirteen episode order for season 3 brought me back. I even wrote about #303 in January (or early February--can't remember).

Season 3 of Lost Girl mostly returned to the structure of season 1. The early part of the season delved into Bo's succubus nature, her role in the mythology, and whatnot. Bo had a cathartic return home in the middle of the season, she experienced The Dawning, and she's just met The Wanderer. I read criticisms of last week's episode which argued the show didn't know what it wanted to do this season. Obviously, Bo's journey was designed to strengthen as she takes the next step. Bo said goodbye alot throughout the season. She said goodbye to her old life, to Trick as mentor, to Lauren as lover, and, finally, to her mother (who, of course, isn't dead).

The other characters weren't trapped in dead-end storylines this season. Kenzi didn't have a wet blanket boyfriend who played music and who took all the fun out of her. Dyson didn't have a filler relationship with a girl from the pack. Lauren didn't have a possessed-by-the-garuda girlfriend or a storyline that took way too long to get anywhere. At least Lauren learned quickly that her new job wasn't the altruistic job she agreed to when she left unnamed Canadian city the action takes place in. Hale's role as the new Ash barely mattered until the last two episodes of the season due to the actor's limited availability during the shooting of season 3. Trick even got a love interest in the season. Dyson, with his love back, was once again hopelessly devoted to Bo.

The true star of the season was the newest addition to the cast, Ms. Tamsin. Rachel Skartsen was terrific throughout the season as Dyson's new partner with attitude, then as a Valkyrie with a secret, and then as a love interest to Bo, and, finally, as a reluctant heroine, which mattered regardless of her heroism leading to the arrival of The Wanderer. The Wanderer's basically like a significant weather system that lasts thirty seconds before the sun shines once more. Lost Girl makes the character memorable with two revelations, 1.) The Wanderer is Bo's father (no surprise), and 2.) he disappears Bo. Bo disintegrates into the thick black smoke that swirls around her in Trick's bar at the end of "Those Who Wander."

The immediate action in "Those Who Wander" is essentially inconsequential. Lauren's doctor boss fails miserably to achieve his dream. Emily Andras' script seemingly loses interest in the story for awhile. Lauren's stand against the fae was a nice beat for the character especially after all of the nonsense she's endured since the beginning of the season. I've thought the character was written too passively for too long. Ever since she's become an active character, as it were, she's been engaging and more than a piece in a boring love triangle. Lauren's swerve heel turn doesn't work, though. Lost Girl uses the history of the triangle to trick the audience into thinking Lauren will kill Dyson for Bo's love. A better villain would've sniffed her plan out long ago. Lauren didn't lie about her intention to remain far away from the faes, which is smart since the faes declared war on humans.

Kenzi's on the run (and so is Trick) because of the Morrigan's anti-human kick. Hale's protecting Kenzi from afar with the big teddy bear that is Bruce. While Rachel Skartsen delivered in every episode she appeared in this season, Ksenia Williams continues to be the best part of Lost Girl. The girl showed range in her little Fake Evil Kenzi arc that resolved the cliffhanger from the second season finale.

My favorite part of the season, though, was the amount of stand-alone filler episodes centered on Bo's and Kenzi's adventures. Lost Girl's first season was fun. I thought season 2 forgot how to have fun for long stretches. Lost Girl achieved a solid balance between serialization and stand-alone fun. I never wanted game-changing genre television from Lost Girl, just solid genre entertainment. Lost Girl rebounded decently from a (mostly) miserable second season.

Other Thoughts:

-I thought Lost Girl dropped the potential Hale/Kenzi romance after Kenzi’s never-ending relationship with musician dude last season. I thought wrong. Hale’s not only interested in Kenzi, he’s epically interested in her. The dude’s saving her life right now. When they reunite, their relationship should finally begin.

-Rachel Skartsen’s eyes are mesmerizing. I’d get distracted for stretches during an episode because her eyes were like eyes Nabokov described in one of his short stories. I wondered what eyes that looked dusted with winter’s frost looked like. I need not wonder anymore. Skartsen’s eyes look dusted with frost.

-I don’t know whether or not the dawning episode revealed the stingy budget of the show. Bo’s dawning happens in established locations. The writers made the sets work for the story, but it still felt like a me move. Yes, a me move.

-Vex’s return in the finale made me aware of what I forget during a season. I did not remember Vex’s delightful time with Bo and Kenzi during the early part of the season until he returned. Ksenia Williams usually has chemistry with every actor she has a scene with but she and Paul Amos have a special kind of chemistry. I’d watch a spinoff with those two.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.