Recap and Review: Lost Girl 1.02: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae

This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Lost Girl Season 1

By Paula R. Stiles

[spoilers ahoy]

Recap: While Bo and Kenzi are moving into Duncan MacLeod of Highlander‘s old loft together, redecorating and trying to figure out how to pay for it all (legally, Bo insists), a surprising business opportunity drops into their laps. Well…it’s really only surprising if you’ve never read detective fiction, but it’s surprising to them. A Will o’ the Wisp is being harassed by some kid who stole his glowing treasure in the teaser. Will wants it back. He’s willing to trade information about Bo’s parents leaving her in his wood when she was a baby. Kenzi also insists on some monetary payment.

The job seems simple enough, but we’re only ten minutes into the episode, so, of course, it’s not. When they track the stalker, Michael Connell, to his trailer (with some reluctant help from Dyson and the dwarf owner of a bar that caters to fae), a shotgun trap aimed at the door nearly takes them out, wounding Bo in the hand. Once inside, they are rousted by a blowzy, shotgun-toting neighbour. Bo gets close enough to touch her and then proceeds to suck her dry. Fortunately, Kenzi pulls her off in time. Bo turns on Kenzi with a snarl and glowing blue eyes, but then calms down and apologises. They leave the neighbour alive, though unconscious. A nice side effect for Bo? Her hand has healed.

They eventually track down the stalker to a motel, where Bo gets the rather clever idea of pretending to be a maid doing housekeeping. Unfortunately, Connell has been expecting a fae assassin and threatens her with a gun. He also claims to be Will’s son by a human mother and isn’t impressed by Bo’s attempt to establish a connection by admitting she was raised by humans in the Midwest. As far as he’s concerned, having fae powers – any powers – is better than being only human. It seems what Will didn’t tell Bo about this job could fill a German opera. The son is bitter because Daddy abandoned them, and Mom’s insistence on telling all and sundry about her sexy thang with a fae got her labeled insane. Which, you know, does happen when you act dumb.

Meanwhile, a fae in a long, dark coat with a detachable head comes to the room – the real assassin. Kenzi watches from outside, horrified, and only just warns Bo in time. Bo knocks down the headless assassin and gets Connell out of there. Shaken, Connell agrees to a meet and Will, who had no idea Connell was his son, also agrees.

First, however, Bo makes a detour to the human doctor from the Pilot, Lauren, to see if she can get any kind of treatment that will dull her hunger and make her “safer”. Lauren reluctantly gives her an injection, though she warns Bo it will also take away her ability to heal herself. Bo agrees. Good plan, since Dyson and his partner have been debating whether or not to take her out for nearly whacking Connell’s neighbour.

At the meet, Connell turns into a treacherous little toad, again (well…not literally). He’s going to expose the fae to the world and avenge his mother. No amount of sensible argument that the fae would kill him, first, can persuade him until another fae assassin turns up. And then the other shoe drops – seems Will sicced the creature on Connell before he knew who Connell was. This seems to shock Connell back to common sense, but Will can’t stop the assassin. Only after Bo gets slashed on the neck fighting the thing and Kenzi drops its head into one of Will’s eldritch farts – sorry, fires – is the assassin defeated. With her immune system depressed by the injection, Bo must now have sex with someone in order to heal. A simple kiss won’t do it. Dyson, the only person so far to survive her advances, enthusiastically hops into the sack with her to help out – like the, uh, gentleman that he is.

Review: This one hit a bit of a sophomore slump in the same areas where the Pilot was not-so-hot: worldbuilding and plotting, though it did have its charms (Hey, stop snickering back there in the peanut gallery). The plot is an old chestnut that was already weary back in the days of Starsky and Hutch. This isn’t helped by some real groaners for leading lines. When the bartender mentioned that both of Bo’s parents must have been fae because children of fae and humans inherited no powers, I figured that might be a nice plot down the line. But turning it into a one-shot plot point five minutes later was a cast-iron skillet upside the head in terms of foreshadowing. Ditto Dyson’s partner offering to set him up with twin fae who could twin themselves again. Oh, gee, will Dyson get laid by the end of the episode? Yep.

On top of that, the “witty” dialogue as he and Bo rolled around in foreplay went on far too long in the coda, mainly showing off that Kris Holden-Ried has a very nice bod and that Dyson has some curious tattoos. Aside from that, the only nice change was that Bo hooked up with someone so early on. Shows don’t usually get their protagonists involved in hot bedroom action with other regular characters right off the bat. Not that I minded. This is a Canadian show about a succubus. I sure hope we’d be seeing some regular bedroom action, even after Syfy finished hacking up the episode.

In the worldbuilding department, I didn’t give a toss about Will o’ the Wisps (who come off an awful lot like leprechauns, here) or Connell, who was pretty unsympathetic – and stupid, to boot. As for his mother, what is this TV trope of characters who insist on telling people about things that will make them look nuts, especially female characters? Come on. Whatever happened to keeping your trap shut?

Similarly, while the actor was okay, the character of Will and his eldritch fires seemed chosen mostly to give the writers excuses for fart-lighting jokes, which were crude and juvenile even by Canadian Showcase standards (Showcase being Lost Girl‘s original network in Canada).

On the plus side, Lost Girl continues to demonstrate where classic Canadian TV shows like Da Vinci’s Inquest have it all over American and even British shows – character byplay. It’s amazing how Canadian TV shows can turn people sitting around, chatting – in a genre action show, no less – into an entertaining art form. I thoroughly enjoyed Bo and Kenzi’s bonding as they delved into the mystery, and appreciated the bromance snapshot of Dyson and his partner in their copshop banter. I also liked the bartender, who seems like a good twist on the usual Wise Old Infodumper these shows need. I think my favourite scene was when Kenzi stopped Bo from killing that woman in Connell’s trailer. The reactions were just right, from Bo’s initial snarling-turned-apologetic to Kenzi’s shock and recoil. They walked a tightrope that kept Bo sympathetic without being neutered and Kenzi appropriately reacting in horror, while also standing up to herself. I even liked that Kenzi managed to save the day without coming across like an idiot savant. No Wesley Crushers in Lost Girl!

Next Week: Oh, Kappa, My Kappa: Undeterred by the vicissitudes of their first case, Bo and Kenzi decide to go into the private eye business full-time.

You can watch the first season of Lost Girl on Syfy, either Monday nights at 10pm or on the official site.

About Paula R. Stiles

Paula is not at all paranoid about government conspiracies after six years in EMS, two years in Africa for the Peace Corps, a few summers with the Park Service, and ten years studying the Knights Templar. She's seen governments in action. They couldn't cover up a toy picnic table, let alone evidence of alien visitation. Writes about science for fun, history for money, and zombies for the company. You can read her sober-as-a-judge book about Templars in medieval Spain, Templar Convivencia, on Amazon. You can find her homepage at: http://thesnowleopard.net.

Paula R. StilesRecap and Review: Lost Girl 1.02: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae

8 Comments on “Recap and Review: Lost Girl 1.02: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae”

  1. Matt Carpenter

    Hmmm -maybe I’ll watch this show based on this review. I was going to give it a miss but there seems to be enoguh there to make it worth watching for a fewepisodes.

  2. Lily

    Hi Paula,

    Thanks for the review Paula. I’m beginning to like this show. This episode was ok, but Kenzi and Bo’s relationship is very interesting. Kenzi is so likeable and I hope her character will be more complex as the show develops. Canadian programming is so interesting since they don’t seem to shy away from telling a story in a non-puritanical way as American television does.

    1. Paula R. Stiles

      This week’s episode disappointed me in some ways, but I agree about the Canadian approach. There’s a really funny moment in the pilot episode to the Showcase comedy, “Rent-a-Goalie”, in which the protagonist, Cake (Christopher Bolton), has to save his business by going up against another goalie. So, he does it butt-naked, because he knows it will mess with the guy’s head. There he is out there, whacking every puck home, because the guy doesn’t know where to look! The show’s star and producer, Bolton, talked about going out there in the all-together and just doing the scene because he knew if he did, it would make the rest of the cast feel more comfortable about some of the things he’d later ask them to do. That’s a major difference between Canadian and American TV, even the premium cable stuff.

      Another thing about Canadian stuff is that they do not mind their protagonists getting pretty far out there. I’m amazed at all the contortions some Supernatural fans go through to deny that Dean Winchester is mentally ill, when, on a show like “Rent-a-Goalie”, most of the characters are outright bonkers. And I don’t mean on the raggedy edge of eccentric, either. You see the same fascination with crazy in New Zealand and Australian stuff, and the Brits are downright in love with screwed-up. But Americans? Nooooo. They’d sooner buy that a protagonist had a worm in their ear, working them like a puppet, than that he or she is a few cards shy of a full deck and that’s okay.

  3. Matt Carpenter

    I DVRed all the available episodes and watched the first two. I like it! Isabelle has been hooked on the US version of being human, and as I like fantasy/horror I am giving it a go. It’s OK but after 3 episodes of season 2 I am completely tired of the soap opera aspects. I’d like to see a little more werewold sex and a lot less angst, frankly. Anyway, I’m glad I decided to try Lost Girl because it is much more to my taste. More weirdness, more action, less moping. What’s not to like? Of course it has difficulties, but so does Grimm, and I’m still enjoying Grimm quite well. I can’t wait to see where they take us. My only regret is that it isn’t on Starz so we could really get some sex and gore, but some how I’ll persevere…

  4. Lily

    @Paula:I’m amazed at all the contortions some Supernatural fans go through to deny that Dean Winchester is mentally ill

    It’s hard to think of Dean as mentally ill. As fan I’m very protective of the character, but I also know he is one mighty damaged soul. It’s easier to use terms like broken and damaged than mentally ill, even though it really is all a matter of semantics.

    1. Paula R. Stiles

      @Lily
      Not really. It’s more that people seem willing to use words like “broken” and “damaged”, that are really quite negative, while balking at a neutral or even positive (and more accurate) term like “mentally ill”. I suppose people feel that’s more romantic. Or perhaps it helps them distance themselves more from the reality of it.

  5. Lily

    Oh Paula, I love reading your comments because you are not afraid to write things some of us hate to even think about. LOL!

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