Lost Girl – There’s Bo Place Like Home
On Lost Girl, a road trip gives us a glimpse of the old Kenzi while Bo sets out to grant forgiveness, and realizes she’s really the one who needs forgiving. If that seems a little too Lifetimey, there’s a Polish demon and cleavage galore.
Bo is training to endure “The Dawning,” which is some kind of ridiculous fae plot device through which she will face harrowing challenges in hopes of avoiding de-evolution into an underfae. I genuinely think at this point that the other fae are just taking advantage of Bo’s ignorance of fae custom, making up one outlandish ritual after another just to see what they can get her to do. “Ok, and now it’s time for…uh…The Sexening! You have to walk into a Tim Horton’s naked wearing Insane Clown Posse make up!” Everyone falls down laughing as Bo runs out frantically seeking the nearest Canuckian donut joint.
Or maybe this whole Dawning thing is actually a brilliant money-making scam perpetuated by Stella, the Lodestar (I have no idea where they got this fae type from) Trick has hired to tutor Bo in Dawningness. Apparently this Dawning thing is sort of Buddhist, as Bo needs to walk through a doorway, but her anger is holding her back. Stella sends Bo to confront her adopted mom back in good ol’ Cherry Festivalville, a place that is about five hours from Toronto (somewhere in Ohio, I’d guess, although you’d think Bo and Kenzi might have trouble with the border crossing).
Before they leave, Bo visits girlfriend Lauren, who is a human-shaped machine for manufacturing plot devices. In this case, it’s a trio of injections that will fend off Bo’s de-evolution temporarily, but plotty plot plot after three shots they won’t work anymore. Lauren makes a game attempt at quote of the week with, “Your faeness trumps my nerdness,” but she can’t compete with Kenzi. Bo and Kenzi hop into the Camaro and go. So far so good – this show needs three things: more Kenzi, more Vex, and more Camaro, and I’ll take two out of three.
There’s a hilarious scene where Trick and Dyson overact so gloriously. I wish I had the clip to put right here, because I can’t even describe the awesomeness. All the glaring. The table slapping. The jaw clenching. The scenery nibbling. Then they totally redeem themselves at the end of the episode with great, natural feeling scene where Dyson catches Trick trying to mack on Stella. “That whole ball-buster routine is like crack to you.”
“I’m in trouble, aren’t I?”
Is it me, or does Dyson appear to have a drinking problem that Trick, the bartender, is clearly enabling to an alarming extent?
Back at Cherrytown, we learn a lot of Bo’s backstory, but it’s doled out pretty skillfully. Her real name is Beth, last name Dennis (is this the first time we’ve learned Bo’s last name?). Bo’s fae origin story is borrowed directly from Rogue of the X-Men. I mean, it’s a straight lift, almost nothing is changed. Turns out Bo’s old high school pals have been returning to Cherrytown, but they’re being killed off by a poludnica (Polska, represent!), a female demon that strikes in the high heat of summer noon.
The incorporation of many different folklore traditions is one of Lost Girl’s best features. They got the poludnica legend almost perfectly accurate. The idea of a “noon demon” is pretty cool. She’s also one of the few Lost Girl creatures to actually pull off a creepy vibe, with her ragged clothes and a very neat color shift effect that turns the show’s palette from warm yellows to creepy blues in an instant.
There’s a bunch of plot that’s part The Ring, part Nightmare on Elm Street, part Dukes of Hazzard (the poludnica can’t cross county lines, making her the demonic equivalent of Roscoe P. Coltrane). Bo’s mom seems to be suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s and remembers nothing of the night Bo accidentally killed her boyfriend and fled Cherryville while mom screamed things like, “You’re a harlot! You’ve brought the devil upon us!”
Happy mom suggests the girls visit the Cherry Festival in some of Bo’s old clothes, and oh my god do Bo and Kenzi look cute in those country dresses. I love Kenzi’s platform boots and Bo’s leather on leather with an extra layer of leather, but dayum can Anna Silk rock the gingham. Quote of the week goes to Kenzi, when mom suggests they wear sensible footwear and she reacts like Gollum tasting lembas. “What is this place?”
Annalee Newitz pointed out to me a total throwaway line (that they caught the killer of Bo’s boyfriend – you know, the one Bo actually killed?) means that there’s someone in jail now for something he didn’t do. Yet no one reacts to this information in any way. No biggie, right Bo?
They defeat the poludnica because somehow Bo’s anti-de-evolution injection subdues poludnicas, then they push it into a well and Bo makes a terrible Baby Jessica joke. Then Bo finally sits down to have a talk with her mother, and what we get is actually a genuinely poignant scene. As Bo talks her way through forgiving her mother, who barely understands any of what Bo is talking about, Bo talks herself into the realization that she’s been harboring crushing guilt ever since she left Cherryburg. She convinces herself that the bad things she did came from a lack of understanding, as did her mother’s mistakes raising her.
It was mom’s anguished, confused expression that gave this scene so much pathos. The agony of being with a loved one who’s suffering from dementia is piercing and terrifying, and it stays with you forever. This is two nights in a row a supernatural TV show has used mental illness as a theme and made me feel. I usually like to call out an actor for an outstanding performance, but I can’t find a listing for Bo’s mom on IMDB. If you know who the actress is, let me know so I can give her credit.
In the end, Bo is able to Zen her way through the doorway, only to find there’s a lot more to this Dawning thing. There’s a temple, and 10 great labors, and she has to find the pieces of the Tri-Force, discover the fifth element, and so on.
I’d rather have more Camaro (also, someone please put a big block in that thing).
Before we go, congratulations to Lost Girl for getting renewed for a fourth season!