This week we go Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) specific in a revealing – and homage heavy – episode that also asks us to think of Dyson’s (Kris Holden-Ried) genitals a lot.
Let’s bitch it out…As I explored last week, the Dyson break-up stuff has consumed a lot of airtime in the first few episodes of season two. This is understandable given how much it consumed season one, but I’ve gotta say: I’m over it.
I didn’t realize how much I was over it until the start of ‘Mirror, Mirror’ when Kenzi and Bo (Anna Silk) spend five minutes talking about how much of a pig Dyson is because he’s moved on. Now we’ve all had break-ups and we all go through this hatred stage, so it’s not that this doesn’t happen (caveat: our girls are also plastered), but this feels less like a Lost Girl I want to watch. I tune in each week because Bo kicks ass, and Kenzi is funny and the world they inhabit is filled with creatures and stories that excite the imagination. Everything about this opening (and indeed most of the Dyson scenes in the episode) feel like generic rom-com territory to me, and while Lost Girl is genre, it is never generic.
So it’s nice when Bo acknowledges that Dyson no longer has feelings for her in penance for saving her life. And it’s clear that even as Kenzi is cursing Dyson that she’s really doing it because, by hurting Bo, Dyson also hurt her. Because Kenzi believed in and defended him (Side Note: both women do seem to frequently forget that it’s not like he chose to fall out of love with Bo, which may be one of the reasons I found all this so frustrating).
With that said, I’m glad that all of this drama takes a backseat so that we get to know more about Kenzi. Although Kate Lynch’s Baba Yaga (a Fae-style homage somewhere between ‘Bloody Mary’ and ‘Candyman’) isn’t the most original creature Lost Girl has unearthed in its seventeen episodes, she works well enough to facilitate a nice character exploration for Kenzi.
I will admit, however, that I never truly feared for Kenzi: even as the other girls are being put to the flame, it is pretty obvious that things would work out for our little babushka. No, what interested me is the suggestion that Kenzi was the victim of physical and emotional abuse from her step-father, who locked her away ‘Harry Potter’ style when she was a child (guess now we know at least one contributing factor in her decision to run away from home). This fits with what we’ve seen, not just because it ties into where Kenzi was when we met her back in the pilot, but like many sci-fi/fantasy shows, Lost Girl takes as one of its primary themes the exploration of “family.” Just like how Bo spent season one searching for hers, it’s always been clear that there is a familial bond between her and Kenzi.
What ‘Mirror, Mirror’ does (much like last week’s episode) is reiterate that these characters are better off together than they are by themselves. In both episodes, Bo and Kenzi are separated and suddenly faced with the idea that they are alone…and it terrifies them. Suddenly they no longer have their safety net. And that’s why it’s so meaningful that one will do anything to help rescue the other, whether that’s Kenzi using Mumphert to find The Baku, or Bo refusing to listen to the slutty Water Nymph who insists she’ll drown trying to reach Baba Yaga’s ‘alternate universe’
gingerbread house. in Lost Girl, loved ones are the most valuable commodity – “to the bottom” (as Kenzi says) – and although the episode ends with Kenzi encouraging Bo to fight for Dyson and Lauren (an unseen Zoie Palmer), I would argue that the person Bo will always fight for first is Kenzi.
- There are plenty of metatextual references in this episode. Clearly there’s a homage to Hansel and Gretel with the burning and eating of prisoners in the witch’s house (Kenzi herself even mentions that “This place is Hansel and Gretel meets Hannibal Lecter”). In addition to this, a girl’s clothes lands her the moniker ‘Fiddler On The Roof reject’ and the ending, when Baba Yaga’s hand emerges from the mirror, is pure-Carrie. While Lost Girl has frequently traded on popular fairytales and creatures, I would have preferred a bit more originality as many of these feel like distractions instead of strengths.
- As mentioned, the Dyson plotline doesn’t really work for me. The first time we see the effects of the curse, it’s mildly amusing. By the time we get to his informant turning on him in the interrogation room, it’s become repetitive, obvious and just plain silly (but not amusingly so). At this point, I’ll once again draw on my love of Buffy to relate this back to Xander’s misbegotten love spell in 2×16’s ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’. That similar storyline – women go man-crazy except for one resistant female – works better because it alternates between hilarity and creeping menace as the women become more and more violent. Here the women’s hatred for Dyson never goes beyond verbal abuse and spitting – had the women been a danger to him, it might have added an extra layer of desperation and timeliness to Bo and Kenzi’s interactions with Baba Yaga. (Side Note: Why didn’t Chloe, the Water Nyph, have a similar reaction to the other women?)
- P.S. Baba Yaga is a real Slavic legend…or so says wikipedia.
- I really enjoyed Aunt Milla (Catherine Fitch) and her con-artist fortune teller routine. Guess we know now where Kenzi got her skills – complete with handkerchief and terrible accent – in ‘ArchnoFaebia’.
- I was less fond of the fact that Kenzi doesn’t truly save herself. Yes, I get it that in a way the man-dog attacked Baba Yaga because Kenzi had earlier befriended him with a piece of Anna (blech), but it felt far too convenient that she merely steps aside and into the oven they both go. I realize that Kenzi is 50lbs soaking wet and she’s not exactly a fighter, but I would have liked her to take matters into her own hands instead of relying on someone else.
- There’s more drama with Lachlyn, The Ash (Vincent Walsh). In order to get Chloe’s help crossing over, Bo makes a deal with Lachlyn to be his freelance agent after all (remember she turned him down last week). If there’s one other element outside of Kenzi’s background that will have long lasting consequences beyond this episode, it’ll be this. Mark my words!
- Disappointing there was no Lauren after last week’s more prominent role. Since I’m watching in Canada, I missed the big drama that went down last week when edits were made to a key Doccubus (Bo-Lauren shipper) scene. You can find out all about it and why fans were so upset (beware mild upcoming spoilers) at AfterEllen.com
Best Lines of the night:
- Kenzi (waking up with a hangover): “Why do I taste like shampoo?”
- Bo (in the most amusing portion of the Dyson-curse bits): “You back off or I will drop-kick you into a women’s studies conference.”
- Kenzi (immediately after waking up in an unfamiliar hell-house): “Baba Yaga? Mrs. Yaga?”
- Trick (discussing Baba Yaga’s plans for Kenzi): “She’s going to want to fatten her up.” Dyson: “Well lucky for us that could take awhile.”
- Kenzi (to another prison dressed in 60s clothes): “Love your top. It’s super groovy.”
- Lachlyn (after Bo is forced to freelance for him): “Remind me to send Babs a fruit basket.”
Lost Girl airs Mondays at 10pm EST on Syfy.