On initial reflection, if we’re going to spend a week poking around in someone’s memories, shouldn’t it be Bo? I mean, it’s not like there’s a season and a half long mystery waiting to get answered, is there? But once this week’s Lost Girl went into full-throttle, what was gained as an appreciation for a card that the show doesn’t play that often: the flashback. Other shows with characters more than century old – your Vampire Diaries, your True Bloods – revel in the chance to show their characters in period dress, but Lost Girl though doesn’t go there too much. It’s not the only reason, but it is the main reason, why “La Fae Époque” was a winner.
As you’ll recall, the Una mens interrupted – ahem – private time between Bo and Dyson at the end of last week’s episode to take Dyson into custody. We learn quickly that Dyson isn’t the only person the Una mens have had on their to-do list, they execute the Morrigan’s scavenger fae Pietra for crimes no one went into details about. Dyson, meanwhile, is to be executed for treason and murder a great many fae and humans. You see, in the Una mens system of justice, you’re guilty until executed, so Bo has to find proof Dyson’s innocent before the wolf is killed. Cue the flashbacks.
Say welcome back to Cassie, the oracle introduced in season one’s “Dead Lucky.” Bo and Lauren have recruited her to guide Bo into Dyson’s memories to learn the circumstances of the case the Una mens want to execute him for. Using Cassie as a conduit, Bo enters Dyson’s memories where she interacts with what she sees as Dyson. Through Bo-Dyson’s eyes, we’re taken to 19th century France where Dyson is a cheating, womanizing rogue that’s flitting in the wind with no goals in life, he’s far from the fine, upstanding and chivalrous Dyson we know in other words.
But this is not a straight-up flashback. Cassie warns Bo that her own thoughts and memories will encroach on Dyson’s, and her time in Dyson’s brain is limited as well. We see Dyson meet Trick for the first time after evaded the very angry father of a pair of twins Dyson got to know very well (shall we say). Trick offers Dyson a chance to do something good, to become something nobler, starting with the interception of a pair of ancient shoes called the Helskór, which can only be worn by the worthy hero, and can lead to the end of days in the wrong hands. Dyson, the loveable rogue, sees dollar signs, and he’s moved to act… To get himself a bigger house!
Dyson’s partner in crime is Flora, a woodland fae who longs to go home to her forest. She’s a cabaret singer at a very Moulin Rogue-y club, and looks suspiciously like Lauren dressed as Poison Ivy. The Helskór is in possession of the Prince and he’s arranging a hand off with a fae named Crator, but first he’s come for a pit stop with Flora. Dyson seizes the opportunity and takes the shoes, and tries to get Flora to sneak them out by wearing them. Big mistake.
Flora goes on a kill spree, seemingly possessed by the shoes or some kind of shoe-fetish demon, and Bo-Dyson tries very hard to get Lauren-Flora to go shoeless and give up the killing spree. Flora, now sporting Wolverine-like claws, still can’t get the shoes off, at least not until she tries to kill Dyson and gets accidentally stabbed with her own claws. Flora returns for an instant, but is shot by Crator from the shadows. With Flora dead, he demands the shoes, telling Dyson that he just framed the wolf for murder, but he’s whacked over the head by Trick and his staff of doom. From that moment on, an alliance is born, Dyson pledges himself to Trick and they set out for the new world to form a new fae colony. End flashback.
Back in the present, Bo recovers the one Helskór shoe from Dyson’s gym, and brings it to the Una mens. Surprise, surprise, the Una mens didn’t want to kill Dyson so much as take possession of Helskór. Crator is, and was, working with the Una mens to get the Helskór, but Bo got there first. “You are more than we expected,” they say, which is the closest thing you can get to a compliment from the Una mens, I imagine. So good news, no one’s executed (except Pietra), and everyone gets hot dogs.
Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of the Una mens, but the episode added some interesting color to this season’s big bad. First of all, like Buffy’s season 5 villain Harmony, the Una mens have monk helpers. Eunuchs to be precise. That means Bo’s influence can’t work on them, but they are vulnerable to the sound of sirens. Also, they utter a Latin phrase that makes them foam at the mouth and die when they’ve been captured. (“Latin is a dead language,” remarks Kenzi with surprise.) Also, the Una mens clearly have their own (sinister?) agenda if they’re collecting super-powered demon shoes along with enforcing the blood laws.
Another interesting development is the seeming maturity of the love triangle between Bo, Dyson and Lauren. I do ponder where the writers are taking this threeway because Lauren, at once, wrote off Bo and Dyson’s interrupted tryst, but when thoughts of Lauren-Flora bubbled to the surface mid-flashback, the real-life Lauren gave a hearty, “Score one for the doctor!” We’ve been kind of hard on Lauren lately, but her admission that Dyson was family was heart-warming, and paints them less like romantic rivals, which is such a melodramatic direction to take things when the mutual object of their affection is a bi-sexual succubus. Lauren gets added romantic points by going into the flashback to save Bo, and because the red string of fate can’t be cut, Bo wakes her up with a very modern take on Sleepy Beauty.
The other reason the episode worked so well. As Kenzi observed in a very Tiny Tim like way, the gang worked together to get one of their own out of a jam, which hasn’t happened in awhile (about half a season to be exact). There was also a lot of humour mined from little moments and random limes, like Hale telling the Una mens that “I’ve had enough of this fascism,” and Dyson observing that it’s “Nice to sit around and wait to be saved for once.” The scene in the flashbacks where Bo-Dyson uses a newspaper to hide behind was very old school funny and well timed too. The whole conceit of the flashbacks with the red string of fate seemed very Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but it was a simple and effective plot device on its own.
In the end, we’re still left with the Wanderer question, as he was named dropped a couple of times via well laid Easter eggs. “The one who wanders” also wants him some Helskór, and Trick is being very tricky as to what he knows and why he isn’t telling anyone, and the last time Trick was this secretive, Bo found out she had a grandfather. Also getting hinted at was what Dyson meant when he told Kenzi she could be human and still be part of the fae world. He’s going to teach Kenzi to be a shadow thief, which sounds like an Xbox game but also sounds right in Kenzi’s wheel house. Assuming that she remembers to put her phone on vibrate.
All-in-all, it does feel like Lost Girl has found both its footing and its direction again, it’s a pity that now the season’s half over and whatever we’re building towards is now but a few steps away. Whatever the show’s cooking, I hope it’s worth both the literal and actual trip through limbo.