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Review #3241: Lost Girl 1.2: “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae”

Posted on the 24 January 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Bronzethumb

In many ways, this episode is a much better pilot for “Lost Girl” than the previous one. It corrects a major oversight by actually telling the audience what kind of show they’re going to be watching, and this latest crack at the supernatural detective series proves to be a very interesting throwback to the older private eyes of decades past with a Fae twist.

Review #3241: Lost Girl 1.2: “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae”

The Will of the title is a Will-o-the-Wisp,who contacts Bo and Kenzi to get their help in recovering his chest of jewels that were stolen by an unknown thief – as a neutral Fae with a badass reputation, Bo seems like the kind of person that guys like Will, on the fringes of Fae society, can turn to for help. Kenzi is convinced to pitch in at the mention of Will’s collection of jewels, but Bo is more interested in what Will claims to know about her birth parents. As all private eye cases tend to do, things go sideways and wind up being more complicated than they seem.

In the review of the first episode, the description of Bo’s interesting psychology could’ve been summed up with one very appropriate word: hardboiled. She has a lot in common with the tough, cynical loners of classic detective stories from writers like Hammett and Chandler: the (emotionally) gruff exterior, that snarky, deadpan humor that keeps people at arm’s length, that one vice that can’t quite be kicked, and then a streak of warm-heartedness buried deep beneath it all that makes her the hero rather than simply a protagonist.

This episode’s focus on its other genre helped put the rest of the show’s pieces into their proper context. A plucky sidekick, a straight-laced lawful neutral friend on the police force, the friendly-(enough) proprietor of the local bad guy bar, they’re all classic archetypes of the private detective genre and they all play much better when the audience knows why they’re around. The Bo/Kenzi dynamic makes a lot more sense and becomes quite fun, helped by the fact that the show doesn’t dwell on the why (or lack thereof) of the characters suddenly being BFFs and by their differing motivations for wanting to dip their toes into the private investigation game.

“Lost Girl” also seems to be brushing off the larger questions of how the real world and the Fae world rub up against each other, if this episode is anything to go by: legalities are mentioned, but for the most part, it seems like the laws Bo is worried about breaking, and that Dyson is trying to enforce on our protagonist, are Fae rather than human. “Angel” proved how that kind of conflict only has so much mileage, and that was when the police detective character actually was an ordinary human.

But that’s not to say the episode is perfect. There are some abysmal moments in the script, especially when the writers feel the need to reiterate the premise of the show and where Bo sits within it. A few of these “as you know” moments are forgivable in the second episode of a new genre show, but they come so thick and fast that the audience has to wonder, are the writers trying to retcon something? Or do they just have a very low opinion of their audience? And characters like Dyson remain very one-note, even if it’s a bit easier to appreciate them once we know how they’re supposed to fit into the structure of this show.

On the whole, this episode works as the “Lost Girl” equivalent of “The Train Job”, filling in a lot of the blanks that the pilot failed on and clueing in the audience as to what kind of show they’re signing up to watch, but at the same time, doing the work of a pilot means being structured entirely around set-up and leaving the episode feeling a bit hollow. Nonetheless, it’s a fun story and a fun introduction to this new supernatural detective series.

Rating: 7/10

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