Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review Lost Girl Season Two, Episode Seventeen: The Girl Who Fae'd with Fire

I was completely thrown for a loop with this episode.  Finally, finally we have some back story involving Hale.  

The clan leaders are slowly being killed off.  It begins when Marisol is immolated in her office and Dyson and Hale show up to investigate.  Hale has to immediately recuse himself because he is the heir to clan Somora, a rival clan.  This leaves him time to talk Kenzi about his issues with Dyson and to convince her to be his pretend girlfriend at the once century summit.  Kenzi says no, until Hale pulls out a list of all of the things that Hale has done for her. Can I just pause to say that the tendency to refer to friendship between men as bromance is annoying.

Bo talks to the Ash and he wants her to partner with Dyson to figure out what is going on.  He tells her that the timing of these attacks is critical.  The Ash is hoping that she can gain their support to help fight off the Garouder. 

When Kenzi meets Hale's family it is clear that they are not pleased to see Kenzi.  Val even refers to Hale as a human hugger, and Kenzi as a cheap, ill bred mortal. They see Hale's involvement with Kenzi as a stain upon their family, and for his father, yet another thing to deal with from the disappointing son, who turned out to be a siren. It is clear that Hale's father sees being a siren as effeminate.

Santiago is clearly charmed by Bo and is quick to blame Dabner for the death of Marisol. As they discuss who may be the guilty parties, Val has her hand on Dyson's leg under the table.  When Mr.Santiago makes a toast, Val tells the maid to "wash the silverware the human uses at least twice."  When Hale attempts to correct his sister, she changes her instructions and tells the maid to "just pitch it".

At this point, Kenzi cannot take it anymore and begins to storm out of the estate.  Hale stops her and tries to calm her down, but Kenzi feels used by Hale.  Alright, there is definitely some class issues going on, as Kenzi is poor, and Hale's family is rich, but I think that the attempt to round this down to bigoted fae people hating humans simply does not work -- especially considering the treatment of race in Lost Girl.  

As much as Lost Girl hates to label things, there was a race dynamic in this setting that made me uncomfortable. It played too neatly into the whole, but Black people are bigoted too defense, that is often engaged in by Whiteness to excuse its behaviour. Because we are talking about the fae, as viewers we are supposed to suspend belief and take a leap of faith and trust that isms don't apply to the fae world.  I think I could have taken this leap, had the writers not waited until a full season and half to give Hale some backstory. The writers may feel that their work is free of racist influences, but that is an impossibility, because anything produced in a White supremacist state is infused with race. Making race invisible, and then having people of colour act as tokens repeatedly, is a sign of race, or more specifically racism in action.  When this is added to a scene in which a Black family hates Kenzi based solely on her identity, it is a complete reversal of identity politics. In many ways, the behaviour of Hale's family absolutely negated their presence on the show. 

The flare up between Dyson and Hale has been coming to a head for quite some time now, and finally boils over with Hale finding Dyson having sex with his little sister.  Dyson simply respond that they are two consenting adults, and that though he has lost his love, he has a right to live.  I actually don't have a problem with what Dyson did.  Hale's response reads more like a desire to keep the family vagina pure.  How the hell is his sisters consensual act of sex deemed a crime against Hale?  Does it get more sexist than that?  The source of Hale's rage took all pleasure out of confrontation with Dyson.

Unfortunately for Kenzi, Hale's bigoted family is not the only issue she has to deal with this week.  Nate is absolutely jealous of her relationship with Hale.  He even follows Kenzi to the big fae gathering.  Though Kenzi calls his behaviour stalking, it is quickly excused by the fact that he has reason to doubt, because she has not told him about her dealings with the fae.  For the record, though Kenzi has not been completely honest with Nate, the fact that he was unwilling to accept that she has a male friend, and felt the need to follow her is not cute; it's not an act of devotion.  This kind of behavior is quite often excused in urban fantasy, but that does not make it anymore palatable. 

As for Nadia and Lauren, things are still not quite right.  It seems that everywhere Lauren goes, she has to take Nadia with her.  When they show up at Bo's, Nadia uses the opportunity to go upstairs and snoop.  When she is caught by Bo looking at her weapons, Nadia says that she is checking out the competition. Bo promises not to tell Lauren, and jokes about snooping in the medicine cabinets of others to help break down the tension.  At the end of the episode, when Lauren and Nadia are at home,  Nadia is in the kitchen and clearly spaced out.  She cuts herself with a knife, drawing copious amounts of blood, but when Lauren asks her about it, she has no memory of what happened.  Clearly, not all is right with Nadia.

Finally, are we ever going to have an episode in which Bo is not trapped somehow?  How did she not sense that Santiago was going to trap her in his secret room?  This is the woman that is supposedly an investigator.  I will give her credit, in that this week she managed to rescue herself for a change.  In the end, Bo kills the cherufe and fails to convince the clans to align, but she does at least convince Santiago to throw his support and resources behind her, so I suppose that's something.