I cheated. Here’s what I thought of the Lost Girl pilot

Just a quick reminder, in case you don’t know: I asked NWN readers which series I should view, and this “summer” I’ll be watching Lost Girl for the first time. If you’re new around here, I can sometimes get crude with my diction… and I can be a bit tangental. But you might like that! Or you might hate me! Yay feelings!

Imagine the final day of the semester: All of your finals are behind you. You’ve cut ties with the outside world that you should knot again. There are just so many episodes of television to watch after about two weeks of never turning on your TV. Most importantly, you have eons of sleep to catch up on. Ahh… sleep is going to be so awesome. Hello, good friend.

So why is it that on the last day of the semester, as I was deciding to drift into my hybernation… I instead whipped out Netflix and played the pilot episode of Lost Girl? I can’t explain it either, friends. I mean, I even have The Americans to catch up on! The Americans! I was supposed to wait a couple of weeks, regardless! I guess we’ll chalk this Case Of The Sleep-Deprived Couch Potato to curiosity.

All right, at this point you’re probably like “this tells me NOTHING,” so let’s get into it. Immediately, the first thing I notice about Lost Girl is that EVERYONE wears a popped collar. What is happening here? Is fashion this different from the U.S. during 2010? Okay, so I have to admit that I know zero things about fashion, but the popped collar is definitely not [fashion phrase/pun that means acceptable (are there any of those?)].

This guy was a bit noncommittal when it came to popping the collar. Plus, he was wearing TWO. “That’ll make up for it,” he says. But wait, GET THIS, by the end of the episode:

He goes 100% with the popped collar-ness. Good for you, guy!

Meanwhile…

So, you know, that happened. If you know me, you know these things are what I superficially notice. It was kind of funny by the end of it here.

On to analysis: I apologize but I am going to make some comparisons to Buffy and Chuck here. A lot of people in the comments were saying that Lost Girl was Buffy’s younger sister and I can sort of see that, but I also saw a lot of Chuck in the series as well (more on that later). Of course, this is just the first episode, and I have no idea how it’s going to develop from hereon out… but that, inherently, is what I thought was one of the bigger weaknesses from the pilot.

It’s a pilot episode; things need to be explained. I get that. But at points, it got either too blatant (“I totally misjudged you… HOW DO I NOT DIE?”) and at others, hackneyed. Why hasn’t Bo realized that she’s a succubus by now?

No, really. I’m assuming the entire audience knew she was a succubus by the time she kissed a man and sucked the soul out of him, which is what succubi do. Lost Girl really bordered the line between competent officers (which is a welcome change from the usual ditzes that occupy police forces) and having Bo being ignorant. Now, I get that there’s a subtext here that perhaps Bo didn’t want to admit to herself that she was anything other than perfectly human, but the way I saw things it was written and acted out kind of straightforward. (UPDATE: Because this may have rubbed people the wrong way, what I’m saying is that… Bo’s lack of knowledge made the pilot feel like it was telling you things more so than showing you these things, and that in turn causes it to feel a bit didactic. The simple choice of having Bo be self-aware, which she was to an extent, could have allowed for a more forward-moving pilot.) I’m on the side of people who don’t think Buffy season one was any good, but there’s something I really admire about its pilot episode, which I guess can be summed up to prior knowledge. Buffy comes into Sunnydale already knowing that she’s a slayer — not quite understanding it, but she knows. It allows us to trust Buffy just enough to let her guide us through the world. In Chuck, Chuck gets his “power” in the first episode; in this scenario, we’re going through the unusual with him, so we’re accepting of big exposition scenes. And, in Chuck, the exposition scene is written to count and in fantastic, heightened context: the night a bomb is set to detonate, on a building top, with a CIA and NSA agent pointing a gun at him.

As others have said, Lost Girl‘s budget may not be able to meet that of Buffy‘s or Chuck‘s, so some leeway is definitely afforded. I just think that the opening scene of the series works well, given their resources, that I was let down with their exposition-heavy stuff. Though, I concede this really only happened during Lauren’s scene, so it’s a good thing that during the exposition, they established Lauren is attracted to Bo which added another element to it

Well, anyway, after Bo and her new friend Kenzi start to begin hitting it off, Dyson and Hale knock them out with their breath. Ah ha ha no, I’m totally kidding. But they do knock them out with what I’m guessing is some sonic power. Then they take Bo to some warehouse and have her tested, while these two people talk at each other about how evil they are:

They basically tell Bo that she is “fae” (which I’m going to assume is short for faerie, yes? no?) and that she has to battle older fae creatures to the death (why wouldn’t they want to keep both faes?) to determine whether she can be in their clans. Watching this, especially during Bo’s second battle, it does feel a bit Buffy-y. Could Bo’s “Gift” also be death? But also tell me that this isn’t

I mean RIGHT? RIGHT GUYS? C’mon! This is totally The Master from Buffy. He even has Bo IN A TRANCE. Next, we just need Bo to drown in a puddle.

Anyway, she defeats him and decides to not choose any, one clan — which is labeled as “light” and “dark,” which… WHY would you choose “dark?” I don’t want to get ahead of myself with this, but could Lost Girl be commenting on our nature to institutionalize our peoples and enforce our rules upon society? The set up for the episode felt very much like that to me; it was like a commentary on how we try to segregate demographics into their own circles, and once we do that we divide them by their beliefs. Except in this case it’s humans and supernatural beings… but still. Or I could just be reading too much into it.

The episode ends with Bo and Kenzi moving in and being besties 4 EVA. And that’s that.

I certainly can’t say that the Lost Girl pilot is the best I’ve ever seen. But I will say that it piqued my interest. As the credits rolled, I wanted to click on through to the next one. Like I really really wanted to, but I stopped myself so that I could write about the pilot with no knowledge of what comes next. Overall, I think that it could have been tweaked to give a bit more to the audience. I’m not saying that they had to reveal everything. Just sort of point us in the direction you’re going. However, the pilot was definitely entertaining; I was laughing out loud during several scenes. I think Silk and Solo work off extremely well off each other. (“Okay that’s just stupid. Why would I save you?”)

So, basically, I just want to watch episode two now. After The Americans. Or maybe before it.

Favorite character: Kenzi. Like, how could you not love Kenzi? She’s hilarious, self-aware, and a go-getter. Plus, you can just tell that Solo is having a much better time in this gig than sulking and whining during Life Unexpected (which I loved, but).

Cons: The necessary evil that is exposition. Lack of subtext.

Pros: Sheer hilarity! I’m really glad that Lost Girl decided to tackle its story this way. More Bo and Kenzi scenes please okay thanks!

Amount of things that reminded me about Buffy: Uh, let’s see. There was The Master (who totally is the same person). There was The Gift part. But I think that is about it, really. I like that Bo possesses an ability that could be tackled much more differently than Buffy’s. Buffy had a problem with having to protect everyone. Lost Girl could go in many directions by having Bo’s power be something that kills people as just that. We could see Bo confront what she can do with her ability, the war between using it for “good” and how it controls her. We’ll see. Or I guess only I will see.

Amount of things that reminded me about Chuck: Two things. One of them was “Don’t freak out!” Oh, c’mon, I’m predisposed to like anything that says “Don’t freak out!” in a pilot episode now. The second was the tone. In fact, if you’re a fan of Lost Girl and don’t know what to watch between seasons, I’d urge you to get your hands on Chuck and watch that. Really. I’d loan you my DVDs if I could.

Things I won’t comment on yet: The obvious love triangle. I’m told it’s handled with care, but we haven’t gotten into it enough yet.

And so that was the first episode. I hope I didn’t forget anything! Oh, I didn’t say anything about Trick. Um, he was… interesting? I don’t know. He had like three lines! Hopefully there’s more of him next time. Until then! (The next time one of these posts appears, I’ll try to follow an actual schedule.)

Tags: | Categories: Recaps
About the author: Michael Collado
Michael Collado
Mike's a television junkie located in Miami, where he spends all of his time watching TV with his best friends couch and cable access.

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  • InvestedInYourFuture

    Why hasn’t Bo realized that she’s a succubus by now?

    That’s sort of explained. It has to do with how she grew up, where she grew up and how she was educated. Needless to say she was not exactly encouraged in searching about that side of hers.

    Also it has to do with how fae operate. Details on that kind of stuff might be very easily available in our world, but the world Lost Girl is set in has certain power structure and rules, which is touched upon next episode. Adding to Bo’s own reluctance to even think about that side of hers, this means that the information about all those myths might be more vague in their world.

    To sum up – she did not want to know and she did not necessarily have the means to.

    Who is Bo, what is her heritage, how did she grow up, why did she grow up the way she did, why she is clueless about her heritage and somewhat genre-blind on the matter? Those are important questions that show sort-of focuses on.

    They basically tell Bo that she is “fae” (which I’m going to assume is short for faerie, yes? no?) and that she has to battle older fae
    creatures to the death (why wouldn’t they want to keep both faes?).

    Because the creatures she is tasked with fighting for them are specifically named “underfae”. Under as in below. That alone might imply that fae community might not view them as equal.

    The names “light” and “dark” are just that – titles. The reason behind the names is because the show is based upon a mix of irish and norse mythology and faeries are divided into Summer and Winter courts in irish mythology, while norse has night and dark associated with cycle of life.

    Both sides do come off as equally asshole-ish though. And yeah the “party system” and etc will get explored further. And yeah there’s certain level of social commentary in that. In the pilot episode alone one can see that Fae do not think that much of humans and there are at least some sort of caste-system in their own society

    And as for “evil” and “good” – that has nothing to do with Light and Dark. In fact I would hesitate even titling anyone evil or good, considering the show’s moral compass is a thief with possible ties to Russian mafia(and you can’t even call the lead as “good” or “evil” since you are technically talking about a serial killer). Fae are the best example of blue and orange morality trope – not everything fae characters do might fit human logic or sense of reason and overall every single character, fae or not, will come off as ambiguous to a certain degree

    • InvestedInYourFuture

      And yeah, Kenzi is awesome. There’s a reason why she is pretty much fan-favorite character of the show. She is what Damon Salvatore would have been if:
      1) He was female.

      2) The writing in TVD did NOT suck.

    • http://nowhitenoise.com/ Mike

      LOL OMG at “part-Irish, part-Jewish, Italian mobsters.” Okay, well, then that changes everything!

      I figured “light and dark” weren’t synonymous with “good and evil,” since they both were acting… well, pretty much the same. As for Underfae, perhaps I missed something because I only got the sense that they’re just really old. The fae in Bo’s first battle is perhaps dispensable, but the one from her second battle seemed like he/she/it could be quite useful is all. Whatever, it’s really not that big of a deal; I’ll get over it haha

      • InvestedInYourFuture

        Dyson pretty much said that underfae are “old and not fit to be in their society” (or something along those lines). Of course the show does not say much about them at this point but the way they are named and the way they seem to be treated does seem to imply that they are truly “below” the normal fae.

        Not to mention that it seemed that they were a bit more feral than the “more civilized” ones.

        long story short: To fae folk, “underfae” are pretty much animals.

  • Cirulian

    How is Bo supposed to know what she is based on what she does if you don’t know what Hale is based on what he did? When you don’t believe a thing exists it’s hard to decide you are one. And I don’t think she’s ever done what she did in a mirror so she knows what it looks like.
    Also, I think she’s more like Angel. Supernatural creature that sets herself up as a detective of the weird in a new city with a past she’d like to forget and earn redemption from being manipulated and maneuvered by TPTB. In her case, the fae hierarchy that want her to choose.

    • InvestedInYourFuture

      I do agree that there’s ATS element in it, with Bo’s past and her having a role in things to come, but otherwise there’s not much in common.

      ATS was about one man, his interwoven fate and a force that would want to use and influence it.

      Lost Girl is more like a child of BTVS with a bit of teen wolf tv show(human sidekick, a bit genre-clueless lead who improves and gets smarter) and a bit of Dresden Files book franchise( lead hero having dark power, having to maneuver in field of questionable decisions and fight off the temptation of the power he has)

      As for Bo – yeah, seconded, mostly, especially considering her up-bringing and overall fae-paranoia. Ask ten people on the internet on what succubus is and at least a few of them will have no idea(just look at the confusion at that TVD Season One deleted scene where half the people ha dno ide on what matt’s mom is). Add to that her mindset that her power and nature pretty much sucks and the way this world works and you have one clueless succubus.

    • http://nowhitenoise.com/ Mike

      I’m not blaming Bo for not knowing what she is. I wouldn’t expect her to go into a room and be like, “Eh, I’m a siren, yadda yadda yadda, understood.” She hasn’t had someone to tell her the rules of that nature. But that said, I don’t think a succubus is a big leap once you’re doing THAT. I mean, she didn’t have to look at herself in the mirror to realize she was sucking the energy out of people. She seems extremely aware of that part. I’m just commenting that the series could have started a bit ahead so that we can get right to it. When the audience knows she’s a succubus before she does, it’s a bit of a hiccup. And I imagine that most people *got it* right away. They may not have labeled her immediately, but I think most people understand.

      Anyway, to recap: It’s not so much a weakness of Bo’s character as it was a weakness to the structure of the pilot.

  • Eric Pharand

    Bo not knowing/guessing what she is is a stretch but not the height of illogicality. Yes, she can read a book or go on Wikipedia but she’d default to a common explanation over an exotic one.

    Kenzi is the best. In case you didn’t recognize her Michael, Ksenia Solo is in Nikita 1×15.

    Trick,in the shadows, smiling when Kenzi passes, kills me.

    • http://nowhitenoise.com/ Mike

      Yes, I remembered she played one of the sex slaves… I think? Is that right? I’m always glad when she pops up.

      And yes, that’s exactly what I mean. It’s not the worst thing in the world for her not to have researched herself, but then again… it’s 2010, you know? Anyway, it’s not a big deal. The pilot did what it had to do: establish stuff. Now it’s time to move on.

  • playmaker

    Ha! Way to take us by surprise with this. Allright. Pilot thoughts:

    Bo and Kenzi really are the best thing ever, a solid friendship established from the start, which set a good tone for them. It will be interesting to get your thoughts on them in S3 but that’s all I’ll say on the topic.

    And Ksenia Solo is great in this. She and Zoie Palmer (later on) steal the show IMO.

    The “Light” and “Dark” choice isn’t that straightforward, although the show does lean heavily towards the Light, unfortunately (although the bias will be addressed, more than once, so there’s that). It’s certainly not Light = Good and Dark = Bad, on the contrary. The gist of it is they’d both be bad choices for Bo. The Dark have less rules, especially when it comes to humans, while the Light maintain a front of protecting humans and like to think of themselves as the good guys. The same kind of stuff happens on both sides, the Light just like to hide it, with a lot of talk of “the good of the Light”.

    Interesting to note. Episode 1×01 isn’t the original pilot. That’s 1×08. Keep that in mind when you get to it, because although yeah, it’s better to see season 1 in order as it is now, 1×08 does offer a better introduction to the series. It’s my go-to episode when I try to get friends interested in the show.

    About the Bo/Buffy parallels. There’s definitely less focus on Bo having to protect people. That happens, certainly, but she doesn’t have the weight of being the “Chosen One”. Buffy’s job was to protect the world or at least Sunnydale, while Bo only takes on cases and helps her friends, and the cases are usually linked to Bo learning who she is and growing as a character.
    There will be a lot more of Trick, yeah.

    Don’t worry about the triangle for now, IMO. Actually don’t worry about it at all! While the show likes to push it to the forefront at times, and certainly the fandom is all about triangle this and that, there’s not much to say about it, not this early on.

  • KJ

    Tamsin would be better if she acted like Dark Fae. What a freaking waste.

  • InvestedInYourFuture

    Oh and here I thought the show has already established that “Dark” and “Light” means absolutely nothing. Its nothing but a title.

    Both sides are full of terrible people and good people.

    Tammy is dark enough for who she is and the ambivalence and bipolarity of hers is exactly what makes her so compelling, making her rise to pretty much THE fan favorite within the first few minutes of her appearance.

  • playmaker

    Yeah, that’s all relative. Check fan reactions after the finale, and the meltdown that happened at SC and FB, you’ll see most disagree with the “fan favorite” title. Come on now. Plus she has nothing to do with the pilot or season 1 or season 2.

  • KJ

    Guess being despised means fan favorite. Sigh. Tam Tam was a plot device that took over the 2nd half of the season and really took over Kenzi’s role as the snarky one . And yeah she would be more interesting if she was 1/100th as Bad Ass as the Morrigan. No in the 2nd half she moped around about doing her damn job. If I needed moping I would just watch Dyson.

  • InvestedInYourFuture

    Yes, I remember the reactions after the finale. Majority of people feared for Tammy and waited for any confirmation of her return.

  • AB

    Yes. Tamsin doesn’t exist in season 1 and 2. So let’s appreciate this rewatch and talk about Tamsin when the time comes, please.

  • InvestedInYourFuture

    Guess the more radical part of doccubus fanbase showed up, oh well.

    And sorry, but “hated” is certainly not the term I would use for Tamsin.

    You call it ‘moping” I call it character depth.

    Certain parts of fanbase might hate or feel threatened by her(because apparently liking multiple characters is unheard of), but that’s a vocal minority. The reaction to her character has been overwhelmingly positive.

    Anyway, this has nothing to do with pilot ;]

  • playmaker

    And this is exactly what I don’t like about this fandom now. Way to go with the different factions, with labeling any sort of criticism as hate from the other “team” and thinking it’s because ppl felt threatened (wow!) and so forth.

    I don’t know how or why we turned into the Glee fandom but it makes me want to stop participating, tbh.

    Tamsin has nothing to do with this season. Like I said in my comment about 1×01, I didn’t even mention Dyson or Lauren because not even the triangle was properly introduced just yet.

    The episode was about Bo, Kenzi, the start of their friendship, introducing all the characters and the fae that’s about it.

  • KJ

    You guys brought up tamsin initially….

  • Guest

    This shipping nonsense is not something that is new to this fandom. Remember Dybo vs Doccubus?

  • InvestedInYourFuture

    And yet, we did that without starting to rant about how Lauren/Dyson/whatever takes up the narrative space, blah blah blah. ;]