By John Keegan and Paul Pearson
Nothing lasts forever, and sadly, this is true of "Lost Girl" and its recent run of solid episodes. The show is rarely actively bad, but "Death Didn't Become Him" is the kind of storytelling that's very bland and not compelling, saved only by some interesting subplots. While some people like the unengaging kind of storytelling, "Lost Girl" usually holds itself to a much higher standard.
Bo is recruited to help an old friend of Trick whose dead husband's body has been stolen from the cemetery. After some investigating -- one of the more interesting moments of the episode and one of the creepiest of the show is Bo and Dyson questioning a flesh-eater who takes biting fingernails to a whole new extreme -- we discover that the perpetrator is a Lich who is collecting dead people of note. "Lost Girl" episodes have a tendency for the A-story to be a little shaky while the character subplots get all the meaty bits, but this is an unfortunate low for the series.
On paper a Lich is a creepy villain and trying to defeat him should've been interesting or at least fun, but most of the investigation and the big confrontations were dull and didn't engage in the slightest. A monster mash should never be boring, especially not one with a sexy kick-ass succubus. To compound things, the few side characters introduced for this story weren't interesting either, and without intellectual or emotional investment, the audience just doesn't care about what's going on.
One of the main subplots will no-doubt appeal to the Doccubus shippers watching as that relationship continues to ratchet up -- not just the physical intimacy of previous episodes but the kind of honest heart-to-hearts that people who like shippy storylines like to see. As with a lot of the "Lost Girl" relationship moments, even amidst the over-the-top tone of the show these moments are a lot more subdued and keep from diving into melodramatic territory. Which is not to say it's perfect: for one thing, a big plot development of previous episodes (the Ash's restrictions on Lauren and her movements) has been completely handwaved for the sake of having Lauren around for more Doccubus moments.
While it makes dramatic sense, it flies in the face of common sense and the audience are left to wonder whether they missed an episode or the writers just aren't too bothered with continuity. The Doccubus thread also led to a brilliantly large moment at the climax of the A-story -- a "Succubus Victorious" if you will -- that suddenly adds new depth to Bo and to her unfolding character arc.
"Death Didn't Become Him" is also notable for the first Hale-centric story of the show, as he volunteers for the security detail of a Fae leader's bratty daughter. A mark of a good television series is how it fleshes out the secondary characters and Hale, while a beloved part of the ensemble, has always been playing second-fiddle to Dyson, so it was great for him to finally get a chance to take the reins of a subplot that could still include characters like Kenzi. And the pairing of Hale and Kenzi has always been a winner: they've got great chemistry and the chance for some solid it-sucks-to-be-the-sidekick griping. Even when Kenzi is being snarky and doing her best to steal the screen as usual, Hale still feels like he's driving the plot. Plus, there's fan service, and even the red-blooded straight guys have to admit that K.C. Collins is pretty cut.
Since an A-story is going to take most of an episode's screen time, opinions on an episode are going to fluctuate heavily depending on how good that A-story was: "Death Didn't Become Him" didn't deliver. The moments that were actually interesting came from the mostly-unrelated side stories with Doccubus and Hale but they can only make for so much. Maybe if the writers pick up on this trend, the B-stories can be elevated and that'd do wonders for the show, but in the meantime, this is the latest in season two's many clunkers.John Keegan is Editor-in-Chief for Critical Myth, a partner site of SciFi Vision. Paul Pearson is Critical Myth's reviewer for Lost Girl.