By John Keegan and Paul Pearson
This is a tough one to assess. From the get-go, there's a sense of Big Things Happening in this episode and that's definitely borne out by the end, making "Barometz. Trick. Pressure." impossible to discount or ignore, yet the way it all comes together leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It's like the important exposition-packed chapter of a novel, but that doesn't necessarily translate to an episode of television, which still needs to be a self-contained story amidst the larger one, and it's on that front this instalment lets down the audience.
There are two pretty distinct stories -- using the term loosely -- going on in this episode. With the Blood Moon approaching, Trick wants to perform a dangerous ritual to divine the future and learn whether or not the warnings of the Nain Rouge are accurate. Meanwhile, Bo learns that Lachlan manipulated Nadia's condition in order to secure Lauren's fealty and decides to put an end to the Ash once and for all. Both of these plotlines start off with silly little diversions, with Trick's being far more entertaining as he, Dyson and Hale deal with a dirty old woman to get some of the supplies they need. The problem is, both of these felt (for the most part) totally pointless, a way of filling time until they could get into the meat, such as it was, of the episode.
After spending twenty minutes getting his apparatus ready (with that big black facemask, one almost expected Trick to declare himself "Gotham's reckoning"), Trick enters his vision-state and what follows, broken up by intercutting with the other storyline going on, is a big long lecture that illuminates what the rest of the season arc is going to be and what villains the heroes will be forced to fight. Let's just say that even though this was a limited showing, Leviathans they aren't, even if they are rooted in real mythology. But while the details of how they relate to the greater Fae world were interesting, as was how they entered the narrative as a result of actions going back to season one, this still amounted to nothing more than an elaborate lecture. No cleverness or skill on Trick's part, just showing up and hearing all the stuff we need to know for the next stage of the plot. And once the lecture's over, so is the rest of the episode, without giving the audience any kind of emotional investment or a hint of an episodic story.
This is all being intercut with Bo and Lachlan's storyline, but aside from having a swordfight and being much prettier it suffered from all the same foibles and problems. The action felt like an excuse to string out events until Lachlan could start monologuing about his past and his role in events and Bo's role and blah, blah, blah. A lot of it winds up rehashing what Trick is having explained to him in the concurrent storyline, which only makes this lack of emotional, character-driven storytelling the more prominent. There are a couple of surprises, sure, but those twists don't make up for this exposition-laden excuse for a story.
A few of the other characters get moments to shine, and when their moments have real emotional impact it just makes the rest of the episode look even weaker by comparison. The truth that Dyson if forced to tell doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise to the audience, but it definitely comes as one for him and Kris Holden-Reid played that moment just right. Meanwhile, Kenzi's budding romance with Nate has the exact right dose of sweetness, counteracted by Kenzi's typical quart of snark and sarcasm, and even if that pace of that relationship feels a little rushed we're willing to go along for the ride because there's something emotional and watchable to what's happening.
Pretty much everything that's engaging about "Lost Girl" gets thrown out the window in this episode in favour of dense exposition. It's definitely stuff the writers feel the need to set up in advance of whatever they're planning to do with the season arc, but there's still a distinct lack of a character-driven story and without that solid backbone, everything else falls apart. It's a shame: these same reveals, played out different, could've made for one of the best episodes yet.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.