Chatting with Continuum’s Rachel Nichols

Sue and I were very delighted to be invited to Showcase to sit down and chat with the star of the hit series Continuum, Rachel Nichols alongside Steph Mernagh from Geek Chic Elite. We spoke time travel, tech, what to expect for Kiera Cameron season 3, and our love of a short-lived show called The Inside.

Check it out!

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Lost Girl Set Visit

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It’s a dark and dreary day as Sue and I make our way across the cityscape of Toronto, heading to the west side so that we can plunge into the mysterious, and enchanting world of the Fae.

Showcase has invited us to the set of Lost Girl!

We’re very eager to have a look, as we feared we would miss out this year, in fact we know that they are shooting episode 12 of a 13 episode season on this very day.

Arriving at our destination, a rather nondescript building we’d had the privilege to visit before for the Lost Girl Finale pre-show taping, we’re greeted by the unit publicist, Cynthia, who warns us, rather explicitly, that not only do we have to sit on this post until episode 9 of season 4 airs, we are actually not allowed to take any pictures, secrecy is paramount!!! We actually notice photocopied signs plastered everywhere reminding cast and crew that they shouldn’t be posting anything on social media.

They take their storylines seriously here.

Cynthia leads us from the front offices through a door, and suddenly we are in a completely different world, there is a brand new set that we only get glimpses of that is completely bathed in white… I peek in, but we’re bustled by it quickly, and deposited in familiar surroundings, even if we’d never set foot there before.

We’re in the clubhouse, Bo and Kenzi’s place. It’s not lit, but despite that, it doesn’t feel eerie and dark, it feels welcoming and comforting… I know this place.

Cynthia leaves us so that we can get set up for our interviews, we’re allowed to shoot video for those, just not allowed to shoot the hot (camera-ready) sets or post anything that may reveal anything about the new season.

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Instead, Sue and I wander about Bo’s place. We lounge on the couch, leaf through the amazing collection of books that production designers and props teams have filled the room with, the vending machine in the corner, theres is a work station just next to the kitchen area that is littered in a variety of mobile phones, blackberries… it looks like E.T.’s work station when he’s assembling his communicator.

There are piles of games, cds and movies piled on the mantelpiece below the television, but I don’t get a long enough moment to take a look at what music and games keeps Kenzi busy when she’s not onscreen.

It’s odd, everything looks so solid and real, but don’t lean against a wall or pillar, or look through the wrong door, because the illusion will be shattered.

If it’s possible, being on the set, everything looks cozier than it appears on television. That couch is so incredibly comfortable, it’s a wonder that none of the cast fall asleep in there. So comfy!!

We take a peek through one of the clubhouse’s doors, step through it, and in through another one, and we find ourselves in a desolate and barren Police Station. It seems so empty, there’s no activity, no people, but there are plenty of files… And if you ever get a look at it, you’ll find that almost all of it is about Kenzi! A whole police department devoted to Kenzi’s criminal activities!! There’s also a wicked looking BMW motorcycle parked in the interrogation room… is it for the show? Can we touch it? No one seems to have an answer…

We get a chance to say hello to Production Designer Ian Brock before we are whisked back towards the white-drenched set, I can make out rippled walls with flourescent light tubes running at wait height along its length… But we can’t quite make out what is going on there.

It’s always fascinating watching the reality of creating fantasy, bringing the Fae world to life. Like other sets we’ve been to, the sets are incredibly detailed, which not only creates the world of the show for the fans, but there is so much that viewers won’t see, and you know that they are there for the actors, and because people love designing things for projects they enjoy working on.

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We’re joined by Stephanie from Geek Chic Elite for the day, and we all jot down our notes, and trade stories as we Cynthia takes us through the menagerie of sets.

We find ourselves stumbling into Bo’s bedroom, lush and gorgeous, and is it getting warm in here?

From there we’re led around and behind sets until we find ourselves in Trick’s Lair. It’s a cozy little nook, that is filled with lots of comfortable spaces that would just be perfect for curling up with a book and a cuppa, and forget the problems that mythological creatures are causing in the city.

We wander into the Dal, and update the picture Sue and I took their previous, and check the chalk board to see what is written on it this time, while crew movie efficiently through the surrounding areas to set up for the next shot. As we belly up to the bar briefly, Cynthia reveals some of the names that we can expect to see this season, but reiterates that we can’t share. We happily remind everyone we meet, that as a rule Sue and I don’t do spoilers, I’d prefer the surprise. I don’t mind knowing a certain actor is coming in to be on the show, but don’t tell me anything about their character or storyline. I’d rather watch and learn.

We wander back towards the studio entrance, as a friend wants to say hi. We pop into the writers’ room, and there is our friend, and Lost Girl showrunner Emily Andras, who greets with smiles and hugs, revealing that she and her fellow writers are just finishing up the prep on 4.13.

We hang out and chat for a while, as I just revel in the sensation that the words, the peoples, and the worlds of Lost Girl are created in this room, and right out that innocuous looking door, all of those things change from ideas on a page to a version of reality. That is just a cool feeling that I hope no one who works in a writers’ room loses.

Stepping back out on to the set floor, we see a group of chairs clustered together, and a couple of familiar faces waving at us, as we stride over happily to greet them.

Anna Silk embraces me, while Casey Hudecki gives Sue a huge bear hug. Then we swap. It strikes me that we haven’t seen either of these two women in a long time! We hadn’t seen Casey nor Anna since we last chatted with them on our show, but within moments we’re catching up like old friends, we talk about Sam, our mutual friends and our collection of pets.

Anna pulls out her iphone to share lots of pics of little Sam, who really is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen, nor have I ever met one who smiles so much and so readily.

Everyone is called away for blocking and prep for the next scene, so we settle into their seats for a moment before working our way around when rehearsals are done. We pause long enough to see Anna, Seth Cooperman, and get introduced to little Sam, who seems to be taking very nicely to set life, thank you very much.

We head back to the clubhouse so that the cast can shoot their next scene, and we can all get ready for our interviews. Settling onto one of the chairs, the clubhouse has begun to feel like home, and it’s amazing how welcoming and at ease one feels there.

We wait until Cynthia lets us know that our first interview is ready, and we head back over to the police precinct…. The newly introduced, but much talked about Wanderer. Kyle Schmidt!

Sue and I have been fans of Kyle’s for a while as he constantly works with our friends April Mullen and Tim Doiron for their films, and he reveals that between days shooting Lost Girl, he’s actually traveling back and forth from Niagara Falls to work on their new movie. And amazingly, there wasn’t a single scheduling conflict!! Afterwards, a couple of the crew comment how cool it is that we’re conducting interviews as video-selfies, admittedly they don’t always look amazing, but they do tend to be fun!

Check out our chat with him here, as our video-selfies continue!

After our brief chat with Kyle, we get to settle in and catch up with Anna for a few minutes, which was nice, because we don’t see her nearly as much as we would like to…

Then right before lunch was called, we got to catch up with Paul Amos, who as we’ve seen, has a lot going on this season…

During lunch, which was amazingly good, we all chat and laugh, Paul Amos joins us for a meal, and then our friend Tanya Lemke arrives, as she was in the neighborhood and knew we would be on set today. The lunch room has been decorated since Sue and I were last here, and there are Lost Girl posters and pictures for various episodes encircling the room.

After lunch, we only have one more interview left on our docket, we finally will be given a chance to chat with Ksenia Solo!

In the interim, while they do make-up, block, rehearse and shoot, we adjourn back to the police precinct where Cynthia tells us about her time as an investigative journalist, and she has some amazing stories, and then we all start swapping our own ghost stories, or friend of a friend stories. It seems we all have spooky stuff that happens to us.

Secrecy abounds on this set. Whether it be sets, characters or plot points.

The refrain for the day is “You didn’t hear that,” followed by a stern yet friendly glare, reminding us to keep the secrets we learn. Of course, neither Sue nor I would want to ruin any of the show’s revelations before they air…

As we sit and wait, people pass by to and from sets, every time Anna happens by, she slows down to give us a hearty wave and a smile.

Eventually, the motorcycle is claimed, apparently it’s not part of the show… Kris Holden-Ried wanders in, gives Sue a big hug, I get a joyous handshake, and he reveals that the bike is in fact his. We chat for a few minutes catching up with one another, before he wheels the gorgeous vehicle out of the studios.

Finally, opportunity presents itself, and a gracious and very friendly Ksenia Solo joins us, thanking us profusely for waiting around for her. We, of course are delighted, and what better way to end our day on the Lost Girl set than with one of the few cast members we haven’t spoken to coming on our show…

And like that our day ends, we wandered through the sets one more time, looking, marvelling, wondering… then we pass through the door into the front offices and the world of Fae, populated by friends and acquaintances, is left behind.

We bid our farewells to Cynthia, thanking her for the millionth time that day, swap contact info with Stephanie, and then make for the TTC and the reality of our own magical lives…

Helix S01E01 – Pilot

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From Executive Producer Ron Moore, who oversaw the re-imaginging of the highly succesful Battlestar Galactica series, as well as creative forces involved with The X-Files and Lost, Helix, from its beginning has promised to be fun, smart and downright scary.

Tonight at 10pm on Showcase, you can find out if it lives up to its pedigree.

In my opinion… oh yes.

I was lucky enough to get a look at the pilot episode a day early, and was completely floored and spooked by what I saw.

Show creator Cameron Porsandeh has made a series that has me hooked from the get-go.

Bill Campbell leads a mostly unknown (to me at least) cast, which for my money, makes the story that much more believable, because I’m not constantly thinking – oh isn’t that so and so from whatsthatshow? He plays Doctor Alan Farragut, a member of the CDC, who is called to a remote Arctic installation, run by Arctic Bio-Systems, that is studying viruses, pathogens, and as we learn fairly early on… mutagens. The outpost is manned by 106 scientists and 15 support staff, and Farragut and his team are thrown right into the mix.

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Viruses themselves are pretty scary, add in a remote environ, a high-tech base, a copious amount of black goo (which couldn’t help but make me think of The X-Files), and the character development we’d seen on the shows mentioned in this program’s pedigree, and you can tell this won’t be your average television show.

There is a large amount of mystery, as we try to learn what’s going on, what this pathogen is, and more importantly, what it’s doing!

There is a large amount of tension, because these characters, despite being professionals, all have pasts, and some of them have intertwined, and there’s going to be a lot of stress for them, not just from the situation going on, but from the company they keep.

There is paranoia… who can the characters trust, and just as important, as the story begins to unfold, who can we trust? There are allegiances and relations at work here.

And it’s scary. There were two rather unnerving sequences that got me in this first episode, I won’t tell you what they are, as mentioned, I don’t do spoilers, but it was enough to make me go GAH!

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The VFX, especially the design of the outpost, are top-notch, and you definitely get the hint that we are at the beginning of something pretty amazing with this episode.

Campbell has always been a favorite of mine since I heard he was this close to playing Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I thought he was great in The Rocketeer, and from what I saw of The Killing – Awesome. He can totally carry a series, and as each of the characters around him continue to grow and develop, I believe he will fit in nicely what will be a strong ensemble cast.

There’s also a nice BSG shout out early on as well that made me smile.

Following right on the heels of the first episode tonight, is the second, so if you can peek out from behind the blanket, watch it, and then let me know what you think of it!

Helix will air Friday nights at 10 on Showcase!

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Lost Girl S04E07 – La Fae Epoque

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This week’s episode takes us inside the mind of Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) as he is held by The Keeper (Christine Horne) and the Una Mens, not for his reaction at the end of last week’s episode, but for crimes of his past, murdering both human and Fae.

Bo (Anna Silk) refuses to believe Dyson would do such a thing, and she and Lauren (Zoie Palmer) recruit a channeler (Vanessa Matsui), to allow Bo to sift through Dyson’s memories to find the truth and establish his alibi.

This is the launching point for the episode which allows Anna to play Dyson, and the rest of the cast to take over roles in Dyson’s head as Bo’s mind merges with his so that some very familiar faces appear on different characters. Paul Amos plays the bushy-mustached Prince Phillipe, with a hilarious lisp, Ksenia Solo plays Angel, someone we start to seek out by the end of the episode, and Zoie takes on a forest nymph, performing in Angel’s Cirque de Ciel.

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It’s a visually sumptuous episode allowing our characters to try on different personas and costumes, and they all look great doing it.

In the real world Hale (K.C. Collins) and Kenzi (Solo) try to help Dyson out, but Kenzi is captured and sentenced to death alongside Dyson. While there, he tells her the story that Bo herself is currently reliving within his memories. He also suggests that he start training her, when they get out, to be a Shadow Thief… which sounds pretty cool…

But it led me to a thought, something Kenzi says, Bo always saves them… While there has been an emotional cost to some of the things they’ve done, none of the core group has ever been in real jeopardy, we know they’re going to be saved. It’s safe.

Now to clarify, I don’t want any of these actors to be out of work, I’ve met them all, and they are warm and charming people, very aware of how blessed they are to be on such a beloved show…

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But…

Something catastrophic, something that can change the way the characters relate to each other, a death, a possession… something. Something to drive home the costs and the price…

I’m put in mind of the show Angel, when Fred (Amy Acker) becomes Illyria. It changed everything for the characters, but didn’t leave any of the cast unemployed.

It’s a great looking episode, with a tint added to Dyson’s memory to give it a slightly aged look, and despite, in some cases, it’s just Lost Girl sets redressed to look like something else, as Dyson’s and Bo’s memories merge, it looks completely unlike any episode that has gone before it. The costumes, the design… all of it looks gorgeous.

But now, Bo is going to be out there, looking for the Wanderer and the partner to the Hell Shoe that Dyson has.

I won’t lie, I got a little eye-rolly when I realized we were looking for a pair of shoes (and if they’re hell shoes… wouldn’t they have heels?)… still the rest of the episode shines!!!

What did you think of it?

Lost Girl airs Sundays on Showcase.

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Lost Girl S04E06 – Of All The Gin Joints

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This week’s ep of Lost Girl, came across as a slower, gentler story that had some fun moments, and sees some great pay off finally for those who have been waiting for the Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) and Hale (K.C. Collins) romance to come to fruition.

We also learn that Bo (Anna Silk) while aboard the train, apparently chose to become Dark Fae. But I think there’s a plan there that Bo is just no longer privy too as she has forgotten it. She also is beginning to suspect that Rayner/the Wanderer may in fact be her father…

There’s a Russian songbird Ianka (Lara-Jean Chorostecki) who has a Fae ability that isn’t so dissimilar to Hale, and it makes Kenzi a little jealous to see the two of them together catching up on old times. But the final scenes, which sees Ianka deliver a death note may have had more of an effect on Hale than he’s admitting, but it’s very nice to see the two of them sharing an embrace and a kiss.

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Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and Bo have been warned not to fraternize together anymore now that she has pledged to the Dark, but that doesn’t stop the two of them from getting together…

The best stuff this week, for me anyway, is the final moments when Dyson is squaring off against the Una Mens and The Keeper (Christine Horne) and Bo knows that his power will be used against him, so there may be a giant dog fight in the bedroom next week, and to see those spooky contacts in Christine’s eyes is a little disturbing.

The other stuff I loved was all the stuff with Lauren (Zoie Palmer) and The Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier). It seems The Morrigan is trying to woo Lauren with all the wonders of the Dark side, and they spend the entire episode drinking beer (with a 25% level of alcohol), swapping stories, and learning that Lauren is a huge Trekkie! AWESOME!

But Lauren is a complete dolt, and obviously isn’t falling for all the wooing Ebony, as The Morrigan tells Lauren to call her, is trying to put over on her, as she has a very Mission: Impossible moment at the end of the episode, and pulls off a bit of covering on her lower lip, and stows it away safely in a petri dish…

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The episode weaves pieces of the season’s arc around the Ianka story, and seems to be taking a bit of a breather before throwing us into the second half of the season as we know things are going to no doubt get very complicated and painful for our heroes…

And what plan did Bo come up with on the train?

It’s going to be an interesting second half of the season, and we also have our set visit write-up coming along with the on-set interviews we conducted… Stay tuned.

What did you think of this week’s ep?

Lost Girl airs Sundays on Showcase.

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Lost Girl S04E05 – Let The Dark Times Roll

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This week’s episode of Lost Girl picks up exactly where last week’s ended with Bo’s (Anna Silk) confrontation with the Una Mens, led by The Keeper (Christine Horne) and the revelation that she is no longer unaligned, but has in fact chosen to be Dark Fae!!

Bo’s reaction is wonderfully Bo.

She’s warned that she must pay fealty to the leader of the dark Fae, hello Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier), before she can do anything else. Chatting with the Morrigan, which sees Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) flirting with her dark side, though bristling under the remarks about her being a pet, Bo learns that she has little time to back out of being Dark Fae, the next full moon, conveniently that night.

Bo has to track down Vex (Paul Amos), whom she believes is the one who has somehow fixed her alignment.

When told she must attend the Dark Fae gathering to learn where Vex is, she and Kenzi, with Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) in tow, end up there. Which ends hilariously as Tamsin finds herself in a dance-off… to the death.

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We also finally get to see Bo and Lauren (Zoie Palmer) reunited, and a dumbstruck waiter stumbles upon the amorous couple… Ha!

When Bo tracks down Vex, we learn he is about to pull an Ash, and ends up like Luke in Empire… It seems the Una Mens has put a malignant mold on his hand that is very aggressive, and of course, if he loses both his hands… he’s a mesmer with no ability to feed, so he takes it to extremes… but Bo does save the hand… so who knows, they may be able to save it!

Trick (Rick Howland) returns, and is stunned to learn that his granddaughter is now pledged to the Dark Fae, while the Una Mens have offered him the opportunity to be the Acting Ash, though I suspect there are other political and controlling motivations behind their decision. There is trouble coming for Trick and Bo in a big way this season I suspect.

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Bo is told to find out what really happened, she has to find her dark fae sponsor, someone named Rayner… hmmm, connection to the Wanderer comes to mind, but how did everything get signed?

I do like the fact that there is a bit of a mystery around not only her disappearance but her unexpected alignment. As we get further into the season, I expect we’ll see our favorite characters pushed into darker spaces, and making tougher choices, but that’s something you want to see, you want to see how your heroes behave under duress and wonder how you in turn would react.

We know the Wanderer is bound to show at some point, and we know the Una Mens are up to no good, especially now that we learned how they actually were created, and are unable to feel emotion, and are only worried about following the word of the law, and Trick will be in trouble if they cotton to who he actually is.

This season is looking to turn into a sprawling, treacherous adventure, and I am hoping it gets darker before it gets lighter.

What are your thoughts on the season so far?

Lost Girl airs Sundays on Showcase.

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Lost Girl S04E04 – Turn to Stone

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Big things this week, as truths are outed, friendships reforged, and the big surprise…

Bo (Anna Silk) is no longer unaligned!!!

This week we find Bo and Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) rediscovering their passion for one another, while Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) goes through a growth spurt and takes on a recognizable form, not bad for only being two weeks old (Rachel gets some great moments to play because of Tamsin’s young age).

Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) is having problems with The Druid (Tim Rozon) who has been supplying her with her temporary Fae fix, but seeing as she is unable to pay, and trying to stem her thieving ways, he arranges for the Clubhouse to be robbed, and claims all of the girls’ stuff, discovering Tamsin in the process.

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Kenzi and Bo, while temporarily holed up at Lauren’s (Zoie Palmer), deal with the grief Bo has for her missing ex, as well as a tough scene for Kenz when she comes clean about the secrets she’s been keeping. It obviously hurts both women profoundly, but it’s a testament to their love for one another that they find their way through it by episode’s end.

Also through all of this, Bo is being stalked by a bitey gargoyle, not a Weeping Angel, but a threat nonetheless.

Meanwhile we rejoin Lauren and Crystal (Ali Liebert) where they are being held in a dingy room, in a set-up that initially reminds one of Saw. They learn they are being watched, and that Lauren is there to do some emergency lab work for an unknown party. All we know is that the glimpse we get of them, is rather disturbing… I think part of that is the Turn to Stone from the title… perhaps there’s a gorgon at work in the Fae world?

Bo goes after The Druid after he seizes Tamsin, playing on the reborn Valkyrie’s fear that Bo doesn’t like her, and plans to harvest some of her hair to help his ailing mother.

When Bo arrives, Tamsin gets to show how powerful she has become, there are wings! and Bo resolves the situation, but has to live with another death on her conscience.

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We also learn that the gargoyle is at the beck and call of the Una Mens, overseen by The Keeper (Christine Horne), and they are the ones who announce to Bo that she is no longer unaligned, that she has made her choice after all…

That choice is going to cause a lot of problems and friction, but perhaps not, because when was the last time we knew Bo to play by the rules.

This episode, more than anything, works to push our characters forward, we see them developing in new ways, hinting at new challenges coming their way, and consequently, the inevitable approach of trouble.

This one was fun, the scenes with Bo and Kenzi are going to go down as favorites I think, because yes, some of the things hurt both sides, but they find their way around it, and come back together, stronger than before. And they are going to need it for what’s coming…

What did you think of this week’s episode? What about Bo’s alignment?

Lost Girl airs Sunday nights on Showcase.

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Lost Girl S04E03 – Lovers. Apart.

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Steve Cochrane pens this week episode of Lost Girl, as the Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and the elemental Clio (Mia Kirshner) continue their search for Bo (Anna Silk). Though by episode’s end it looks like they’ve become enemies because of Clio’s allegiances…

There seems to be lots of trouble piling up for Bo this season!

Bo, meanwhile, after he leap from the Death Train, ends up at a nailed up, solitary house in the country, just as the Jenkins family show up. Ian (Lochlyn Munro), Kathy (Katherine Ashby) and their daughter Julia (Chloe Rose) travel to this house once a year, as they fear they have been cursed and haunted by a ghost.

Bo quickly figures out, she believes it’s a body jumper. But it seems the Jenkins may be a little more correct than Bo, as the truth is revealed, and the episode’s title comes into play. Not just for Bo and Lauren (Zoie Palmer), but also the forces at work on the Jenkins family.

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At the greasy spoon, Lauren deals with Crystal’s (Ali Liebert) advances. And, in all honesty, I quite like their relationship, it’s fun to see Lauren happy, even if it’s temporary, as we learn by episode’s end. Though perhaps Crystal is doing what she’s doing under duress. (I certainly hope so, because I hope Crystal gets to stick around for a while!)

And oh dear, trouble is back in town as the Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier) returns!!

The team is slowly coming back together, I’m willing to bet Lauren and Crystal are caught up in what no doubt will be directly tied in with the big bad of the season.

I’m eager to see Bo back at home, with Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) at her side. Still once that happens, you know there will be problems, not only from The Morrigan, but Vex (Paul Amos) as well… The Una Mens… and the big trouble coming down the road right at them.

I was quite happy to see Chloe Rose show up in this episode, as well as Ryan Tilley.

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It seems Lost Girl has nicely established itself, and while it is still setting up the fourth season’s major arc it’s nice to have my friends back on the small screen. I’m looking forward to see where the creative team takes the series this year. I hope it pushes boundaries, takes chances, and makes us question the light and the dark fae, as well as challenge our favorite characters.

I love the surreal nature of the train, and everything associated with it. We know whoever is in charge of it is going to be incredibly angry that she got away.

The mythology continues to expand as pieces are still being returned to the board.

What do you hope to see happen this season?

Lost Girl airs Sunday nights on Showcase!

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