NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of “Lucifer” are present in this review
Lucifer was starting to flounder a bit in its third episode from last week, though this week’s episode, “Manly Whatnots”, seemed to give the Vertigo comic-inspired series a steadier foothold. With the focus shifted to Lucifer’s dynamic with his earthbound friends once again, and a marginally better case-of-the-week than the show has delivered previously, Lucifer once again appears to be showing some signs of progress, even if it still seems to be in the process of figuring out its exact groove.
Things begin with Lucifer breaking in to Chloe’s house to make her breakfast, which is something that Chloe receives with predictable annoyance. Despite her latest attempt to boot Lucifer from her life and professional career, Dan shows up soon afterward to give her another case; A young woman has been kidnapped and possibly murdered by a sleazy pick-up artist who has made a living on being a professional chauvinist consultant. Turns out, the guy is having a big exclusive press event, and guess who is on the guest list?
Once again forced to rely on Lucifer to get ahead with her case, Chloe enlists the Prince of Darkness’s help to sneak into the party, only to have Lucifer quickly blow their cover by being himself, and directly pointing out that Chloe is a cop during the suspect’s keynote. Fortunately, seeing someone like Lucifer, who never struggles to get laid, picking apart a conference for sexually inept man-pigs, has quite a few funny moments, and this does nicely play into the episode’s overall development of Lucifer’s character.
You see, in this latest episode, Lucifer has decided, with some help from Linda (whom he hilariously initially bursts in on when she’s in session with another patient), that he should stop playing games, and simply have sex with Chloe to understand her inability to fall under his charms, and potentially even lose interest in her. What follows is actually one of the episode’s best scenes, one that starts on a comedic note, but gradually becomes more dramatic as it goes on. When Lucifer shows up naked before Chloe, only to have Chloe tell him to put clothes on, she notices the scars from where his angel wings used to be, and Lucifer violently grabs her hand and tells her not to touch them when she tries to do so. This is the first real vulnerable moment that Lucifer has had, and it’s the viewer’s first indication that Lucifer still harbours some pain regarding his past as an angel. It was a great scene, and seeing the resulting tension and awkwardness between Lucifer and Chloe is the most interesting that their rapport has been yet.
Like I said, even the case-of-the-week was a bit better this week. Lucifer gives Chloe another chance at the suspect with Lux, only to later corner him, and find out that he’s actually in love with the victim (making him something of a hypocrite), and is trying to keep the cops away not out of selfishness, but because the victim’s kidnappers will kill her if the cops keep nosing in. Lucifer takes charge of the situation and sets up a meet and hand-off with cash, with Chloe insisting on coming along, even though Lucifer initially promised that no cops will be there. This gives them another solid scene together, where Chloe starts getting closer to the truth about Lucifer, and even goes as far as to ask him if he feels pain when he gets shot, still mulling over just what went down with Lucifer at the conclusion of the show’s pilot episode.
There’s even a pretty great case twist that follows here (that’s a first for this show!), where the victim apparently, “Played the player”, and faked her own kidnapping as revenge for her paramour, who initially slept with her and forgot about her at a library some years back, even taking her virginity. Lucifer of course wants to punish the woman for the disproportionate response to being wronged, though Chloe shows up before any real harm comes to anyone. Lucifer goads her into shooting him, but is surprised to see that he actually bleeds and feels pain from the gunshot wound, yet again throwing Chloe off the trail of his real identity (a bit too conveniently, might I add), despite her seeing flashes of his actual devil face not moments before. When everything is sorted out at the end, Lucifer returns to Lux (after some flirting with Chloe’s female superior, of course), though once again refuses Maze’s demands to return to Hell, saying that his fun is only beginning, even as he’s starting to show signs of becoming more vulnerable and human.
Speaking of Maze, she also had a great scene this episode, having a direct interaction with Amenadiel this week, who thankfully makes his return, after sitting out last week’s episode entirely. Amenadiel tries to appeal to Maze to get Lucifer to return to Hell, though the two end up having a brief, sultry fight. It’s too bad that the scene is so brief, and feels a bit awkwardly tossed in, since it suggests at least a bit of sexual tension between Maze and Amenadiel, and helps to make both characters more interesting, beyond the metaphorical, “Angel and devil” on Lucifer’s own shoulders. Hopefully, this dynamic gets explored more later, especially if it could end up setting up Maze potentially betraying Lucifer down the road, or something similar.
It’s great to see Lucifer back on its feet in its fourth episode, even if it’s still got some room to improve in these early stages. Nonetheless, the show’s drier procedural side is starting to make small bits of progress, and the promise of Maze and Amenadiel forging their own tense dynamic is one well worth looking forward to. It’s annoying to have Lucifer conveniently start showing human vulnerability right when Chloe is on the cusp of fully understanding who he really is, but perhaps the show needs more time in the cooker before it starts exploring that. In any case, at least it’s starting to move in a better direction here.
- Good exploration of Lucifer's vulnerability around Chloe
- Procedural side of the show is getting better
- Maze/Amenadiel dynamic has a lot of promise
- Maze/Amenadiel fight doesn't fit well with the rest of the episode
- Chloe being able to shoot Lucifer is a bit too plot-convenient