NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Lucifer” are present in this review
Last week’s midseason premiere of Lucifer certainly ended on a pretty big bombshell, as Lucifer and Chloe finally kissed for the first time, and it appeared that the long-awaited romance between The Devil and his LAPD partner was finally beginning. Of course, the politics behind Lucifer dating a human obviously have their wrinkles, and that came into focus during much of this week’s episode, “Love Handles”, which, surprisingly, felt strongest on the procedural side, with Lucifer’s and Chloe’s first romantic efforts feeling a little more mixed.
Apparently, Chloe has been having some wicked sex dreams about Lucifer since their kiss, which Maze sits in on for a bit at the start of the episode. Chloe envisioning Lucifer with actual devil horns is pretty weird (is she into that?), but the presence of Maze in the room did at least go somewhere interesting, after Maze suggests that Chloe stop being so cautious, and simply be honest with Lucifer about being romantically affiliated.
This is a sound device for awkward comedy on paper, and to be sure, there are some legitimately funny and uncomfortable moments as Chloe starts trying to be more spontaneous with Lucifer, leaving Lucifer in utter confusion. Not every joke here fully worked though, especially when Chloe felt like she was actively stepping out of character to force gags. It’s not so unbelievable to have Chloe struggling with the idea of taking things with Lucifer to the next level, but would she really make it so obvious that they hooked up when she’s on the job? Moreover, even when Lucifer suspects that something is amiss, he just seems to shrug it off, making the whole conspiracy with Mama Morningstar and Amenadiel feel like it’s not going anywhere until the very end of the episode, minus a pretty funny scene between Mum and Linda anyway.
As I said though, we got one of the best cases-of-the-week yet for Season Two in this episode, which felt nicely clever and unpredictable, and even managed to thrive without much of a direct connection to Lucifer or Chloe this time. The two have another serial killer on their hands in this episode, one who poisons college students at Malibu State University, and challenges career professionals to mutilate themselves in some career-ruining way to save the students’ lives. It’s a pretty cool idea, and makes for an especially memorable criminal for Lucifer and Chloe to chase, even though the whole budding Lucifer/Chloe relationship means that Lucifer barely has any input on the latest LAPD moral dilemma.
After the first victim turns up dead, Dan has to look after the second person that was challenged by the killer, after Lucifer and Chloe discover that a porn fiend’s E-mail address was hijacked to send the challenge messages from the villain. Dan fails to stop the woman from mutilating her hand to save the other student though, ultimately leaving the two to at least piece together enough evidence to identify their killer afterward; A disgraced biology professor who abandoned an Uber driver to die after he decided to save his laptop from a car wreck instead. This creates the clever device of the killer replicating his situation, which destroyed his career, his marriage and basically everything else he had going for him after a video of the incident went viral, thus challenging people to prove that he was wrong for saving his livelihood over the life of someone they don’t even know.
Again, there’s a few missed opportunities with Lucifer’s lack of input on the latest killer, especially when he feels so especially well-done, and especially when the killer was apparently the obscured man in last week’s midseason premiere, whose poison was the mysterious package that the previous criminal was after. Things still find a way to come around with Lucifer’s and Chloe’s growing relationship however, after the killer is cornered, and challenges Chloe to deliver the antidote to another student while sacrificing her life in a room full of poison gas.
Obviously, the killer couldn’t be aware of this, but the result of the immortal Lucifer taking Chloe’s place so she can chase the criminal feels a little predictable. The tense turn of Lucifer having to wait until Chloe is far away enough for him to enter the room isn’t bad, but it still felt like the climax was tripped up a bit by its predictable final result. There’s room for at least one more turn though, as the episode’s final seconds have Lucifer discovering Chloe displaying the same symptoms as the former poison victims! That’s at least a good cliffhanger to end the episode on, and Lucifer having to work to save Chloe in next week’s Winter finale should make for a pretty exciting episode to enjoy before the show goes off the air until the start of May.
Shortly beforehand, the truth also comes out about Amenadiel’s blessing on Chloe’s mother, which Lucifer learns by a conspicuous bar photo, after Maze and Mama Morningstar try to summon Lucifer to tell him the truth, only to have Maze try and usher him away before he discovers the photo. Lucifer wonders if Chloe was in on this the whole time, and their relationship was never real, but obviously, Chloe dying of poisoning pretty quickly puts that concern to bed in favour of more pressing issues. Could it really be true that God Himself is conspiring against Lucifer and his newfound happiness though?
“Love Handles” made for an at least decent first phase to Lucifer and Chloe being romantically involved with each other, even if it seemingly ended in tragedy before the Winter finale next week, but it was the show’s latest criminal that truly stole the show in this episode. It’s too bad that Lucifer had to be more serious than usual once again, since he didn’t have that many witticisms to throw at our latest killer, rather uncharacteristically, and I doubt that’s going to change next week, with Chloe’s life on the line. Still, I suppose that Lucifer’s new relationship being tested in such a big way could only make it more powerful and meaningful when the show picks up again later this Spring.
- Highly entertaining killer and case-of-the-week
- Lucifer learning the horrible truth about Chloe's origins
- Chloe's surprise poisoning at the end
- Some of Chloe's awkward behaviour is too out-of-character
- Climax is rather predictable