Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lucifer, Season One, Episode Five: Sweet Kicks

Lucifer and Mazikeen are at a fashion show for one of the many people Lucifer has done favors for. When Benny, the designer, takes his turn on the catwalk, shots go off.  Mazikeen quickly rounds up  Lucifer, who is back stage flirting with one of the models, explaining that if the humans are running then Lucifer needs to run as well because it seems that he is becoming mortal. On their way out, they discover a young woman who appears to have been trampled.

Chloe is given the case and Lucifer manages to worm his way onto the investigation by making a deal with Chloe's boss the lieutenant. Lucifer arranges to become an official civilian police consultant and in exchange, the Lieutenant is promised that she will gain favour with minorities whose support she needs for her political agenda.  Chloe is not impressed to have Lucifer foisted upon her and even remarks that he is going to get her killed.

We have to pause for a moment of real talk.  The real problem with minority populations and the cops are things like racial profiling, harassment,  driving while black incidents, and excessive violence to the point of murder. The idea that the so-called minority community would be mollified but the cops solving the murder of one girl is ludicrous to say the least.  I also reject the idea that there is one cohesive minority community. In this episode alone, Latino's and Asians were part of the larger picture. Even if we simply reduce people of colour to the two groups mentioned in this episode there's such diversity of thinking and behaviour that the idea of a cohesive community is ridiculous. If the Lieutenant wants forward movement what she really needs to be doing is focusing on the dirty cops who work for her.  This is the LAPD who have long history of abusing the very people they are supposedly in existence to protect.

When Lucifer and Chloe return to the Lux, Benny, the designer whose show was ruined by gun shots is waiting for them and surprise surprise, he owes his career to Lucifer.  Chloe begins to question Benny but he is not forthcoming until Lucifer informs him that he is calling in his favour for information. Benny claims that there were gang members upset about not getting into his show, and suggests that this is what inspired the shooting.  With a lead on the case, Lucifer then talks Chloe into going to a cop bar to celebrate, playing heavily upon the fact that Chloe shot him.  At the bar, Lucifer learns that Chloe informed on a cops and snarks that "snitches end up in ditches".  Apparently however, while Lucifer can snark at Chloe, no one else can and so he punches a cop in the face for daring to insult her.

Later, back at the Lux, Dan (who is probably dead man walking) makes an appearance and Lucifer is at his most annoying and gets right into Dan's face. Dan explains that spent a good deal of time convincing the cop that Lucifer punched not to press charges. Dan explains that he did this because now Lucifer and Chloe are going to work together and he is making it Lucifer's responsibility to take care of Chloe.  

At a coffee shop, Mazikeen meets with  Amenadiel  regarding the ongoing situation with Lucifer. It seems that Mazikeen has rethought working with the angel given that Lucifer is now in peril because of his mortality.  Mazikeen suggests that Amenadiel get close to Lucifer's doctor since Linda is the only one who Lucifer confides in anymore.  Later, Amenadiel meets with Linda claiming to be a doctor opening up a practice in her building.  Linda is clearly attracted to the angel (not that I blame her because D.B. Woodside is damn fine).  In his interactions with Linda, Amenadiel manages to arrange for them to consult with each other on their patients.  It's really all rather smooth but leaves me to wonder who exactly it is that Amenadiel is justifying this because this is really a tactic that Lucifer would pull.

Chloe and Lucifer head to the home of the suspects which Benny identified and miffed with Lucifer's disrespect for the danger a possible gang war poses, Chloe locks him in the car.  When Chloe arrives at the door, she hears a scream, causing her to kick the door in.  Once inside, Chloe finds Lucifer comfortably sitting in a chair next to the two gang members.  Although the gang members call Lucifer a pervert for sneaking up them while they were starting to have sex, they suggest that who the cops really want is Benny's former best friend Viper, after revealing that the young woman killed in the stampede was actually a family member of theirs.

Chloe and Lucifer meet up with Viper, who is actually teaching kids art as he talks to them about tagging.  Viper is not impressed to see the cops and says that if he isn't being arrested, he will not be speaking to them.  This is when the gang members show up and they are determined to kill Viper to get justice for their former family members.  Lucifer decides to distract the gang members to give Viper the opportunity to sneak out with the kids.  When the gangs turn their attention to Lucifer, Mazikeen shows up to kick ass and take names, as Lucifer gleefully gives Chloe a play by play of the action.

The cops show up and arrest the gang members along with Viper.  On the way back to the station, Chloe and Lucifer question how it is that Viper could have missed killing Benny at the fashion show, leading them to believe that the actual shooter must have been highly trained to not really have killed anyone.  They then question why Viper would bring a weapon to give kids art lessons. Instead of taking Viper to jail, Chloe and Lucifer decide to question Benny.  They learn that Benny's bodyguard who a specially trained sniper was responsible for the shooting, as well as planting a gun on Viper at Benny's behest. Benny it seems felt threatened by Viper's talent.  Lucifer goes all devil face on Benny which is awesome and something we need to more than once or twice an episode.

Chloe's boss is pleased with results because it gives her the support that she needs. Lucifer's position as a police consultant becomes official but since Chloe believes in keeping her enemies close, she's fine with it. Lucifer suggests that they have sex to celebrate their new partnership, and Chloe gets flirty but locks Lucifer out of the car.

Later, back at Lux, Lucifer talks with Mazikeen about her job to protect him because this is what her nature is made up of. Mazikeen promises to keep Lucifer safe from even his unforeseen enemies.

When next we see Mazikeen, she is staring at a sleeping Chloe with her full demon face on.  It seems that Mazikeen has identified the real problem.

This time, I found the case of the week to be completely distracting and an ridiculous device to bring Lucifer and Chloe together. This may work for now but over the long haul, I'm starting to have my doubts about it being able to retain a freshness. In fact, I'm fairly certain that while viewers are entertained for now, it's a gimmick that is not going to lead to a very long running show because of viewer fatigue.

In many ways, it seems that Chloe has started playing Jiminy Cricket to Lucifer. Lucifer likes to absolve himself of his responsibilities while blaming free will. It's true that Lucifer never tells humans specifically what to do, but he provides the situation and or weapon for the bad the act.  It certainly doesn't make Lucifer innocent and as the Devil, you would think that Lucifer would have no problem admitting this.  I think Chloe makes a salient point about Lucifer taking responsibility but it's so transparent that he should be able to see it for himself without coaching.

I am not at pleased with the coming showdown between Mazikeen and Chloe.  Lucifer suggests that the heart of Mazikeen's anger is her jealousy of Chloe though Mazikeen is quick to declare that she is not jealous of a human.  It's clear that Mazikeen is extremely skilled and dangerous in her own right but she is clearly being tossed aside for the new toy - Chloe.  If we step outside of the demon/human framework that Lucifer(the showhas set up for this scenario, the racial dynamics at play are absolutely awful. Mazikeen, unlike the comics is now a Black woman and Chloe is White.  What this comes down to his a White man casting aside a WOC for the suddenly more appealing Chloe.  It's even more problematic that Lucifer snarks about his previous sexual relationship with Mazikeen, even as he is daily rejected by Chloe. The Madonna/Whore complex is written large across the screen and it is further troubling that Mazikeen, is in the position of the whore.  I'm tired WOC being cast as Jezebel juxtaposed supposedly to the pure White woman.  I doubt the writers have given it this much thought but they really need to

In terms of sexuality, there's been a lot of speculation about whether or not Lucifer is bisexual given the one scene where he was shown in bed with both a man and a woman.  What we cannot speculate however on is this week's homophobic incident.  When confronting one of the drug dealers, Lucifer says, "those trousers, you wear them so low that well, your ass is exposed to other naughty men and we all know what kind of danger that could bring." Really what danger could that possibly bring? Lucifer heavily implies by this comment that it would mean gay men, who in this case are referred to as naughty could then gain access which would lead to trouble (read: sex or rape). It isn't even subtle. I don't even know why this line was included simply because there were a lot of things which Lucifer could have said to distract the gang members. We still may not know whether or not Lucifer is bisexual but now know that he is capable of saying some awfully homophobic shite.