Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lucifer, Season One, Episode Three: The Would-Be Prince of Darkness

At the beginning of this episode, it appears that old scratch is up to his familiar tricks. We see a young woman on a rooftop scared to jump and who should encourage her to but Lucifer. I must admit that when she lands in a pool, it's a bit of a disappointment. Sure, we don't need more dead women on television (Law and Order Special Victim's Unit has that market cornered)  but on the other hand, we do want our Lucifer to be the ultimate bad boy. Mission accomplished and it's on to the next task which is to get a quarterback named Ty, to cast his virginity to the wind and have sex. We all know this isn't going to end well right?

 Feeling cheerful about tempting a woman to jump and a man to have sex, Lucifer continues to mingle at a party, only to be shocked when he introduces himself as Lucifer Morningstar, to be called a fake because apparently someone has stolen his identity. I suppose we should call this earthbound problems.

Chloe believes that Lucifer must be some kind of magician and she is determined to figure out how he does the things he does. Despite all of Lucifer's charms, she's not ready to believe for one moment that she is actually dealing with the devil. To date, Chloe has seen Lucifer survive being shot six times, compel people to tell him their most secret desires and in this episode, throw a man one handed throw a glass wall. So far, they have given enough room for Chloe to have plausible disbelief but as the story goes on and Lucifer continues to show that he has supernatural powers, I suspect that this will be harder for Chloe to do.We already have one Scully on television and don't need another . I wonder how they will deal with that?  It will certainly take away from the lightness of Lucifer thus far but I don't necessarily think that this will be a bad thing.

The big case of the week comes to light when Ky calls Lucifer the night after the party when he finds the woman he slept with floating in his swimming pool. I found Ky a very interesting character because when Black males usually appear in the media, they are presented as thugs, violent and hypersexual whereas; Ky is a clean cut, virgin athlete.  Pause for a moment and think about the recent superbowl and how the two quarterbacks were represented.  Cam Newton was called a boy and a bad role model for children for behaviour not at all different from that which we have seen from White football players. Ky makes it clear that the reason he is still a virgin is because his mother raised him better, even though the comment disgusts Lucifer.

Had Ty's storyline stayed the same it would have been subversive but not only did Lucifer tempt him into having sex, he chose to have sex with a White woman.  Later, we find out that girlfriend who Ty is estranged from is also white.  Look, I get that this is 2016 and the era of so called post-racism; however, it's telling that once again we cannot get a good representation of Black love.  Once again, a Black man is paired with a White woman while the sole Black female character on Lucifer is pretty much relegated to the sidelines as a sidekick. If there's a hierarchy to Lucifer, it's clear that Black women are relegated to the servant class.

Lucifer is very much continuing to evolve as a character.  When he first learns that his identity has been stolen his anger is almost palpable.  It's Linda, Lucifer's psychiatrist who suggests that he is over reacting and that his anger is misplaced. As the Lord of hell, it's Lucifer's job to punish the evil doer and so he resets his sights on finding the murderer.  It's not long before a series of quick twists and turns develops and it is discovered that the murderer is actually Ty's agent.  Lucifer responds by throwing him through glass, once again revealing his supernatural nature.  It takes a while for Chloe to actually calm Lucifer down.

Still conflicted by his actions, Lucifer again seeks out Linda and this time she suggests that people come to L.A. to reinvent themselves and therefore; it's possible that Lucifer is reinventing himself as someone who seeks justice for the innocent.  This indeed is a twist on Lucifer's identity but he doesn't seem to balk at it.  We know that he is changing steadily and while he is still the prince of darkness, perhaps a sliver of light has entered his heart.  We know that he has acted in the case of good several times thus far, despite his strong dislike of children.  We know that this is a change beyond his control.

I suppose the writers have to find some way to justify Lucifer, of all people, working with the police rather than actively corrupting people or coercing people to commit evil. I think that this is going to be a hard sale in the long run.  At it's heart, Lucifer as a partner with a cop is a shtick but for this show to have any lasting power, they are going to have move beyond justifying the ridiculous and give us some real meat. Yes, I love the charm which Tom Ellis brings to this role but I am going to need something more than an existential crises moving forward for Lucifer to distinguish itself.