Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lucifer Season Two, Episode Six: Monster

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Monster marks the halfway point of the second season of Lucifer. This season has all been about Lucifer's family situation.  Some of it has been funny, like Charlotte learning how to deal with the human family she has been saddled with and some sad, like Amenadiel losing his powers.  It's been an interesting dynamic to see explored so far, particularly because at least to some degree it shifts the story line away from self involvement and the damned weekly murder. 

As typical of Lucifer, Monster begins with the case of the week.  A zombie wedding is taking place in a cemetery.  The groom is shot in the arm and then the bride is murdered by a snipers bullet.  As the case progresses, a man running a food truck is similarly killed. We learn that the husband of a woman who died with lung disease is killing the spouses of those he deems responsible for his wife's death. Dan of all people feels momentarily sorry for the man when he thinks about how he would feel if Chloe died. Lucifer offers himself as a target for the sniper but the sniper shoots around Lucifer, not wanting to kill an innocent person.  This offends Lucifer, who doesn't at all feel innocent after the death of Uriel.  As it turns out, the man chose to kill innocent people because he wanted to be punished, firm in the belief that his long absences from home meant that his wife's condition went undiagnosed for far too long. 

Lucifer is in personal drama because he killed Uriel and for the first time in his long existence he feels guilty.  Lucifer's job since his fall has been to punish the evil doer when they die and now, there's no one to punish him.  This of course lines up neatly with the case of the week. Being the devil, he's absolutely certain that he deserves to be punished and simply cannot let go of the pain he is feeling.  His path to seeking justice is to act out, forcing Chloe to lay down the law time and time again.  Chloe is stern with Lucifer but she can also see that he is clearly hurting and asks him repeatedly to open up and share what is going on but Lucifer is dismissive. Finally, Chloe talks Lucifer into seeing Linda.

Lucifer begins to talk about Uriel and Linda listens patiently for a bit before the frustration overwhelms her. Though Lucifer has been upfront with everyone that he is the biblical devil, no one of course believes him.  All of the time during his counselling, Linda believed that Lucifer was talking in metaphors and structured her counselling around this.  This week, Linda believes that Lucifer will never progress if he doesn't stop the metaphors and get real with her. She demands that he be honest and despite an initial hesitation, Lucifer complies.  For the first time, Lucifer reveals his real face and this leaves Linda speechless and unable to respond.  Lucifer simply stands and leaves the room as Linda stares off into space.  It looks like Linda might need her own counselling after this.

While Chloe is trying to reign in Lucifer and solve the case, she also deals with growing pains sharing an apartment with Maze. The first sign that the two of them living together might not be such a good idea is when she discovers Trixie on Maze's sex swing which she installed in the living room of all places.  Chloe makes it clear that in order to continue to live there, Maze is going to have to start considering that they share a space with a child.  Maze of course doesn't take well to this news.

When Chloe gets a call from Trixie that her babysitter left screaming after entering Maze's room, Chloe's left in bind.  Chloe is forced to ask Maze to take Trixie trick or treating and lays down strict rules about taking Trixie to any parties. A sad Trixie walks back into the room in the princess costume that she's not exactly pleased with. It seems that she wanted to be a princess last year and this year, she wants something different.  Maze takes Trixie trick or treating dressed as the president of Mars. Maze however is still not sure about the proper etiquette and intimidates the man at the first house Trixie goes to but it's clear that she just wants Trixie to be happy.  As they walk to the next house, Trixie bemoans the fact that Maze isn't in costume. Maze asks Trixie to turn around and then changes to her true form. This excites Trixie and the acceptance clearly makes Maze happy.  When next we see the two of them, they are passed out on the couch from a candy coma.

Amenadiel and Charlotte also have a pretty separate story line this week. It seems that Amenadiel blames himself for the death of Uriel, believing that had he had his powers, things never would have gone so far.  Charlotte tells Amenadiel that he can regain his grace and takes him to the place where Lucifer buried Uriel.  Amenadiel ends up blaming his absentee father for Uriel's death, certain that his father could have intervened in this situation but chose to remain silent the way he always does. Amenadiel and Charlotte hug it out.  I'm even more certain now that Charlotte is running a game, playing her children against her husband but I'm not sure what the end goal of all of this is. She doesn't want to return to either heaven or hell but she certainly wants her boys on her side. Now that Amenadiel is blaming God, it will bring Amenadiel closer to both Charlotte and Lucifer but I highly suspect that the only one he can trust is Lucifer. 

There are times when I really wish that Lucifer wasn't as dedicated to the police procedural that it has embraced. The novelty of Lucifer working as a police consultant has absolutely worn thin. Perhaps its because the writers feel that each weekly case has to somehow tie into Lucifer's existential problem that week.  At this point however, it simply needs to go.  The show would be much more fascinating if the cop part were a sideline that was brought up occasionally and we watched as Lucifer dealt with his problems through therapy, while working on his relationship with others.  This is particularly true now that we have Charlotte on the show.  The weekly murder feels so much like a distraction from what is really going on and no longer really adds anything of interest.  Unfortunately, I don't think that this format is going to change anytime soon which is a shame because Lucifer while entertaining to watch, could be so much better than it is.