Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lucifer, Season Two, Episode Twelve: Love Handles

The episode opens with Chloe and Lucifer getting intimate.  Deckerstar fans must have been losing their mind having waited a season and a half for this to happen.  Lucifer doesn't disappoint as Chloe straddles our favourite devil, ripping open his shirt in the process. For the record, I greatly approve of shirtless Tom Ellis. Chloe runs her hands down Lucifer's back, caressing the scars his wings left behind. Lucifer pauses the action for a moment to make certain that this is what Chloe wants to do.  I think that this is a really important moment because he sought explicit consent.  Given how sexually predatory Lucifer was in season one, this is a good step forward. Chloe is all in which causes Lucifer's eyes to flash and his horns to become visible. Chloe grabs Lucifer's horns and then promptly wakes up to find Maze eating popcorn at her bedside enjoying the show. At times like this I really love Maze.

For much of this episode we actually get a role reversal between Chloe and Lucifer.  Lucifer actually goes to see Linda to report that he's decided to take things slow whereas Chloe, who hasn't had sex in forever can't stop dropping hints.

Lucifer is absolutely surprised by the Chloe's suggestiveness but he doesn't actually take the bait.  It seems that Lucifer's main concern is that what he is experiencing isn't real.  Lucifer's mind really gets going when they catch a case where the mystery man from last week, uses people to test his hypothesis.  A famous actor is told that unless he cuts his face, a college student will die.  At first, the actor believes it's a joke but he arrives on campus to find a student dead.  Lucifer is enraged by the cold manipulation of the killer and this leads him to question if Chloe is being manipulated into suddenly being receptive to a sexual and romantic relationship with him. 

The second person to be blackmailed is a world renowned thoracic surgeon. The good doctor is told that if she doesn't cut off her hand that an innocent college student will die.  The doctor struggles with this because she has spent her entire life dedicated to saving life.  In the end, the doctor puts her hand in a garbage disposal despite detective douche trying to talk her down.  The end result is that the blackmailer sends the antidote to the poison that he used on a college kid.

After some great work by Ella, Lucifer, Chloe and Detective Douche learn that a disgraced academic named Dr. Carlisle is behind the blackmail.  Dr. Carlisle was in a car accident and the driver of the car was a college student. Rather than helping the college student, the Dr. Carlisle escaped the car and then went back for his dissertation, leaving the innocent college student to die.  This resulted in the Dr. Carlisle losing the opportunity to obtain tenure and then having to get a divorce because his wife left him. Dr. Carlisle is putting people in these lethal situations to prove that his reaction was normal and human.  I agree that his actions were human but they were cowardly.

While Lucifer and Chloe are busy working on the case, Charlotte has a problem of her own to solve. After encouraging Lucifer to let down his guard and go for it with Chloe, Charlotte has deemed that now is the time to drop the hammer and let Lucifer know about Chloe's divine creation.  Charlotte first goes to Linda to enlist the good doctor's help.  Linda is so onto Charlotte and the fact that she is working an agenda and so absolutely refuses to get involved.  I gotta say, Linda's facial expressions during this scene absolutely cracked me.  Rachael Harris totally has  the whole sexy librarian look absolutely nailed down. Charlotte's next target is Maze, who as we know has mixed feelings about Chloe.

Now that Lucifer and Chloe know that the blackmailer is Dr.Carlisle, Chloe decides to email him and make him aware that she finds him pathetic and knows who he is.  Carlisle responds by sending Chloe a link to contact him.  It seems that Carlisle has set up one final test to prove his hypothesis because he believes that police intervention in the case with the thoracic surgeon produced skewed results.  Carlisle has two men strapped to a bed.  One is an Olympic runner who has been given the option of cutting off his leg, or allowing the innocent man in the bed next to him to die.  After explaining his latest experiment, Carlisle cuts off the conversation.

After looking at more video, Chloe and Lucifer figure out Carlisle's location. When they arrive, Carlisle puts on a gas mask and then fills the room with gas.  Lucifer and Chloe are told that they can either save themselves or risk being poisoned by the gas, entering the room to save the two men. Carlisle takes off running as Chloe looks for a way to get into the lab.  Lucifer stops Chloe and instead sends her after Carlisle.  Lucifer then breaks some glass to cut his wrist. As long as he is physically close to Chloe he is vulnerable, so he has to wait for her to far away.  When his wrist stop bleeding, Lucifer breaks into the lab and frees the two captive men. Outside, Chloe manages to chase Carlisle down but instead of submitting to an arrest, Carlisle slits his own throat in front of Chloe.

Chloe rushes back to the lab anxious to see Lucifer.  Chloe throws herself into Lucifer's arms and after a moments hesitation Lucifer hugs her back.  Quite tentatively, Lucifer asks Chloe if this for real and when she responds in the affirmative, he finally relaxes into the embrace.

Of course when a main character is feeling happy, something has to come along to upset the apple cart.  Lucifer goes to a meeting set up with Maze, only to find Charlotte sitting there as well. Still on a high from his interaction with Chloe, Lucifer talks about them giving Deckerstar a chance.  Seeing Lucifer's happiness, Maze simply cannot bare to tell him about Chloe's divine conception.  Maze grabs Lucifer by the hand and tries to escort him from the bar but he pauses when he sees a supposedly random picture of Chloe's mother and Amenadiel together on the wall.  An upset Lucifer questions why Amenadiel is with Chloe's mom and Charlotte finally drops the secret that she has been dying to share.

An enraged Lucifer rushes to Chloe's home and marches through her house.  Lucifer demands to know if Chloe knew the truth all along.  He stops his rant when he finally finds Chloe in the bathroom. Chloe has a nose bleed which won't stop, an indication that she has been poisoned and with Carlisle dead, finding an antidote is going to be difficult because the poison was of the designer variety.

From the ending of Love Handles, it's clear that the next episode is going to be all about Deckerstar. From the look on Lucifer's face, the very idea of  possibly losing Chloe is enough to put her divine birth on the back burner.  It's going to make think about whether he cares about being manipulated by daddy dearest more than the cares about Chloe. I suspect the latter is where he is going to fall.

As I have previously mentioned, I'm not exactly in the cheering crowd for Deckerstar.  I don't really think that a romance is necessary for Lucifer, given that him working out his feelings regarding God and his positioning as the ultimate evil are infinitely more interesting than any relationship angst with Chloe.  That being said, if Chloe being peril leads to more discussion along that vein, I'm all for it. It is however worth noting that the more central Deckerstar becomes to the plot, the less likely we are to see of any discussion of Lucifer's bisexuality even if it has been made cannon.

As often is the case, when Deckerstar becomes too much, I find myself more drawn to the side characters. Watching Maze eat popcorn with that glint in her eye about Chloe's wet dream was absolutely priceless. It was absolutely perfect and made me love Maze all the more.  Similarly, Linda's interactions with Charlotte gave me the same joy.  I love that Linda saw Lucifer in Charlotte because of Charlotte twisting her words to suit her own narrative. I loved Linda's facial expressions and her so not going there speech.

Finally, the discomfort between Detective Douche, Lucifer and Charlotte were also priceless.  At this point, Dan is still not aware as to why exactly Lucifer doesn't want him anywhere near his mother or exactly how deep Lucifer's feelings for Chloe are.  It is worth noting that while these scenes are funny, they also speak to male ownership of female bodies.  Sure, no one likes to think about their parents having sex but Lucifer's demand that Detective Douche refrain from sexual contact with Charlotte isn't about a concern that his mother might be hurt but his desire to control access to her body.  This is absolutely played for laughs even though it is patently sexist and borders on abusive.  I do however love that Charlotte refuses to shut down her sexuality for the benefit of her male childrens comfort and am interested to see what they are going to do beyond the humour.