Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lucifer, Season Two, Episode Fifteen: Deceptive Little Parasite

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Ever since Charlotte managed to return to earth her goal has been to make up with her boys and somehow get back to heaven.  She's schemed to the point where she's hurt Lucifer horribly.  After all of this time, it seems that Charlotte has finally stumbled upon the one thing she needs to get the gates of heaven to open at long last - Azrael's blade.  The problem with this is that Lucifer is the lightbringer and he's the only one who can wield it as intended but to do so, Lucifer has to get control of his emotions. That's a steep task. 

Charlotte tries to encourage Lucifer to think of his father and get angry because the last time he managed the sword he was enraged.  Lucifer gives his best attempt but nothing happens. Amenadiel tries punching Lucifer but other than irritating him, nothing changes.  Lucifer hands Amenadiel the sword with the intention of kicking him in the nuts to get even but Charlotte is quick to put a stop to it. 

Unable to wield the sword, Lucifer moves onto plan two, which involves a visit to Dr. Linda.  Dr. Linda is instantly distracted with questions about heaven, like does it really have pearly gates and is it filled with clouds.  This causes Lucifer to snark about his father looking like Morgan Freeman.  In Dr. Linda's defense wouldn't you ask those same questions? Lucifer then turns the subject to the matter at hand and is informed that emotions cannot be controlled. Dr. Linda is sure that Lucifer married Candy in order to hide something and that what he really needs to do is to drop his barriers and feel.  Lucifer of course is resistant to this and in shock that Dr. Linda doesn't have the inside track on controlling emotions. 

It's morning and Maze is shocked to see that Chloe forgot to make breakfast and so assumes that something is wrong with her. Chloe takes this as a suggestion that Maze is interested in learning about her feelings and so she opens up about her thoughts on Lucifer's marriage. Maze however is not in the mood to be an emotional support and so simply puts in her headphones and pretends to listen as Chloe pours out her heart.  When Chloe realises that Maze has only been pretending to listen, Maze claims that dealing with human emotions on an empty stomach makes her stomach ill. 

Lucifer and Chloe meet up at a crime scene.  Lucifer is still trying to get into Chloe's good books so he greets her with a coffee. Debbie, the murdered woman, is the head of admissions at a prestigious elementary school. It's Chloe who discovers that a pair of scissors is missing and suggests that this might be the murder weapon. With little to go on, Lucifer and Chloe decide to speak to Debbie's boss Murray, who calls Debbie the heart and soul of the academy. The interview really doesn't give them much to go on but Murray's admission that the school focuses on emotional self-control peaks Lucifer's interest. Lucifer stops asking questions about Debbie, and starts to grill Murray on emotional control. Murray explains that parents often notice a difference after the first class. That's enough to get Lucifer looking through brochures while Chloe takes over the questioning. No one is as perfect, as or enemy free as Murray suggests Debbie is and so Chloe questions if Debbie had ever been stalked by parents who were desperate to get their kids into the school. This is when Murray remembers that Debbie did indeed have an incident with a set of parents. 

Chloe decides to investigate the angry parents and calls them into the police station. Apparently, the parents were told that if they gave the school a large donation that their son would be admitted.  The school cashed the check and their son was not admitted. Debbie claimed that the school never got the donation. Both parents are suitably in a rage which turns to confusion when Dan enters the room with a photograph of the murder weapon that the police retrieved from their home. 

That evening, Lucifer is at Lux, and the bar is in full swing. Rather than presiding over the action, Lucifer is actually at the bar reading a children's book on emotions that he clearly picked up at the academy.  Lucifer is then approached by three women who have similar features to Chloe looking to have sex.  Lucifer quickly figures out that this was set up by Charlotte and so he calls out for his mother. Charlotte appears and explains that she set this up to see if it would give him the ability to wield the sword. Lucifer sends the women on their way and admonishes Charlotte saying that "a foursome is not an emotion." 

Lucifer returns to reading his book, certain that he will get a handle on things soon. Charlotte however suggests that Lucifer would understand her urgency if he had a child.  Rather than understanding that Charlotte is missing her other children, Charlotte's comment inspires Lucifer to believe that the answer to his problem is a child.

The next morning, Lucifer simply shows up at Chloe's home startling her. Given the surprise of the parents she interviewed yesterday, Chloe now believes that the knife was planted and that someone might be embezzling money from the school. Chloe and Lucifer walk into Trixie's room to find that she isn't ready yet, which is a problem because Chloe doesn't have time to drive Trixe today. Lucifer volunteers to drive Trixie to school much to the surprise of Chloe. 

Rather than taking Trixie to her normal school, Lucifer takes Trixie to the academy and tells her that if she plays along, he'll get her whatever she wants. As Lucifer and Trixie are given a tour of the school, Trixie grabs Lucifer's hand. Lucifer of course wants to know if Trixie has a leash or something because he doesn't like the skin contact. The P.E. teacher is the one giving the tour because of course, Debbie is dead.  Lucifer isn't pleased with the pace of the tour because he's only really interested in learning how to control emotions. 

Dan and Chloe head to Murray's office to question him about the missing donation. Murray folds quickly and admits to cashing the check, saying that his salary barely keeps up with his rent and he has all these expectations about the clothing he's supposed to wear and the kind of car he's supposed to drive. Murray then accuses the parents who made the donation of killing Debbie. When Dan says that he doesn't believe that they are the murderers, Murray finally stops crying and asks Chloe and Dan to forget about his little confession. 

The PE teacher enters the room and tells Chloe what a delight Trixie is. Chloe is confused by this because the PE teacher shouldn't even know who Trixie is. The PE teacher tells Chloe that Trixie's father brought her in and that right now, Trixie is sitting in Madison's class.  This is a shock since Dan is sitting in the office.  Chloe excuses herself to see what Lucifer is up to now.

Today, the kids in Madison's class are learning how to deal with bad emotions and turn them into good actions.  Lucifer is far more interested in this lesson than the kids and so he holds his hand up when Madison asks for volunteers. Lucifer is shut down because of course this class is for the kids. Shut down in his attempt to make the lesson all about him, Lucifer raises Trixie's hand.  As Chloe is approaching Lucifer and Trixie, she listens in as Trixie about her fear after her mother was shot and how she puts on a good face in order not to worry Chloe. Lucifer welcomes Chloe to the club of parental deceit and points out that Trixie is clever. Now that Trixie has offered up her feelings, Lucifer wants to know the next step. Lucifer is unimpressed when Madison suggests writing a poem. Lucifer says that he came there to learn and goes off about a kid drawing a picture.  The kid explains that he's drawing a picture of his mother stabbing Debbie. This is when Chloe makes her presence known and Lucifer quickly points out the progress he's made on the murder to deflect from the fact that he didn't take Trixie to school. 

Once outside, Trixie is concerned that her mother is upset at her and says that she's the one who should be blamed.  Chloe however is more concerned with Trixie hiding her emotions to protect her.  Chloe assures Trixie that they can talk about anything at anytime and so Trixie says that she wants to ride with Lucifer. When Chloe agrees, Trixie runs to Lucifer's car.  Chloe makes it clear to Lucifer that he's lucky that Trixie likes him.  Lucifer tosses his keys to Trixie, and Chloe is quick to put a stop to the very idea of Trixie driving. 

Having dropped Trixie off, an exhausted Lucifer parks his car underground and he is attacked by a hooded person.  At first, Lucifer is excited until he's easily tossed around. It turns out that this is another attempt on the part of Charlotte to get Lucifer to use the blade. Lucifer is shocked by his mother's physical strength and tells her to relax because he'll handle it. 

Back at the station, Chloe receives an invitation from the academy. It seems that they were impressed with Trixie.  Chloe brings up the matter to Dan, who suggests that they make a decision after they solve the murder case. 

It's now time to interview Joy, the woman whose child drew a picture of her stabbing Debbie. Joy admits that yes, she wanted to kill Debbie, the problem is that a lot of people wanted to as well. Debbie it seems was in the business of shaming parents and heavily implying that they weren't being good parents by bringing the wrong thing to the bake sale.  Joy has an alibi for the night in question because she's sleeping with the P.E. teacher. Joy suggests that if they really want to know who killed Debbie, that cops should head to the memory service because all of Debbie's frenemies will there. 

At home, Chloe is all nervous about her outfit for the memory service and Maze is a bit stunned with her effort. Chloe explains about the possibility of Trixie attending the school and her concerns and this time, Maze actually listens. 

Chloe checks into the grieving gathering alone and the woman checking her in is downright rude.  Maze shows up suddenly and pretends to be Chloe's wife. Maze even forces Chloe into a kiss. It becomes clear pretty quickly that these people are just too full of themselves and have so much money they have nothing better to do but gossip about each other.  Maze starts a rumour that Chloe has the murder weapon in her car and that someone is going to be arrested that night. 

Amenadiel is trying to get the blade to work but when Lucifer sees him from behind, it looks like he's masturbating. Lucifer cannot resist making a snarky comment about this.  Amenadiel is pissed that he cannot get the blade to work and that Charlotte is so fixated on Lucifer that she has no time for him. When Lucifer points out that Amenadiel could have warned him about Charlotte's super strength, Amenadiel loses his temper. Amenadiel is pissed off that he can no longer access his powers and that Lucifer makes everything about him all of the time. Lucifer still isn't convinced that he's the only one who can make the sword work and asks what's up with Charlotte because she's been very jittery lately. A frustrated Amenadiel simply gives Lucifer the knife and walks off. 

At the school, Maze and Chloe sit back and watch as the rumor Maze started is passed from person to person. Outside, Madison is searching for a way to get into Chloe's car.  In frustration, Madison picks up a rock and is just about to break a window when Lucifer shows up.  Lucifer is still so frustrated trying to gain control of his emotions, he doesn't stop to think about how weird it is that Madison is claiming that Chloe sent her out to her car to get something. Lucifer even goes as far as to unlock Chloe's car. 

Chloe arrives to find Madison going through her car and tells Lucifer that Madison is the killer. Madison pulls Chloe's gun out of her car and Chloe is quick to tell Lucifer to raise his hands.  When Lucifer is slow to react, Madison fires Chloe's gun twice, drawing enough attention to bring parents and staff members to the parking lot. Madison points the gun at the PE teacher whom she had an affair with. It seems that Debbie figured out that the PE teacher is actually the father of Madison's child based in the fact that neither the teacher or the child are very bright. Debbie then threatened to tell Madison's husband, which would have ruined her marriage.  Chloe identifies with Madison and reminds her that she's Trixie's mom and that parenting is hard. Madison admits that she's just so angry and that she tried to control her rage and failed. Of course, this catches Lucifer's attention and he's pissed to learn that the whole channel your emotion thing is a scam. Madison continues to talk about her feelings until she is tackled by Maze. 

Back home, Chloe tucks Trixie into bed and they discuss Trixie changing schools. Chloe admits her insecurity around the parents but then says that she learned after spending time with them that the other moms were just as scared as she was.  Trixie thinks about it and decides that she doesn't want to change schools. Mother and daughter both admit to not liking the school.

Hearing that controlling emotions is impossible from yet another source, Lucifer goes to see Dr. Linda again. Lucifer admits that he's going to use the flaming sword to open the gates and then toss Charlotte into heaven before walking away. As far as Lucifer is concerned, his parents deserve each other. He believes that this will be appropriate punishment for manipulating him. Lucifer however cannot bring himself to talk about how he feels about the manipulation and so Dr.Linda suggests that what Lucifer needs to do is to get in touch with his emotions and to feel the pain he's been blocking. Dr. Linda adds that Lucifer needs to feel the pain he's been suppressing about Chloe as well. 

Lucifer returns to Lux, where Charlotte and Amenadiel are waiting for him. Lucifer holds the blade and stares at it as he cries. The blade lights up, burns but then goes out.  Amenadiel has a look of concern on his face because he can see how difficult this is for Lucifer. When the fire goes out, Charlotte tells Lucifer to try again and to try harder. Lucifer says that he cannot because he's broken and maybe the sword is as well. Amenadiel intervenes to points out that they have all the time in the world and that there's no rush. 

Charlotte leaves, and alone on the elevator says that she doesn't have that kind of time. Charlotte removes a band aid on her wrist and it exposes a cut through which a bright light is shining through.  It seems that her human body may not be able to contain her spirit. 

When it comes to LGBT inclusion, Lucifer really hasn't been great. This week we got a one off same sex couple which is typical of how Lucifer handles inclusion.  It's not great but what I've come to expect. We did however have Maze and Chloe pretending to be married.  Masquerading as GLBT when there's next to no real GLBT inclusion is absolutely a problem. I found myself particularly irked with Maze forcing a kiss on Chloe, draping herself over Chloe's shoulder and even slapping Chloe's ass.  It's not okay to masquerade as a marginalized person ever.  

For much of this season, we've been so focused on Lucifer and his feelings that what Amenadiel is going through has taken a back seat. Amenadiel is still not the center of the world but this week we finally got to see a little bit of his resentment. He's worked hard to do what his father wants and yet, he's without his powers because his divinity has been stripped away. If that were not enough, Charlotte is only focusing on Lucifer because he's his special chosen one. Charlotte doesn't even want Amenadiel to try to use the sword on his own.  I really felt Amenadiel's frustration but in the end, when Lucifer allowed himself to feel, Amenadiel clearly empathised with his brother. Just once, I'd like to see a little more focus on Amenadiel.

I don't think that there's a parent who watched this episode who had difficulty relating.  There's no such thing as a good parent who doesn't worry, or who isn't filled with doubts.  There are so many expectations, particularly if you are a working mother and something, no matter how hard you try, slips through the cracks.  I like that Lucifer took the time to show the ways in which Chloe being shot effected Trixie. It would have been easy for them to simply slip Trixie's feelings under the rug.  It reminds us that Chloe is so much more than Lucifer's love interest. She's a parent, a working mom and a person who struggles just like everyone else.  It's a nice touch, particularly because Lucifer and his needs often overwhelm the show.