Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Lucifer, Season 3, Episode 23: Quintessential Deckerstar

Ok… it’s been a while since Lucifer pulled this kind of drama off, especially with all the annoying Lucifer whims of the week episode.

In fact, has Lucifer ever pulled this kind of drama off?

This is an episode that, in many ways, is not about Lucifer. (Though I do love the “how dare you?!” when someone asks him if he’s Dan. And i question Chloe’s snark that Lucifer may not be the best person to ask about what women desire. He’s Lucifer, what everyone desires is kind of his thing) Oh he sits down with Linda and she tries to push him to being a reasonable person and telling Chloe how he feels (as well as pointing out that just because Chloe didn’t choose Pierce doesn’t mean she chooses Lucifer - a lesson so many love triangle authors need to learn) and he completely ignores that, of course, and instead insists that everything is back to normal and to prove it he’s going to re-enact scenes from Lucifer and Chloe’s past just to be really really really annoying.

This episode is far more about Charlotte - who is getting more and more couply with Dan but still tormented by her visions of hell and nightmares of all the criminals she assisted. And I get that Charlotte’s assistance for criminals was rather more than what a defence lawyer normally would do but it doesn’t change how her whole characterisation is based on the demonisation of criminal defence as a concept

Anyway, she talks with Amenadiel a lot and they do a lot of thinking. Regardless of the good she’s done she still feels guilty and worries that she’ll still go to hell. Amenadiel has a brain wave - what if angels are the same? What if the whole reason he lost his wings wasn’t god’s will- but because his own self-doubt and guilt took them? What if angels and humans are actually very alike and Amenadiel is setting up all his own tests because that’s what he thinks - after all, he’s only guessing at the will of god. As Lucifer agrees, god never just tells them anything

Lucifer, of course, rejects this idea because his whole self image is based on how his dad interferes constantly in his life and if it turns out god is busy doing sudoku and not really giving a shit then his whole self-narrative collapses

Amenadiel also works hard to convince Charlotte of her own redemption, of the small good she’s constantly doing and recognising how she’s changed

Except the case of the week is a dead woman - and her surviving husband is a man from Charlotte’s hell vision/nightmares. She once disposed of a bloodstained bag for him at the behest of her senior partner when she was a young lawyer. Of course, a 13 year old bag and hell visions isn’t exactly probative. But Ella and Chloe follow up on some other clues pointing to the man, Forest, having an affair and possible stalker

While Amenadiel and Charlotte decide to steal some legal files which is super illegal, but does give Charlotte to have a big rant to her old colleagues about trying to do good and changing while she can. They find out that Forest had very hefty non-disclosure agreements with a number of women. Including one woman who was murdered about the time of the agreement

And yes I did check to see if any of the women were called Stormy.

They pull apart threads and Chloe discovers and proves that the stalker was the man falsely accused of murdering the woman Forest murdered - who then murdered Forest’s wife when he thought he was alone.

While Lucifer celebrates that they caught the bad guy, Charlotte seethes that it’s not the real bad guy and she and Chloe set up a sting to get a confession and him holding his current girlfriend at knifepoint (chain of evidence is likely to be shaky here, but cop show and all that). He’s a serial abuser, the non disclosures would keep it quiet and he killed Joanne while attacking her during sex.

We need to catch up some things around this - as I said Lucifer hasn’t really been involved here and still saw them solve two murders. He realises Chloe doesn’t need him. Which could be a stepping stone for so much angst but impressively isn’t - Lucifer realises Chloe isn’t keeping him around because she needs him (which, good gods, how do you make this sweet moment more narcissistic? Because Lucifer, of course). She works with him because she WANTS to, because she chooses to. Effectively, he realises she has chosen him. And we have the moment, the moment where he tells Chloe how he feels and how he’s been hiding from his feelings and how they care for each other and finally kiss. Finaaaaly.

Bad part -he also tells her the truth that he’s the devil and how he’s afraid of her seeing the whole awfulness of him… except he can’t show her (not even his wings?) so she still doesn’t know he’s being literal. Aaaargh

They’re interrupted - but I’ll get to that

Maze is still talking Pierce and he drags up a plan b to try and stop Maze stabbing him in the face repeatedly. He now wants Maze to stun Amenadiel with a drug and drag him to her so he can murder Amenadiel to frame Lucifer and I think he may actually want his mark back now. He’s not so keen on immortality any more - and killing god’s favourite angel seems a good way to do it. And he needs Maze’s help because even mortal Amenadiel can kick his arse to Canada and back.

Maze signs up, after being taunted about going soft. Except when she meets Amenadiel he’s there with comfort and understanding and assurances that he’s always there for her… and Maze has changed and she can’t go through with it

Instead she goes back to kick Pierce the kicking he deserves and, like Amenadiel, she’s waaaay more dangerous than he is. But he does manage to distract her long enough (by threatening Linda - oh he must die) to use the same drug on her he gave to use on Amenadiel

And he goes to do his own killing - shooting at Amenadiel with a gun. But Charlotte steps in the way- protecting him and being short instead. She just martyred herself.

We get a truly heartbreaking, utterly devastatingly goodbye scene from Charlotte to Amenadiel… and of course Amenadiel gets his wings back. Another powerful scene in which he takes her body (or some part of her anyway since her body is left behind) up into the sky, taking her home

And for so many other shows I would look at a woman being sacrificed for a man’s growth - but that’s not what we have here. This is Charlotte’s narrative and Charlotte’s redemption and her going to heaven is rather more powerful for her since it addresses her most central fear than it is Amenadiel, even as Amenadiel has moved on to a different stage of his own narrative

Of course it also lends credence to Amenadiel’s theory that he lost his wings because of his own doubts- and raises a lot of questions as to why Lucifer lost his devil-face and gained his wings back