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Lucifer - Mr. & Mrs. Mazikeen Smith - Review: “Maze’s Canadian Adventure”



Lucifer has a terrific cast and along the way, they’ve added some terrific new co-stars, but magic seems to happen when the original cast unites for an episode. That’s what this episode was, a reunion, and it took Lucifer back to its early days, though D.B. Woodside wasn’t in the episode and he was definitely missed. These past few weeks the show has done a great job launching the new season with a new character and a new mystery, but this episode felt like the best of the bunch so far because it felt so much like the Lucifer we all originally fell in love with. It also marked the first time we’ve seen Maze and Trixie this season and that duo was majorly missed. Lesley-Ann Brandy and Scarlett Estevez have big infectious personalities that just light up the screen whenever they appear, so it was great to have them back finally. This episode was one of the carryovers from last season, but just seeing them this season was a welcomed sight.

As a carryover, it was meant as a standalone, but they did find ways to try and feed it into the overall story of this season like with the ominous ending and the implications of a mysterious omnipresent big bad. It was, however, quite obvious that this episode was filmed during last season. There were little nuances that were characteristic to last season versus this one. With that said, that fact did not take away even the slightest from the enjoyable nature of the episode. This was a Maze adventure and Brandt dominated with a performance of epic proportions. From heartfelt moments to pure Maze badassery she delivered on every front every second she was on the screen. Usually, Maze gets stuck with one of the B-storylines, but the character was front and center leaving Brandt to carry the biggest weight of the episode and she did not disappoint.

While this was a big Maze episode the other characters were still part of the story. They all care about her and even though she was on her own in Canada for most of the hour she still had the rest of the team watching her back. Chloe even went so far as to ask Dan to take a detour while on vacation to check in on Maze. At the start of the episode, Chloe told Trixie that she wasn’t worried about Maze, but was more concerned for Canada. Turns out she has developed a soft spot for her roommate and couldn’t help but worry about her no matter how much she tried to deny her concern. It wasn’t about the bond that her daughter has with Maze or anything else. These two have become dear friends and it was very obvious that Chloe didn’t want to see any harm come to Maze. Then again, none of them did and by halfway through the episode, even Lucifer started to “mother” on her with his concern. At times Maze is erratic and irresponsible, but when it counts there is no being that is more reliable than her. More times than anyone can count Maze has been there for all of them, so it was their turn to be there for her and they didn't let her down.

Even though Maze likes to pretend to need no one she is a sensitive soul, which is ironic in and of itself since she doesn’t have a soul. And it was good that the no soul thing mentioned last season was finally explained as it upped the stakes. As Ben (Chris L. McKenna) pointed out towards the end of the hour Maze has more heart and soul then she realizes. There is a kindness in this demon that even she has trouble accepting. When a human breaks through her tough demon exterior and finds a place in her heart there is very little she won’t do to protect that human. Chloe, Trixie, and Dr. Linda are prime examples of that. Ben even managed to find a way through her steely exterior, but not even the prospect of emotional romantic connection was enough to draw her away from her self-made family.

The entry into this episode was the fact that Maze was in a funk and needed a challenge. She enjoys her life in Los Angeles with her mundane humans, but as a demon, she occasionally has to feed her instinctual urges to hunt. On most days she can handle the urges by acting as a bounty hunter, but she finally came to a point where she needed a human that didn’t just naively come to her looking for a free drink. She needed the thrill of the chase to satisfy her demon nature. Ben gave her that, but not at all in the way she expected. She made an actual connection with him to both the surprise of the audience and herself. He was every bit as charming as his lawyer had warned. Given the eternity she’s spent with Lucifer she should know how to avoid falling into that trap yet he somehow got to her. It is perhaps that which intrigued her the most about him after their encounter at the bar. She’s quick to sleep with humans and discard them. Ben’s girlfriend was a prime example of that, but with Ben, it wasn’t about sex. These two forged a genuine connection based on mutual respect. They connected in a way that even left Lucifer believing that Ben had “broken” Maze. Who would have thought we’d ever see Maze fluff someone’s pillow? Lucifer and Linda certainly didn’t. Also, talking about Linda, does anyone else think she needs to plaster “I’m not that kind of doctor” on her office door to remind her celestial friends of that fact? The simple fact that Maze reached out for help, something she doesn’t particularly like to ask for, showed what Ben was indeed getting to her. Still, Lucifer was wrong, Ben wasn’t damaging her, but was instead helping her find herself.

In truth, Ben didn’t break Maze but instead made her take a firm look at the life she is living and what is important to her. It’s a part of her to want to be challenged, but perhaps for the first time in her existence, she does have something to lose. Suddenly she’s not just worrying about herself and Lucifer. Now she has to worry about the impact it’ll have on her human friends, especially Trixie if anything happens to her. It would devastate all of them and more importantly is the fact that Maze has realized that they are her people. She could have run off with Ben and lived a life of constant challenges, but she went back to the place she belonged no matter how boring it can be for her at times. It doesn’t mean she didn’t start to care for Ben it just meant that all the people she left behind in Los Angeles were more important to her. One might even dare to say that Maze has come to love them all. There were lots of moments peppered throughout the hour that showed how much Maze cares.

Showing that Maze held Trixie’s gift of Ms. Alien in such high regard was one of them. She had likely seen how the stuffed alien had comforted Trixie and thought it would do the same for Ben. Seeing her do that shows how carefully she has been watching and observing Trixie. That tiny human has taught her so much about humanity and kindness. There is an argument to be made that Trixie has taught Maze more about humanity than all of her other human friends combined. When Maze returned Ms. Alien she was even remorseful for the blood on her and the only reaction she got from Trixie was how cool she thought it was. Trixie and Maze are indeed kindred spirits in so many ways. They even have their own explosive fist bump. Trixie even tried to stow away to keep her friend from going into a dangerous situation alone. Their dynamic is probably the purest connection on the show.

Since Trixie is too young to go on missions there was no way to let her tag along, but the show missed a prime opportunity to send Chloe and Maze off on another adventure together. As that duo showed last season, their team-ups are full of epicness. While Chloe and Lucifer are the prime focus of the series it is actually good to see them apart from each other from time to time. That’s what made the latter half of last season so refreshing is that Chloe and Lucifer spent a good deal of time off doing their own things with other characters. To be fair, Tom Ellis and Lauren German have ridiculously good chemistry together, but they also work phenomenally well with their fellow co-stars. Chloe really needs to spend more individual time with Linda, Maze, and Ella this season. Perhaps they should even send Chloe and Amenadiel off on some adventure together. Or what about Dan and Linda? Dan and Ella? Ella and Amenadiel? Ella and Maze? Linda and Chloe? The possibilities really are endless and there are still many team-up combos that the writers haven’t explored that could produce storytelling gold. Changing things up keeps the show fresh without it getting bogged down in the staleness of what is expected. They have so many immensely talented performers and as Brandt has shown here any one of them can easily carry the show when allowed. In addition to changing up the team dynamics, the writers also need to do more of these singled out character focused episodes and mix and match with the various character combinations.

Even though this was Maze's adventure, they brought Dan in on as secondary backup which provided for some dynamic interactions between them. Appropriate since at the top of the hour Maze was indulging on his pudding while kicking back in Lt. Herrera’s chair at his desk. Dan was supposed to be on vacation, but the fact that Maze means so much to Chloe and Trixie he was left with very little option other than to help when Chloe called him. It’s no secret that Dan and Maze don’t get along particularly well on even the best of days, note the aforementioned pudding theft, but they do come through for each other when it counts.

They both love the same people and they both know what the other means to their mutual friends and family, so they always suck it up and help each other. However, this time, Dan went above and beyond. When Maze snuck out on him after the cabin he could have easily hightailed it back to the airport and ran off to Hawaii. Instead, he stuck around Canada and made sure that Maze was okay. It was his intervention in the woods showdown that gave Ben and Maze the opening they needed to take down the hired guns that Herrera had sent after them. So, kudos to Dan for having Maze’s back. They really do need to send those two off on more adventures together. The vast differences between Dan and Maze make for a truly fun viewing experience.

The case of the week wasn’t quite as predictable as recent ones, but it also wasn’t the most original the show has ever done. Lt. Herrera was clearly up to something from the very start. Herrera then tried to charm Chloe which was never going to end well for him because she’s a darn good detective. This, by the way, just provides further evidence regarding why Chloe not yet accepting Lucifer’s truth is growing more preposterous by the episode. The show can only get away with this ploy of ignorance for a tiny bit longer before the story will really start to suffer from it. There is a time to draw things out and then there is the time to just make the reveal and move on. They are at the point of the latter. The fact they keep having these grand moments of observation and continually show off her incredible gut instinct yet still have her blind to Lucifer is growing frustrating. They have a treasure-trove of stories waiting for them on the other side of the reveal, so dragging it out is doing nothing but hindering the immense growth potential once they get past it. Seriously, the moment Herrera interacted with Chloe she was on his case and tracking his involvement yet she’s had years with Lucifer and keeps dismissing blatantly obvious things. She had an instinct about Herrera and she ran with it all the way to the moment she was able to have him arrested and nothing deterred her from the truth. That is certainly something she needs to apply in regards to Lucifer.

So, while the case of the week wasn’t horribly original, it still provided for a fun episode full of hijinks and great teamwork. Even though the team was scattered they still all played a part whether it was Lucifer and Chloe putting together a case against Herrera in Los Angeles, Linda trying to assist Maze on how to tend to Ben’s gunshot wound (just a side note on how very endearing it was that Maze sewed a button onto him), or Dan showing up in Canada, they all did something. The team really came together to support one of their own.

While Lucifer’s antics make for fun episodes it is nice to have these episodes where certain characters get to take the lead. When the writers get to deep dive into one character they deliver some truly fascinating insights. They really got deep into who Maze is and this episode really showed off how much she has grown since the series started. She still hasn’t lost her edge but has kept growing and evolving. The problem is that as an ensemble show it’s not all that easy to single out a character in a typical episode to see how they are growing. Brandt and the writers have found nice little moments throughout the seasons to show off Maze’s growth, but never before to this extreme. Every viewer knows that Maze would do anything for her humans, but Maze herself didn’t realize that. The fact that she not only realized it but didn’t run from it and instead embraced it with a content smile on her face shows extreme evolution and phenomenal character growth. That last scene with them all gathered was a beautiful way to close out the episode and show Maze at peace.

This episode had impressive action sequences and many great tender moments. There was also a multitude of hilarious moments that started with Linda’s drunken night out with Maze and continued throughout the hour. Another great aspect of this episode is that it didn’t really have anything to do with the will-they-or-won’t-they nonsense between Chloe and Lucifer. It was honestly nice to have a break from all the usual antics and this episode felt like a breath of wonderful fresh Canadian air. All around this was a terrific fun episode and even though it was a carryover it was still a great addition to Season Three.

Don’t miss the next episode when it airs Monday, October 23rd at 8/7c on FOX.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about this episode. Did you enjoy Maze getting the bulk of the story this week? Do you think the show needs to do more episodes like this?





 
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