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Lucifer - What Would Lucifer Do? - Review: “Not Evil, Just The Devil”

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The episode that followed last week’s brilliant Maze extravaganza was always going to have the odds stacked against it and sadly this episode wasn’t able to overcome those odds. It wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t spectacular and it paled in comparison to its predecessor. Tom Ellis was a powerhouse and the way the episode dove into Lucifer’s insecurities definitely made it slightly more enjoyable. It seems that this season is struggling to achieve and maintain that elusive balance between procedural and celestial. For whatever reason, that lack of balance was quite obvious this week. There were some really brilliant moments, but on a whole, the episode just felt like it was lacking. The Lucifer and Chloe team wasn’t in balance and neither was the story. It felt very lopsided and all the celestial stuff, what little there was, felt forced just to include it. There were some great brotherly moments and they were probably the saving grace.

In terms of addressing the brotherly issues between Lucifer and Amenadiel, this episode delivered some nice moments. There hasn’t been a recent episode that gave so much focus to them trying to understand each other. Had the episode played more towards this side of the story and less to the case of the week it might have been better for it. This is one of the few times that Amenadiel has actually tried to truly understand his brother and that exploration felt rushed when there was so much rich material they could have mined. At least we were treated to some of Amenadiel's exploration into Lucifer's life which did lead to a hilarious bailout by Dan after Amenadiel got himself arrested. Another small saving grace is that at least Dan and Amenadiel got some friend time away from all the other drama of their lives. Let’s face it, these two need a friend they can count on and Dan definitely had Amenadiel’s back this week. This duo needs to be explored more because D.B. Woodside and Kevin Alejandro are brilliant together. They’ve brought a really fun energy to the friendship between Dan and Amenadiel.

The deep character stuff was all good, but the case of the week really bogged down the episode. Usually, the case is a secondary part of the story, but this one dominated too much of the hour. The rest of the story struggled to escape its quicksand pull. No matter how hard Lauren German tried, and she sure put up a hell of a fight, not even she could turn around this aspect of the story. Between the case of the week bogging things down and the confusing way Pierce was acting the entire procedural part of the episode could never become more than the sum of its parts. It was a typical case with nothing special or even really surprising which is probably a strong part of the problem with this episode since the case took up so much time. The writers seem to have a plan for Pierce, but they are hopscotching around on its reveal. They gave him a strong introduction and tied his story to Lucifer and the big mystery then this episode came along and it was a bit of a head-scratcher since all character growth just sort of halted. Besides being a jerk for most of the hour the only big thing he did was save Chloe. However, that is a major thing, so to Pierce, thank you for that. It really was his only quality moment in the entire episode. As the audience, we know who he does and doesn’t like, but the way he acts towards people is so contradictory and it's easy to understand why the characters are so confused.

On the topic of Pierce, he simply just fell flat this week. It was hard to tell if the disconnect was in the writing or with Tom Welling, though signs lean strongly towards the former. The show and Welling nailed Pierce’s introduction, but this episode sort of felt like they were obligated to include him so they threw him in without much of a supporting base for the story other than being the aforementioned jerk of the hour. It was clearly evident that Pierce’s interactions with Chloe were meant to launch the start of some sort of connection. The audience and Chloe know that really only because of Ella repeatedly saying it since Welling and German couldn’t really secure down a firm connection between their characters. In their defense, they both very evidently tried, but the writing seems to have let them down this time. German really tried her hardest and she needs to be given the credit she deserves for trying her best to pull things together. She was tasked with the weaker side of the story this week and there was really no good angle for her to work to make anything special out of the script. The writers on Lucifer have very rarely missed the mark, but they landed just off to the side this week.

The ending was by far the best part of the entire episode. The moment shared between Lucifer and Amenadiel had more emotional weight and connectivity to the overall story then most of the rest of the episode combined. It took to the end of the hour, but the writing was spot on here giving Tom Ellis and D.B. Woodside brilliant material to work with. Having Amenadiel finally accept what his place on Earth is and Lucifer trying to push him away was full of all the right emotional beats. It did seem like it was going off base for the briefest of moments as Lucifer told Amenadiel about the soul he had once tortured in Hell then it all came full circle and the weight of the story hit hard. The way Ellis chose to tell the story with a level and reminiscent tone was exactly what was needed to sell the moment. Woodside matched him by keeping Amenadiel very even-keeled as he responded to his brother.

What Lucifer was doing was the typical reaction to being hurt, to push others away. Lucifer was, in fact, the one that wanted to be punished. As Amenadiel point out, Lucifer was blaming himself for Chloe almost being hurt. He wanted Amenadiel to lash out and prove his point that he is evil and not worthy. Instead, he was met by brotherly love and that angered Lucifer even more. Amenadiel walked away because he knew that his brother needed to deal with his emotional demons on his own. By leaving Lucifer alone with nothing more than his own thoughts forced the King of Hell to realize things that he didn’t want to accept. In the absence of anyone to lash out at he took his anger out on the mirror. The aftermath was Lucifer’s reflection fractured a beautiful symbolic visual of what Lucifer was feeling.

This final scene was one of the few to really play towards character growth and story evolution. The important lesson from this episode, for Lucifer, is that he’s not evil no matter how desperately he wants to believe he is. He was projecting his own feelings on everyone else wanting everyone to be evil and unredeemable so he’d have a case for why he’s unredeemable. The very fact that he cares that much proves that there is a lot of good in him no matter how hard he tries to run from it. The showdown at the pier is another prime example of this. He didn’t have to listen to Amenadiel and spare the life of the murderer, yet he did. A true evil being would have done the deed without concern or worry of consequences. These were terrific character moments for Lucifer and if the entire episode had been able to lock into that energy and heart things might have flowed better.

Overall this was an okay episode saved from a mediocre rating by the outstanding ending scene. There were some exceptional moments, but the mediocre moments drew down the hour and made it less than memorable. The pier scene and the ending are likely to be the only parts of this one that stick with viewers. The lack of Maze, Trixie, and Linda was painfully noticeable. This would have been a perfect episode to include Linda in and that was sadly a very big missed opportunity. On the bright side, Lucifer now has plenty to talk to her about during their next session. Maze’s absence is understandable given Lesley-Ann Brandt’s maternity leave, but it should go without saying that we all hope she doesn’t miss too many more episodes. Thankfully the show smartly held onto her episode from last season for this first set of episodes because last week’s refreshing adventure was much needed. It’s just sad that the show couldn’t capitalize on the energy rejuvenation that episode delivered. Here is to hoping that the return of Tricia Helfer next week and Charlotte Richard’s journey into exploring her missing time will lead to some fun times and a jump back into the Lucifer that we all know and adore.

Don’t miss Charlotte’s return on the next episode on Monday, October 30th at 8/7c on FOX.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about this episode. Did you enjoy it more than I did? What parts worked for you and what parts didn’t?

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