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Lucifer - Off The Record - Review: “A Good Man”



This was an interesting episode for Lucifer. The point of view was completely flipped on its head as it was told from the perspective of a character that no one knew anything about before this one aired. The timeline was also very confusing until about the midway point. A flash at the start of the hour indicating a jump back in time would have been nice, but not telling the audience what was going on seems to have been part of the gimmick of the hour as we witnessed Reese’s own living Hell. It was obvious that things that were happening clearly couldn’t have taken place in this season or even the end of last season, but a little heads up would have been helpful in enjoying the first half without being confused. It wasn’t until the research montage finally gave the episode a firm place in the timeline that things started to make sense. Still, somehow, somewhat beyond understanding, this ended up being a really engaging episode.

Shows very rarely, if ever, hand over the main storyline to a guest star. They certainly don’t usually make that guest star the lead of an episode. Yet, that’s exactly what happened here. Patrick Fabian (Reese Getty) had more screen time than almost all the series regulars combined. This episode worked, when it really shouldn’t have, because Fabian dove into the role and for a brief moment in time it felt like we were watching a different show that he headlined. And, honestly, it would have been a pretty interesting show because of how insane Reese was and how entirely Fabian embodied Reese’s descent into insanity. There is no way that this episode should have been this compelling or interesting. If someone would have handed the fans an outline before the episode aired they would have likely said this was a horrible idea. Yet the show made it work thanks to a very solid script and the spot-on casting of Patrick Fabian. Major kudos are due to the writers for taking a chance and doing something completely wildly different. After all, the fans have been asking for different and this episode definitely delivered on that request. Different team-ups and perspectives are what made the second half of last season so epic, but this was like nothing else the show had ever done.

This was another of the standalones, though it feels weird calling it a standalone because the last remaining episode of the leftover episodes is actually a follow-up to this one. That sets it apart from its prior two predecessors that could definitely stand on their own while still feeding the overall mythos of the series. This one also helped to build on the overall story, but it was by far the most out of place in this season. It would have perfectly fit into last season though, so when taking that into consideration this was a very solid hour for the show.

It was nice to show some of what Linda’s life must have been like before Lucifer showed up and changed it forever. At the start of the hour, Linda and Reese had already been separated for over two years. It was definitely time for him to sign those divorce papers. She was far more patient than almost any other woman would have been. It was clear during their every encounter that she was more than ready to put him in her past. It was also evident that a very small part of her still did care about him. In the end, he could have salvaged a friendship but instead, he chose the actions that landed him with a one-way ticket to Hell.

On that note about Hell, it was about time that the show took another quick trip to Hell to show off its cavernous awesomeness. It was very intriguing what Lucifer revealed about Hell, any of these souls can leave at any time, but he said that none ever have. So, in essence, it seems like Lucifer was basically just a zookeeper allowing the human souls there to keep punishing themselves. Pair this new information with the story Lucifer told Amenadiel about the soul that was devastated when Lucifer missed a day of torturing him and the bigger picture starts to come together. It would be reasonable to guess that Lucifer hated being used in this capacity. He was essential a pawn in these acts of self-flagellation these souls are inflicting upon themselves. Lucifer, and even Maze may play an active part in torturing these souls, but it was a pretty big revelation to learn that these souls are almost there willingly. It is quite intriguing that the door is open and these souls seem to know it yet they stay put living their sins over and over again. This concept was a very interesting new take on the idea of Hell. This might have been an unusual episode, but it actually did a ton to build up some of the growing mythology of the show.

During the year-long montage of Reese working on his Lucifer wall, there were some interesting things he observed. While most of it was what fans already know there was one interesting bit about Ella. It was quite curious that they felt the need to linger the shot on the note about Ella just a second longer than some of the others. On Reese’s board, he noted, “What’s her secret” which is the exact same question fans have been asking for a long time now. So, what is her secret? It was nice for the audience to get validation that there is some big secret and even Reese was able to take note of it. After last week’s episode and this little tidbit, could the show finally be about to dive more into this mysterious character? One can only hope because there seems to be a very intriguing story behind her.

There is one thing about this whole montage that doesn’t make much sense. How was he able to get all of the information? Maze blissfully made a quick appearance in this episode and tried to put Reese in his place by threatening him. She made it pretty clear she was watching him, so how was he able to get all these pictures and intel without her taking him out? Even on the worst of days when Maze was angry with Lucifer she still wouldn’t stand for anyone snooping around her group of friends. There is no way that for a whole year he managed to go incognito and not get seen by Maze even once. It’s even more unusual given the fact that Reese shot Lucifer. Surely at some point, that bit of information had to have gotten back to her. Though, it’s possible, that Lucifer did Linda a solid and didn’t send Maze after Reese out of a courtesy of their friendship. It is rather amusing that throughout the entire episode Lucifer was encouraging Reese to go after the man who stole his wife when that man was Lucifer himself. It’s a bit surprising that it took Lucifer so long to catch on to what was going on, but at least he figured it out by the end and took it all in good humorous stride.

Now, here’s something to wonder about. If Linda ever finds out that her ex-husband is stuck in Hell would she ask Lucifer to pull strings for her to get him out? Reese had gone completely off the rails by the end going so far as to hire Alvin (John Billingsley), the hitman that they’d been tracking the entire hour, to kill Lucifer. He even caused injury to Linda, but she is the forgiving type, so it could be interesting to see if she asks Lucifer to do her this one favor one time and help her ex get some peace in his afterlife. Though, to be completely fair, Reese absolutely doesn’t deserve peace after all he did in the name of vengeance. Yes, he was encouraged by Lucifer, but he didn’t have to act the way he did. Lucifer never told him to go off and try to kill anyone. As Lucifer pointed out to Reese, it’s not Lucifer’s fault that humans act out the way they do or do the horrific things they do. Ironically, it’s not even Lucifer who decides who does and doesn’t go to Hell seeing as the residents of Hell seem to condemn themselves to that fate.

Too bad Lucifer didn’t drop that bit of information on Linda because she could have had a field day trying to understand all that. Speaking of Linda, we got to see a very serious side to her this week. We’ve seen how firm she can be in certain situations, but up against her ex she put her foot down and didn’t back down. Rachael Harris was absolutely phenomenal this week. It was great to get to see her dive into this deeper side of Linda. We all know that she has impeccable comedic timing, but her emotional acting is just as perfect and the deeper the writers dive into the character the more incredible Harris’ work is. It’s great that the show has been further developing Linda’s part within the team because Rachael Harris needs far more screen time than she has gotten in previous seasons.

During the whole confrontation in Linda’s office, when Reese shot Lucifer, Linda was so in control and take charge. It was quite inspiring to see her take command of these two very strong men. She even brought Lucifer to a stunned moment of silence when she pointed out to Reese that Lucifer is a good man and the fact he’s the Devil didn’t change that. Lucifer seemed genuinely stunned that she views him that way. It goes to show how little Lucifer thinks of himself in regards to the kind of being he is. Lucifer tells everyone that he’s not the way the Bible and society make him out to be yet he himself seems to have the hardest time accepting that he isn’t that evil-being. So that was a nice moment to have Linda say that to someone else in front of him because it seems to have really hit home for him in that moment. It’s hard to shock Lucifer, but it’s clear that Linda did just that. She shocked Reese equally as much by being completely okay with who Lucifer is. That goes to show just how incredible Linda is as a character that despite everything she has seen and experienced she has so much faith in him and all of her friends. The fact she couldn’t extend that same level of faith to Reese goes to show how wrong he was for her. Linda does deserve better than him and she was right to kick him to the curb. It’s clear that she was never the priority in his life until he lost her then suddenly he cared yet he managed to still make it all about him.

It’s ironic, that in the end, it was Reese’s own insecurities and need for vengeance that got him killed. Had he not tracked down Alvin and got him involved Reese would still be alive. Because of Reese, an innocent woman was killed and Alvin is still out there to take more lives. He did tell Linda he had evidence at his office about the serial killer, so hopefully, she remembered to convey that to Chloe. Even though he realized how wrong he was, in the end, it was too little too late. It’s not hard to see how Reese found himself condemned to Hell after all he did. If what Lucifer said holds true, Reese sent himself to Hell and will likely spend eternity there unless he miraculously remembers what Lucifer told him about being able to leave at any time. That is a bit odd though, for many reasons, but isn’t the whole purpose of Hell that people don’t know they are there? Do the residents of Hell at some point get let in on the whole big secret and then just continue punishing themselves? That bit of the mythology of the series could use a little more clarification. Still, it was so nice to see that element of the show, the celestial side, finally get a bit of airtime this season.

On a bit of a frustrating note, is anyone else highly annoyed that even Reese figured out Lucifer is the Devil before Chloe? Come on! The show is dangerously close to entering into the realm of complete and utter ridiculousness in this whole plot point to keep Chloe in the dark. It’s one thing to stretch out a story and it’s a whole other thing to make one of your leads who is a top-notch Detective look incompetent when everyone else seems to be figuring it out before her. It is said almost every week in these reviews, and it will continue to be said until such time as the writers rectify it, that Chloe needs to be allowed to see and understand the truth sooner than later. Keeping her in the dark is seriously stunting the character’s ability to grow and evolve and it’s very frustrating to viewers who see how smart and observant she is.

Thankfully there is only one standalone left to air and that’s next week’s episode. After that Season Three can really truly begin. Let’s be honest, we’ve had some episodes of this season, but they’ve been a bit lackluster especially when compared to these. So far Charlotte’s return has so far been amongst the strongest from this season’s actual episodes. We’ve gotten bits and pieces of Season Three, but it definitely doesn’t feel like the season has really started yet. These standalones, no matter how insanely epic they have been, have severely hurt the flow for this season. FOX and the show would have been better off finding some way to air these episodes last season. Make no mistake, these episodes needed to be aired, they are too perfect to have been locked away from sight, but doing it this way has done the overall show no favors. Even the cast seems to be confused when certain episodes are airing and no one can blame them given how unprecedented this whole scenario is. Unfortunately, the show is going to dive back into the actual story of this season just in time to go on winter break. At least we all have something to look forward to because when the show returns at the start of the New Year things should finally be back on track for this season.

This was a solid hour for the show and the change to the point of view gave the episode a very unique tone. There was a lot of tidbits added into the mythology of the show and they finally dove a bit more into Linda’s life before Lucifer. It was kind of fun to see things from the first season through the eyes of a secondary character that we didn’t even know was lurking around. The show could have more clearly spelled out the timeline though as that would have helped make the first half more coherent. Still, it was a unique episode and well worth the time spent watching.

Don’t miss the next episode when it airs on Monday, November 20th at 8/7c on FOX.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about this episode. Did you like the unusual point of view? Do you want more clarification on Hell as well? Were you annoyed that Reese figured out Lucifer’s secret before Chloe?







 
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