Lucifer – Season 3 Episode 17
“Let Pinhead Sing”
Lucifer explore the dangers of celebrity when a popular singer’s life is threatened as questions of mortality start to weigh heavily on the Prince of Darkness.
The mortality in question is Chloe’s. Last week‘s near miss with the bomb while reaffirming his partnership with Chloe has made Lucifer realise that her life is routinely dangerous and could end at any time with no warning. Couple that with the fact that he still feels God is out to get her in order to punish him and you have the recipe for Lucifer’s issue of the week. He’s concerned about being close to someone because of what might happen to them and he definitely has feelings for Chloe that he doesn’t want to admit to.
His way of dealing with it is very Lucifer. He decides to stop focusing on one person and showers everyone around him with affection. This includes giving Ella a “World’s Best Forensic Scientist” t-shirt and awarding an intern employee of the month. It’s funny as always in the way that Lucifer’s over the top behaviour when overcompensating for something always is and it delivers interesting insight into his current mindset. On at least some level he thinks that not showing favouritism will possibly trick God into not singling Chloe out when he decides to punish Lucifer. It’s a viable theory though flawed as it assumes that God is completely stupid but Lucifer has a definite air of desperation about him which makes it feasible that he would be willing to try something like this.
Another reason for his behaviour is to remove himself from the spotlight tough perversely doing so makes him stand out even more because he makes such a theatrical presentation of not standing out. His logic only works in the mind of Lucifer which is very consistent with his character especially when he’s acting out in order to protect Chloe from coming to any harm.
Chloe realises what’s going on which is definitely good because she should understand him by now considering all they’ve been through and how many examples of this she has had over the years. Her “let him get on with it” approach makes sense as well because ultimately she has work to do and doesn’t really have time to indulge his obsessions when she has a case to solve. She’s somewhat amused by his antics though as she often is so their partnership is as strongly presented as it has ever been.
As always the case of the week connects to Lucifer’s issue of the week. An attempt on a superstar diva’s life means that extra steps need to be taken to ensure her safety. Axara (Skye Townsend) refuses to cancel her shows at Chloe’s request which mirrors Chloe’s unwillingness to keep herself out of danger. Amusingly Lucifer fails to see the obvious connection between the pair who are both stubborn in their own right and doesn’t ever consider the fact that devoting his time to being Axara’s bodyguard could be leaving Chloe vulnerable but such is the working of Lucifer’s mind.
Axara’s a little thin on the ground as characters go though I suspect that is largely the point because she is supposed to be a self centred, single minded diva who is used to getting her own way and is more fixated on what she wants to do than anything else. Even at that she could have had more depth than we see here. She and Lucifer clash because they’re a lot alike in their desire to be the centre of attention which leads to some amusing passion filled exchanges between them. The highlight is an attempt to make a smoothie where Lucifer doesn’t do it according to her specifications and they both end up wearing it. Lucifer rarely comes across someone as arrogant as he is so it’s fun to see what happens when he does.
His feelings for Chloe are the root of all of his actions in this episode and Axara exists to reinforce that. She propositions him and Lucifer turns her down which is definitely out of character for him as sex with a beautiful woman is definitely one of his favourite things but he’s too preoccupied to accept it in this case. There’s also the fact that he doesn’t seem to like her that much but the main factor is his feelings for Chloe. Axara’s perceptive enough to notice how fixated Lucifer is on Chloe and they have a really insightful conversation revealing how much they have in common.
Lucifer points out that his father is a barrier to his relationship with Chloe and uses how powerful his father is as the excuse to not pursue it. Axara can relate to his struggle because she feels the same about the attempts on her life but has resolved to let nothing stand in the way of the thing she’s most passionate about. For her that’s music and she won’t let the threat of death take that away from her. Lucifer is able to see her point of view and go about applying it to his situation.
In some ways Axara’s an example of how pursuit of passions can be limiting as the one responsible for the attempts on her life is her childhood friend Cece (Jillian Rose Reed) who engineered everything to turn the clock back to how it used to be and have her best friend all to herself. She may be crazy in the way she thinks and how she goes about it but Axara is hardly blameless here as she chose to prioritise music over her best friend which led to the level of resentment that we witness here. It’s a short commentary on the trappings of fame and how that can change someone in ways that are somewhat ugly. Axara shows absolutely no remorse for cutting her childhood friend out of her life and clearly doesn’t regret her life choices in any way. It also offers a notable contrast to Lucifer as he is able to realise what he’s doing wrong and go about correcting it where Axara simply isn’t.
This climactic scene shows Lucifer coming to Chloe’s defence and taking a knife for her showing that he embraces his self imposed duty to protect her and that he actually want to be close to her rather than push her further away as he has been doing. Taking a knife for her sends a very clear signal to Chloe that she’s important to him and he’s willing to put himself in danger to protect her. There may not be any real physical threat to Lucifer in this scene -even though Chloe is there making him vulnerable to harm- but there is definite emotional threat to him as he fully puts himself out there in defence of Chloe. His physical gesture is heavily symbolic of what he is willing to do for their friendship.
Cain is still dealing with the loss of hope after the second death of Abel last week. He is at a point where he is ready to give up on everything and resign himself to an eternity of misery. This manifests with terrible singing in his office and generally being in a funk. Not even Ella’s best efforts can snap him out of it but a combination of optimistic advice from Dan, choice words from Amenadiel and seeing the physical example of Lucifer’s connection with Chloe makes him see that life can be worth living and gives him the motivation to explore that by attempting to socialise with Chloe to see if their “moment” means anything.
Chloe has something to do outside of putting up with Lucifer as well. When she is gifted tickets to Axara’s concert she takes Cain up on his offer to accompany her which offers shared acknowledgement of the “moment” that has been previously mentioned. There is definitely an attraction between them that has been pushed aside for various reasons but is now beginning to see the light of day. In a bout of bad timing this causes Lucifer to realise the extent of his own feelings which sets things up for a Lucifer/Cain/Chloe love triangle. Normally this would fill me with dread but the Maze/Linda/Amenadiel love triangle was handled so well that I’m going to give this the benefit of the doubt. It’s also already amusing to think that Chloe might have to choose between the first murderer and Satan at some point.
Linda tries to repair her friendship with Maze by way of a peace offering in the form of a wrapped up axe at first. This doesn’t work because Maze isn’t the forgiving type so Charlotte comes up with the idea of mediating the dispute by forcing them to sit in a room and talk through their problems. It’s a really strong scene with excellent performances all around. Linda is the one to open up and explain to Maze that she broke up with Amenadiel because she values their friendship so much. That by itself should act as a powerful example of Linda’s commitment to preserving this friendship. It’s such a raw and emotionally sincere moment that Maze standing her ground is nothing short of a shock. It’s refreshing to see that not all disputes can be solved by opening up and it feels appropriate that Maze wouldn’t come around to the idea so easily.
There’s a lot of depth to this conflict as Maze is essentially acting like a child with no rational reason to feel the way she does though that doesn’t mean her feelings are invalid. The answer to who is truly at fault here is difficult as Maze’s attitude might feel somewhat harsh when considering the gravity of Linda’s feelings for Amenadiel and understanding how much she gave up in favour of salvaging her relationship with her best friend. It’s also possible to see Maze’s point of view because all she sees is betrayal and broken trust when Amenadiel and Linda willingly went behind her back and hid their relationship. Further subversion of expectations come when Maze regards the peace offering axe and decides to break it rather than accept it indicating that she’s going to let this vendetta go on for a while longer.
A strong episode that focuses on the Chloe/Lucifer relationship and Lucifer’s reluctance to admit how he feels. This is partly due to fearing for her life because he thinks that God will punish him by going after her so he showers others with affection to amusing results. Axara makes for a great foil for Lucifer as she’s as arrogant and self obsessed as he is so they clash massively. She also understands what he’s going through and helps him to resolve his feelings in some way. Axara is a little thin on the ground as a character though it’s largely the point considering what she is. The episode could have given her more depth all the same and I like the idea that her obsession with her passions proved to be the dangerous thing. Her inability to learn from that is a notable contrast to Lucifer being able to change the way he does things.
Cain uses Lucifer and Chloe’s connection as inspiration for a renewed zest for life. He decides that it’s worth exploring which leads to him taking Chloe out therefore setting up a love triangle as Lucifer seems to finally realise his true feelings. It’s trademark bad timing and considering how well the previous love triangle was handled I’m inclined to give this one the benefit of the doubt. Linda’s attempt to repair her friendship with Maze is really well handled and proves impressive in Maze’s stubborn attitude to forgiveness. She can’t bring herself to do it and the issue remains complex with fault on both sides.
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