Lucifer – Season 1 Episode 8
“Et Tu, Doctor”
Lucifer returns to the case of the week formula as Linda is drafted to help solve the murder of a Marriage Counselor.
After a strong showing in the last two episodes I was starting to expect good things from Lucifer so I’m annoyed that it has returned to the dull formulaic storytelling of the early episodes. I was almost positive that the show was finding its feet and realising that the characters were more interesting than the stories they were put in.
I have very little to say about the case this week as it was boringly predictable as usual. The problem I have with these types of stories is that a lot of work has to be done to get the audience invested in the people involved and I have yet to see an example of that happening. I feel the same about iZombie but that show is much more confident in where the strengths lie that it never becomes a barrier to enjoyment. When the majority of the narrative is focused on solving a really boring case involving people that have no real personality to begin with then I find myself tuning out and wanting the episode to be over. This is why I don’t watch many procedurals and look for an intriguing hook when I do.
Having Linda along to consult on the case did provide some interesting developments. Lucifer wanted her on the case initially but didn’t get what he wanted or expected out of the experience. She used the time to further psychoanalyse him in the context of the life that she tells him about. Linda has now met Chloe, Dan and Maze so knows exactly who Lucifer is referring to and is able to draw further conclusions about him based on that.
The main theme for the episode is jealousy as it provides the primary motivation for the murder as well as being something that Lucifer himself is wrestling with. He thinks that he is immune to that emotion as he knows of his ability to inspire that level of passion in others so people shouldn’t be able to have that power over him. Lucifer spends more time trying to reach a conclusion about his own feelings than he does investigating the case. Of course his self reflection leads him to stumble on the killer but it’s not his primary goal and he certainly doesn’t care once he realises it.
I like the idea of the Devil experience jealousy as it suggests that he is becoming more powerless than he cares to admit. His time among humans is causing him to soften in certain areas and his grasp on what he considers reality is slowly slipping away from him. He has experienced anger, self doubt and now jealousy as well as the usual sinful emotions such as arrogance and vanity but those are traits that he tends to be proud of so they can largely be discounted. As Linda often points out, they recently achieved a breakthrough and Lucifer’s uncertainty over what that means is driving his own personal reflection. I get the sense that he’s more than a little scared of losing control of his new lease on life and has no idea how to stop that happening. It could be a fascinating character study if this was the focus of the episode.
Lucifer also experiences what it feels like to be betrayed by someone he trusts when he works out that Amenadiel is posing as a therapist to give Linda ideas to use against him during therapy sessions. He realises that only Maze could have given him that idea as only Maze knows about his connection to Linda. To her credit she doesn’t deny it and is immediately fired for his betrayal. It seems that eons of loyalty count for nothing with Lucifer as it’s one strike and you’re out. How the loss of Maze as a protective force might prove interesting over the coming episodes as we might see her trying to forge her own identity outside of Lucifer.
Linda reaches a few personal revelations of her own in this episode when she finds the strength to resist Lucifer and stop the physical side of their relationship. Chloe’s question to her about ethics is enough to make her question what she is doing and tell Lucifer that their relationship should remain professional. If Chloe has some kind of supernatural ability to resist Lucifer then is she able to project that onto others? I’m not ruling it out at this point.
Chloe has become a more interesting character in the recent episodes. When she was first introduced she was the standard “homicide cop with a chip on her shoulder” but has recently become so much more than that. Her characterisation has evolved into a strong, confident woman who has a lot of priorities that she needs to juggle in order to function. Seeing her work to make sure her daughter feels loved while keeping Dan in her life despite them being separated as well as maintaining a career is really interesting stuff. She never makes excuses for anything she does as she is too busy just getting on with it and making it work. Chloe has definitely become a character to root for and more of her personality is coming through in each episode. We see her being playful when Linda is making Lucifer feel unsettled and being friendly to Lucifer in a way that transcends the professional partnership they have. There is also some insight into her morality when she immediately questions Linda’s ethics when she admits to sleeping with Lucifer.
The time spent showing how she is trying to make things work with Dan is really well done. There is a lot of chemistry between the two actors so it’s easy to believe that there is plenty of history there as well as an attraction that lingers. Dan is shown to be making a real effort to be a better father which causes Chloe to show some vulnerability around him and act on the attraction in a small way. She sends him away before anything can happen but it’s clearly still there and will complicate things. Whether they work things out or not is hard to say at this point but so far it feels like a real broken family trying to do what is right by the child.
Anything that happens between them is sure to be complicated by the fact that Dan was involved in the case that discredited Chloe. Malcom (Kevin Rankin) seems to love having a second chance at life and makes plenty of comments that have subtext to them. It seems a little strange initially but once it is revealed that Dan shot him then it starts to become clear. Malcolm is clearly going to enjoy blackmailing him so I think Dan is in for a really grim situation for a while. Not to mention the fact that Chloe is definitely going to find out at some point which will put her in a difficult situation as she will have to decide whether the father of her child goes to prison or not. I look forward to seeing her sense of duty tested when that happens.
Amenadiel wasn’t in this episode and his absence really confused me. With Linda being such a prominent figure and Malcolm being up and about after Amenadiel healed him I would have expected him to be around. His reasons for healing Malcolm are unclear but there is plenty of time to explore that as well as Lucifer’s knowledge of him doing what he can to manipulate Linda.
An uneven episode that had a lot of good ideas that didn’t quite manage to elevate the boredom I experienced by having to suffer through the really dull case of the week. Having Lucifer experience jealousy as well as understanding how it feels to be betrayed are great ideas that are handled well and I’m very impressed by the evolution of Chloe into a character that is worth rooting for. I’m interested to see how her relationship with Dan will develop especially when she learns the truth about him.
- the exploration of Lucifer experiencing jealousy and betrayal
- Chloe’s evolution from being a walking trope to a character worth rooting for
- interesting revelations involving Dan and his connection to Malcolm
- another boring case of the week
- the unexplained absence of Amenadiel