Lucifer – Season 1 Episode 2
“Lucifer, Stay. Good Devil”
Lucifer does another team-up with brash cop Chloe to solve a case for reasons that are apparent to only him.
I mentioned last week that Lucifer has potential as a show and it does. Having that potential makes it all the more annoying when it squanders it.
In “Pilot” the best things were Lucifer’s childish glee at the darkest desires of mankind, his curiosity over Chloe and the general idea that the Devil is bored of hanging around hell so takes a break to Los Angeles instead. There was also a hint that things were happening that he was unprepared for. All of that is here but in maddeningly small doses that the whole thing just comes across as dull.
Credit where credit is due, Tom Ellis is still magnetic in the lead role. I always love watching him work no matter how boring the scene is as he brings the character of Lucifer to life in ways that the words on the page do not. Notable highlights for him included his casual observations about Chloe’s house and how disinterested he was in what effect tampering with a crime scene might have on an investigation. I also like seeing his awkward interaction with Chloe’s daughter.
Chloe is a major issue with this show. Her “angry at the world” attitude really begins to grate very quickly and her constant stupidity is also really irritating. She is trying to solve the mystery that is Lucifer but there isn’t one as he is completely open and honest about who he is. Fair enough she’s unable to accept that she is talking to Satan himself but considering the evidence she has had both here and in the last episode then she should be willing to accept at least some of what he says at face value. No disrespect to Lauren German who does a fine job delivering what she has but there’s almost nothing to work with here. Her backstory around baring her breasts in a film and having a famous mother is already played out and can’t really go anywhere from here.
Another issue is that there is absolutely no chemistry between Lucifer and Chloe. I find it very difficult to believe why he would be at all interested in her. We are beaten over the head with repeated references to the fact that she isn’t affected by him when everyone else is. That’s enough to sustain his interest in her initially but where is it going from here? I bet she’s the daughter of an Angel or something like that as there’s no other answer that will make sense other than “she is just immune because she is unique” which would be just as bad.
It seems that the form the show will take won’t differ from what was offered in the pilot. Chloe gets wind of a case, Lucifer follows her even though she doesn’t want him there, questions are asked, hijinks ensue and the case is solved one way or another. Nothing about the structure of this episode was remotely different to the previous one and the whole gimmick of Lucifer bringing out the deepest desires of everyone he meets is getting tired already. We’re only two episodes in so this does not bode well.
There are some interesting things going on at the sides. I did enjoy the scene where Lucifer challenged the two suspects to punish each other and took pleasure in watching that happen. It shows that his morality is still his own and that he takes delight in punishing others. The way he does it is really unimaginative, surely the Prince of Darkness could come up with something better than that but I suppose the budget dictates all.
Lucifer’s therapy sessions border on intrigue but don’t quite get there. Linda doesn’t believe that he’s really the Devil but indulges his fantasy for some reason and Lucifer opens up about feeling like things are changing outwith his control. It’s new for him and he’s eager to explore it. Similarly he’s eager to explore his fascination with Chloe.
His Angel brother Amenadiel also notices this change and attributes it to him spending too much time on Earth. He is keen for Lucifer to return to hell because otherwise he’ll have to run it. At least that’s what Lucifer thinks but either way he’s staying put because there are another 11 episodes of dull procedural storytelling to suffer through. If I were him I’d take Amenadiel up on his offer and run away while I still could.
Two episodes in and Lucifer is failing to live up to its potential. Tom Ellis still turns in an excellent performance but this is significantly brought down by bad writing, a boring procedural format and supporting characters who fail to be interesting. The potential the show started with is still there but barely given any attention.
• Tom Ellis’ magnetic performance
• some hints of depth beneath the surface
• the boring procedural format
• a complete lack of chemistry between the two main characters
• Chloe’s one note “angry at the world” attitude