Lucifer – Season 1 Episode 5
Lucifer throws the Prince of Darkness and Chloe in the middle of a Los Angeles gang dispute that threatens to erupt into an all out war if not handled properly.
I was starting to feel optimistic about Lucifer after the stronger showing last week and hoped that the show was starting to turn a corner into being more character driven than procedural plot driven. Judging by this episode it seems like last week was an exception as everything fell back on old habits this week.
There’s not much I can say about the case other than it was really dull. The people involved were all painful caricatures and the overall story failed to hold my attention to any significant degree. None of the cases have really done enough to get me invested in them and it seems like it’s a problem that isn’t about to go away.
Lucifer is fixated on exploring his mortality this week after Chloe managed to successfully inflict a bullet wound on him in the previous episode. In theory it’s an interesting idea but Lucifer really lacks imagination when it comes to testing that. Seeing a diversion from the norm such as having him try skydiving or some other dangerous activity would have produced a cool visual and given the show so much more than the narrow scope it currently has. Trying to feel alive by doing police work doesn’t really come across as believable. Lucifer’s motivation for working with Chloe should be the fact that he is fascinated by her and wants to figure out why he is so drawn to her. The whole exploration of mortality idea is a weak excuse when there’s a much better justification built into the show.
The episode does nothing to even hint that there might be a reason that he was able to be hurt. Has he fundamentally changed or is Chloe somehow able to hurt him? It would surely be a possibility rattling around in Lucifer or Maze’s head that would need testing. It all adds to an overall impression that the writers have absolutely no idea where they are going with this show.
Another failure of the episode is that Lucifer doesn’t really test his mortality. He goes around asking questions and generally pronouncing judgement on those who have sinned but doesn’t put himself in any more danger than he does normally. He simply sits on the sidelines and talks about how exciting the whole thing is. Without any actual results it wears thin really quickly.
I did like the “Deal with the Devil” being a significant factor in the story. The saying is commonly associated with furthering your own goals to your own detriment later but this show has a different idea of it. Lucifer is happy to grant favours as long as people are honest about the reasons for them. He mentions that he hates liars and punishes accordingly when that information is known. He does ask something in return but it doesn’t seem like it will be something that compromises the person who made the deal in any significant way. Lucifer’s desire to help does seem genuine and he actually wants very little from people. There’s still a lot of work to do on this idea but it’s a refreshing take on it and I hope that the time will be taken to explore it.
Maze gets a lot to do in this episode and some of her backstory is starting to be known. Lucifer mentions that the very reason for her existence is to protect him. She was brought into the world to fulfill a singular purpose and I’m getting the sense that she’s getting tired of it. Her devotion to Lucifer was absolute in the past but she is starting to wonder what else there is. Much of it has to do with Lucifer’s erratic behaviour and his obsession with Chloe but she also misses Hell and decides to help Amenadiel in a small way by pointing him in the direction of Linda Martin. There are signs that Maze is a very damaged demon and the brief shot of her true face at the end of the episode is really effective.
Amenadiel isn’t featured heavily but his conversation with Linda is the best scene in the episode. I really liked how eerily nice to her he was and it left me wondering if D.B. Woodside should be in the title role as his character and performance seem to fit a complex version of the Devil. I wonder if Amenadiel is essentially going to become the new Devil at some point as that seems to be where his story is going.
Tom Ellis isn’t bad by any stretch. He remains charismatic and likable to a point but the shtick is starting to grate because of the poor writing. There doesn’t seem to be much depth behind the bravado and unless some is shown soon the show will become largely intolerable.
Lucifer’s interactions with Chloe have their moments but there is a noticeable formula to them. It’ll start off with her being reluctant to work with him then she’ll realise he has some use which in turn leads him to exploit that as some interest in him. This leads to the whole thing ending with her leading him on in some way. I like that more of Chloe’s playful personality is coming through as we see more to her than the emotionally closed off tough girl but there’s no depth to her relationship with Lucifer beyond what we’ve already seen. All of the elements to make a good show are there but they aren’t being tapped into.
A very disappointing outing that fails to capture interest with another dull case of the week full of caricatures. The reveal of some details of Maze’s backstory are interesting and the notion of the “Deal with the Devil” provides some decent content to chew on but in general the show isn’t living up to its potential or developing the ideas in any significant way.
• the development of Maze’s backstory
• a fresh take on the “Deal with the Devil” concept
• the boring case of the week
• a lack of depth to Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship
• constant failure to explore the potential the ideas have