Somehow, the ‘he’s the devil; she’s a cop – together they solve crimes’ basis for FOX’s Lucifer has managed to get well into its third season without showing too many signs of wearing thin.
This week’s episode, ‘Chloe Does Lucifer,’ does show a bit what seems like fraying around the edges before its final scenes show it just ain’t so.
When a boring computer whiz is murdered, Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) and Lucifer (Tom Ellis) get the case. Lucifer finds he’s off his game – and blames it on falling into such a rut that he has enjoyed a game of Monopoly with Decker and Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) and been outplayed by Trixie when it was time to choose each player’s token.
Meanwhile, Linda (Rachael Harris) is trying to organize her late ex-husband’s funeral and more than a bit down, though not for the reason we might expect. Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) decides to try to help her out.
In a third arc, now knowing that Hell is a real thing and that she was there, however temporarily, Charlotte (Tricia Helfer) tries to convince Ella (Aimee Garcia) to mentor her as she tries to become ‘good.’
Written by the show’s story editor, Julia Fontana and directed by Louis Milito, Chloe Does Lucifer takes a few unexpected turns – not the least of which is Decker trying to become a female version of Lucifer to mingle at a party for members of a truly unique club (those high society types who have been given the privilege of acquiring a very top end dating app).
Linda’s arc sheds light on who she is; what bothers her most, and how she and Amenadiel have become good enough friends that she can learn from him as much as he has learned from her.
Lucifer, on the other hand, seems to have regressed momentarily, as he is blinded by facades – but (partially) redeems himself in the last scene.
Lucifer’s failure to get past some superficialities does allow Decker to shine – though her attempt to emulate Lucifer, though played for laughs, seems like something that should have been in season one. By now, she shouldn’t have needed lessons in that regard.
Still, the sequence is hilarious and just a teensy bit poignant.
The final result is an episode that, while solid, isn’t quite as effective as the show’s best.
D.B. Woodside, Rachael Harris, Aimee Garcia and Tricia Helfer outshine the series leads this week – showing that the show has a deep lineup of top flight talent.
The ep’s resolution comes about through Charlotte’s desire to be ‘good’ – and says a lot about being who you are; not who you think you should be.
Final Grade: B+