Lucifer S02E10 “Quid Pro Ho” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Amenadiel stops Mum Almighty from blowing up Chloe, pointing out that it really isn’t the best way to get Lucifer on their side. She decides to use more subtle methods.
- The trial of the man accused of killing Chloe’s dad, Deputy Warden Perry Smith, is due to go ahead. Chloe’s mum, Penelope, comes back to LA to follow events.
- Lucifer tries to apologise to Chloe for standing her up at restaurant, but she is too wrapped up in the trial.
- The prosecution’s main witness, Boris, who can link Perry to the Russian mob, is murdered and his head sent to Dan in a box.
- Mum Almighty, in her Earthly role as high class lawyer Charlotte Richards, steps in to defend Perry. She does, of course, have an ulterior motive.
- Lucifer gives evidence in the trial and wows the court with his tales of Chloe’s impeccable police work. He does so while wearing a scarf borrowed from a juror as a skirt. This man knows theatre!
- Then Mum Almighty questions him about a little-known detail of the case that puts Chloe in a bad light, a detail that Chloe believes Lucifer must have previously revealed to his mum.
- In fact, Mum Almighty learned about it during her fling with Dan. Dan is mortified when he realises he’s been used.
- With the case looking like it’s heading for an acquittal for Perry, Mum Almighty approaches Chloe in secret and offers a deal: if Chloe says Lucifer lied in court then she will engineer the case to make sure Perry is found guilty. Mum knows that seeing Chloe sell him out in front of the court will offend Lucifer’s sense of honour and break his trust in Chloe.
- But Chloe remains loyal to Lucifer and Perry goes free.
- In the meantime Dan, Maze and Lucifer have been conducting their own investigation which links Perry to a complex web of Chinese and Russian gang rivalries; seems the guy has a way of manipulating – and pissing off – everybody.
- So Dan informs the Russians that Perry is responsible for the decapitation of their guy, Boris, and they deal with Perry in their own way.
- Maze is very impressed with Dan’s ruthlessness.
- Amenadiel, meanwhile, bumps into Chloe‘s mum when he goes to Chloe’s apartment to make up with Maze (who had earlier blown up his car for lying to her about what Mum Almighty was up to… well, no point in letting that bomb go to waste).
- Amenadiel recognises Penelope and later tells Mum Almighty why.
- As Lucifer and Chloe get closer to each other following the mutual appreciation society sessions in court, Amenadiel reveals that 35 years ago “dad” asked him to come to Earth to help a childless couple sire a baby. That baby was… Chloe.
- Amenadiel feels like he’s been used a pawn, but Mum Almighty sees this as a new opportunity to screw with Lucifer.
“Quid Pro Ho” is clearly supposed to be one of the big, lynchpin episodes of the season, what with the trail, Lucifer and Chloe finally getting it together and a major revelation about Chloe’s origins that introduces a whole new dose of “Woah!” to the show. This should be a five-star, fan-pleasing, classic. This should have left us all reeling.
Instead it was just, well… okay, y’know. Nothing heinously wrong with it. No great facepalm missteps. No shark-bothering water-skiers. It was funny. It has some great visuals. It had a genuinely unexpected outcome to the trial. But – despite plenty of outrageously pottymouthed innuendo (mostly from Maze this week rather than Lucifer) – it all felt rather polite and affable. Even the scene with Dan setting the Russian dogs on Perry – which could have been really shocking – wouldn’t have felt out of place in one of the ’70s Disney live action family entertainment capers like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.
The problem was probably exacerbated by weight of expectation. Last week’s episode ended on such a tense, edgy note (not just the bomb, but Lucifer bailing out on Chloe as well) it practically demanded fireworks this week. Instead we got a few scented candles. Similarly, when Mum Almighty walks into the trial to represent Perry, it’s a great WTF? moment that promises an epic courtroom battle that never really materialises. Even Mum Almighty’s pledge to engineer a situation in which Chloe will betray Lucifer falls flat; the stakes are simply nowhere near high enough to worry you that Chloe is ever going to accept the deal.
Sure, Lucifer is a comedy drama, not The Sopranos or The Wire, but the best episodes this season have been with ones with a bit of grit underpinning the silliness, and this felt like the perfect opportunity to have a meatier, edgier episode. Instead it was possibly even more lightweight than normal.
Of course, there was still a lot to enjoy, especially Maze who was on top form this week – in terms of cutting remarks, at least; her big grandstanding fight scene, on the other hand, was merely okay, with some rather workmanlike choreography. She more than made up for that by blowing Amenadiel’s car up, though.
Both Lucifer’s and Chloe’s big moments on the stand were unashamed fanpleasers too. You probably weren’t wiping away tears but you were probably grinning at the glorious cheesiness of them practically launching each other’s fan clubs in public.
As for Amenadiel’s final revelation… jury’s out for us. The idea that Chloe is somehow part of God’s plan certainly adds a new frisson to the ongoing arc. On the other hand, there’s a slight feeling of disappointment that Chloe is just another pawn in the celestial game. Somehow, if she was designed by God to be his partner then that makes Lucifer falling for Chloe feel less “real” and exciting (and it reduces her to some kind of divine sex toy). On the other hand, maybe the writers know all this, and they’re themes they’re going to explore. Let’s hope so.
- Lots of, “Awww, sweet!” moments for fans to savour as Lucifer and Chloe’s men and women parts finally appear to be manoeuvring into docking procedures.
- Maze gleefully taking the piss out of Dan for sleeping with Mum Almighty is hilarious.
- Mum Almighty’s face when Chloe says in court that Lucifer used to preside over Hell is a picture. Kudos to her for swiftly turning things around and asking if that means Chloe’s saying she thinks he’s delusional.
- Dramatically, it was a pleasant shock to see Perry go free with a not-guilty verdict, only to have some very rough justice served out to him instead by Dan.
- DB Woodside had a lot of fun playing Amenadiel at his world weariest in this episode, and was at the centre of a couple of the episodes most memorably silly images.
- “She is… truly good. And I don’t mean in bed. I wouldn’t know. That’s how good she is.”
- “Much as I’d like to see Couching Tiger, Hidden Douche, I’d actually like to win this. I was pointing at Maze.”
- “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me dad.”
- “Choose your weapon.”
“I choose those.”
- The trial is a little underwhelming.
- The resolution to the cliffhanger is a little underwhelming.
- Maze’s fight with Kang is a little underwhelming. Long, sure, but nothing special.
- The procedural was even more like a treasure hunt of handy clues than usual.
And The Random:
- Music, maestro, please:
• “Us & Them” by Truthsayer – Lucifer goes to Chloe’s place to apologise.
• “The Queen Is Back” by Fransisca Hall – Mum Almighty enters the courtroom.
• “Stop Draggin’ Me Down” by The Obscurities – Lucifer’s testimony montage.
• “Devil’s Got a Hold” by on MeEl Grande – Maze fights Kang.
• “One Night Only” by Kenneth Aaron Harris – Dan lets Perry know that the Russians are onto him.
• “In The Air Tonight” by Natalie Taylor – Amenadiel reveals to mum the truth about Chloe, while Chloe and Lucifer get close in his apartment.
- Maze’s car has an interesting license plate: 2IBA333. 2 x 333 = 666, which is, of course, the number of the beast. Not sure if the IBA stands for anything, though. Interestingly, this is the same number that was on the registration plates for the “Team Bartowski” van in Chuck, and Obadiah Stane’s Bentley from Iron Man. So it seems the number may be one that’s specially licensed for Hollywood to use.
- Lucifer calls the Judge Judy, clearly referring to famous US TV judge Judith Sheindlin – America’s slightly more masculine answer to Judge Rinder. The judge’s actual character name is Vicky Estrada, played by Karin Konoval who in this pic proves she can do a wicked impression of Gwendoline from Wallace & Gromit.
- Most highbrow quip of the year: “Today is… the first day of… the trial of… my dad’s killer. Nietzsche?” Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a German philosopher most famous for his statement, “God is dead”, a theme he covered in a number of his papers. It’s basically a metaphor for nihilism – that life is pointless.
Review by Dave Golder