Lucifer S02E12 “Love Handles” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Lucifer has gone a bit cold on Chloe since the previous episode because he suspects her love for him can’t be real. Or that’s what he claims. Dr Linda thinks he just has commitment problems.
- Chloe, meanwhile, is only getting sex in her dreams. This keep Maze amused (she likes to watch Chloe writhing away under the duvet… strange girl) but she does advise Chloe to be more proactive in trying to get Lucifer to loosen up again.
- Chloe tries. She slaps his ass, she laughs at his jokes, she lobs the odd innuendo into conversation…
- Lucifer thinks she’s gone a bit loopy… but when she lets her hair down he’s clearly still smitten…
- Anyway, there’s also a crime to solve, because on some level this is still a procedural show. This week a mad man in a mask is forcing successful targets (a famous film actor, a top surgeon) to either mutilate themselves or let an innocent student die by poisoning if they don’t.
- In a twist, it turns out the villain is the same mysterious man who took the package from the dying Kleinburg in the closing moments of the previous episode; the package contained vials of designer poisons and their antidotes.
- He is Dr Carlisle, an academic whose career was ruined after a video of him saving his laptop rather than a student from a burning car went viral on the internet. Now he wants to prove that anyone would have made the same decision.
- Of course, Chloe and Lucifer track him down to his secret laboratory; Lucifer rescues his latest pair of victims while Chloe chases the doctor. When he’s cornered he kills himself but delivers a cryptic warning to Chloe: “You’ll understand soon enough.”
- The case has convinced Lucifer, though, the Chloe’s feelings for him are real – and they hug!
- Now that Lucifer is clearly head-over-heels with Chloe, ex-Mrs God moves to stage two of her plan; revealing to Lucifer that Chloe was created specifically by God for him to fall in love with. (Actually, she doesn’t get to reveal it… Lucifer puts two and two together when he sees a photo of Amenadiel with Chloe’s mum.)
- Lucifer is not cool with this. He charges round to Chloe’s apartment to challenge her about it…
- …And finds that she has a nosebleed that won’t stop, one of the early symptoms of the poisoning victims.
Let’s get the “horny devil” gags out of system now shall we? Though we doubt Maze will ever find that not funny. Lucifer starts this week with everything looking hot and steamy and perfect on love planet Chlucifer (erm, that really isn’t working as a portmanteau term, is it? Let’s forget that one). But, of course, this is a drama series, so things can’t be running that smoothly. Pretty soon it’s obvious we’re in dreamland, even before Chloe starts gabbing Lucifer’s mighty horns (he’d have been proud to know she was dreaming them that large).
Instead, in a clever inversion of expectations, it’s Lucifer who’s gone cold on Chloe, convinced she must be feigning her interest in him. Most of the episode’s fun moments, then, arise from Lucifer being all coy and Chloe trying to be all Lucifer-y. It’s great to see Lauren German getting the best comedy moments for a change and she’s clearly having fun with it.
This show is actually proving smarter about the central relationship than we expected. A few reviews back we complained that making Chloe a “supernatural” being – created by God specifically for Lucifer – undermined their relationship, as it wasn’t a natural evolution. Here we see that that’s exactly the moral dilemma the writers want to explore. After an episode in which Lucifer desperately seeks evidence that Chloe’s love is genuinely love, and thinking he’s found it, Lucifer is ultimately given proof of the exact opposite. You can understand that might make the fella pissed.
It means that whatever the outcome of the “Chloe’s-been-poisoned” plot, things between them aren’t going to be the same. We’re guessing that seeing Chloe dying (again) will force Lucifer to address his own feelings about her, but we’re also guessing that the outcome won’t simply be some corny “seeing you near death made me realise I don’t care about how you were created!” scenario, as this show never makes things that obvious.
After speculating last week that the “mysterious package” was going to be central to the second half of the season, we were worried partway through “Love Handles” that this “ongoing” plot wasn’t going on past the end of the episode. That was until that shocking final scene with Chloe showing the first signs of poisoning.
Because while Carlisle may have died and somehow infected Chloe, we still don’t know much about where the poison originated. Presumably that’ll be the crucial question next week as everyone tries to save Chloe.
So, a good, solid episode, with plenty of enjoyable moments, decent twists and excellent performances from the two stars, but – cliffhanger aside – lacking in those real emotional gut punches or standout comedy setpieces that define the best episodes. But it certainly moves the quality of “average” Lucifer episodes up a notch.
- Chloe trying to be “impulsive” and less subtle with Lucifer is both embarrassing but kinda cute.
- The dream sequence is obvious fan-baiting, but it’s quality fan-baiting, especially Chloe hanging onto Lucifer’s horns (you don’t need to be Freud to interpret that one) and caressing his wing scars.
- The hug at the end was great too…
- The climax of the poisoning plot – with Lucifer having to convince Chloe to chase Dr Carlisle so that his invincibility powers will kick in – is a really clever, well-plotted, tense scene that uses the show’s internal logic to great effect.
- The cliffhanger was one hell of a swerve ball!
- Dr Linda’s exasperated, “Now I see the resemblance,” when ex-Mrs God completely misinterprets her advice.
“Well, I suppose that’s my cue.”
- Complaining about the details of the procedural plot in Lucifer is a bit like complaining about the skin tones on The Simpsons, but even for this show, locating Dr Carlisle’s lair thanks to an emblem on his key card is pushing things into the realms of “taking the piss”. It’s just that old, “Hang on, what’s this matchbook for the McGuffin Hotel doing here?” cliché in a barely different guise.
- The masturbating geek, of course, has to be fat, fashion-challenged and charm-free because, well, that’s the TV cliché, isn’t it? It actually made a potentially funny scene feel a little mean-spirited.
- How the hell did Carlisle read Chloe’s email to him so quickly? He’d replied almost before she’d hit send!
- Chloe seemed remarkably restrained at finding Maze has sneaked into her bedroom to watch her sex dreams! We’d have chucked her out immediately!
And The Random:
- Mephistophelian music in this week’s episode includes:
• “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine – during Chloe’s dream about making out with Lucifer
• “Just Can’t Get Enough” by The Sea – Bridging the Lucifer/Dan/Charlotte scene with the library scene
• “Greenlight” by Pitbull (featuring Flo Rida & LunchMoney Lewis) – At the frat house party
• “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers (feat. Daya) – Later at he frat party
• “Fake It” by Holy White Hounds – When Charlotte meets Maze at the miracle bar
• “White Days Again” by Della Swiss – Lucifer meets Maze and Charlotte at the miracle bar
• “War Paint” by Chasing Jonah – Lucifer finds Chloe with a nose bleed that won’t stop.
Review by Dave Golder