Lucifer S02E13 “A Good Day To Die” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Chloe is dying from the poison. She refuses to go to hospital because there’s nothing they can do for her there. Instead she and Lucifer search for the antidote.
- They interrogate Burt, the man arrested for smuggling the poison and killing the people he thought might have stolen it (in Lucifer 2.12 “Love Handles”) who, amazingly, is out on bail. He doesn’t have the antidote but points them to a man who might…
- …A criminal called Dave Maddox who uses his dreadful artwork as a cover for his criminal deals.
- But before Lucifer and Chloe can pay him a visit Chloe collapses and is taken to hospital.
- Dan helps Lucifer with the next step of the investigation which involves Dan being beaten up by Maddox’s goons because Lucifer mistakenly thinks Dan’s playing an elaborate ruse.
- In perhaps Mr Morningstar’s greatest sacrifice yet, Lucifer agrees to buy one of Maddox’s paintings in return for the information they need.
- Unfortunately, Maddox only has a list of ingredients, not the formula. Only Professor Carlisle has the formula and he’s in Hell.
- So Lucifer decides to die and go to Hell to get the formula off the Professor. This involves going all Flatliners – arranging for Maze and Dr Linda to use a defibrillator to stop his heart for 60 seconds then bring him back to life. But because he’s only vulnerable when he’s near Chloe this has to be done in secret in the hospital room below Chloe’s.
- Meanwhile Dan and Ella track down all the ingredients, including one that can only be obtained illegally. Luckily Ella has a contact – her dodgy bro’ Ricardo.
- When Lucifer arrives in Hell he finds Carlisle reliving his moment of shame over and over. Lucifer implies he can stop this nightmare if Carlisle gives him the formula, but when Carlisle hands it over, Lucifer leaves him to his repeated fate.
- But before Lucifer can return from Hell he finds his own personal “hell” – a vision of Uriel, who brings back all Lucifer’s feelings of guilt over killing his brother. Lucifer becomes stuck in Hell, stabbing his brother over and over…
- Lucifer is also reminded about what the dying Uriel whispered in his ear – “The peace is here” – and feels extra guilt for not trying to find out what Uriel meant by it.
- Maze and Dr Linda realise they need to send someone else to Hell to rescue Lucifer. Ex-Mrs God volunteers and manages to drag Lucifer back to his senses… and to the land of the living.
- Chloe is saved – hurrah!
- But Lucifer is still pissed that she was created by his dad especially for him, and now he can’t know if her love is real or not. He tells his mum that she’s as bad as his dad is for meddling, and storms off.
- While Chloe is recovering Lucifer goes radio silent. When she’s finally well enough to visit his apartment, he’s not there and his furniture is under dust covers – he’s scarpered.
At one time, this episode was set to be the season two finale, and it shows. In every way this feels like a finale: the stakes are high; characters take huge risks and make big sacrifices; there’s a big intense climax that takes place on three fronts simultaneously; and there’s a cliffhanger that leaves you gagging for next season.
Except this isn’t the end of the season. There are nine more episodes to come because the US network that’s home to Lucifer, Fox, ordered extra episodes.
So the next piece of information is either good news or bad news depending on your point of view…
There’s a three month gap until the next episode. Yep, the final nine episodes won’t begin airing until early May. So in one sense, that means the cliffhanger will have the impact it was originally intended to have, but in another sense… come on! Three months? That almost makes episodes 2.14-2.22 feel like season 2.5!
Aw, we shouldn’t complain. Extra episodes are a good things for fans no matter when they air. It’s just frustrating that the show goes into a really weird hiatus just as it’s really building a head of steam.
Because “A Good Day To Die” is not only a huge amount of fun, it also hits the emotional drama bases too. It’s not exactly action-packed – though Lucifer does pull off a tidy hand-brake turn at one point, and Amenadiel throws around a few security guards – but it is pacy and gripping, effectively pulling together a lot of plot threads from throughout the season.
Ans while it does look like the reset button has been pressed to an extent as regards Lucifer and Chloe’s fan-baiting relationship, things aren’t quite as simple as that. Lucifer knew that Chloe was created as part of some of plan of his father’s before the episode opened, yet at no point during the episode does he show any doubts about sacrificing everything to save her. So while he may protest that he can’t trust anyone anymore, clearly subconsciously he still wants to believe Chloe’s love for him is real.
And anyway, this show’d be dull if Lucifer and Chloe were allowed to be loved-up and happy. There has to be some obstacle to keep the relationship interesting… for us, that is, not them.
Other highlights include ex-Mrs God’s unexpected sacrifice for her son. We were worried for a second that they were going to send Linda to Hell; much as we love her chutzpah for volunteering, that would have been a bit of a stretch to pull off without coming across as very silly. Besides, Linda has loads of great moments to savour anyway, especially, “What do you think?” “I think I followed about half of that.”
Maze had her usual share of wonderfully acerbic lines, Amenadiel got to play hero and Ella proved so much fun we’re surprised Dan doesn’t stop pining for Chloe had see if he can get her out on a date instead.
There are a few clunky moments. The investigation is even more perfunctory than ever, a couple of gags feel badly pitched (Ella’s listing the poisoning symptoms in front of Chloe isn’t funny, just a bit sick) and the antidote “shopping list” is a particularly unconvincing plot device to inject some extra tension.
There’s also the nagging feeling that ex-Mrs God hasn’t quite fulfilled her potential. It’s great that she travels to Hell to save her son, but it would have felt like a more momentous moment if her meddling in her son’s life so far had amounted to something more than mere meddling. This season we’ve had a lot of arch looks from her, and promises of devious plans, but really – that brief moment when it looked like she might kill Chloe aside – her bark has been far, far worse than her bite. We thought she was going to a Machiavellian schemer, but instead she’s been more like a classic sitcom overbearing mother, trying to derail a relationship she doesn’t approve of.
Overall, though, a great season finale, even if it isn’t one.
- The climactic montage scene with the action taking place on three fronts is incredibly intense.
- Lucifer’s utter dislike of Maddox’s terrible art, and then realising he’s going to have buy one his paintings.
- Lucifer letting Dan get beaten up because he thinks he’s playing an elaborate game of “bloody possum”.
- “And you’re sure there’s no other way to get there? I mean… dying?”
“Well, if anyone has a better suggestion, by all means speak up now. Quite frankly I’d prefer to Uber there.”
- “Right, who wants to kill me?”
- “This is crazy. I can’t do this.”
“Neither can I. These scrubs are so boxy. Even I can’t pull ’em off… scratch that. I can pull off anything.”
- For some reason we can’t fathom, Trixie telling Amenadiel that he’s a good man isn’t gooey nonsense, but incredibly sweet.
- “You? What makes you think you’d got to Hell and not heaven?”
“There are things you don’t know about me.” Oh, Doctor Linda, we adore you!
- We love Ella too – the drip-feed of info about her shady past is great fun.
- Why in heaven’s name would Professor Carlisle give an idiot like Maddox a list of the poison’s ingredients? A guy like Carlisle would source his materials from different places to cover his tracks, surely?
- Just occasionally the show’s signature glib humour really grates with the emotion intensity of a scene, especially Maze using the defibrillator on ex-Mrs God. That was a moment that could have done with more nuance: Charlotte is taking a major personal risk and even Maze should have had the grace to acknowledge that, however grudgingly.
- Hell still looks a bit bargain basement, like a ’60s Star Trek planet set painted blue and filmed with Vaseline on the lens.
And The Random:
- Symphonies for the devil this week include:
• “It’s Tricky” by Run-DMC – when Lucifer and Chloe arrive at Bert’s party.
• “Wasted” (feat. Chad Da Don) by LCNVL – Lucifer tells Chloe about the lead he got from Bert.
• “Welcome to Hell” by Crocodiles – Dan and Lucifer arrive at Maddox’s art gallery.
• “Killing Me Softly With His Song” – Uriel falteringly plays the Roberta Flack classic on the piano in Hell.
• “Unsteady” (Erich Lee Gravity Remix) by X Ambassadors – the big montage scene with Lucifer and mum in Hell, Amenadiel fighting off the hospital security guards and Linda trying to revive Lucifer.
• “When Your Heart Is A Stranger” by Friends In Paris – Lucifer argues with mum; Chloe drives to Lucifer’s apartment.
- Ella’s car-thieving past was previously referred to back in Lucifer 2.04 “Lady Parts”.
- “Today is a good day to die” is now commonly known as a Klingon proverb, though it appears to have originated with native American indians.
- Anyone else disappointed that when Chloe entered Lucifer’s abandoned apartment, we we didn’t get to see Maddox’s painting smashed up and with a hole through it on the floor?
Review by Dave Golder