Lucifer S02E14 “Candy Morningstar” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- After two weeks of going radio silent, Lucifer returns to Los Angeles with a new wife. She’s called Candy and she’s an exotic dancer he met in Las Vegas. Allegedly.
- Chloe is not impressed. She tells Lucifer she can’t trust him and cancels his consultancy gig with the LAPD.
- Lucifer’s mum and Maze are convinced that Candy must be part of some big scheme Lucifer has concocted to get back at his dad.
- Dan, though – who’s been through the whole “making-bad-decisions-after-splitting-up-with-somebody-you-actually-love-deeply” scenario himself – has some sympathy for Lucifer and encourages him and Chloe to work together again.
- Meanwhile, the crime-of-the-week concerns a rock singer, Ash, who’s been beaten to death outside a gig.
- Suspicion falls on his ex-wife, Courtney; their divorce was very messsy. But she points the finger at Ash’s divorce lawyer, whom she says is crooked. The lawyer refuses to talk to the cops, pleading client confidentiality.
- Dr Linda – clearly as unimpressed with Candy as everyone else – advises Lucifer not take no for an answer as far as his job’s concerned (though she clearly sees “job” as a metaphor for “relationship with Chloe”).
- So Lucifer suggests to Chloe that he a Candy go undercover for a session with the divorce lawyer. Chloe half agrees; she takes Candy’s place.
- In the ensuing mediation session, the two of them start telling a few home truths to each other under the guise of their undercover “characters”.
- The divorce lawyer proves to be kosher. When he realises the two of them are cops he reveals how Ash was just about to fire the band’s bass player, Marla.
- Forensics also identifies the murder weapon as Marla’s bass guitar, but Marla has an alibi.
- However, the last person to handle Marla’s bass was drummer Doug. When Chloe and Lucifer pay him a visit, he tries to strangle Lucifer, then makes a confession – both actions seemingly motivated purely by the fact we’re near the end of the episode.
- Chloe is more concerned by the fact that Lucifer, as he’s being strangled, tells Doug that there’s no point using him as leverage because Chloe doesn’t really care about him.
- Back at the police station, Amenadiel shows up and works out what’s really going on in Lucifer’s head as regards Chloe; Lucifer thinks that it’s unfair that Chloe had no choice but to fall in love with him, so he’s taking himself out of the equation to give Chloe her free will back. That is some extreme cruel-to-be-kind medicine.
- Amenadiel points out that this is very similar to what their mum did to Lucifer; being cruel to him for what she perceived was his own good. Lucifer agrees to talk to her.
- But mum is still obsessed with returning to the Silver City/Heaven and says that Uriel’s blade is the weapon they need to defeat God – it’s the only thing that can cut through the Pearly Gates.
- Lucifer isn’t impressed.
- Chloe reinstates Lucifer.
- Lucifer, in secret, says goodbye to Candy. She is not really his wife, she’s just been playing a part (in return for Lucifer having saved her life) to get Lucifer’s mum to spill the beans about her plans.
- Her final advice before she goes: Lucifer needs to get back with Chloe.
Welcome back, Lucifer, we’ve missed you. You’re looking fit and healthy after your break (two weeks your time, three months in ours, in a weird Narnia-kind of parallel time-stream). Ah, and you’ve brought your new wife with you.
“Candy Morningstar” is a typically Lucifer way to follow-on from the events of the previous episode; a little bit bonkers. The episode opens teasingly, suggesting that Mr Morningstar is about to go all fire and brimstone and hell and damnation on us. Instead, the show throws us the kind of curveball that we always should have guessed it would. Because this show isn’t really about the war of the gods stuff, that’s just the salt and pepper; the meat is about whether Lucifer and Chloe will ever get together.
So Lucifer’s actions are as much about his away of dealing with his feelings towards Chloe as they are about getting the truth out of his mum. He introduces Candy into the equation so that Chloe does have a choice other than to love him; in his head this is a noble and self-sacrificing decision. But as Amenadiel points out, has he thought about how Chloe might feel about that?
In fact, Candy works much more convincingly as an excuse for Lucifer not to have to ask himself difficult question about about his feelings for Chloe than she does as a means of getting his mum to blurt her plans. In the end, mum blurts them out seemingly despite of Candy’s presence – all Lucifer had to do was mumble something vaguely in the region of an apology.
Not that we’re complaining, because Candy was all sorts of fun throughout the episode; from the wonderful session with Dr Linda to the way she bamboozled Lucifer’s mum on their shopping trip. Plus, Chloe’s impression of Candy for the mediation session was an episode highlight. The bizarre thing is, though, that even before we learn Candy is a performance, she’s not a total nightmare. It would have been easy to make her an irredeemable bimbo, but while she’s a little dim, she’s also kinda sweet. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened if she’d stuck around for a few episodes; she might have had more of an effect on Lucifer’s ego than Dr Linda.
The crime of the week is as throwaway as ever (with a terrible denouement), though the rock theme did provide another excuse for Lucifer to sing which some fans are gonna love.
- Even when she’s only in a couple of scenes, Maze is amazing. Love this shot.
- Chloe as Candy – hilarious.
- The “twist” with Candy being a fake who’s helping Lucifer discover his mum’s plans wasn’t totally unexpected – it was one of three possible outcomes (the others being; she really was his devoted wife; or she’d turn out to be a golddigger) – but it still felt immensely satisfying; and her advice to Lucifer about not letting Chloe get away was downright sweet.
- Of course Lucifer would do a “sign of the horns” in a rock club.
- You could physically feel Chloe’s embarrassment at the lighter-waving.
- Lucifer thinking that Chloe is referring to Dan when she mentions an “immature” ex who she’d like to kill.
- “I don’t get a lot of names at my job, so I’m super-good with faces. And other things.”
- “I was fired once. But you know what I did? I just kept showing up and made myself expandable.”
“Oh, uh, do you mean indispensable?”
“No, expandable. I got a boob job and it totally expanded my horizons. Because then I could do something none of the other girls could do. You wanna see?”
- “Lucifer, don’t be rude. Who is your top-heavy friend?”
- Oh, and Lucifer’s brilliant attempt at camouflage…
- Doug’s confession of the murder at the end – “HE WAS GONNA GO SOLO!” – was cringemakingly bad…
- …as was Lucifer telling Doug that, actually, Chloe doesn’t care about him… while Doug was strangling him. The whole sequence was a little too cheesy and contrived even for this show.
- Some Lucifans are going to crucify us for this but, gulp, we really didn’t like Tom Ellis’s version of “Eternal Flame”. It was a tad karaoke… It’s a song that really doesn’t suit his voice, and sitting behind that electronic keyboard rather than his usual grand piano he looked like somebody auditioning for Phoenix Nights. Since they were in a rock club, it was also an oddly middle-of-the-road choice. Why not some Led Zeppelin?
And The Random:
- This week’s Awesome(ish) Mix includes:
• “Wide Awake” by Deep Sea Diver – The opening scene with Lucifer’s mum freaking out a guy in a nightclub by obsessing over her son.
• “Done And Dusted” by Mr Jerusalem – Chloe and Dan interview the Heavy Woolies.
• “It’s Ugly” by The Obscurities – Lucifer and Candy meet Lucifer’s mum in his penthouse.
• “Eternal Flame” performed by Tom Ellis – Lucifer’s cover version of the Bangles’ classic.
• “Looking For Knives” by Dian – Final scene with Lucifer and Candy.
- That Supergirl poster is not just a weird bit of DC-show cross-promotion but surely also negates any possibility of a crossover… unless things get very, very meta.
- The Whiskey A Go-Go is a real rock venue of Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip which opened in 1964.
Review by Dave Golder