Lucifer S02E04 “Lady Parts” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- When Dr Linda points out to Lucifer he’s using flippant distractions (his new cell phone mainly) to avoid having to think about real problems (his mother, and not honouring his deal with his father chiefly) Lucifer misinterprets this as meaning that distractions are a good thing, because they stop you worrying.
- He decides that Chloe could do with a bit of distraction from her work, which is dominating her life.
- What he doesn’t realise is that she’s burying herself in her work to distract herself from her divorce and having to find a new place to live.
- Work at the moment is a case involving two murdered girls, both poisoned, both with the kind of temporary stamp on their wrists which suggests they went to the same nightclub.
- To cut a short investigation even shorter, their “friend” did it. The details of the crime-of-the-week aren’t important; it’s just a handy excuse to get all the regular characters clubbing, pissed and bonding.
- Because Lucifer arranges a girls’ night out on the town for Chloe, with Maze, Dr Linda and Ella.
- He has to bribe Maze by secretly making a bet with her that she can’t get Chloe drunk. Maze, of course, accepts, even though Lucifer says tying Chloe up and forcing drink down her throat would be cheating.
- The night actually goes pretty well, mainly because Dr Linda is awesome and gets everybody to open up.
- It even ends in a fight, but one which our leading ladies come out of with flying colours.
- Later Chloe discovers that she agreed that she and Maze could be roomies when she was drunk. Somewhat tentatively she agrees to go forward with this frankly scary idea.
- Maze claims her prize for getting Chloe pissed; she asks Lucifer to pour a drink for her.
- Amenadiel reveals to Lucifer that he no longer has the power to drag their mum back to Hell.
- He also tries to make Lucifer realise that he’s in denial; if his deal with God was recompense for God bringing Chloe back to life, then Lucifer is breaking his side of the deal might make God consider going back on his side of the bargain too.
- Elsewhere, a lorry crashes into the side of Chloe’s car as she’s driving it.
This is a great episode of Lucifer because it plays to the show’s strengths – it characters – and practically sidelines its weaknesses – the procedural stuff. We’re actually beginning to wonder if Lucifer is inventing a whole new genre: the “lack-of-procedural”, in which the crimes are solved by a few coincidences, a couple of lucky guesses and the perpetrator being an idiot.
It’s quite telling that the dullest part of the episode is the reveal of the murderer. Until this point the crime-of-the-week has largely been an excuse to party! And on that level, a double murder with connections to clubland (and dodgy sex-clubland) fits the bill nicely. But when the show has to knuckle down and actually address the crime plot… it all goes off the boil.
Luckily, in “Lady Parts” this is a minor problem as the emphasis is on the characters bonding (in the womens’ case) or spectacularly failing to bond (in the men’s). This is a great episode for a whole bunch of characters: Chloe, Dr Linda and Maze especially, though Mrs God has a hell of an impact in just one scene, coming across as a seething volcano of detest ready to erupt. Even Ella is given a little more backstory: she likes to rock it solid while she works and she used to steal cars. Okay, it’s not much, but she’s new.
It is genuinely great to see the girls letting their hair down, even if both Chloe and Dr Linda never quite shift totally out of work mode. Though thank God (or maybe not God in this case…) Linda does work her shrink magic because it loosens up both Chloe and Maze. Yes – Maze! Chloe may go through the most obvious change, but it’s clear from a scene later on – when Maze demands from Lucifer not his convertible, but that he pours her a drink for a change – that some of the criticism she received has hit home to.
The clubbing also includes karaoke and a quite outstanding bar fight with Maze being all kinds of wonderful. The night couldn’t get any better.
To be honest, the idea of Maze and Chloe as roomies still sounds a little suspect (and given the ending of the episode it may never happen) but watching the two of them grow closer is a fascinating and fun. Lucifer – as he complains at the end of the episode – really had better watch out that they don’t gang up on him. And good on Maze for not accepting his bet to see who could bed Chloe first.
The boys’ night out isn’t a patch on the girls’. There’s no bridge-building between Lucifer and Detective Douche (Dan just gets ribbed for looking like a cop all evening) and Amenadiel gets outrageously pissed because he’s losing his angelic powers (which he half admits, but which, oddly Lucifer doesn’t follow up on). It’s probably all a metaphor for the way men hate talking about feelings. Or something.
But later, a hungover and sore-headed Amenadiel forces Lucifer to face facts; he’s broken a deal with dad and dad may well take back his side of the deal. It’s a chilling little scene, with Amenadiel voicing the unease the viewers have felt, and the shot of Lucifer trying to convince himself, “One silly human soul? I can’t imagine dad would take much interest in that,” would have made a fine, ominous cliffhanger.
Instead, we get to see Chloe driving, distracted by a phone conversation about her new place, and she seems so happy to have somewhere to live, and…
It’s obvious where this is going…
Looks like we have a gamechanger on our hands, folks.
- This episode has some a brilliant range of hilarious reaction shots, but our favourite has to be Maze’s face when Ella attaches herself like a limpet.
- The whole girl’s night out is comedy gold, with a lovely undercurrent of sadness, loneliness and true bonding.
- Plus the fight scene it descends into is surprisingly fun and well-choreographed for what’s essentially a comedy sequence. Maze is magnificent.
- The Pat Benetar karaoke is brilliantly silly too.
- Dr Linda’s thumb-mime when she’s explaining to Amenadiel how to keep his pecker up is one of the episode’s unexpected highlights.
- Maze asking Lucifer to serve her a drink as her “prize” is a really, really sweet character beat.
- Lucifer had his usual share of great lines (“These things are incredibly therapeutic. A thousand Tinder dates and Sex Words With Friends? Gosh, it’s more addictive that a whore’s navel cocaine”) but he’s totally upstaged by his mum this week (and she’s only in one scene!):
• “And how’s that human husband?” “I discovered a trick with him. Whenever he asks a question I just have sex with him. Seems to render him mute.”
• “These humans are awful. They breath through their mouths and they won’t shut up about something called gluten.”
• “I will not let this spicy chicken casserole beat me.”
- And, finally, a shout-out for this beautifully lit and composed shot…
- This season has played down the whole “every woman except Chloe immediately falls for Lucifer” (aka, the Luifer-as-Rohypnol) angle but it’s clearly still operating. Otherwise how could you explain anyone falling for the worst chat-up line in recent television history: “Why don’t we go up to the penthouse and I can show you the original stairway to heaven”? Bleurgh!
- Considering the final scene of last week’s episode (Mrs God discovering she still has supernatural strength) is completely ignored, can we expect nobody to notice that Chloe’s been in a car crash for the whole of the next episode?
- The idea of Chloe agreeing to live with Maze while drunk, fine. We’ll take a little more convincing that she’d keep to the deal once she’d sobered up, though.
- Talking of which, why is Chloe looking for a new place? Did we miss a bit of exposition?
- The boys’ night out is fine, but a bit disappointing after the awesomeness of the girls hitting the town.
And The Random:
- This week’s devilish music includes:
• “Jungle Youth” by Young the Giant – when the drone guys discover the body in the woods.
• “Coyotes” by Wild Belle – Maze visits Mrs God.
• “Bust A Move” by Young MC – The solid rockin’ sounds Ella is playing in her lab.
• “Time for Flight” by Baby Alpaca – When Chloe pops by the Lux to discover Lucifer has organised a girls’ night out for her.
• “Heartbreaker” by Chloe, Ella, Maze and Dr Linda – Pat Benetar karaoke!
• “That Thing You Do” by Ellem – underscoring the brilliant bar fight.
- Is there a feline-agenda going on here? Lucifer says he hates cats but is later seen coo-ing at (presumably) cute cat videos on YouTube, while Chloe bemoans that all the future holds for her is endless cats.
- Right, so anyone brave enough to phone “ 1-800-ProfessorFeelGood”?
- Good grief, that’s the great Robert Picardo playing Yuri for one scene! Picardo is best known for being the best character by far on Star Trek: Voyager (the Emergency Medical Hologram) but also for his appearances in many Joe Dante films (The Howling, Explorers, Innerspace, Amazon Women On The Moon, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Small Soldiers, Matinee, Looney Tunes: Back In Action) plus Total Recall and various Stargate series among many, many others.
Review by Dave Golder