Lucifer S03E08 “Chloe Does Lucifer” REVIEW
Available in the UK via Amazon TV, new episodes every Tuesday
Writer: Julia Fontana
Director: Louis Milito
Essential Plot Points:
- Lucifer enjoys a moment of domestic bliss (Monopoly, karaoke, face-painitng) with Chloe and Trixie, then gets all embarrassed by it when Amenadiel congratulates him on mellowing.
- Lucifer fears he’s becoming boring and sets out to prove that he’s still a horny little devil.
- The case-of-the-week looks promising in this regard as it involves a dating app – Top Meet, created by an odious ego-on-legs called Mack Slater – which only allows specially vetted hotties to sign up.
- But since the murder victim, Kim Jones, is an apparent plain Jane with a beige-fixation, how does she connect?
- Seems she’s a techie geek who hacked the app.
- The dots still aren’t connecting, so Chloe gets lessons from Lucifer on how to pull himbos, so that she can go undercover (as Luci-nda, geddit?) to a Top Meet meet-up.
- Chloe’s a flop until she starts ignoring Lucifer’s advice, at which point she promptly uncovers a guy who dated Kim. Turns out the app actually paired him up Kim’s attention-whore flatmate, Esther, but he preferred Kim when he met her.
- So was Esther jealous of Kim? Did she kill her? Lucifer does his mojo on her and it turns out Ether is innocent, and also desperately shallow.
- Charlotte does some independent research and discovers that Kim actually created the app and employed Mack as a puppet boss, because the company needed his kind of image as its public face. When the company became successful, Kim wanted her profits but Mack killed her so he could have it all to himself.
- Chloe and Lucifer find the murder weapon at Mack’s swish apartment. He pulls a gun on them, but Lucifer distracts him by lobbing one of narcissistic Mack’s sculptures of himself into the air, and hey arrest him when he leaps to save it smashing on the ground.
- Meanwhile, Charlotte tries to bully Ella into teaching her how to be good. When Ella refuses, Charlotte gets a new job with the DA to try to salve her conscience. Ella is none too thrilled as that means they’ll be working together more.
- Linda is ploughing herself into the arrangements for her ex-hubbie’s funeral as a way of not having to face up to her own demons; learning that celestial beings are real has left her with existential angst, because certainty about “creation” has robbed her of the joy and mystery of hope. Amenadiel provides a sympathetic ear and points out the universe is full of mysteries for celestial beings too; they spend too much time looking down at Earth, but if they look up, they understand how much even they don’t know.
“Chloe does Lucifer” is on a collision with a man-bun from the moment someone mentions an exclusive dating app. Thankfully malekind’s most odious fashion choice of the 21st century provides only minor turbulence when the episode finally flies into a keratin bun scenario at the Top Meet soiree. The rest of this week’s journey was a first class flight of fantasy.
(And while we’re on the subject of Top Meet, how did Lucifer miss the innuendo potential in a name like that? Especially a dating agency called that?)
The opening scenes are crammed with some of the most sparkling dialogue we’ve heard in the show for a while as the script gently pokes fun out of the new domesticated Lucifer. Who’d have ever guessed he’d let Trixie draw unicorns on his cheek two seasons ago? It’s adorable, it’s fun and it’s clearly going to lead to Lucifer self-combusting again. Which he does as soon as Amenadiel tries to praise him. Lucifer seems so allergic to Amanadiel praise, that you sometimes feel that Amenadiel would do better going, “Hey, Lucy, I really dig you screwing around and being a git to Chloe,” because Lucifer would feel duty-bound to do the complete opposite.
Anyway, Lucifer goes off on a half-arsed mission to find interesting people, fearing he’s becoming a Monopoly shoe rather than a Monopoly top hat. This is a rather unfair stereotyping of shoes, as Chloe proves later in the episode when she entraps a crim while wearing the most bling footwear imaginable. And by the end, Lucifer appears to decide being the shoe is fine, so long as still have access to the top hat… especially if what’s under the top hat has some lovely curves.
In some ways, this is a pretty standard episode of Lucifer, with its theme-of-the-week, silly-crime-of-the-week, Lucifer-self-realisation-of-the-week, Chloe-shows-up-Lucifer-moment-of-the-week and not-quite-working-Ella-sub-plot-of-the-week. But it does all this with a lot of style, polish, wit and heart. It’s huge fun watching Chloe go “full Lucifer” and Lauren German looks like she’s having a whale of a time. The Linda plotline is sweet and very welcome – she adds a real human dimension to the show’s crazy, celestial vibe, constantly asking, “but what does that mean for us mere mortals?” And while the reasoning behind the Ella/Charlotte storyline doesn’t make an awful lot of sense (why is Ella so anti-Charlotte? Why is Charlotte obsessed with Ella helping her?), it still has a couple of very entertaining moments; the scene where Ella is desperately trying to get into the lift as Charlotte approaches with the ominous relentlessness of Jaws’ fin slicing through the waves is directed to perfection.
- “It turns out Bruce Lee mid-flight kick wasn’t in the artist’s repertoire.” Lucifer’s unicorn cheek art is such a wonderful image we’d thought you’d appreciate getting the close-up too…
- We’re loving cuddly, Monopoly-playing, karaoke-singing, child-tolerating (and slightly guilty about it all) Lucifer. Another charming performance from Tom Ellis who does a fantastic job making such a cartoon character as Lucifer massively charming and sympathetic.
- You have to love Lucifer using Ken and Barbie dolls as teaching aids.
- A huge cheer too please for Dan, because this week a good-looking woman chooses him over Lucifer (ignoring the fact that she’s portrayed as a bubblehead and therefore her tastes must be regarded as suspect).
- Chloe-as-Lucinda is hilarious. The gold boots may have been taking method acting a tad too far, though – gloriously, hideously bling.
- It’s pleasing too that plot strands introduced in the standalone episodes (such as the death of Linda’s ex-husband) are having an impact on the overall arc of the season; this makes them feel more integrated, even if it is in retrospect.
- Y’know, while the “Monopoly top hat vs Monopoly shoe” theme should be a contrived metaphor, it kinda works in the context of this show.
- Lucifer: “I want to conquer real estate not men’s socks.”
- Lucifer: “I don’t need love from you. I get plenty from naked strangers.”
- Amenadiel: “So much for wine, women and song.”
Lucifer: “Technically all of those things were represented, when you count the post-game karaoke.”
- Chloe: “It can’t be that hard being frivolous and shallow. I’ll just channel my inner Lucifer.” Chloe doesn’t do snark often, but she does it in style when she does.
- Dr Linda: “Being a celestial insider… really sucks.” Because of the standalone episodes being crammed into the start of this season, Linda’s reaction to her season two traumas feel a little delayed. On the other hand, now she is having a meta-existential crisis, it feels very believable, very welcome and very sensitively handled. Plus, Amenadiel’s cheesy solution – “look at the sky, babe – it’ll blow your mind!” – is endearingly Amenadiel. And a little bit beautiful.
- Lucifer turned Oscar Wilde gay? We’re not sure we believe him, but the boast was funny, so we’ll let him off.
- Crime-scene selfie! Not sure why but the mere phrase “crime scene selfie” made us grin.
- Charlotte turning to Ella for help feels a little contrived. Admittedly it does make sense of that weird moment from a few episodes back (S03E05 “Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards”) when Ella went off on one at Charlotte for no previously established reason; it was clearly setting up this plotline. The whole dynamic between them remains, however, deeply unmotivated.
- Not helping matters is that Charlotte here is acting more like Mrs God (a celestial being struggling to comprehend human reactions) than Charlotte (a human who’s recently experienced a number of life-changing revelations).
- Also, the show still has a downer on criminal defence lawyers – it’s not an evil job by its very nature, guys!
- Man-bun alert! Man-bun alert!
- Even excusing it with the fact that the episode has a “boring” theme, this has to rate as the dullest magazine cover ever. “Interesting” is soooo not a coverline buzzword. And what’s with the black and white image?
And The Random:
- This week’s song sheet from Hell:
• “J-Boy” by Phoenix – Opening Monopoly scene.
• “Egypt, Egypt” by Egyptian Lover – Amenadiel visits Lucifer in his apartment.
• “tonite” by LCD Soundsystem – Chloe, as Lucinda, goes to the Top Meet shindig.
• “Eyes Wide Open” by The Pow Pow – Linda plans her ex-husband’s wake on the beach.
• “Legend” by The Score – Final scene with Lucifer and top hat Woman.
- We don’t think much of Kim’s algorithmic skills if her software paired up two people with those Likes lists. (Actually, later in the episode it seems that they met independently of the app, but in this scene Ella seems under the belief the app sorted out a date for them. It’s all a bit confusing and we’ll just write it off as Kim being a really good hacker… but you’d think somebody examining the evidence would pick up on the disparity.)
- (Rather embarrassingly, we had to Google “splooshing” – it means rubbing food over yourself for sexual arousal, hence Chloe’s intimacy with an olive.)
Review by Dave Golder