Lucifer: Boo Normal/Once Upon A Time

"Maybe I'll tag along."
"Yeah, that's never gonna happen."

These two episodes were supposed to act as standalones during Season 4. But seeing as we're probably never going to get that, the Powers That Be were kind enough to air these episodes anyways.

If you were hoping for some kind of resolution to the finale's cliffhanger like I was, then you're probably going to be a little disappointed. "Boo Normal" neatly sidesteps the issue by only having Chloe and Lucifer together for one scene in the very beginning. However, the fact that they are still working together with no obvious problems coupled with the fact that Chloe is now very accepting of weird, supernatural things implies that any fear or uncertainty or general bad feelings that stemmed from the whole Devil reveal were resolved fairly quickly. Which is nice. That made me happy.

"Boo Normal" as a whole, though, is kind of an odd beast. I watched this as part of a group of three, and all three of us had very different reactions: that this was Lucifer's best episode ever, that the episode was lame, and that the episode was just full of missed potential. That last opinion was mine.

There was so much here that felt like it should have been more epic than it was. We finally got to delve into Ella's backstory and find out what her deal was only for it to not be as impactful as it could have been. I was super excited when Ella said that she could see and talk to ghosts, and then was a lot less excited when it was quickly scaled back to only one ghost.

It probably didn't help that I didn't like Ray-Ray (Rae-Rae?) as a character. It was so obvious when she was lying that I couldn't help but grow a little annoyed each time that it happened. The final reveal that she was actually Azrael was a let down as well.

I've really been looking forward to meeting Azrael, this angel of death who Lucifer described as "no sweet peach." I was expecting a more villainous character, someone scary. Her personality in "Boo Normal" felt like a complete retcon. That's not to say that what we got was bad by any means. I enjoyed seeing Lucifer as a supportive big brother. But it wasn't what I was expecting, so it just felt very off to me.

But besides this disconnect, I really enjoyed the focus on Ella. She's such a total ball of sunshine that it's hard to be too negative in her presence. The Lucifer and Dan antics were a little farfetched, but I giggled every time we saw Dan's rollercoaster picture and Maze's reaction to their incompetence was amazing.

Overall though, I think that I liked "Once Upon A Time" a lot more. If this is truly the last episode, then it was a very nice note to end on. We had a fun romp that actually makes me very sad once I sit and think about it for a few minutes.

One of the big takeaways from the episode was the fact that Lucifer and Chloe are essentially soulmates. No matter what universe they're in, they will find their way back to each other. If you are a fan of Deckerstar, and I obviously am, then you can't really ask for anything more than God directly saying that your ship will always be canon. You just can't.

All of the callbacks to the pilot were fun too. I haven't seen that episode in awhile, so I'm sure that I missed some, but a lot of the dialogue and scene blocking looked and sounded familiar, if a little bit skewed. Dan talked to Lucifer at his piano instead of Chloe. Lucifer prayed to Amenadiel to slow down a racecar as opposed to a speeding bullet. Fun things like that.

Is it bad that I might actually like the dynamic between actress Chloe and Lucifer more than do I do for normal Chloe and Lucifer? Maybe this is just a symptom of them being closer to how they acted and reacted to each other in Season 1, but I really enjoyed their sarcastic back and forth that was occasionally punctuated by meaningful sentiments. Chloe didn't seem to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. She was freer, in a sense. Honestly, she may have been the only person who was better off in this universe than in our original one.

This episode kinda took place in the darkest timeline. Think about it for a second. It may have been really cool to see a criminal, tattooed Ella, but she's still a criminal who is probably dealing with all kinds of awful characters. Charlotte and Dan got their happy, romantic ending (yay!), but they're both completely corrupt and heading to an eternity in hell. Linda sold her conscience for tv ratings, Amenadiel is isolated and can't talk to people, and Maze is running some kind of dark cult.

None of these characters that we've grown to know and love are in good places by the episode's end. That's an incredibly sad note to end on, one that is almost overshadowed by the joy of seeing Chloe and Lucifer begin their flirty partnership anew. God said that He only wanted what was best of His child, but it almost felt like that only meant Lucifer. Yeah, I know that there was a throwaway line about Amenadiel needing to be ready and able to take that first step himself, but still. We all know that Lucifer was the main concern here.

Random Thoughts

Azrael and God both had their episode titles.

God was voiced by Neil Gaiman, who among many, many other, wonderful things, created the comics that Lucifer is (very, very, very, very loosely) based on.

Maze's costume in "Once Upon A Time" is a reference to her comic appearance.

I wish that we could have seen Penelope Decker one last time.

When Lucifer got shot, I thought for sure that he would be vulnerable.

I am glad that we got a line to explain why Ella's path had so drastically changed. It always annoys me when the butterfly effect changes things that it really shouldn't.

I'm still trying to keep the faith that some streaming service will pick us up, but I think that it's safe to say that this is the last Lucifer that we're going to get. (Cue renewal announcement that goes out as soon as I post the review.) But I'm okay with this being the ending note. It's not the gut punch of a cliffhanger that we originally got, and even though most of the characters are in bad spots, maybe Chloe becoming a cop is the beginning of all of that turning around. That's a nice idea to end on.
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An Honest Fangirl is very glad that we got these final two episodes.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

It sort of feels to me like these two episodes should have aired somewhere in the middle of season three. Even though I enjoyed them and they were relatively stand-alone-like, they didn't belong at the end.

Although I think I liked "Boo Normal" better than you did, I was also a little disappointed that Ray Ray wasn't really a ghost. If the series were to continue, it would have been a fun skill of Ella's to explore, a little bit of Raines and that six-part British series River. I did like "Once Upon a Time" more, because I also liked what it was saying about how Lucifer and Chloe were meant to be together no matter what.

One more thing, too. Lucifer always makes me miss Los Angeles. I lived there for twelve years and did every single tourist thing in the area that I'd ever wanted to do, except Comic-Con. My absolute favorite place in Los Angeles was always the Griffith Observatory. And that was where the second half of "Once Upon a Time" was filmed, including that last shot of Lucifer and Chloe. Sigh.

http://griffithobservatory.org

celticdreaming said...

"None of these characters that we've grown to know and love are in good places by the episode's end"

But isn't that also a testimony to how much Chloe and Lucifer's 'relationship' in the original time line touched others? You throw a stone in the pool and it has a ripple effect. So while they may not have been at the absolute heart of each of these subplots... their small actions had a huge impact on these other characters. And maybe that's also what God was trying to get across. It's not just about Chloe and Lucifer being soul mates. It's also about how they touched everyone else while finding their way to each other.