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Lucifer: Daniel Espinoza: Naked and Afraid

"It's like being teased by Genghis Khan or Darth Vader."

Alternate title: "Dan Espinoza and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." How many concussions did he get? Three?

Alright, let's get this out of the way immediately. I really didn't like this episode. It was, by far, my least favorite episode of Lucifer that I have seen in a very long time, if not ever.

This show has done silly and funny well before. The entire episode just felt like it descended into farce for me. It started off promising enough. I loved that we were getting a Dan-centric episode, and the initial set up of Dan waking up next to a dead body in Mexico was very intriguing to me. Especially since he's been struggling so much recently with feelings of hopelessness and nihilism.

Dan really has been through the ringer and hasn't caught a moment of relief since Charlotte was murdered. Learning about the celestial world and remembering that God quite literally exploded him (possibly on purpose?) has only worsened his mental state. I really hoped that the show would explore this in some depth. He's been played off as comic relief and kind of a bumbling buffoon for so long that I really wanted this to be something a little heavier.

And maybe that is where my dissatisfaction with this episode stems from: it was kind of the opposite of what I wanted. There were moments that I really enjoyed. Linda was wonderful and completely willing to commit to being the scorned mistress without a moment's hesitation. Maze's moments of softness and backhanded acknowledgments that she does care for Dan were lovely, as was Chloe reaffirming that she still really cared about Dan as a person and a friend. And Tom Ellis' line reading of "Because you fucking shot me" was perfect.

It were the larger, increasingly ridiculous plot points that annoyed me and generally turned me off from the episode, along with the, at times, very over the top acting from our guest stars. Maybe that should have clued me in earlier that there was something else going on. Okay, it probably should have. I'll admit to that. I didn't expect this to all be some giant prank, though. It feels like Lucifer was being cruel, but at least Dan seemed to get something out of this experience. I'm glad that he ended the episode starting to dig himself out of the deep, dark hole he was in.

If you liked this episode, then I'm very glad that you enjoyed it. I hope that you did. This just really wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe it'll improve on future rewatches now that I'm also in on the prank.

Random Thoughts

The only callbacks that I caught during my first viewing were the inclusion of the improv group and the Russian mob. Ella did also mention being able to see ghosts, which was the plot of "Boo Normal." More observant watchers than I have pointed out that this is the revenge plan Lucifer had written on the white board in "Spoiler Alert."

I did like how Dan spoke a little bit of Spanish when he first arrived at the bar. It's always nice when characters speak another language that they should be familiar with.

Dan did look very nice in that suit.

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An Honest Fangirl loves video games, horror movies, and superheroes, and occasionally manages to put words together in a coherent and pleasing manner.

7 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Fangirl, I am so with you. I strongly disliked this episode. It was done well but by the end, I was just completely frustrated.

Victoria Grossack said...

I had so much trouble with this episode that I started fast-forwarding through it. However, after you know the end, it becomes much more bearable - although still not good. And it does make use of Lucifer's whiteboard plan to get back at Dan.

Aaron Mulder said...

There were a lot of things that just seemed a little off, and suggested that something wasn't quite straightforward with the episode:
* The super close ups of Luis' face when he was talking to Dan
* Dan's back seat convict lecturing him on "God saves!"
* That the spray-painted gang logo included his face
* The tension built as the car approached, only to have his cheery improv buddy open the window
* The absurd way he climbed the fence into the gang HQ
* The gangers all in a group hug with Lucifer (talk, sure, but... hug?)
* The yard where Dan was chased by the angry dog was just an open door away from the gang
* That Dan went to such lengths to plan the fake death, only to be immediately knocked out, and then leave his giant bag of supplies behind
* The lead Russian mobster turning so friendly in that single moment

Strangely, when Linda abruptly punched him and especially when she threw the water in his face, that didn't seem weird to me, I just thought Linda was especially awesome for it.

I thought Dan's speech was great, and really showed how he finally got his shirt together.

When the improv members started getting shot, I realized it just couldn't like COULD NOT be real... but in the moment I assumed it was Dan's hell loop.

Strangely, I totally bought Maze taking a bullet for him... though I couldn't see why a bullet should actually hurt her.

And of course, Lucifer's line was amazing... perhaps the most memorable single line from the entire show! Of course it changed the whole reading of the episode -- and put me utterly in Dan's head -- the showrunners pulled the same prank on me that Lucifer pulled on Dan. Amazing!

When I want back to re-binge 5B, my instinct was to skip this one. What's left without the trick ending? But I gave it a minute, and it sucked me right in. It was still a joyride, even knowing where it was all going.

So... sorry to disagree, I guess? :)

Billie Doux said...

Aaron, I get what you mean. And I wonder if I disliked this episode because I like Dan and I just didn't enjoy seeing him treated this way, more of an emotional rejection. It is reminding me of an episode of Supernatural ("Yellow Fever") that ridiculed Dean and I disliked it for just that reason, although a lot of people liked it because it was quite funny.

JRS said...

I think Kevin Alejandro is underused in this series and after watching this episode I also feel the same about his butt. Lucifer totally missed opportunities there as a series. This episode I found funny at the beginning but I like Dan and thus it became icky for me too.

An Honest Fangirl said...

Aaron, I'm glad that you enjoyed it! I always like reading other opinions. You're right, there definitely were a lot of things that probably should have clued me in to what was going on. I wonder if I would like it better if this WAS Dan's hell loop instead of a prank. But then that would mean that Dan died and I would be sad.

Billie, JRS, an emotional rejection definitely sums up how I feel, I think.

manipool said...

Hello, yes. I agree that this is not what I hoped Daniel Espinoza: Naked and Afraid would be about and I did not like the episode too much. Were there great moments? Yes! But an entire episode about a prank that was so over the top, I did not need to see. I think someone thought they were being really clever coming up with it, but the execution did not live up to the idea. For Dan's arc I wanted something more, I think he deserved more than to be the butt of a joke. I also didn't like how they handled him finding out Lucifer was the Devil. There was so much potential there and I think they took the easy way out. They rushed the stories and it shows. Even though it was thought to be the last season at the time, I think they could have done a much better job.