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Lucifer: A Lot Dirtier Than That

"Maze and Linda gave you the same advice? That's odd."

Is it that odd? Sure, Maze might throw in a few more suggestions of violence and psychological torture, but I feel like she and Linda usually give similar advice when they need to be serious.

This was an Amenadiel focused episode, essentially acting as the culmination of both his arc as a cop and overall. Who is Amenadiel? He's a protector. A guardian. Someone who wishes for and acts towards justice. All ideals that the police should be but can sometimes often fail to reach. Bringing Reiben back was the perfect example of this.

This episode obviously got a bit heavier and truer to life than Lucifer's standard fare. Police procedurals are hard. By their very nature, they showcase some very bad detective work. Procedures are broken. A ridiculous amount of perpetuators are shot and killed by the heroes without anyone blinking an eye. Dan casually has the mafia murder someone. How do you talk about the very real problems in policing within this framework?

By making Chloe and Dan part of the problem, for one, which honestly surprised me. They both trusted the system to work, but didn't follow up to make sure that it did. And granted, there was an angelic civil war going on to distract their attention, but Reiben still made detective. He still has the power to over so many lives and investigations. They also didn't even pretend that maybe Reiben changed. Even his talk with Amenadiel in the conference room dispensed with any kind of ambiguity very quickly.

It made me nervous for Amenadiel too. He continued to investigate despite being told by everyone to back off, and I kept holding my breath, waiting for the reprisal. When he mentioned how Ella had been helping him, I wanted to scream at him that he just made her a target too. I was very relieved when Harris roped him into her own plan for dealing with situations like this. Is it a good plan overall? No. Like Amenadiel said, she's just one person. One person without the authority or decision making power of someone like Reiben. But it's the start of something, and I'll be curious to see if it continues to grow over this last set of episodes.

All of this being said, I don't know how well this section of the episode ended up working overall. My own privileges and experiences mean that I have a very different dynamic with police than someone who looks like Amenadiel does, and I'm simply not sure how to tackle some of the nuance here. On the other hand, that second to last scene of Amenadiel standing in front of Michaela, in his uniform, staring down Reiben was very emotionally powerful. It could have gone wrong in so many different ways, and I'm so, so glad that it didn't. I want to say that it's the best episode so far this season. It's certainly the one that affected me the most so far.

The other half of the episode didn't work quite as well for me. Did anyone else breathe a sigh of relief when Lucifer didn't immediately run off to stalk Rory and clear her of a crime she didn't commit in a bid to get her to accept him? I was totally ready for that to be the plot and dreaded it as soon as the words left Linda's mouth. Instead, we got something far more reasonable.

Some of the father/daughter bonding was a lot of fun. As cheesy and ineffective as the line of Christmas presents may be, it was a genuinely sweet idea. Maybe he could have skipped the infant presents and gone straight for more age appropriate stuff, but he's had worse ideas. Like the party attended by maybe seven people. He really should have just taken her to a normal night at Lux. It would have been so much better. As a whole, I adore the musical numbers on this show but this one I almost wanted to skip through.

For the first time, I think that I'm solidly on Rory's side. It was all too much. If Lucifer cared this much about her, then why couldn't he do this the first time around? Why couldn't he just stay? (A question that I continue to ask.) It's this horrible push and pull between wanting to have a relationship with her dad and having every sign of care tugging at a still open wound. It's hard to reconcile when one half of the pair simply hasn't gone through the same events that the other has.

That being said, we do seem to be heading towards some kind of truce between the pair, if not a halfway decent relationship. Their duet together at the end was beautiful, but also made a nice parallel to the previous song. Rory refused to sing with Lucifer when he asked/demanded it. It made her retreat and lash out. But when Lucifer approached her and joined her in her own song, (a.k.a. asking her what she wanted) then they finally made a connection. Hopefully this is a turning point for them.

Random Thoughts

Trixie is at science camp for the rest of the summer. I'm assuming that this is code for "We had scheduling issues," because Trixie probably should know that she has a time traveling half-angel half-sister that's going to be staying at the house.

It is nice to see that Trixie's love of chocolate continues in the future, though.

Patricia Belcher is always a pleasure and a joy to see on my screen. My only wish is we had more of her.

Really liked the moment when Amenadiel forgot that bullets were supposed to hurt him. His face when he had to get out of the line of sight was perfect.

I am getting slightly annoyed by Dan's continued scenes, which makes me a little sad inside. But how many times is he going to talk to Amenadiel in a situation where any response just makes him look insane, only to make Amenadiel try and cover it up in a way that is probably supposed to be comical but kind of just makes me roll my eyes?

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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:

skyemaidstone said...

Every season seems to have one properly bad episode and for me unfortunately this was it.

I was actually bored by the end of it. Lucifer isn't always that subtle but this was painful to watch. And the ending where the woman with a gun shot wound hiding behind a car during a shoot out with police was nearly shot by the police.... for me that didn't work at all. The blonde police officer was perfectly reasonable to demand she got on the ground it had nothing to do with skin color. Why on earth didn't she with a gun pointed at her? I would (I mean I hope fear would allow me to still act semi-rationally anyway).

I love the Amenadiel character but this episode made him look like a bit of an idiot rather than just naive. As you said.. why mention Ella helped him??

As for the endless scenes of lucifer bending over backwards to make things up with his daughter while she rolled her eyes or made a snarky remark. Yawn.

The singing as the end was beautiful as always. They should release a soundtrack album if they haven't.

Billie Doux said...

skyemaidstone, I couldn't disagree more. I thought it was a very moving episode that expressed the deep sadness with and frustration over the state of policing and racism in this country. How can Amenadiel stand doing this job? But given his character and beliefs, how can he not?

I also really liked that Merrin Dungey was his partner. I was looking at the two of them in the cop car thinking, there are two of the first shows I reviewed -- Buffy and Alias.

And this time, Rory felt like Lucifer's daughter. The way he went to her and sang *her* song, like you said, Fangirl, that worked. It was just beautiful.

skyemaidstone said...

Yep one thing we agree on with the beautiful song.

Maybe the policing and racism plot works better for American audiences. It just felt heavy handed and far too "neat" (whites guys = bad, people of colour = good).

Amenedial's Caleb episode was far for powerful and emotional for me personally.

Billie Doux said...

skyemaidstone, I often wonder how non-U.S. viewers see some of our American-centric stuff, so thanks. :)

I've also been thinking that giving the police plot material to Amenadiel and Ella was simply to compensate for the absence of Chloe, Lucifer and Dan at the cop shop. And what is the hot police-related topic these days? A ha.

magritte said...

Fpr me, the episode felt awkward because like most police procedurals, up to this point, the show has given shown very little respect for the rights of suspects. How many times have we seen Lucifer using force in interrogations or breaking and entering, with Chloe doing little more than wagging a finger at naughty Lucifer? Granted, Lucifer & Chloe are always out for the truth, not out to close cases efficiently, but their methods are still problematic. Why do they call these shows police procedurals when they almost never portray procedure being correctly followed?

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Black UK resident. These types of episodes are cringeworthy to watch. They are always heavy handed as someone already mentioned when most racism is alot more nuanced and systemic based. I did like seeing the point of view of Black cops and how that feels to be a cop in the midst of such racial tensions.
However i have seen and been apart of scenes identical to the confrontation in this episode more times than i can count.

Josie Kafka said...

OMG that's Francie (Merrin Dungey) from Alias!

(And now I see that Billie beat me to it!)

I thought this episode was interesting, mostly for the way it works as a cultural artifact of the current moment: we can see the showrunners grappling with the two rather serious issues of 1) police violence and 2) how police procedural shows have valorized a disregard of due process (not to mention police violence).

I'm glad the show addressed the issue in its own, slightly awkward way, I suppose. But this feels like an episode that, 10 years from now, we'll look at and say "That's the best they could do?" Even though that probably is the best they could do without changing the entire focus of the entire series.

(Weirdly, a recent episode of the show Evil addressed that idea head-on recently. That's a show with a few demons, too!)