This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 15
“I would do anything for you.”
After a three week hiatus, Lucifer returns with a touching tale of fear, friendship, and missed experiences, and while the details of “High School Poppycock” seem to strengthen Chloe and Lucifer’s relationship, Linda and Amenadiel face a less desirable prospect with theirs. What makes HSP so delightful is that, for all the characters’ awareness of the world, they often behave like typical, hormone-driven teenagers out to make some sense of the situations in which they find themselves.
Obsessed with his failure to solve the Pierce problem, Lucifer’s creative block perfectly aligns with the dead novelist at the center of tonight’s episode. What’s interesting, however, is the dream Lucifer recounts to Dr. Linda in the opening scene. On the surface, it’s a fairly standard tale of an inability to open up to someone you love. And that’s just it. Lucifer has tried on numerous occasions to tell Chloe his truths, and understandably, she sees them, as “crazy metaphors” related to his twisted way of viewing the world. Of course, to him, it’s all very real. Coupled with his wings and devil face worries, Lucifer’s loss of control stands as the central source of much of his angst. On the other hand, knowing the power he still possesses only adds to his charm.
Linda tells Lucifer that you “never know when inspiration will strike,” and when he learns that Kathleen Pike explains overcoming her writer’s block in the afterward of the latest book in the Class of 3001 series, Lucifer becomes laser focused on recovering the stolen manuscript so that he can apply her wisdom to his reality. Much of the humor here resides in the role reversal that takes place once Chloe finishes reading the novel and develops an emotional connection with the characters and their world. Lucifer must now play the responsible adult and keep the detective on the path to finding the killer even though his only true concern is the manuscript and how it might help alleviate his own creative impasse.
Much of what we know of Chloe’s past involves her topless appearance in the low budget film Hot Tub High School, but tonight another side reveals itself and presents an opportunity for Lucifer that thankfully he does not miss. As a child actor, Chloe missed out on much of her adolescence including her high school prom, so when she’s afforded the chance to go undercover to the reunion for the class that serves as the inspiration for Pike’s novels, she experiences the best of both worlds. As she and Lucifer arrive at the hall, Chloe’s taken aback by a beauty that most of the attendees likely take for granted, and naturally, he ruins the moment by mentioning that class reunions are one of the more popular methods of torture in Hell. Nevertheless, this is Chloe’s moment. Not only does the detective get to question murder suspects, but she meets the real life inspirations for all of the teenage drama contained within the pages of the book she devoured the night before.
However, the episode’s final scene stands as one of the most poignant moments of the series and begins with Chloe’s arrival at Lux. When Lucifer tells her that he much prefers when “she does all the work and he is the fun, irresponsible one,” it appears this might simply be a situation we’ve seen numerous times. Now that she’s had time to reflect on the case, Chloe realizes that she enjoys being the responsible partner, just as she enjoys her role as mother to her wise beyond her years daughter. Nonetheless, she needs this experience even though it does arrive fifteen years too late. Been there; done that.
And then it happens. Standing alone on Lux’s empty dance floor, Lucifer pins a corsage on Chloe’s sweater and asks her to the prom she never attended. Tender moments are not the Devil’s strong suit, so the fact that he senses how important missing this classic rite of passage is to Chloe, shows that not only has the fence in their relationship been mended, but the gate thrown wide open once again. Watching her gaze into his eyes as they dance takes us back to the beach and “the kiss.” However, there’s no kiss here, but as often happens, being with the detective sparks something in Lucifer, and her statement that you can’t rewrite history opens up a new possible avenue. “You can’t, but maybe I can,” he tells her. Can the Devil travel through time? Now that would be cool.
As typically happens, the murder case takes a back seat to Chloe reliving her missed youth and Lucifer trying to generate an elusive creative spark, but there is one flaw in this otherwise stellar episode. The killer literary agent has become so prevalent in crime dramas that it’s become trite, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that the class loner is not deranged and doesn’t have an ax to grind with the victim. That said, given how we see Lucifer and Chloe grow during the course of the investigation, it’s a minor point indeed.
And while the detective and the Devil go to school to solve Kathleen Gates’ murder, Amenadiel, Linda, and Mazikeen act like children as they painfully work through the feelings each has regarding the relationship of the doctor and the angel. Yes, Linda’s friendship with Maze plays a significant role here, but these are adults, and there’s no reason they can’t all be honest with one another. Yes, Mazikeen may, in fact, be the best torturer in the underworld and by definition, totally frightening. But this is Maze, and both Linda and Amenadiel should know that, in the end, she would hurt neither. Once again, we see Maze’s terrifying persona set off by her relationship with the adorable Trixie, and what’s truly charming about this pairing is that we don’t for a minute consider that Maze has anything but the best intentions for Chloe’s child.
Like Lucifer, Maze has struggled to find a solution to her Amenadiel problem, and it’s her brief conversation with Trixie that points her in a new direction. The truth. Of course, Maze has her own unique way of arriving at the truth, and according to her, there are none better at extracting the truth from a reluctant individual. On the one hand, there is a certain level of humor in these three adults acting like teenagers afraid to tell each other the truth about a boyfriend or girlfriend, and while we can excuse Amenadiel and Maze, Dr. Linda should know better. Her job is to systematically elicit truths and feelings from her patients just as Maze’s is to rip it from their mouths whether they agree or not. Still, the truth is the truth, and with poor Amenadiel caught in the middle, these two friends uncomfortably hash out their differences.
Despite her appearance and experience, in many ways, Mazikeen is not unlike a teenager trying to find her way among the obstacles of love and friendship. Yes, it’s funny when Maze browbeats Linda into accepting a blind date with the class loner, but rubbing it in by putting her hands all over Amenadiel as the four sit in a restaurant is just plain cruel and much of the humor lost. However, what hurts the most here is Linda’s decision to break up with Amenadiel to avoid hurting Maze. She says it’s not who she is, but the truth of the matter is that she may be afraid of where her relationship with Amenadiel will lead. She has not been selfish despite her admission, and it will be interesting to see whether Maze has a change of heart about these two now that the truth has been put out in the open.
We don’t see much of the other team members, but Lucifer’s creative desperation reaches a level whereby he even consults Dan for help. In an early scene, Chloe begs off her girls night out with Ella, but seeing the forensic specialist wearing a blue neon wig and only issuing a rain check after Chloe agrees to try on her matching pink hairpiece is pretty funny.
What Lucifer has up his sleeve is anybody’s guess, but eventually, Chloe is going to witness something between him and Pierce for which there is no reasonable explanation. Will she be able to handle the truth? “High School Poppycock” digs deep below the surface of the four principals, but even they can’t see the future. Or can they?