Lucifer Season 3 Episode 21 Review: Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better

Tonight's Lucifer pairs the murder of a prima ballerina with the romantic triangle facing Pierce, Lucifer, and Chloe.

This Lucifer review contains spoilers.

Lucifer Season 3 Episode 21

“Shouldn’t you be having tea with Hitler?”

It took the better part of three seasons, but the cards have finally been laid out on the table. In the end though, it all comes down to Doctor Linda approaching Lucifer as a friend and asking him the question we’ve heard him ask others countless times. “What do you truly desire?” Not surprisingly, he admits that “I want her to choose me.” But it’s not quite that simple is it?

Tonight’s episode of Lucifer deftly blends the murder investigation of a prima ballerina with the competition for Chloe’s affection, a competition that’s gone completely off the rails due to Lucifer’s inability to overcome his own fear of rejection. “Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better” forces the Devil to acknowledge that he’s made a terrible mistake by eliminating free will from his own equation, and now must sit back and watch a renewed Marcus Pierce seemingly get the girl.

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We get a number of answers and mini resolutions tonight, but the crux of the situation ultimately becomes crystal clear. In a wonderful exchange between Lucifer and Pierce, the two rivals for the detective’s affections determine that Chloe’s love is indeed the key. She loves Lucifer and he bleeds. She loves Pierce, and he now can die bringing into the open that she somehow impacts the vulnerability of each. As the two men vie for a place in her life, how each approaches the task reveals how well they know her. While Pierce takes a more traditional approach on his redemption tour, Lucifer does what he always does and goes far beyond the bounds of good taste, not understanding that his actions are actually a turnoff for Decker. Yes, a Shelby GT500 is a nice gift, but even Chloe recognizes how little Lucifer understands about who she is as a person.

Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer) continues to play a vital role, and though her moral struggle still haunts her, Amenadiel does his best to rescue her from the depths of despair and the resignation that she faces eternity in Hell. Pairing these two together always yields results, and though there is humor to be found when Amenadiel discovers her in bed with a bottle, this scene reveals another crucial puzzle piece. Amenadiel decides to bring Charlotte further into the celestial intrigue by explaining to her and the viewer the backstory of his brother and the detective. The naivete emanating from these two is simultaneously both delightful and touching. He asks her to help him find proof that Pierce is actually an evil man because he continues to believe this is all part of his Father’s test, and even though she genuinely seems to want to go down a path toward redemption, her human weaknesses prevent her from doing so. Instead of helping for the right reasons, Charlotte assumes God will find her quid pro quo approach totally acceptable.

We now know that God tasked Amenadiel “with blessing a couple with a miracle child,” and “that child became Chloe.” But to what end? If as Amenadiel explains to Charlotte that Chloe was placed on Earth to “cross paths with Lucifer,” the end result of this eventual meeting remains a bit fuzzy. Is Chloe God’s attempt to bring his son back into the celestial fold? So while Amenadiel sees his brother as his test, and Charlotte views Amenadiel’s request for help as hers, is it reasonable to assume that Cain and Chloe represent Lucifer’s greatest trial since he was banished from Heaven? If he loves her, is he willing to sit back and allow her happiness with Pierce? It’s a plot twist that neatly sets up next season and Lucifer’s adjustment to Chloe and Pierce as a permanent couple.

Though we first see Chloe wearing sunglasses at work to hide the fact that she’s been crying over her breakup with Pierce, the humor passes rather quickly, and Ella plays the catalyst that leads Pierce to do whatever it takes to win back Chloe’s trust and love. Lauren German plays the emotionally fragile detective with her usual grace, and while having two men vie for her attention might ordinarily be perceived as a bonus, Lucifer simply breaks her heart more than Pierce’s earlier and temporary rejection. German has her character on the same edge we see Charlotte navigate, and though Chloe agrees to marry him, there is truth to the contention that she really doesn’t know Marcus Pierce.

Tonight’s procedural revolves around a murdered prima ballerina who, like Pierce, has the misfortune of getting in the way of a reticent principal male dancer who has fallen in love with her understudy. Miguel and Lucifer’s analogous situations hone in on the fact that both men allow fear to paralyze them, and while one takes extreme measures to get what he wants, it’s ironically the Devil who stands on the sidelines watching his chance at happiness slip away. Sadly, we know where this revelation will lead, and watching Lucifer arrive to see Pierce down on one knee is as emotionally crushing for the viewer as it is for Lucifer. We’re reminded of Chloe’s heartfelt question to Lucifer: “Who does deserve me?” At this point, that’s a difficult question to answer.

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It’s now up to Lucifer to determine his path moving forward, and if he continues to believe that his Father is manipulating his life, then he’s learned nothing from this experience. He and Pierce seem to recognize that they have free will, and now that Pierce’s mortality has returned, the lieutenant plans to make the most of the second chance it appears he’s been afforded. Recognizing that he can be killed, will Marcus Pierce tell Chloe the truth of his past, but more to the point, will Lucifer and Amenadiel back up his seemingly preposterous story. It’s a lot to look forward to.

And as if all of this superlative storytelling isn’t enough, hardcore Tricia Helfer fans get treated to a brief scene that reflects on a real life passion of hers. Having Charlotte follow Pierce on a stolen motorcycle, (she is on a mission from God, after all) pays homage to Helfer’s love of riding motorcycles (typically Harleys) and her connection to the Acting Outlaws charity she guides with former Battlestar Galactica co-star Katee Sackhoff. While it’s unlikely she did any of the dangerous stunt driving, it does appear she must have talked the director into allowing her a little riding time.

Lucifer now stands at a crossroads, and unless the Devil makes a deal with himself, Chloe’s relationship with Pierce must be allowed to play itself out. “Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better” lays the groundwork for both a wedding and a funeral, and we have to wonder whether or not Cain’s emotional resurgence will end up as a cruel joke played by Lucifer’s Father. Don’t ask the Prince of Darkness, however, we know what he’ll say.

Rating:

5 out of 5