This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 22
“We solve murders. How hard can it be to plan one little wedding?”
In the end, it’s all very simple. You just have to be honest. Unfortunately for Lucifer, revealing his deepest desires remains something he’s unable or unwilling to do. “All Hands on Decker” reminds us in no uncertain terms that one of life’s most valuable maxims still holds true. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
Lucifer continues to keep the heart of the narrative moving at a rapid clip, so it comes as no surprise that Chloe and Pierce plan to say their marriage vows in just three weeks. Why wait when you know this is what you want? And while Lucifer wavers in finding the courage to take a leap of faith, those around him confront and act on what it is they truly desire. But what really becomes crystal clear tonight is that everyone has his or her own agenda, and as seems to happen too often of late, the detective ends up bearing the brunt of the fallout.
Even though she’s a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of planning and executing a wedding in such a short time, at this point, there’s no reason to think that Chloe is having second thoughts about marrying Marcus Pierce. The episode’s strength lies in its attention to the details of the events related to the couple’s big day, and none more so than the obligatory bachelorette party instigated by Ella. What initially works here is of course Ella’s exuberance for giving the detective that one last burst of freedom before tying herself to Pierce for the rest of her life. That we know Cain’s backstory while Chloe does not only serves to ramp up the ultimate heartbreak she seems destined to experience.
Visually, “All Hands on Decker” knocks it out of the park. Of course Decker employs a murder board as a wedding planning tool, and then somewhat surprisingly agrees to take some much needed time off away from the precinct to put the nuptial details in order. As the pressures of the case build, Ella turns over the bachelorette party to Mazikeen who steps in with one of the funnier sight gags in recent memory. Maze leads a blindfolded Decker to the party Maze hosts at the detective’s house, but it’s not quite what the participants had in mind when they signed up. Chloe and the viewer are immediately assaulted by unexpected splashes of pink at every turn, and instead of a raucous, alcohol driven event attended by a stripper or two, we see Charlotte, Linda, Ella, and Trixie standing by demurely doing their best to figure out “what the hell happened here?”
Part of what makes the bachelorette segment so meaningful revolves around the realization that Maze, like Lucifer, truly has no idea how to really get what she wants which in this case is a return ticket to Hell. And while Lucifer decides to “be” the detective as a means of learning what really makes her tick, the fact that he’s still clueless after all this time makes us wonder whether or not he’s even capable of change. Even worse is Maze. This party turns out to be all about her and what she wants, but her inability to really understand Chloe and her hopes and dreams is the true irony here. Yes, Charlotte attends because she believes her participation places her one step closer to heaven, and Ella even refers to this as her party, but in the end, Chloe rises above all of the petty machinations and acknowledges that marrying Pierce is not what she truly desires at this point in her life.
On the one hand, Mazikeen is the only one asking for what she wants, and that Pierce agrees to help her achieve her desire, places her one step ahead of just about everyone else in the circle in terms of active self-determination. However, is there something else that Maze is not telling us? Lucifer masks his truth. It’s not that he doesn’t really know Chloe, it’s that he doesn’t know himself and seems afraid to admit to himself the person he’s become. The same may be true of Maze as well.
Charlotte’s arc receives well deserved attention as she continues to embody the struggle man faces with the desire to be good. We don’t see much of Amenadiel tonight, but his exchange with Charlotte reminds us that even the purest of angels can fall into the self-serving trap. Once again, for Lucifer’s brother, this seems to be about him and passing whatever test their Father places before him. As far as he knows, Cain has earned a second chance; why do anything to jeopardize that? Yes, it appears that God’s plan is for Lucifer and Chloe to be together, but what does that actually mean? Then again, why does Charlotte believe that breaking up Chloe and Pierce is the right thing to do? Just because Amenadiel says so?
Once we learn that Chloe plans to take some time off and Dan has been tabbed to partner with Lucifer, it’s pretty clear that some rocky times lie ahead. Since Lucifer decides to get inside the detective’s head, that leaves Dan to play Lucifer’s role. Kevin Alejandro doesn’t get much of a chance to play the Devil, but he is the only one paying attention to the flashing signs all around. Not only does he solve the crime, but he goes after what it is he truly desires at the moment and tells Charlotte he does want to start a serious relationship with her. And guess what? She gives her answer with a passionate kiss.
The Lucifer writers ordinarily do an excellent job of syncing the murder investigation with the character arcs, but tonight’s attempt seems a bit forced. The intense world of dog shows serves as the backdrop, but its nuances are barely touched on. Just as Lucifer feels replaced in Chloe’s life by Marcus Pierce, so too does the surviving partner feel he’s being replaced by the couple’s pregnant Mastiff. Well that’s easy. Lucifer just needs to kill Pierce. Joking aside, Lucifer does receive his “Aha!” moment when he finally understands that Chloe’s not looking for impetuousness from either a partner or a lover. It’s not what she needs, and it’s not what she wants. Or is it?
Nevertheless, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get a read on Lucifer’s character. After all he’s seen throughout his time with the detective, tonight’s case in particular, you’d think he recognize his mistakes and finally open up about his true feelings. Nope. Not even a “could I talk to you privately when you have a chance.” It’s a thread that’s worn out its welcome. Act or don’t act, but let’s move on. At least we didn’t have to listen to a diatribe about God’s manipulation of Lucifer’s life. But the one detail that does gnaw at me is whether or not Chloe gives in too easily. Couldn’t she and Pierce take some time and figure out whether this union is truly what each desires?
While not one of the most dynamic chapters in the Lucifer run, “All Hands on Decker,” nonetheless solidly drives aspects of the story forward while leaving room for Pierce and Lucifer to renew the quest for Chloe’s heart, and for Pierce to decide whether he wants to live or die. Part of tonight’s story centers on doubts Chloe might have entering her second marriage, but watching the lieutenant stare down at Lucifer talking to his ex-fiance leads us to wonder what dark thoughts Cain may be harboring. With the season’s penultimate episode looming just over the horizon, we’re undoubtedly in for a hell of a ride these last two weeks.