Lucifer Season 3 Episode 23 Review: Quintessential Deckerstar

Death strikes the Lucifer family as Pierce and Maze's plan to return her to Hell goes awry.

Lucifer Season 3 Episode 23

This Lucifer review contains spoilers.

“Let’s go home.”

With those three simple words, Amenadiel alters the tenor of a show that has built its house on clever writing, engaging characters, and stories that ask us to look inside ourselves for meaning. Tonight we learn that Lucifer has been wrong all along, and it takes Charlotte’s devastating death to drive home that point. Now that he’s got the girl, can Lucifer once and for all accept that he alone determines how his life unfolds, and that his Father’s manipulations may, in fact, be all in his imagination?

Structurally, the season three penultimate episode of Lucifer, “Quintessential Deckerstar,” begins and ends with a nightmare, and it’s the power of love and self-sacrifice that ultimately allows Charlotte to find redemption once she learns what being good truly means. Employing Charlotte’s “Hell loop” as a device to solve the murder brilliantly leads us to the most emotional scene of the series, and though this is a show about the Devil, it’s really an examination of man’s innate struggle for goodness despite the many obstacles placed in the way. Though she continually asks Amenadiel and herself what the payoff will be for each good action she undertakes, when facing a life or death situation, she places herself in harm’s way to save another without a second thought.

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Amenadiel has told Charlotte all along that he and Lucifer don’t possess the wherewithal to get someone into Heaven, but tonight, it appears he too may have been wrong about the ultimate power man and celestial both control. Of all the characters in Lucifer, none struggle more than she does, and her death now stands as the catalyst for the others to re-examine their own hopes, dreams, and actions. Everybody wants something. Lucifer wants Chloe to choose him; Pierce wants to to exact revenge; Mazikeen wants to return to Hell; Amenadiel wants to pass the test he believes his Father is administering; Dan wants to move on from his painful divorce. In the end, Charlotte merely wants to be good, to deserve a place in heaven when the time comes. “How will I know when it’s enough?” It’s enough sweet Charlotte.

There have been many noteworthy moments over the course of Lucifer’s three season run, but none as emotionally powerful as Amenadiel carrying Charlotte off to Heaven after his wings reappear. Though even he may seem at times to allow his actions to be guided by less than altruistic reasoning, like Charlotte, his innate goodness shows itself in a time of need as do his wings. Is that what it’s going to take for Lucifer to regain the lost aspects of his core being?

Tonight Lucifer examines whether or not F. Scott Fitzgerald was right that the past can’t be successfully revisited. On the other hand, perhaps it’s Thomas Wolfe who saw the truth of the human condition and the inability to return home. Naively believing that their relationship will return to the way it was, Lucifer must now navigate a new normal that doesn’t fall into place quite as neatly as he envisions. Though Chloe longs to leave her experience with Pierce behind, Lucifer ironically fails to see the pain she must work through first. Coming on the heels of his session with Dr. Linda, Lucifer still doesn’t understand how humans think, and more importantly feel. Playing “The Way We Were” on the piano at the murder scene may constitute a blast from a pleasant past from his perspective, but Chloe and the viewer see it as merely poor taste.

In retrospect, when Charlotte draws on her nightmare to insist that Forrest Clay murdered his wife, it provides Lucifer the opportunity to begin the process of getting Chloe to accept him for who he really is. Of course, at this point in the narrative, his revelation that Charlotte previously died, went to Hell, and returned determined to make amends for her past life serves only to remind the detective of past times with her fanciful partner. He knows she won’t and can’t believe the truth he tells her. While his aborted attempt to revive their Monopoly game falls flat even with Trixie, it’s the realization that Chloe solves this case without him that finally opens his eyes. “The detective caught the bad guy without me,” he utters, acknowledging that a new normal may be in place. Standing on the outside looking in presents a stirring image of the Devil forced into a position in which he must either change, or continue the emotional separation that plagues his relationship with Chloe. 

In an act that ultimately leads to Charlotte’s death, Pierce and Mazikeen revisit their alliance and formulate a new plan to send Hell’s fiercest demon back home. While it’s been fascinating to watch Charlotte sincerely battle her past on her road to redemption, Pierce and Maze seem genuinely lost, and it’s difficult to feel empathy for either. Maze is ready to kill Pierce and blame Lucifer thinking it will return her to Hell, but when he suggests killing God’s favorite son, Amenadiel, it now becomes clear that Cain has learned nothing during his extended life. He is evil, and we can only rejoice that his connection with Chloe has been severed. Mazikeen, however, can still be saved. Pierce is right when he tells her that her time on Earth has softened her. 

The brief fight sequence between Maze and Pierce is fun to watch, but in the end forces us to consider that neither possess a true moral compass. Whether he senses Maze wavering about killing Amenadiel or not, he drugs her and sets out on that fateful course of action, and it appears that even Maze draws the line at murdering an angel. Will she step up to name Pierce as the killer when the time comes?

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There are a number of poignant touches in the episode, but none more so than the waffle imagery connected to Dan. Yes, Lucifer correctly tells him that a waffle iron is not a great gift if you’re trying to romantically pursue a woman, but even he lets Dan know that the bracelet with a little waffle is nice touch. When we see Charlotte wearing the bracelet as Amenadiel carries her off, it’s impossible to remain unemotional. Lucifer finally opens up to Chloe, and now it’s up to them to build on everything they’ve experienced together. Unfortunately, that’s going to have to wait.

“Quintessential Deckerstar” sets the stage for a much darker Lucifer season finale and subsequent journey, but first we have to get through the murder investigation to find Charlotte’s killer. Though Lucifer and Chloe get their kiss, dark times loom on the horizon, and it won’t be easy to foster a relationship after such a devastating loss. We’re going to miss Tricia Helfer’s complex portrayal of a woman in pain, but Charlotte’s death opens a door to both Heaven and Hell. Now let’s see who goes through which door.

 

Rating:

5 out of 5