This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 6
“There’s no reason we can’t look fabulous and catch a homicidal redhead.”
Fans of Lucifer were likely not that surprised to see the Devil wearing a tux, playing the piano, and singing Sinatra’s “Luck Be a Lady” on stage in a Las Vegas nightclub. Likewise, learning that forensic scientist Ella Diaz counts cards in blackjack and has been banned by some casinos also falls within the realm of believability. So while those two follow a lead in Sin City, “Vegas with Some Radish” also takes us down on a delightful path we don’t normally travel, as Doctor Linda and Detective Decker get into some devilish mischief after Chloe’s birthday celebration goes awry.
Tonight’s episode features a return of Lucifer’s ex-wife, Candy Morningstar (Lindsey Gort), whose disappearance and possible murder in Vegas moves him to drop everything, including Chloe’s birthday party, and take Ella and the Corvette to investigate. While the murder-of-the-week often lingers in the background providing a means for the characters to work out some deeper issues, tonight’s lighthearted tale follows the exploits of Linda and Chloe as they get drunk and party in Lucifer’s penthouse.
The Vegas trip provides a convenient opportunity for Linda and Ella to act as sounding boards to a couple who clearly care deeply for one another and might even be in love, yet can’t let down their protective shields. Neither Lucifer nor Chloe will be honest with the other, though the detective comes closer, and Lucifer continues to play semantics when discussing his insistence to always tell the truth. Tonight, he talks of “selective omission” when Ella challenges him about keeping Chloe out of the loop regarding his sudden trip to Sin City, and his repeated mentions that the two are “just friends” conjures up images of Hamlet. The Devil doth protest too much, methinks.
On the surface, learning the backstory to Lucifer’s relationship with Candy really doesn’t tell us much we don’t already know about him, but her willingness to listen to his problems with his mother counterpoints nicely to Linda doing the same for Chloe. And since he’s aware how Chloe reacted the first time Candy arrived on the scene, it’s understandable that he would be secretive here. But that’s just it. Why is Lucifer willing to leave Chloe on a day that’s clearly meaningful to her to investigate the disappearance of a woman he only knew for two weeks, and why does his departure affect the detective so deeply?
On the one hand, the strength of the episode lies in its simplicity, and even though the team is geographically apart, the truth about their feelings ties everything together. We so rarely get to see Chloe let down her hair, literally or figuratively, and here we’re treated to both. And even though it’s painful to watch her get drunk pretending to celebrate her birthday, there’s a lot to smile about as well. The fact that she and Linda break into Lucifer’s apartment and then help themselves to the amenities his penthouse has to offer is so out of character, but when Chloe makes the leap to try to break into his wall safe, things really pick up. “666 didn’t work either,” the detective tells Linda as they struggle to figure out the combination. Whether it’s Chloe’s Risky Business attire or the fact that a likewise tipsy Dr. Linda clearly knows her friend needs to work out her feelings for Lucifer, it’s difficult not to smile the entire time they’re in the apartment.
At the same time Linda and Chloe enter Lucifer’s digs, Lucifer and Ella break into the apartment of the man they suspect may have wanted Candy dead. Expensively decorated, the furnishings incur Lucifer’s scorn as he points out the poor taste of whoever bears responsibility for the decor choices. While Lucifer invariably contains a fair amount of witty banter, the increased appearance of sight gags also plays into the fun. Yes, we have a dead body on the floor, but the oil painting on the wall featuring a shotgun blast to Louie’s genitals offers up much more than a clue to his killer.
While Lucifer tries to find out what happened to his ex, Chloe calls Dan to help break into Lucifer’s safe, and when he arrives wielding a large power drill, well, come on, it’s funny. We think he’s going to be the voice of reason and talk the women out of making a mistake, but no, he gives it a shot and takes a chunk out of the wall in which the safe is embedded. My favorite though involves The Bard. Going through Lucifer’s books, Linda finds an original copy of Hamlet, which bears the inscription: “Thanks for the punchup. Love, Will” leading us to the conclusion that Shakespeare did, in fact, sell his soul to the Devil.
Even though the absence of Amenadiel, Mazikeen, and Charlotte Richards leaves somewhat of a void, Ella (Aimee Garcia) continues to make a case for an expanded role in the series. And since we’re dealing with an episode about honesty, it’s clear that Ella must accompany Lucifer to Vegas, not to help him with the Candy investigation, but as an excuse to get her out of her customary black, heavy-metal tee shirt and jeans and into something a little more comfortable. Okay, that’s mostly true. Even Lucifer is taken aback when she appears in a short dress while he’s on the phone with Linda rescheduling his next session. Of course, Chloe overhears him tell Ella she looks “ravishing,” and the detective just falls deeper into her funk. Apparently, the hot dress wasn’t enough because we also get to see Ella dressed as a Vegas showgirl, but since she seems to be having fun, it’s all good. And never let it be said that the writers wasted a good visual opportunity since she shoots the killer while still in her showgirl outfit.
While the episode focuses primarily on Lucifer and Chloe’s ambiguous relationship, details about Miss Lopez’s past set the stage for what could be some major developments down the road. And even though Lucifer’s more than likely feigning interest in her Vegas casino past, her explanation for the fascination she has with card counting is clearly important. She tells him that for her, gambling functions as a coping mechanism to “help quell the voices.” Just normal, everyday insecurities, or something a bit more sinister?
Nevertheless, while “Vegas with Some Radish” supplies a number of amusing scenes, at its core is the devastation Chloe feels when Lucifer abandons her on her birthday. It may be a stretch to say that she’s humiliated with the stripper that Ella hired (nice touch that it wasn’t Lucifer’s doing after all), but to ignore her texts is kind of cruel. Seeking out Dr. Linda, Chloe’s clearly agitated and her animated behavior leads the doctor to quickly tell her to “have a seat.”
However, the episode’s brilliance primarily resides in the manner in which we see Lucifer and Chloe begin to reveal their true feelings – what it is each truly desires. Having learned of his affection for the detective while they were married, Candy encourages Lucifer to go home and take care of Chloe. Linda, meanwhile, must walk that fine line between therapist and friend, and while she’s not technically Chloe’s doctor, she does try to maintain an ethical distance. We’ve seen some dark episodes on Lucifer generally concerning the prince of darkness himself, but tonight it’s Chloe’s sadness and disappointment that dominate her screen time. “He left on my birthday. He’s my friend,” she laments to Linda. While it’s nice to see another side of her, it’s also a bit unsettling.
The episode concludes with a rather predictable setup. Lucifer returns to find his place trashed and his friends passed out on the furniture. Finding Chloe asleep, he sits next to her and tenderly opens up about his feelings, though we know it’s only a matter of moments before she reveals that she’s awake. But instead of gaining some clarity after everything that the characters have gone through, Lucifer’s birthday gift to Chloe furthers the confusion. Men don’t give necklaces to women with whom they enjoy only a casual relationship, so her reaction to the bullet pendant is not surprising. Their bittersweet hug speaks volumes.
While not a perfect episode, “Vegas with Some Radish” contains plenty of the elements that make Lucifer great. But will somebody please lock the Devil and the detective in a room until they bare their souls about their feelings for each other. Does the Devil have a soul?