This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 5 Episode 6
“I did go to Hell and back for you, twice, but who’s counting?”
It seems I was a fool for love thinking that somehow Chloe’s relationship with Lucifer, incredible as it is, could forge smoothly ahead. With some of the strongest writing of the season, “BluBallz” finds Lucifer going face to face Chloe’s with romantic past when her first love turns up as the central figure in the murder investigation. However, it’s the thunderbolt at episode’s end that puts Dan in an extraordinarily difficult position and figures to jeopardize the couple’s burgeoning happiness.
While Lucifer routinely weaves investigation details along side the issues the principal characters face in their private lives, “BluBallz” goes a step further dredging up not only someone from Chloe’s past but also the ensuing jealousy that Lucifer brings to the conversation. Once again, there’s nothing terribly complex about the motives behind the killing of DJ Matt Pexxa, but the jealousy, resentment, and self-doubt sprinkled throughout the story set up a compelling case that Chloe solves while Lucifer allows his immature angst to get the better of him. Electrocution by headphones might be one of the most ingenious murder weapons we’ve seen on Lucifer, but it’s Chloe’s immediate attraction to and comfort level with the audio equipment that lets us know we’re about to learn something new about the detective.
Once it becomes clear that the intended target in this case is actually Chloe’s pre-Dan ex, DJ Karnal, aka Jed Moore, the plot thickens, and Lucifer reverts to behaviors that threaten to derail the relationship he worked so hard to recover. From a narrative standpoint, however, it is a bit odd that the hottest DJ in town doesn’t recognize the owner of the hottest club in town, but that nitpick is easily set aside. As soon as Lucifer sees Chloe and Jed reminisce, it’s game on for the prince of darkness, though we worry he’ll muck things up so soon after getting back on track.
Jason Bruening (Good Behavior) settles into his role as the engaging DJ turned social activist perfectly, and the combination of good looks with his celebrity status gives Lucifer a run for his money from the start. We don’t often see Lucifer on the defensive, but the series continues to effectively use relationships to examine the larger themes of trust, loyalty, and honesty. Though the romantic side of their relationship is new, their history together at the LAPD should be enough to carry the pair through the rough patches if both acknowledge how they feel. And while the final scene certainly indicates they’ve weathered this first relationship storm, we know a more familiar ex-partner faces a watershed moment.
Of course, there’s no getting around the fact that Dan stands at a crossroads after witnessing Lucifer’s devil face, and we have to question whether Lucifer allows this reveal intentionally. The evening has played out wonderfully as the women head to Lux in search of the killer, and the men stay home and try, for the most part unsuccessfully, to calm baby Charlie. But it’s Lucifer’s call to Dan asking him to return to Amenadiel and Linda’s place that poses the problem.
Once the brothers learn that Lucifer’s devil face produces a calming effect on the child, there’s really no need for Dan to return unless Lucifer simply wants to mess with his head, and if that’s the case, we have to wonder why. On the surface, Dan and Lucifer seem to be getting along as well as they ever have, and while it’s probably too soon to call them friends, they continually find more common ground between them. Does Lucifer feel it’s time to bring Dan into the celestial family along with Linda and Chloe, or is something more sinister afoot here? Will Dan confront Lucifer and the others about what he’s seen, or will the sight of the Devil send him into a downward spiral as he remembers despicable things he’s done in his past and see this as foreshadowing?
It seems unlikely that Lucifer feels threatened by Dan when it comes to Chloe, but the appearance of Jed does appear to have shaken him a bit. Nevertheless, it’s now up to Dan to make the next move, and it will be interesting to see whether he confronts Lucifer or seeks Chloe’s advice. On the other hand, he has to know that what he thinks he saw doesn’t make sense and fear that his claim will paint him as a person in serious need of psychiatric help which then points to Doctor Linda as a potential confidant. Regardless, it’s a turning point, and though we’ve been down this road before, here, it feels very different.
Nonetheless, as Dan is thrown into the celestial abyss, the others take steps toward putting their own lives in order. After a brief foray into the world of the bad boy, Ella may have found someone more in tune with her true sensibilities. She’s endured moments of spiritual doubt before, and though she did seem to have her life back in order, the connection with Dirty Doug implies she was slipping. But when she encounters a reporter (Adam Korson) at the initial crime scene, it appears at first that he’s simply trying to use her to get a scoop. In the end, though, Ella decides to take a chance after Pete insists that “when you finally show someone how amazing you are, you’re going to find your soulmate.” Her reply remains a bit troubling and sounds like something Maze would say. “Can’t find your soulmate if you don’t have a soul.” Another crisis of faith or something much deeper?
And what of Maze? She asks Linda how to “not end up alone,” and fully recognizes that she has the tendency to scare people away. Showing up at the precinct dressed to emulate Ella’s low-key, open-book style definitely produces a smile, but there’s also something sad about it when we consider the radical differences between the two women. Confronting her mother doesn’t appear to have really helped Maze, but once she gains some distance from the situation, she might see things differently. Still, even as Dan talks to an exasperated Amenadiel, it’s clear his advice applies to Maze as well. “What’s important is that you care; you’re trying your best.” Maze does care about those around her and wants to find a soulmate; whether she’s trying her best is up for debate.
“BluBallz” also does a nice job tying in a number of other recurring thematic ideas Lucifer has introduced throughout its run. Lucifer’s preoccupation with his Father’s manipulations persists to this day, so his contention that Jed orchestrates the murder and its subsequent investigation works well. Most importantly, though, is the revelation that it was Chloe who ended their prior relationship, and Lucifer now fears any missteps might send him on his way.
Lucifer approaches its mid-season finale with the ability to go in a number of narrative directions, and though Chloe and Lucifer seemingly have a chance at some modicum of happiness, the same may not be said of the others. “BluBallz” sets up a fascinating Dan-centric follow up as we wait to see whether he’ll challenge what he’s seen or withdraw into a more comfortable reality. Either way, they’ve got my attention.