It's nice to have an episode once in a while where the focus is on the ramifications of what's happened so far. It's good for character and it's good for the story! That's what we have this week in Lucifer (S0204) "Lady Parts". Spoilers ahead!
This week is all about how tense everyone is, and how that messes with their lives!
The case is of a girl found dead in the woods, poisoned, and with a club stamp on her wrist. It's Lucifer who notices that the stamp means a club, but he doesn't know which one--because, as it turns out, it's a roving underground club, where rich guys go to pick up escorts. Her roommate is also found dead of the same poison, and their friend says that she hasn't seen them all week.
Ella figures out that the poison was mandrake, and would have taken at least 90 minutes to work, which rules out their first suspect.
Lucifer convinces Chloe that if these girls were in some underground situation, the best way to figure it out would be to go out and retrace their path. With a ladies night. Because she could use it. He gets Ella, Maze, and Dr Linda to show up and they basically drag Chloe away from her work, since she's fixating on it to the point of obsession. She goes to far as to show up at Lux, ruining Luci's attempt to get two girls up to his room, and tries to get him to talk over the case with him even though they're supposed to be off for the night. Chloe, however, doesn't know that the night out is a setup.
While at one of the bars they know the two victims were at, after finding no real leads, they decide to give it a rest and just have fun. Bond. Do ladies night right. They share secrets:
Dr Linda: To put myself through medical school, I worked as a phone sex operator.
Ella: I used to steal cars.
Maze: I was forged in the bowels of hell to deliver eternal torment.
And that's when Chloe admits that she's freaking out about actually finally getting divorced from Dan. I'd thought they were already separated enough that she's basically living the divorced life anyway, but apparently not. She worries about being a single mom, about having to move into a new place and how she's going to afford it, how it's going to affect Trixie, and everything else that it could mean. It's why she's been drowning herself in work.
The girls rally around her, they all get raging drunk, and Chloe feels like she's got supportive lady friends for the first time in her life--like a normal person. Since she was a teen star, daughter of a movie star, even though the show doesn't really talk about it much there's the hint that she's been lonely for a long time. And it was amazing seeing the women band together for themselves and each other, without work or men or anything else getting in the way. I hope they keep getting into Chloe's headspace other than just her being annoyed at Lucifer and worried about Trixie!
It's great fun. So of course they get into a barfight with the girlfriend of a guy Chloe notices has the same stamp on his wrist: a clue, finally!
Once they've trashed the place, the dude tells them how to find the sex club, and back at the precinct, Chloe decides that Dan should take Lucifer--because Dan can't NOT look like a cop, and Lucifer knows his way around these sorts of things. Lucifer brings Amenadiel. They talk enough for him to figure out that his big brother is going through something, but Luci is so determined to distract himself from his own problems that he doesn't quite hear what Ama is trying to say; he takes him out on the town to blow off some steam, assuming that that'll help.
For the first time, I really felt sorry for Dan, having to herd these cats. Lucifer is enjoying himself maybe a bit too much, Amenadiel goes crazy with dancing and boozing until he falls asleep in a chair in the middle of the party, and everyone can see that Dan is a cop. Somehow, though, they do work it out: the bartender says that the girls' drinks were clean when he gave them to them, so he doesn't know how they got poisoned, but he does know who the two were with, a guy named Yuri. And a third girl.
Lucifer and Chloe track down Yuri and find him sick to his stomach and sleeping in his car. He says the girls didn't know they were supposed to be dates, they thought it was just a party; they left without even finishing their drinks, so he did. He got the same poison! Not enough to kill him, but enough that he's been sick since then. There's a nice moment here where despite everything that's going on, Lucifer and Chloe fall into mutual partner-speak and figure out the story. He's still an enormous child, but watching Luci slowly become not just invested in the cases and the job, but also naturally and non-braggingly good at it is such a fun thing. He's becoming the partner and the emotional support that Chloe needs...though still in fits and starts.
Yuri's phone has a picture of the third girl--their friend who claimed she hadn't seen them in a week!
Back to her house. They find her packing up for a hasty trip back home to the midwest. When they push her, she attacks Chloe with a boxcutter and tries to cut her throat, but she also admits that she went off the rails because she's always wanted to be a star and she's been in LA for years with nothing! Then her two friends from back home show up, wanting to know all about the city and the life. She tried to get them into the escort business because that's what she had, and she poisoned them--but that was an accident. She thought it would loosen them up and make them better dates, like an herbal roofie. So she meant to be a prostitution-abetter and wound up being a murderer.
Chloe gets the better of her when Luci's phone distracts the girl, and they arrest their perp. They also solve the problem of where Chloe can live now, since having a murderer in the house's history should give them the ability to haggle a price she can afford.
Meanwhile, Charlotte, Mama Morningstar, is not handling being a human well. The kids gross her out, recipes keep thwarting her, she doesn't like her husband, and Maze keeps showing up to gloat. But it's better than Hell.
After all is said and done, Amenadiel finally finds out about Lucifer's deal with their dad. Specifically, that in exchange for protecting Chloe's life, Luci will take Mum back to Hell. Ama thinks that their dad will be more literal than Lucifer's "loophole"--that he'll want her literally back in literal Hell, not sitting in a human life that's like Hell. If he thinks Luci has reneged, might he not reneg in turn?
Lucifer says that's not likely, but he's already panicking, you can see it--and then somewhere across town, just as Chloe gets the news that she got the apartment, someone rams their vehicle into the side of her car, knocking her off the road!
The previews for next week show Luci as close total flip-out as we've seen him over her, so it should be really good! Lots of potential for them to face what they're starting to mean to each other and what they want out of their partnership...though in reality, the show probably won't be that deep.
This week was neat. Everything played well together and made perfect sense, and there was lots of little character stuff that made everyone feel more real and solid as people. Everyone's lives are changing, and that gives us a chance to see who they really are outside of wherever they started last season. Plus, they're mostly (cough - Amenadiel - cough) not wallowing in it, which is nice; that'd drag down the fun of the show!
Lucifer's attempts to keep his mind off his deal and his mother led him to randomly study botany and realestate, one of which helped the case and the other of which helped Chloe with her apartment hunting--and it's super adorable that he doesn't even realize that his boredom-driven random new hobbies both were Chloe-directed. Or that his trying to keep her off his back about what's bothering him came out as a basically sweet concern for her wellbeing. Can we hope that the ton-of-bricks realization of what she means to him will come next week, or is it still too soon in the series for that?
Dan is being super gracious and polite about what Chloe's going through and keeping out of her way as she figures it out, which is the most reasonable and adult he's ever been. And seeing him at a loss dealing with two partying angels is adorable!
Maze is putting her foot down and making a real effort to define herself as equal and useful to the people around her--she even apologises to Chloe when she finds out that going out was a set-up, and admits that she likes these ladies and it wasn't all faking. Plus, during the half hour Chloe doesn't remember because of booze, she agreed to be Chloe's room mate since she has money, likes Trixie, and there won't be any threat of her stealing Chloe's clothes. Chloe isn't exactly thrilled, but it says something about them both that neither decided to forget their drunken mutual soution to their problems.
I really want to know more about Ella's days stealing cars now. When will THAT talent and skill come in handy?
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