Friday, September 21, 2018

MTVP Emmys Coverage 2018: The Aftermath

“If you haven’t been watching tv lately, a comedy is just a drama that’s 30 minutes long.”
-Colin Jost

If there is one word to describe the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, I think it would be forgettable. Most of the bits didn’t work, because the were making light of things that shouldn’t be made light of right now (there is way too much at stake). I loved that “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won so many awards, because it’s a fantastic show, but most of the other winners left me unexcited. I found myself frequently internet surfing or otherwise getting distracted instead of watching the telecast.

“Saturday Night Live” actors Colin Jost and Michael Che had hosting duties this year (each network typically taps its own talent when it’s their year to broadcast the telecast. I like awards show hosts who have range. I’ve especially enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris’ song and dance numbers during awards shows over the years. Jost and Che didn’t do song and dance numbers. They mostly did forgettable banter. Michael Che did get in a few one-liners. He also did a segment called “Reparation Emmys,” where he gave after-the-fact Emmys to groundbreaking Black TV actors (including Jaleel White!). I’m still not sure how I feel about that segment. I appreciated the sentiment, at least, and I’m not really in a position to pass judgment on it.

Jost and Che might not have done the song and dance thing, but there was an opening musical number featuring other NBC talent, including Keenan Thompson (all the 90s kids rejoiced!) and Kristen Bell, called “We Solved It.” The number was meant to satirize the idea that by hiring one woman or person of color, the entertainment industry has “solved” its lack of diversity problem. There’s even a moment where Andy Samberg appears and is quickly told to leave because he’s a white man. And there was a “One of Each” dance troupe. This was another instance where I appreciated the sentiment, but I didn’t think the number quite worked. It was too on the nose, I think. There were also repeat bits with “Emmy experts Fred (Armisten) and Maya (Rudolph),” where it turned out they didn’t actually know anything about the Emmys at all. As a bit of an Emmy aficionado myself, I didn’t find it especially funny.

The format of the show was changed up a bit in an interesting way. For each award, the nominees would be announced by an offstage announcer before the presenters entered the stage. Then the presenters would just banter real quick and announce the winner. Sometimes there were other presenters to announce the category. I guess maybe it was a way to include more presenters? Regardless, there weren’t any presentations that were especially memorable. Except maybe John Legend and Chrissy Teigen presenting together – they’re always cool.

There were two other highlights that everyone seems to be talking about today. The first was Oscars director Glenn Weiss proposing to his girlfriend (weeks after his mother’s death) during his acceptance speech. It was sweet, although I would kill anyone who did that to me. I am not a make a fuss in public kind of person. Matthew Rhys, when he gave his own acceptance speech later for his work on “The Americans” mentioned that his girlfriend, fellow “The Americans” actor Kerri Russell, felt the exact same way. The other highlight was Betty White receiving a “Legends” award and giving a brief speech. Some of her words were a bit hesitant, but she still has the fiery spirit we all know.

The winners were hit and miss with me. Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz) won for his work on “Barry,” which is a show I didn’t even know existed. The commentariat seems excited about this win, but it didn’t do much for me, because I’ve never watched “Barry.” The “Black Mirror” episode “USS Callister, “ which features a Star Trek-like virtual reality scenario and the talents of Cristin Milioti and Jesse Plemmons, won for Outstanding Television Movie, which I appreciated. “USS Callister” is the only episode of “Black Mirror” I’ve ever watched, mostly because it was very hyped, and it lived up to the hype. It’s super creepy, but also has those nostalgic Star Trek vibes. The ending was a little too all tied up in a bow, but overall I thought it was solid. I was also happy to see Claire Foy win for her work on “The Crown,” because as I wrote on Sunday, she portrayed Her Majesty with a lot of grace, strength, and intelligence. “Game of Thrones” won for Outstanding Drama Series which, while I like the show, was a little “meh” as an award winner for me. I haven’t watched the most recent season, but I’ve heard it doesn’t quite measure up.

The big winner of the night, which was perfectly fine by me, was Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The show won Outstanding Comedy Series, co-creator Amy Sherman-Palladino also won for Outstanding Writing and Directing in a Comedy Series, and Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein also won acting awards. It got to the point where I started wondering what sort of marketing Amazon had done to make this happen. “Mrs. Maisel” is a great show, where 1950s housewife Midge Maisel reluctantly turns to stand up comedy when her marriage starts to crumble. It was created by “Gilmore Girls” and “Bunheads” creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, and it features plenty of their trademark rapid-fire dialogue. I also love how heightened the reality of their version of 1950s New York is. It’s a beautiful, thought-provoking show. I do wonder if all the awards were a bit overkill, but at least it was for a show I enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

MTVP Emmys Coverage 2018: The Players

Hello there! It’s been a while, I know. Working a demanding job with a 60 mile commute while managing a couple chronic health issues didn’t leave much time or energy for blogging. I now live in the same city where I work again (Hello, Charm City, I’m back!), so I’m going to try easing back into this blogging thing. What better way to get back into this than talking about one of my favorite events on the TV calendar, the Primetime Emmy Awards! The telecast will be tomorrow night on NBC, and "Saturday Night Live" stars Colin Jost and Michael Che will have hosting duties. Late Night talk show hosts are your typical Emmy host, so I’m interested to see how Jost and Che handle the telecast. I’m sure their improvisation skills will serve them well, and I hope they use their Weekend Update sensibility to bring a political bent to the telecast. Yes, I know everything seems to be politicized right now, but we’re in such a dire situation that everything needs to be politicized. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. As I do every year here, I’m going to go through a few categories and tell you who I would like to see win. It’s not a prognostication, just wishful thinking on my part.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

The Nominees:

Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Bill Hader (Barry)
Anthony Anderson (black-ish)
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)

My Pick: Donald Glover

My pick this year is the same as last year: Donald Glover for his portrayal of Earnest “Earn” Marks on FX’s “Atlanta.” I’ll admit I’m only one episode in to Atlanta Season 2 (aka “Robbin’ Season), but I think it still holds up. “Atlanta” feels like nothing else on television to me, and I think that Glover’s vision is a big part of that. I look forward to watching the continued adventures of Earn and his family and acquaintances, and I’m happy to see Glover continue to get recognition for doing innovative work and showing us all something we don’t usually see on television.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

The Nominees:

Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish)
Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)
Issa Rae (Insecure)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

My Pick: Rachel Brosnahan

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was pretty much the deciding factor to make me finally subscribe to Amazon Prime. I really enjoyed the pilot and wanted to see what was next as Midge Maisel pursued stand-up comedy in the 1950’s. Brosnahan’s winning personality really makes the show work. You can see Midge desperately trying to be the perfect 1950’s housewife, especially as her marriage falls apart, but at the same time she has a raunchy side that comes out when she gets in front of a microphone. Brosnahan makes both parts of Midge’s personality come to life, and it is really a joy to watch.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

The Nominees:

Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Keri Russell (The Americans)
Claire Foy (The Crown)
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)

My Pick: Claire Foy

This one was tough. I had to decide between Tatiana Maslany, who did incredible work playing more characters than I can name on Orphan Black, and Claire Foy, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II with such grace on “The Crown.” In the end, since Maslany has won an Emmy for her work on Orphan Black already, I went with Foy. Foy played the Queen on the first two seasons of The Crown – the role will be portrayed by “Broadchurch’s” Olivia Coleman. While “The Crown” has tended to go a bit too much in the direction of being all about poor, put-upon Prince Philip, I think Foy has done extraordinary work infusing the role with the dignity of the real QEII. I am still only part-way through season 2 of “The Crown,” but I still think Foy deserves to be recognized.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

The Nominees:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
David Harbour (Stranger Things)
Matt Smith (The Crown)
Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale)

My Pick: David Harbour

The second season of “Stranger Things” was a great showcase for David Harbour, as his character, Sheriff Jim Hopper, tried to be a father figure to recently-released-science-experiment and teenage girl Eleven. Hopper and Eleven’s relationship could be tumultuous, but they really do care about each other. As Hopper lost his own daughter to cancer before the series started, the relationship he builds with Eleven is especially poignant. Harbour shows a range of emotion throughout the season as he tries and fails to keep Eleven safe. Their fights and their eventual reunion were all pretty epic.

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Nominees:

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Silicon Valley
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

My Pick: GLOW

This was yet another tough one. “Atlanta,” “GLOW,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are all shows I really enjoy. I’ve given props to actors from two out of those three shows already, though, so I’d like to give the series nod to “GLOW.” “GLOW,” which chronicles the production of a 1980 all-female wrestling show, really celebrates women. With just a couple exceptions, most of the characters are women, and the show is written by women as well. This is something we don’t commonly see on television. The relationships between the GLOW ladies, particularly stars Debbie (Betty Gilpin) and Ruth (Allison Brie), director Sam (Marc Maron, whose podcast helped keep me going during those 60 mile a day commutes I mentioned earlier), and producer Bash (Chris Lowell, of “Veronica Mars” fame) are complex. In the second season, Debbie and Ruth’s relationship is especially tested, and Gilpin and Brie both offer up fantastic performances.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Art of the Con - Three Shows that Do It Well

So, if you’ve hung around the blog long enough, you know I am a huge fan of con and heist shows (and movies…still need to see Ocean’s 8). I thought I’d take a look back at some of the con and heist shows that I’ve enjoyed and break down what they do well and why I love them.


I covered the first season in recaps a few years ago and I’ve since re-watched most of the show on DVD several times over (I enjoy listening to the commentary from the producers and writers. It is just fascinating to hear how they come up with certain ideas and find locations). If you aren’t familiar with the premise (well you’ve been living under a rock), it follows a group of thieves, hackers, and grifters as they work to take down bigger bad guys. Think of them like Robin Hood in the modern age.

Over the course of the five seasons that the show ran, we not only got to know these characters extremely well, but we got to see them progress and grow as people and expand their skillsets until the end where the baton is passed. I primarily got into this show because of Christian Kane (who I adored from his days on “Angel”). But, I stayed for the team dynamic, great acting and fun cons.

I think my favorite part of the show, besides seeing the cons play out, was at the end of each episode where they reveal how everything was in fact a con and how it all was laid out. It fills the viewer in a little on how they pulled it off and I find that aspect of it all really satisfying. I guess I’m just curious to know how it all works. That was probably why I enjoyed the first Ocean’s move so much, too.


This was a mid-season show this past season which sadly only lasted 13 episodes before getting the ax. And right when things were really taking a turn for the crazy and interesting. Deception fell into the “quirky consultant to the police” procedural niche where you’d expect to find shows like “White Collar” or “Castle”. The lead protagonist, Cameron Black, is a disgraced magician (because the world discovered he had a twin brother (Jonathan) he used in his act who got arrested for murder). The premise of the show was Cam working with the FBI to prove his brother was framed and free him. Unfortunately, by the end, Cam was the one behind bars while his brother walked free and no one was the wiser. I wanted to see what happened next but alas, it is not to be because the network decided to cancel it.

Similar to what I enjoyed in “Leverage”, I liked seeing the magic that Cam and his team used in their deceptions as well as unraveling the mystery behind the magic. It was a fun, for the most part light-hearted show and the cast of characters was interesting and very watchable. There was still so much I needed to know about these characters. I would have loved some flashbacks to before the start of the show to see Cam and Johnny working out their acts and why they decided to continue performing as if they were one person even though their dad was a big jerk. I got into it because the lead actor (who is a newcomer to my TV screen and to acting in general) was so charming and cute. Why do the Brits have to be so damn adorable! I think this show hurts the most because it still had a long way to go with its story and we will never see what happens to Cam and his team.

Sneaky Pete

“Sneaky Peter” is an Amazon Prime original series which is much darker in comparison to the other shows mentioned in this post. And that’s primarily due to the fact it is on a streaming platform and can afford to be more graphic and violent (and foul-mouthed). It follows the story of Marius, a con man who gets out of jail and assumes his cellmate’s identity to avoid a powerful man from his past from coming after him. He ends up landing with his cellmate’s bail bonds owning family and all sorts of shenanigans ensue.

What I liked about this show was that they had multiple layers and levels of cons going on. And none of the characters were strictly good or bad. They had shades of grey (and not the creepy BDSM kind). Despite some of the flaws, you were rooting for most of the characters (well okay, maybe not Brian Cranston’s character, he was kind of an epic tool). I also liked some of the bit players we got to see throughout the seasons. They’d pop up occasionally when Marius needed them and it reminded me of when the Leverage crew teamed up with some of their adversaries in season 4 finale.

The show really felt like it was more of a mature “Leverage” throughout its two seasons and I am really hoping we get a third season (though from what I’ve read it’s not very profitable for Amazon so they may be cutting it from their roster). I also liked that with this show, you never quite knew who to trust and what was going to happen. And they weren’t afraid to kill or hurt people. I also found it kind of funny that we actually got to meet and interact with the real Pete in season 2, along with his mom. Maybe say a small prayer that we will get another season because Marius and company aren’t done yet!

If you want to check out any of these shows (and I highly recommend you watch all of them), Sneaky Pete is available if you are an Amazon Prime member. White Collar is still on Netflix last I checked and ABC should have all of Deception up on their website or mobile app. Happy viewing!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Lucifer 3.24: “A Devil of My Word”

“Hello, Pierce. It’s time for a reckoning.”
- Lucifer

We have come to the end of an era. Only a few short days ago, we got the sad news that Lucifer has been cancelled by Fox and unless another network or streaming service picks it up, this is the last we will see of Lucifer, Chloe and company. And I know I bitched about the storyline the back half of this season but after this finale, my faith in the show was renewed and I am downright pissed about not getting more. I can absolutely see now why the producer warned fans that they would be frustrated by the episode’s closing moments.

I’m going to structure this post a little differently than most of my recaps, seeing as this is the series finale. The crux of the plot is really bringing our team together to take down Caine for Charlotte’s murder. We know he did, even if he was aiming for Amenediel (side note: it seems for now, big brother has gone back to Heaven to stay). Dan is the first to accuse Cain after finding Charlotte’s Sinnerman file at home. I know it’s just a waffle iron but it broke my heart when Dan threw it against the wall and shattered it. He and Charlotte really were robbed of their happiness together. Lucifer has no trouble believing it since he’s known that Cain was the Sinnerman for ages and Chloe eventually gets on board with the theory (not the Sinnerman one necessarily but that he killed Charlotte). Ella is the last among them to be brought into the loop but only after Cain uses his Sinnerman connections to frame someone. Lucifer figures out who helped plant the evidence and the when the team uses Ella to try and draw Cain out, they get a hitman for their troubles. Before we get into the big final showdown, we also need to touch on Maze and Linda. They had their ups and downs this season with the whole love triangle nonsense but maze has finally realized that she needs Linda as a friend and she would run four miles and kill twelve guys just to get to her to make sure she was safe. I’m going to miss their odd little friendship. I was looking forward to seeing how they developed after maze accepted that emotions can make her stronger. For non-romantic pairings, this one was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed their drunken confrontation on the bachelorette bus a few weeks ago.

It turns out the hitman who promised information lied and sent Lucifer and Chloe into a trap. We know that things can get dicey for Lucifer when Chloe is around and she steps up to protect him (even as she continues to profess she doesn’t believe his metaphors). She takes a bullet and then Lucifer’s wings come out, creating a cocoon around them. The pain on Lucifer’s face as bullets hit him from all sides I horrible to watch and listen to. But he manages to save Chloe (thankfully she was wearing a vest!) and goes back to finish what he started. Despite the fact his wings are bloody and clearly causing him pain, he uses them to take out Cain’s men and ends up killing Cain with Maze’s blade. Amenediel’s theory about them making their own destiny seems to have rung true for Lucifer, but in killing a man, he gets his Devil face back, just as Chloe sees him and for the first time believes every word he’s ever told her. And that is where they leave us! What does Chloe do now that she has this information? How does it change her feelings for Lucifer (if at all)? So many questions left unanswered.

I have to admit that despite the ups and down of this past season, I have really loved this show. I really enjoyed Tom Ellis’ portrayal of the devil. Not having any background by way of the comics on which the show was originally loosely based, I came into the pilot with no expectations. And for most of the run, I wasn’t disappointed. I think they took what could have been a sort of hokey premise and made it something special. Sure, they are lots of procedural with a twist shows out there (and lord knows I’ve probably watched many of them as they tend to be in my wheelhouse) but Lucifer as a show really stood out to me. They built interesting characters that you wanted to get to know. They presented story arcs that drew out some fundamental questions and they weren’t afraid to throw you curveballs. Chloe being Lucifer’s Kryptonite? Wasn’t expecting that. Hell, I wasn’t expecting Lucifer to get his wings back or lose his Devil face. While the waiting and wanting to know the answers to some of these questions drove me nuts, I’m satisfied with the answers we got. I like that Lucifer and Amenediel figured out that the changes they went through weren’t God’s punishment or test but were their own feelings about themselves. It made the more human and relatable. And I have to admit, I miss Charlotte a lot!

If this is all we ever get of Lucifer, I’ll be disappointed because there are so many stories left to tell but I realize that many things go into renewing a show and admittedly Lucifer wasn’t owned by Fox (plus the ratings were down year over year and Fox may not exist beyond next season anyway). I have no doubt the cast will land on is feet wherever they go next and I do look forward to following them to whatever project pulls them in. So, thank you to Lucifer’s cast and crew for putting on a quality show that is gone far too soon. I know what I truly desire is more time with these characters but as in life, we don’t always get what we want.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lucifer 3.23: “Quintessential Deckerstar”

“I am the devil.”
“Not to me, you’re not.”
- Lucifer and Chloe

It has been a long time since we’ve had a double quote for a post but I felt this was necessary. We are making some movement forward with Chloe and Lucifer and I think we may have gotten a potential answer to why Lucifer’s wings came back. But, more on that in a minute. This week’s case drew a lot of our characters together and highlighted a lot of the reasons I do enjoy the show. Lucifer thinks because Chloe “un-chose” Cain, that it means she chose him. Linda tries and fails to get him to see that isn’t the same thing but in typical Lucifer fashion he doesn’t listen. He decides instead of just saying he wants to get things back to normal, he’s going to do normal and try to recreate some of his and Chloe’s best moments on cases, complete with a drink and playing the piano at the crime scene of a famous baseball player whose wife has been murdered.

Charlotte is still having her hell loop dreams and when she wakes up from the latest one, we see that Dan was in the picture (which is really sweet). When she gets to the precinct, she sees the baseball player who was in her dream. She swears that he has to be the guilty party. Chloe doesn’t really think there is strong evidence (he had a head injury from being knocked out and everything) but Charlotte is insistent. When she was a young lawyer years ago, her boss gave her a bloody duffel bag in the middle of the night from the player and told her to burn it. She did and she clearly feels really guilty for helping to cover up his past crimes. She just can’t prove that he’s’ the killer now. Ella, thankfully, starts to poke holes in the guy’s story about his head wound. He said it came from being clocked with a gun but Ella identifies it as a sharp force versus blunt force injury.

Enter the mistress. She corroborates his whereabouts on the night of the murder so they are back to square one. Along the way, Amenediel starts to wonder if maybe he’s responsible for losing his wings and not God. Like, there’s no test, he has to help himself. This doesn’t impress Charlotte much because she still thinks she’s going to Hell. I do really like them working together, though. They are a lot of fun. He poses as a potential client to get into Charlotte’s former firm and then she shows up as a distraction while gets files that show the baseball player paid off a lot over women over the last twenty years.

One other thing the mistress does, is say that the victim was having an affair, too. The alleged adulterer explains that they just worked late and that they were trying to thwart corporate espionage. They pass off some video footage of a hat and glasses clad figure which Chloe spends all night reviewing to try and break the case open. She turns Lucifer away when he shows up with a board came, intent on continuing their greatest hits tour. She thinks he’s making fun of her but he isn’t. Around this time, Charlotte and Amenediel figure out that one of the women the player paid off was murdered around the time Charlotte was given the bag and that the man who went to prison for the murder didn’t do it and just got out of prison. In short order, Chloe gets the recent parolee to confess to the present-day killing. Lucifer sees this and realizes that she didn’t need him to do her job.

While the rest of the drama is unfolding, Cain has moved digs and Maze shows up to end him. He proposes they kill Amenediel so he can get his mark back (I don’t quite understand why that is the case that’s what he wants) and then Lucifer will be forced to take Maze back to hell. But, Maze pulls a crying ruse on Amenediel and is surprised when he comforts her and tells her that he’ll always be there for her. I think she just hasn’t seen that the people around her still care about her. She goes to tell Cain that the deal’s off and they get into quite a fight until Cain says that he’s hurt Linda as insurance against Maze. When she goes to check her phone, h nails her with a sedative and runs off.

Thanks to some clever teamwork between Chloe, Charlotte and the player’s latest mistress, they catch the player admitting to the past murder. So, that’s two murders Chloe solved without Lucifer’s help. You expect him to be upset that he’s not needed but he realizes that Chloe works with him because she wants to. He also finally admits his feelings that he was too afraid to tell her the truth honestly before because she worried if she knew all of him, she’d run. He admits that he’s the devil and she tells him that he’s not to her. Now, Amenediel’s theory seems like it might hold some weight. What if Chloe seeing him not as the devil he thought all this time gave him his wings back? It’s a possible theory that I hope we continue to explore. And hey, we get a kiss between them, too! Unfortunately, all of the happiness is short-lived. Cain has decided to take matters into his own hands and he goes to kill Amenediel in the park as he sits with Charlotte. I really wish got to see more of them together. They’re a fun pair. They hear the approaching gunman and Charlotte throws herself in front of Amenediel, taking the bullets meant for him. She dies in Amenediel’s arms but he realizes that he has his wings back and he carries her off to Heaven. I do hope he comes back to face off against Cain with the rest of the gang and maybe be a shoulder for Dan because he’s devastated by Charlotte’s death. Poor Dan. He just finds happiness and it’s ripped away. I was honestly worried for a second they were actually going to kill Linda. Next week’s finale is going to be good.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Lucifer 3.22: “All Hands on Decker”

“It’s one night, what could possibly go wrong?”
- Ella

This episode turned out to be more entertaining than I expected it to be. Given that at the start of the episode, Chloe and Cain were getting married in just three weeks, I’m pretty pleased with the end result. Chloe is kind of overwhelmed by the all the wedding planning so Cain convinces her to take a few days of vacation to work on it without distraction. Ella also gets to fulfill a dream of hosting a bachelorette party. Things take a weird turn though when Ella appoints Maze as co-host. Maze still thinks Cain has his mark and she’s convinced she’s going to make sure they get married so the mark will go away.

With Chloe on vacation, Lucifer gets paired with Dan and much hilarity ensues. Lucifer can’t figure out why Chloe would say “yes” and so he’s decided to get into her head by being her. Meanwhile, Amenediel is tackling the Cain angle (Charlotte is on Chloe duty at the party). Charlotte suggests that Amenediel tap into some of his own fears since turning mortal and use them to needle at Cain to try and get him to change his mind. The guys do share a drink at Lux but I don’t think our fallen angel was successful in his task.

The Bachelorette party is a bust at first, too. Maze has planned a ridiculous party with no booze, strippers or good music. Charlotte remedies the situation by hiring a party bus (and convincing some potential sexually harassing college students to strip in exchange for dropping charges). Along the way, Linda sort of figures out what Maze is up to and a fight nearly breaks out on the bus several times (not least of which because Maze literally tosses the guy Linda was making out with off the bus). Ella is also not happy that Charlotte appears to be freaking Chloe out with divorce stats and such. In the end, it appears Chloe gets some sage advice from the bus driver that leads her to make an important decision.

Before we get to the big two outcomes of the episode, I should discuss the case of the week. Dan and Lucifer end up investigating the murder of a dog show participant and along the way, find the missing show dog. Things are rather awkward at first as Lucifer tries to “be” Chloe and Dan has to remind of things like certain questions to ask. The first lead takes them to an illegal gambling den where Lucifer does a little sleight of hand and takes Dan’s gun and badge and slips a wad of cash in his pocket before leaving Dan inside. He almost gets their current suspect to confess over poker when Lucifer bursts in with SWAT. It turns out, the suspect got into dog shows while in prison. He was seen arguing with the victim because the ex-con’s dog had gotten the victim’s dog pregnant and they were negotiating over the puppies. Their next lead takes them to the vet who has to certify all the dogs in the show. She claims to not know the dog was pregnant but Lucifer’s persuasion works on another employee who admits to taking the dog. She wanted to sell the puppies because she’s strapped for cash. As Dan and Lucifer are heading back to the precinct with the dog in the front seat, Dan explains that Chloe isn’t just her job. She’s a friend, a single mom and so much more. He also acknowledges that he’s been scared to tell Charlotte what he wants and he also points out that Lucifer is scared to ask Chloe why she agreed to marry Cain because he doesn’t want to know the answer. They return the dog to the victim’s husband but things don’t seem to sit right with Dan or Lucifer (especially after Lucifer discovers in doing the paperwork for the case that the husband knew about the puppies which contradicted what he’d told them when he picked the dog up). Dan also figured it out when the dog wouldn’t go to the husband. So, he’s gone to face the killer alone and unarmed. Lucifer shows up and Dan manages to take the guy out. It would seem the husband felt displaced by the dog (and now the puppies). The death was an accident and its at this point that Lucifer realizes why Chloe would say yes to Cain. He seems safe and stable and reliable.

However, it would appear that all of Lucifer’s soul searching wasn’t really needed since Chloe ends up breaking up with Cain (after he suggests eloping). We aren’t entirely sure why she ended it but I’m just glad she did. And so is Lucifer when he sees she’s no longer sporting a ring. I’m also happy to report that Dan and Charlotte are officially back on. Dan wants her and she’s cool with that. I think I’m going to like them together more than I did when she was Mom and just being weird and using him for sex. I think he can really have a good influence on Charlotte. I’m not sure why they decided to end things as quickly as they started them with Chloe and Cain as it seems a bit contrived. If they wanted to pit Maze against everyone as it seems they are doing, it could have been accomplished another way. As it stands, it looks like she’s still going after Lucifer so that’s not going to be good. I just hope the rest of the gang is able to thwart whatever she and Cain cook up next. And for goodness sake, Lucifer needs to admit his feelings to Chloe! I want to say that him being so immature and taking whole episodes to realize what he’s doing wrong or seeing his own behavior reflected in someone else is just his jealousy of Cain because I thought he’d made some good progress emotionally last season. But, it could just be the writers are still finding ways to keep them apart.

Lucifer 3.21: “Anything Pierce Can Do, I Can Do Better”

“I’m in. You are my brother and my test, whatever needs to be done.”
- Amenediel

So, going into this episode I had a sinking feeling I wasn’t going to like where it left Lucifer and Choe and the Cain of it all. And boy was I right. I’d love to say I’m surprised by Lucifer’s actions, but at least the way he acted was in character. And hey, I wasn’t the only one disappointed in him. He was, too!

The case involves the murder of a prima ballerina. The first suspect is her understudy (whose shoe was found at the scene and was in fact the murder weapon). But, Lucifer and Chloe are quickly pointed to a new avenue of inquiry: the victim was leaving to host a reality ballet coemption (seriously, do we need any more reality show?). With a little devil mojo thrown in, we learn that the head of the show was blackmailed into hiring the victim and then when he confronted her about it, she quit. Apparently, this guy was a big-name dancer who allegedly suffered a leg injury in a car crash. Thanks to Lucifer’s persuasion, we learn he faked the whole thing. Hence, blackmail.

In the midst of the investigation, we find both Cain and Lucifer trying to win over Chloe. Lucifer won’t admit it at the start but he wants Chloe to be with him. He initially frames it as restoring their partnership to what it was pre-Cain. Linda considers stopping him but doesn’t and she comes to regret it by the end of the episode. In his effort to woo Chloe back to him, Cain orders Maze to back off their plan (although hey his mark is gone). She isn’t going to let things go. She wants to kill Cain and pin it on Lucifer so his life on earth is ruined and he’ll take her back to Hell. She tries to make amends with Chloe in order to further her own objective but I don’t think it works out so well. Lucifer quickly sees what Cain is doing (trying to win Chloe back) and decides it’s going to be a competition of who can be better.

They start with giving her “stuff”. They both give her baked goods and then Cain stuffs her car with roses. Lucifer thinks he can one-up the Lieutenant by buying Chloe a car. She’s initially amused but then when she realizes he did it to one-up Cain, she gives the keys back. I really wish lucifer got out of his own way sometimes and just told her how he felt about her! He also tasks Amenediel (and by extension Charlotte) with finding a way to prove that Cain is the Sinnerman so that they can disrupt Cain’s attempts to win Chloe back.

I will admit, I enjoy Charlotte and Amenediel working together. They are quite fun. They stalk Cain to a meeting with a known fence and then Charlotte takes off on a motorcycle when Cain leaves. She lies about why she was following him (offering to be a rebound) to try and see what he got from the fence. Unfortunately, she can’t get her hands on it and when they break into his place later on, whatever he got from the fence was gone.

Thanks to some sleuthing by the cyber crimes division, Chloe learns that the blackmail video was sent from the IP of the person who runs the ballet company. Lucifer similarly deduced this (though I’m not sure how) and he’s already there when Chloe arrives. They start snooping and Lucifer proclaims the man is a stalker. When the guy gets home and Lucifer grabs him, Chloe realizes it isn’t so nefarious. They were having an affair. Later, Cain invites Chloe over to dinner so he can explain what’s going on. Lucifer overhears and invites Chloe to his place so that he can try to dissuade her from taking his nemesis back. Again, Chloe is impressed at first until she realizes that Lucifer is just trying to beat out Cain. She’s about to head over to see her ex when Ella and Dan discover a reflection in the blackmail video of the male lead in the production.

It’s only at this point that Lucifer realizes what a big mistake he’s made. The killer didn’t want to kill the victim but he did want her out of the way so the understudy could be the lead because he loves her. He was just afraid to admit his feelings to her. So, as Lucifer wallows in his own self-pity and heartache, Linda drops by to tell him she’s sorry for not stopping him. She challenges him to confront why he doesn’t want Chloe to be with Cain. First, he rails about his father’s plan but she calls bullshit on him. It’s an excuse and he knows it. He really wants Chloe to choose him because he loves her (and if Cain’s theory is right that Chloe’s affections make them both vulnerable, then she has feelings for him, too). But, Lucifer’s revelation is too little, too late. He arrives at Chloe’s to watch from the window as Cain proposes to her and she says “yes”. Honestly, I’m not sure why she accepted. She spent most of the episode unhappy with him and saying she couldn’t trust him for what he did. I knew this was where the story was headed based on previews and some other articles I’d read and it’s partly why it took me so long to get this post up. I really have not enjoyed this part of the season because it feels like an artificial way to keep Lucifer and Chloe apart. There was so much promise at the start of the season that now, feels like such a long time ago. Let our leads get together. Let Chloe know the truth and go from there. That can still be an interesting story and quite honestly, if we don’t get to at least Chloe knowing the truth by season’s end (in 3 episodes), I may be done blogging Lucifer.