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.

Leverage

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.

Deception

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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lucifer 3.20: “The Angel of San Bernardino”

“I am definitely not this angel and I know just how to prove it.”
- Lucifer

I went into this episode expecting to be highly annoyed with the Chloe and Cain storyline. It was kind of irritating but there were parts of the episode that made up for it. I’m also hoping that Maze is done with her revenge because that’s just unnecessary. There are too many storylines going on right now to put up with that.

Before we dive into the two main storylines of the week, let’s get Charlotte’s C-story out of the way. Now that she knows about God and angels and Hell and all, she’s reverted back to her wicked ways assuming that Amenediel can just pop her up to Heaven when the time comes. She even convinces Dan to sneak into a utility closet at a bar and stirp naked. Yeah, Dan is just so gullible. And totally into her. I do hope they work out but she needs to get her head in the game. Amenediel stops by for a chat as she’s trying on some ridiculously expensive necklace to explain that it’s who she is and her actions that determines whether she gets into Heaven. She doesn’t think she can change but I suspect Amenediel is going to make it his mission to help her out.

The crime of the week involves the son of a wealthy family who is murdered and the landlady who says she was saved by a guardian angel. Lucifer, who has been having trouble sleeping, fears that he is somehow responsible and so first decides to handcuff himself to his bed (after he finds what he believes is the figurine that went missing from the woman’s house in his bedroom) and then comes to the conclusion that he just shouldn’t sleep. It seems every time there is another step in the case, it comes in the evening and no action can be taken until the next day.

So, he ends up binging on drugs and alcohol and sex for a week (and binge watching all 12 seasons of Bones which I think is pretty hilarious). He imagines himself as Bones and Chloe as Booth. It’s all pretty hilarious until he claims a man of interest (who was seen arguing with the victim not long before his death) is in fact the killer. He actually played a killer on Bones in season 3. He’s an actor who was hired to be friends with the victim. In fact, this guy was hired to be the best man at a friendless guy’s wedding. This leads the Lucifer figuring out that a man they talked to and thought was the husband of the victim’s ex-girlfriend (who is the mother of the victim’s son) is also an actor for the same agency. Lucifer in his manic state confronts the guy at home and he admits that he killed the guy because he didn’t want the victim to take away his family. The woman had fallen in love with the actor for real. As Lucifer rails against the guy for being an imposter, he comes to the realization that Chloe may in fact be in peril.

This brings us to the continuing drama of Chloe and Cain. It seems that Cain is setting up Chloe to utter “I love you” so that he can then disappear on her. He seems to think that getting someone to fall in love with him will remove his mark and he can then die. Maze is willing and able to help out with the dying part. She also gives Chloe some advice. Admittedly, Chloe is a little suspicious of some of the phrasing Maze uses because it’s exactly like what Cain says. But, she brushes it off because she’s so smitten. And when Lucifer freaks out on her that he can’t sleep because he’s going nuts, she confronts him on why he’s so opposed to her and Cain (obviously she doesn’t know his true identity) being together. He drops the truth on her but because he’s so strung out and manic she doesn’t believe him. I really wish she would. But that wouldn’t make for romantic drama.

Chloe thinks everything is going great with Cain when he shows up with chocolate cake (Trixie’s favorite) and some beers. But right before Chloe says the three magic words, he bails on her. Lucifer, it turns out, is having about as a good a night as the detective. Maze shows up to find him frantically looking for the figurine to prove to Chloe that he was set up by Cain. Well, it wasn’t Cain. It was Maze pulling his strings because she’s mad at him for not taking her home. So, she played on his daddy issues to get back at him. Lucifer shows up at Chloe’s house to find her bereft, leading him to bust into Cain’s place and lay a beat down in anger on our immortal. Cain admits that he couldn’t hurt her by letting her say “I love you”. And now, somehow—I really hope they explain how because I’m a little lost—Cain’s mark is gone. He’s human and able to die. But something tells me he’s not so ready to go as he thinks he is. I also doubt that Lucifer is going to let him off the hook so easily with how he’s hurt Chloe.

From what the preview shows it looks like Cain is going to try and win Chloe back and Lucifer wants Chloe to choose him. It’s going to be all out war between these two immortals and I know who I want to win. It’s always meant to be Chloe and Lucifer form the beginning. It shouldn’t matter that Chloe was put there for Lucifer. Maybe that’s a good thing. Lucifer is so busy believing everything God does is to hurt him that he can’t possibly admit his father did something to help him. I just really hope this love triangle resolves before the end of the season. I don’t want to go into the new season with all of this drama hanging over our heads.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Lucifer 3.19: “Orange is the New Maze”

“We can’t punish the innocent or the usually guilty but innocent this one time. It’s the principle of the matter.”
- Lucifer

This week’s episode was all about Maze. Or at least the A plot focused on our resident demon> Maze is still unhappy with all the humans and their emotions and she wants to go back to Hell. But Lucifer refuses, saying that it would have bad consequences and could put Chloe in danger. It would appear that Maze takes matters into her own hands when a body is found and security camera footage shows Maze pulling a knife out of the dead man’s chest. Lucifer thinks he’s guilty and trying to manipulate him to take her home, but Chloe doesn’t believe that she’d do this. Cain—who is now her official boyfriend—thinks Chloe can’t be objective. God, the more he’s around and horning in on Lucifer and Chloe, the more I want to punch him in his smug face.

After ID’ing the body, Chloe and Lucifer go to the winery where he worked and talk to the owner and the foreman who claim that Maze stopped by to talk to the victim. He was a former bounty of hers. They find a can of Maze’s favorite drink in the victim’s trailer and then Maze shows up at the precinct with the knife to confess. It quickly becomes clear that she didn’t kill the man. So now, Lucifer and company must set out to find out who is framing her and for what reason. Maze has other plans than just waiting in a jail cell to be exonerated. She tricks Ella into a hug to snag her pass so she can get into the file room and steal a file.

While the team is trying to hunt down the real killer, Lucifer and Amenediel have to deal with a big problem of their own: Charlotte. She’s told Linda that Amenediel shared that she was his stepmother and she’s just confused and can tell he’s holding something back. Linda urges Charlotte to just drop it and move forward but she can’t. When Charlotte later runs into Lucifer, she confirms that Amenediel is his brother and he drops the truth about Hell and her soul’s journey there on her. This leads Charlotte to think she’s crazy. I wasn’t entirely sure what the point of going down this road was for, other than to eventually redeem Charlotte. In the end, Lucifer shows her his wings and she’s not freaked out at all. She’s just relieved that it was all true and she wasn’t going mad. Where they go from here, I have no idea.

After Maze absconds with the file (it has the name of the bail bondsman who contacted Maze about the dead guy), she finds him at a weekly bowling night. The guy is a total pig but in typical Maze fashion she gets him to talk. I mean, sure she doesn’t get to stab anyone but she does threaten the guy with getting his face pummeled by a bowling ball. He was paid to call her to track down the victim. So there’s yet another layer of the frame job. He has just enough time to tell her the name of the corporation that hired him before someone takes him out with a sniper shot to the head. Maze is gone by the time Lucifer and Chloe arrive on the scene but the rest of the bowling team is able to corroborate that Maze was in the room when the bail bondsman was killed. So, at least they know she’s not responsible. But, she’s still in the wind and they need to find her. They think talking to some of Maze’s other bounties will prove useful. While most of them are useless (although oddly enough everyone seemed to really like Maze and cited her as being how they turned themselves around or at least learned useful skills for prison), the last guy used to work at the same winery as the victim.

It turns out that Maze caught the winery owner’s son who had driven drunk, killed a little girl and fled the scene. Maze beats our team to the winery and she kind of can’t believe that the woman blames Maze for the son dying in a prison fight. I have to side with Maze here. It is in no way her fault at all. But Maze now intends to take out the mother. She’s going to have to dodge bullets from the foreman to do it. Thankfully, Lucifer and Chloe show up. Lucifer gets to use his angelic strength to bend the rifle barrel so it’s useless and knock out the guy. Chloe tries to talk Maze down but it doesn’t really work. She ends up stabbing the woman in the foot.

The case may be closed but things are still very much up in the air. Lucifer is still annoyed that Cain for moving in on Chloe and Cain is now intent on getting rid of Lucifer so he doesn’t have to compete with the Devil. And Maze still wants out. Lucifer claims he still can’t take her back to Hell because he doesn’t want to lose her, too. Maze breaks down at this point, realizing that she will always be a consolation prize for Lucifer and no one puts her first. Well, that may be changing. Cain catches up to Maze at the bus station to tell her that they should team up. Sure, they aren’t friends but Cain won’t pretend to be. And they can both get what they want. This unholy alliance makes me really anxious. We only have a few episodes left in the season and this makes me think we won’t be done with Cain storyline before season 4 begins which just drags things out unnecessarily. I can only hope that the resolution involves Lucifer coming clean with Chloe and that she believes him and understands. Maybe God gave Lucifer his wings back for a reason he does not yet understand. Maybe it’s so Chloe can be with him? We certainly know that Cain is using Chloe for his own ends.