Lucifer: “Sweet Kicks” is a sour bore

Lucifer continues to disappoint, and “Sweet Kicks” is an almost entirely forgettable episode. I was moderately interested in this show before it first aired, even though I hadn’t read the comics, but after five episodes it’s only managed to be (mostly) inoffensively humdrum. There’s something to be said for a show playing its cards close to its chest, but there’s got to be something to keep people coming back week after week, and this show hasn’t really got it.

Tom Ellis’s charm has finally worn completely thin, and even his good humor wasn’t enough to elevate this episode to a bare minimum level of entertaining. Instead, Lucifer’s desire to “explore mortality” comes off as stupid, which is compounded when he proves himself essentially incapable of taking any responsibility for his own actions. Sure, I suppose the episode has something to say about his missing the forest of what it means to be mortal for the trees, but without any actual character growth, this isn’t particularly interesting.

Chloe is even more of a cold fish than usual this week, and spends nearly all her time on screen looking disapprovingly at Lucifer, accusing him of childishness (accurately), and devising petty and minor punishments for Lucifer’s irritating behaviors. It’s not cute or funny, though, and there’s no banter to their relationship. Lucifer is using her (although it was nice of him to not try and sleep with her this week), with no regard to how his presence might endanger her or jeopardize her career, and Chloe has a completely deadpan dislike for him that is the opposite of fun.

The character that I actually kind of liked best this week was Dan, who is somewhat useless in the narrative, but who is such a genuinely nice-seeming man that I can’t help but want good things to happen to him. While he doesn’t get a lot to do in terms of actually being part of the plot, he’s a piece of scenery in Chloe’s life that more or less works, and he’s one of the only characters who is consistently intelligent-seeming. I like that he seems to genuinely care about Chloe and isn’t afraid of Lucifer. That said, my bar for favorite character on this show is set pretty low at this point.

While Lucifer and Chloe are dealing with a deeply boring case of the week, Maze is meeting up with Amenadiel behind Lucifer’s back. Both of them want Lucifer to return to Hell, if for different reasons, so they’re going to plot together in order to get him to do what they want. These two are the only characters on the show who have any discernable sexual tension or chemistry, and they’re hands down more interesting to watch than anything Lucifer and Chloe get up to.

Honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to continue to cover this show. It’s not really good or bad enough for me to have any strong feelings about it one way or the other, and there’s plenty of other things I could be working on instead. Next week’s episode title suggests something more mythology-laden than what we’ve had so far, so I will decide then if I’m going to stick it out until the end of the season. With The X-Files finished with, I’m sure next week I’ll feel less overloaded, but I could always drop Lucifer and start writing about my deep and abiding hatred of Quentin Coldwater (The Magicians) instead.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

  • I don’t really “get” the sexy therapist character. Dr. Martin isn’t necessarily any specific misogynistic stereotype, but she seems more like a character from a crappy porno than a character who belongs in a prime time television show. Also, she doesn’t seem to exist for any particular purpose except to be funny, and she’s not.
  • Why did they have to kill the pig?
  • Maze is a legit badass, and I hate that she’s basically in an abusive relationship with Lucifer, who treats her like garbage. Tom Ellis isn’t nearly charming enough to make this okay.

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