Lucifer: The best part of “Lady Parts” is said lady parts

lady-partsAfter a couple of weeks off writing due to some extremely inconvenient life stuff, I’m back now and catching up with Lucifer. As is often the case with this show, “Lady Parts” is a bit of a mixed bag. Following a good season opener that successfully rebooted the series and a couple of solid episodes that further established a new normal, this one could be generously described as set-up for things down the road but perhaps more accurately described as filler, with every character and plot spinning their wheels until the last few minutes of the hour.

The episode starts positively enough, with an interesting body discovery (though we never seen these guys again) and Lucifer back in therapy with Doctor Linda. I’ve been happy to see the show back off a little on his therapy sessions in general, but this is a good one. Lucifer’s philosophy of distraction and Linda’s deep sigh at the end of the scene are perfectly delivered. Unfortunately, this is one of the episode’s few highlights. Nothing else in the next forty-five minutes works quite so well as this exchange, mostly because Lucifer’s obsession with distraction quickly becomes farcical as he spends all his time this week pushing his new philosophy of deflection and conflict avoidance on his friends and family.

Chloe is not doing well following Dan’s request for a divorce last week, and she’s rather predictably throwing herself into her work and bottling up her feelings. The thing is, this isn’t all that interesting or dramatic. Chloe has always been a Serious Person, with a straight up hall monitor kind of personality, so her current funk doesn’t actually change her behavior. Poor Lauren German has been subjected to some of the worst writing of any actor on this show, and I feel like she does what she can with what she’s given, but Chloe’s best moments are always when she lets loose a little and that never quite happens here. A girls’ night out with Maze, Ella, and Linda has a ton of potential, but it’s ultimately a missed opportunity. It’s not without a couple of funny moments, but we don’t learn anything new about Chloe, she never really opens up, and in the end she’s unable to set her work aside and have fun.

It also doesn’t help that the whole girls’ night out thing is basically a set-up by Lucifer, who has wagered with Maze that she won’t get Chloe to relax. There’s an attempt to tie this to the case of the week, but it’s a tenuous connection at best and Chloe’s outrage at the betrayal of female friendship doesn’t ring quite true in the same episode in which she bemoaned her own lifelong lack of female friendship. That said, I am pleased by the development, late as it is, of a real friendship between Chloe and Maze, and I’m looking forward to seeing that odd couple sharing a living space. And for all that Chloe complains that she hasn’t had female friends, she does seem to genuinely like other women, which is nice. It’s refreshing to see a character whose lack of female friends is pretty explicitly about lack of time and opportunity rather than due to internalized misogyny or some kind of “not like other girls” syndrome. I just wish this Chloe-needs-friends plot was given more time to breath, and I hope (though I don’t expect) that it gets some consistent development going forward.

The biggest thing that isn’t working right now, however, is Lucifer’s mom. Last week, she was sentenced by Lucifer to a life as a human, she’s taken over the life of the woman, Charlotte, whose body she is inhabiting. This week, Maze drops by to visit, and as much as I love Tricia Helfer—and she’s game—there’s basically nothing about this that isn’t terrible, and I don’t know how the show can make it okay.

First, this is another woman’s life. Charlotte was, so far as we know, not the world’s best person, but still. That’s her house, her kids, her husband. For one thing, wouldn’t someone notice the change? For another, even if no one notices and the switch is pulled off with no one getting suspicious, it’s still deeply unethical. It’s particularly cruel to the aforementioned husband—who apparently is now being sexually manipulated—and children. That the show plays this essentially for laughs is kind of gross. It’s not funny, and I genuinely don’t see any way for this to be turned around into something positive.

Still, secrets on Lucifer have a way of coming out. With any luck, this one won’t last long. I only hope that when it breaks, the show takes the time to deal with the consequences in a reasonable fashion. I said to start with that this episode feels like it was mostly set-up. Here’s hoping that they’re setting up something good.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

  • I’m frankly surprised that the “Dammit, Leroy” guy isn’t an internet celebrity after that performance.
  • Ella used to steal cars, which is moderately intriguing.
  • And Linda worked her way through college as a phone sex operator. I never liked Linda’s sexual relationship with Lucifer, and it had seemed as if the show was distancing itself from that characterization of her as a sort of sexpot, but I guess they aren’t really.
  • “Cosmos are yummy.” I mean, I disagree, but D.B. Woodside’s delivery of this line was amazing.
  • Maze and Chloe are going to be roommates!

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