Lucifer S01E08 “Et Tu, Doctor?” REVIEW

Lucifer S01E08 “Et Tu, Doctor” REVIEW

Lucifer_1.08_et_tu_doctor_principal

 

stars 4

Airing in the UK on Amazon Prime Instant Video, new episodes every Tuesday
Writer: Jenn Kao
Director: Eagle Eggilson

 

Essential Plot Points:

  • Lucifer is becoming jealous of Dan still hanging around Chloe though he refuses to admit that it’s jealousy even when his shrink, Linda, tells him it is. He thinks it’s Chloe who needs the therapy to treat her addiction to douches.
  • A lifestyle guru known as “The Cheater Therapist” is found dead. His shtick was that marriages could be fixed through the use of extra-marital affairs. Lucifer approves.
  • Chloe needs to bring in a psychiatrist to help on the case. Lucifer manipulates matters to make sure Linda gets the gig. What he really wants is for her to “fix” Chloe, but she’s not playing ball.
  • Chloe and Linda actually bond over their concern for Lucifer and both credit the other with helping to make him less of a dick.
  • It turns out “The Cheater Therapist” was killed by a man in love with his wife. Lucifer gets to him to confess almost by accident at a group therapy session.
  • Lucifer cannot see a parallel between the jealous guy and his own situation.
  • Linda, who’s beginning to feel used by Lucifer, tells him that they must not sleep together any more, and their relationship must be kept professional.
  • Lucifer learns about Amenadiel renting the office next to Linda’s and make the connection to Maze. He goes back to the Lux and dismisses her from his life.
  • Meanwhile, Malcolm – the police officer who was saved from death last week – is recovering well and acting like a git, sneaking into Chloe’s house and warning her not to investigate the circumstances of his shooting further.
  • His old partner appears to commit suicide, leaving behind a confession note about shooting Malcolm.
  • Actually, Malcolm killed him and faked the note. He later meets Dan in secret. Turns out Dan was the one who shot Malcolm but for reasons yet unclear – leverage possibly – Malcolm doesn’t want to grass up Dan. Yet.

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Review:

The green-eyed monster is everywhere this week. One of the tropes of American procedural drama – crime or medical – is having a lead character confront a case that reflects on their own life, usually a particular problem their experiencing at the time. So if a doctor in ER, say, is accidentally pregnant and considering a termination, they’ll end up treating a woman who has to have a hysterectomy. Or if a cop in LA Law has just been told they have early onset alzheimer’s, they’ll investigate a case involving a witness with dementia. It’s rarely subtle.

So you can’t help inwardly groaning a little when Linda diagnoses Lucifer with jealously and next thing you know he’s investigating a case involving a murdered quack shrink who encourages people to have affairs to fix their marriage problems. Of course the motive is going to be jealously!

However, things don’t pan out as you might expect. Lucifer doesn’t believe he’s jealous. He thinks there’s something wrong with Chloe for fancying Inspector Douche and tries to get Linda to analyse her. All these little lesson about jealously going on around him have no effect on him. Then at the big moment at the end of the episode – the point when the main character should learn from the “moral of the week” and become a better person – Lucifer just goes, “Nah, I can see no parallels between this guy and me.”

In other words, the show is taking the piss. And is does it very amusingly. It’s great fun watching Linda and Chloe ganging up on Lucifer, then watching Lucifer deflect their criticisms like water off a duck’s back. In fact, there is a slight re-emphasis on Lucifer’s character this week. Previously he’s been keen on gaining the human experience but now, having been through his “rebirth” he comes across as even more alien and disconnected than ever. What’s more he wants it that way, telling Linda he needs to put his emotional barriers back up. The result is subtly different Lucifer; even more devil-may-care, if that’s possible, and even less aware of how he affects those around him.

This leads to two highlights in the episode, both involving when Lucifer going off on one – all wrapped up in himself – and yet somehow ending up doing the right thing despite himself. The way he talks the guy out of committing suicide by telling him that his life couldn’t get any worse is comedy gold. Later he gets the murderer to confess by unwittingly pushing all the guy’s wrong buttons while delivering a monumentally self-absorbed monologue.

As with last week, though, it’s not all comedy at the expense of drama. Well, okay, when it comes to the crime plot it is a case of comedy at the expense of drama but you can let that slide because the crime plot is just plain ludicrous anyway; there was no way the investigation was going to be gritty and dark.

Elsewhere, though, the ongoing crooked cop storyline is darker, and largely, it works. It’s a bit of a shame Dan’s been revealed as the “missing link” because it feels like a rather obvious and cheap development. It also muddies the Lucifer/Chloe/Dan love triangle, potentially setting up a way to get Dan out of the frame. Unless, of course, there’s a noble reason for what he did which is more than possible. On the other hand, Malcolm has the potential to be truly interesting ongoing villain, especially if – as is hinted – he being manipulated by Amenadiel on some level. Certainly the arc plot is providing the real tension and trauma on this show.

It’s also good to see Linda take a step back from her involvement with Lucifer. She’s a clever woman and she seems disturbed by the way she’s let herself be used. It could be argued that what Lucifer is doing is form of rape but we doubt if a show as fluffy as this would ever want to open that can of worms. If it does, and opens Lucifer’s eyes to the fact compelling women to sleep with him is an abuse of their freedom of will, then we’ll be the first to applaud.

Lucifer’s had a run of good episodes now after a shaking patch. Hopefully this is a sign the writers have worked out the right tone and formula for a very unusual show.

Lucifer_1.08_et_tu_doctor_linda

The Good:

  • Linda and Chloe ganging up on Lucifer.
  • Loads of juicy arc plot developments.
  • The two moments when Lucifer gets results without even trying (talking the guy out of killing himself and getting the killer to confess) were both brilliantly silly; the show should use Lucifer in this way more often
  • A rebirthday is a brilliant thing to celebrate and we loved they way Lucifer had clearly stated on the invites, “Must wear wings!”
  • “It’s like a fat man sitting on my chest… but not in a fun way.” There’s a fun way?
  • “She’s verbal ebola!”
  • “What are you? A girl band?”

The Bad:

  • Dan being revealed as the mystery shooter feels like a bit of a cheap shot (excuse the pun).
  • Lucifer working out that Dr Canaan is Amenadiel then making the link to Maze is all a bit sudden and convenient.
  • Malcolm seems to be channelling Christian Slater just a little too much.

 

And The Random:

  • This week’s devilish music includes:
    • “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie – The opening scene at Lucifer’s rebirthday party at The Lux.
    • “Devil Like You” by Gareth Dunlop – When Linda goes to The Lux.
    “Hellbent (feat Snowblood)” by Mystery Skulls – Lucifer confronts Maze at the end of the episode.

Lucifer_1.08_et_tu_doctor_devil_in_your_eyes copy

  • There’s also a rock track playing when Dan and Chloe go to the bar where the cops are celebrating Malcolm’s recovery that is defying our Google-fu, but which contains the lyrics, “Call me up on your little black phone/Look for a big surprise.” More significantly, when Malcolm winks evilly, you can hear the lyrics, “Devil in your eyes”.

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  • Good grief Maze ought to keep an eye on where she’s pouring; this shot cuts away just at the moment she misses the actual glass.

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  • It may have just been an odd lighting effect, but are the soles of Lucifer’s shoes supposes to look a devilish red?

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  • When Lucifer says, “The royal ‘we’”, we did wonder if he actually meant that foul-looking gunk in the jar looked like “the royal wee”.

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  • The guy threatening to throw himself off a rooftop is played by Jim Rash, who played the outrageously camp Dean Pelton on Community.

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  • The Judge whom Lucifer shags to make sure Linda is assigned to the case is called Michelle Tourvel. Michelle Pfeiffer played Madame de Tourvel in the film Dangerous Liaisons which is arguably what the judge is involved in here. Meanwhile the list of names inside her file are once again all crewmembers on Lucifer; location managers and art department people mainly. As for why the murder victim’s wife is named after a ’60s pop singer – Sandie Shaw – we have no idea.

Review by Dave Golder


Read our other Lucifer reviews

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. RY says:

    As he has vehemently stated, Lucifer never compels anyone to do anything. He plays off their weaknesses but that is not the same thing as taking away their free will and personal accountability. The claim of rape is unfair and detracts from personal choices made by the characters.

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