Lucifer: 1.03 The Would-Be Prince of Darkness
Now this is more like it! After the fun, slick nature of the pilot episode, the second installment of Lucifer didn't quite deliver the same magic. Slower in style it gave some time to develop the relationship between the Devil and Detective Chloe Dancer but it wasn't quite as fun. Fortunately the third episode The Would-Be Prince of Darkness was hugely enjoyable, funnier and flowed much better in general.
From the opening scene, this was Lucifer Morningstar at his most devilish, seemingly convincing a woman to jump off a building - before cleverly revealing she was leaping into a swimming pool at a party - and then oozing charm to woo the ladies and find himself a threesome. But the real hook is becoming a witness to the murder of a young woman who hooked up with the party thrower - up and coming football star Ty Huntley. An innocent young man who doesn't drink and doesn't have sex, he becomes the perfect pet for Lucifer to have fun with but when Ty is arrested for murder, Lucifer sets out to find the real culprit and exact justice.
Like the pilot, it was a more believable way to get Lucifer and Chloe working together on the case by having a more personal connection to the victim. He is out to punish the guilty but he knows Ty is not than man. The case itself was another classic case of celebrity blackmail, stalking and agents crossing the line to protect their assets. In truth it wasn't anything we hadn't seen before but thanks to Tom Ellis's mischievous performance it still feels a little fresh to all the other multitude of cop dramas out there.
And there as a great subplot too with Lucifer discovering and tracking down a man impersonating him. I like that this injustice was just as significant as punishing the real culprit for murder and considering who he was impersonating, the man blowing fake credit cards, dining and low-class restaurants and damaging his sexual reputation got off very lightly.
The scene where Lucifer and Mazikeen confront him in the club was amusing; the devil's right hand man looked gleeful at exacting some excruciating torture and was clearly getting off on the idea of Lucifer punishing himself. But of course - as his therapist Linda tells him - he has come to LA to change his lifestyle and he isn't quite the dark and dangerous Prince of Darkness he once was. As the title suggests, not only is the imposter trying to play at being the devil, but so is the devil and I am sure this compassionate - almost human side - is going to put him to blows with Mazikeen sooner or later.
Not that he is completely good either. Chloe has clearly clicked on to the fact that he has some power over others and witnesses that in action on more than one occasion this episode - particularly when he convinces Ty's agent Joe to start talking. And the ruthless way he uses that power to throw Joe through the window as the killer is identified shows just how far across the line he will go. I am intrigued to see how this continues - I mentioned in the review of last week's episode that Lucifer and Chloe's dangerous fascination with each other is one of the most intriguing aspects of Lucifer and given how this episode ended, I am looking forward to see how this is explored further.
The Would-Be Prince of Darkness was another fun episode with Tom Ellis continuing to be cool, slick and very funny as he manipulates, consumes and generally takes delight in doing what he wants, when he wants while fighting this compassionate side within him. It was another good case for the LA setting, if nothing other shows haven't done but it was elevated by the lead character and his chemistry with Chloe. There is a lot of promise for bigger things to come but just three episodes in, Lucifer continues to be engaging and fun and sometimes that is all you need out of a TV show.