“What could possibly go wrong?”
Every show has one of those episodes that, despite its attempts at creating an entertaining spectacle, falls flat on its face. Unfortunately, this week’s Lucifer—and, in a way, the end of last week’s—does just that.
To be fair, ‘All Hands on Decker’ was playing against a stacked deck from the start. After last week’s surprising proposal from Pierce and Chloe inexplicably saying yes to it, ‘All Hands’ needed to find a way to clean up the mess made by the ridiculously abrupt engagement. But, as always, things start with a murder…
Jump to a dog show where Francis Hoffman, owner of a prize-winning mastiff, is found dead. Said dog is nowhere to be found thus begins the case. It’s here that we get the first curve ball believing that Chloe’s spread too thin with work and wedding planning, Pierce decides to give her some time off (after all, the wedding is in 3 weeks). Her would-be cases are directed to Dan, a character that has been all but forgotten these last few months. He’s paired with Lucifer to sniff out the killer. Unfortunately for Dan, Lucifer’s still pondering why Chloe would choose Pierce and not him and, like so many characters, he refuses the advice given to him on multiple occasions: admit his feelings to Chloe and go from there. But where’s the fun in that?
Sadly, ‘All Hands’ is lacking in the fun department. Sure, the Lucifer/Dan pairing seems to be a perfect partnership to up the laughs and while there are a handful of chuckle-worthy moments as Lucifer channels his inner-Chloe while asking Dan to be more like the Morningstar, that humor falls flat. The most disappointing aspect of “what could have been” is Chloe’s bachelorette party. One would think that the exuberance of Ella to make it a special night juxtaposed with Maze (who thinks the Mark is still on Pierce) fighting to turn Chloe back to Pierce would almost write itself. The entire ladies night evening falls flat though, with Chloe’s attempts to play the drunken bachelorette hysterically bad while Maze is so out of place as the voice preaching the sanctity of marriage that the chemistry of the foursome—Maze, Chloe, Charlotte, and Ella—is a big swing and miss. And yet, on the bigger message, while ‘All Hands on Decker’ isn’t a home run, it’s a two-run triple.
One thing previously mentioned in these reviews is that, over the past several episodes, the Lucifer writers have done a better job weaving the procedural murder cases in with the through line of the episode. In other words, our main characters’ development can be identified in whatever the homicide of the week offers. In that aspect, ‘All Hands’ is no different. From the murder case perspective, on that turned out to be an accident, Frederick, the hubby of the victim, was upset with his belief that he came in a distant second in the relationship behind the prized mastiff Cornelia. But Francis never realized that because Frederick kept the truth to himself. So how does that tie in with our characters?
On the Chloe/Pierce thing, it’s always seemed that Chloe has been the yes woman to her beau’s decisions. She’s never really stopped to think of what she wanted and, during a moment of honesty with the bachelorette party bus driver of all people, Chloe realizes that she’s never really given herself the respect of being honest with what she wants. In the end, it’s not rushing into a marriage, thus she calls it off. That is one of the better moments because it’s a reminder of what Chloe has been for the better part of Lucifer’s run—a strong, confident woman. It’s unfortunate to have lost that aspect of her character for so long but maybe this is what we’ll see going forward.
Chloe’s not the only one to have an epiphany. Though he’s been lost in the shuffle for quite some time, Dan gets his own play in the spotlight, channeling his inner Lucifer but, more importantly, being honest with himself insofar as his relationship with Charlotte. “I want you” he tells her towards the end, “the whole deal”. It’s his honesty that releases the pressure he’d been holding in as well as move forward his relationship with Charlotte.
And then there’s Lucifer. Ever the self-absorbed archangel, Lucifer uses his time with Dan to suss out Chloe’s reasoning for choosing Pierce instead of him. It takes some time but it’s not until he berates Dan for being “unreliable” that Lucifer sees himself the same way Chloe does: too often he does what he wants, Chloe’s thoughts and feelings be damned. So when he heads off to tell her the truth on his self-discovery, we see his growth as a character…of course, not seeing the ring on her finger changes things and Lucifer stuffs the little nuggets of self-realization back into the abyss of his self-centered nature. What this means for Lucifer and Chloe is anyone’s guess. So long as it turns out better than this episode.
- Now that Maze knows the truth, it’s only a matter of time before she comes for Pierce’s head. Is there a chance the newly mortal will come clean with Lucifer? At the moment, it seems like his best bet for survival but, the way things are developing, I have a feeling that Pierce’s murder and Lucifer being fingered for it will be used to draw season 3 to a close.
- While the episode was a big fail, the overriding message of being honest (with one’s self as well as those close to you) is a strong one. Often we brush off such honesty for fear of how someone will react to it. Eons old or not, Lucifer falls into that same trap, even forgoing the chance to open up to Chloe when he sees she’s no longer engaged. Tying into the previous bullet, the odds are good that the Morningstar will finally admit his feelings for the detective…only to be arrested for Marcus Pierce’s murder…
Lucifer: “All Hands on Decker”