“If I’ve learned anything from this experience, is that it’s better to move forward than stay stuck in the past…we can’t rewrite history.”
When Lucifer and Chloe’s investigation into the murder of an author of a popular young adult series that leads them to a high school reunion, one would think the shenanigans would ensue. Instead of relying on fun to propel us through the hour, “High School Poppycock” examines the bonds of friendship, duty and how we deal with past experiences.
After a horrid nightmare where he loses Chloe, Lucifer is even more focused on tackling the removal of Marcus (aka Cain) Pierce’s immortal curse. It’s a singular focus predicated on showing “Dad” that he’s not as powerful as He thinks He is. The problem is that, between Marcus’s thousands of years and Lucifer’s devilish experience, the Lightbringer has hit a brick wall. A writer’s block, if you will. When he discovers the murder victim had the same issue before powering through, Lucifer raises his involvement in the case as they look to track down the killer while his search is—surprise, surprise—of a more selfish nature. Lucifer believes that getting his hands on the manuscript will impart him with the breakthrough needed to help Marcus but, more importantly, defy God in the biggest way possible.
Sure, the case itself is mundane with the editor being tabbed as the killer, but it does present an interesting role reversal between Chloe and Lucifer that powers it to the end. We all know Lucifer’s propensity to lose interest in a case that doesn’t appeal to his quixotic nature, while Chloe is all about the job. That all changes when the good detective becomes engrossed in the deceased author’s YA book series. It propels her back to times that, due to her mother’s fame and her own dabbling in acting at such an early age, she never got to experience. That’s never more evident than when the pair go undercover at the high school reunion in an attempt to ferret out the killer. Chloe doesn’t see suspects. Instead, she mixes the fictional reality presented in the books (the author’s inspiration was her own high school career) losing sight of what is most important. Albeit selfish, Lucifer’s goal to retrieve the manuscript would at least point to the killer. And it does just that, unfortunately for him said manuscript is no more, as the editor, wishing no one to read the author’s conclusion to the series, destroys it.
The loss leaves Lucifer at a loss, unable to figure out where to go next. Yet he does show growth in his disappointment, recalling Chloe’s throwaway line about never going to prom, Lucifer presents his partner and friend a few minutes of prom-y atmosphere. Watching the pair dance reminds us that there is still a connection that goes far beyond friendship between the two though whether we’ll see the day they cross that line is still up in the air.
Speaking of relationships, the strongest aspect of the episode is the Maze/Amenadiel/Linda triangle. It’s been a few weeks since Amenadial and Linda decided to end their entanglement…only they didn’t. Instead, they’ve resorted to sneaking around, having dinner in private to ensure Mazikeen never finds out. They really care for one another as well as for Maze and, considering the demon’s propensity to fly off the handle, are rightfully afraid of her reaction if they told her to truth. But we all know that, sooner or later, most truths eventually find the light of day. Thanks to Trixie’s innocent advice on how to help someone admit a truth they are afraid to admit, Maze brushes off her skills as a torturer to do just that to her friends. Staging a most awkward double date, she lays it on thick until Linda can’t handle Maze’s hands (and tongue) over Amenadiel. The ensuing fight is the emotional highlight.
It’s easy to forget Mazikeen’s demonic nature as she’s so likable and has generally become a bit less psychotic. It’s even more difficult to reconcile said nature when you see the hurt in her eyes at the betrayal by her two closes friends. It leaves Amenadiel and Linda in a bind: this is no physical fling, it’s become more than that and yet they’re selfishness has hurt someone extremely dear to both of them. The pair are good people, too good in some ways, as they both decide that breaking it off in order to salve the hurt their friend feels is the responsible thing to do.
“If I’ve learned anything from this experience, is that it’s better to move forward than stay stuck in the past.”
- With his immortal bravado and narcissistic tendencies, it’s easy to lose sight of the being Lucifer truly is inside. Whereas his confidence is real and almost a tangible thing, I find that his internal doubts may be even stronger. Sure, he wants to one-up God for booting him out of Heaven but part of that anger lies in a man desperately searching for his father’s approval. More than that, he’s also afraid, idly wondering “what else [God’ll] take from [him]”. This fear may be the reason the will they/won’t they between Lucifer and Chloe has seen so many start and stops. Sure, his original reticence was because Chloe represented another pawn in God’s attempt to control him but now, as his nightmare showed, losing Chloe would break Lucifer in ways I don’t think he even knows…
- How great was it for Lucifer to give Chloe something she’s never had? So often the Morningstar is so focused on his own needs that Chloe often feels pushed to the side. His gesture seemed to touch something within her and I have to wonder if that hope of something more developing between them has silently been rekindled within her.
- That sordid love arc between Maze, Amenadiel, and Linda has, at least for the moment, come to an end. And it brings up a very delicate situation. While the etiquette of dating your friend’s ex is always a murky topic (in entertainment as well as reality), it’s not something that can be viewed as cut-and-dry. Amenadiel and Linda were right to be concerned about Maze’s feelings and, in keeping their relationship for her, were definitely in the wrong. With that said, is breaking it off for their friend’s sake the right thing to do? Sure, not going down the path may have been the best thing to do from the start but feelings often seem to behave as their own separate being from ourselves and I have to ask, where do we draw the line in consideration for those dear to us and our own happiness?