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    Five Thoughts on Lucifer‘s “Expire Erect”

    By | June 10th, 2019
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    The devil is back! After three seasons on Fox, Lucifer has made his new home on Netflix with a shorter ten-episode fourth season. We are at the halfway point with episode five this week and closure is the word of the day! It’s like watching an episode of Sesame Street or something.

    You’re of course reminded, as I will continue to do because I am both a gentlemen and a scholar, that the entire season is on Netflix. Binge at your leisure, and please say leisure as pretentiously as possible. We’ll be covering Lucifer week by week, and with this episode we start the countdown with five more to go. But we’re here to talk about Lucifer making erection jokes as he lay dying, so let us dive in!

    1. That’s an opener

    So I wasn’t sure what to expect after of this episode after that opener. It threw me for a loop because it just seemed like a drug-infused, fever dream. There are a lot of drugs in this episode so I was at least right on that front. Lucifer spits blood into a martini glass, Ella and Eve are making out, and Chloe looks like she’s tripping balls staring at a sandwich. What an oddity. We get the obligatory “36 hours earlier” afterward, which just seemed stranger that this episode was going to build to that.

    And yet, as weird and funny as it was, this episode has a surprising amount of pathos. Of course we move from this to a gag of Eve having bought an “Eve costume” online, fig leaf and all, but still. There’s a lot of good here, and Mike Costa (“Venom,” “God is Dead”), who became a producer on the show with its move to Netflix, delivers a great script here. When the episode finally gets back around to where the opener started, things are a lot more serious, and everything makes sense in context in a non-hokey way. It really worked for me, not just the opener twist, but the villain twist at the end as well.

    2. “Why would I want to go back?”/The devil you were

    So this episode is all about going back or moving forward, and of course, the aforementioned closure. Lucifer goes off to work his last case with Chloe after Linda tells him he needs closure with Chloe so that he could possibly be with Eve as he debates whether or not being with her might be best for him. While he’s off galavanting, Amenadiel gets to have a moment with Eve that might have been my favorite interaction of the episode. Like last week, where Eve drops that she listened to everyone’s stories who came through the gates of heaven, we get another clever look at what it’s like up there. Amenadiel reminds Eve that Lucifer killed Cain, her son, which you would think might put a wrench in things, and posits she’s after revenge. Eve reminds Amenadiel that when he got back to heaven the last time he preached the gospel of self-actualization. They both size each other up, and it’s honest and even-keeled.

    Amenadiel goes on to confront Lucifer about Eve and is worried that she only loves and remembers the devil Lucifer was in the garden. Amenadiel is worried he might revert or backtrack and that she might play up all his worst tendencies. It’s interesting, especially as Eve remarks to Chloe later when they’re under siege at Lux, that Lucifer is the only one that ever asked her what she wanted, and wanted to make that happen. There’s so much good here about destiny and fate and change. Is Eve a good fit for Lucifer? She’s not scared of him. Is desire good? Can Lucifer and Eve make it work? Should they? Does it matter that he isn’t over Chloe? Also, the fact that Chloe gets to be a part of the process of talking about any of the divine stuff just makes this better. It’s also good that Eve just seems so honest, just like Lucifer. Again, a lot of good here.

    3. Ends and means

    Alright so Chloe, Lucifer, Eve, and Ella end up trapped in Lux when the killer comes for Chloe. He wants her help finding his wife, and he’s rigged the place to blow, and we spend most of the episode with Ella on drugs after celebrating a job well done, and Lucifer bleeding out from a bullet wound. All this gives Dan and Maze time to work.

    Continued below

    Dan ends up coordinating the hostage situation and Maze just wants to run in and get the guy. She tries to tempt Dan into thinking more like a criminal, just like when they beat up that gang a few episodes prior. He’s not having it as much, and lets Maze go wild a little, but reigns her back in. Again, Dan being serious, and not the brunt of all the jokes is a way better use of his character. Also having the constant negotiation between the ends justifying the means is good. Dan might be backsliding into when he thought more that the ends absolutely do justify doing a ton of bad stuff. And sure he blames himself at the end of the episode for putting the people at Lux in more danger by sending the wife of the killer in (who happens to be a criminal herself, plot twist), but he did the right thing for the most part. Lucifer was the only one who was hurt, and he seemed to strike a middle ground between getting the job done and breaking the law. All this gives Maze and Dan great character beats. Maze threatening that office worker and Dan telling the wife he can’t lose anyone else are the best beats both have had thus far in these five episodes.

    4. Closure

    Word of the day. The killer, Marco, is looking for “closure” by murdering his wife. Lucifer wants closure, but doesn’t quite know exactly what that will mean. Chloe wants Lucifer not to leave, Ella wants her “faith” or something resembling it, and Eve wants confirmation her new life can continue. They also just say the word closure so many times.

    Lucifer thinks he’s done working with Chloe, but with five episodes left that never really seemed like a possibility. What they come to though is really sweet and solid. They realize how much they care and need each other, and come to accept their new dynamic. Chloe more fully accepts him, and accepts that Eve actually might be good for him. She also has a conversation with Amenadiel about it all too, setting up a new relationship with them since she knows that Amenadiel is an angel now. She says Eve might be good for Lucifer, and perhaps she will be.

    The weirdest part of that interaction though was that Amenadiel tells Chloe her father is proud of her, implying that they’ve talked in heaven. It might’ve been a little too far, and on the nose, but it’s the kind of weird supernatural bit that this show has decided they’re comfortable doing now with Netflix as their new home. All of the divinity talk and conversations have been improved this season by Chloe being in on the bit, and I think this show not being on Fox. While this one instance was odd, it’s the kind of thing this show was afraid to do before, which feels more forgivable.

    5. Boyfriend?

    So Eve brings up at the beginning of the episode that Lucifer is her new boyfriend, which sends him into a tailspin. He hasn’t been tied down in, well, ever. He storms off thinking things are moving really fast, which I thought was going to tear into “Eve is really clingy and this is the conflict of the episode,” but that’s not the direction they went in at all. Linda reminds Lucifer that he was gonna do the whole dating schtick with Chloe only recently, so maybe give this a shot.

    And over the course of the episode Eve proves instrumental. She calms Ella down, she pep talks Chloe, she relays how much Lucifer likes and respects both of them. She cares about him a lot and is really protective and everything, but she’s fiercely loyal and kind. Lucifer by episode’s end has come around to the dating thing. Though, he’s cutting an apple when what might be the seed of destruction is planted. Pesky symbolism. He cuts his finger and doesn’t bleed, and tells Eve only the Detective makes him vulnerable, and we cut to the end with her upset. Where do we go from here?

    That’s all for this week folks! Sound off in the comments, and come back next week as we count down to the end!

    //TAGS | Lucifer

    Kevin Gregory

    Host of the Make Mine Multiversity Marvel podcast, Kevin is a displaced Texan currently in graduate school at The University of Chicago Divinity School. Feel free to email him about history, philosophy, theology, and politics (you know all those things people want out of comics). He's on Twitter @kbgregory13.


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