• Lucifer-Off-the-Record Television 

    Five Thoughts on Lucifer‘s “Off the Record”

    By | November 14th, 2017
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    Ask and you will receive. All I wished for was an excellent episode of this show that leaned into all the mystical, hell stuff that this show could be known for, and we get it this episode. This is another one of those four episodes they held over from season 2, and with one added subtitle, they made this bottle episode fit perfectly in this season. Having neither anything to do with the current season or the ongoing plot, Lucifer turns in it’s best episode ever in true one-shot comic book fashion. Let’s dive in!

    1. “Welcome back to the land of the living”

    This episode opens with a man waking up in a hospital room and the nurse standing over him to comment “Welcome back to the land of the living.” We’re not given any reason why, we’re not told what happened, there’s no family there to comfort him, but he wakes up and tries to go make it right with his seemingly estranged wife, who when he arrives to their place is revealed to be sleeping with Lucifer. This seems a little off as it kind of seems like Lucifer is turning over a new leaf and won’t be being that reckless anymore, but whatever. The man, identified as Reese, is a reporter and sets out to ruin Lucifer’s life anyway he can, and Lucifer eggs him on in typical Lucifer fashion. The man’s a reporter and sets out to write an inflammatory story about Lucifer. And then it’s revealed this is Linda’s ex-husband, which throws a wrench in everything.

    2. Killing charlatans

    Reese assists Chloe and Lucifer on this case, which really turns into less of a case, and more just serving to underwrite Reese’s faults. We see Reese, Chloe and Lucifer at the crime scene where a woman has been murdered and has breast implants littered around her body to imply that the reason she was killed was because she got plasticv surgery. At that point it’s revealed Reese is Linda’s husband and the episode keeps going as Reese tries to incriminate Lucifer by following him to a couple of interesting deals where really he just buys some edible sex toys, again in typical Lucifer fashion. The episode then spirals as most of the case flashes before Reese’s eyes as Lucifer gets them a lead and goes to interrogate him. Reese tells Chloe at that point that Lucifer is just a frustratingly annoying, charming guy, which is true. The sequence where the case just blurs before Reese is one of the coolest bits the show has done so far from a framing perspective, and its nice to at least acknowledge that the case doesn’t matter when the case doesn’t matter. That’s been the theme lately that the cases have been pointless, but here it really is and I’m glad it’s showcased. As Reese keeps watching the interrogation, he witnesses Lucifer’s devil face, which if you didn’t know something was off before, you do now as Lucifer hasn’t had his face all season.

    3. One year later

    And with one throw away caption the episode explains all the previous inconsistencies and makes it fall in line with the rest of the season. Following Occam’s razor, after Reese locks himself in his office to try to find proof Lucifer is the devil and expose him, a year passes. It is certainly the easiest way out for the show as the episode has showcased Maze (who looks very season 1), and Lucifer sleeping with Linda which ended awhile ago. Dan’s also still on the pudding thing which got resolved earlier this season when pudding dude died. It makes me wonder if the one year later was added fairly recently and if some of these scenes were reshot since this is one of the four carried over episodes from last season?

    Anyway it works, there’s a few fun Easter eggs on Reese’s whiteboard about Ella, Amenadiel, and Charlotte, who are all nowhere to be found here. Chloe and Lucifer come to ask again about the serial killer who has resurfaced it seems (crazy they didn’t catch him the first time and let it go on a year, but…) and Lucifer comments Reese must not have solved his punishment problem since he’s still a wreck, and gives the hint to Reese to kill Lucifer. Which he tries to do, unsuccessfully shooting him in Linda’s office. Linda reveals she knows Lucifer is actually the devil, and they have a cool heart to heart, both revealing mistakes have been made. Rachel Harris turns in one of her best performances as Linda this episode and has really come a long way from just being the therapist sleeping with her client. I wonder if any of this episode will be acknowledged as we go on, cause if her husband died, it gives her some credible backstory for being an unethical doctor. Everything spirals out of control from here on out.

    Continued below

    4. You can leave anytime

    Reese finds the serial killer, and sets him on Lucifer in Chloe’s presence as he figures out Luci’s vulnerability, except Lucifer being the genuinely nice guy he is, albeit just really weird, introduces the serial killer to a handful of attractive women and just brings him into the fold of this party he’s having at Lux. The guy then doesn’t want to kill Lucifer, who’s drink he’s poisoned, since he’s not a fraud. If anything, Lucifer is the most honest, transparent character on the whole show. Let that sink in. One of the women ends up drinking the poison instead which leads to the best scene in this show so far.

    Reese goes up to Lucifer’s penthouse (for the second time this episode, we just continue to suspend disbelief on the privacy situation on this show) and points a knife at him, blaming the devil again. The devil made me do it trope has never been explored better than in this episode. He gets mad that Lucifer basically made him kill that girl, and Lucifer tells this story about hell he’s apparently never told before. “The doors are unlocked, you can leave anytime,” might be the best line of this show, as Lucifer tells Reese that humans make hell for themselves, he really has nothing to do with it. He is merely the caretaker. Then the episode keeps going, Reese is poisoned by the same serial killer for being a fraud, and he wakes up again in the hospital, and the cycle repeats itself. He wakes up in hell again. The only question I have is why he ended up here in the first place, although we have some guesses about him being a bad husband, etc.

    5. Guest acting for the win

    Just want to shout out, Patrick Fabian who played Reese gave a hell of a performance. Also, John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox from Star Trek: Enterprise) as the killer Alvin did awesome too with the limited screen time available. Both of these are characters I never want to see again. And I think that’s important to not dilute the impact of this one-shot. Think of some of the best comic one-shots you can think of in comics and you’ll understand why. Just like issues of “Sandman” and otherwise, the best one-shots tell emotionally resonant stories that don’t need to be touched again. Let well enough alone.

    This episode is great, but if you didn’t think so sound off below and come back next week for more!

    //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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