Season One, Episode One — “Pilot”
By Shay Revolver. After years of Neil Gaiman fans getting their hopes up about an American Gods movie or TV show only to have the Powers That Be play keep-away, the network gods finally decided to throw us a bone.
It’s not exactly American Gods, or Sandman proper but, the very first episode of the much-hyped series Lucifer has premiered on Fox. Fans of Gaiman’s Sandman and Mike Carey’s Morningstar-centered spin-off should be pleased with the outcome of its small screen counterpart, if only for chance to revel in the devilish campy goodness of it all. Going into this I had to remind myself to recite the mantra, “This won’t be like Sandman, this won’t be like Lucifer”. I lowered my expectations and approached it as I would a regular TV show, and I found I was pleasantly surprised. While it does go off-book (or Trade Paperback in this case) it doesn’t go as far off the mark as I was expecting.
WHAT WORKED: Tom Ellis, as the devil himself, might just be what saves this series. He’s charming and believable as a man that could talk you into just about anything. He’s a perfect , real-life representation of the Devil himself. His charm and charisma kept me watching, as did the chemistry between Chloe and Lucifer. They played off of each other pretty well; I didn’t get a romantic vibe (rather more of a curious one), but there was just enough light flirtation to keep it interesting. The main characters are believable and Tom Ellis gives an amazing performance. His over-the-top charm plays nicely against Lauren German’s pretty-but-smart-cop Chloe.
It’s camp is on point. The show dips its pinky toe into the campy well, but it doesn’t take the full plunge, which makes Lucifer hella entertaining and tolerable. The script has its over-the-top moments, but the actors sell it. When clever banter occurs between characters, or when Lucifer interacts with people and his fascination (or disgust) at human nature shows, it’s brilliant. They make even the crappiest of lines fun.
WHAT DIDN’T: The procedural crime dramedy aspect of the show doesn’t really work. There was very little talk about concerning the actual case and things fell into place far too quickly. I think the show would have been better served using Delilahs’ murder as a story arc for the first (or at least half of the first) season. Once Delilah’s case was solved, in what seemed like less than 24 hours, there really is no reason for Luci to be hanging around Chloe. I’m wondering how they’re going to handle his continued interference in her cases.
When the killer was discovered, I didn’t buy his motivation. He did it for money? He’d get royalties for her music anyway if she were alive. In this universe she’s the biggest pop star on the planet, if he produced her albums up until her death and she had a movie coming out with a soundtrack that he produced, he was going to make bank. It would have made more sense for him to have killed her out of jealously than money.
I also didn’t really buy Lucifer’s motivation for wanting to avenge Delilah’s murder. He’s the Devil himself, surely in many a millennium this isn’t the first person he’s known who became collateral damage. Their relationship wasn’t really explained beyond her singing at Lux while he played piano, after which he pulled the strings to make her famous. Since I went in knowing that this was going to be nothing like the comic book, I was hoping for a bigger connection between the two of them.
Lucifer: “Lucifer Morningstar.” Chloe: “Lucifer Morningstar? Is that a stage name or something?” Lucifer: “God given , I’m afraid.”
“Excuse me. Yeah, I have a problem. Has anyone else noticed how incredibly jawdroppingly , lornstirringly beautiful this young women is and, how short , sweaty and all together fugly this humonculus is? I mean what is this a wedding or a kidnapping?” – Lucifer. Because when Lucifer stops a wedding, he stops a friggin’ wedding.
Lucifer: “Yes, I’m here to see the man sadly known as Too Vile, is he is in?” Butler: “I’m sorry , sir he’s not available. He’s in mourning, I’m afraid.” Lucifer: “I have narcotics for him.” Butler: “Right this way, sir.”
“You’ve seen my boobies. It’s exciting. What are you, twelve.” – Chloe, driving Lucifer around to investigate the murder. That awkward moment when you’ve bared your breasts for a movie and now the passenger in your back seat won’t stop talking about it.
Beatrice: “My name is Beatrice but, everyone calls me Trixie.” Lucifer: “That’s a hooker’s name.” Beatrice: “What’s a hooker?” Lucifer: “Ask your mother.”
“I’m like walking heroin, very habit forming, it never ends well.” – Lucifer, warning Dr. Martin of his special charms.
“I do yoga. Hot yoga. I’m freakishly flexible. Wanna see?” – Dr. Martin, explaining to Lucifer that sex won’t be as quick as he thinks it will be.
“I’m worried the humans are rubbing off on you. Stop caring. You’re the Devil.” – Maze, to Lucifer when she sees his humanity showing, or growing.
BEST MOMENT: When Lucifer scares Chloe’s daughter’s bully by telling her about the special place in hell for bullies, only to then seal the deal by turning his eyes full-on hellfire red. Both the blood-curdling scream that follows and the look of vindication and glee on Beatrice’s face were amazing. It shows the start of Lucifer becoming more… human.
EPISODE’S MVP: Yes, I adore Tom Ellis. But, this episode’s MVP is hands down the therapist. Dr. Martin. The over-the-top fawning, basically going into heat, and, I’m assuming, leaving a huge puddle in her chair during her conversation with Lucifer and Chloe. It was fun to watch her try, and not try, to fight against her while carrying on a serious conversation. I loved it and I’m looking forward to seeing her in future episodes.
THE DEVIL’S DUE:
– Does his license plate really say “Fallen 1”?
– There is sexy time going on behind the bar in a crowded club. Glad to know they aren’t trying to go too safe with this one.
– Glad to see Lucifer got to keep his charm, Lux & Mazikeen.
– DB Woodside is an archangel. I know I’m supposed to be watching Lucifer, but when his wings popped out all I could think was, “every time a vampire dies, the only male slayer gets his wings.” And, everytime he makes his menacing face I keep thinking of him giving Buffy or Faith slayer pep talks.
– This soundtrack is really making me think that I need a playlist called “The Devil’s Music”. And I wonder if they’re going to run out of music before the first season is over: how many songs about evil, the wicked, or the devil can there be. I’m also wondering when they’re going to break out “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.
– Where is her partner? I’ve seen enough Law & Order to know that Detectives have partners.
– Did he just use his “Word is his bond” line? Well played throwback to the source material.
– Did she really just solve a murder by seeing a new report about album sales?
– It’s over. Where is Demiurgos? I thought that was D.B. But, I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong, Amenadiel is good too, that means there will be WAR!
6.5 out of 10