Lucifer recap: 'Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards'

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Lucifer

type:
TV Show
genre:
Fantasy
run date:
01/25/16
performer:
Tom Ellis, Lauren German
broadcaster:
Fox
seasons:
3
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B

This week, Lucifer is all about loopholes, Dan downs pudding, and Charlotte struggles to find her footing.

The first loophole of the week comes when Chloe explains swear jars to Lucifer, who assumes she’s paying her child every time Trixie slips up. Upon learning it’s the opposite, he slips Trixie a stack of bills and some whispered advice.

Then he apologizes to Chloe for not being there when she was almost shot last week. He blames his Father for manipulating things to teach him a lesson and declares that he’s over letting God get in his head. As usual, Chloe straddles the line between reminding Lucifer that it’s not all about him and letting his Dad-rants roll off her back.

Now it’s time to respond to the murder of the week. An unlucky security guard found Pudding Plus food chemist Simon Fisher face down in an enormous vat of what turns out to be Dan’s very favorite dessert. (It has twice the protein of its competitors, and now twice the scalded dead guy!)

Simon created the pudding’s secret formula, and the company guards it zealously, to the point that CEO Adrian Yates lawyers up and refuses to turn over the security tapes covering Simon’s death. Gee, whoever could his lawyer be?

Cut to Charlotte Richards waking up alone in a to-die-for apartment. She runs on the treadmill, she puts on her makeup, she delicately examines the scars on her abdomen, and the whole time she looks unsettled. Thanks to her morning pep talk into the mirror, we learn that she can’t remember the last few months, and it bothers her.

When Charlotte arrives at the precinct, Lucifer makes his usual leap and assumes Charlotte’s returned to his life for a reason, possibly having to do with the return of his wings. Charlotte stays on message though, making sure the company’s secret recipe stays secret. Adrian does state that the scuffle happened outside of the frame, which tells Chloe that the killer might know about the cameras.

When the meeting ends, Lucifer objects when Charlotte prepares to leave, and she coolly replies, “Which part of me closing my briefcase did you not understand?” Oooh, Charlotte Richards, I’m glad you’re back!

Ella, who’s learned how hard it is to clean pudding off a corpse, fails to keep Dan from spotting Charlotte. She breezes by him without a second glance, but her face twists in confusion once she’s walked past.

Meanwhile, Chloe’s investigation brings her to Grace Foley, Adrian’s former partner, who left to start her own company, Heavenly Pudding. Chloe and Lucifer find her on the set of a commercial shoot, although Lucifer’s distracted leaving messages for Charlotte. Chloe suggests that Lucifer could use a distraction. She means the case, but Lucifer prefers to be distracted by Grace’s commercial, which features scantily clad models dressed as angels and perched on clouds for a porny pudding shoot. “Not at all accurate, but I approve,” Lucifer purrs.

While Lucifer’s eyes wander, Chloe stays on task, getting Grace to admit that she tried to poach Simon (poor choice of words for a fella who was scalded by pudding) and start to call her lawyer. Chloe prompts the distracted Lucifer to ask what she most desires. He does, and Grace confesses that she wants to stop using sex to sell her inferior product. And actually, Simon offered to sell her the secret Pudding Plus formula three days ago but died before they could finalize the deal.

Chloe then notices a man in a trench coat lurking around the set. She pegs him as a fixer hired by Pudding Plus to prevent corporate espionage, and he immediately lawyers up. This pleases Lucifer as it means another visit from Charlotte.

Speaking of, Dan drops by Charlotte’s office to confront her about the cold-shoulder treatment. She bluffs her way through, asking him to DTR for her. Easy: She seduced him, called him her favorite human, almost died, then ghosted him. He concludes by saying he’ll just let Lucifer deal with her since they were always close. Charlotte latches onto this news.

At the precinct, Chloe gets a call from Trixie’s school to report that she’s been using creative language like “cluster duck” and “motherflunker.” She knows exactly who’s to blame and scolds Lucifer for teaching her daughter loophole swear words. Lucifer replies that he’s done with parental “mind games.”

He’s even more frustrated when he sees an underling from Charlotte’s firm with the fixer, so he storms home and is surprised to find Charlotte waiting for him. He’s even more surprised when she kisses him.

“What in Dad’s name are you doing?” he sputters, horrified. Since she can’t remember the last several months, she guessed from Dan’s words and Lucifer’s attempts to contact her that she was “sleeping with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.”

If she’s not, though, she’s back to having no idea how her life got ruined over the last few months. When she came back to herself, she discovered that she’s divorced and not allowed to see her kids, and she doesn’t know why. Worse, she can’t ask for help or people will think she’s crazy.

Poor Charlotte! I know Lucifer’s had a lot on his plate, but can you imagine what she’s been going through? Assisting her in the immediate aftermath seems like it would’ve been a great job for Amenadiel. (Next page: Charlotte tries to clean her slate)

Now, a little too late, Lucifer hands Charlotte a drink and tells her she’s not crazy. When she confesses that it felt like she was trapped in Hell, Lucifer confirms that yeah, she probably was. If so, she wants to know how to keep from going back. “Avoid devious and dastardly things from now on, as boring as that is,” Lucifer advises. She says that’s tough when you’re knowingly impeding a homicide investigation.

Yep, she’s been sitting on the security footage, which the LAPD is extra interested in now that Ella’s discovered that Simon would’ve been dead of renal failure within a few days anyway and the fixer told them that Pudding Plus and Heavenly Pudding are merging. This means Charlotte’s firm now represents basically every person of interest.

Charlotte arrives with the security footage, hoping to clear her clients and her conscience. The scuffle does happen off camera, but the sharp-eyed Ella notices something that makes her slap the Pudding Plus cup right out of Dan’s hand: tubs of melamine and cyanuric acid, which, when combined, create renal failure.

So Pudding Plus has a poison product and no plans of pulling it. Charlotte assumes it’s the same cold-blooded corporate calculation that a faulty airbag manufacturer makes. Sure, people will die and lawsuits will ensue, but the payouts will be a drop in the bucket compared to the profits or even the cost of fixing the problem. How’s that for a lethal loophole?

Charlotte is distressed to learn how guilty her clients might be, and Ella makes it worse by scolding her for her treatment of Dan, saying she used see light in Charlotte, but now all she sees is darkness.

Lucifer is worried about Charlotte, but Chloe isn’t: “That woman’s like a rock. Like a very mean, scary, hot, well-dressed rock.” And she’s not wrong. For someone experiencing a deep existential crisis, Charlotte fakes arrogant confidence incredibly well.

At the last minute, another suspect emerges: The security guard who found Simon’s body stands to lose out on stock options if the merger fails. They went out drinking a few weeks ago, and Simon told the guard he was sick and that Adrian wouldn’t listen to him, but the guard says he didn’t think Simon was serious when he discussed killing himself. “It’s not like he jumped into that vat. I mean, boiling pudding. Easier ways to go,” the guard shudders.

In fact, the day before his death, Simon changed his will, gave away his possessions, and rehomed his pet turtle, indicating he staged a murder to draw police attention to the poisoned pudding.  When Lucifer calls Charlotte to tell her that her clients aren’t killers, her office says she’s out.

She’s actually way out, holding Grace, Adrian, and the fixer at gunpoint until the murderer confesses. She gives a hysteria-tinged laugh as she says she might have gone to Hell and may be having a nervous breakdown, but she doesn’t want other people’s bad blood on her hands anymore.

A bullet into a pudding vat has the trio confessing that they knew about the safety issue, but not confessing to the murder. At this point, Lucifer joins the party, and Charlotte says she’s done finding ways for her clients — and herself — to wiggle out of trouble. “It turns out, there are no loopholes. If you’re guilty, you’re guilty,” she says.

Lucifer relieves her of the gun, and the waiting police take the pudding poisoners into custody. Dan heard Charlotte’s meltdown and tells her he’s sorry that she’s struggling. She then apologizes for how she treated him and suggests they get coffee sometime.

After the case wraps, Chloe’s still thinking about loopholes, so she sits Trixie down and explains the reason for the swear jar: Bad words make people feel bad, and sure, Trixie can find non-swear swear words, but in the end, she has to do the right thing on her own, without the jar hanging over her head.

Finally, Lucifer takes Charlotte home, and she asks what she was like during those missing months. Intense, jealous, and emotional, Lucifer says, but all from a place of love, and he’ll miss that Charlotte. Then again, he’s also looking forward to getting to know the real Charlotte Richards.

Stray feathers

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