Lucifer and Ella head to Vegas to search for his missing wife, leaving Choe to stew in her jealousy
After being shoved to the back burner for what seems like forever, the Lucifer/Chloe relationship takes center stage this week when Lucifer makes a surprise visit to Las Vegas.
We open at the LAPD, where unlike most people, Chloe actually seems to enjoy people singing “Happy Birthday” to her. Or maybe she’s just excited about the chocolate cake Dan’s holding. She does react like a normal person (that is, with horror) when a stripper jumps out of a huge cake. But surprise! Lucifer didn’t hire “Officer Snake Hips”; it was Ella!
Lucifer gets pulled away from the merriment by a call from a Las Vegas police officer informing him that his wife Candy is missing. Lucifer says he’s in L.A. and hasn’t seen Candy for several months. After he hangs up, Ella notices his distress and bullies her way into a two-person trip to Vegas, despite her being on the record as having some serious Vegas baggage.
Lucifer is still in the process of annulling his two-week marriage to Candy, whom he helped out of some nasty business last year. Chloe catches wind that something’s up, but Lucifer bundles Ella out the door, leaving Chloe bereft that he’s ducking out on her birthday.
When they arrive in Vegas, Ella inhales deeply. “You smell that? That is pleather, cigars, and vomit.” But the joking ends at Candy’s apartment, where they find police everywhere and a dead blonde on the floor. She was shot in the face, making an ID difficult, but Lucifer is thrilled to see that the body’s feet are far too dainty to be Candy’s.
Ella stops Lucifer from telling the investigating officer that the body isn’t Candy, explaining afterward that it’s best the murderer not realize he actually killed a Candy look-alike. She then asks if Lucifer knows who might want Candy dead, and we’re treated to the first of several flashbacks explaining how Candy ended up as Mrs. Morningstar.
A year ago, Lucifer was drinking at a club called Fletcher’s, and when asked, he tells the bartender that he’s drinking because a woman turned out not to be who he thought she was. Then Candy takes her torch-singing performance off the stage and into the audience, draping herself all over Lucifer.
After she slinks away, he realizes she’s deprived him of his wallet and ring, so he heads backstage to congratulate her on her moves. There, he finds her arguing with dirtbag loan shark Louie Pagliani.
In the present, they head to Pagliani’s home. It’s a tacky nightmare, and in the middle of it is Pagliani’s body, staged to look like a suicide. There’s a huge gunshot hole through Pagliani’s crotch in a hideous portrait of him and his wife. So maybe Roxie Pagliani thought her man was stepping out with Candy and murdered them both?
When they get Roxie on the phone, Ella hears a slot machine in the background and announces that this particular machine is found at the Moonlight casino. Most impressive.
Okay, let’s skip back to L.A., where an agitated Chloe bursts into Dr. Linda’s office to see if she’s heard from Lucifer. Linda gets Chloe to admit that she’s upset because the last time Lucifer went AWOL, he ran away just as the two of them were exploring a romance.
Linda offers to go with Chloe to see if Lucifer’s in his penthouse. He’s not, so they decide to stay and celebrate Chloe’s birthday there. (He’s got a gorgeous view and great booze, after all.) Cut to what looks like an amazing drunken birthday celebration. Chloe does her best pantsless Risky Business slides and bangs away at the piano in a terrible yet funny Lucifer impression, while Linda finds an incredibly old manuscript of Hamlet with the inscription, “Thanks for the punch up. Love, Will.”
They’re about to check out his sock drawer when Lucifer calls Linda, who puts on her best “I am a sober professional” voice. He cancels his therapy appointment because he’s in Vegas, and then exclaims, “You look ravishing!” when Ella arrives all glammed up in a sequined gown.
When the call ends, Linda lies that Lucifer said something about radishes, but Chloe’s no dummy and wants to know why Lucifer’s in Vegas with someone ravishing on her birthday. Not that she cares, of course, because she’s totally past any romantic feelings.
Linda suggests that Lucifer’s absence may be stirring up emotions that Chloe hasn’t dealt with. But then they forget everything else when Chloe knocks a painting off the wall and discovers a hidden safe. The obvious codes don’t work (666 and 8008, which of course spells “boob”), so they call in Dan and his power tools. But all that does is damage Lucifer’s ancient Assyrian wall.
Linda says spackle will fix it right up, which sends Chloe into a melancholy, tear-stained tailspin. There are things about Lucifer she’ll never understand and sure, she sounds jealous, but she insists they’re just friends. (Next page: Lucifer presents a typically devilish birthday gift)
All right, back to Vegas. Lucifer and Ella discover that Roxie (Lauren Holly, although I had to squint to recognize her) is a pit boss. They debate whether blackjack or poker is the best way to roll like whales, which leads to a discussion of the semantics of lying versus bluffing. Lucifer doesn’t lie, but he does bluff, which he says is totally different. They end up at the blackjack table, where Ella’s win gets them a private meeting with Roxie.
Why, you ask? Turns out Ella is a notorious card-counter who’s already been banned from the casino. Then Lucifer turns it around on Roxie, accusing her of not just mixing Corinthian and Doric columns in her McMansion, but also of killing her husband. Lucifer compels her to admit that she’s been working extra shifts in order to woo the pro golfer gambling at table four, which means she’s got an alibi for the murders.
They’re escorted from the casino, and Ella says counting cards is a coping mechanism to help quiet the voices. She declines to say more and turns it around on Lucifer, suggesting that he’s avoiding Chloe not to protect her, but to protect himself.
Then we get another flashback of the Luci/Candy relationship. Lucifer tracks her down in her apartment and asks for his ring back (it’s sentimental), and she cries and says she owes Pagliani money to get her dad’s club out of hock. Lucifer doesn’t buy the waterworks for a second, so she drops the act but insists the story’s true. Since Lucifer’s having his own Chloe struggles, they end up drinking wine, eating ice cream, and exchanging stories.
Candy grew up on the stage at Fletcher’s and is willing to take drastic steps to save it, even if that means bluffing about being less dangerous that she actually is. Lucifer suggests a mutual solution: He’ll pay off her debt if she’ll bluff him through the Chloe mess. Then, clad in a red Snuggie, he gets down on one knee and proposes.
As he wraps up his story, a woman in a dark wig taps his shoulder. It’s Candy! The dead woman in her apartment is a look-alike friend who was staying with Candy after a bad breakup. And since the only thing missing from her apartment after the murder was the pocket deed to Fletcher’s, she went undercover to figure out who was trying to kill their way into club ownership.
However, as Candy’s “widower,” Lucifer would inherit Fletcher’s. So he makes himself a target by taking the stage to perform “Luck Be a Lady” amid a bevy of feathered headdress-sporting showgirls. I’m now so angry that this show isn’t set in Vegas with the Devil as a nightclub owner, you have no idea. Also, for reasons that are neither clear nor logical but sure are fun, Ella’s one of the showgirls, but with a .22 strapped to her thigh.
The killer doesn’t make a move during the show, but as Lucifer’s pouring himself a drink afterward, the bartender draws a gun. He has gambling debts and wanted to sell the club. He shoots Lucifer, who brushes the bullets off, and then gets distracted by multiple images of Candy reflected in the stage mirrors. This lets Ella creep up and get the drop on him. And yet again, Lucifer bids farewell to Candy, who encourages him not to screw things up with Chloe.
Back in L.A., Lucifer finds his penthouse trashed, Linda and Dan passed out on the couch, and Chloe in his bed. He sits next to her and, thinking she’s asleep, says he didn’t tell her about Vegas because his last trip was an unpleasant time for both of them. Unbeknownst to him, she wakes up as he’s confessing that bluffing really is lying, and he doesn’t want to do that, “especially to you.” He lays a hand on her back, then notices the exposed safe.
Chloe sits up to see him present her with the safe’s sole contents: her birthday gift. It’s a necklace made from the bullet that she shot him with in the warehouse way back in season 1. He says since he’ll likely never penetrate her, he wanted to celebrate her penetrating him. Dirty!! She thanks him, they embrace, and based on their expressions, they’re both more into it than either one of them might like to admit.
- That really did look like a three-person birthday party for the ages. And we all agree that Lucifer’s sock drawer is meticulously maintained, yes?
- How fun to see Candy again! I wish there’d been slightly less going on in this episode, though. The bartender plotline was rushed, and I would’ve liked more of Candy’s bluff-heavy grifter ways. Still, how cool to get answers about a character who left us with a bit of mystery last season.
- Great showcase for Aimee Garcia this week. I wonder if we’ll hear more about Ella’s “voices” in the future.
- So will this prompt Lucifer and Chloe to act on their feelings, or are they really as over each other as they claim? Let me know in the comments!