I dunno, guys. I wasn’t, like, wowed with either of these episodes last night. “Lucifer” is treading water and “Supergirl” is trying to do too much in one episode.
So, Lucifer has always suffered a bit with its police procedural format. It’s the “cop+wacky sidekick” format that a lot of shows have used, so it’s tired just starting out. The cast usually carries the show despite the format, but coming into season three, it seems like even the cast is having a tough time with it.
Lucifer (the character) is a selfish hedonist lacking even basic self-awareness, but we were willing to cut him some slack for that because he’s charming and frequently useful. The first two episodes in, though, we’ve got Lucifer carrying the idiot ball and the charm’s worn off his faults. The lack of charm could actually work if I thought the show was doing it on purpose. If the other characters recognized that and it was used to force some growth in Lucifer’s character, that would be some pretty spiffy writing. So far, though, we’re just seeing Lucifer treading the same selfish ground over and over again.
I loathe Tom Welling’s character, a fact not helped at all by my not liking Tom Welling to start with. Guy’s not much of an actor. He’s so bad at it, you can see Tom Ellis, Lauren German and Kevin Alejandro struggling to work off him in their scenes. Welling’s character, Lieutenant Marcus Pierce, isn’t much to speak of either. He has A Tragic Past® with the season’s apparent Big Bad, “the Sinnerman,” and Pierce is a charmless asshole. That’s pretty much it.
Maze has been absent the last two episodes, as has Trixy, leaving Dr. Linda and Amenadiel to carry all the weight of being awesome. (To be fair, they both did pretty good at that last night.) Let’s be honest, folks. We’re here to see Tom Ellis sing and be charming and snarky, and the secondary cast being hilarious. If we’re not gonna get that, I’m not sure why we’re showing up.
Meanwhile, over on Supergirl, Kara’s being self-destructive and emo, and her friends and family have apparently been letting that go on unchecked for like six months.
Guys. Grief is one thing. But if your friend/sister has been emotionally crippled with misery for six solid months, you need to step in. That is not healthy. In fact, by month six, you’ve already dropped the ball in my opinion.
Which is fine, if that’s for plot purposes, but since they seemed to be fixing the emo by the end of the episode, the whole thing came off as a bit contrived and lacking gravitas. You can use something like that to show character growth in your supporting cast as they realize what their friend is dealing with and learn how to cope with it and help. You can use it to show character growth and the consequences of grief and depression in your main character. But if you wrap the whole thing up with a tidy bow in under an hour, y’all are just wasting my time with forced emotional stakes.
The plot itself suffered from having to do a lot of heavy lifting and setup for the rest of the season. It wasn’t bad, per se, but it was awkward and chunky. I think it could have used some room to breathe. Spread out some hints and dangling threads for a couple of episodes.
As far as I can tell, we’ve abandoned Maxwell Lord as a villain, which is fine, since they didn’t seem to be using him right, anyway. We’re replacing him this season with Adrian Pasdar’s Morgan Edge. I like Adrian Pasdar – he’s been great in everything I’ve seen him in. Even Heros. His character on Supergirl is ridiculously one-note and heavy-handed in this episode, though. Hopefully they give him some extra dimension to work with. Either that or get out Pasdar’s way and let him just gnaw the scenery all up being a sexist dickbag. Either way could be fun.