REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E19 – Orange is the New Maze

“Orange is the New Maze” puts Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) in the spotlight once more, using the mostly-uninteresting murder of the week to sort through the many upsetting emotions she’s been experiencing as of late. Charlotte (Tricia Helfer) also comes to a few important realizations with Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Amenadiel’s (D.B. Woodside) help, but unfortunately too much of the episode is dedicated to making everyone uncomfortable with Chloe (Lauren German) and Pierce’s new romance (Tom Welling).

Too bad Ella’s not on the winning team.

The hour opens with Maze destroying Chloe’s kitchen in search of her missing knife and begging Lucifer for a ride back to Hell. He refuses on account of Chloe being hurt the last time, which only serves to make Maze angrier. Chloe then tries to convince Maze not to move out and to simply apologize to Trixie instead, but to no avail. Sadly we stay on the scene instead of leaving with Maze, so we’re all treated to an eyeful of weekend Pierce. This leads to the Lieutenant and his employee deciding to go public with the relationship (can you tell I love this development?), an ongoing conversation which winds up dovetailing a little too much with the case this  week.

Poor Ella (Aimee Garcia) is relegated to cheerleading the new office romance while comforting Lucifer about the change, while Dan (Kevin Alejandro) only makes a cursory appearance to liken Lucifer to Chloe’s cat while giving Pierce unwanted relationship advice. It feels like Lucifer has spent more than enough time on this love triangle, and every week returns to the devil ‘letting Chlor go’ once more. The song-and-dance about whether Chloe should prioritize her boyfriend-boss or her partner-friend also feels a bit forced, considering that neither lead has verbalized their love for the other yet – but given how forgettable the procedural elements are this episode, I suppose it can be forgiven. In fact, “Orange is the New Maze” doesn’t kick into high gear until Mazikeen herself is caught on the security camera pulling her missing knife out of the dead body of one of her bounties before walking into the office and confessing to the murder.

Someone love Maze, please.

Chloe and Ella believe in Maze’s innocence while Lucifer and Pierce are quick to judge her, but neither side is really the point of the story. If anything, the point is obscured until Mazikeen locates the person who framed her, and ties back not only to her career as a bounty hunter but also to the theme of misplaced blame and guilt that’s been brewing for her all season. Chloe tearfully pleading with Maze not to actually murder anyone is some of German’s best work, and our favorite demon’s realization that Lucifer will never put her first is both heartbreaking and a powerful showcase for Brandt. Despite this, “Orange is the New Maze” feels like it’s treading water with her storyline until Cain recruits her in the final scene. We still have no idea what his plans are, but the tentative partnership certainly opens up new narrative possibilities for the last leg of the season.

Meanwhile, Charlotte explains hr encounter with Amenadiel in a therapy session with Linda (Rachael Harris), who hilariously almost gives herself away by referring to the “very sexy way” in which he is bald. As much as Linda wants her to forget about everything she learned, that course of action won’t work for Charlotte – or Amenadiel, for that matter. She believes that he believes what he told her, and that fact alone makes her fear that she’s losing her mind. When Linda confronts Amenadiel, he defends himself by explaining that she’s a woman in pain who deserves the truth. Besides, he didn’t tell her about the whole angel-demon-Hell thing, so what’s the harm?

The harm is that when Charlotte asks Lucifer for more details, he has no compunction about spilling the entire celestial truth without leaving any details out. It’s understandably hard for her to wrap her head around such a large reveal, and Helfer does an excellent job of sifting through Charlotte’s shock, horror and relief. For a moment, I feared that “Orange is the New Maze” would take the Chloe route with Charlotte and walk back the truth by the end of the episode. But thankfully, Lucifer confirms she’s not crazy by showing off his wings in one of the show’s most satisfying reveals yet.

While “Orange is the New Maze” is not a particularly memorable hour at its core, there are plenty of strong moments for Maze and Charlotte. Hopefully the arc with Cain/Pierce will loop into both these subplots by the finale, helping to tie the season together into a cohesive whole.

Lucifer airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.

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