REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E21 – Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better

“Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better” opens on a ballerina doing a dance that’s much more interesting than Lucifers entire love triangle this season, until she’s murdered that is. In the meantime, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) confronts Cain (Tom Welling) about the disappearance of his mark. He thinks it’s gone because of Chloe’s love, but Lucifer thinks it’s just God messing with him again. Cain’s a little less sure about ending his life now that he can die, though, which is both inexplicable and unsurprising.

Put up or shut up, Lucifer.

Ella (Aimee Garcia) notices that Chloe (Lauren German) has been crying all night, and once again is relegated to romantic cheerleader. Through her, we learn that Pierce wants to win his woman back and perhaps even grow old with her. I guess Chloe’s love really is that powerful. He shows up at the latest crime scene and declares his love for his employee, though he unfortunately does not get the answer he expected. It’s interesting that she can’t trust his words anymore despite the fact that she perfectly explained his intimacy issues in the previous scene, but they have to drag the love triangle out somehow.

Nevertheless, the ballerina case continues with Dan’s (Kevin Alejandro) help while Chloe demands that Lucifer back off. It’s a bit of a harsh moment, but he barely registers it because he’s so focused on the fact that Chloe still makes him bleed. Which of course calls for another therapy session with Linda (Rachael Harris), who thankfully is free from her own triangle shenanigans but now has to listen to Lucifer’s. The selfishness he displays here feels old, like it’s from the beginning of the season instead of the most recent episodes. Why would he want Chloe to fall for him again just to keep things in stasis between them, when last week he wanted to kill Cain for doing something similar? The lack of self-awareness is no longer charming, it’s infuriating.

Meanwhile, Cain has experienced all the growth Lucifer lost overnight, refusing to use Chloe anymore no matter how much Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) yells. Turns out she wants to kill Pierce and frame it on her ex-friend and boss, which seems like an extreme overreaction. I understand that she wants to return to Hell, but I’m not sure the show has done the groundwork to justify such a change in her persona. The fact that Chloe is still being kept out of the loop makes it really easy for Maze to manipulate her, which is a shame because their friendship was a bright spot earlier this season. At least Maze’s affection for Trixie still seems genuine, so perhaps forgiveness from the younger Espinoza would set Maze back on the right path.

Let them into Heaven for single-handedly saving the episode.

The game of one-upmanship that “Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better” is named for also ropes Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) into the plan to unveil Pierce/Cain as a liar of biblical proportions. For the first time in what feels like a long while, the murder of the week becomes thematically relevant when one of the suspects is revealed to be a fraud as well, but the more interesting aspect is Amenadiel seeking Charlotte’s (Tricia Helfer) advice. He believes that bringing Chloe and Lucifer together is his final test, and that upon its completion he will be back in God’s good graces and returned to Heaven once more. And we know Charlotte wants nothing more than to be accepted into that holy place as well, so naturally she’s onboard for whatever it takes. Once again, they manage to be the most enjoyable part of the episode as they argue over which method God would most approve of. It’s even more hilarious when she tries to seduce her way out of Pierce questioning her – and it works!

On the bright side, Chloe makes it clear that she’s not interested in participating in any competition, making her the most mature character on the show… until the final scene. It’s heartbreaking that she has to breakdown in front of Lucifer for him to see he’s hurting her just as much as Pierce is, but it’s a lesson he has to (re)learn. Linda asks the Devil what he truly desires, marking the beginning of the next phase in his growth. My biggest hope is that with Lucifer’s final realization at the end of “Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better,” the next two episodes will put our antihero on the right track and give Chloe back the agency she’s lacked since the premiere. As long as Pierce proposing to Chloe doesn’t set him back all over again. And, let’s be clear, there’s no way I believe Chloe would have said yes just because Lucifer upset her. Do better, show.

Lucifer airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

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