REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E22 – All Hands on Decker

“All Hands on Decker” is all about examining decisions and facing desires, and this week Lucifer regains its footing when it comes to creating a murder case that’s both compelling and on message. Chloe’s (Lauren German) impending nuptials to Pierce (Tom Welling) are sidetracked by one revealing bachelorette party, while Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Dan (Kevin Alejandro) get more in touch with their emotions while partnering together for work.

Like an angel and devil on Chloe’s shoulders.

The inexplicable love triangle takes one step closer to nonsensical as Ella (Aimee Garcia) plans the perfect bachelorette despite the wedding being three weeks (?!) away. I really hope that Ella is given more than one episode in which to develop her own storyline next season, because she’s a bright spot on the show and it’s a shame to relegate her to cheerleading a relationship that couldn’t be more of an obstacle if it tried. She quickly ropes Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) into helping her, and the quick-thinking demon turns the night into debauchery into a finishing school exercise in order to avoid distractions that might change Chloe’s mind. She takes these drastic measures because Cain stuck a fake tattoo of his Mark on to throw her off the scent, but her plot to bore Chloe to marriage is foiled by Charlotte’s (Tricia Helfer) own secret mission.

Since he can’t trust his brother to save his own love life and therefore enact God’s will, Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) tasked Charlotte with planting the seeds of doubt in Chloe’s mind. Amenadiel then tries to get into Cain’s head as an ex-immortal and project his own doubts back to him. That only makes Pierce more determined to make the most of his life with Chloe, so it’s up to Lucier and his wily ways to put himself in Decker’s shoes and understand just why she would say yes. As silly as his plan to take on the Detective” role in the murder of the week is, it also winds up being the most enjoyable part of “All Hands on Decker.” Mostly because his partner in crime-solving while Chloe is on pre-wedding vacation is none other than Dan. Any chance Alejandro gets to flex his comedic muscles is a gift to Lucifer, and having to actually roleplay Lucifer this week makes for one of his best episodes yet. He even has some emotional revelations to go with the usual shenanigans, courtesy of a suspect who killed his husband because he was too afraid to ask for what he wanted.

Walk a mile in each other’s shoes.

The case of the week is a goldmine for Lucifer and Dan’s interactions as well as their personal development, so it’s too bad the same can’t be said for Chloe’s bachelorette party. There’s certainly some humor to be mined from Maze of all people throwing the tamest party ever while Linda (Rachael Harris) longs for booze and strippers, but for the most part it doesn’t feel like any of the women are acting reasonably – and that’s before Charlotte calls up the party bus with all the booze and strippers Linda could want. That’s why, in the end, Chloe’s friends are left fighting with each other on the sidewalk while the bus driver gives Chloe the Come To Jesus talk she needs to reverse her latest impulsive decision.

Lucifer and Dan’s role reversal is not just the best part of “All Hands on Decker” because of the comedic hijinx that ensue, and the bachelorette had plenty of those, but because those hijinx directly lead to a powerful moment of Dan psychoanalyzing Lucifer and dressing down his head games. It’s the character-driven nature of their plot that makes it stand out, and there’s a real sense of accomplishment when both of them come to similar conclusions about both the case and their own lives. Once again, Dan proves that his cop instincts are better than he’s given credit for and Lucifer’s are better than he gives himself credit for. Even better, Lucifer finally realizes that Chloe can’t rely on him just as Chloe realizes that Pierce isn’t quite her everything. But best of all, Dan finally works up the nerve to tell Charlotte exactly what he wants even as he respects whatever she chooses to do about it. The fact that she chooses to kiss him afterwards is just the icing on the cake. On the flip side, Chloe’s decision not to marry Pierce makes as little sense as her original decision to say yes did, but at least it sets the stage for an epic finale showdown next week.

Lucifer airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

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