REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E23 – Quintessential Deckerstar

Lucifer surprisingly meandered throughout most of “Quintessential Deckerstar” when it came to the title romance and Cain’s (Tom Welling) potential vendetta against them, but things came to a terrible head by the end of the hour. Cain’s season-long quest for death intersected with Charlotte’s (Tricia Helfer) search for Heaven and Amenadiel’s (D.B. Woodside) quest for his wings in the darkest way imaginable, leaving a lot of questions yet to be answered in next week’s season finale.

Charlotte earned her redemption.

The very start of “Quintessential Deckerstar” is deceptive cheerful, with Dan (Kevin Alejandro) and Charlotte enjoying their adorable new romance before her dream morphs into a nightmare where she witnesses both Dan and her kids being shot to death by one of her old clients. This foreboding vision isn’t new to her, but it becomes incredibly relevant when the man from her Hell loop is the suspect in Chloe’s (Lauren German) current murder case. Even though she’s nearly given up on getting into Heaven, Charlotte can’t let the murderer get away with another crime, so she strives to prove his guilt against the odds and Chloe’s disbelief all episode long.

Her penance has become the moral and emotional center of Lucifer‘s season, and her doubt causes Amenadiel to question his relationship with God in turn. Given how far removed they’ve been from the action most episodes, it’s ironic that their conversations contain the most interesting kernels of the story’s philosophy and mythology. Not only that, but they prove once again what an excellent team they make when Charlotte confronts her ex-coworker to allow Amenadiel to pilfer his passwords.

Charlotte eventually does get to confront the real monster of the week and is essential in sending him to prison, all the while milking the tension of whether making amends for her past will cost her the future. “Quintessential Deckerstar” makes the inspired choice of tying her fate to Amenadiel’s as well, so that when she jumps in front of Cain’s bullet to save her friend’s life – defying expectations even as it conforms to them – it’s both painful and poetic. The fact that Amenadiel receives his wings once more to take her to Heaven is equally as perfect, creating a full circle for both their stories.

The other side of the coin isn’t quite as earned, given that Cain’s return to murder as brought on by a romance that never seemed more than half-baked. And his partner in crime is Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), who has also been reduced to petty jealousies this season in order to make her willing to kill her friends. The only bright spot is that Amenadiel’s sincere concern for her when she tries to lure him into Cain’s trap makes her change her mind, causing her to face off against Cain himself instead. It is then that he uses her love for Linda (Rachael Harris) against her and gains the upper hand, which might have made more of an impact if they had interacted substantially since their fight. Nevertheless, that’s the unsatisfying path that leads to Cain trying to shoot Amenadiel himself and hitting Charlotte instead.

Lucifer still struggles to retain life lessons.

Meanwhile, “Quintessential Deckerstar” finally takes things to the next level for the eponymous ship, after much dithering on Lucifer’s part. He spends most of the episode trying to recreate classic Deckerstar moments in an attempt to recapture the status quo, which is of course a complete misreading of Chloe’s desires. It’s frustrating to see him continue to miss the point in the penultimate episode of the season, but at least Chloe is allowed to acknowledge her feelings for Lucifer while he must deal with his partner’s ability to solve murders without his help. Thankfully, this leads to his realization that their partnership is a choice and not an obligation. Their romance is sealed with a kiss which is a little too late for me after 23 episodes of back-and-forth, but I know fans of the pairing have been waiting long enough to see them together. His devilish confession is much sweeter, though it’s still unclear whether she understands what he’s telling her or not.

Of course, even the kiss is cut short by Charlotte’s death, and the thing that perhaps stings the most is that Dan didn’t get to be there with her. Nevertheless, Alejandro kills (pardon the pun) Dan’s reaction to finding her body, making “Quintessential Deckerstar” one of the most tragic episodes of the show yet. And there’s only one episode left to see how it wraps up, so Lucifer better have something epic up its sleeve to heal my broken heart.

Lucifer airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

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