Our good Detective Chloe has always been a study in contradictions. She’s a tough cop and a caring mother, emotionally deep but with a hard outer shell. The daughter of a renowned actress, she could’ve easily continued the Hollywood tradition but instead, chose to pursue the law enforcement career that her father died doing. In this week’s opening scene, we meet Officer John Decker (Chris Payne Gilbert, The Protector) on a typical night on the job – chatting with a store keeper, bragging about how his daughter is going to be a big star – when he is killed in what appears to be a robbery gone wrong.
Sixteen years later, Chloe is frantic with the news that her father’s killer, Joe Fields (Lobo Sebastian, Aquarius) is about to be released on day parole. Following the prisoner transport from the prison, she’s the first police on the scene to find the drivers dead and Fields murdered too. None of this is good optics for her even after she steps away from the case due to the obvious conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, Lucifer is looking to solve the problem of, well, being himself. After Dr. Martin’s reaction to the reveal of his true face, Lucifer has decided he needs to become something else, someone else, someone completely different from himself. So he picks Dan to emulate. Adopting the clothes, the hair, the strut, the posture, and an amusing Dan-esque accent, Lucy shadows Dan on the job as the Fields case seem to unfold with unearthly precision.
Tracking down an old prison roomie whose fingerprints are found on the scene, they are treated to a confession du jour by Rodney Lam (Ronnie Gene Blevins, True Detective). Dan figures out he’s confessing for money which Chloe realizes was the same situation Joe Fields was in. Fields’ daughter, Tina (Caitlin Stryker, Continuum) confronts Chloe in her home, first with a gun and then with a video which exonerates her late father.Â Fields never killed John Decker and the real killer has been on the loose for the last 16 years.
We get a second flashback to a young rookie Chloe on her first day on the job at the station, meeting Dan and taking a moment to acknowledge her father’s name on a wall of the fallen. Back in the current day, Ella and Chloe investigate what might have put John Decker on someone’s hit list sixteen years ago. Aimee Garcia‘s presence on the cast this season as Ella has become a lovely bright note in the ensemble, playing an adult character with a Trixie-like positivity and her own brand of sparkle, a whimsy that serves to balance out the dark clouds looming over so many of the central characters’ heads.
“My Little Monkey” also gives the audience a chance to empathize with Detective Dan. With Lucifer dogging his heels, we get to see a lot more of Dan Espinoza’s inner ticking – less Detective Douche and more fallible ex-hubby – who spends his downtime letting off steam in an improv theatre group. With Chloe elsewhere for most of the episode, he and Lucifer get the chance to clear the air a bit. Turns out they rather envy each other’s lives while resenting each other’s connection to Chloe. By the end of Lucifer’s little Dan-sformation, they seem to have struck a bit of a truce. (Hopefully, this doesn’t mark the end of some of the more entertainingÂ banter we’ve come to enjoy.)
As the details of the case emerge, Chloe and Dan discover that whoever killed Fields also killed Chloe’s father and the connection lies in the prison’s deputy warden (Alex Fernandez, Devious Maids). When the police move in to apprehend him, he gives them the slip… but can’t evade Mazikeen who discovers that she’s wicked-good at hide and seek when it counts.
Given the chance to take revenge on the man who destroyed her family and killed her father, Chloe gives in for a moment and “orders off the menu” as Lucifer terms it, interrogating Deputy Warden Smith while he’s tied to a chair in her living room (probably a good thing Trixie with her dad for the night) and drawing her gun on him when he doesn’t seem to realize what kind of headspace she’s in. In the end though, she really breaks him when she tells him that he’ll be serving his time in the prison he once ran. Obviously, hanging out with Lucifer has given her a flare for fitting punishments.
On the periphery of the storyline, Maze has been trying to find a job. Taking some of Trixie’s advice, she spends most of the episode looking for something she loves to do. Pre-school and housekeeping turn out to be busts, btw. When she turns to Dr. Martin for a letter of reference, she discovers the psychiatrist still emotionally cowering from Lucifer’s revelation. Linda can’t reconcile the truth of the matter with her own world-view, rejecting both Lucifer and Maze’s presence in her life. When Maze comes to her door again at the end of the episode, having earned her first paycheque as a bounty hunter (!), she convinces the doctor that things aren’t really that different from before and they head out to celebrate.
Lucifer’s little role-playing endeavour does affect some subtle changes in our devilish hero. Over breakfast, he reaches out to Chloe on the topic of fathers, stating that while he doesn’t care much for his own, she obviously holds hers in high regard and that having caught his real killer, John Decker is probably very proud of his little monkey. Emotionally raw (and rightfully so after the last few weeks), we have seen that Chloe’s become a hugger (Ella even points it out explicitly earlier in the episode) and Lucifer finds himself on the receiving end of a very emotional one here. It’s a nice moment for both of them.
Lucifer airs Monday nights at 9pm ET/PT on FOX.
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