Aimee Garcia’s Ella Lopez has been a delightful “enigma wrapped in a hoodie under a jaunty ponytail” since joining the cast as a regular and the chance to find out a little more about her while letting loose in Sin City is nothing short of a joy.
We start off in L.A. and Chloe’s celebrating a birthday with cake and candles and singing. In her endearingly classy way, Ella helps her celebrate by hiring a stripper cop (in another cake) to grind on her at the precinct while Lucifer and Dan look on, amused and horrified respectively.
During the festivities, Lucifer receives a phone call from the Las Vegas police about his ex-wife, Candy. Apparently, she’s missing and after Ella jumps him with an impulsive comfort hug, he decides to just go to Vegas to do his own investigating. Ella talks herself into joining him despite her mysterious “thing with Vegas”.
Decker’s a lot nonplussed at the sight of them leaving her birthday party but Lucifer is preoccupied with the idea he didn’t hold up his part of his bargain with Candy. Ella’s just got her sights set on “pleather, cigars, and vomit” like a “tiny, helpless space capsule being sucked into a deadly black hole”. Love the writing here. All big images and high-speed banter.
Arriving in Vegas with Chloe leaving voicemails every five minutes, they discover an active crime scene in Candy’s apartment and a blonde corpse with no face. Lucifer realizes the corpse isn’t his ex-wife when he notices the feet are much smaller than Candy’s.
The Las Vegas detective, Jay Wong (Jack Yang, Roadies) who called Lucifer is on site and starts to question them on their cheerful reaction to the corpse. Ella interrupts Lucifer’s explanation and diverts Wong’s attention so as not to give away the non-identity of the corpse.
When brainstorming who would want to kill Candy, we’re treated to a great little flashback of Lucifer’s last trip here and first encounter with Candy, a sexy lounge singer with frisky fingers. After she picks his pockets, he discovers that she’s deep in debt to Louie “Ham Hands” Pagliani. Of course, he’s dead already when they find him.
Tracking down his wife to the Moonbeam Casino, we finally find out what Ella’s “thang” is with Vegas. Dressed to the bling, she loses her calm and cool when they set up at the blackjack tables to attract pit boss, Roxie Pagliani’s attention (played here by the lovely Lauren Holly, Motive).
When Ella hijacks Lucifer’s seat over a pair of aces, security moves in quickly to lead them away from the table. As it turns out, Ella’s got a reputation as one of the best card counters on the casino circuit.
When Roxie threatens to out her past to the LAPD, Ella confronts Roxie with her husband’s murder and Lucifer flashes his mojo at her. Turns out Roxie’s spent the last two days trying to seduce a pro-golfer on the casino tables so she couldn’t have killed her hubs.
After they’re thrown out, there’s a weird blip of something dark and serious when Ella explains that she counts cards to quiet “the voices in her head”. Before Lucifer can push into that topic, she asks how he and Candy ended up married. Insert another flashback which involves mint chip ice cream and a pink Snuggie(TM). Oh, how I wish THAT had been on of the promo pics…
Returning to the present, the real Candy shows up (again, as she had served Lucifer a drink earlier at the blackjack table) and tells them she’s trying to track down her own killer.
When she reveals that the killer is after the club her father left her (and which Lucifer had previously helped her pay off the Pagliani debt on), the threesome realize that, since it takes a year for an annulment to process, Lucifer, as the grieving widower, is now the owner of the club.
And what happens in Vegas… is Lucifer singing “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” with Ella dancing show-girl back-up with a .22 strapped to her garter (and a headdress resembling her “radish” status) at Fletcher’s to flush out the killer. Wow. Seriously. Wow.
When the Fletcher’s bartender, Judd (Andy Milder, Weeds), pulls a gun on Lucifer, it’s almost a trivial point of fact but the execution of his confession in the face of seeing what he thinks is Candy’s ghost (and probably also freaked out by the fact shooting Lucifer doesn’t hurt him) is worthy of its Vegas setting – dramatic, loud, and involving lots of mirrors.
The Las Vegas story line wraps up in a classic C.S.I.-esque neon-lit night scene, with Ella flirting outrageously with Detective Wong and Lucifer having a heart-to-heart with Candy about Decker. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Wong or Candy show up again.
With all the awesomeness of the Vegas side of this episode, there was the necessary but less awesome Los Angeles Side B. Over a series of multiple scenes, Chloe is so upset by Lucifer leaving on her birthday that she ropes Dr. Martin and Dan into throwing a three-person rager in Lucy’s penthouse, pillaging his bar and attempting to break into his safe.
It’s all problematic as Decker and Espinoza prove themselves rather iffy officers of the law, trashing and drilling into the wall of a private citizen, while Dr. Martin’s advice about spackle is pretty poorly thought out. Yes, I know they were all pretty drunk, which leads to yet another question about professionalism.
This turns out to be necessary in the end because it sets up Lucifer’s return home to a scene of spent debauchery which he thoroughly approves of. Confessing his fears to what he thinks is an unconscious Decker, the two central characters finally get a real moment of genuine communication.
You’d think this scene would be the gentle wrap-up of the night but no, the writers manage to top it with a massive LOL like the cherry on a sundae. Lucifer’s birthday gift to Chloe is presented with such an audacious and hilarious line that I woke my baby up laughing at it. Well done, Team Lucifer, brilliant work.
LuciferÂ airs Monday nights at 9pm ET/PT on FOX.
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