Backstory on the effervescent Ella Lopez has been long overdue. She’s been a geeky, glorious ray of sunshine since joining the cast in Season 2 and the more we’ve seen of her, the more we’ve wanted to know about her.
She’s been every good intention, every positive vibe, and all the rainbow-spewing unicorn herds we could ever ask for in a story that could easily drown in Maze anger, Lucifer angst, and Chloe confusion.
So this bonus episode was brilliant in both giving us a glimpse of the dark cloud Ella carries in her past and giving her membership in Team Lucifer a real purpose.
Stepping out of routine, the episode opens with a camera trained on Ella as she comes to work, greeting everyone cheerily and individually, spreading joy with her genuine love of life. Getting down to the gritty of documenting the murder victim and crime scene, she assures the victim that they’ll figure it out.
Her phone rings with a call from her younger brother and the news that he’s picked up and moved back to Detroit puts her in a bad mood as she’s now the only one living in L.A. and the pressure is on to move home. The idea of life without Ella puts both Chloe and Lucifer in the grumps as well. Damn straight.
As she’s leaving the crime scene, she notices blood on a door and opens it to find a frightened boy, Felix Rodriguez (Aiden Lewandowski, Jane the Virgin) in the closet, clutching a violin case. While his father, Anthony (Jose Yenque, The Last Ship) is talking with Chloe, Ella makes a connection with Felix who shares in a whisper that he didn’t see who killed his therapist.
Back in her lab, Ella gets a shock when her childhood friend Ray-Ray (Charlyne Yi, Steven Universe) appears. Ella reminds her that they agreed not to see each other again and Ray-Ray acknowledges that yeah, there might’ve been an agreement to that tune. But she seems okay with hanging out anyway.
When Chloe comes in and finds Ella telling an empty room to “Go AWAY” she’s a little concerned. Ella covers as best she can but once she’s gotten Chloe to leave, she redoubles her efforts to get Ray-Ray, a ghost she’s been able to see and interact with since she was eight years old, to leave. No dice.
Ray-Ray tags along, making up excuses for needing to be a part of this case. First, she says that she knows the victim’s ghost and can help them. When Ella stops falling for the “ghost rules” line, she says that solving the case will ease her spirit and allow her to cross over. That’s a lie too and Ella is very clear that once the case is over, Ray-Ray needs to leave.
Striking a little closer to the truth, Ray-Ray tells her that she knows Ella is thinking of moving back to Detroit and she’s here to advise against it. She paints Ella’s family out as a people who leech off of her and reminds her that her friends in L.A. value her.
In the meantime, Dan has been put in charge of a crime witness, Becket (Madeleine Coghlan, Castle), who promptly ditches him and steals his phone.
Lucifer helps Dan track her down to a Six Flags amusement park where Dan confides that he’s always hated roller coasters ever since her puked on his date in high school. They find Becket but she gets away from Dan (with his badge) and traps him on a roller coaster.
Although Lucifer nabs her, she gives him the slip too (with his car keys) while he’s getting souvenir prints of Dan’s terrified roller coaster face.
Recognizing that they’re out of their depth, they call in Maze who, of course, pauses to ridicule them thoroughly.
When she apprehends Becket trying to order a drink at LUX on the strength of the stolen police badge, Dan manages to get the truth out of her about what she actually saw at the crime scene. He calls it in to Chloe who pieces together Becket’s allergic reaction to freesia scent with the actual murderer. Or at least the family.
Chloe and Ella (with Ray-Ray in tow) head to the Rodriguez home where Chloe questions the mother, Sophia (Maria Maestas McCann, First Love) and Ella searches through a construction disposal unit and finds the murder weapon. Ray-Ray yells out a warning just as hubby Anthony attacks her with a metal baseball bat.
Chloie intervenes and disarms the distraught man. His motive for killing his reclusive son’s therapist? She was encouraging Felix’s talent on the violin and recommending more intensive training and home schooling. Anthony felt his son’s obsession with the violin is “not normal” and Ella responds by pointing out that the boy’s talent is amazing and makes him special.
As Rodriguez is led away in cuffs, Ella comes clean with Chloe about her own secret special-ness and although Chloe says she needs to process the idea that her C.S.I. buddy can see a ghost, she is totally accepting of Ella’s truth and embraces her warmly.
Ella and Ray-Ray say their farewells with Ella leaving the door open for her friend to “check in” every once in a while. having made the decision to stay in L.A., Ella feels at peace and although she doesn’t share Lucifer’s love of humiliating Dan, she encourages him to always be himself before bidding him good-night with Ray-Ray’s signature send-off.
This twigs Lucifer’s attention and he asks Ella why she said what she did. She tells him it’s something her friend Ray-Ray always says and that doesn’t lessen Luci’s alertness at all.
Returning to his penthouse, he calls out for Ray-Ray, or as he knows he better: Azrael, the angel of Death, his little sister.
She pops out and they catch up. Sort of. Turns out that she was supposed to collect wight-year-old Ella’s soul when she was in a car crash but just couldn’t because of that bright, positive joy Ella emanated even as a child. Instead, she became her friend and then Azrael gave her a shove in Lucifer’s direction later in life.
True to form, Lucifer gets all cantankerous to hear that Ella’s presence in his life was another heavenly intervention. Azrael responds that it was more about putting her two favourite people together since she couldn’t be with either herself. Then she just disappears.
With his kid sister’s words sinking in, Lucifer drops in on Ella at the lab to celebrate the fact she won’t be leaving them and then lends an ear to her most recent enthusiasm. Azrael observes from a distance and then exits with a smile.
One of the many gutting things about Lucifer’s cancellation is that we don’t know where Ella goes, having lost her faith. Sad Ella instantly makes the world a dimmer place and her uncertainty would’ve have been amazing fodder with which to drive the characters around her.
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