This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 25
“Why are you hiding? Nobody can see you.”
As series’ star Tom Ellis’ campaign to save Lucifer from its cancellation picks up steam, the bittersweet news that two standalone episodes intended for season four would be aired should please the show’s fans who now unexpectedly receive two more hours of the fantasy drama that continues its quest for a new home. “Boo Normal” begins innocently enough, and the Ella Lopez centric tale does a wonderful job blending the supernatural with an examination of the quirky forensic scientist’s life long struggle coping with the dysfunctional family that now wants her to leave Los Angeles and return to live in Detroit.
The investigation of a child psychiatrist’s murder forms the crux of the episode, and once we get past watching Daniel and Lucifer try to keep up with a 14 year old suspect who manages to stay one step ahead of the bungling duo, “Boo Normal” opens a wealth of possibilities that we may never get to see developed. Ordinarily, the snarky jokes fly fast and furiously when these two work together, but here most of the interactions fall flat. Beckett sneaks away from Dan under the guise of buying Slurpee, but to get his badge and Lucifer’s Corvette may be a bit too much. What saves this aspect of the procedural is, of course, Mazikeen’s arrival to save the day once they accept they need her expertise to track down the erstwhile teenage girl. “What’d you two idiots do now?” Maze could have made them squirm a bit more, but Beckett’s quick apprehension as she attempts to buy a drink in a bar puts a close to what amounts to a plot point simply meant to keep these two out of the way so we can watch Ella battle a trauma she’s faced since she was eight years old.
After watching Ella arrive at the crime scene in a joyful mood that almost seems out of place given the circumstance, her temper abruptly changes when her brother calls and the reality that she might move back to Detroit becomes real. One of the things Lucifer does best is blend the real with the imaginary, so we’re immediately drawn to, rather than put off by, the revelation that Ella’s oldest friend Ray Ray (Charlyne Yi/House) doesn’t actually exist. Or does she? It’s laid out right from the start when Chloe arrives to find Ella apparently talking to herself, and thinks nothing of it. But what do we think at this point? Is Ella suffering a psychotic break related to the stress of the job or her family? It doesn’t seem likely. Given that we’ve already accepted angels, demons, and the Devil, accepting that Ray Ray might, in fact, be a ghost doesn’t seem much of a stretch. And that’s where the fun of “Boo Normal” begins.
Once we dig into Ella’s story and her exchanges with Chloe and Ray Ray, this tightly crafted episode beautifully explores another human/celestial relationship that’s been operating in the shadows because the truth is simply too fantastic to be believed. We’re teased along the way as Ray Ray first tells Ella she’s back to deal with some unfinished business, and when Miss Lopez suggests that her friend needs to help her one last time before “crossing over,” the ghost explanation seems much more plausible than a psychological break.
At one point it appears that Ray Ray has resurfaced to help Ella cope with the reality that she might have to move back to Detroit, and that this relationship exists to protect Ella from a family that doesn’t have her best interests at heart. So maybe not a ghost after all. Regardless of who or what Ray Ray is, there’s no mistaking her desire to help Ella, and her protective side emerges when Ella suggests telling Chloe about her friend. One of the core values we’ve seen throughout the series is the importance of family, and Chloe makes certain to remind Ella that she’s already part of a family that loves and respects her. Nonetheless, Ray Ray’s not wrong in advising against opening up to Chloe about this relationship that began when Ella was eight.
So how great is it when Ella simply blurts out “I see ghosts,” and Chloe takes it all in stride. Now, however, we learn the genesis of their relationships and the gaps begin to fill in. One of the questions we have to ask about “Boo Normal” is where it fits into the larger story arc. Our only hint comes when Chloe tells Ella that she’s seen “a lot crazier things” than a ghost, seemingly referring to the wings and devil face reveal at the end of “A Devil of My Word.” But it should also make us consider that even had Chloe not been forced to accept that Lucifer’s been telling the truth about his identity all along, her reaction to Ella’s ghost news would likely have been the same. This is her friend, foibles and all.
And here’s where things really pick up. Ray Ray announces that she’s leaving, and Ella puts the thought into our heads that her friend may have been a ghost guardian angel, a detail we may have overlooked to this point. When Ray Ray leaves with the innocent childhood barb “smell you later,” and Lucifer then hears Ella utter the same phrase, it becomes clear where season four was headed.
That Ray Ray turns out to be Lucifer’s sister Azrael opens an abundance of possibilities moving forward, but none more so than learning why the Angel of Death has come to Los Angeles. Throughout the series Lucifer has complained about his Father manipulating him and placing Chloe in his path for unknown, but seemingly nefarious reasons, and now that we learn that Azrael took it upon herself to form a bond with an eight year old traumatized by a near death experience, Lucifer might have to re-examine his beliefs. Or will he?
Since we barely know Azrael, we have to take her at her word that sending Ella to be with Lucifer was simply a case of “two of my favorite people” being together. Taken in conjunction with what we know about Chloe being placed in Lucifer’s path for a reason, we must consider that things are about to get crazy. Unfortunately, those things may remain unseen.
As a standalone episode intended to air during season four, “Boo Normal” establishes that this is a family, flaws and all, and though everyone’s not privy to all the truths yet, the time will come. As Azrael, Yi is adorable and engaging, and I can’t wait to see the three siblings together. Of course, that will depend on whether Lucifer can find a new home.