Lucifer S03E07 – Off the Record
“Before embarking on a journey of revenge first dig two graves” – Confucius
Another week passes with another phenomenal episode of Lucifer. Before we get into the real meat of the episode, I just want to state for the record that this episode is masterfully written. Chris Rafferty, Mike Costa, and Jen Graham Imada did a wonderful job with “Off the Record.” Also, major props to Jen Graham Imada because it was a great first episode for her!
This was the third of the standalone leftover eps from season 2 and was told primarily from the point of view of Reese Getty, portrayed by guest star Patrick Fabian. Here’s the part where I should be brutally honest—while I do think it’s a great episode and I liked it, I didn’t love it as much as I’ve loved the rest of season 3. That being said, there was some truly incredible acting from Patrick Fabian, Rachael Harris, and Tom Ellis.
He’s My Friend
The episode itself has a wonky timeline, so I’m going to move things around a bit. Reese Getty does everything he does in the episode because he wants to get revenge on the man sleeping with his wife. The man in question is obviously our dear Lucifer and the wife is our very own Dr. Linda Martin.
Reese wakes up from a near-death experience and he goes to see his wife and listens to her having sex with Lucifer. So what does he do? He follows our guy around and stalks him a bit at Lux. Lucifer then talks with Reese and gives him the idea of punishing the man who stole his wife before he leaves with Chloe on a new case.
Reese comes up with the idea that Lucifer is a shady character and pitches this to his editor who gives him the go-ahead. So Reese takes off on the road to find out more about Lucifer (more on this later). It is then that we find out that Reese’s wife is actually Linda, who mentions they have been separated two years. And that’s when Reese goes from sad to creepy, though I don’t know if this was on purpose or just an interesting result of my perception.
In that moment, he reminded me of my own ex—a guy who didn’t realize that “we’re over” means we’re over. It doesn’t mean look me up in 3 months and see if I’ve changed my mind. Of course, my failed relationship was of the dating variety and wasn’t all that serious while Linda was married to this guy, but the comparison remains. And then I just couldn’t unsee it! I would bet a lot of money that I’m not the only woman who has gone through a similar situation, so Linda’s scenes in this episode were very poignant.
I’ve spoken many times during these reviews about how incredible I think Dr. Linda Martin is and Rachael Harris truly shines during this episode. I love how she stood her ground and said, “No. We’ve been over for two years, there’s nothing more here.” Because unlike what Reese thinks, “separated” can mean “over,” especially if it has been two years. Also, I love the speech Linda gives him about how Lucifer makes her feel. It’s not that she has feelings for him, but rather that he’s given her a sense of freedom—it’s a truly wonderful scene. And it just adds to how beautiful the friendship between Lucifer and Linda is.
Anyway, Reese signs the divorce papers, but claims he’s going to get proof of Lucifer being the devil and we fast-forward a year. The next scene with Linda is probably one of the best scenes of the episode. He comes in and shoots Lucifer and, since Chloe isn’t around, all it does is ruin his suit. Reese goes on this tirade about how he’s the devil and Linda just calmly says she knows. In this scene, we’re not only privy to great acting from Rachael Harris and Patrick Fabian, but also from Tom Ellis.
Reese doesn’t understand why Linda doesn’t not run away from Lucifer—after all, he’s evil incarnate, isn’t he? And Linda has a wonderful response: she tells Reese that Lucifer isn’t evil. Instead, “He’s a good man, he’s my friend.” And then the camera pans to Ellis’ face as he visibly reacts to her words—like it just hit him that Linda’s friendship is the real deal and she actually, truly cares about him. Linda tries to talk to Reese about the situation because she knows how hard it is to come to terms with the truth of Lucifer, but he just walks away.
The ability to look at our characters from the outside does give us more insight. We saw Lucifer react to Linda’s opinion of him and, in the later half of this episode, we see just how well Chloe knows Lucifer after a year of working with him.
The first time Reese asks what Lucifer gets out of their partnership, Chloe doesn’t have an answer for him. In fact, she pretty much writes him off. Then the second time he asks (once a year has passed), she gives him a very different response—one that gives us insight into how well she actually knows her partner despite not knowing everything about him (i.e. wings and all). “I think a long time ago, somebody wronged Lucifer,” she says, “I think he avoided dealing with it, and he hides behind the partying and the women and the drinking and who knows what else. And with the LAPD, working on each case, it gives him an opportunity to right those wrongs; to fight back.” Her words are very true to form from what we’ve seen of Lucifer over the course of these three seasons.
This season’s theme is identity and, ironically enough, in an episode that’s not even about Lucifer himsel,f we get a few hints as to what his identify truly is. Or, at least how the people closest to him see him.
The Villain of His Own Story
There are some characters in media (like Regina Mills or Petyr Baelish) that don’t realize they are the villains. They think they are the heroes—the ones that are going to save the day. But they just end up making things worse because they aren’t self-aware enough to realize they are screwing up. Reese Getty falls in this category. While he is not as terrible as the other two mentioned, he’s still pretty much the villain of his own story and, tragically, he thinks he’s the hero.
Patrick Fabian did a phenomenal job during this episode, that much is clear. Reese Getty was a truly fascinating character. Creepy, yes, but fascinating. Here’s where the quote in the beginning fits quite nicely: revenge is a cold comfort and Reese found that out during this episode. Confucius said, “Before embarking on a journey of revenge first dig two graves,” and it was one of the first quotes I thought of while rewatching this episode. Reese is so focused on getting his revenge that he doesn’t realize how much he is screwing up his own life by trying to mess up Lucifer’s.
Earlier, I mentioned how Reese got the go-ahead to write a story about Lucifer. That means he follows Lucifer and Chloe to the crime sites and asks around about him. To his disappointment, everyone has positive things to say about Lucifer (except Dan, of course). Momentarily, Reese thinks he catches a break and finds Lucifer is doing something shady, but it turns out all he’s doing is buying edible sex toys. Lucifer feels sorry for him and brings him to the interrogation. We get a montage of Lucifer doing good things for the case and even Dan complimenting Lucifer and Reese realizes there’s no story there. That is, until he gets a sight of Lucifer’s true face.
Things quickly spiral out of control for Reese as he dedicates a year of his life to figuring out everything about Lucifer. He has a very impressive stalker board with photos of old cases and all of Lucifer’s associates. I will say it is slightly far-fetched that Reese can get this much information, especially accurate information, on Lucifer without any of the other characters finding out, but I can let it go.
After the encounter with Linda, he goes even more off the rails and he gets the serial killer from the case to try and kill Lucifer, knowing that Chloe makes him vulnerable. Of course, it doesn’t go according to plan. And yet, Reese still blames Lucifer. He’s literally the epitome of every human Lucifer has ever complained about. He threatens Lucifer with a knife and tells him he doesn’t understand why Linda has accepted him (Lucifer), and yet not accepted him (Reese). Here’s a thought—maybe because Lucifer hasn’t been creeping her out!
Lucifer admits to Reese that he doesn’t choose who goes to hell—it’s their own guilt that sends them there and keeps them there. The latter we knew from Lucifer’s time in hell when he was trying to save Chloe, as his guilt about killing Uriel kept him there. Reese obviously doesn’t listen to him and keeps claiming it’s all Lucifer’s fault and so he ends up poisoned and in hell, reliving his faults.
Lucifer Morningstar: They’re very low quality, actually more outdated than Dan’s flip phone.
Chloe Decker: Lucifer does this, he notices things that normal people are too normal to notice. But it has a tendency to pay off.
Lucifer Morningstar: Go Reese Lightning!
Reese Getty: You can’t scare me off; I’ve been threatened by worse than you!
Maze: I guarantee you haven’t.
Dan: For starters, someone’s been stealing my pudding and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it all started when he showed up.
Policewoman: I heard he was somewhere terrible down south, maybe Florida?
Chloe Decker: I think a long time ago, somebody wronged Lucifer. I think he avoided dealing with it, and he hides behind the partying and the women and the drinking and who knows what else. And with the LAPD, working on each case, it gives him an opportunity to right those wrongs; to fight back.”
Linda Martin: He’s a good man, he’s my friend.
*I missed Ella Lopez this episode. Also, where is Amenadiel? We haven’t seen him in a while.
*Every time Lucifer’s (or Maze’s) sexuality is brought up or reaffirmed, I level up.
*This episode was slightly jarring at first, until I realized the first part of it was set in the past.
*I loved the running gag of Lucifer not realizing he’s the man Reese wants to get revenge on.
*Tom Ellis’ face as Lucifer comes to the realization that Linda accepts him because he showed her all sides of him was interesting, especially when tied with her calling him a good man. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for Lucifer’s current identity crisis. And hopefully it leads to him finally coming clean with Chloe.
Are you wondering what happened in last week’s episode? Check out my review of Lucifer S03E06!