Friday, June 2, 2023

I’ll go down with this ship… Lucifer & Linda

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It’s that time again. Lucifer will premiere the first half of its 5th season in August. There’s also the final season 6. In preparation for the season 5 premiere, I started my Lucifer rewatch. With it, I was remindedof a dynamic that drew me to the series. I’m thinking of the relationship between Lucifer and Linda. Although I’m not the biggest fan of how they developed this relationship, Linda in particular, I still think this dynamic and story was one of the reasons Lucifer became so successful.

The characters

Some of my opinions on the show were already published in previous articles. When it comes to Lucifer I took a closer look in the past. Linda also came up in my series I like my women…

We don’t know a lot about Linda. There are only a few snippets of backstory here and there—understandable since she isn’t the main character. What we know is that she is a therapist/ psychologist and that she has a private practice. She’s also divorced (it came up in one of these weird standalone episodes that Fox did in season 3), although that’s not so important. She also had a brief affair with Amenadiel that resulted in their child Charlie and a lot of unnecessary drama, which I ranted about the last time I wrote about Lucifer. As a professional, even with a few hiccups caused by Lucifer, Linda is a likeable character. She tries to dive deep and help Lucifer solve his problems. She’s also great as Maze’s friend, but some other roles she tries to fit into don’t seem quite as thought through.

Lucifer is a guy with a lot of problems and some daddy issues. Well he’s also the devil but that’s just the bonus, and it makes for a more adventurous and compelling story. He ditched ruling hell for a little vacation in Los Angeles. There he doesn’t have to care about punishing people. Lucifer quickly picks up a side gig as a police consultant. He gets a taste of the human life when he delves into cases and a relationship with detective Chloe Decker. Then there are the troubles that his family causes, mainly his mom and brother Amenadiel. Although the latter claims to be following God’s (Dad’s) plan, consequences be dammed. In all of this Lucifer tries to survive day after day, trying to figure out how to build and maintain relationships.

Their story

How does one start a professional relationship? Well, with sex of course, and a murder investigation. At least you do it this way if you’re the devil. Because that’s exactly how Linda and Lucifer started. She was a witness in his first case in the pilot and wanted to sleep with him. He came back after the investigation concluded. That started a weird therapy arrangement where Lucifer paid Linda for the sessions with sex. An ethics board would have a field day with that. Given the lighter tone of the show, it seemed to fit.

As their sessions progress, Linda is willing to accommodate Lucifer’s “metaphor” of him being the devil, not believing that he’s telling her the truth. She gets the proof a little later in the show and her reaction seems quite serene. With that being said, she’s still shocked and cuts Lucifer off for some time.

Linda also quite quickly stops sleeping with the devil. She finally got the memo that it’s unprofessional. It damages not only her reputation and her relationship with Lucifer, it also clouds her judgment.

Watching the show, you quickly see that Lucifer often doesn’t understand what Linda tries to tell him. Or more likely, doesn’t want to understand. He has to almost always screw something up before he comes to the right conclusion or has a breakthrough. It’s often build in a way that the case he’s currently working on helps him digest the wisdom the doctor tries to tell him.

This particular relationship is a special one. You have to have an immense amount of trust in your therapist, which can sound like a good foundation for a friendship. This could be misleading.

That’s also the route the show took with these two. Slowly, the lines between patient and therapist became blurred. Linda and Lucifer started to mix their lives together more and more. Or rather, Linda started interacting with the people closest to Lucifer, often on a personal level. Thus, the professional relationship became a personal one.

Their flaws

This transition from professional to personal is the main flaw of this relationship. As long as they kept it strictly professional, I found the dynamic interesting. Even when the lines blurred a little, I could get on board with that . As soon as the focus shifted and Linda became someone other than therapist or occasional friend, I got irritated and bored.

The therapy aspect of the relationship was the factor that made it unique. Lucifer has other friends and acquaintances. Linda doesn’t need to get more established than a professional, at least in my opinion.

I can understand why the producers decided to take this route and tell these stories. They wanted to deepen the connection between Linda and the other characters, develop the doctors character more, show different sides of her. Personally, I think it was a little too much too fast. Maybe if they introduced these changes a little more slowly it wouldn’t have been so irritating. Since Linda already had connections with the other characters, why the rush?

Why I ship them

I enjoy the relationship because of the professional therapist/ patient aspect. It provides us an interesting perspective on Lucifer and his development. It also gives us insight into the devil’s mind, his motivations and thought process.

I can’t even imagine what would happen if an ethics board investigated Linda and took a closer look on this relationship. It seems inappropriate at least. They must have broken a dozen of regulations. How can she still be a doctor?

I also enjoy this relationship because Linda is basically us (the viewers), at least in the beginning. She’s just an outsider looking in, who shouldn’t judge but rather observe what happens. She doesn’t have all the facts and information and has to wait till Lucifer tells her. As a viewer, you can identify with that. You’re just like Linda, waiting for the story to unfold.

While there were ups and downs in this story and relationship and while I didn’t enjoy all of it, I’ll always remember some aspects of it fondly.

Images courtesy of Fox, Netflix


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