LUCIFER 2×02 “Liar, Liar, Slutty Dress on Fire” Recap
By Chris B
Lucifer’s mum’s had a stone-skipping journey to get into the “fleshsack” she currently inhabits, that of Charlotte Richards, a lawyer with “supreme hindquarters” on last night’s episode of Lucifer.
She’s uncertain if humans eat their own, given the lascivious stares she’s gotten, and she’s the embodiment of conciliation when it comes to her son, despite his role as her warden in Hell: “Your father put me in Hell, not you…We were both wronged.”
Lucifer insists that they retrace her steps to verify her story, and in the process finds a dead man in the hotel room where she woke up. This destruction is just what he expected: “Liar, liar, slutty dress on fire, Mother,” tuts the demon offspring. But she assigns blame to whoever destroyed her “human suit” as well, and that is the very crime that Detective Decker is assigned to solve.
Maze and Mama Morningstar face off. Lucifer tasks his helpful torturer with babysitting, so Maze decides to use the time to threaten her prisoner with a whole skein of Home Depot’s finest gadgets, but the would-be victim is unimpressed: if Maze couldn’t break her in Hell, why does she think she can now? Maze blames the fact that previously her opponent was not human, but Mum insists it was actually due to her virtue: “Hell gives the damned what they deserve; I didn’t deserve to be punished.” She sells herself as only “a mother who loves her son.” Maze isn’t buying: “Loving mothers don’t abandon their sons.” This gives Mama a realization—she threatens Maze’s relationship with Lucifer, for if she’s around, Maze won’t be needed. But Maze is all too happy to break the bad news that Lucifer has already made a deal with his daddy to ship Mommy back to Hell, “and he doesn’t break deals. Don’t think he’d start with God.”
Apparently, Charlotte and the man in the hotel room were killed by a hit man belonging to a drug cartel which she and the FBI were attempting to bring down. But before Lucifer can get too excited about the prospect of his mother not being a “lying sack of sabotry,” he discovers she’s escaped Maze’s custody and is on the run. Oops. Now she’s out there, “stupid hot, wearing [Maze’s] clothes, and she’s got a corporate credit card.” What could possibly go wrong?
Lucifer tracks cartel leader Perez to his swanky salon and while holding off a succession of enforcers with one arm, smashes the kingpin his tanning bed with the other, ordering him to stay away from Charlotte. When he tosses one of the hapless security men through the wall, the orifice it opens reveals bags of cocaine packed into the dry wall. Jackpot!
The interrogation of Perez reveals that the dead man from the hotel was not a narc, but an asset, and the hit man, Jimmy the Carpenter, is dead. Quite a wrench in their theory, no? Thus, the answer must lie in the only connection between perpetrator and victim: the law firm. They confront the only other partner who was familiar with the case, and Lucifer purposely feeds him the tidbit that Charlotte is merely missing, not dead, sending the man on the hunt for her.
His plan works, and he has but to follow the man until Charlotte is tracked down at a grocery store parking lot pushing a cart full of cheese. While her love of fermented dairy may be outed to Decker, the detective pursues the perpetrator on foot and Lucifer orders Mum to keep secret their relationship, stabbing her in the arm as a clincher to explain the crime scene blood pool. But when Mommie Dearest takes in Lucifer’s delighted grin of admiration as Chloe subdues her quarry, the deity’s eyes narrow. She looks worried—or jealous. This foreshadows trouble ahead for the detective.
Fall From Grace
Lucifer tries to call his brother via pray-o-meter, but he gets no response, grousing the old boy “must’ve gone for a wank or something.” No such luck for Amenadiel. He seems to be in the midst of his existential flux, flipping books feverishly trying to determine why his otherworldly powers have gone glitchy. As he furrows his brow to dangerous depths, he is interrupted by Dr. Linda, still salty from being lied to about her handsome neighbor being a therapist. He brushes her off, nearly sneering as he explains that he merely did what he had to do for “matters of great importance. I didn’t have a choice.” She scoffs at that; Amenadiel used her unnecessarily: “I confided in you—trusted you—and you betrayed that trust.” She pronounces him a victim of bad karma thanks to his selfishness, and then tries to exit with a dramatic slam of the door. She’s foiled by a warped entry mat.
As Maxwell Smart used to say, “Missed it by that much.”
Amenadiel later goes to Dr. Linda to apologize for his deception. He recognizes his need for atonement, likely the hiccup in his ethereal powers. “I did consider you a friend, and I’m deeply sorry that I ruined that.” She forgives him, but this small gesture is clearly not enough. When the angel returns to his own office, he peels back his clothes to reveal tattered, mangy wings. His heavenly aspect is acutely damaged, literally and figuratively.
Detective Decker and Lucifer clash over her handling of Trixie’s mutilation of one of her dolls. Chloe knows her daughter has done it in a manipulative effort to force her mother to buy a new doll that the little girl covets, but Lucifer tells her to give in: “Abandon the child in its hour of need, and it won’t trust you in the future.” He ups the ante by ordering the new doll himself, which Chloe fumes over.
As a result, he seems to be getting paid by the number of times he spouts, “You’re a bad mother.” Amazingly, this repetitive observation does not land him in intensive care with half of his teeth missing; Chloe is willing to take the high road and recognize that he is “projecting” his own matriarchal ills onto her.
Lucifer tries unsuccessfully one final time to plead his case about buying Trixie the doll for which she’d angled so hard. “Neglect 101—you’re abandoning her in her time of need, Detective.” Again, Chloe is not incensed; instead, she sees straight through his bravado about mothers. She offers sympathy, promising to listen should he wish to discuss his own mother and gently informing him that “doing what’s best for your child—it doesn’t always make them happy.”
Time for Lucifer to pause for Parenting 101: Love hurts.
Momma Morningstar makes mac and cheese for Lucifer, as she saw on “the flatscreen” that “it’s what mothers make to bring their children joy.” Though few humans can resist a pan of bubbling cheddar, Lucifer sure can. He refuses to accept her offer to be a good mother to him here on Earth to make up for past wrongs. This makes way for her confession: she is the one who sent Lucifer to Hell. She claims that she did it to save his life from his vengeful father who had wanted to destroy him; she’d begged for his banishment instead of his death. Lucifer reluctantly allows her to stay on Earth, “just until [he] figures out what [he] needs to do.” Mommy is all humble gratitude until Lucifer walks away; then, she raises her head to the heavens and smirks triumphantly.
Goodnight, sweet Charlotte.