LUCIFER Season 2 Premiere Review
By Chris B
Brandishing guns, shattering glass, and screaming mayhem—should the second season of Lucifer start any other way?
Masked jewel thieves, smashing cases and waving guns, are interrupted by Lucifer and Amenadiel who think they’ve tracked down their mother (Hell’s recent escapee) possessing the body of a recently deceased man. Lucifer chastises her for trying to acquire “conflict diamonds—terrible karma—but more importantly, is this really how you want to spend your time on Earth?” When they finally realize that the man, the last one on their handy Newly Dead list, is not their dear old mum, they properly thwart his crime (via a tiara, nudity, and two shoes tied together) and exit unseen.
His next suspicion for his mother’s body take-over is a young actress whose television stand-in, Jillian, is murdered and dumped in a fake merry-go-round, two metal devil horns shoved into her forehead. He scoffs at his mother’s choice: “Amy Dodd—role model for teen girls, awkward erection for their fathers.” But when the girl, fresh off snorting lines of cocaine, jumps him to prove she’s no innocent flower, Lucifer is aghast, fearing himself ten seconds from his own Greek tragedy. Luckily, Decker makes a timely entrance and he untangles himself. Strike two.
Since Jillian had been Amy’s sober coach, Chloe and Lucifer suspect Amy’s drug dealer might be the murderer. They track his phone to an AA meeting. To flush him out, Lucifer volunteers to speak, promptly decrying his love for drugs and flipping an obscene stack of cash. It works. The drug dealer, approaches them after the meeting breaks up, toting the same devil emoji bags that had housed Amy Dodd’s stash. This man, though, who vomits at the picture of the dead girl, is not their killer. He does offer that Amy had a dealer before him, and “I doubt he was happy I stole his best buyer.”
Maze returns to Lux at an opportune moment, on the spot to beat the snot out of a knife-wielding kid in a hoodie. Lucifer’s potential stabber is actually Amy Dodd’s boyfriend who had seen Lucifer in her trailer previously and has lashed out in a fit of misplaced jealousy. While this kid is largely a harmless tool, he offers up the name of Bobby B, second drug dealer for Amy, which Lucifer is able to link with new information from Decker that the second dealer is likely someone with ties to the healthcare industry. The solution: Roberta Beliard, Jillian’s landlady.
Flashing his red angry eyes, he goes to confront the woman himself, desperate to work out his “issues” by asking her why someone who Jillian had loved would kill her in such a gruesome fashion. “You were like a mother to her, and you sacrificed her like she was nothing. Did she mean so little to you in the end?” When Chloe arrives and rings the bell, the now-vulnerable Lucifer is attacked by Roberta and her fireplace poker, but before she can deal a fatal blow, Decker saves him a second time, zapping Roberta with a taser. Case closed.
But in the final seconds of the episode, the elusive Mama Morningstar staggers into Lucifer’s home, bloody and disheveled, imploring his help. He catches her as she falls. Foreshadowing? Time will tell.
Demons Battling Demons
Maze is amused at Lucifer’s suggestion that she retreated to help his mother’s supposed revenge plot, especially since Maze had been the one to torture Mama Morningstar in Hell. In reality, Maze has been “with a friend, doing some soul-searching.” Since she finds herself stuck on Earth with a bunch of mortals, she is uncertain where she fits in, so she has been leaning on Dr. Linda to assist her. In every sense, she needs to find her place in the world, and while she enjoys a bit of humiliating “fun” at Lucifer’s would-be assailant, her position as Lucifer’s partner in crime is not what it used to be. Also, her complicated relationship with Amenadiel has her seeking space, something that the latter seems loath to give her.
Lucifer’s therapy has stalled a bit. His sessions are revealing interesting tidbits to the audience, such as the backstory for his angst with Mom and why he thinks she’s escaped from Hell to kill him. According to him, his mother was “rather lovely” when he was younger. However, when his father started to spend all of his time “tinkering with a little project he called Humanity,” she grew cold and distant; both parents neglected their family. When Lucifer, acting out for attention, was “tossed out of the house” by his father, Mom did nothing to help: “She just stood there and let it happen.” Later, when Mom met Lucifer’s fate, her son repaid her in kind. It is the basic plot of every cliche teen movie from the 1980s, except it was played out by immortal celestial beings.
At his next session, Dr. Linda tries to get Lucifer to recognize that there is someone missing from the blame list for what’s happened with his mother. He has pointed out the extensive culpability of his brother, who wasn’t properly guarding Hell; he suggests Detective Decker has played a role (though unwittingly, since it was the deal for her welfare that has compelled Lucifer to do his father’s bidding) and possibly Maze, who had disappeared and could possibly be aiding his mother’s pursuits. “Is there anyone you might be leaving out?” The answer dawns on him quickly: Dr. Linda herself. If she’d solved his “existential problem earlier, none of this would have happened.” He compliments her noble ability to take responsibility, forcing his therapist to ask if their sessions are actually helping or making things worse. She sadly doubts her patient has learned a thing.
Lucifer has a light dawn during his gambit at the AA meeting. When the group leader, unimpressed by his bravado and Benjamins, cues him that the theme of the day is My Lowest Point, Lucifer chuckles and declares his geographic low point had to be Hell (“hard to get much lower than that”), but when he pauses and looks out over the room, he takes a sharp turn to the serious: “Well, then I suppose it was when my mother abandoned me; turn-about was fair play, so I abandoned her…didn’t even give her a chance to defend herself. What could she possibly say that would justify what she did?” Then he seems to speak to himself, musing, “What would she say?”
Ultimately, Lucifer returns to the doctor, contrite. He thanks her, claiming she’d been right all along—he’d been blaming everyone else for his situation, though he’d been the one who hadn’t helped his mother when she was cast from Heaven, nor bothered to ask her why she had remained impassive to his own fate. He realizes he’s made a great many assumptions about his mother, including her desire for revenge, when he actually has no idea what’s going on, “and that is truly terrifying.”
Isn’t it? Welcome to the human race, Lucy.
At the outset of the episode, Chloe is determined to test Lucifer’s blood to find out how he managed to be shot numerous times yet still be walking around. He’s all for this, but Amenadiel blows a gasket since mankind is not supposed to have concrete proof of divinity. To sway Chloe to reconsider, Amenadiel stages a showy display of shooting himself in front of her, then ripping up his shirt to prove that it was all dye packs and trickery—like Lucifer. He labels his brother as a troubled storyteller who’s adopted a devil’s persona to keep his head above the dark waters of his past.
This jolts Decker. Could her partner, the one she’s come to rely on and (if she admits it) enjoy, just be an unhinged crazy person? Lucifer is exasperated that she doesn’t believe him, accusing her of being afraid to find out the truth. While she retorts, “I’m not scared about anything other than finding out what STDs you have,” Chloe is visibly conflicted.
The addition of the character of Ella, a new medical examiner who’s transferred to Los Angeles from Detroit, conveniently fills the team’s wide-open Questioning Believer vacancy. First, she endears herself to Lucifer by revealing that she thinks that the devil gets a bad rap: “I mean, what’d he really do that’s so bad? Rebel against his dad? Ask a naked lady if she wanted an apple?” She’s more repelled by the thought that Lucifer might be a method actor, not the master of evil. (Quite frankly, who could blame her?)
Later, it is to her that a confused Decker turns for some advice. Chloe asks her point-blank if she really believes in God, or if angels and the devil are merely metaphors. While this question is unexpected, Ella takes it in stride. Her stance: she isn’t sure. “If you don’t question something, what’s the point in believing it? I doubt so that I can believe.” In short, it is this healthy skepticism that keeps her faith on an even keel; if it isn’t worth a struggle, it isn’t worth the fight. She need not have it proven, for then, what would be the point of faith?
Chloe ruminates on this idea. Later she tells Lucifer that she doesn’t believe Amenadiel’s story that he’s crazy, nor does she buy his own story that he’s the devil. Instead, she’d rather focus on what matters: the eggs. Her bad telling of a worse joke sets up her meaning that she relies on Lucifer’s “eggs” of making her a better detective and always having her back. “What more could I ask for?” Later, Chloe tosses out Lucifer’s blood sample, untested, for his actions are all the evidence she requires. He’s earned himself a measure of her faith.
Lucifer continues Mondays on FOX.