LUCIFER “Sin Eater” Recap: Everyone’s Good at Something
By Chris B.
The cold open to this week’s Lucifer episode delivers a crazed, bespectacled man imploring forgiveness for his sins, and he’s got good reason to as he is chained to a pole. Apparently, the person with the lighter is unmoved; the man is set ablaze.
The M.E. determines that paraffin oil has been used as an accelerant, focused mainly around the victim’s genitals, galvanizing Lucifer to make every bad joke he can think of. My personal favorite: “I’ve heard of hot pants, but this really gives new meaning to the term ‘fire crotch’, doesn’t it?”
The victim, Nick Sands, has his weepy final moments taped and posted to a social media site named Wobble, where he works as an executive. Public humiliation and pants afire equates to a killer clearly intent upon punishing his victim, making Lucifer all the more eager to find out who is getting in on his action.
Decker discovers threatening emails sent from Nick’s supervisor at work, Leila Simms. Leila reveals that the two had once dated and that Nick had shared pictures of the them on a date. Even worse, he had once set fire to the crotch of a hapless intern, Tommy, during a company retreat. In the words of Ray, the HR supervisor, Nick “could be a real dick.”
Tommy is pulled in for questioning and describes Nick’s relentless bullying, and under Lucifer’s Jedi stare, he abruptly confesses. Bummer. Case closed, right? Decker’s not so sure.
She’s right. Another video surfaces of a man, Adam, ferociously apologizing and begging for mercy. His body is found bound to a pole with a veritable orchard of apples jammed down his throat. A cued sex video on the man’s mobile device reveals the killer’s pattern: he or she is recreating the crimes that the victims are being punished for committing.
Lucifer is ready to call it a day—the victims got what they deserved. “Far be it from me to stand in the way of excellent work.”
Later, though, he and Chloe end up at the company’s content moderators, the people who have to scan uploaded videos for reprehensible content and take them off the site. It is depressing work, and none of them last very long, making Decker think that one of them simply snapped or had a dark side that made him choose this as a job. Lucifer gets it, though: “No one chooses to be a sin-eater, absorbing the worst humanity has to offer, day in and day out. It changes you…No one wants to be custodian of the world’s filth.” He sees that they are the ones that still have hope.
But who’s done the job the longest? Leila Simms. She’s been aware of the progress of the investigation every step of the way and is able to disappear before Decker and Lucifer can apprehend her. They think she’s going to kill herself on live video, but observing her on a surveillance tape suggests that she’s run out of fear, not guilt.
They are led back to Wobble where Ray has her at gun point, forcing her to tape her final confession and take a gasoline bath. Ray is poised with his lighter to finish the job, but Lucifer interrupts the party, and Decker’s well-timed extinguisher blast ends the threat for good.
That Girl is Poison
Maze continues her informal counseling with Dr. Linda, who empathizes with how hard it is for Maze to break old habits and strike out on her own. When a certain nemesis enters, “tall, blonde, and with a special place in Hell,” Dr. Linda cautions Maze about her intensely protective stance for Lucifer against this “toxic” interloper. Still, Maze is adamant: “I want her to get what she deserves.” Instead of a head-butt, the doctor prescribes words over violence, but Maze is sure the Lucifer wouldn’t listen to a single one.
Therefore, Maze seeks out Amenadiel, who is mopey and boozed up on the floor of his office, trying to vacuum up his dead feathers with a Dust Buster. To get rid of her, he hastily agrees to talk to Lucifer about ridding themselves of the blonde menace.
But when the vulnerable Amenadiel confronts Mom, she gets the jump on him. Before he realizes who she is, she asks for his help with “trying to get closer to [her] kids.” She asks him if he is a good son, then steps into him: “Would a good son blindly take his father’s side in a divorce? Would a good son send his mother to Hell? And would a good son stand here, right before me, plotting to send me back?” She erodes the armor of God’s “loyal soldier” and evokes his compassion, helped along by a melodramatic hug and promise to always love him.
After that exchange, I’m convinced Mom’s been passing her daytime hours watching cheesy soaps, but it works; by the time Lucifer returns to them, his brother announces that “things change.” Amenadiel has drunk the toxic Kool-Aid.
Early on, Lucifer is finding his debauchery cramped by his darling mum. She interrupts his latest kink session to moan about her boredom and demand to see Amenadiel. Lucifer is loath to grant that wish, believing his brother would immediately cart her off to Hell, as had been his duty before.
Later, Lucifer must shoo her out of the police station where she is taking advantage of her “smoking hot” human form to schmooze and delight a variety of males. But he has to physically carry her out of Lux and away from the table upon which she’s dancing like a devil with her skin-tight blue dress on. Good golly, Miss Charlotte!
Mommy really steps in it, though, when she demands to know why Lucifer still insists on punishing people with his “civilian consultant” job. He is put off: “It is what I’ve always done.” But she claims that had been his father’s vision for him and accuses Lucifer of still trying to gain Daddy’s approval. Bad idea. This intrusion gets her the incensed red-glow eyes and a stern warning to be careful.
This conversation with Mom galvanizes Lucifer to continue the case with Decker for the simple reason that he wishes to interrogate the killer to find out why—why does that person punish victims—hoping to gain some insight into himself. When he confronts Ray and asks the question, he is dissatisfied with the “I couldn’t take all the evil anymore” excuse. He gets Ray to confess that he’s not solving a problem, he’s creating one. Quite simply, he loves punishing; he grew to enjoy watching his victims beg. “You see, the difference between us is that you became part of the problem, Ray—someone deserving punishment.”
Thanks to this experience, Lucifer realizes that he punishes not for approval, but because he’s good at it. “I like giving people their due. It makes me happy.” Thus, he is finally ready to issue his mother’s sentence: she must remain on Earth and live amongst the humans she so despises, stepping into the life of Charlotte Richards in earnest.
His decision may not be a very good one, however. As she wanders down the street, she is accosted by a mugger; during the attack, she throws him off of her—about twenty feet in the air, that is—and into a metal building, killing him instantly. At first, she seems surprised; within seconds, though, that transforms to smug satisfaction. Perhaps she, too, has found something that makes her happy.