By Chris B.
Amid the California sunshine and sand, our trio of other-worldly family members are working the patio scene, trying to acquire another piece of the Flaming Sword. Thus, Charlotte, in her infinite goddess wisdom, hands over a suitcase of cash to Zeke Moore, a client who claims to have what they need, minus the proof it exists. When her sons finally convince her she’s a moron, they follow and find him dead inside the establishment’s office.
What to do? Make sure Chloe is the one to catch the case. Of course, this can’t involve a simple phone call to her. Instead, it must occur after a protracted and painfully awkward pantomime. Charlotte decides to hang around and assist with the investigation into Mr. Moore’s death. He had worked as a manager at an import/export business run by Bianca Ruiz, a woman whose tequila empire is a front for trafficking in guns, drugs, and people.
Ella finds a cell phone conveniently placed right under Zeke’s safe, one that apparently was too mysterious to find by the entire forensics team that had been crawling around the place. It’s somehow fitting, then, the phone has a lock screen with a comic-book style “butt boob eyes.”
Ella discovers that the phone from the crime scene is displaying a vanity logo for Insane Words Records, a showcase for the cheesy rap music of Chet Ruiz, Bianca’s youngest son. It is unclear why Bianca’s own son would want to rob and kill one of her most loyal soldiers, but the team speculates that he resents not having more of a role in the family business. It could be a chance for them to take down the entire empire.
Charlotte has an invite to a party that Bianca is hosting that afternoon, a chance for them to go undercover and gather intel. After much unnecessary debate, Chloe is selected to attend with her, provided she doesn’t show up “in pajamas.” She arrives suitably glammed up, and Charlotte appears to be willing to trade her infatuation with one of Trixie’s parents for the other.
The pair spot Chet, and Decker plans to simply get the kid to start talking and say something incriminating that they can use to flip him on Bianca. Charlotte doesn’t think it will be possible to make a child betray a mother “that’s given him everything he’s ever wanted.” But Decker is smart enough to realize that parental gifts are not always appreciated by children, and upon reflection with her own sons, Mommy Morningstar must agree.
Next, the women put the screws to their suspects. Charlotte approaches Bianca and tells her that her son is suspected in Moore’s death; her client quietly thanks her, then makes a b-line for her son to find out what the idiot has done. Chet thinks he’s helped his mom since Zeke had been trying to start up his own side business dealing in rare artifacts, but Mom informs him in brittle tones that not only had she known about it, but she had been making 30% off that business. As a crowning achievement, little Chet has details on his phone about the financials of mom’s empire, the phone that the police now have.
Gee, it sure is a good thing that they’ve had this conversation in a public place right in front of Decker!
Chloe, Dan, and Ella set about the task of breaking the four-digit code on Chet’s phone, because of course the entire cyber division of the police department would never have thought to look into the owner’s background to try meaningful number combinations. Meanwhile, Bianca approaches Charlotte, offering a trade of the item Zeke had acquired for her, in exchange for her son’s phone, else the artifact disappear forever.
Charlotte tries to charm her way into Ella’s good graces, but Ella’s effervescence is hard to keep channeled. Luckily, Chloe shows up before Charlotte can walk off with the evidence, and Mommy Morningstar tells the detective the near-truth about her relationship to Lucifer—she’s his father’s ex-wife, who he “tortured and put through hell,” moving Chloe to sympathize with a woman who would have to raise children with someone so terrible.
Ultimately, Charlotte is sent with a phone to Bianca; the goddess is wired up, with Lucifer and Chloe listening in a van outside. The two women commiserate about how they’d do anything to protect their children. After deliberately disabling her microphone with tequila, Charlotte turns over the phone and gets a key to a safety deposit box. When the police bust in, Charlotte palms the key and passes it unseen to Lucifer.
What awaits the divine conspirators is a book written in ancient Sumerian. When Amenadiel claims he can translate it in a matter of days, Charlotte freaks out: “Days? I don’t have that kind of time!” This alerts her sons that something is wrong; either “there’s something going on with her” or “it’s just that time of the millennium.”
Wow. With that kind of gratingly sexist banter, now you’ve got ME having sympathy for this ghastly goddess. Thanks a lot.
In the final act, Charlotte meets with Chet, believing that he’s withheld what Zeke had really intended to give her. Chet pulls out a knife and stabs her in the gut, furious that her actions would lead him to prison. But he needn’t worry about that. When the knife is torn from her, Charlotte’s heavenly light shines through the gash and directly onto Chet, frying him like a chicken nugget.
That’s What Friends Are For
Lucifer steams off to dump his load of self-indulgent whining upon Dr. Linda’s lap, but he finds a knife-twirling Maze behind her desk instead. The weapon that slices him most is the news she delivers: Dr. Linda has been suspended “because of you, because you have been a terrible, selfish friend to her. And now you’re going to fix it.”
Lucifer and Maze go to see the man from the Ethics Review Board to plead Linda’s case. They are shy on evidence, other than their personal testimonials, but the reviewer is all ears when Lucifer gets to the part about how he paid for therapy with sex and how she saved Lucifer’s life (after killing him first). Maze drags him from the room. Time to come up with Plan B.
Plan B seems to involve fists because as soon as they are outside, Maze starts to beat up on Lucifer, slowly laying on the strata of her anger with him, from Dr. Linda’s predicament to her own imminent abandonment. She is furious to seem to be nothing to him, “a pawn in some plan of [his].” He doesn’t get how he affects people, and how he hurts them. Then, she puts down the really damning statement: “You don’t care about anyone other than yourself unless they can be of use to you. Sound familiar? You are just like your parents.” Lucifer goes red-eyes at that, and their physical battle begins in earnest.
Later, when their faces our bloodied, clothes torn, and immediate surroundings destroyed, they take a breather. This allows them the ability to finally talk, and it isn’t long before Maze simply opines that he was going to leave her, and he assures her that he’d never do that. She finally realizes he was working his own angle with his mom and Amenadiel; Maze had to be kept in the dark because her anger helped sell the story to the other two.
However, this news is not a balm to Maze—it is even worse. In an emergency session, the suspended Dr. Linda takes advantage of her non-official status to be frank: “Maze is pissed at you because you used her…She thought you abandoned her, that you didn’t care how that affected her.” Maze’s tears cease his fumbling excuses (and remind me why Lesley-Ann Brant is the best asset that this show has). Her reaction is subtle, heart-felt, and clear. Lucifer apologizes, and Maze vows to take care of Linda’s professional woes.
Like Father, Like Son
Charlotte approaches Dan at the police station, and after she sticks her naked preying mantis leg on his chair, he implores her just to say what she wants with him, why she’s shown back up in his life. Currently, though, she’s not seeking deep conversation to pass the time; she’d rather engage in more physical activity—and not a lunch-time jog. She tells him the answer is simple: “I like you.”
Amenadiel mopes into the police station looking for Charlotte and Lucifer; the discombobulated Dan intercepts him and invites him along on a little outing. They end up at a bar, Dan spilling his guts about his improv theatre therapy. Amenadiel broods about the fact that Lucifer is, and always has been, the favorite child. Dan pats him on the back and assures the angel that he likes him a hell of a lot more than Lucifer. That gets a grudging smile.
Apparently, Dan’s not the only one.
Amenadiel’s rapid translation of the book reveals a clue: “God shattered the Flaming Sword into three distinct pieces—the blade of death, the medallion of life, and the key that binds them all together.” The key was entrusted to God’s favorite son; that can be none other than Lucifer, right? But when Amendiel fits the two pieces together and demands Lucifer’s ring to complete it, it is his own necklace that is magnetically attracted to the sword.
Now who’s Daddy’s favorite, Amenadiel? But you’d better watch out, though—Mommy Dearest is going to come looking for you. Soon.