Lucifer – Season 2 Episode 1
“Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer”
Lucifer begins its second season with a sense of urgency over the Devil’s mother being on the loose in “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer”.
Returning readers may remember my strained relationship with this show during season 1. When Lucifer’s good it’s really good but it’s also prone to being really frustrating. There’s a lot of potential that can be seen in every episode but a lot of the time the show misses the target. It did get a lot better as time went on but it still wasn’t quite there by the end of the season.
So how is season 2 so far? In short, it’s more of the same in a lot of ways. We still have the dull case of the week structure with more interesting subplots going on in the background and the promise of far more interesting content on the horizon.
The first problem with this episode comes with the reveal that it has only been two days since the season 1 finale. I found this difficult to get my head around as a lot had happened for their being such a short time. We see Lucifer and Amenadiel going after a suspected vessel for their mother while they mention compiling an exhaustive list of potential hosts. Again, all in two days…
These 48 hours have also seen Dan’s punishment being served. All he ends up with is being demoted with a rushed explanation about the situation being bad press for the LAPD. Considering how severe the events of last season were with all the deaths and the damage to Chloe’s career I would have expected the consequences of this to have more weight rather than essentially returning to the status quo from last season albeit with Dan’s rank being slightly reduced. There is a hint that his relationship with Chloe has been altered but the episode doesn’t do much with it. Maybe this will be built on as the season goes on but I honestly can’t see it being any more than reminders of what happened that don’t inform the story too much.
Apparently 48 hours is enough time for someone to go off the grid completely as seems to be the case with Maze. Personally I wouldn’t think that two days is long enough to consider someone missing by any stretch. If this episode had picked up two months later then most of these issues would disappear.
I do find Maze’s reasons for distancing herself from Lucifer and Amenadiel to be fairly valid though. It was established last season that she was created to protect Lucifer so for countless centuries she had a defined purpose that made sense to her. Now that Lucifer is living on Earth and doing things differently it makes sense that she would feel directionless and have a desire to figure out her own identity. She should probably take a break of longer than two days to start doing that but hopefully this will develop in interesting ways. Her friendship with Linda has the potential to be really interesting so we shall see how that plays out.
Speaking of Linda, I’ve often found her role in the show to be pointless as she exists to let Lucifer spout exposition about what happens to be going on without actually feeling like a character in her own right. This episode is a clear example of that at first when her conversation with Lucifer is used to quickly drop details about his relationship with his mother as well as provide information about where she fits into the whole creation mythology. The crass description of Lucifer’s mother and God creating the big bang really made me roll my eyes and shows how juvenile this show can be when it’s at its worst.
Outside of Linda being a set of ears for Lucifer to direct exposition at, she is used pretty well in this episode. She still operates under the belief that Lucifer is delusional about being the Devil and uses that narrative to cover up other problems but this episode takes an important step forward when she refuses to indulge him any more and shows frustration with him dismissing his own problems. This makes her feel more real as a therapist and fleshes her out as a character by having her actually react to the situation. When that is coupled with her friendship with Maze and Linda might actually become an important part of the show who contributes in meaningful ways.
Chloe doesn’t have a huge amount to do in this episode but her presence is necessary as always. She is planning to have Lucifer’s blood tested to get an answer to who he is once and for all. This is something that Lucifer doesn’t mind as he is fairly tired of Chloe not believing him despite what he believes to be overwhelming evidence. Amenadiel naturally doesn’t approve as it would be dangerous to have Lucifer’s blood be on record which is an interesting point that I would like to see explored fully. Instead his objection seems to be an excuse to show that his time stopping abilities aren’t working properly. The reason for this is unclear and it doesn’t really grab me as mysteries go but we’ll see how it turns out soon enough.
Going back to Chloe; she has a lot to deal with on the surface with Dan being back on the job and the hints of their relationship being permanently altered. These are only hints as most of their interactions were the standard professional stuff we so often see from them.
The most interesting thing going on with Chloe is her internal conflict over what to do about Lucifer. At first she seems to be very keen to test his blood and find out the truth once and for all but as she mulls it over she seems to realise that finding out isn’t all that important to her since she values her friendship with him so much. This occurs after Lucifer opens up during an AA meeting about the sense of abandonment he feels because of his mother. To my mind it makes her realise that shattering his delusion might not be the best idea.
Her discussion with Amenadiel where he gives her plausible explanations for all of Lucifer’s tricks was an interesting scene as it could have offered the writers a way for this to be explained away in Chloe’s head but I’m glad that the character is allowed to be smarter than that and not accept what she is told here. Something about it doesn’t add up in her head but for now she seems content not to pursue it. Obviously this can’t last forever but I like that Chloe is consistently written as an intelligent and layered character.
One thing that confuses me about this is what the writers hope to achieve by having Chloe not know the truth about Lucifer. I honestly can’t see it making any difference to the overall dynamic of the show. Instead of ignoring all of his anecdotes she would believe them and the relationship would be the same. Hopefully she is starting to go down the path towards finding out and I’ll be proven right about having her know the truth making no real difference in the grand scheme of things. Her conversation with the new character Ella (Aimee Garcia) about how doubt is healthy for belief is interesting from the point of view of faith transcending all evidence to the contrary. It certainly gives Chloe something to think about.
Ella is an interesting character so far but she dumps a lot of exposition. Her views on the Devil being misunderstood is essentially the mission statement of this show so having her on board with that way of thinking is a real time saver. It’s unclear what her function is but we have only just been introduced to her. I like her so far and Aimee Garcia plays her with a sort of nerdy enthusiasm that will either be infectious or irritating. So far I’m going with infectious but time will be the judge of that. He stance on belief is certainly a mature and reasonable one so she gets points for that.
I mentioned above that the case of the week was dull and it definitely is. From a story point of view it’s just not that interesting to watch but Lucifer’s connection to it goes some way towards enhancing it. I like the idea that he assumes the case is connected to him because of the devil horns on the victim. It’s consistent with Lucifer’s arrogant nature and shows that he is paranoid about his mother being on the loose. I risk sounding redundant here but this would have had more weight if the time jump had been longer than two days as it would have been more realistic for Lucifer to be jumping at any little connection he thinks he can find. Surely after two days the thought of his mother tormenting him wouldn’t have had time to fully sink in. It is what it is now and we just have to go with it but it doesn’t quite fit for me.
Lucifer’s abilities seem to be diminishing along with Amenadiel as he is injured without Chloe being nearby in his confrontation with the murderer. As I’ve said the whole thing doesn’t interest me but it may become interesting.
Having Lucifer’s mother (Tricia Helfer) be introduced at the end of the episode was a smart move as it allowed the idea of her to develop and kept the character mysterious. Lucifer builds her up as a villainous presence who is preparing to attack him which is countered by her showing up at the end of the episode in some kind of distress. It’s a fairly obvious misdirect but it worked well enough. It was a nice touch to have Tricia Helfer introduced after a decent rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” which was a fun nod to Battlestar Galactica.
A solid start to the season that introduces a compelling new character and sets up some interesting things to be developed. The show does seem to fall back on old habits with an uninteresting case of the week taking focus away from the more interesting plot points. Lucifer’s mother is developed well and has a good introduction that makes me want to see what happens next week. Having the season pick up only two days after the last season is really bizarre and hurts the episode throughout but beyond that things seem to be developing nicely.
- Chloe’s internal conflict over what to do about Lucifer’s blood sample
- Ella – she seems like a good character so far
- Lucifer’s mother being built up as a threat and her introduction countering that
- Tom Ellis’ cover of “All Along the Watchtower”
- the hints at Maze needing to figure out who and what she is
- too much going on for only two days having passed since the season 1 finale
- the uninteresting case of the week
- too much exposition