Lucifer – Season 3 Episode 13
“Til Death Do Us Part”
Lucifer deals with Cain’s desire to die while focusing on developing unconventional and rarely visited character relationships.
It would be fair to say that Lucifer is prone to obsessive behaviour. In a lot of ways it’s the point of of the show. He’s on Earth because he’s tired of Hell and obsessed with Humanity, he works on murder investigations because he’s obsessed with the sense of accomplishment that they bring and he’s obviously obsessed with Chloe among many other things.
This episode shifts his obsession to Cain after he decides that the best way to kill him might be to get to know him. If he does this then Cain’s vulnerabilities might present himself and it will ultimately aid Lucifer in finding a way to kill him. The problem with this is that Cain isn’t an easy person to form a connection with due to his guarded nature and abrasive personality. Not that this stops Lucifer who takes the challenge and makes it his new project.
The result is typically hilarious and revelatory in equal measure. When taken at face value Cain is a very simpler person; an immortal who is fed up of life. It’s easy to understand and relatable if you strip away the celestial aspect. Many people find themselves sick of life and simply go through the motions until they have an opportunity to end it. Cain is a lot like that though amplified to its most extreme due to all of the centuries he’s had to endure.
He’s also a poster child for living with guilt since he was responsible for the death of his brother and his immortality serves as a constant reminder of that. God cursed him to never die so that he could endure the torment of living with being the first ever murderer for eternity. It’s cruel and easy to see how that would drive a man insane. In fairness Cain doesn’t seem all that unbalanced but there’s a frustrated weariness to him that Tom Welling brings across nicely.
Lucifer sees something of a kindred spirit in him as he too is immortal and has a built in separation from Humanity because of what he is. At his core Lucifer is a very lonely person who seeks validation in the eyes of others but knows how fleeting it all is. That’s why he values his friendship with Chloe so much because she sees him differently and has taken the time to forge a connection with him that has value to both of them. Lucifer doesn’t always show that he appreciates it but he definitely does and eventually realises how important it is to him.
No matter how close he is to Chloe there is still some degree of separation between them because Lucifer isn’t Human and she is. Not to mention he still hasn’t managed to be honest with her about what he truly is so that makes the gap that much larger by itself. This season has shown them drift a little further apart as it has progressed as well so Lucifer might be feeling that he can’t truly relate to Humans. He’s often wrong and will eventually realise this but for now it appears that he’s on the lookout for someone he connects with.
Lucifer’s attempts to get to know Cain take on many forms from trying to be his therapist to engaging in an undercover roleplay scenario -not a euphemism- to force him into a situation where he has no choice but to talk. It is well documented that Cain finds Lucifer to be annoying and that hasn’t changed since the truth was shared. This situation only serves to make that situation worse as Lucifer fully throws himself into his mission to learn everything he can about Cain which means that he acts in ways that many would find annoying. Tom Ellis has the rare talent of turning scenes that might make him seem insufferable to making him appear endearing. Everything Lucifer does in this episode appears naive but has a specific purpose and it’s all in keeping with the way he pushes people to get a reaction out of them.
The undercover scenario where they pose as a suburban same sex couple is both hilarious and illuminating. Lucifer’s pushy nature proves to be too much for Cain and he eventually reacts by calling him a liar who has no idea what he’s doing and accuses him of making empty promises. Once again this shows Cain’s frustration with life in general and how he had placed his hope in Lucifer being the one to solve the problem of his eternal life. It quickly becomes apparent that Lucifer has no idea how to kill him and that only adds to the frustration. Combine that with having to be in Lucifer’s company for an extended period of time and Cain has had just about enough.
Lucifer’s retort to this is to descend into more thoughtful territory and open up about the fact that he’s pretty much as clueless as anyone else but assures Cain that he is a man of his word and that with a little patience they might find the answers together. Cain even admits that he let his emotions get the best of him and overreacted to the situation. It’s a great scene for developing the connection between these two characters and the fact that this compliments their cover identity by also working as a couple making up is a stroke of genius. Earlier in the episode we see an awkward Cain and an overzealous Lucifer play out their cover scenario and even earlier than that there’s deadpan discussion where they work through a list of all of Cain’s attempts to kill himself. There’s plenty of variety to their relationship and it all blends seamlessly together within the same episode. Lucifer even managed to finally get a reference to Kryptonite in front of Tom Welling and compare his healing factor to Wolverine.
Eventually Lucifer understands Cain and that teaches him something about himself. Cain wants to die because he’s lonely and can’t deal with the fact that he will outlive everyone he cares about. It’s a common tragic plot line for an immortal character and often forms the motivation for them becoming a villain. This show takes a slightly different angle by casting Cain as neither “good” or “evil” in the traditional sense. He has been around long enough that morality almost doesn’t matter to him but he has some form of desire to do the right thing otherwise he wouldn’t be a cop. Cain’s loneliness is all consuming by this point and he’d rather not face the prospect of forging relationships that will end very quickly from his perspective. This is partially exemplified through a growing attraction between him and Chloe that she herself admits is there. He keeps her at arms length because he doesn’t want to be caught up in another fleeting relationship.
Lucifer finally realising that the loneliness has come to define Cain and that he shares it allows their dynamic to move to the next level. Cain also understands that Lucifer wants to be around someone who has been a victim of God’s form of sick justice and that forms Lucifer’s twisted criteria for what makes a friend in his eyes. Cain still has the upper hand in the life experience department as he has been on Earth for far longer than Lucifer so understands how difficult it is to stay detached; something that Lucifer is slowly learning even after only 5 years.
As a contrast to Lucifer’s difficulty in getting Cain to open up about himself there is a similar scenario playing out between Maze and Charlotte. Maze finds herself inexplicably attracted to Charlotte for reasons she doesn’t understand at first which plays out in two hilarious scenes where Charlotte is noticeably blind sided by Maze’s advances but amusingly doesn’t seem uninterested. She certainly feels uncomfortable but doesn’t find it off putting.
The purpose of Maze’s interest in Charlotte has very little to do with bringing them together and everything to do with Maze resolving her complicated feelings. She discovered last week that Amenadiel and Linda are sneaking around behind her back and that’s not something she finds easy to accept. Linda is someone she allowed herself to trust so to be betrayed by the first friend you make is very difficult to process. Maze immediately goes down the route of self destructive behaviour such as hitting on Charlotte and trying to arrange a threesome involving her, Charlotte and Dan which appears to almost happen until Maze comes to her senses and realises what it is she’s doing. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that her attraction to Charlotte is based on the fact that she smells pain and torment on Charlotte which reminds her of her old life. Once she realises the cause of her fascination she no longer needs to pursue it and demonstrates her lack of empathy in the most hilarious and typically Maze like fashion.
Charlotte opening up about how she feels that she has made a mess of her life without ever really knowing why is interesting enough and casts a light on the struggles she is going through as a character. The snippets of the relationship she is forming with Dan are intriguing as well and letting them bond over being somewhat estranged parents feels like a natural fit for them. These characters are very much on the periphery but it’s good that Lucifer as a show takes the time to develop them even in small ways.
This episode is also notable for something we don’t see in this show very often. Fight scenes are rare but the one featured was really well directed with an excellent soundtrack that tied into the overall plot of the week. Lucifer as a hand to hand combatant isn’t necessarily the first association a viewer might make but there’s enough evidence for it to feel natural enough.
The pitfall of this episode was the handling of Chloe. Her role this season is very often to fade into the background and bear witness to Lucifer’s antics which is what she does here. Sometimes I think the writers don’t make her as smart as she has been established to be. This episode certainly should have her asking more questions than she does but for some reason she just accepts the situation as it is. Her advice to Lucifer about maintaining his cover is timely and effective though I wish there had been more moments like that.
Another strong episode that focuses on Lucifer’s relationship with Cain. His obsessive behaviour imprints on Cain in this episode as he forces a connection between them in really hilarious ways. Lucifer’s enthusiasm makes for a hilarious contrast with Cain’s detached attitude and creates many entertaining moments between them. Ultimately they bond over their shared loneliness as immortals with no other equals on Earth and there’s a definite goal to their relationship that will end with Cain’s death.
Maze making advances towards Charlotte deals with the loneliness aspect in a different way. The purpose of this is to show Maze rising above her self destructive tendencies after learning about Amenadiel and Linda in the previous episode. Once she realises where her fascination comes from she is able to beat it and move on. Charlotte also opens up about her loneliness to Maze’s deaf ears but finds comfort in fellow estranged parent Dan. This episode also boasts an excellent fight sequence that is well directed and scored with the perfect music. Scenes like this are rare on this show but good to see when they happen. The handling of Chloe was somewhat underwhelming as she doesn’t come across as intelligent as she should when she just goes along with whatever Lucifer happens to be doing. Her advice to Lucifer about maintaining his cover is good but I wish there had been more moments like this.
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