Lucifer – Season 1 Episode 11
Lucifer answers a question that has been in the background of the show all season and replaces it with others to fill that gap.
That really isn’t the best summary of the episode but it is the biggest thing to take from it. Ever since the first episode Lucifer -and by extension- the viewer have wondered why Chloe is immune to the effect that the Devil has on everyone else and this has been connected to Lucifer seemingly being mortal.
Lucifer learns that he isn’t as mortal as he thought when he is shot and comes away uninjured but he also finds out that he can be hurt when around Chloe. In essence, Chloe is his Kryptonite so that clears up the mystery of whether he is only mortal around her or if it is a permanent state for him. Seeing him bleed in the closing minutes of the show shifts the mystery to why Chloe causes him to be mortal.
It’s an interesting scene from a character point of view with Chloe’s admission that she is able to feel vulnerable around him and values the connection that extends beyond a working or sexual relationship just as Lucifer discovers that he is literally vulnerable around her to the point that he can be killed. We just need to know why at this point but my money is that Chloe has some kind of mystical origin which I think will ruin things somewhat as she is interesting enough as a human being without any mystical complications.
Mortality seems to be the theme of the episode as Malcolm finally makes his move against Lucifer after posturing for a while. His motivation remains as solid as ever with the mention of experiencing Hell being enough to inspire him to do whatever it takes to never end up there again. Despite that he is clearly hesitant and doesn’t take killing another man likely. He has also had his world view altered by the fact that he now knows Hell, Angels and the Devil exist so the prospect of threatening the Devil must be a terrifying one considering how powerful he is known to be.
The fear is very human as Lucifer’s Devil Face doesn’t work on him the way it does other people. Malcolm says that it’s nothing compared to really being in Hell which makes a lot of sense and it allows the hesitation that Malcolm shows to come from a fear of killing someone in cold blood.
Lucifer’s reaction to that was just as interesting as he doesn’t show any fear even though he thinks he can be killed at that point. Instead he appeals to Malcolm’s own sense of self preservation by offering him a way to stay out of Hell when he eventually dies. He also removes the power that Amenadiel has over him by pointing out that God prevented Angels from harming mortals when he created them. Amenadiel obviously didn’t share that fact but now that Malcolm knows it he is free to do whatever he wants with his life completely free from the threat of ending up in Hell for eternity when he dies. I wonder why the possibility of Lucifer lying didn’t come up from Malcolm’s perspective. Lucifer never has any reason to lie since the truth is often more damning but Malcolm doesn’t know that. Either way the issue is resolved and there’s some comedy to be mined from Dan thinking that Malcolm shot him when it was just convenient timing that two different people were gunning for Lucifer in the same episode.
The title of the episode relates to Lucifer taking pleasure from helping others. It’s completely new to him as he normally tries to punish people but the murder of a former basketball player in the midst of a charity event inspires him to give it a try. This plays out in some really amusing ways as he is clearly addicted to the rush that comes with helping others so tries to create it in different ways. There is almost a scientific method to the way he uses trial and error to find out what charitable acts give him pleasure. It helps tie the case of the week to everything else is going on and manages to be a lot of fun. I like the twist that the show puts on it by having Lucifer’s good deeds be entirely for selfish reasons and continuing to turn it all back on him. He completely misses the point of helping people but that’s what makes it so amusing.
Even funnier is that Chloe tells him that she misses the way he used to be. The less altruistic Lucifer was apparently much easier for her to be around. I wonder if she was disappointed that he turned her down when she tried to sleep with him despite how horrified she seemed at the prospect when she woke up. As the final scene shows us, her feelings for Lucifer are complicated but she values the input he has to the cases they work on and she definitely enjoys working with him as well as feeling close to him in a way that she can’t really define at this point.
Maze is still at a loose end after being tossed aside for betraying Lucifer. She finds herself having dinner with Amenadiel and the end up having sex in a car with Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” serving as the soundtrack. This wasn’t difficult to predict given the tension between them in earlier episodes and their first scene together in this one made it clear that this would be the outcome. The real interesting stuff comes after it as it ties into Lucifer learning that Amenadiel was the one who sent Malcolm to kill him and Maze really wants to prove that she can be trusted so she becomes his informant. On a side note, I’m really surprised that the episode didn’t use the opportunity to make a joke out of Maze being an “inside woman”. I’ll also admit that I’m a little disappointed that the joke wasn’t made.
Another thing that impressed me about the episode is that all of the characters moved forward in their stories without Lucifer being a massive part of it. Chloe solved the murder with police work while Lucifer stumbled onto the answer when the murderer tried to kill him, Maze ended up having sex with Amenadiel because she was at a loose end and found herself there and Dan managed to get free from Malcolm on his own. There is often a temptation on shows with a lead for the main character to be heavily involved in everything that is going on but I like that the characters are able to act on their own and move their own stories forward. They all affect Lucifer in some way but he isn’t the reason for the progression. I hope the show continues to do this as it definitely sets it apart.
The only real misstep in the show this week was that the case wasn’t interesting enough as usual. It was more connected to the other stories than it normally is but there was a real opportunity to have fun with the “celebrity does charity” angle. I would have liked to see Lucifer’s thoughts on how celebrities give back while still keeping the majority of their fortune to themselves. It didn’t derail the episode too much but there was an obvious connection there that wasn’t exploited. There was plenty of great lines though. My personal favourite was “I love LA. Even the homeless have an IMDb page.”
A great episode that answers one question while posing more new ones. The development of the Chloe and Lucifer relationship has always been the strongest aspect of the show and it’s handled very well here with each of them making the other feel vulnerable in different ways. What that will mean for them in future episodes remains to be seen but I find it interesting so far. The other characters were used well with their plot progressing independently of Lucifer while still involving him. The show is really finding its feet and I find myself looking forward to season two.
- some really funny lines
- a question answered being replaced with a more interesting one
- character development independent of Lucifer
- missed opportunities with the case of the week