Lucifer – Season 1 Episode 12
Lucifer deals with the revelation that Lucifer’s vulnerability is solely linked to Chloe while a cult of Satan Worshipers make him question the impact he has on people.
It didn’t take long for Lucifer as a show to explore the idea of Devil Worshipers but it’s not a bad idea by itself. If you have Satan wandering around as the protagonist of a TV show then it stands to reason that he would be confronted with that reality sooner or later.
Having people worship him isn’t something he enjoys because they tend to worship him for the wrong reasons. The image of the goat being associated with him is a big problem for him as has been previously established and the use of it here really offends him right to his core. People killing in his name and offering sacrifices completely misses the point of what he stands for. It’s interesting to have Lucifer faced with the problem of the pop culture perception of him and the incredible extremes that can be taken to. This is a very serious case as people are being killed in his name and people claim to be doing his work which really isn’t the case at all. He doesn’t encourage evil, he punishes it so this is completely counter to everything he is motivated by.
The scene where Lucifer confronts the “Children of the Goat” is the highlight of the episode. Tom Ellis plays the mix of anger, disgust and confusion perfectly as he tears down their entire belief system with the truth. The worshipers don’t take him seriously as the idea of the real Lucifer actually coming before them is still ludicrous to most of them. This is a great example of the show taking a more tongue and cheek approach to the premise of the Devil walking among us and solving crimes while being somewhat ignorant to what people have done in his name. In many ways Lucifer is naive as he has no idea that any of this has been happening and feels that his reputation has been tarnished by it.
It’s a great episode for Tom Ellis who displays such a wide range of emotions throughout. I’ve already mentioned his reaction to his followers but he’s also showing a degree of fear and uncertainty around Chloe since he knows that her very presence makes him mortal. The episode opens with him testing the theory by having Maze throw knives at him only for none of them to hurt him. A demon blade forged in hell would be the notable exception to that so that part of the test doesn’t count. He feels optimistic when stubbing his toe on a marble step but that only happens because Chloe is about to appear. It’s pretty conclusive that Chloe can hurt him but what isn’t clear is why.
Lucifer spends much of the episode testing that theory while maintaining his distance from her. He is afraid that she is an agent of someone else who wants him dead so doesn’t trust her enough to be alone with her. When investigating a lead he takes his own car, he doesn’t stand near her and takes every opportunity to test various theories such as her being an Angel. She has no scars indicating removed wings so that doesn’t seem to be the case but it’s possible that she hasn’t had her wings removed.
My working theory is that Chloe is the child of an Angel and a human. We haven’t yet seen her father so it’s possible that she was fathered by an Angel who then left. It would explain the effect she has on Lucifer while still allowing her to have lived a human life as we’ve seen. If that is the case then there are wider implications for the show such as what the child of an Angel and a human is capable of. This would also mean that Trixie has some Angel in her which is something else that would need addressed. It seems the most logical explanation to me and I wonder if there will be an answer in the final episode of the season next week.
Chloe interprets Lucifer’s odd behaviour as a reaction to what she told him last week. Her expression of vulnerability is something she clearly feels self conscious about and doesn’t like that it has -at least from her perspective- put a wedge between them and negatively impacted their personal as well as professional relationship. The reality is actually the opposite. Lucifer feels vulnerable around Chloe but in a very different way. He is scared of being mortal and being around her means that he can be killed. I like that she is emotionally vulnerable around him and he is physically vulnerable around her as it creates a symmetry in their interactions with a really important difference. Lucifer is also terrified of the uncertainty he associates with her and probably won’t feel at ease around her until he knows the truth.
Malcolm continues to be a presence that the show really can’t do without. His self imposed connection to Lucifer proves that he is completely insane. He shows no fear when Amenadiel is threatening him because he knows that he can’t be hurt by Angels which gives him real power over his current situation. His run in with Lucifer has caused him to worship him in his own way as he looks up to the rebellious spirit that Lucifer represents and wants to prove himself useful. Like the “Children of the Goat” he has completely missed the point and the scene where Malcolm is revealed to be the murder with his motivation being killing in Lucifer’s name was great. Tom Ellis really puts across the horror and disgust while Kevin Rankin shows the pride and pleasure he takes from it. He is clearly deluded enough to think that what he does will please Lucifer and learns a painful lesson when the opposite is true. Malcolm’s days are surely numbered now but while he’s here there’s plenty of great material.
The Maze and Amenadiel subplot was fine but really needed more work. We learn that Amenadiel is starting to develop feelings for Maze after spending 3 weeks sleeping with her and the opposite seems to be true as well. The problem with this is that the story only started last week so the developments are told to us rather than shown to us. It would have been interesting to see these characters carry out their illicit love affair over the course of a couple of episodes and see these mutual feelings develop while being denied rather than simply have it summed up to us in a few lines of dialogue.
Amenadiel’s reaction to her attempt to kill him was great though. Seeing Lucifer and Amenadiel come to blows feels well earned considering the relationship they have had since the first episode. Amenadiel was sent to return Lucifer to where he belongs but along the way he has been corrupted by both Maze and the humans he has encountered so he isn’t the same Angel he was when he started and definitely has a degree of uncertainty about where he belongs now. The uncertainty is effectively shown by his refusal to use the blade to kill Lucifer even though that would accomplish his mission. Instead he leaves which suggests that he doesn’t know what he wants any more and I wonder if God would even forgive him for the sneaky and underhanded methods he has used to accomplish his mission.
Maze shows some personal growth in this episode as well as shown by her hesitation when she tried to kill Amenadiel and standing up for herself against both of them. She has clearly had enough of being used and is starting to realise that she can decide what she wants to do. I do wish we had seen more of her sampling human culture such as going out for a drink with Linda as that would have given this moment a lot more weight. I do like the idea of Maze being her own woman and refusing to take orders from anyone anymore but it remains to be seen if this is what will happen.
The scene with Linda dragged this whole story down as it does in most episodes. In general she is used as a sounding board for everything Lucifer is feeling but the narrative is usually doing a good enough job of showing this without having it spelled out. It also means that Linda is a fairly redundant character who rarely accomplishes anything meaningful which is a waste of a good actress in Rachael Harris.
Lucifer’s arrest at the end of the episode is an interesting development and sets the stage nicely for the finale. How will he react being around criminals in prison? That enough is to build excitement.
A great episode that gives Tom Ellis plenty of opportunity to show his emotional range and give more sides to Lucifer. Seeing him faced with a group that worships him and carries out horrible acts in his name was a really nice touch and allowed the show to take a more tongue in cheek approach to the storytelling while also developing the characters. The contrast between Lucifer’s physical vulnerability and Chloe’s emotional vulnerability was a really clever way of having these characters have similar yet different experiences and develop their friendship that way. I do think the Amenadiel and Maze subplot is a bit rushed despite how compelling it is and the show really needs to find a proper use for Linda.
- the emotional range expressed by Tom Ellis
- Malcolm still being magnetic as a villainous presence
- an interesting contrast between Lucifer and Chloe’s vulnerability
- the Maze and Amenadiel subplot feeling rushed
- Linda still not having a worthwhile role in the story