Last week, my ongoing less-than-impressed attitude towards the Lucifer TV series was rocked on the final two minutes of episode 6, by the theft of – and also the reaction by Lucifer to the loss of – his wings. Angel wings, broad, luminous, strong, a concoction of feathers, and not the leathery, burnt, batwings usually associated with the Devil.
Much would depend on how the series managed this latest development, but suddenly the opportunity was there for the whole thing to be ramped up beyond the silly, sniggering, cheap sex-joke milieu it had offered to date.
I should have known better.
There were two stories running in tandem this week, with minimal overlap, that is until an unexpected and still potentially interesting twist at the end. Lucifer wanted his wings back and, in order to secure them, was willing to call on the assistance of not just Detective Chloe but also brother Angel, Amenadiel.
And Chloe was under pressure over her Palmetto case, the one that’s got the entire Homicide Department hating her, you know, the one that’s been all but forgotten since being brought up in the pilot.
To be perfectly honest, Chloe’s case, and what was happening with it, was more important that Lucifer’s wings. The wings? They’d been stolen by a crooked auctioneer of (mostly fake) religious artefacts, to be sold at auction. No better reason. No significant reason. Lucifer wants his wings back because they’re his. The FBI are going to raid the auction and will seize the wings for 30 days, returnable on proof of provenance. And Amenadiel plans to take them back to heaven, where they were made, where they were wrong.
I should have known better.
Meanwhile, the Palmetto case. In case we don’t remember, this involved the shooting of a hero cop, Malcolm, who’s been on life support ever since. Chloe is alone in believing Malcolm was not a hero but a dirty cop. Now, she’s suddenly got a deadline: in 24 hours, Malcolm’s wife is going to pull the plug. If Chloe doesn’t close her case, his widow and child will miss out on his pension, his benefits.
Dan weighs in to help Chloe re-investigate, with rather more seriousness than Lucifer. We get a flashback, a meeting with a druglord, Malcolm counting out cash when he’s suddenly shot. Lucifer pertinently observes that the druglord (who got killed, along with his bodyguard) had no incentive to kill his bent cop, his golden goose, but there was no-one else around.
The two cases crossover where Chloe turns up at the secret auction to warn Lucifer the FBI are about to strike. When this happens, the auctioneer gets away through a secret exit, whilst Lucifer discovers that the wings on display are fakes: the auctioneer couldn’t bear to part with the real things, he couldn’t live without them. One assumes Lucifer sympathised with one side of this argument.
But the secret exit leads Chloe and Dan back to the warehouse on Palmetto Street, where she finds a trapdoor to another set of stairs. There was someone else there who could have shot Malcolm. And what does she find, left behind? A Police 999 key. There is a dirty cop. It’s just that it might not have been Malcolm.
So, publicly, Chloe closes Malcolm’s case, exonerates him. The hunt for the real dirty cop will be conducted in secrecy (but we all know it’s going to turn out to be Malcom’s ex-partner, the loudmouth making a speech at Malcolm’s living wake, the one so violent about Chloe, don’t we?).
Meanwhile, Lucifer has found out that there is after all something more to the theft of his wings than a cheap profit. Someone tipped the auctioneer off to the existence and whereabouts of the wings. Who else could it be but Amenadiel?
It was all about manipulation. Reunite Lucifer with his wings, let their divine force influence him, remind him of his true identity and position. What Lucifer resents so much is that it nearly worked. But instead, he’s extending his vacation. He’s never returning to Hell. And to ensure the way back is removed from his power, to Amenadiel’s shock he burns the wings to ashes.
(Apparently Angel’s wings, made in heaven by God, burn like fire accelerant if you drop a lighted fag-end on them. Oh really?)
Now the gloves are off, and Amenadiel swears to do anything to get Lucy back to hell (yes, that’s right, we have sunk so low as to diminish Lucifer Morningstar, the Devil, the Prince of Evil, to the cute nickname of Lucy).
Having flattened the episode so thoroughly, the show made an attempt to liven things up with a few stacked possibilities teased in the final moments, as profuse as red herrings in a SkandiCrime series. There’s Detectives Chloe and Dan concealing their campaign to root out the dirty cop. There’s Lucifer, almost apologising to Mazikeen for denying her a return to Hell: she re-swears her total allegiance to him but, lawks! she has a rescued Angel’s feather in her purse.
And there’s Detective Malcolm’s death-bed when the plug is pulled. The beeps come to an end, the lines flatten, the widown sobs, and a hand caresses the window to the room. The beeps restart. Detective Malcolm starts breathing again, on his own. And as the staff rush to the room, we see the back view of Amenadiel walking quietly away.
Am I going to get fooled again?
One more thing to point out as to the general level of mental cheapness being employed about this series. I’ve already touched on Amenadiel calling Lucifer ‘Lucy’ and the Angel’s wings igniting from a mere cigarette butt, but the show really revealed its true level at the outset. It’s all go at Lux and there’s Mazikeen pouting sexily at this handsome guy, who follows her upstairs to the library jacuzzi (who on earth has a jacuzzi in their library?). Maze clearly wants it from handsome stooge: she’s already in the Jacuzzi. He strips off and jumps in, but the kiss she wants isn’t on the lips, or at least not on the lips on her face (snigger, snigger). That her front bottom is well under water and she’s expecting oral sex from someone who’ll be busy concentrating upon drowning is simply stupid in itself, but, mother, she’s still got her criss-cross black-lace top on. How alluring. How ludicrous.
I should have known better.