NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of “Lucifer” are present in this review
Lucifer may be The Devil, but he’s never actually taken a life, as he’s asserted numerous times. The fallout of Lucifer having to not only take a life, but murder his own brother during the climax of last week’s episode, was capitalized on excellently in this week’s standout episode of Lucifer, “Monster”, which had our titular Devil on a downward spiral as he fails to cope with what he’s done. Shunning even Linda, Lucifer resigns himself to a drunken stupor, though not to the point of fully forsaking his sworn duty to the LAPD to punish evildoers.
As much as there was an element of comedy to a drunken Lucifer stumbling around, cracking wise, making out with witnesses, and generally being joyless and disheveled, which is incredibly unlike him, there was also a palpable element of sadness that balanced wonderfully with the humour this week. Chloe immediately senses that something is very wrong with Lucifer, but he refuses to open up. Dan seems less concerned, since he always sees Lucifer as a nuisance and a head case, but Chloe is definitely picking up that Lucifer is incredibly distraught.
This week also stepped up the procedural element of the series quite considerably, which is very much appreciated! The case-of-the-week tied in very well with Lucifer’s present anguish, even if that wasn’t made apparent right away. When a bride is shot dead during a zombie-themed wedding (that’s a thing?), leaving Lucifer plenty of time to make dark jokes about catching a murderer while every witness looks dead, it becomes apparent afterward that this week’s killer is sniping the spouses of people that wronged him. It’s an interesting new approach for a suspect, and it’s been a while since Lucifer has managed a case that feels this fresh and engaging, even if our killer isn’t truly glimpsed until the climax.
Lucifer pushing against Chloe eventually gets him booted off of the case, something else that never truly happens with him, despite his frequent disregard for protocol, and this wonderfully set up Lucifer trying to goad the sniper by standing in front of his target during the climax. Lucifer demanding that the sniper shoot him dead seems like a heroic act, but the dramatic irony behind it is that viewers know that Lucifer seriously wants to die, and is seriously coming apart at the seams on account of having to murder Uriel. Lucifer does end up saving the day, since the killer decides that Lucifer doesn’t deserve to die, and the subsequent outbursts at both the killer and Chloe by Lucifer about having no idea what he’s done or what he deserves are something that viewers will easily be able to sympathize with. The idea of Lucifer alienating Chloe with his self-destruction is very tragic too, considering that she’s often the one who spends the most time around Lucifer, and even her tough exterior is driven to tears when Chloe truly realizes that she can’t help Lucifer with whatever he’s struggling with.
The real bomb of the episode was yet to come though, after the killer breaks down in front of Lucifer being taken away, saying he was punishing the guilty for their imagined hand in his wife’s death. This whole incident started on account of a disease that the killer’s wife contracted and died from, which the victims’ spouses failed to compensate him for in a perceived wrongful death lawsuit that was thrown out of court. Lucifer observes that the man thinks he’s punishing the victims, but is actually punishing himself, and it’s this revelation that gives Lucifer enough clarity to finally want to talk to Linda about his issues. When Linda finally throws up her hands at Lucifer’s ‘metaphors’ however, saying that he needs to start being fully truthful with her, Lucifer does exactly that… In a split second, conveyed with some awesome visual direction that shows the glare of a car’s headlights as it goes by, Lucifer reveals his true face to Linda. Yes, for the first time, Lucifer directly revealed to a human that he is indeed The Devil, not with words, but with his real face, and the episode ending as a shocked Linda sits frozen, while Lucifer simply exits the room, was a very powerful and emotional note that effectively ended a very powerful and emotional episode.
This week’s episode of Lucifer was heavy to be sure, and Tom Ellis once again displayed some surprisingly fantastic dramatic chops this week, despite normally playing such a cheeky, light-hearted personality on this show. An equally effective subplot came from Mama Morningstar taking Amenadiel to Uriel’s burial site, encouraging Amenadiel to forgive himself, since he’s still carrying the weight of Heaven’s expectations on his shoulders. Mama Morningstar assures Amenadiel that he can recover his strength, but the first step is acknowledging that Uriel’s death is not his doing. Mama Morningstar being fully aware that Amenadiel has lost his abilities was an interesting twist, with mothers’ intuition actually being a fairly believable excuse, and even if Mama Morningstar still doesn’t fully feel trustworthy, her love for Amenadiel really feels genuine here. The show acknowledging Amenadiel also suffering at Uriel’s death, and feeling guilty at his own perceived failings in the situation, was very smart, and had the interesting added dimension of reinforcing that Amenadiel is more like Lucifer than he cares to admit, even if Amenadiel skipped the self-destructive bender.
The remaining subplot offered some welcome levity to the episode to round things off, as Chloe becomes tied up with the case, and is unable to take Trixie trick-or-treating. Left with no other option, Chloe has to entrust Trixie’s care to her new roommate, Maze, who takes Trixie trick-or-treating in Chloe’s stead. The jokes in this situation naturally write themselves, and considering that we haven’t seen Trixie for a little while on Lucifer, her pairing with Maze worked to especially great effect here. Maze intimidating people into giving Trixie not only candy, but money as well, was very amusing, as was Maze bringing out half of her actual demonic face to serve as a Halloween costume. Trixie finding Maze’s true face very cool was actually kind of heartwarming too, and I have a feeling that Maze’s distaste of children might lessen in severity after a bit more time living with Trixie. The visual of Maze and Trixie cuddled up asleep while watching horror movies is actually pretty dang impossible not to adore on that note.
Lucifer is very good at saving up its big emotional punches for the right moments, and, “Monster” was another excellent high point for Season Two to date. Seeing Lucifer come apart so much was something that was both amusing and tragic, and his massive revelation to Linda is one that is going to have huge implications on the series as a whole going forward. Amenadiel’s own journey of grief, while less destructive, was equally profound and satisfying, as Mama Morningstar effectively shows her maternal side in patching up her other son’s feelings, despite also suffering a heavy loss herself. The fact that the humour wasn’t lost, and we still got to enjoy an adorably funny subplot with Trixie and Maze, rounded off what was all in all a very excellent episode of Lucifer. I imagine that Linda is going to be having more than a few drinks herself though!
- Lucifer's self-destructive actions, and reveal to Linda
- Mama Morningstar helping Amenadiel find peace
- Adorable and humourous Trixie/Maze subplot