NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Lucifer” are present in this review
Lucifer went back to its over-arching supernatural storyline in a big way this week, even considering Lucifer having to murder his own brother a few episodes ago. “Trip to Stabby Town” offered an especially clever blend between the show’s procedural cases-of-the-week and the over-arching divine narrative, and marked another home run for the very exceptional second season of Lucifer to date,as Mama Morningstar causes some big trouble that trickles down to the LAPD.
After a woman is brutally stabbed nineteen times in an alley, the police are baffled as to what could motivate such a violent crime. Once Lucifer catches a glimpse of the murder weapon however, things become horrifyingly clear; Someone has dug up Azrael’s Blade, which Lucifer previously buried with Uriel, and it’s being used to commit a series of violent stabbings. Apparently, Azrael’s Blade works very much like the One Ring, so to speak, where it constantly compels anyone holding it, or merely close to it, to murder anyone who even slightly miffs them. Divine figures aren’t susceptible to the blade’s effects, but humans find its murderous urges impossible to resist, meaning that this knife being loose spells big trouble for Los Angeles!
This is already an ingenious setup for a case-of-the-week on Lucifer, bringing together the best of the show’s divine angle and procedural angle. What made it even better however is that Lucifer can’t rely on Chloe in this episode, since Chloe can’t know the truth about the murder weapon. Instead, Lucifer covertly asks Ella for help investigating forensic evidence, which also means that Ella gets her biggest role in a Lucifer episode yet. Not only that, but Chloe mistaking Lucifer’s and Ella’s secret interactions for a covert affair made for a surprisingly effective dose of humour that didn’t just have Chloe sitting on the bench and working in the background this week.
While Chloe and the LAPD chase the knife around, across more murders and a tenuously connected array of victims, it’s not long before Lucifer pinpoints his mother as the one that dug up the knife and gave it to humans. Mama Morningstar’s cold reasoning was pretty great as well, after she confesses to Lucifer that she willfully gave humans such a dangerous divine tool for the sole purpose of creating enough chaos to compel God to notice her. Even if it’s primarily from the perspective of His fallen children, Lucifer seems to be exploring this idea that God is not all good, or is possibly unable to intervene whenever it matters in this universe. It’s an idea that’s also being explored on fellow Vertigo series, Preacher over on AMC, though Lucifer gives the man upstairs the benefit of the doubt a bit more for sure.
Mama Morningstar’s moral ambiguity has been simmering in the background, but her first direct act of harm against humans definitely has Lucifer starting to think against her, which is nicely dramatic, as Lucifer was the primary force defending his mother up until now. The pressure builds after Ella finds evidence that Lucifer’s favour and the current case are linked too, though Lucifer manages to get both Ella and Chloe off his case long enough to chase the dagger to its final location, inside the original murderer’s corpse. Lucifer saves an innocent woman for being arrested for the knife’s crime, only to then find it missing from the initial murderer’s body, naturally.
This paved the way for quite the climax, which capped off an already especially strong episode, as Dan is the one who took the blade, and he starts threatening Lucifer with it once he’s discovered. How Dan swiped the knife under the entire forensics team’s and Chloe’s nose, and got it all the way to a dimly-lit pool outside, is anyone’s guess, though this was nonetheless a standout interaction between Dan and Lucifer. Dan blaming Lucifer for allegedly ruining his marriage, ruining his job, and even eating his pudding via the impulses of the knife was a great way to have the Lucifer/Dan animosity come to a tense head. By contrast, Dan ultimately resisting the knife and allowing Lucifer to take it proves that there is hope yet for him. Sure, it’s predictable that the show wouldn’t let Lucifer die, or else there wouldn’t be a show, but it was nonetheless satisfying to have Dan prove that he’s not a permanent wreck, and that even if he ultimately only has himself to blame for his problems, he still has plenty of means to fix them.
One subplot that didn’t totally keep pace with the rest was Linda’s, after Lucifer and Linda try to get their usual therapy sessions going again. Linda is naturally distracted by wanting to know everything about Hell, how it works and who is in it, which initially has Lucifer thinking he, “Broke his therapist”, though eventually, the two reset their dynamic, after Lucifer identifies how he can be treated as just another screwed-up patient. Linda and Lucifer re-stabilizing their dynamic out of the blue felt a little overly convenient, since there was no ultimate catalyst for Linda getting ahold of herself in the end, but it’s good to see the two going back to their usual selves. The favour that Ella traded for Lucifer’s quiet investigation turning out to be making Lucifer attend church was also a satisfying surprise, and kind of funny, especially after it looks like Ella is proposing sex when she first whispers the favour to Lucifer in the crime lab. It would definitely be very interesting if Ella turns out to be the biggest means by which Lucifer can build a better relationship with his father.
“Trip to Stabby Town” stepped up the apparent hostility of Mama Morningstar, peeling back another layer to seemingly expose her as a dangerous force that Lucifer shouldn’t be defending. In fact, it was quite interesting to have the dynamic shift with Mama Morningstar’s earthbound sons by the end of the episode, as Lucifer resolves to stand against his mother’s wishes of bringing everyone in the divine circles back to Heaven, while Amenadiel decides to join his mother’s crusade for reform with God at the end of the episode. Uriel may be dead and buried now, but I have the potent feeling that Chloe will definitely not be out of danger next week!
Lucifer exceptionally wove together its divine and procedural elements in a standout case this week, as Azrael's Blade causes lots of trouble for Los Angeles.
Reader Rating2 Votes
THE GOOD STUFF
Superb blend between divine and procedural elements
Lucifer having to shut out Chloe and rely on Ella
Mama Morningstar's big motive
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
Linda bringing things back to normal is a bit overly convenient