NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Lucifer” are present in this review
Lucifer once again broke away from its usual format in this week’s Winter finale, “A Good Day to Die”, which marks the show’s final offering before a lengthy hiatus that will see it returning for Season Two’s back portion at the start of May. The show’s latest shift in focus mostly worked pretty well, though the story didn’t fully manage to stick the landing, ultimately being dragged down by a hasty and forced cliffhanger that feels like it’s only there because the show is now taking several months off of the airwaves.
Most of the episode however manages to be plenty exciting and dramatic, as Chloe appears to have been poisoned by last week’s big criminal, somehow. The episode never actually properly confirms how it happened. Initially, her symptoms are slow, to the point where she directly pursues a cure alongside Lucifer just fine, though before long, Chloe becomes incapacitated, and Lucifer is forced to put her in the hospital against her wishes. This makes Dan the only ally to Lucifer during the very small procedural portion of this episode, as the two try and fail to find a lead related to the potential cure that could save Chloe’s life. Ultimately though, not enough is done with the latest Lucifer/Dan partnership. The same is true of Dan teaming up with Ella later to find an ingredient for Chloe’s cure towards the end of the episode, which mostly just serves as an excuse to quickly introduce Ella’s criminal brother, before both Dan and Ella are largely forgotten about for the rest of the main story’s events.
Ultimately though, this initial procedural angle merely leads into the real battle of the episode; Lucifer having no choice but to seek out the late poisoning professor’s soul in Hell itself. This involves Lucifer having to enlist Maze, Amenadiel and Linda into temporarily killing him, so he can go to Hell, make contact with the professor, then get the formula that can save Chloe. It’s actually a very cool idea, especially since the show has barely touched upon how this universe’s version of Hell actually looks and feels, outside of Season One’s finale.
The chance to return to this version of Hell again is one of the episode’s high points, as we see the professor stuck in a loop of the sin he feels most guilty about, namely abandoning the Uber driver to die while he saved his work, leading to an endless cavalcade of onlookers that tell him he’s a murderer. It’s an interesting, more psychological take on Hell, and as I noted before, it actually shares the Hell styling of another Vertigo graphic novel-inspired TV series on the air at present, that being AMC’s Preacher. The only weird element to it is Lucifer’s claim that Hell feeds off of guilt. What about psychopathic people that don’t feel guilt then? I guess we’re to go by Malcolm’s account of Hell from Season One then, namely that psychopaths are instead drained of stimulation and life, since there’s no psychological torment to probe from them.
As Lucifer races against the clock to save Chloe however, he also ends up being trapped in a prison of his own making, namely when he reunites with Uriel, or a vision of him, which he’s forced to repeatedly stab. Never has it become more apparent how much influence Lucifer has lost in the underworld, since he’s now just as much a victim of Hell as the criminal that he just finished interrogating. This was a great and powerful moment, and one that justifiably had Mama Morningstar facing her own fears and returning to Hell, so she could pull Lucifer back to the land of the living. Amenadiel having to do his best to prevent Chloe from being moved out of her hospital room while she’s coding, in order to allow Lucifer passage back to life, was also a great way to generate a climactic sense of excitement for Lucifer’s Winter finale.
Unfortunately, after this, the episode starts to rather noticeably come apart, which is really disappointing, considering that Lucifer has had such a consistently fantastic second season for the most part so far. Lucifer suddenly deciding to completely sever ties with his mother, immediately after she saves his life and proves that she’s not a pawn in God’s great ‘game’, feels pretty forced and against character, especially when it seems like he’s equally severing ties with everyone else. To this end, a fully-healed Chloe then enters Lux in the final seconds of the episode, only to see that it’s entirely closed down, and Lucifer is gone. How did she even get in then? Moreover, the show didn’t really give a clear, effective reason as to why Lucifer is essentially throwing a tantrum and running away. Like I said, it kind of makes Lucifer look weak and melodramatic, which is highly against his character. This entire story turn only seems to have been written to accommodate the show’s lengthy Winter hiatus until May.
“A Good Day to Die” certainly wasn’t the best episode of Lucifer, but it still made for a good, though not amazing Winter finale. Lucifer running off doesn’t feel like it truly makes sense at this point, but maybe May’s Spring premiere will help to explain this development in greater detail. Fortunately, most of the episode was still pretty engaging, even if the show’s sense of humour has had to take a considerable backseat in this month’s trio of episodes, due to the more serious developments that have dominated recent storylines. Still, the fact that Lucifer has surprisingly become one of FOX’s most entertaining and clever primetime shows will make it difficult to go without for so many months, and that’s before the Summer break that comes after it runs out the rest of Season Two as well. Once Lucifer inevitably comes back home to Lux and the LAPD in Season Two’s back portion though, hopefully that means the show can lighten up again, and go back to its usual recipe of devilish fun.
- Lucifer and co. having to race against the clock to save Chloe
- Inspired return to Hell for Lucifer
- Mama Morningstar proving she's not a slave to God's influence
- Lucifer running off at the end doesn't really make sense
- Dan/Ella scenes are largely pointless