This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer season 1, episode 7
One of the things I enjoyed about Syfy’s Dominion was its commitment to world-building. One key ingredient to creating a credible world is staying true to a certain set of established parameters. In other words, live and die by the letter of the fictional land. Dominion, which existed within a supernatural post-apocalypse (the biblical kind, not the nuclear kind), governed its high-concept angels-versus-mankind conceit with a rather deep, well thought out mythology. I bring this up because Lucifer appears to be taking a similar approach, as evidenced by the events of “Wingman.”
Case in point: We already know that Lucifer is slowly succumbing to mortality, much to his amusement and to Mazikeen’s horror. If you prick him (or shoot him), the devil does bleed. This newfound vulnerability is news to Amenadiel, who calls out his brother for sacrificing his wings in the name of free will. It’s not hard to understand why someone like Lucifer might surrender the artifacts of his divinity if it means finally being in control of his destiny. The show has positioned him as a rebellious son since the first episode, but in “Wingman,” we can see the lengths Lucifer is willing to go to escape not only Hell, but also his Father’s suffocating touch.
As for his pesky mortality, one crucial side effect of dying is that Lucifer earns himself an automatic ticket back to Hell. If that doesn’t raise the stakes considerably for Mr. Morningstar and the show itself, I don’t know what would. This is more interesting, given that Lucifer tells his brother flat-out that this is no sabbatical—the Devil has no intention of returning to Hell. This leaves Amenadiel in a tough spot, learning as we do that he is the one now policing the damned in his brother’s absence—a job he never asked for nor wanted. (And, if you recall, Lucifer said something very much along those same lines a few episodes back.)
So it’s understandable why Amenadiel would be behind the theft of his brother’s wings. Take away something precious to make it more desirable. I liked the idea that the wings themselves are a source of divinity, that their very existence on the earthly plane could drive mere mortals to madness. To this end, Amenadiel makes it quite clear that he will return the wings to their rightful place in Heaven, suggesting that his brother was perhaps never worthy of them.
In this family drama, Lucifer has no chance to prove his worth, to overcome his failings, to rise above the preconceived notions of those closest to him. He was born to be bad, to be humanity’s scapegoat, to be held in low regard by those who believe in the ideas of original sign and eternal forgiveness. For Lucifer Morningstar, his very existence is a lose-lose proposition. Why go back to Hell, if every moment of your existence is a losing battle against redemption? If I were Lucifer, I’d burn my wings, too. It’s not so much an act of defiance as it is an exercise in said free will.
To Amenadiel, though, it’s an act of sacrilege. The two come to blows, with Lucifer goading the Good Son to violence by exclaiming, “Become like me, become wrath, fall as I did!” In other words, come to the Dark Side. I have to say, Both Tom Ellis and D.B. Woodside are terrific together in this scene, laying into each other with terrible, wide-eyed abandon. It’s really satisfying to these characters finally coming into their own, even if they’re literally at each other’s throats.
Chloe is also coming more into her own. We’ve been teased with the Palmetto case throughout the season. An important part of Chloe’s backstory, we finally got to see her do a little digging into the case one last time before the plug is pulled on the hero cop she’s been investigating. Not only does she get to do some actual detective work, she also tries to make amends, not only with her own demons, but with the rest of her department. Like Lucifer, she is trying to move on from her mistakes, to create fresh opportunities for herself. She’s needed this sort of depth, at least in regards to her career. “Favorite Son” delved a little deeper into her domestic life, so it seems only fair that her professional life be fleshed out a bit more, too.
And I like her deepening friendship with Lucifer. I have no interest in seeing these two hop into bed together. I do, however, like the bit of friction that’s caused by Lucifer’s ongoing rivalry with Dan. Judging from tonight’s episode, it appears that Chloe views Lucifer as nothing more than friends. Put another way, the Devil has been friend-zoned.
Some closing thoughts:
Did anyone else think Lucifer engaged in a bit of sleight of hand, burning the replica wings, rather than the actual ones? I wouldn’t put it past the Devil to resort to that sort of deception.
I’m curious to see where Lucifer is headed with the back half of its season. I hope the show continues to take its material more seriously, to deepen its mythology and bring us characters we can really root for and care about.