This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
“You may as well pour me one too.”
Television series often start slowly and build momentum before finally finding their footing, and individual episodes frequently follow the same path. Tonight’s chapter of Lucifer dodges few plot holes and distractions along the way, but “The Sin Bin” makes up for lost time with a startling revelation in the season three winter finale.
The specter of The Sinnerman has hung over Lucifer’s head all season, and while speculation has run rampant that Lt. Marcus Pierce is not who he purports to be, the narrative seemed to be moving away from that line of thinking. With that in mind, “The Sin Bin” dishes out the perfect mix of storylines as Trixie and Charlotte hit it off over coffee, Chloe once again feels betrayed by Lucifer, and most importantly, Lucifer gains some clarity regarding his devil face and wings. Not as much as he’d like, but some.
To a certain extent, the Sinnerman thread seems to be dying a slow death here, and when Mazikeen informs Lucifer that Sinnerman is, in fact, human, the Devil’s initially thrown for a loop explaining away the loss of his devil face and the reappearance of his wings. Surely, a mere mortal does not possess that kind of power. But this is no mere mortal. To that end, the clever misdirection with Pierce and Sinnerman unfolds all at once and ranks with the introduction of Lucifer’s mother in terms of game changing status. Lucifer has chosen to live life in the human race’s sin bin, while Marcus Pierce has been sentenced for all eternity.
The twist that Pierce has been roaming the earth since he killed his brother Abel, as detailed in the Book of Genesis, affords the writers a multitude of options. Though there is a brief period after Lucifer plunges the knife into Pierce’s chest that it appears the Devil may have made a horrific mistake, the scene is timed perfectly. After all, guest stars’ runs are often fleeting, so Lucifer, as well as the viewer, has to consider how he’s going to explain this to the detective as he painfully waits for Pierce to arise. But arise he does, and now we’re left to wonder what kind of relationship these two will forge going forward once the entire picture is revealed.
Now that Lucifer deduces Pierce is an immortal being, the opportunity to receive some answers increases exponentially. We don’t learn a lot here, and though it’s explained that “the first murderer” has been sentenced to roam the earth for all eternity, what that actually means remains a bit fuzzy. The lieutenant seems to have a pretty good life in law enforcement, wears cool clothes, and rides a sweet motorcycle, and when Chloe goes through his jacket, she pulls out a guitar pick. Ella can’t be the only woman who finds Pierce super attractive. So what gives?
It appears that Pierce needs Lucifer to kill The Sinnerman, but why? And what does it have to do with his devil face and wings? Lucifer thinks killing Sinnerman will permanently rid him of his wings and bring back his devil face which then begs the question as to why Pierce shoots and kills him. Is the lieutenant protecting Lucifer from himself by preventing an angel from killing a human? Who is the puppet master to whom Sinnerman refers, and has God made a deal with Cain to bring Lucifer back to Hell? It’s a lot to process.
I’ve said before and still believe that Aimee Garcia’s portrayal of Ella Lopez is one of the hidden gems on Lucifer, but even that’s no longer entirely true. Fortunately, her appearances have become more frequent and more extended, and tonight, while it may be getting a little overdone, her barely controlled attraction to her boss even puts him on the defensive in one of the episodes funnier scenes. Nevertheless, hot on Ms. Garcia’s heels is little Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) whose wisdom and advice to Charlotte Richards belies her age. Watching her with Lucifer has always been a delight, and to now see her melt the ice queen’s heart as Charlotte continues to take baby steps in her quest to live a good life, is heartwarming.
But Trixie’s not finished. Ever the observer, she knows there’s something up with Charlotte and her dad, and though she might be massaging the relationship just a little, she gets a pass. Even though the matching Trixie-do’s are flat out adorable, the fact that Charlotte plays along reveals a lot about the progress she’s made. After Charlotte laments the fact that she never sees her own children, Trixie offers up a nugget for Charlotte to consider. “You’re the mom; you make the rules.” So when Charlotte later contacts her ex-husband to make arrangements to see her kids, it’s clear this is a new woman who will not take no for an answer thanks to her day spent with Trixie.
Equally important with Charlotte’s transformation, though, is how all of this impacts Trixie’s dad Dan. It’s been difficult to watch him during interactions with Charlotte, and even she feels a certain unease since she knows she’s missing several months of memories, many of which include Detective Espinoza. Thanks to Trixie, these two appear willing to take the next step in giving their relationship another whirl. “Best wingman ever,” dad tells his daughter, and Dan’s penalty minutes may be just about up. It will be great to see Dan happy and interesting to see how Chloe handles their second go at a relationship.
Chloe’s continued feeling that Lucifer goes behind her back and against protocol has been percolating for awhile now, and the time might be right for them to split momentarily. She frequently encourages him to use his mind trick to extract the truth out of suspects, so her outrage has to be about more than simply not following the rules. Is she being too sensitive that her partner goes outside the box without her on occasion?
As good as it is, “The Sin Bin” suffers a small believability issue, and in a show about the Devil, the criticism may, of course, be considered trivial. Nonetheless, Decker’s scheme to get into Pierce’s office and then rummage around his things looking for the key to lock-up so that she can spring Sinnerman seems totally out of character for Decker. She may be desperate to solve the case, but risking her career like this is not something she would do. Still, it’s a funny scene, and any time Ella and Pierce are together, good things usually occur.
Heading into the brief winter hiatus, Lucifer sets into motion several new story arcs, and now that Pierce’s true identity has been revealed, the Devil may finally get some answers. In the end though, we’re left to figure out how Lucifer and Pierce plan to proceed now that at least one truth has been laid bare. Wings and devil face aside, “The Sin Bin” comes up strong, and the wait begins to find out whether Marcus Pierce will be friend or foe.