This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 16
“It appears I may have misplaced your brother’s soul.”
Closed time loops have become a science fiction staple, and tonight’s episode of Lucifer takes that narrative device and runs with it as Lucifer and Pierce try once again to break the lieutenant’s curse. It turns out, however, that Cain and Abel aren’t the only one’s stuck endlessly reliving the same events. “Infernal Guinea Pig” revisits the residual pain Charlotte Richards continues to deal with even though she remains unaware of the truth behind her time in Hell.
Last week’s episode brings Lucifer and Chloe back together after their brief falling out, so even though it’s great to see Pierce and Lucifer buddy up, the detective still can’t help worrying she’s being left on the sidelines. It’s really nice to see Dan buoy her spirits and remind her how much she and Lucifer have accomplished together. Still, these two have yet to come up with a way to end Pierce’s suffering, and when Lucifer proposes that he take a quick trip to Hell to recover Abel’s soul, this appears to be a plan with promise. Watching the lieutenant and the Devil parse the details of Lucifer’s plan to place Abel’s soul in another body makes it clear that things are not going to go as planned, and of course they don’t. So when Abel’s consciousness unwittingly ends up in the female murder victim’s body by mistake, we know that all bets are off, and it will now be up to Lucifer and Pierce to try to make the best of a bad situation.
But that’s the beauty of tonight’s murder investigation. A bomb goes off in the office of a Hollywood producer ultimately killing the assistant that unknowingly opens the package. As Lucifer and Pierce humorously debate the potential age of Abel’s host body, Alexa’s assistant, Bree Garland, expires from her wounds and somehow Abel’s soul ends up inside her. It also turns out that Abel and Lucifer have a lot in common, particularly when it comes to chasing women. Watching Abel in Bree’s body suggestively taunt every attractive woman she passes quickly reminds us that Abel doesn’t realize he’s in a woman’s body, and we now only have to wait for the obligatory mirror scene that we know is coming.
And then there’s the plan which on the surface seems entirely reasonable. Give Cain a second chance and a clean slate by bring the brothers back together. Pierce’s mark continues to play a role, and tonight’s its failure to disappear sends a message that removing God’s curse will not be an easy task despite Lucifer’s bravado concerning dear old Dad. It is interesting that Lucifer doesn’t possess a true grasp on what life in Hell is really like for the condemned souls, but Mazikeen succinctly explains that not only was Abel Hell’s first resident, he was also her torturing test subject. Abel was caught in a Hell loop which continually changed leading him to develop a certain adaptability that proves both a blessing and a curse.
Of late we’ve watched Amenadiel fight his brother and his feelings for Linda, but there continues to be a charming naivete about him that surfaces tonight when he calmly tells Abel he needs to return to Hell. Why would Abel willingly do that? Perhaps the most shocking event in tonight’s episode occurs when Amenadiel produces a revolver for Abel to kill himself, finally breaking the loop in which he’s been trapped for all of millenia. Nevertheless, like all good stories, it’s not quite that simple, and though Lucifer’s plan involves Abel turning the tables on his brother, Pierce tells the Devil he’ll die with a clear conscience. “I’m just the guy who won the fight,” implying that circumstances easily could have turned out differently.
Though Abel doesn’t appear to be privy to his brother’s plan, he nonetheless steps out of the elevator into Lucifer’s penthouse and fires a bullet into Pierce’s torso. And it’s here that the cards are laid out on the table. “I need you alive so you can help me die,” Pierce tells his brother who doesn’t know he’s been trapped in a Hell loop. Once again, the mark on Pierce’s arm remains intact. Will the brothers have to work together to arrive at a satisfactory outcome? It doesn’t seem likely that Abel will want to die or return to Hell anytime soon, and when he steps into the street only to be run down by a speeding ambulance, it’s not clear whether Abel’s loop has finally been broken.
Charlotte Richard’s nascent relationship with Dan enables her to avoid sinking too deep in a despair that she really doesn’t understand which is why she seeks help from Dr. Linda. But it’s the dream that she recounts to Linda that forces the issue that she too has been living inside a personal hell. Her loop manifests itself via a dream in which men and women she helped avoid prosecution return to murder her family. A situation that causes her to “die inside again. Over and over.” Though they’ve had a rocky start to their relationship, Linda’s patient makes progress, but the irony is that Linda knows the truth about Charlotte’s missing time. Can she in good conscience ever reveal Charlotte’s actions while possessed by Lucifer’s mother?
In the end, the case turns out to involve a Bolivian drug cartel that uses Alexa’s company to launder its dirty money, but once Abel inhabits Bree’s body, the narrative subtly goes in a different direction. We know there’s no point in Chloe taking Bree to the scene of the crime because Bree is actually dead, and obviously, Abel has no knowledge of anything. When Chloe initially thinks Bree ditched her boss, it reminds her of her fear that Lucifer will do the same to her. And while we know that’s not going to happen, we also know it’s going to take the detective a bit more time to feel secure in her relationship with her partner.
However, when Lucifer tells Pierce that “we need to dissolve our unholy alliance,” a number of questions are raised. The lieutenant calls Lucifer out for breaking his word to help him die, and even though we’ve seen Lucifer concerned for Chloe’s safety before, tonight, something seems different.
“Infernal Guinea Pig” throws a lot at us tonight, not the least of which is the introduction of Abel, but has the time arrived when Lucifer is more concerned with Chloe’s safety and well being than getting back at his Father? Time will tell. Hopefully, that time will be linear.