This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 2
“Tell me. What is it that you truly desire?”
It’s been a while since Lucifer’s catchphrase played such an important role in the overall arc, and even though the characters dig deep into their psyches, “The One With the Baby Carrot” manages to do what Lucifer does best, blend a relatively compelling procedural case with humor as the characters work through their personal demons on a path to self-actualization. God’s sons continue their attempts at navigating what they see as both manipulation and evaluation, and as expected, come at that problem from different angles.
Tonight’s investigation features a dead comedian whose jokes had apparently been stolen by a highly successful comic who now stands as Detective Decker’s primary suspect. However, set against the mythic tale of The Sinnerman, this case takes on added significance. On the one hand, Lucifer’s determination that accusers generally accuse others because of their own failures strikes at the heart of his own problems. Lucifer feels he’s failing in his role as the Devil of lore, which on one level is certainly true, but what’s lost on him is that this failure moves him closer to what he truly desires – a closer relationship with Chloe.
Lucifer views the loss of his devil face and appearance of his wings as a breakdown of his core being, and since he blames these changes on God’s attempt to exert control over him, he misses the real point. He is becoming angelic which is undoubtedly how Chloe would prefer to see him. Nevertheless, both brothers take bold steps and renew their relationships with Dr. Linda who continues to provide a balance that each struggles to maintain.
Amenadiel meets Linda at a bar so that she can thank him for saving her life, and her assumption that he’s regained his powers opens up another possibility. Did his slowing down of time to save her, drain him of his powers leaving him feeling somewhat impotent? Or more to the point, is he afraid that they may never return. Should that turn out to be true, will he gladly accept that outcome as God’s will, and is this in fact the true test to which he’s been referring? Regardless, he asks for her help in disposing of Lucifer’s severed wings, a scene both comical and heartbreaking since it gets at the root of the brothers’ problems. Lucifer’s feeling manipulated, and Amenadiel’s experiencing jealousy.
Though he probably wouldn’t admit it, Lucifer’s return to Dr. Linda’s couch signals his ongoing attempt towards accepting the man he’s become. On the surface he’s self-involved and shows a categorical disregard for the feelings and welfare of others outside of Chloe. When the doctor points out the self-mutilation he’s engaging in, the leap to self-sabotage is easy to make. Is Lucifer subconsciously crippling any hopes of a real relationship with his partner because he’s afraid of what she’ll think of him? Can the Devil be redeemed, and is Chloe strong enough to accept him for not only who he was but who he’s become.
In many ways Linda functions as Lucifer’s guide and mentor on his path of self-discovery, and one of the reasons he’s been so quick to trust her and her wisdom is because of her ability to break seemingly complicated situations into their component parts. The solution, she tells him, is to simply accept that he has wings. They represent who he is now, not who he used to be. “It’s easy to let external factors define us,” she explains, but not surprisingly, he fails to see what she really means and sets off on his own course.
As Lucifer persists in his hunt for The Sinnerman, he twists her words to mean that it’s how he uses his wings that’s important which leads him back to his catch phrase about hidden desires. It’s high time he returns to being the Devil we know and get back to buying up souls in return for ill-gotten favors. Is he simply afraid of change? Is he afraid to accept the man he’s become because of some perceived weakness? Why is he so determined to get his devil back? On the surface, he thinks it will piss off God, but we all know that his wings aren’t going anywhere, nor will his demon face return. This isn’t about God; it’s about Lucifer.
Nevertheless, the most fascinating twist in tonight’s episode involves the new lieutenant, Marcus Pierce. Who is he really, and what does he truly desire? Initially, he surveilles Chloe’s team as it conducts its investigation, but later asks Dan for all information he’s dug up on Lucifer Morningstar whether garnered legally or not. But then, Lucifer arrives home and finds Pierce waiting for him. His new boss tells him “I figured out what you really are.” Now we know he’s not going to tell him he’s figured out that Lucifer’s the real Devil, but he does get to tell Lucifer that he’s an idiot. However, it’s his warning that The Sinnerman is not an urban myth that comes as a bit of a surprise and opens up a captivating plot point.
Yet, there’s something that’s a bit off about Pierce. Do we believe him when he reveals that The Sinnerman killed someone close to him? Is he using Lucifer’s obsession with this figure to his own advantage, or is his appearance at the precinct much more nefarious? Does he have anything to do with Lucifer’s wings and face? Or is his motivation something much more pragmatic; does he simply view Lucifer as an expendable chess piece in the struggle to bring down a dangerous crime syndicate leader? Either way, Lucifer’s single-minded and ready for a one on one with the man who’s stolen his moves. The Devil’s the one that purchases souls, not some Sinnerman.
While most of the episode hones in on Lucifer and his compulsion to take down this perceived adversary, there are some really funny moments, not the least of which is the opening scene when he attempts to squier a young lady off to his bedroom. As they undress each other, his wings pop out, and instead of being horrified, she thinks it’s some form of cosplay offering to dress up as the Devil. And come on, Lucifer chucking tomatoes at Dan in the comedy club; I mean who actually brings tomatoes to a club?
A strong follow up to the season three premiere, “The One With the Baby Carrot” takes Lucifer down a dark path, and it remains to be seen whether or not anyone can stop the Devil from his seemingly inevitable showdown with The Sinnerman. It’s what he truly desires.