This review of Lucifer contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 3
“I’m not worried about Maze; I’m worried about Canada”
Despite the fact that it appears Fox is back to its old tricks of airing episodes out of their intended order, the triumphant return of Lesley-Ann Brandt’s bounty hunting demon Mazikeen manages to earn the network a pass. “Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith” provides a magnificent vehicle for Brandt to “burn bright” as one of genre television’s most delightful supporting characters while learning a valuable lesson about her life’s true purpose.
Last spring, Fox announced that Lucifer had been renewed for a 22-episode third season, and later that the network was moving four episodes from season two to the fall. If we go by production codes, “Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith” should have followed the season two finale, but no matter, Brandt shines brilliantly as the centerpiece of a tale exploring one of life’s great dilemmas – how to find meaning in day to day existence.
Lucifer continues to play on its strength of examining deep emotional issues while still injecting an ample amount of witty dialogue into the mix. After observing Lucifer struggle with the mental anguish related to his wings and devil face, watching Maze finally come to terms with her purpose breathes some much needed fresh air into the supernatural tale. And while her desire to extract more out of life than simply acting as Lucifer’s bodyguard seems reasonable, it’s the notion that she sees herself as souless that’s most troubling. On the one hand, it’s easy to forget that Maze is a demon from Hell, but as she explains this to Dr. Linda at the end of last season. When she dies, she dies. There is no afterlife, and what we essentially face is Maze experiencing an existential crisis. She understands that since her actions lack consequences, there is no point to her life on Earth.
Tonight’s case finds Maze the bounty hunter traveling to Canada to track down a fugitive wanted in a double murder case. Still living with Chloe, her relationship with the detective and Trixie has been one of the special delights of the series, and when Trixie attempts to stow away in Maze’s duffel bag so that she can “watch your back,” her act is not only endearing but telling as her mother is also clearly concerned about what Maze has gotten herself into. Of course, much of the impact of these relationships derives from the fact that the detective remains unaware of Maze’s true identity.
And even though Chloe understandably refuses to believe Lucifer’s admission that he’s The Devil, she has begun to give credence to his ability to supernaturally coerce admissions out of suspects when it suits her purpose. Questioning Ben Rivers’ lawyer, Chloe’s virtually imperceptible nod frees Lucifer to do his thing. At some point she has to reflect on what it is her partner’s actually doing with his special technique even though we know she won’t believe him when he tells her. Though they remain friends and obviously co-workers, a noticeable chill hangs over their connection as the two reassess their feelings for each other.
Nevertheless, this is Maze’s story, and while we’ve never questioned her willingness to jump headfirst into a fire, there’s a decided difference between bravery and carelessness. Maze typically exudes a confidence that borders on arrogance, so when the cavalier attitude she takes during her pursuit of Rivers in Canada allows him to escape on multiple occasions, it’s not a surprise because she enjoys the added challenges he provides her. However, even though she lands in hot water from time to time, she’s not too proud to ask for assistance when it’s needed. Maze also knows when it’s time to let her stubborn exterior down, and when Rivers’ innocence claim begins to make sense, her approach changes.
Next to Lucifer, the writers grace Maze with most of the best lines in the series, and when she has to deal with Rivers getting shot by Lt. Herrera’s assassins, she’s at her sarcastic best. “I’m great at dismembering humans; how hard can it be to fix one,” she tells Dr. Linda who repeatedly has to tell people that “I’m not that kind of doctor” only adding to the dynamic of the scene. But as Maze re-examines her place in the world, we too recognize that she’s becoming less demon which then raises a new question. If not demon, then what? Having watched both Lucifer and Amenadiel wrestle their own feelings of inadequacy, it seems not only appropriate but unavoidable that Maze fall prey to similar sensations.
Having returned to Los Angeles, the gang celebrates not only Herrera’s arrest and downfall but Maze’s successful and safe return from Canada, and it’s here that Lucifer acknowledges the change that’s come over Maze. Like Lucifer, and to a lesser extent Amenadiel, Maze has begun a transformation that none of them could have anticipated, yet unlike Lucifer, she seems to have found a peace in what she’s learned. “I’m exactly where I want to be,” she says, and we know that her Earthbound roots are beginning to take whether or not she wants them to. Her connection to Chloe and Trixie continues to be one of the show’s most fascinating plot developments as mother and child recognize an innate goodness Mazikeen possesses.
Despite the awkward introduction and departure of Lt. Herrera (Marco Sanchez), we now presumably return to Marcus Pierce and pick up the story where it left off. However, in its best X-Files imitation, Lucifer leaves us with the intriguing image of an open file cabinet drawer and a gloved individual presumably watching over its contents which include files on Mazikeen the Lilim, Lucifer Morningstar, Amenadiel, Charlotte Richards, and Gaudium. Is this the Sinnerman, and if so, how much does he really know about our otherworldly beings?
“Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith” contains some flaws, but its examination of man’s dual nature, or in this case demon, continues to drive this enthralling narrative as human, angel, and demon alike search for a place to call home. And as Team Lucifer evolves and spreads its wings, how much longer can the truth be kept secret?