This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 4 Episode 1
“I’ve never seen how far I can actually throw a human.”
There’s a special place in Hell for networks that cancel creatively innovative shows with passionately active fan bases. Fortunately, Netflix recognizes the wisdom in bringing Lucifer to its streaming service, and “Everything’s Okay” seamlessly fuses the bombshell revelation of last season’s finale with the soul searching each of the characters must now undergo as they struggle to process their individual traumas.
The centerpiece of the episode features a painful examination of the agony Lucifer experiences over not knowing how Chloe feels about the long awaited reveal of his true appearance. Sprinkled amidst the investigation into the murder of a local beekeeper, nuanced interactions between the detective and the Devil introduce the fact that he’s ready to take their relationship to the next level while she’s a bit more reticent to open up to her partner. Not be ignored, however, is Lucifer’s resolve to stop offering his assistance at crime scenes since Chloe has been missing after she was wounded during the shootout in “A Devil of My Word.” While it’s somewhat disconcerting to watch him give up on this aspect of his life on Earth, we fortunately don’t have to wait long for the partners to put the past behind them and get on with the job of solving murders.
Chloe and Trixie’s sojourn to Europe over the past months explains their absence on one level, but there’s clearly more to this trip than meets the eye. Chloe initially ignores Lucifer upon her return to active duty, and though she professes to be at peace with what she saw, it’s clear she’s hiding something. It’s here we must consider Lucifer’s code of honor regarding the truth; the Devil doesn’t lie. Is the detective being honest with her partner, or is she biding her time until she finds a way to gracefully remove herself from Lucifer’s magnetic pull?
In the past, even though she ascribed his success rate to his inescapable charm, Chloe allowed Lucifer to work his mojo on witnesses or suspects reluctant to answer their questions during a murder investigation. Now that she knows the truth, will this new and presumably acceptable tool in their investigative arsenal make things too easy for them? When a local beekeeper turns up murdered with a honey scraper, suspicion falls on one of the victim’s rival honey suppliers on the farmer’s market circuit. The fact that the victim turns out to Bob the Knob, a former crime family enforcer now in witness protection offers the light touch Lucifer has been known for, but more importantly ties into the theme of hidden identities and obscured agendas.
It’s impossible to miss the distress Lucifer feels knowing that Chloe’s not being completely honest with him, and when she cringes at his touch, the seriousness of their fragile relationship strikes hard. So hard, in fact, Lucifer’s desperation makes him willing to consult Dan, who’s still grieving Charlotte’s death, about the body language Chloe displays around him. Though he doesn’t know Lucifer’s question refers to the detective, his answer that “it means that they hate you,” stings far more than the reality of the situation deserves. Chloe doesn’t hate Lucifer; she’s afraid of him, and who can blame her.
Not to discount the genetic memories the human race has passed from generation to generation regarding the emotional and physical terror Satan engenders, Mazikeen is, in many ways, more frightening than Lucifer. A fact which make her reunion scene with Trixie so delightful when they cross paths at the station. “I couldn’t stay mad at you,” Trixie tells Maze, whose assassin persona simply melts whenever she’s with Chloe’s daughter. While this impact on her is strictly emotional, when viewed in conjunction with Lucifer’s physical vulnerability, it’s clear there’s a statement being made.
Introducing guest stars as part of the murder-of-the-week narrative continues to be a series’ strength, and Sasha Roiz (Suits) as Marshall Reynolds fits in nicely as the law enforcement officer hiding a dark, murderous side to his personality. Yes, we’ve seen the good guy employing the bad guy’s method of operating dozens of times, but because of the overarching appearance vs reality theme surrounding our core characters, it works perfectly here.
It will be interesting to see if the writers continue to focus on the forensic scientist cliches many shows seem to employ, especially when her crisis of faith and Lucifer’s attempt to tell Ms. Lopez (Aimee Garcia) the truth about himself offer a wealth of narrative possibilities. Of course, we don’t want Ella to lose the joy she regularly brings to the office and the often morbid crime scenes, but there is more to her character than we’ve been shown. Likewise, Amenadiel wrestles with a crisis of his own, decides that he enjoys living among humans on Earth, and plans to make the City of Angels his home. We don’t see a lot of the big guy here, but his wings have returned, and despite his unexpected trip to Silver City with Charlotte’s body, his time on Earth has changed him just as it has changed his brother and Maze.
While all these incidents and experiences are important, it’s not until Chloe comes to understand the physical vulnerability she causes when Lucifer is nearby. Watching the Devil draw comfort from his piano makes the scene in which she sits next to him as he’s playing so poignant. “It’s not all that I am,” he plaintively explains, and though we understand there’s something else at play here, when she tells him that “what I saw was my partner,” something still doesn’t ring true. He just wants to be accepted for who he is, not who he was, but it’s pretty clear she’s not yet ready to make that leap.
So what IS going on with Detective Decker? The final scene lays the groundwork for the direction it appears the story will take as Chloe enters a church ostensibly to set into motion a plan with which she clearly remains uncomfortable. Finding her sobbing softly in a pew, a priest sits down and reminds her that “we knew this path would be difficult, Chloe,” leaving viewers to ponder the gravity of that realization. Has this priest (Graham McTavish/Outlander) manipulated her into believing she has a higher purpose, and that taking down the Devil is, as he contends, the best thing for everyone on Earth, including Lucifer? And when he asks her if she’s ready for the next step, we have to wonder whether her prolonged absence has been spent preparing for this momentous occasion.
Lucifer’s back, but it is most certainly not business as usual. “Everything’s Okay” may feel like we’re experiencing the same set of characters and basic storylines we’ve come to know and love over the past three seasons, but if Chloe’s on the verge of doing what it appears she’s doing, then God help the Devil.