This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 4 Episode 7
“I don’t want to be a monster.”
The Devil struggles to find his true Earthly purpose, Eve the temptress joins the investigative team, and little Trixie somehow finds her way to the penthouse after learning that Lucifer’s feeling a bit down. Just another day at the LAPD. “Devil is as Devil Does” extends the examination of the purpose and faith-based angst most of the characters experience as they learn to accept not only themselves but those around them as well.
It’s easy to look past Eve’s perceived lack of sophistication and experience as we study the events leading up to Lucifer’s present state of mind. At first, her suggestion that he embrace the punisher aspect of his personality seems nothing more than a reasonable approach designed to reclaim his core being. It’s true that Lucifer often seems happiest when he personally brings criminals to justice, but Eve’s desire to join the punishing seems a bit excessive. Despite a concertedly sweet persona, it appears that Eve’s prime directive revolves around tempting Lucifer to return to his prior ways. The question is why.
Bringing Eve along to the crime scene investigation suggests Lucifer didn’t hear a word Chloe said about respect for the job, and for a man often overly concerned with how he’s regarded, it’s interesting that Lucifer doesn’t recognize the not so subtle manipulation at play with Eve. She knows how to maneuver around Chloe’s desire to operate by the book by telling the detective how much she respects her ability as an investigator. And the next thing you know, Chloe agrees to allow Eve to ride along, ask questions, and offer opinions. Fortunately, Chloe’s not completely deceived and eventually tells her partner that “I think Eve is a bad influence on you.”
However, even though Lucifer’s decision to revert to his punisher persona momentarily quells his inner turmoil, it’s the conflict with Chloe over the mechanics of his approach the still plagues him. Of course, we know he’s still smarting from the officer’s death at the hands of Julian McCaffrey, and Dan’s unwarranted condemnation doesn’t help him process the reality of what happened. Still, it’s understandable that he blames himself because he had the opportunity to permanently punish Julian and opted to do what Chloe would have wanted him to do. But the truth of the matter is that it’s not his devil face that frightens her; it’s the decision to become the punisher on Earth that he was in Hell.
Forensic scientist Ella Lopez’s crisis of faith lingers on, but here it’s Chloe’s question about celestial justice that draws Ella closer to her God even though she doesn’t realize it. Ella reminds Chloe that Satan started as an angel, and the likelihood that he could go full on evil seems a bit of a stretch. If Heaven doesn’t exist, then the motivation to consider morality and ethics when making life choices on Earth loses its relevance. Ironically, her loss of faith leads her to an understanding that she’s needed now, more than ever, to keep people safe from the bad guys.
Dan’s fixation on bringing down Lucifer continues, but he’s closer to uncovering the truth about Chloe’s partner than he initially knows. Well, not that truth. He’s convinced that Lucifer inflicted the injuries which paralyze Julian and has a feeling that the victim’s story about falling down a hill lacks conviction. Chloe’s finds herself in a difficult position since she can’t reveal Lucifer’s fundamental truth, but she wants to believe the best about her partner despite the facts.
The episode’s case involves the murder of a mob enforcer who has not only been shot, but had his back broken as well. The detectives bring in a hitman known as Ponyboy for questioning, and Lucifer immediately makes a nice reference to The Outsiders. “Stay gold indeed,” he utters though I’m not sure why Lucifer would even be aware of the 1967 coming of age novel. Nonetheless it’s still cool. It doesn’t take long to put the pieces of the puzzle together, and guilt now points towards Julian’s father, the shipping magnate Jacob Tiernan. The highlight of the scene though revolves around Eve who is positively giddy with excitement and doesn’t quite understand why they can’t simply torture the truth out of the suspect. The humor is short lived, however, when Lucifer realizes that Tiernan killed the man he thought paralyzed his son.
At some point consequences must be considered, and when Dan breaks protocol by giving up Lucifer to Tiernan, not only does he accuse the wrong man, he puts the entire precinct in jeopardy. Dan has always felt threatened by Lucifer’s wealth and personal magnetism, but most importantly by Chloe’s attraction to him. Now, he runs the risk, once again, of spiraling out of control professionally, and while he still has things in his life to keep him balanced, Dan’s reached a dangerous point. “I just don’t know what to do,” he tells Ella before kissing her, and it’s at this point we see two lost souls who will either buoy each other up or drag the other down.
Before he’s sent back to Rome for a Vatican trial, Father Kinley asks Chloe to visit him in prison so that he can make one final plea to her regarding the prophecy and the danger he thinks Lucifer poses while on Earth. It seems she’s made up her mind to support her partner, but we’re left with the one key aspect of the prophecy that Chloe hasn’t really considered. At this stage of the narrative, we’re expected to accept that Eve is Lucifer’s first love and Chloe merely his most recent, but does Eve’s appearance represent the classic misdirection? She does wear red a lot. Just saying.
Nevertheless, like most characters in Lucifer, Eve proves to be more complex than appearances would indicate. On the one hand, everything she does appears to be self-serving in her quest to hold onto Lucifer, but when Ponyboy arrives at the penthouse intent on kill Lucifer, her true colors surface. She instantly shields Trixie with her own body, and it’s easy to forget that she’s human and not invulnerable like her Celestial counterparts. She and Chloe don’t typically see eye to eye on most things, so when Chloe thanks Eve for protecting her child, emotions run deep.
Unfortunately, less compelling is the appearance of Lucifer and Amenadiel’s sister Remy. We know she’s on Earth to snatch Linda’s angel baby, but for the most part, she’s forced to listen to Amenadiel drone on about the virtues of humans that have become such an important part of his life. It’s a beautiful sentiment, and here it does give him a chance to explain the reasoning behind the loss of his wings. It’s clear she’s never going to buy into this view since it’s unlikely she’ll be around long enough. And with Auntie Maze lurking around every corner in a well meaning but somewhat misguided attempt to protect Linda, Remy has her work cut out for her anyway. It’s an arc that still hasn’t found its traction.
We do get a brief brother/sister tussle during which Amenadiel’s wings return, presumably owing to the fact that the defense of his unborn child and its mother is steeped in love. “He’ll be special because he’s raised here,” he tells Remy who claims she’ll respect his wishes and flies away. Another misdirection? Perhaps. Amenadiel can be too trusting at times.
The return of Lucifer’s wings, on the other hand, presents another problem and threatens to send him down a path from which it may be difficult to return. We rarely see the Devil distraught, and when he seeks Linda’s aid and shows her his wings, they are not at all what we expect to see. He’s lopped of his wings before, and in retrospect, it’s safe to say those were clearly the wings of an angel. How do we now reconcile the leathery, black appendages that horrify even Lucifer? Still, this revelation motivates Lucifer to seek redemption for his past through actions in the present.
“Devil is as Devil Does” pushes the characters close to their limits but none more so than Lucifer. Life on Earth can be dangerous as evil seems to lay hidden behind every corner, but as Amenadiel realizes, it can be beautiful as well. Now it’s up to Lucifer to decide which voice he wants to follow: Chloe or Eve.