This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 5 Episode 5
“For now I’m going to stick to police work and avoid anything God related.”
Religious imagery, innuendo, and irony have long been part of the Lucifer gestalt even though the investigations rarely take the detective and the Devil anywhere near houses of worship. When they do, however, the depth of spiritual growth woven into the narrative typically reveals a profound level of character development. With that in mind, season five’s fifth episode “Detective Amenadiel” covers so much emotional ground and seems to provide closure to Chloe and Lucifer’s relationship problems that it’s easy to forget eleven episodes still remain in the season.
The abandonment and deception themes remain focal points, and though there’s always the danger that some threads run too long, here we get some resolution with the most compelling arc of all – Chloe’s feeling that, like Lucifer, she’s been manipulated by God for His own purposes. However, it’s Amenadiel’s role in bringing Chloe and Lucifer back together that really drives the episode.
Putting Lucifer in a convent full of novitiate nuns just seems too easy, and the opportunity for off-color remarks and snide comments about his Father almost too juicy to ignore. But this investigation finds Lucifer sidelined at the precinct with Dan doing the boring detective work while Amenadiel goes into the field with Chloe to not only solve the murder of Sister Victoria of the Sisters of the Divine Path but to discover the truth behind Lucifer’s vulnerability around the detective. The sisters’ seeming lustful attraction to Amenadiel works because it’s so out of character for Lucifer’s brother, and once Sister Francine admits that when she looks at Amenadiel she feels closer to God, the pieces to the puzzle begin falling into place.
It’s certainly understandable that those unfamiliar with the show might accuse the writers of promoting anti-religious values, but therein lies the fundamental irony of Lucifer. Once we get past the misconception that the nuns find Amenadiel sexually attractive, it becomes apparent that the powerful emotions they feel when they gaze upon his angelic face is actually their love of God reflected back at them. It’s this revelation that ultimately leads to Amenadiel’s conclusion that so beautifully reunites the Devil and the detective. Though he’s ordinarily on the periphery of most murder investigations, it’s Amenadiel’s inductive reasoning that leads Chloe to finally understand the true nature of her relationship with Lucifer. Sherlock would be proud.
The impact goes deeper still once Lucifer and Chloe really open up to one another, but what gives this mini-arc its power is that along with Lucifer, we’re given hope that the relationship can be saved. “I want us to be together,” she tells him, and what makes this scene so poignant is that Lucifer doesn’t yet know he’s been relieved of his obligation as Hell’s warden. He’s learned from Dan that there are no shortcuts toward obtaining anything meaningful and selflessly tells Chloe to take all the time she needs even though he believes time is something he doesn’t have.
Of course, it’s Amenadiel’s explanation about Chloe’s unique ability that compels her to accept the most startling truth of the situation – instead of thinking about herself as a manipulative gift, she now understands she’s been given something even more important in this scenario. The resolution of this tragic conflict is handled beautifully, and while Lucifer’s penthouse has provided numerous opportunities to present his devilish side, here, sitting alone at his piano playing a plaintive tune, the space takes on deeper meaning. Once Chloe sits directly next to Lucifer on the bench, his emotional vulnerability is unmistakable and the power that she’s always exerted over him, intentional or not, now becomes something they share. When she shows him the truth that “You choose to be vulnerable around me,” Chloe opens a door for their union to ascend to a much higher level.
Though detective Amenadiel doesn’t impact Mazikeen and Linda resolving their troubled pasts, the decision they make to help each other is just as captivating as Lucifer and Chloe’s story. It’s fascinating to watch the wall Maze has built around herself slowly dissipate as Linda relates her own guilt ridden history. It wouldn’t be Maze, however, if there weren’t some speed bumps along the way, and though she storms out after Linda bares her soul, we know she’ll be back. And when she does return, Maze has her own bombshell to drop in a way only Maze can.
We’ve watched as Dr. Linda puts her own emotional baggage aside to help any number of the celestial crew cope with the vagaries of life among the human race, and it’s become clear that something from her past has returned to negatively impact her relationship with Amenadiel and Charlie. While Chloe’s understandably been caught up in the drama surrounding her issues with Lucifer, and quite honestly has never really been that close to Linda in the first place, the bond the doctor and the demon have formed reaches a new level here. Once Linda reveals her teenage pregnancy and subsequent decision to give up her baby, Maze takes charge and the counseling roles reverse. “Is that why you think you’re going to Hell?” she asks, and though this afterlife scenario that Linda conjures up in her head has provided some interesting possibilities, the reality takes an unexpected turn.
She is, after all, a private investigator by trade, and when Maze lets slip that “she seems good,” we know Linda has a huge decision to make that could have far reaching effects on her life moving forward. Of course, there’s no question that Amenadiel will totally support Linda should he learn the truth, but the dilemma now centers around whether or not she should insert herself into her daughter’s life. Maze wouldn’t be Maze if she didn’t attempt to squeeze some information out of a witness, and for a moment, it’s unclear how far Maze will go questioning Adriana. And though it appears this mini-arc could resolve itself here, Linda suddenly realizes that this whole meeting is really about the ultra emotional Maze working out her issues with Lilith, leaving Linda and her daughter as potential collateral damage.
The rather pedestrian murder-of-the-week follows the trend of cases that revolve around somewhat simplistic motives, but that really matter because Lucifer has become so much more than a police procedural. Yes, the secret room in the cellar has a certain Rosemary’s Baby cultish feel to it, but the highlight of the murder investigation occurs when Amenadiel allows Hank to shoot him multiple times before revealing his majestic wings. He tells the killer to “have faith,” and whether this is meant as preparation for prison or Hell isn’t really that important. He’s made it clear that he needs to help make the world a better place for his son, and while getting a murderer off the streets is certainly a good thing, Amenadiel establishes an even more significant role through his involvement with Chloe and Lucifer.
“You need to give your daughter the choice,” Mazikeen suggests to Linda, advancing the idea that remaining in the background constitutes a level of deceit. In this new age of split seasons and much hyped mid-season finales, “Detective Amenadiel” keeps the momentum going, and though the Lucifer/Chloe problem appears to be settled, at least for the time being, there’s still plenty of personal discord to fill the remainder of season five’s first half. Now, let’s see if we can get Maze sorted out and back on track.