REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E9 – The Sinnerman

Lucifer finally returned to its major mystery with “The Sinnerman” this week, in which Lucifer (Tom Ellis) came out on the losing end of someone else’s mind game for perhaps the first time in his immortal life. Meanwhile, Linda (Rachael Harris) and Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) keep growing closer, much to Mazikeen’s (Lesley-Ann Brant) chagrin.

Lucifer agreed to grant a young man a favor a while back, only to find him turning up dead. Things go from bad to worse when another woman he did a favor for is murdered as well. In both cases, the dead were arranged post-mortem as if sending him a message. Of course, Lucifer is convinced that the Sinnerman is behind these killings, but Chloe (Lauren German) is still not convinced. Her disbelief doesn’t last very long thanks to Lieutenant Pierce’s (Tom Welling) admittedly awkward dealings with her this episode.

Let this woman have her personal day.

After Ella (Aimee Garcia) finds DNA that links the Sinnerman crimes from Chicago to the new string of killings in LA, Marcus becomes curiously invested in joining Chloe on a stakeout for the case. This could merely point to his interest in catching the culprit, but Ella keeps pointing out the sexual tension and it’s clear Chloe has eyes for him as well. Though it may just be the real world seeping into the fictional one, it’s uncomfortable to see their flirtations in the context of him being her boss – especially when he does things like drag out her innocent request for a personal day.

To his credit, Marcus does wind up granting her the personal day once they share some painful memories during the stakeout. She takes the opportunity to question why this particular case is so important to him, and he finally reveals that Sinnerman killed his brother. Chloe’s father died in the line of duty, so she feels an understandable kinship with him. This is also the first scene between them where the chemistry morphs from awkward to natural, which might be on purpose given that it’s the first time they’ve come close to being honest with each other. Figures that the Sinnerman himself would show up at just that moment, then.

After setting a trap that Lucifer walked right into, the Sinnerman locks the Devil in an abandoned freezer and appears on a television screen (played by Kevin Carroll) to taunt him in an incredibly creepy and well-acted scene. While he reveals that he knows just who Lucifer is and what he can do, he doesn’t answer any questions and doesn’t seem to have much of anything else planned. Maze even shows up shortly after the TV screen goes dark to release her old boss, on the condition that he listen to and pretend to care about her romantic woes. As brusque as he is about it, he has a point that Mazikeen shouldn’t worry about what Linda and Amenadiel might be doing unless she still has feelings for her ex. Although I would posit that perhaps she has feelings for her best friend instead. Either way, he is freed just in time to inform Chloe about the Sinnerman’s appearance.

As intense as the gunfight scene between Marcus, Chloe, and the Sinnerman is, I couldn’t help but notice that he had already seemed to have given up before the detectives caught him. Pierce is on the verge of killing the man when Chloe talks him down, which is interesting because the suspect already seemed like he was inviting death… No surprise considering what he does at the end of the episode. At the moment Lucifer‘s Big Bad is utterly confusing, but that appears to be deliberate. He lets himself get captured and clearly plans to gouge his own eyes out beforehand, but to what purpose? Is he even the Sinnerman after all? Either way, his bloody and eyeless face is a gruesome final image that is sure to haunt Lucifer next week, no matter how little he shows it.

Don’t phunk with her heart.

On another note, the sweetest scene of the night actually belonged to Charlotte (Tricia Helfer) and Dan (Kevin Alejandro) and took place in the men’s bathroom. After a difficult first day as a prosecutor, Charlotte had to contend with the indignity of being unwittingly used by Chloe. Though she actually helped further the case, it hurt her feelings – and mine – to learn that Chloe still didn’t trust her with the true plan. Her struggle to become a better person has been one of the most consistent threads of Lucifer‘s third season, and no one knows more about learning from their mistakes than Dan. Their friendship remains adorable for now, but I certainly wouldn’t complain if they became romantic once more. (Well, technically it would be the first time for this Charlotte).

Mazikeen ends the episode being the bigger person for once and coming clean to Linda about her feelings, who uncharacteristically keeps hers hidden away. Though Maze downplays her previous connection to Amenadiel, it is very clear that she would be devastated to learn that her ex and her best friend were already hooking up. Not sure which of these relationships will suffer most when the truth comes out, but I’m not looking forward to it because I love all three characters so much.

Lucifer airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.

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