Lucifer, S2 Ep1 – “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer”

Lucifer started off as a tongue-in-cheek procedural with a ludicrous premise, not unlike Sleepy Hollow. But while that show seemed to squander its potential after the first season, sidelining and misusing its stellar ensemble cast, Lucifer‘s second season premiere is poised to capitalize on the show’s strengths. If the show were made up of nothing but caustic quips and therapy sessions, with a few excellent musical montages in between, it would still be imminently watchable.

Not only that, but the two new additions to the cast are very welcome. Aimee Garcia’s turn as Ella Lopez is just the right combination of quirky and professional, and she fits well with the rest of the cast. How Tricia Helfer will fare as the mother from Hell is yet to be seen, but her work on Battlestar Galactica indicates that this role is perfect for her as well.

Ella Lopez on the job with Lucifer Morningstar and Detective Chloe Decker.

Ella Lopez on the job with Lucifer Morningstar and Detective Chloe Decker.

The final few episodes of season one quickly ratcheted up the tension, leading to some of the show’s best and most poignant episodes. “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer,” however, starts on a more lighthearted note. Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) have reprised their newly formed buddy cop routine in the search for their mother, who might have taken any human form. At first, the my-mom-is-going-to-kill-me bit plays as a joke, but the fear is soon revealed to have deeper layers. That’s something Lucifer plays with often: it takes on jokes and one-liners that are later shown to have deeper meaning, sometimes with more success than others. This episode was one of the better offerings, with Lucifer starting off by putting blame on everyone else for his mother’s escape but slowly taking on the guilt of how he once treated her. Tom Ellis impresses with his ability to walk the line because his character’s sarcastic, flippant side and the self-reflection he finds himself stumbling into every episode.

By the time we reach the opening credits and learn about our first victim, the show has settled into the routine of Lucifer making everything about himself and Chloe (Lauren German) asking questions without any good answers. It’s comfortable, but it’s one of the aspects that the show could stand to shake up more often. There is one interesting shift, though, which acknowledges that actions have consequences: Dan Espinoza (Kevin Alejandro) has been demoted due to the gun he removed from evidence last season. His new job of merely assisting on cases doesn’t have much impact on the premiere, but I’m sure it’ll come back later in the season.

Despite the Mother not appearing in most of the episode, her presence is felt strongly throughout. Not only is Lucifer consumed by thoughts of his mom, but the very concept of motherhood and how it can be warped plays a big role in the case of the week. The mother-like figure in the case turned out to be pretty evil, but it seems like Lucifer and Amenadiel’s mother Charlotte just wants to be with her sons. How will that work out for her? We won’t know until next week.

Possibly the most disappointing part of the premiere was Chloe coming so close to the truth, with a vial of blood and some encouragement from Lucifer himself, only to be pushed back into the dark by Amenadiel. There isn’t really a reason to keep her clueless, other than the standard trope of women being kept out of the loop “for their own protection.” The irony is that in this case, not telling her puts Lucifer in danger as well. Although the climactic fight this week is more humorous than not, it’s still clear that Chloe could help prevent her partner’s vulnerability from affecting him if she knew why she might need to stay away sometimes. I was glad that she didn’t fully buy Amenadiel’s explanation, but it still feels like a cop out that she’s willing to continue the partnership with so many unanswered questions. At least it leads to a heartfelt, funny scene between her and Lucifer.

Maze remains mum on where exactly she's been since saving Amenadiel last season

Maze remains mum on where exactly she’s been since saving Amenadiel last season

Another development I was very invested in last season was the relationship between Amenadiel and Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), so it was disappointing to that story apparently dropped for now. That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Maze’s dynamic with Dr. Linda Martin (Rachael Harris). They didn’t have much time together in this episode, but hopefully it gives Maze a real friend – or a new romance – and allows Linda to do more than listen to demons talk in what she thinks are metaphors.

Overall, the premiere was a solid start to the season that left a lot of questions to be answered over the course of the season. What does Charlotte really want, and will her sons and their Father let her have it? Why is Lucifer only vulnerable around Chloe, whether or not he knows she’s there? And how will the soul searching Maze has been doing affect her relationships with everyone in the cast? Find out next Monday at 9/8c on Fox!

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