REVIEW: Lucifer, S2E16 – God Johnson

Lucifer has made no secret of its protagonist’s numerous mommy and daddy issues, but “God Johnson” is the first time in the show’s history that the daddy side has a physical target. But before we can fully explore Lucifer’s (Tom Ellis) relationship with his father, we are plunged 36 hours into the future and find out he is being taken to a hospital for delusions. But is that due to family troubles or work ones?

The case for the episode begins in a mental hospital, which answers the question from the opening scene. While Aimee Garcia is tasked with the less-than-rewarding duty of introducing every murder on Lucifer, she makes Ella such a warm presence that I never tire of hearing her exposition. With little to no ado, Dan (Kevin Alejandro) points the way to a patient who believes himself to be God, sending Lucifer’s mind into overdrive. Meanwhile, when it comes to the onscreen relationships, insecurity seems to be the name of the game. Lucifer confides in Linda (Rachael Harris) that Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) has been spending more time than he’d like with her roommate Chloe (Lauren German). Chloe, for her part, seems to think that Maze is around too much.

Linda and Lucifer parent trap God.

God Johnson’s (guest star Timothy Omundson) arrival is as surprising for the audience as it is for Lucifer himself, and their first conversation is rife with double meaning that works whether the man is truly his father or just a delusional patient wishing to be an all-powerful and benevolent being. Not even the what-is-your-desire trick works, but Lucifer isn’t buying it until God calls him Samael. Not that this is enough to convince Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), of course, and we’re treated to several scenes of query. What if God was one of us, indeed? While this portion of the episode doesn’t tread new ground, Lucifer‘s cast and witty dialogue prevent it from being too much of a lag on the story.

Once Lucifer gets himself committed, the plot picks up the pace. The latest victim claims to have been attacked by Santa Claus, and Lucifer gets himself committed to both help solve the case and get closer to his supposed father. A cute doctor happens to be into Chloe, and once again I wonder what she sees in her coworker considering how delusional she thinks he is and how difficult he makes her job. Even Maze is on board with Chloe exploring the potential new relationship, which unfortunately means it can only be headed towards disaster. For now, though, she can use him to get closer to his patients. The double date (and not an orgy!) that culminates between her, the doctor, Maze, and Amenadiel winds up being the most enjoyable part of the hour. Not to mention that it restarts the romantic dance between Mazikeen and her angelic ex-lover, which is something I’ve been waiting for all season.

Charlotte (Tricia Helfer) has her own issues to contend with in the meantime, and one of them is Dan rejecting her latest advances. Considering the relationship has been dropped for a few episodes now, it was surprising to see it return so quickly. But like Charlotte herself, I was intrigued by Dan not giving in so easily. However, supposedly meeting God and seeing Charlotte’s dynamic with him in the same episode that she tries to rekindle things with Dan suggests the latter isn’t very important in the scheme of things, which is a shame. It’s worth it to see the childlike innocence on Lucifer’s face when he watches his parents dancing together, though.

Give this man a storyline.

The final act of this week’s Lucifer is one of its most intense, as Chloe works to solve the case while Lucifer and God are in the villain Nurse Kipsy’s clutches. It also contains a truly emotional and moving moment between father and son, one that’s all the more heartrendingly wrenched away at the episode’s conclusion. Because how could the show go on if Satan was no longer angry at God? Instead, Mr. Johnson is just a victim of yet another piece of Azrael’s sword and our protagonist is no closer to closure.

While the episode was frustrating for this very reason, it also provided a great deal of entertainment. Although it also made the discrepancy between Lucifer and Amenadiel clearer than ever before. Yes, it’s Lucifer’s show and he’s the one angriest at Dad, but why doesn’t Amenadiel get the chance to even speak to the man claiming to be him? The brothers feel less like family than they did in the first season, which is ironic because they have their mother onscreen with them this time. I hope this changes in the next few episodes, or at least by next season.