REVIEW: Lucifer, S2E17 – Sympathy For The Goddess

When we last checked in with Lucifer (Tom Ellis), the man in question had discovered that there was another piece missing to the sword his family planned to use to return to Heaven. In today’s episode, we find him on the beach keeping an eye on his mother Charlotte (Tricia Helfer) until he is interrupted by his brother Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside). Turns out Lucifer’s demon best friend Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) is very angry at him for keeping secrets. She’s so enraged, in fact, that she comes charging to Linda’s (Rachael Harris) defense when she hears the doctor has committed an ethics violation due to her association with Lucifer. At the moment this fazes the devil not one bit, because he’s more concerned about Charlotte getting conned in her search for the rest of the sword. A good thing he was looking out, too, because it leads directly to the week’s murder case.

LA’s sharpest detectives on the case.

The case of the week is interesting because it directly ties the overarching plot of finding a way back into Heaven with smaller side plots, such as Charlotte’s day job. It’s been a while since we got any kind of look at Charlotte as a defense attorney, and seeing her come into her own on Earth is a great deal of fun. Homicide is always bleak, but Lucifer finds a way to being out the humor in every situation. Watching Charlotte try to decipher her son’s game of charades while reporting a potential case was easily one of the funniest moments of the night – and her son’s embarrassment at having to work alongside mommy dearest is a close second. Chloe (Lauren German) continues to play the perfect straight man, only now she’s got two off-beat partners to handle instead of one. Though it continues to stretch my suspension of disbelief that she doesn’t notice just how off Lucifer is, she does her job well enough in every other respect to make up for it.

Mothers and sons was Lucifer‘s theme, so of course the prime suspect is a son whom Chloe expects to turn on his drug-dealing mother. Charlotte and Chloe both get to exercise their manipulation and detective skills to great advantage. More than anything, it’s nice to see these two characters connecting more than usual. Speaking of which: last week I pointed out how often Amenadiel gets left out of his family’s shenanigans, and it seems it’s a point of contention for him this week. So Dan (Kevin Alejandro) takes the man out for improv and drinks, and the two share their woes in a refreshing scene that finally gives Amenadiel a voice.

Maze also gets a voice after weeks as comedic relief, and she gets to use Lucifer as a punching bag too. She airs out her grievances in the midst of an all-out brawl… in broad daylight on the streets of Los Angeles? The extras walking in the background and cars driving by the rubble and blood-soaked fighters took me out of the scene at times, but Brandt and Ellis gave outstanding performances nonetheless. The real gem in the storyline, however, is the scene between the two of them and a newly-suspended Linda. Now that she’s not a practicing psychiatrist, she can just spell out the truth for Lucifer while Maze holds back tears – and the moment is both moving and magical.

Ella knows best.

Dan and Charlotte continue to dance around each other, though the real depth of her interest in him is hard to gauge. It’s Ella (Aimee Garcia) who surprisingly has the most insight here, even as she accidentally leaves Charlotte alone with opportunity to betray Chloe and the police. Ella is as naive as ever, but her fierce protection of Dan suggests that she sees a real future for him with Charlotte. While her motives are unclear in almost every regard, her love for her children cannot be denied – which leads to a very plausible explanation for her connection to Lucifer and Amenadiel. Her being their stepmother is so believable that it’s hard not to wonder why they didn’t come up with it earlier.

The ending of the episode is intense and shocking, as the brothers unlock the mystery of the sword just as their mother is running out of time. Unfortunately they don’t know how much danger Charlotte is in, but Amenadiel’s insecurity serves a purpose when he’s revealed to be the so-called favorite son. Will this cause more tension between the two of them? And what is really happening to Charlotte? We’ll have to find out on next week’s Lucifer.