REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E1 – They’re Back, Aren’t They?

Last season on Lucifer, Los Angeles’ resident devil sent his Mum back to an alternate dimension and left poor Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer) without any clue what had happened to her body in the meantime. And just as Lucifer (Tom Ellis) was preparing to tell Chloe (Lauren German) the truth about himself, he was whacked over the head and woke up with angel wings. What happens now? Well, first “The Devil You Know” by X Ambassadors starts playing, an infectious and upbeat song that really sets the tone for this third season premiere.

If only we could all be as cute as Ella is.

When he attempts to hitch a ride back to Los Angeles, he winds up in a vehicle stolen by one of the bank robbers he previously apprehended. And so it is that Lucifer (Tom Ellis) strikes a bargain to keep a criminal out of jail – albeit running nearly naked through the hot desert – and himself back in his favorite city. Looks like those angel wings actually make him act a little more devil-ish, after all. And yet, he can still be ruled by love for his friends, as we see when Linda Martin (Rachael Harris) uses her recent Mum-inspired injury to turn the tables on him when he tries to persuade her to cut off his wings.

While his antics might make for a fun first episode back, Lucifer must always have a murder – and so Lucifer accidentally manages to introduce Chloe to a new one while trying to convince her that he has been kidnapped. I appreciate that her disbelief whenever he comes up with a new story is a cornerstone of the series, but it sometimes feels like a tired preamble to the real action. Now that he wants to tell her the truth, I can only hope that he does do as soon as possible so that we can enter the next phase of their working relationship.

Speaking of working relationships, Ella Lopez (Aimee Garcia) starts off the season signaling the much-anticipated arrival of Tom Welling’s Lieutenant Marcus Pierce with her huge crush on him. And always with her, it’s nothing short of adorable. Unfortunately, her estimation of his character is rather off the mark and he winds up being a jerk from the get-go. This was an especially nice surprise, given that we are used to seeing Welling as the hero with a heart of gold. Marcus Pierce is already poised to be quite different from Clark Kent, as well as a chance for Welling to stretch his acting muscles.

Amenadiel has had it with Lucifer’s lies.

Another nice surprise was Amenadiel’s (D.B. Woodside) heart-breaking reaction to learning his mother was now lost to a separate dimension. I mentioned last season that it was odd how some of the tension between the brothers was undercut, leaving Amenadiel completely out of the loop when it came to Mum’s goodbyes. And while his reaction now doesn’t make the previous decision less baffling, it goes a long way towards setting up a new conflict between the brothers. How long can Lucifer keep his new wings a secret from the brother who so desperately wants his own back? Not very long at all, by the looks of his very next scene.

The fake-kidnappers-turned-real-murderers case is pretty by the numbers, but Lucifer’s confusing connection to it and the mystery of what happened to him remains a strong thread throughout. There are even varying levels of said mystery, as one scene shows us that he wound up cutting his own wings off and yet later on we see they keep cropping back up. Not to mention that he’s still dealing with the repercussions of his previous lies, such as Chloe’s inability to believe him even when he tries to be honest, and Dan’s (Kevin Alejandro) broken confusion over Charlotte.

Last season of Lucifer provided new cast dynamics that gave the show a fresh start, and this one is no different. Ella bonding with Amenadiel as one believer to another is a refreshing change of pace for one, given that every other character on the show either doesn’t believe in the beings walking amongst them or else is very angry with them. Meanwhile, Lucifer is revealing the darker shades of himself that haven’t been seen since early in season one – but thankfully the generally light tone of the show isn’t threatened because thus far the Devil seems to hold himself back, or rather is held back by outside forces, before taking things a step too far.

Lucifer may not be a complete Devil, but it seems this season’s villain is. The final moments of “They’re Back, Aren’t They?” introduce us to the work of the Sinnerman, leaving the audience with a pretty terrible image and a whole host of questions.