REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E11 – City of Angels?

Lucifer‘s early 2018 return, ‘City of Angels?’, takes us back to his Earth vacation origin story. Out with the angel wings and grandfather suits, in with everything else that could possibly bring pleasure. Except for when Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) shows up to stop time and his fun, of course. His brother tries to bring him back to Hell, and threatens him with Father’s wrath if he doesn’t comply. He gives Lucifer (Tom Ellis) ten minutes to say goodbye, which gives a runaway criminal time to shoot him and steal his necklace. And thus begins the brothers’ first adventure in the so-called City of Angels.

Officer Decker is ready to be a Detective.

And what do you know, the officer to whom Amenadiel reports the theft is none other than Chloe Decker (Lauren German), who starts off scoffing and disbelieving but is quickly wrapped up in the mystery when she finds out an MMA fighter was killed in a random mugging at the same location as the theft of Amenadiel’s necklace. Lucifer gives us our first look at Chloe and Dan’s (Kevin Alejandro) married life in ‘City of Angels?’, from canceled date nights to tension at work but with a little mutual support and affection on the side – and it also showcases her desire to make Detective by cracking this case. Seeing Chloe as a competent officer who can solve crimes without celestial help is always a treat, but it’s the balanced peek at a happy marriage that simply didn’t work out which stands out.

On the angel side, Amenadiel debases himself by asking Lucifer for help and has to put up with his baby brother’s string of shenanigans before any real work gets done. On the bright side, we learn that Hell apparently plays Justin Bieber to the screams of many. Just as Chloe starts to suspect that the murder of Aiden Scott isn’t at all random, Amenadiel catches wind of a newscast and realizes the same man who killed Scott tried to kill him too. Lucifer, meanwhile, realizes that the R in an automatic car stands for Reverse and not Really Fast.

Need we say more?

One excursion to a porn shoot later, replete with a hilarious sequence of Amenadiel dressing up as a sexy window washer to interview a porn star about the family jewels, and the brothers learn that someone bribed Aiden to throw a big fight and he refused. It’s rare that Lucifer contains such an interesting standalone case, and it’s made even funnier by the ‘detective’ in question being more interested in his necklace than in the murder playing out before him. Chloe sniffs out the same information using standard police methods, and she winds up in the same club as Lucifer searching for the same sketchy promoter named Tio Sorrento. There is even a moment where Lucifer almost sees her and can certainly sense her presence. His disconcerted reaction to her is close to a love at first sight moment for the two of them, and it’s clear that their story is far from over this season. Their plots diverge at that point, but remain parallel throughout the episode.

Another standout of ‘City of Angels?’ is the worst training session ever, where Amenadiel tries to make his strength look less celestial in order to entice the mysterious fixer of fights to come fix his. From trying not to send a punching bag flying through the room to catching a chicken without his powers, Amenadiel is put through his paces in order to approximate human strength. Meanwhile, Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) is brought in for some good old-fashioned torture of Tio Sorrento. It winds up being more of a sex session that tells them nothing other than someone else fixed the fight, but it’s still enjoyable to see her cameo. Simultaneously, Chloe is using her rookie spunk to apply pressure to a colder Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer) in another great cameo moment.

The mystery culminates in a battle between the brothers, revealing just how deep-seated Lucifer’s insecurities about being considered “evil” run. Thankfully their showdown leads to the discovery of the culprit: owner-slash-trainer Gil who killed the man that was like a son to him simply for refusing to play a part in his scheme. Sound familiar? It does to our favorite devil. In the end, Lucifer and Amenadiel get their necklace while Chloe and Dan get their confession. The brothers part on another sad note, with Lucifer deciding to embrace his reputation as the degenerate rebel and chop off his wings to stay in Los Angeles with Maze… Bringing us to where Lucifer was in the pilot.

‘City of Angels?’ is a refreshing change of pace given how little Amenadiel there has been this season of Lucifer. While the case could have been solved by only following one line of investigation, the parallel structure served to show that Chloe was doing just fine as an almost-detective before her devilish partner came into the picture, and proved that Lucifer also has some talent in the area of crime-solving. Not to mention that it was a lot of fun to see the characters in their pre-pilot days.

Lucifer airs Mondays on FOX at 8/7c.

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