REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E16 – Infernal Guinea Pig

“Infernal Guinea Pig” starts off by upending what I previously thought would happen, but I guess not even the Devil can travel through time. Instead, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) uses dry erase stick figures to explain how he plans to grab Abel’s soul from Hell and deposit it into a freshly-dead body on Earth in order to technically erase Cain’s (Tom Welling) murder and therefore his curse. Cain is skeptical – as well he should be – but agrees to try it anyway, which leads to all sorts of shenanigans that as usual connect directly to the case of the week.

Partners through it all.

The first and most salient point is that Abel is in Hell, which is not where anyone would expect him to be. In fact, he is the “Infernal Guinea Pig” of the episode’s title that Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) and her fellow demons used to sharpen their torture skills. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t delve very far into the events and temperaments that led to Cain killing his brother, which might have made for a very interesting flashback episode. But it does give us front-row seats to Abel’s lust and debauchery, even when he’s in the body of a young Hollywood assistant who was the victim of a Bolivian cartel hitman.

While Lucifer and Cain are trying to track Abel (played with Gina Linetti levels of charm by Lauren Lapkus), Chloe (Lauren German) is nursing her emotional wounds after her partner ditched her for her boss. Dan (Kevin Alejandro) offers her some advice, but for the most part they’re tied up in the somewhat mundane mystery. In fact, one of the biggest issues with “Infernal Guinea Pig” is probably how removed the case felt until the last portion of the episode. I couldn’t help but think that any of the other plot threads would be more entertaining to follow.

Plot threads such as Charlotte (Tricia Helfer) refusing to lose control in her therapy sessions with Linda (Rachael Harris) and thus postponing the potential recovery of her memories or at least the potential closure from her time in the Hell-loop. It’s a relief when her time spent questioning ‘Bree’ (who is really just Abel spouting biblical pick up lines in Bree’s body) helps her come to the realization that sometimes one must give up control to escape an even worse faith, and Helfer brings all the emotions in her final scene with Linda. Meanwhile, Maze and Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) face-off about their love triangle, but there’s no real resolution aside from Maze having to hear that she broke Linda’s heart. Their pent-up aggression was overshadowed, however, by Amenadiel’s attempts to block his brother from ending Cain’s curse. He even gives Abel a gun, which doesn’t seem like a very angelic thing to do.


Bittersweet brotherly farewell.

“Infernal Guinea Pig” really gets pumping once Abel-as-Bree is trapped with a bomb, and Chloe refuses to abandon the victim until she’s defused the bomb. The tension in the scene is thick, with Lucifer unwilling to lose his partner and Dan fearing for the mother of his child, all while Cain-as-Pierce has to coach Chloe through the process in order to save both her and his brother. Chloe herself is a hero, and her role as a mother comes into play as well when she points out that Bree is someone’s child just like Trixie is. Though the case had some underpinnings of a loyalty theme, reflected by Chloe and Lucifer’s loyalty to one another, it fell short until the life-or-death sequence that screwed Lucifer’s head on straight.


Even though Chloe makes it out alive and catches the real culprit in her case, Lucifer still feels unsettled because she wouldn’t have been in danger if not for him. As noble a thought as that is, it’s still a little misguided considering that she’s a cop who gets into dangerous situations daily. Nevertheless, he tells Cain he’s done helping him because protecting the Detective is more important to him. To his credit, Cain is very willing to accept that resignation because he trusts that his brother is the key, so as long as Abel remains alive so does his hope. Which, of course, is why Abel is run over by a car seconds later.

As funny as the moment itself was, it’ll be a real shame if that’s the end of Abel. There was so much more to explore between the primordial brothers, a dynamic which could have served to deepen Lucifer and Amenadiel’s as well. Nevertheless, “Infernal Guinea Pig” was still a fun ride even if it wasn’t the most poignant or powerful episode this season.

Lucifer airs on Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.

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