REVIEW: Lucifer, S3E20 – The Angel of San Bernardino

Lucifer springs back to life after a brief hiatus with “The Angel of San Bernardino,” in which no one is who they say they are or even who they want to be. As Lucifer (Tom Ellis) himself experiences a crisis at the thought of being an angel rather than a devil, Cain (Tom Welling) weighs the pros and cons of breaking Chloe’s (Lauren German) heart in a rather lackluster episode.

Et tu, Mazikeen?

After shadowy angel wings save a woman’s life during a home invasion that kills her tenant, Lucifer finds a figurine the woman claims the angel took in his own bedroom. So naturally, he seeks Linda’s (Rachael Harris) therapeutic advice and learns that he may be sleep-flying. Somehow this ties back to him avoiding his issues Chloe and Pierce’s romance, because everything in Lucifer does nowadays apparently. For her part, Chloe is enjoying her sexy times with Pierce – including the unprofessional closet sex during work hours variety – but isn’t prepared yet to have him meet Trixie. Ella (Aimee Garcia) remains their biggest supporter, but it’s actually Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) who sparks a change in Chloe’s perspective. Little does Chloe know, her friend is secretly working with Cain to get her to do just that. And, of course, knowing he has a secret agenda involving his death once she loves him makes the romance an even tougher pill to swallow.

Now filled with fear that he may be “The Angel of San Bernardino” after all, Lucifer straight up tells Chloe he needs to prove it’s not him and goes so far as to spill the truth about his wings. Chloe’s ability to ignore highly concerning statements such as these has far exceeded my own suspension of disbelief, but at least I’m now less offended by how long he’s kept his situation a secret from her. Their investigation kicks into high gear with the added layer of Masquerade Inc., a company that hired actors to play roles in the first victim’s life. Before piecing together how this deception relates to all the others around him, Lucifer goes on a drug, alcohol and party bender to avoid sleeping just in case he gets all angelic on anyone. It’s a somewhat uncomfortable sequence, but then again, he does not suffer from the same limitations as mere mortals. Best of all, we get a great Bones shoutout that made me miss the show and its 12 fabulous seasons.

Free passes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Meanwhile, Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) is growing concerned about revealing the divine truth to Charlotte (Tricia Helfer), but at the moment her new penchant for truth just means a lot of rude comments to her coworkers. It also means she’s more than ready to get naughty with Dan (Kevin Alejandro), but sadly their closet tryst – how many closets were people planning to have sex in this week? – goes awry in the funniest bit of the night. Dan doesn’t find it funny, though, and he’s concerned enough to send Amenadiel her way. The re-emergence of her wild ways at the thought of a free pass to Heaven is a reminder that she hasn’t changed as much as she’d like, but hopefully this isn’t the end of her road to recovery. Once again, Helfer’s free and vulnerable performance makes her minor storyline the most compelling part of “The Angel of San Bernardino.”

As for Chloe, she does finally take Lucifer seriously when he stops sleeping for an entire week. But once again she diagnosis the problem as being about her relationship with Pierce, and the worst part is that the problem really is that relationship. The sooner this love triangle ends, the better. Telling Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) the truth about her burgeoning relationship with Pierce is a step in the right direction, though, and it’s even better to get some mother-daughter bonding out of it. Lucifer’s erratic behavior only gets worse even as it extracts a confession from the killer, not to mention a confession from Mazikeen about messing with his head. She’s certainly been pushed past her breaking point in order to start actively torturing Lucifer, but at the same time it seems like everyone is getting really melodramatic over a brand-new relationship. Given how protective Lucifer is of Chloe’s heart this week, you’d think that Cain needed her dead so that that he could die too – not just that he needs to hear three magic words before poofing out of her life.

Regardless, Cain backs out right before Chloe actually admits to being in love with him, which seems pointless. She already loves him, so her heart is going to be broken regardless. If the goal is death and he was so close, why give up then? He says he couldn’t do that to her, but he already did.  It’s a good thing Lucifer recognizes this, as “The Angel of San Bernardino” ends with one final discovery: Cain’s mark is officially gone.

While “The Angel of San Bernardino” wasn’t my favorite episode by any stretch of the imagination, it does set the stage for a rather interesting reversal of fortune next week.

Lucifer airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

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