We gave it an A-
As Amenadiel questions Tio in the next room, Lucifer starts to undo his trousers for some solo fun as the opening credits of Hot Tub High School, starring Chloe Decker, start to play. Amenadiel interrupts with the news that he couldn’t get anything useful out of Tio, so now it’s Lucifer’s turn to go the torture route. But Lucifer doesn’t do his own torturing and busts out the big guns.
Enter Mazikeen. In Hell, she’s required to torture people using their own guilt, and she’s so hot and bothered by the opportunity to use whatever method she’d like on Tio that she ends up sexing the truth out of him: Someone else placed an anonymous bet against Aiden using burner phones and dead drops, meaning Tio’s not the murderer/necklace thief.
Please note that throughout this scene, we’re treated to those hot oppositional sparks that Maze and Amen used to throw off, and the opening shot of Hot Tub High School remains paused on the background TV the whole time.
On fight night, Amenadiel offers Lucifer his thanks as he waits to enter the ring. After all, who better than his evil little brother to help him catch a deplorable criminal? Takes one to know one, and all that.
This characterization doesn’t sit well with Lucifer, who teases out Amenadiel’s opponent’s greatest desire and encourages the man to take his mandolin-playing skills to the Renaissance Faire right away, allowing Lucifer himself to step into the ring. “You wanted the devil? Well, you’ve got him,” he growls, flashing his red eyes.
Amenadiel argues that this fight doesn’t count, but Lucifer’s eager to see who’ll win and uses Amenadiel’s pride to get him to actually make it competitive. Listen, I didn’t realize how much I wanted to spend the first day of 2018 watching a sweaty, shirtless D.B. Woodside and a sweaty, shirtless Tom Ellis beat each other bloody, but Lucifer knew and gave it to me, and for that, I am forever grateful.
In the end, Amenadiel pulls himself back from demolishing Lucifer, vowing not to stoop to his brother’s level. But Lucifer jumps on Amenadiel’s back when he tries to walk away, and Heaven’s greatest fighter taps out, giving Lucifer a victory that ultimately rings hollow.
Now back to Chloe’s investigation, which has taken her to Tio’s attorney: Charlotte Richards in a distracting wig. Chloe offers to go easy on Tio if he’ll work with the police, and while Charlotte applauds Chloe’s “rookie spunk,” she points out that Chloe doesn’t have any actual leverage.
And then Chloe proves why she’s such a good detective. Charlotte’s smug showboating tips Chloe off to the fact that Charlotte represents two crime families who are mortal enemies and may not appreciate sharing a lawyer. Ooooh, who’s got leverage now, Char? In the end, Charlotte convinces Tio to drop cash off for the mystery better as Chloe and Dan wait nearby. Dan worries that it’s the wrong play and will set back Chloe’s quest to become a detective, but she’s following her gut, by God.
Her gut is correct, and Gil the gym owner shows up to collect the cash. But before the police can grab him, he vanishes, having been literally flown away by Lucifer and Amenadiel, who were also lurking at the scene.
Gil’s staggered that Amenadiel’s still alive after he shot him. You see, Aiden was like a son to him, and when he refused to throw the fight to bail Gil out of some money troubles, Gil tried to scare him into cooperating. But Aiden fought back, and Gil panicked and shot him, then tried to make it look like a mugging. He offers to buy Amenadiel a new necklace, but Amen shouts that he wants the one his father gave him. Gil stammers that it’s in a safe at the gym.
Lucifer’s furious that Gil killed his son for refusing to play a part in Gil’s plan, flashing his devil face and frightening Gil into insensibility. (Nice to see that his over-identification with the crime of the week started early.) When they fly him back to the beach, Gil frantically confesses his crimes to waiting Chloe and Dan, who are confused about Gil’s disappearance and subsequent reappearance.
Later, Amenadiel, wearing his necklace, joins Lucifer at Rico’s, now empty of fighters and fans. Thanks to recent events, Lucifer has realized he’s no longer an angel and announces that he’s done seeking God’s approval. “He abandoned me, so why shouldn’t I abandon him?”
Lucifer tells Amenadiel that he plans to stay in L.A. and calls in that favor, ordering his brother to leave him be. Amenadiel warns him that God will be furious, but Lucifer doesn’t care; he’s already casting his eyes around the empty club, murmuring, “This place could use a piano.”
Finally, Maze joins Lucifer on the beach. He unfurls his wings, and she weeps as she cuts them off while Lucifer gazes heavenward. As final shots go, it’s a powerful one.
- “City of Angels?” is the last of the four stand-alone episodes held over from season two, and each and every one has been outstanding. Well done, Lucifer, for your clever audaciousness in playing with the show’s storytelling conventions. How delicious not only to see the roots of Lucifer’s crime fighting, but to learn that Chloe and Lucifer worked the same case without interacting, aside from for Lucifer’s brief “disturbance in the Force” moment.
- Has anybody on this show changed more over the last two and a half seasons than Amenadiel, whose zeal to shun humanity has slowly eroded until he’s one of its main champions? Also, I’d like a 10-minute scene of Amenadiel and Chloe agreeing to disagree on the pronunciation of “Cahuenga.”
- Not only was Lucifer’s choice to play “Changes” at the oceanfront bar thematically on point, but it’s a great little in-joke, as Neil Gaiman insisted that in the Sandman comic, upon which Lucifer is based, the Devil be modeled after David Bowie.
- Happy 2018, friends! Here’s wishing you a lovely new year with plenty of amazing TV!