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Entertainment Weekly

TV Recaps

Lucifer recap: 'The Sinnerman'

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Posted on


S3 E9
Show Details
TV Show
S3 E9

After a few weeks of highly enjoyable stand-alone episodes, the long-rumored, greatly feared Sinnerman finally makes his onscreen debut. Did he live up to the hype? Let’s recap and find out!

We open on a flustered Chloe, who bought an accidental ticket to the Marcus Pierce gun show when she walked into his office to ask for a personal day. He curtly says he’ll consider it, which annoys Chloe as she leaves for a fresh murder scene.

The victim is Joey Pileggi, who’s found with two shots to the chest and legs that were pulverized post-mortem — ironic for someone working as a runner for the mob.

The discovery of expensive shoes, a real Rolex, and $10,000 in cash in his possession suggests that this could’ve been mob retribution for skimming. Charlotte, the former mob attorney who’s now working her first case on the prosecutorial side, suggests that the person who brought Joey into that life would likely be the one to do the deed.

And good news! Lucifer knows exactly who that is. A few months ago, Joey asked Lucifer for a favor to help him realize his Scarface-for-millennials dream, so Luci introduced the kid to Frankie the Knife. Bad news, though: This is how Chloe learns that Lucifer’s back in the favor business, which doesn’t thrill her.

During Frankie’s interrogation, Charlotte can’t help but advise him not to answer Chloe’s questions. Old habits! When Lucifer whammies him with his desire mojo, Frankie says he wants to catch Joey’s killer and make him pay because everybody in the “family” loved the kid.

But a second murder pushes the investigation in a different direction. The owner of a beauty salon to the stars is found shot dead and hanging by her hair. Yep, she’s another of Lucifer’s favor recipients, which suggests that the Sinnerman may have noticed Lucifer was trying to escalate their rivalry and responded accordingly. Chloe’s rightfully frustrated to learn that Lucifer and Pierce have been working together on the DL to track the Sinnerman.

She forgets her irritation, though, when she spots Pierce carrying a table across the main room of the precinct, biceps a-bulging. Ella notices and tsks that the two of them never got anything going despite their palpable (but invisible to the rest of the world) chemistry. Also, Ella matched blood, skin cells, and hair at the two murder scenes to DNA from a Sinnerman crime scene in Chicago.

Eager for a distraction, Chloe decides to lean on Frankie to locate the Sinnerman. Pierce offers to go with her, but she stammers out that she’ll take Charlotte instead. When Pierce announces that there’s tension between them, Chloe looks like she wants to die, but he actually means that he hasn’t answered her about her day off yet.

Okay, let’s hop over to Dr. Linda, who’s been questioning Lucifer about whether an angel’s powers shape his personality, or vice versa. First, he tells her that angel school sorts them all into different houses based on their powers (adorably, she believes him for a hot second), and then he shrugs and says all he knows is that he was born with his powers, and they’re perfect for him.

Later, she pursues the same line of questioning with Amenadiel, who suggests that God gave him his time-stopping power so he could fix things on Earth without being discovered. Linda thinks that sounds lonely, and Amenadiel says it was always easier to avoid humans — until recently. The vibes! The flirty vibes, y’all!

Their charged moment is interrupted when Maze bursts in. Yay, Maze is back! She hugs Linda (and uses the chance to cop a feel) and immediately picks up on the suuuuper chummy mood between her bestie and her exie.

And she’s not wrong. As soon as Maze leaves, Linda calls Amenadiel brilliant, tall, and gorgeous, and Amenadiel describes her as accomplished, beautiful, and passionate. They kiss (called it, Lucifans!), although Linda pulls away to say it’s a mistake. Amenadiel apologizes, but they’re kissing again in no time.

Maze is unsettled enough after leaving Linda’s office that she tracks down Lucifer, who blows her off to answer a call from an unknown number that turns out to be the Sinnerman himself. Target acquired, Lucifer heads to an abandoned building and finds himself locked inside a large freezer with a TV set up inside broadcasting the Sinnerman’s face.

The man (The Leftovers’ Kevin Carroll, playing unhinged menace) wears sunglasses and declines to take them off so Lucifer can hit him with his desire mojo, which the Sinnerman calls a parlor trick. (Also, this begs the question: Could Lucifer actually work his magic through the TV?)

The Sinnerman gloats that the murders were bait for the devil, but he declines to explain his end goal or the reason for the return of the wings and loss of the demon face. He signs off, and a furious Lucifer, trapped inside foot-thick steel walls, vows to uncover the Sinnerman’s greatest desire and then destroy it.

Lucky for Lucifer, Maze tracks him down — not to rescue him, but to yell at him for ignoring her agitation over Linda and Amenadiel. She describes finding them in Linda’s office, talking and “clearly about to bone.” Lucifer points out that “talking in her office” is literally Linda’s job, and besides, why does Maze care if their old flames have a fling?

Maze seems conflicted and finally says she doesn’t like her best friend cozying up to her ex. Lucifer gently asks (rather compels) her to consider what she honestly desires, which causes Maze to fall silent and then set Lucifer free. (Next page: The Sinnerman has an eye-popping surprise for Lucifer)

That done, she heads back to Linda’s, where the slightly disheveled doctor unlocks the door to let her in. Maze confesses how weird it was to see Linda and Amenadiel together, and rather than get violent, she decided to talk through her feelings. Personal growth!

It’s not that she’s pining for Amenadiel, but she does feel left out and doesn’t want them getting together, if that’s possible — although she assumes that Linda wouldn’t want her sloppy seconds after she used every tool in the Amenadiel Swiss Army knife and touched nerves he didn’t even know he had. Ha!

Linda assures Maze that she has nothing to worry about, but as they hug, Linda’s face indicates that (a) it’s too late to honor Maze’s wishes and (b) Amenadiel is in fact hiding somewhere in her office, likely sans clothes. Say what you will about an angel/human relationship, but I love that Amenadiel is clearly a fan of Dr. Linda’s witty charm.

While all of this angelic drama’s happening, Chloe’s keeping busy, too. She and Charlotte arrive at a restaurant to ask Frankie and his lovable Disneyland mobsters about the Sinnerman. (Seriously, these guys are all gangsters with hearts of gold.) Charlotte gets in their faces to extract the information, but the two women leave empty handed.

Unbeknownst to Charlotte, this is exactly what Chloe had planned, hoping their questioning would compel Frankie to go after the Sinnerman. Charlotte’s crushed to learn that Chloe still doesn’t trust her and bails, leaving Chloe to stake the place out with Pierce, who appeared unexpectedly with food. (That’s the best kind of unexpected appearance.)

Their forced time together allows Pierce to explains to Chloe that the Sinnerman killed his brother in Chicago. He’s still grieving, and he plans to find the Sinnerman and make him pay.

Chloe then tells him that she requested the personal day for the anniversary of her father’s death. Although she recently found and arrested the man who killed him, it wasn’t easy. And she doesn’t talk about the painful stuff to anybody, “not even to Lucifer.” In the end, she urges him to think about what he really wants before he does something he’d regret. And what gorgeous symmetry to have Chloe give Pierce the same advice that Lucifer gave Maze.

Just when the duo spot a man outside the restaurant, they get a call from a newly freed Lucifer, who describes the Sinnerman as he saw him on television. “Would you believe he wore a sweater vest? His greatest crime yet,” Lucifer snips.

Chloe and Marcus are shocked to realize that Lucifer’s describing the man they just saw. They race inside at the sound of gunshots and find the mobsters all dead. Then the Sinnerman turns and gleefully opens fires on the two cops. Chloe chases the Sinnerman into the kitchen and out the back door, where Pierce gets the drop on him. He holds the Sinnerman at gunpoint for a long, fraught moment before deciding to slap on the handcuffs.

When Lucifer arrives, he’s delighted to finally have the Sinnerman in the flesh, but Chloe restrains him, promising he’ll get his chance to question him. Unbeknownst to the police, though, the Sinnerman’s tucked a pen into his shirt sleeve.

At the station, time slows as Lucifer watches Chloe walk by, watches Pierce get accolades for the arrest, watches Chloe smile moonily at Pierce getting accolades for the arrest, watches Chloe walk away with Dan. Then when the coast is clear, Lucifer heads into the interrogation room to look into the Sinnerman’s eyes so he can reveal what the man truly desires and plot its destruction.

But when the Sinnerman pivots in his chair, Lucifer discovers that he’s gouged out his own eyes with the pen. “Now you’ll never know what I want,” the Sinnerman taunts through his pain.

Stray feathers

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