Lucifer recap: 'The Angel of San Bernardino'
Bad news, guys. Chloe and Pierce are totally into each other. Like, fooling around in the evidence closet, rattling the shelves for a delighted Ella next door, and grossing the rest of us out.
Lucifer’s displeased when Chloe and Pierce arrive at the newest murder scene together, but she assures him, “Pierce and I only came — drove together just this one time.” She also panics when Lucifer points out that she has DNA on her shirt, although it’s only an evidence sticker. Filthy, Lucifer! Just filthy!
The victim of the week is Kevin Winstead, son of a wealthy New York family who died when his partner in a home invasion shot him. The homeowner declares that she would’ve been shot, too, “if God hadn’t sent that angel to protect me.”
Lucifer scoffs at the thought of one of his siblings interceding, but the woman swears the angel cast a winged shadow and then stole her (hideously ugly) angel Gabriel statue. At the penthouse, Amenadiel sniffs that any angel intervening to save a regular ol’ human like that is either bored or deeply confused…at which point Lucifer trips over the statue in his bedroom.
Troubled, Lucifer brings this up with Dr. Linda, who suggests that he might be sleep-flying because of his anxiety over Chloe and Pierce. Lucifer rejects that idea and sets out to find Kevin’s murderer, who can confirm if he was the winged creature at the scene that night.
Lucifer sends Chloe an urgent “meet me” message, and it interrupts her and Pierce basking in some sort of fully clothed afterglow at her place. She hustles him out because she’s not ready to tell Trixie about them, and Pierce says he’s cool with taking things at her pace because “I’m in — I like you,” he stammers.
Chloe then arrives at the precinct to reveal that Kevin got into a fight with a fellow guest at their chichi rehab facility. When she and Lucifer question the man, Lucifer manhandles him into telling them that Kevin was trying to kick heroin so he could get his family back.
Afterward, Chloe asks why he got so pushy, and Lucifer admits he’s not sleeping much. She sends him home, and he snags her handcuffs as he goes, promising to return them. (“Please don’t. Eww,” she replies.) That night, he cuffs himself to a length of chain to guarantee no nocturnal flights, but the next morning, he wakes up cuff-free and covered in ash to see Amenadiel holding a newspaper reporting that the (literal) angel of San Bernardino saved a family from a fire that night.
While Lucifer fears paternal manipulation, Amenadiel naturally concludes that God is punishing them for revealing all to Charlotte, who’s had a bit of a bad-girl relapse. She’s speaking harsh truths to coworkers (“Your casserole tastes like road kill”) and day-drinking with Dan, who gets busted waiting naked for her in a restaurant storage room.
Dan finally calls in Amenadiel, who interrupts Charlotte trying on a seven-carat diamond necklace courtesy of a jeweler house call, which is #goals. She breezily says she’s living it up now that she has a pair of angels to zip her to Heaven. Amenadiel, ever the responsible wet blanket, breaks the news that he and Lucifer don’t have that kind of power, and Charlotte crumbles in the face of her relapse. “There’s no hope for me,” she realizes. “I’m going to Hell.” I’m so grateful for this hugely engaging storyline, and may Charlotte continue to evolve for the rest of the season!
At the precinct, Pierce is on the phone with Chloe, making dinner plans and telling her that being with her is the dessert. Ella overhears and is charmed. Pierce confides that he feels like Chloe’s holding back, and rather than asking why the notoriously terse lieutenant is sharing intimate relationship details with her, Ella instead predicts that Chloe will say those three little words soon, which will change everything. “I’m counting on it,” Pierce says grimly.
Chloe gets a similar nudge from Maze, who calls to apologize and offers to let Chloe decide how quickly to move on patching up their relationship, reminding her that embracing someone else’s pace shows how much you care. Chloe looks thoughtful.
Maze and Pierce then rehash their evil plan and confirm that we cannot trust them: Pierce will get Chloe to fall in love him, thereby removing the brand so Maze can finally off him. Maze crows over how much Chloe’s going to suffer when the man she loves vanishes, and Pierce all but twirls a handlebar mustache when he announces that he doesn’t care who he has to hurt as long as it lets him die.
Elsewhere, Lucifer’s agitation bothers Chloe, who suggests that if he refuses to sleep, he stay away from her while he’s doing it. He accepts this challenge in the most glorious way possible, treating us to one of television’s best montages, which features pills, caffeine drinks, snortable white powder, manic shirtless cleaning, furniture construction, a fight club, several silly hats, a tricycle, a toy monkey, and finally, a bleary-eyed flop on the couch with a big mug of coffee, where Lucifer catches the start of a Bones rerun.
One week later, a disheveled Lucifer arrives at the precinct for an update from Chloe, asking, “What have we got, Booth?” Yep, he watched all 12 seasons of Bones, and this may be the most relatable he’s ever been; who among us hasn’t lost a whole, shameful weekend to the entire run of Entourage, to use but one example not at all pulled from my own life?
He calls Chloe the Booth to his Bones, and she ignores him as usual and cues up surveillance video of Kevin getting into a fight a few months ago with someone they assume was his dealer. When they learn that the man is Matt Kessman and he’s working a job at a nearby hotel, they roll out. (Next: Chloe and Lucifer have it out)
They’re surprised to find Matt giving the best man’s toast at a wedding, and Lucifer immediately pegs him as the murderer, not just of Kevin but also of that hospital employee whose body was burned. Chloe hesitantly asks if Lucifer is perhaps thinking of an episode of Bones.
In fact he is, and Matt boasts that playing the murderer in “The Intern in the Incinerator” wasn’t easy. Turns out, he works for Masquerade, a company that provides actors to play family or friends for people who don’t have any but want to look like they do. Tonight he’s a wedding ringer, but in the past, he was hired anonymously to be Kevin’s party buddy, making sure he stayed high.
Okay, so real-life actor Scott Allen Rinker played Evan Klimkew in that episode of Bones, and on Lucifer, Rinker plays an actor named Matt Kessman, who played Evan Klimkew in that episode of Bones. You don’t have to be as sleep-deprived as Lucifer to struggle to wrap your head around that fun casting factoid.
And boy, is Lucifer sleep-deprived. He’s pale and trembly, and he freaks out when Chloe confronts him about it. He tries to explain that he can’t sleep because his father might make him fly around helping people, but Chloe says he’s just bent out of shape about her and Pierce and demands to know why it upsets him so much. Gee, I don’t know, because he loves you, as you well know?
Lucifer insists it’s because Pierce is actually biblical Cain and is using her to get rid of his immortality curse, but Chloe hotly insists that Marcus is a good man, almost blurting out that she loves him before ending the whole awful conversation.
Okay, I’m trying so hard not to get irritated with Chloe throughout all of this, but she’s more than aware of how Lucifer feels about her. Even if he covers up his hurt with his usual bluster and threesomes and whatnot, she’s not a stupid woman. The show would’ve been better served to have them both acknowledge that seeing her with anybody she truly cares about would be painful for Lucifer, and the fact that it’s Pierce makes it that much worse. Instead, Chloe acts like she has no idea why Lucifer would object to her being with Pierce when even an iota of her detective skills should clue her in. And it’s especially galling on top of this that Chloe feels for Pierce in a relationship that felt forced from the jump.
Anyway, both Lucifer and Chloe separately crack the case when they realize that Kevin’s ex-girlfriend Mary hired Jeremy, a Masquerade actor, to pretend to be her husband in order to keep up appearances after she got pregnant and Kevin chose heroin over her and the baby.
Jeremy turned his pretend husband gig into the real thing after Mary fell in love with him, and when Kevin came back around, clean and hoping to reclaim his family, Jeremy killed him. When Lucifer confronts him, Jeremy admits everything and then tries to stab Lucifer, but the knife shatters against his chest.
Lucifer then terrifies Jeremy into confessing that there was no angel there the night he killed Kevin; the homeowner was simply confused by the angel figurine’s shadow, and Jeremy swiped it for fear of leaving fingerprints.
And suddenly, Lucifer’s overidentification with the case of the week works in his favor: Jeremy hired someone to drive Kevin to self-destruction by playing on his weaknesses. Gee, who might be doing the same thing to the Prince of Hell? By the time Chloe arrives to arrest Jeremy (alone, which seems unwise and possibly against department protocol), Lucifer’s ransacking his apartment to find the figurine, reasoning that if Ella can pull Pierce’s prints off of it, maybe Chloe will believe him.
Then Maze arrives and takes great pleasure in explaining that she was the one gaslighting him from the beginning, planting the figurine in his apartment and donning fake wings to save that family. As awful as it is to see Maze turn on Lucifer, wow did she play him beautifully, using his selfishness and daddy issues against him. Once he realizes what’s happening, he leaps into his car, red-eyed and desperate, to reach Chloe… who’s in the process of inviting Pierce to stay the night and have breakfast with Trixie the next morning — a huge step for a single mom. But just as she’s ready to say, “I love you,” Pierce cuts her off and coldly tells her it’s not worth it, saving his own anguished breakdown until he’s out of her presence.
When Lucifer finds Chloe catatonic and heartbroken, he beelines to Pierce’s house in a rage. Pierce says all he needed was for Chloe to say the words, but he couldn’t let her open the door to the eventual hurt that would’ve caused her. He’s resigned to any punishment Lucifer chooses to give him, but before the beating begins in earnest, they both realize the mark of Cain is gone.
So Pierce took the Prince Charming angle and assumed true love’s kiss would cure him, but he actually needed to pull a Pinocchio and commit an act of sacrifice to become a real boy.
Mission accomplished, but at what cost to the characters?
- Okay, I doubt next week will actually feature Lucifer dispatching Pierce in the first two minutes of the episode so we can all move on to other plot lines, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
- Naked Dan fumbling with his badge was almost as enjoyable as Charlotte trying to cut down Ella before concluding, “You’re pretty great, actually.” And Lucifer’s determined, late-night convertible drive set to In the Air Tonight was a very cool Miami Vice shout out. Different ocean, same mood.
- As you may know, Fox hasn’t yet decided whether to bring Lucifer back next season. If you’d like to make your voice heard, you can join the chorus of Twitter users encouraging Fox to #RenewLucifer.
- But seriously, name a more enjoyable montage (non-makeover category). I’ll wait…