Lucifer recap: 'The Sin Bin'
Lucifer’s midseason finale offers answers that lead to more questions, which lead to new answers that in turn lead to additional questions. Vicious cycle, that.
While Lucifer celebrates his victory over the Sinnerman at Lux, at the precinct Chloe lets slip to Ella that the Sinnerman killed Pierce’s brother. She claims she thought it was common knowledge, but come on, girl. Nobody’s buying that. Chloe stops Ella from racing out to give Pierce a hug, so Ella settles for calling him private, brooding, and hot. Y’know, the more the show literally uses words to tell us that Pierce is hot, the less convincing it is.
The Sinnerman, sporting a white bandage over his eyes, maintains his absurd sense of humor under interrogation and promises that his master plan will be revealed. And sure enough, his phone almost immediately receives a video of a woman trapped in a reservoir that’s filling with water.
The victim, Maggie Cole, was kidnapped after the Sinnerman’s arrest, so Pierce gets all intense and growly asking about a possible accomplice. The Sinnerman insists that only he can lead them to her location. Lucifer agrees, arguing that “Obi-Wan Can’t-See-Me is Maggie’s only hope.” Pierce calls it an obvious escape plan, so Lucifer reluctantly agrees to rule out other leads first.
Chloe and Lucifer question Maggie’s roller derby rival, Helena Handbasket. She takes a seat in the Sin Bin, a.k.a. the penalty box, and admits that she roughed up Maggie for stealing her spot as lead jammer after their old starter was in a car accident. However, she’s got an alibi for that night. (More interesting is the fact that Chloe is super into roller derby thanks to trips with Trixie.)
As Chloe and Lucifer search Maggie’s car in the nearby parking lot, Lucifer gripes about “dead-end clues” and Chloe gets frustrated that they’re not on the same page. Lucifer proves her point by refusing to wait for forensics to open Maggie’s car when they locate it, which sets off the grenade rigged to the door handle.
At the precinct, Chloe surprises Lucifer by agreeing that they need the Sinnerman to lead them to Maggie. She outlines an elaborate plan to steal the holding cell keys from Pierce’s office and warns Lucifer that he has to follow her instructions to the letter.
First, they’ll sic Ella on Pierce to talk about his brother’s death (without letting Pierce know that Chloe’s the one who spilled the beans). No problem there; Ella can talk for hours about losing her childhood corgi while Chloe tosses Pierce’s office.
The next step is getting the Sinnerman out of the building, so Chloe has Lucifer deliver a note to a particular bomb tech, who immediately starts flirting with him. Strategic pausing indicates that the note requests three EOD suits and a bomb box (??).
Finally, they have to deliver the ultimate distraction: a gift on Dan’s desk. He immediately muses, “Too nicely wrapped to be another severed head.” Oh, Daniel, take a look at your life. When he realizes that the tag on the ticking box reads, “From the Sinnerman,” three suited bomb squad agents swiftly arrive to grab it and march it out to the bomb squad’s truck.
They remove their helmets to reveal Chloe, Lucifer, and the Sinnerman, who are all surprised to find Pierce waiting for them in the driver’s seat. So much for all of that scheming, you crazy kids!
As the Sinnerman (somehow) leads them through the woods to Maggie, Pierce keep his hand on his gun, expecting an ambush. Lucifer points to the military tattoo on Pierce’s bicep and tries to use hoorah-type lingo, but Pierce shuts him down with, “Yeah, we don’t talk like that.”
Luckily, they arrive in time to save Maggie, but while Chloe and Pierce are freeing her, Lucifer and the Sinnerman vanish. Any thoughts that it might’ve been the mysterious accomplice are quashed when Maggie confesses that the Sinnerman did her a favor (eliminating the lead jammer so she could move up on her derby squad), then threatened to kill her if she didn’t “kidnap” herself and booby trap her car.
By process of elimination, that makes Lucifer the Sinnerman’s kidnapper. He turns one of his L.A. properties into his own Sin Bin to question the Sinnerman. First step: Make the bandage less creepy by drawing on eyes, which end up being unsettlingly cartoonish. He presses the Sinnerman for answers about the return of his wings and loss of his devil face, shouting, “No one decides who I am but me.”
The Sinnerman doesn’t take any of it seriously, so to encourage better communication, Lucifer brings in Maze. She works the Sinnerman over and eventually declares him to be 100 percent human. Lucifer insults her by questioning her methods, including “Nickelback on repeat?” “That’s where I started!” she assures him.
Frustrated, Lucifer demands her knife, but she reminds him that angels aren’t allowed to kill humans. (Remember, Amenadiel only got murder-adjacent and lost all his powers.) Suddenly, Lucifer has a new plan: Kill the human, thwart God, lose his wings, regain his devil status. After all, if he doesn’t stop this now, he doesn’t knows what the Sinnerman will do or “who he’ll take from me,” which genuinely rattles him.
Meanwhile, Chloe and company are trying to figure out where Lucifer would’ve taken the Sinnerman, and all of a sudden Dan’s Lucifer files come in handy. When everybody gives him the side eye for having a folder with all of Lucifer’s properties, he complains, “Lucifer plants a bomb at my desk and I’m the creepy one?” (Actually, it was Chloe who planted the fake bomb, leading Dan to request a muffin basket next time.)
This is the break Chloe needs, as earlier Lucifer said that the worst thing about being blind would be missing out on the Los Angeles sunsets, so she and Pierce race to the house in the Hills with the most spectacular view. (Next page: Are you Abel to believe this Pierce twist?)
Okay, before we leave the precinct, let’s check in on this week’s most unlikely duo. Trixie’s babysitter seems to have died, which is rather weirdly played for laughs, so Dan hands her off to the nearest available adult: Charlotte.
At first it’s awkward, but Trixie coaxes Charlotte into talking about her absent children. Charlotte says she’s too busy with work, and besides, her kids don’t want to see her. Trixie points out that she spends time with her working parents, and as the mom, Charlotte gets to make the rules. Oh, and also, “Are you and my dad having sex?”
When Dan comes to pick Trixie up, he finds the two of them sporting identical, adorable top-of-the-head buns, and somehow Trixie gets Dan and Charlotte to agree to a romantic dinner, making her Dan’s best wingman ever.
Okay, call me a Grinch if you want, but Trixie was a little too “wise-beyond-her-years plot device” this week. I love her offbeat interactions with Maze, but I don’t want the show make her spout the exact observations that the adults around her need to hear in a given episode. On the other hand, she did reawaken Charlotte’s maternal side, prompting her to ask her ex about changing their visitation arrangements, which I’m glad to see.
Now back to the A-plot! Lucifer’s talking a big game about various ways to kill the Sinnerman — starving rats, gunshot, beheading — but he keeps stalling. First he blacks out the cartoon eyes to make his intended victim look more threatening (mission kind of accomplished) and then offers a last meal of caviar.
Lucifer claims he’s savoring his victory, but the Sinnerman tells Lucifer he’s a coward who doesn’t have what it takes to kill him, eventually crowing that he’s a chip off the old heavenly block. Lucifer’s enraged, but it takes holding a knife to the Sinnerman’s neck for him to realize that he actually doesn’t have it in him to kill a human.
This upsets the Sinnerman, who begs Lucifer to exercise his free will and kill him. “It has to be you,” he pleads. Lucifer’s stunned to realize that this was the Sinnerman’s desire all along, and he’s a pawn yet again. But before he can extract answers, Pierce bursts into the room and unloads his gun into the Sinnerman.
Afterward, Chloe tells Pierce she’s sorry it ended this way. She doesn’t have any sympathy for Lucifer, though. He’s hurt, saying he took those actions for their partnership, but all Chloe sees is that he went behind her back.
Back at the precinct, Ella rushes up to Pierce to bubble over at him about his heroism with the Sinnerman, and her enthusiasm finally causes him to shout, “Lopez, just stop talking!” Okay, yeah, she was being a little extra, but this is like kicking a baby seal, or intentionally tromping on the first tender spring daffodil with your steel-toed boots. Not cool, Pierce. It’s…it’s almost like he’s carrying some kind of ancient evil within him.
Lucifer apparently thinks so, too, having found a photo in evidence of a youthful Sinnerman being hugged by an adult whose face is cut off but whose bicep bears an odd circular mark right where Pierce’s tattoo is.
He asks Pierce to join him at his empty club that night. When Pierce arrives, Lucifer suggests that the Sinnerman didn’t have an accomplice; he was the accomplice. Then he pulls out the photo and says the man in that picture would be very, very old by now. Very old, or very immortal. And the only way to prove his theory is by driving a large knife through Pierce’s chest.
Pierce falls to the floor and gasps out his final breath as Lucifer calmly pours himself a drink to wait.
And look mildly perturbed as Pierce lays unmoving on the ground.
But Lucifer’s theory finally pays off when Pierce roars back to life, removes the knife, and sits next to Lucifer at the bar. Lucifer then introduces himself to the world’s first murderer, marked by God and doomed to walk the earth for eternity.
“You may as well pour me one, too,” Cain says.
- Lucifans, it hurts me to find fault with this show that we all love, but…the Sinnerman arc disappointed me. He had that dark and disturbing introduction in the season premiere, and then he was a face on a fuzzy TV screen, and then he was an eyeless sweater-vest, and then he was a lackey with no answers for Lucifer. And now we’re left with Pierce, whose character and motivations have been so opaque that he’s essentially a walking tree trunk with none of the spark that makes the characters around him vibrate off the screen. However, I didn’t see the Cain revelation coming, and I genuinely hope it provides a much-needed jolt of energy for this character as we move into the back half of season 3.
- That said, I’ve got some questions. If the Sinnerman killed Pierce’s brother in Chicago, does that actually refer to Abel? If so, does this make Pierce the Sinnerman, and sweater-vest a nameless henchman whose Luciferian death wish may or may not ever be explained? And what about Pierce’s slow recovery from the gunshot injury in “What Would Lucifer Do?” Was he faking it to keep up appearances for the humans?
- Even for an immortal, reading Moby-Dick six times just ain’t right. That’s some “What was your first inkling that he was a serial killer?” kind of stuff.
- Were you satisfied by the twists in this episode, friends? Let me know in the comments! And may your holidays be as merry as Lucifer’s clubgoers upon learning that Lux’s angel piñata’s filled with joints and condoms!