Lucifer fights gang members and suburban busybodies, occasionally in a tiny swimsuit
Undercover hijinks! Asian action-inspired fights! Breaking Bad homages! Lucifer’s got it all this week.
We open on Lucifer menacing Pierce with a chainsaw and welding mask, all in an attempt to help the world’s oldest murderer shuffle off this mortal coil. But Pierce assures him if it were that easy, he’d already be dead, running through an amazing list of attempts: grenade down throat, acid bath, devoured by wolves, dropped into helicopter blades, jumped into volcano. (That last one was a rough half a year of healing.)
Unfortunately, Lucifer’s big plan was to stab Pierce with demon steel, but Pierce simply shrugs off the wound and leaves in disappointment. Demon steel was also Maze’s instinct, although she also recommends a variety of exotic weaponry, including one for use against anything with wings and another for anything with horns.
Maze’s suggestion to rub some of that Chloe vulnerability on Pierce encourages Lucifer to get to know Pierce better; maybe learning what makes him vulnerable will unlock the secret to dying. So Lucifer rearranges Pierce’s office furniture and dons a pair of glasses to play Dr. Linda, assuring an unnamed Pierce that this is a safe place.
Shallow side note: Lucifer with glasses is verrrrry good look.
Pierce leaves his office in a huff and bumps into Chloe, who’s thrilled that he decided to stay in L.A. Then she tries to play it cool by asking for his help with her newest case: chemistry teacher June Lee, whose body was found face down in a wood chipper in a seemingly safe L.A. suburb.
Then the formula for K Pop, the best ecstasy around, turns up on her laptop, and the police realize that June Lee was actually Sandra Jang, ecstasy cook for the Korean Power gang who stole their money before faking her death in a lab explosion three years ago. An ecstasy cook-turned-chemistry teacher? There’s a fun Breaking Bad inversion.
Lucifer introduces Chloe to Lux’s dealer/bartender, and the two men agree that K Pop hasn’t been the same since Sandra left. Next, Chloe wants to have a chat with Korean Power’s leader, Brandon Hong, although she warns Lucifer that he can’t just charge into Brandon’s preferred karaoke spot shouting, “Hello, drug dealers!”
Lucifer says he’d never do that, then walks into the club and shouts that very thing, albeit in Korean. This prompts gang members to flood into the club’s long hallway, and Lucifer engages in a fabulous hallway fight straight out of Asian action cinema. As if that weren’t delightful enough, it’s set to “Lucifer” by K-Pop group SHINee. Just excellent work all around, show!
At the precinct, Brandon’s extremely willing to cooperate. He says Sandra was tired of looking over her shoulder and recently returned the money she stole with interest. The gang’s ecstasy profits are down since her departure, so he begged her to come back, but she declined. Now, he just wants to see her killer brought to justice.
Outside of the interrogation room, Chloe learns exactly why Brandon’s so eager to work with the police: Lucifer handed over Sandra’s K Pop recipe, and Brandon was happy to trade a few years in prison to be able to produce a superior product once again. (Of course, this means Lucifer gets to enjoy Sandra’s original-recipe K Pop, too.)
So how did Sandra afford her nice house and gang repayments on her chemistry teacher’s salary? A hidden cache of drugs and threatening notes offers a major clue: She was selling home-brew Adderall, which Lucifer immediately snorts — although he’ll only admit to being “very focused on this case.”
In order to learn who sent the death threat, someone needs to go undercover in the neighborhood. But the available house will only rent to couples, and since Chloe’s already canvassed the neighborhood, this leaves Pierce and Lucifer to team up. As you can imagine, one of them is decidedly more into this than the other one.
Okay, so usually the best undercover episodes are when the duo have some kind of romantic, will-they-or-won’t-they tension (Mulder and Scully, Tony and Ziva, Sydney and Vaughn), but even lacking this element, the Lucifer/Pierce pairing is delightful, particularly because Luci’s thrilled by the opportunity to get into Pierce’s head and Pierce would rather be literally anywhere else.
They’re both clad in suburbia-approved sweaters when new neighbors Anya and Brian arrive to welcome them to the block. “Luke” is charming and breezy at his undercover role, while “Marky Mark” grumpily guzzles wine.
Lucifer encourages the newcomers to grill his honey so he can discover Pierce’s possible vulnerabilities, and then the conversation turns to Sandra’s death. Brian says the neighborhood’s all one big family, although Anya admits that someone’s been leaving notes for people with problematic hedges and holiday decorations: “It’s like Martha Stewart and the Terminator had a baby.” Um, that just sounds like life in suburbia, TBH.
Hoping to draw out the note-leaver, Lucifer sets out to become the worst neighbor in the world. Who better than the devil, after all? He puts on an American flag banana hammock and basically stages an ’80s music video in his driveway, with women in bikinis, sprinklers, Super Soakers, and a DJ spinning music.
Shallow side-note: Damn, Tom Ellis.
Lucifer welding in the garage at 4 a.m. is the last straw for Pierce, and the two stand in their open garage, loudly arguing about how to catch a killer, which doesn’t seem very covert. And they’re so wrapped up in their fight that they don’t hear Chloe, who’s running surveillance, warning them that someone’s approaching their house. This is the second episode in a row where Lucifer and Pierce have been too wrapped up in their own drama to keep an eye on the things they’re supposed to be monitoring. Again, that’s some bad policing. (Next page: Meet the uptight suburban Bonnie and Clyde)
Thankfully, Lucifer and Pierce get it together in time to grab new neighbor Brian as he’s putting a note in their mailbox. Under questioning, Brian admits that he used Sandra’s Adderall to lose weight, learn Mandarin, build a deck, etc. But when he examines Sandra’s death threat note, he swears he didn’t write it.
This means that Lucifer and Pierce are headed back undercover to gather handwriting samples by hosting a neighborhood party and requiring everyone to sign a guest book.
But their bickering over food arrangements ends with Pierce accusing Lucifer of making empty promises and Lucifer storming out. (The party guests are clearly living for the drama of it all, as any of us would be in that situation.) Chloe, who’s been watching from a nearby house, orders Lucifer to get back in there and help Pierce. Her badge is clearly visible on her waistband, which isn’t very undercover-ish.
Lucifer heads back in and is touched to see that Pierce adjusted the crudité table the way Lucifer wanted it. They adorably make up, and Lucifer tells Pierce they they’ll try to find the answers together because Pierce may be the only person on the planet who can truly understand him. Then they kiss, which has Chloe running to the window to watch. (I feel ya, sister.)
As the party progresses, Lucifer starts hectoring people to write in the book, but when he gets to Anya, Brian freaks and fends everybody off with hedge clippers. The neighbors scatter to the fringes when Chloe bursts in with her gun, having realized that Brian recognized his wife’s handwriting on the note and wanted to keep the police from matching it if she signed.
Anya cracks and confesses that she wrote the notes because she thought Brian and Sandra were having an affair, and when he kept sneaking out, she confronted Sandra. A shoving match ended in Sandra hitting her head and dying. “I just didn’t want you to leave me!” she tells Brian.
But Brian was only taking Sandra’s pills so he could lose weight and go back to being the guy Anya fell in love with in high school. They cry and hug as Chloe slaps the bracelets on them, and Lucifer’s moved by their felonious love.
Speaking of love that makes us all a little nervous, Maze finds herself irresistibly drawn to Charlotte this week. Charlotte doesn’t remember Maze, who assures her that Charlotte was a monstrous bitch and they were mortal enemies. But Maze marvels at how incredible Charlotte smells now, invading all kinds of personal space to sniff her and generally making Charlotte deeply uncomfortable.
That night, Dan and Charlotte are finally out on their dinner date when Maze joins them, causing Dan to melt down at Maze’s suggestion that the three of them do the sex together. Charlotte bails, and Maze follows her to the bar, where she realizes that what she’s been drawn to is the smell of pain and torment. “Girl, it is all over you,” she tells Charlotte, who explains that following her kind-of death, she’s been trying to course correct. Maze wants no part of that kind of normalcy and bounces, crush vanished.
The next day, Charlotte arrives at the precinct to apologize to Dan for their weird date. He calls Maze a freak (way harsh, Daniel), but Charlotte says it made her realize that she has a long road ahead of her. Dan tells her he’s willing to wait while she sorts things out because “you’re worth it,” and Tricia Helfer’s little lip bite upon hearing this is everything.
Chloe doesn’t have as much luck when she invites Pierce to hang out with her and some of the folks from the precinct after work. He declines and warns her that the two of them aren’t a good idea because someday she’ll die, just like everybody else. When Chloe guesses that losing his brother is still affecting him, Pierce replies, “Understatement of the millennia.” Ha!
Before she exits his office, Pierce does confirm that they shared a moment in the surveillance van when she asked him not to leave last week. They…they did? I’m genuinely trying to find any chemistry here, but the closest this episode comes is with Sandra’s K Pop formula.
However, this revelation ties in with what Lucifer’s learned about Pierce: He’s terrified of getting close to people because they’ll eventually die. He reasons that this vulnerability means that they need to spend time together if Lucifer’s going to figure out how to kill him. Pierce in turn warns him that after only five years, Lucifer hasn’t experienced the pain of getting too attached to mortals and their short lifespans.
Then Lucifer makes it weird by reminding Pierce that there are a few things they didn’t try while they were married. Pierce sighs, “Fine, go get the chainsaw,” and Lucifer delightedly scampers off.
- A drug that makes your skin feel like a baby Chinchilla? Sign me up!
- Raise your hand if you recognized Lucifer’s “annyong” thanks to Arrested Development.
- Let it be noted that if you cut Pierce in half, only one side heals. But which explanation do you prefer: Pierce’s “master molecule theory,” or Lucifer’s “Wolverine rules“? Let me know in the comments!