'Lucifer' recap: An emotional farewell overshadows a long-awaited beginning
Deckerstar moves forward, Amenadiel moves up, and Charlotte moves on
You know, not much could upstage the Deckerstar kiss as the emotional highlight of the episode this week, but somehow, Lucifer managed it. So let’s talk about the life and death and life and death of Charlotte Richards.
More than pretty much anyone else on Lucifer, Charlotte was us. Oh, sure, most of us aren’t cool, calculating attorneys with legs for days and a gift for withering honesty. We haven’t experienced literal Hell and come back changed. And we haven’t tried on drool-worthy diamonds in our homes.
But most of us have felt the despair of unworthiness and the strain of unanswered questions. Do we deserve Heaven? Forgiveness? Love? Have our actions in life done more harm than good? And even if we try our hardest, can we ever be truly worthy?
Charlotte was selfish, flawed, vulnerable, self-pitying. Charlotte was human. And in the end, it was her imperfect humanity that saved her.
The episode opens with a glimpse at how important Dan has become to Charlotte: He now joins her children in being gunned down in her Hell loop by the murderers she set free. As for Dan, he’s waffling (sorry) between giving Charlotte a waffle maker or a silver waffle charm bracelet to celebrate their shared appreciation of that particular breakfast food.
As for Lucifer, he’s the usual two steps forward, two steps back on his personal growth, telling Dr. Linda that there’s no reason to be honest with Chloe about his feelings because she and Pierce broke up, which means Lucifer won. And he plans to get his relationship with Chloe back to normal, ASAP.
He does this by showing up at the new murder scene, playing the piano and reciting the words they exchanged when they first met. Chloe just wants to get back to work, but Lucifer continues to goof off, juggling and smoking pot to remind her of their old cases. At least Chloe manages to find a shell casing, which pleases Lucifer. “My shenanigans leading to a break in the case. That is quintessential Deckerstar.”
Less playful is Charlotte, who asks Amenadiel how she’ll know when she’s done enough good to earn salvation. For him, it’ll be the return of his wings, but until then, they’re equally mortal — and perhaps equally likely not to make it past the heavenly gates if they were to die right now.
Amenadiel then asks Lucifer if God actually wants them to judge themselves, meaning they’re the ones in control of their wings and devil face. Lucifer snidely says if that was the case, Amenadiel could just pop his wings out right now, then leaves his brother to brood.
Charlotte is further rattled when she arrives at the precinct and recognizes the husband of this week’s murder victim as Forest Clay, beloved American baseball legend and star of her Hell loop because she helped him escape justice during her defense attorney days.
Thirteen years ago, Charlotte’s boss ordered her to incinerate a blood-spattered bag belonging to Clay, and she did, likely helping to cover up a murder. And now she fears he’s killed again.
Chloe wants to know how Charlotte is so sure, and Lucifer gives her a choice between an obscure, enigmatic answer or a blunt nonsensical one. She chooses truth, so he matter-of-factly explains Charlotte’s Hell loop, confident in the knowledge that Chloe won’t believe him anyway, and wow do I hope this season ends with Chloe as a believer.
When Lucifer hits Clay with the desire mojo, Clay confesses that he was with his girlfriend, Mia, when his wife died, engaging in rough sex. Then Mia accuses Clay’s wife of having an affair with the CEO of Clay’s sneaker business.
When Chloe questions the CEO, she says — in front of Lucifer, mind you — that working side by side with someone you have feelings for can be awful, especially when you have to squash them. The vapors, y’all! I’ve got them! The CEO directs their attention to a possible stalker, so Chloe makes plans to study the security footage.
Charlotte hasn’t given up on the Clay angle and enlists an angel to help. Amenadiel strolls into her old law firm posing as Dr. Canaan, ostensibly there to discuss suing his doctor over a case of misdiagnosed chlamydia. But his real mission is to dump all of Clay’s files on a jump drive while Charlotte raises a ruckus in the lobby, warning her former partner that he’s as guilty as his clients and is therefore bound for Hell.
The scheme works, and they’re soon scrolling through 20 years’ worth of Clay’s non-disclosure agreements with 14 women, one of whom, Joanne, died at the same time that Charlotte got rid of the bloody bag.
Oh, hey, in case you’ve forgotten, Pierce is still on the show, and Maze is still furious with him. She finds him hiding out in what looks like an old refinery, where he fills her in on the new plan: He’ll kill Amenadiel and get his mark back, then frame Lucifer so he’ll fly Maze back to Hell.
I…don’t understand. Pierce wanted to live as a mortal when Chloe loved him, but now that she doesn’t, he wants to go back to living as an immortal. Didn’t he want to die, like, three episodes ago? Honestly, the only consistent thing about the Pierce character are his fuzzy motivations. (Next: Charlotte ascending)
Maze sets out to weaken Amenadiel and deliver him to Piece, trying to snare him with tears and a syringe full of sedative. But because he’s a good guy, he hugs her and talks about forgiveness, causing her to drop the syringe and let him go.
When she returns to Pierce empty handed, he accuses her of chickening out. Pierce decides to kill Amenadiel himself, but Maze attacks and is about to kill him when he gasps out that he made arrangements to ensure that Linda will die if he does. This distracts Maze (aww, still BFFs, sort of!) so he can grab the discarded syringe to knock her out.
Lucifer, meanwhile, hasn’t dropped his quest to fix the status quo with Chloe, and he shows up to play Monopoly with her and Trixie. But the kiddo tells him it isn’t fun to play the exact same game. Then when he plays their faux-prom song, Chloe accuses him of making fun of them. Lucifer insists that he’s just trying to remind her of how great they’ve always been together, but she says normal hurts too much for her right now and kicks him out.
After he leaves, Chloe pulls in all-nighter and pieces together the stalker footage in their murder case, realizing that the man was actually after Clay. She also admits to Ella (and herself) that “Lucifer’s the reason that I said yes to Pierce, and he’s also the reason that I said no.”
I’m not sure the previous episodes have quite earned this Chloe confession, but I suppose when you put it all together — Chloe regretting missing out on high school fun, Lucifer blowing hot and cold with her, Chloe’s wish to be a more spontaneous person — the breadcrumbs are there. They just didn’t quite come together to fully justify the rushed Pierce engagement until now.
Anyway, they discover that AJ Agalore went to prison for killing Clay’s ex-girlfriend Joanne, the one who died around the time that Charlotte destroyed the evidence. Agalore was released two weeks ago, and the police found a gun in his car that matches the shell casing at the murder scene.
Agalore confesses to Chloe that he was engaged to Joanne, and when he got out of prison, he tracked down the man whom he believed actually killed her. But instead of Clay, he found Clay’s wife, and he panicked and shot her.
Lucifer arrives after the confession and realizes that Chloe caught the bad guy without him, but Charlotte’s not satisfied that domestic batterer Clay’s still a free man. So she and Chloe hatch a plan, with Charlotte bluffing that she kept the bloody duffle bag and drawing out a murder confession, allowing Chloe to make the arrest.
Having accomplished her mission, Charlotte’s joined by Amenadiel on a bench overlooking Los Angeles — the closest to Heaven she’ll ever get, she says. They smile at both being broken in their own ways. Amenadiel admits that he’s been selfish and may actually be the one who took his own wings away, while Charlotte blames herself for leaving Clay free to hurt women over the last 14 years.
Then there’s a rustling in the bushes, and Charlotte throws herself in front of Amenadiel, taking the bullets from Pierce’s gun that were meant for the angel.
Unaware of the life-and-death drama playing out elsewhere, Chloe plunks out Heart and Soul on Clay’s piano when Lucifer has a revelation: Chloe took down two murderers without him, which means she never needed him to solve crimes; she’s been working with him because she wanted to. “You did choose me,” he says in wonder.
He admits to wallowing in the past because he was afraid she wouldn’t want him if she saw all of his sides, including the monstrous one. Chloe’s got the “kiss me” head tilt going on as she listens to him admit, “Detective…Chloe…I am the Devil.”
Chloe assures him, “No, you’re not. Not to me.” And then they kiss, finally. When Chloe’s phone interrupts them, she moves to turn it off until she realizes the seriousness of the call.
And we cut to Charlotte in Amenadiel’s arms. Knowing that escaping death twice is too much to ask, she asks Amenadiel to stay with her as she breathes her last breath. He does. Then, with tears wetting his cheeks, he unfurls his wings, looks heavenward, and says, “Let’s go home,” lifting them both into the sky.
When Chloe, Lucifer, and Dan arrive on the scene, they find Charlotte’s body on the ground. Chloe turns to Lucifer for comfort as Dan cradles the woman wearing his charm bracelet.
Then Lucifer notices an angel feather on the ground and looks up in surprise.
- Farewell, Charlotte Richards. You were the perfect combination of dark and light, tragic and funny, scared and strong. You fought and failed and fought again, and in the end, you got the ending you deserved. We should all be so worthy.
- I’m too emotionally rocked for much pithiness in my bullet points this week. But a few bright spots: Ella’s “I’m a little devil” shirt, all of the little Deckerstar callbacks, Amenadiel looking so sharp in his suit that I gave a little “woof,” and Pierce dragging his rock collection into hiding with him.
- Speaking of Pierce: Ooooohhh buddy, you thought I didn’t like the world’s oldest murderer before? THAT WAS BEFORE HE KILLED CHARLOTTE. No sympathy, no excuses, no mercy. I want his hide — and thankfully so does Maze.
- Okay, so now let’s dwell on that Deckerstar kiss. Do we dare hope it’ll lead to true understanding, trust, and love between the two of them? And could Amenadiel’s discovery that they control their own divine attributes mean that Lucifer might be able to manifest his devil face for Chloe? Get here already, finale!