Lucifer premiere react: 'They're Back, Aren't They?’
Lucifer hunts for a culprit in his devil-napping
Did you hear that bell ringing, Luci-fans? Why, I do believe that’s the sound of a fallen angel getting his wings — and hating every second of it.
When we left him last season, a confused Lucifer Morningstar woke up in the desert with no shirt, a heck of a sunburn, and, oh yeah, an extravagant set of feathery white wings. So what’s a dehydrated devil to do? Stand in the middle of the road to flag down an armored car, that’s what. Lucifer tries to climb aboard but can’t fit through the door thanks to his wings, which he retracts with an irritated huff. If Lucifer struggling with the logistics of his new wings is a running gag all season long, I am here for it.
This particular vehicle happens to be under the control of the jewel thief that Lucifer apprehended (and left in his skivvies) in the season 2 premiere. As before, what the jewel thief most desires is freedom, which Lucifer gives him by taking his employee jumpsuit and turning him loose to run through the desert — again, clad only his manties.
The squadron of police in pursuit of the armored car verify Lucifer’s connection to Chloe Decker and return him to civilization, where he welcomes Dr. Linda into his home for her recuperation (complete with attractive male caretaker, because Lucifer is thoughtful).
But Dr. Linda knows the score and asks what Lucifer wants in return, so he unfurls his wings, knocking over some fancy liquor bottles in the process. Ha! Linda’s gobsmacked. “I didn’t know that they could grow back. Are wings like body hair?” Double ha!
Lucifer says this is God’s celestial spanking for giving his mother her own universe and asks Linda to cut the wings off, growling “I am not his Mr. Potato Head.” Dr. Linda points out that they don’t exactly teach wing-ectomies in medical school and declines, as his therapist, his friend, and the person who got caught in the crossfire of his last family feud.
Lucifer strolls into the LAPD, disappointed that nobody noticed his two-day absence. Chloe is skeptical about his kidnapping story, assuming he created it as a distraction from the message he left her promising to tell her the truth about him. So he drags her to the spot in the desert where he woke up. She remains unconvinced until she discovers the human hand poking out of the sand.
The unfortunate dehydration victim is Miami hotel owner Steve Banales, and thanks to the cross-jurisdictional placement of his body in the desert, the LAPD officers are forced to share their investigation with the Lancaster Police Department. In fact, one of the Lancaster guys discovers a set of keys in the sand, which Dan swoops in and bags for the LAPD.
As she’s collecting evidence, Ella bubbles over with excitement about their new boss, Lt. Marcus Pierce. She once heard him give a lecture on police procedures, which apparently led to a slight case of hero worship. But when the time comes for his big introduction to his new department, Marcus (Tom Welling) proves himself to be…terse: “I’m Lt. Marcus Pierce. Okay, back to it.”
Marcus carries a motorcycle helmet, pegs Dan as a corrupt cop who got off easy, and declines to shake Lucifer’s hand on account of his 92 sexual partners who were interviewed last year. Rather than educating him about all the STIs you can’t catch from a handshake, Lucifer beams when Marcus pegs him as a narcissistic hedonist. Then they immediately start passive-aggressively comparing the sizes of their johnsons, which is Marcus’ charmingly old-fashioned euphemism of choice.
Then Chloe gets flustered when Marcus asks if she’s Lucifer’s partner. It’s the other way around, she tries to tell him, but for some reason, the unflappable, all-business Chloe can’t seem to get a sentence out. Let’s assume she’s hypnotized by the onetime Clark Kent’s motorcycle helmet.
Side question for Smallville fans: How long did it take for you to flip the switch from Tom Welling as overwrought teenage naïf Clark to clipped-speech, competent adult Marcus? Because I watched this episode twice, and I’m still not sure I’m there.
Now we catch up with Amenadiel, who tracks down Lucifer at the LAPD. Lucifer thinks it’s about his own well-being, but actually Amenadiel’s concerned about what happened to their mom. (Apparently, Lucifer texted his brother a string of emojis explaining the events of the finale that made perfect sense to Lucifer and only Lucifer.) Amenadiel takes the news about their mother hard, but Lucifer’s too caught up in his own drama to notice.
Lucifer returns Amenadiel’s necklace, and we learn that Amenadiel got neither his powers nor his wings back. Lucifer comes close to admitting to his own feathery misfortune, but he holds it back. Then Ella shows up to introduce herself to Amenadiel, grope his biceps, and announce that she found fingerprints on the car keys belonging to Steve’s business partner, Josh. But when Chloe and Lucifer show up to bring him in, Josh clearly thinks it’s a prank, ogling Chloe and playfully running away. The chase ends with Lucifer tossing him over a balcony and into a pool, which could’ve ended really badly, as it didn’t seem like Lucifer actually knew the pool was there. At the precinct, Josh explains that he and Steve were in a prank war, and he’d hired an outfit called Snatched to do a fake kidnapping.
Meanwhile, Ella’s hit a dead end in trying to track the tire print of the vehicle that flattened a squirrel in the dessert (she named it Leo), so Chloe turns to the Lucifer connection, wondering if she might find a clue there. He says it’s his father punishing him for exercising free will, and he’s so worked up that he almost mentions his wings again. Then he sits Chloe down to come clean about his real identity.
Sensing how upset he is, Chloe takes his hands and assures him that whatever it is he has to show her, she’s there for him. But no matter how hard he tries, or how gassy he looks, his face stays human. Don’t get me wrong, he’s divinely beautiful, but his face stays his face. Chloe leaves in near tears at his game-playing, leaving Lucifer to murmur, “I really am the devil.” (Next page: There’s a new big bad in town)
Later, at a meeting in Marcus’ office, Lucifer baldly steals Chloe’s idea (girl, reclaim your time!) that they catch Snatched by hiring them for a sting kidnapping. Marcus suggests they use the eminently forgettable and expendable Dan as the victim. As they’re preparing for the grab, Dan and Chloe commiserate over how much Marcus hates them both, and also, Charlotte’s all, “Do I know you?” to Dan since the beach. Lucifer overhears, and rather than explain that Charlotte was murdered and then her body was inhabited by God’s uber-powerful wife and then Lucifer gave his mum her own dimension and allowed the real Charlotte to gain control of her body and her memories again, he goes with a simple, “It’s not you, it’s her” speech. Dan is not grateful.
The kidnapping plan goes sideways when Lucifer changes the instructions to Snatched and identifies himself as the target — all the better to interrogate them about why they snatched him the first time. The unfortunate duo who capture him learn that their cattle prod just makes him giggle, and they soon find themselves duct taped to a single chair, while Lucifer wields a blowtorch and demands to know how they took away his devil face. In their panic, they burble that their partner Sam was the one who kidnapped him.
At Lucifer’s place, the wings are out of the bag — like, literally, they’re resting in a bloody pile on the floor when Amenadiel shows up for a magical remedy that Lucifer texted him about. (It turns out that Remedy is the name of a scantily clad masseuse.)
When he looks for Lucifer in the precinct, he instead finds Ella creating a shoebox squirrel casket with a cross on top for Leo. They recognize each other as fellow believers, and Ella Pollyannas that everything is part of God’s mysterious plan, and “you’ve gotta have faith.”
Ella’s faith in evidence turns out to be well founded when they realize that Sam posed as a Lancaster police officer to try to collect the keys at the crime scene. A crime scene photo puts him next to a van with the tire that squished poor Leo.
It’s enough to send a wild-eyed Lucifer to kick down Sam’s door.
“Remember me?” he booms as Sam cowers on the floor. Sam snivels and apologizes for leaving both Lucifer and Steve in the desert. The plan was for him to rescue Steve and put Lucifer in his place in the desert hidey hole, but when he opened the back of his truck, there was Lucifer with his wings. This freaked out Sam so much that he ran. And he’s running again because the person who hired him to collect Lucifer is the “sinner man,” a crime boss who’s furious that the job wasn’t done.
Lucifer’s livid that he’s been denied the opportunity to define his identity for himself, and as he yells, his wings pop out, fully regrown. He’s furious, but he gets them back under control by the time the police burst in, brushing aside Chloe’s concern over his emotional state.
Back at the precinct, Marcus approaches Chloe’s desk, and before he can speak, she babbles an apology for Lucifer and claims him as her partner, saying she doesn’t need to see his “thing” and also, did she mention that they work well together and she has a good solve rate? Marcus takes in the flow of words and briefly informs her that Sam’s out on bail, and she can do whatever she wants with Lucifer’s “thing.” As they talk, Sam is escorted past her desk by two dark-suited bruisers.
At Lucifer’s, Amenadiel confronts him about his wings, saying that he’s mostly upset that Lucifer didn’t confide in him (although he refers to Lucifer’s wing-ectomy as “foul”). Lucifer busts out his fresh set of wings and complains that God took his demon face, as well.
Amenadiel, whose faith seems stronger than ever, declares it all part of their father’s plan and suggests that, even though Lucifer doesn’t want it, God could be showing Lucifer His forgiveness, which means that anyone can be forgiven. “Now, isn’t that divine?” Amenadiel asks.
Lucifer brushes that aside, and we cut to Lucifer and Chloe finding the unfortunate Sam gruesomely impaled on rebar under a pier, leading Lucifer to conclude that the sinner man isn’t God, but something “much, much darker.”
Now, that is quite a start to season 3. We’ve got a mysterious new baddie who apparently holds vast earthly and heavenly power, if he can both bump off a minion and turn Lucifer from a demon to an angel. And we’ve got an adorably flustered Chloe, whose tongue-tied stumbles could be nerves at impressing the new boss or could be an insta-crush, despite what seems to be Marcus’ abrupt approach toward life. As always, I could’ve used a touch more Dr. Linda, and I missed Maze (but wish Lesley-Ann Brandt a blissful maternity leave), but overall, I thought this was a terrific start to the season.
What about you, Luci-fans? Did the season 3 premiere satisfy? Does the mystery of the sinner man get your juices flowing? Are you as excited as I am to watch Lucifer bump into things with his ungainly wings? Let me know in the comments!
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