Lucifer series finale recap: One hell of a cliffhanger
Are you ready to say goodbye?
Because Lucifer clearly isn't. Its third and final (sob! sob! sob!) season finale trades last week's emotional catharsis for action, humor, cooperation, reconciliation, a kept promise, and a devilish reveal that leaves the show's central relationship in purgatory and hints at where the story will travel in season 4.
One last time, let's recap.
We pick up with Lucifer and Chloe watching numbly as Charlotte's body is wheeled away. A subdued Ella asks, "Who would do something like this?" just as that jerk Pierce starts barking orders. He's also a little too interested in whether Amenadiel might be gone for good when Lucifer brandishes the feather he found.
Poor, broken-hearted Dan enters Charlotte's home and finds their rumpled bed and her lipstick on a coffee mug, but it's the waffle maker that breaks him. He throws it through her kitchen table, and in the destruction, he uncovers her Pierce file.
At that moment, Pierce is meeting one of his Sinnerman lackeys to call in a favor, warning Baldy O'Henchman that his fear of dying and losing everything just makes him that much more dangerous.
But Dan's caught his scent now and pulls Chloe and Lucifer aside to try to convince them that Pierce is the Sinnerman. Chloe starts to deny it, but Lucifer calmly states that he's known this for months.
They're, uh, displeased to hear this, especially the woman who almost married the guy. Lucifer swears he tried to tell her the truth, but she says he was using his beloved metaphors to talk about immortality and whatnot. They agree to put a pin in this conversation until after they catch Charlotte's killer.
Then Ella interrupts with a summons from Pierce, who emotionally eulogizes Charlotte to the precinct. Realizing he's faking his grief, Chloe vows to take him down, although it'll have to be on the DL since the rest of the precinct isn't in the know.
This includes Ella, who pulled DNA from a cigarette butt found during the third sweep of the crime scene, which Pierce insisted be conducted. It belongs to Steve Chamberlain, whom Charlotte was prosecuting for embezzlement.
It's clearly a frame job, but Chloe, Dan, and Lucifer head to his house so nobody gets suspicious. Chamberlain starts to noisily protest his innocence and is baffled when the police are all, "Yeah, no, we know." They even locate and bag a gun that they assure him was planted in his office, leaving Chamberlain confused about their "good cop, bad cop, sad cop" routine.
Their investigation into who planted the gun leads them to Chamberlain's chauffeur. Lucifer trots out his "what do you desire" mojo one last time, and when Dan starts to object, Chloe assures him it actually works. Y'all, she's so close to seeing the whole picture!
The driver admits an unfortunate sneeze took his eyes off the road for a second, and he hit and killed a motorcyclist, but one call to a guy who gives favors made it all disappear. Then this morning, a burner phone showed up, followed by the gun. When the man admits that every time he looks in the mirror, all he sees is a monster, Lucifer completely understands.
The next stage of their plans involves looping in Ella — quite a risk, as she's the founding member of the Marcus Pierce fan club. After her talk with Dan, she beelines to Pierce's door and tells him Dan was ranting about a frame job and asked her to examine a phone on the sly.
Pierce promises that Dan won't be in any trouble, but he immediately calls bald henchman as soon as she leaves. It's a setup, natch, and Dan and Chloe soon have their hands on Mr. Baldy.
While they're busy, Lucifer takes the opportunity to slide into Pierce's office to accuse him of killing Charlotte. Pierce admits he was actually trying to kill Amenadiel to get his mark back.
Then Lucifer starts to reminisce about his failed rebellion against God, after which everyone hated him, including himself. Thanks to the sneezy murderous chauffeur, he admits, "I think I gave myself that face." Then the wings sprouted when he felt good about himself after saving his mother and deciding to come clean with Chloe.
Pierce scoffs at this theory, and Lucifer in turn suggests that Pierce's vulnerability came from acting selflessly, not Chloe's love. "You fell in love with the detective, Pierce, not the other way around," Lucifer says. "She never loved you." As far as delivering a devastating set-down to your enemy, that's about as good as it gets.
Then Pierce shouts that Lucifer's attacking him, and a trillion big cops rush in to subdue him. What a chicken!
Back at the loft, Chloe and Dan yell at Lucifer for confronting Pierce. Chloe calls her ex and pretends to be confused about Lucifer's claims that Pierce is the immortal Cain from the Bible. ("It's all true," Lucifer assures an incredulous Dan.) But Chloe's concern is too over the top, and Pierce realizes she's playing him.
He claims he still loves her but declines to turn himself in at her request. And then his day gets worse when he returns to his lair and finds all of his henchmen dead.
The carnage is courtesy of Maze, who shook off the effects of the drug and tore through a squadron of villains to get to Dr. Linda's side. (Remember, Pierce told her last week that he'd arranged Linda's death if he should die.)
The good doctor's actually fine, and she tends to Maze's many wounds while Hell's greatest torturer takes a quick nap on Linda's therapy couch. When she comes to, Linda says it looks like Maze fought 10 people and ran a mile to reach her. "Twelve people, four miles," Maze corrects her, and my heart! My heart can't handle this!
Maze complains that human emotions make her weak, but Linda corrects her: Emotions are hard, but they make you strong. And "this is the strongest I've ever seen you." A tear runs down Maze's cheek as she starts to apologize. Linda says her actions speak plenty. But actions are easy for Maze, so she needs to say it: "I'm sorry." My heart!
Linda apologizes, too, and they hug, and then the ever-practical Linda Martin asks, "I've gotta ask: Is somebody really trying to kill me?"
Maze swears it'll all be fine, and THANK DAD this relationship is back on track. If the show had ended with these two still on the outs, I might never have recovered. But the brain and the brawn, the logician and the hothead have patched things up, and it makes the end of this show a fraction easier to take.
Another crucial series finale conversation happens between Ella and Lucifer, who admits that all of this badness may not actually be God's fault. "We are the responsible parties," he says, neatly summing up his character's growth arc over the last three seasons. "We've no one to blame but ourselves."
Still, Ella prefers to blame Pierce and tucks her cross necklace into her shirt, as she and God are also on rocky ground at the moment. Aww, stay strong and sweet and surprising, Ella!
The final action kicks off when Baldy agrees to spill what he knows about Pierce if the police can protect his sister. (This is offered after Dan delivers a chillingly effective threat about his past as a corrupt cop and his present as a man whose lover is dead. It's nice that the show's sending him off with, shall we say, a bit more dignity than he's been afforded in the past.)
On the way to Baldy's sister, Chloe says she should've listened to Lucifer, even though you can really only humor him with his metaphorical Devil talk. Yet again, Lucifer says he never lied to her. And okay, look, I'm so distraught by the show's cancellation that I can't even get too worked over Chloe saying the word "metaphor" 400 times in this episode even though this topic hasn't been broached at all in the previous umpteen episodes. In the end, it gets us where we need to be, and that's all that matters.
Anyway, just as Ella calls in a favor and learns that Baldy doesn't actually have a sister, Chloe and Lucifer realize they've walked into a trap with Pierce and his suddenly limitless supply of henchmen.
He explains that he can't leave town and reinvent himself until he kills Lucifer, who'd otherwise hunt him forever. Cain — because let's call a spade a spade, he is the world's first murderer — draws his gun and tells Chloe to step away. Lucifer agrees.
But loyal, loving Chloe steps in front of Lucifer. Cain's newfound love of life is more powerful than any other concerns, so Chloe draws her gun and shoots him, prompting his henchman to return fire and hit her in the chest.
At Cain's command, his men launch an all-out gun assault, and Lucifer snatches Chloe to his chest, unfurling his wings around them both to protect them from the hail of bullets. The visual of his wings encircling them is amazing, and when the haze of smoke clears, bloody feathers litter the ground.
Chloe and Lucifer have escaped to the roof, where he's beyond relieved to discover she was wearing a bulletproof vest. Once he ascertains that she's safe, he bursts back into the building with his bloody wings splayed, raising holy hell with the henchmen until it's just him and Cain.
On the roof, Chloe gets Dan's delayed call warning that it's a trap. She tells him she doesn't know how she's okay… "or maybe I do know." She realizes she may have been avoiding the biggest truth of all, then runs toward the sound when she heard gunshots.
Inside, Lucifer's taking bullet after bullet to the chest until Cain pulls Maze's knife and they go mano a mano. In the end, Lucifer turns the knife around on Cain, fulfilling his promise to find a way to kill him. "I am a devil of my word," he shouts in triumph.
As he dies, Cain anticipates Heaven, but Lucifer's eyes start to glow red as he explains that deep down, Cain knows he deserves Hell. Flames crawl across his face as he warns, "You can't outrun what you've done, what you truly are."
Then Chloe enters into the room, and Lucifer turns to face her sporting his full Devil face. Shocked, Chloe whispers, "It's all true," and we fade to credits for the last time.
- I hate this ending. And I love this ending. Glass half empty: The show's over just as things got really interesting. Glass half full: Now we get to decide. Did Chloe flee in terror? Or did her lightning-quick detective brain slot this new information into what she already knows? Did she take 10 nervous steps back? Or did she cradle Lucifer's cheek and assure him that she accepts every side of him? She did none of these things and all of these things tonight, and that final moment will last forever, allowing endless debate and discussion.
- That said, the TV landscape is so wild right now — who can say whether a campaign to resurrect the show could find legs? On the off chance that it can, you can join the party on Twitter with #SaveLucifer.
- Copious thanks to Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Rachael Harris, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Aimee Garcia, D.B. Woodside, and Kevin Alejandro for creating this big, messy, lovable cast of characters we've enjoyed for three years. It's been wicked fun, friends.