Lucifer: Everything really is coming up Lucifer in the season two opener

ep01Spoilers ahoy.

So, it looks like Lucifer has made the somewhat dubious decision to practically reboot the series in its sophomore season. Sure, a lot of things are still the same, but after a full season of working through all that Palmetto nonsense and building up to the revelation of what Chloe actually witnessed, I rather expected that the effects of all those events would be more deeply felt going into this season. Instead, that whole story seems to be being dropped in favor of exploring some of the show’s more promising elements.

Instead of picking up with dealing with the ramifications of the season one finale, “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer” opens with Lucifer and Amenadiel well into their search for their mother and then segues straight into a completely ordinary case of the week. Even Dan’s suspension is quickly explained away as the department wanting to sweep things under the rug and move on—as clear a case of lampshading as I’ve seen in a good while. The funny thing is, I think it works. The Palmetto storyline was always as dull as it was fraught, and it was a millstone around the show’s neck all last season when there were obviously more interesting things they could have been exploring. As moderately irritating as it is when a show does something as nonsensical as just absurdly wrapping up a major storyline without actually dealing with it, this season premiere more than makes up for that in pretty much every other area by focusing on what made the first season good and showing a real (and smart) responsiveness to fan criticism.

Starting the season off with Lucifer and Amenadiel together was a wise choice, and Tom Ellis and D.B. Woodside continue to have a comfortable, believable chemistry that really helps to sell their dysfunctional family dynamic. While they’re working together in the first minutes of the episode, it soon becomes clear that their relationship is still troubled. Lucifer continues to harbor resentment towards his brother for taking sides in the fight between their parents, and Amenadiel is (probably sensibly) concerned about Lucifer’s attempts to reveal his divinity to Chloe. I always feel as if the relationship between Lucifer and Chloe is meant to be the central one of the show, but Lucifer’s relationship with his brother continues to be far more compelling, and I was happy to see it given a correspondingly larger share of screen time this week.

Chloe doesn’t have a whole lot to do this week, but that may be for the best to avoid overstuffing the episode. I’m having a hard time caring much about Chloe’s relationship with the newly-demoted Dan, and it seems Chloe is as well. She spends the episode keeping her distance from her estranged husband as she works the case of the week. More importantly, she’s also grappling with trying to figure out what to think about Lucifer. She has a sample of his blood from when he was shot, and she starts the episode threatening to have it tested so she can find out what he is. When Amenadiel offers a more ordinary explanation for Lucifer’s seemingly supernatural capabilities, Chloe doesn’t buy it, but the end of the hour sees her nonetheless throwing away the blood sample untested. Chloe’s skepticism and how she understands Lucifer was never properly explored last season, and I would love to see some real movement on that front soon, but I’m not sure if this uncharacteristic decision of Chloe’s to ignore the evidence that is available to her bodes well for that hope.

Lucifer is still in therapy, but his sessions with Dr. Linda have changed in tone. This episode finds Linda wondering if their sessions are doing any good at all, as Lucifer seems incapable of taking any responsibility for, well, anything. It’s not certain yet if Linda will ultimately carry through on her threat to break up with Lucifer, but it’s obvious that Lucifer needs to commit himself to the therapy process with a bit more seriousness if he wants to continue. In the meantime, we find out that Linda has been harboring the confused Maze for the last few days, and their friendship seems to be flourishing, though we don’t get to actually see much of it this week. This general redefinition of Linda’s role in the show can only be a positive development at this point. Her sexual relationship with Lucifer last season was too unethical and one-note to work, and it was never quite clear exactly what her place was in the broader narrative. Establishing her as a friend to Maze—who certainly could use one—and creating a more normative patient/therapist relationship with Lucifer fixes some of last season’s issues and builds a much better foundation for the character going forward. It also, along with the arrival of a new character and potential friend for Chloe, Ella, addresses one of my own biggest issues with the first season of the show—its lack of female friendships.

All in all, “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer” is a solid season opener that shows a real commitment on the part of the show’s writers to improving the show based on common criticisms of it and by focusing on the things that were praised in season one. It’s a fresh start and shows a new confidence in the show’s success that I don’t think existed in the first season, which was inconsistently written and seemed uncertain what it wanted to be. Where this episode falters in delivering on what ought to have been the natural consequences of the season one finale, it excels at offering a new vision of a stronger show that refuses to be weighed down by past missteps.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

  • I missed Trixie this week.
  • Best line of the episode: “My name is Lucifer Morningstar, and I LOVE DRUGS.”
  • Maze’s character development might be the most interesting thing happening on the show. I hope there is some substantial time dedicated to exploring it this season.
  • Uh oh. Amenadiel is also having some issues with his angelic powers.
  • I never get enough of Tom Ellis playing the piano and singing, but this rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” was a little overproduced.
  • That said, OF COURSE it’s “All Along the Watchtower.”
  • Ending the episode with the arrival of Lucifer’s mom (Tricia Helfer) was expected, but also perfectly executed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s