Lucifer - The Good, The Bad And The Crispy - Review: “Angelic Finale” + POLL By Aimee Hicks (May 30, 2017, 3:00 am)
Lucifer delivered an intense ending to cap an outstanding season. The writers and performers charged head first into this episode and gave it everything they had. They perfectly concluded some storylines and left others hanging as fuel for next season. The character interactions were brilliant and the overall tone of the episode nailed that perfect balance of procedural and celestial. To cap it all off, and leave the audience anxious for next season to begin, they ended on a big open-ended point that will leave fans speculating all summer.
Before we get to that cliffhanger, though, so much else happened. Starting with the big reveal that Amenadiel has been the entrusted holder of the final piece of the Flaming Sword all along. For the first time this season that gave him back a sense of hope. It also put him in a confusing position where he had to determine where his loyalties stand. With his brother? His mother? His father? He had to decide what he wanted to do and it was a nice gesture that Lucifer stopped fighting with his brother and tried to grant him that desire. Though that would ultimately blow up in both of their faces, still it was a nice gesture nonetheless.
Amenadiel’s soul searching led him to seek out Dan. Again, this friendship simply should not work. These two guys have very little in common, yet in some weird way, they have a strong bond. The stuff at the acting class was a fun, but it did feel out of place in a season finale. That is until the big reveal later in the episode that Amenadiel had sneakily slipped the final piece of the sword into Dan’s pocket. It was a brilliantly sneaky slide of hand by the writers. It’s quite obvious that Amenadiel had a feeling Maze was lurking in the shadows, so it was a smart play on his part to buy himself more time to process everything. This was a defining episode for the disgraced angel as he would ultimately be the hero who saved the day. It’s safe to say that Amenadiel will be considerably more involved in things next season. D.B. Woodside was an absolute genius this whole season as he took Amenadiel on this amazing roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs.
While every performer absolutely nailed their scenes, Lesley-Ann Brandt and Rachael Harris jointly owned the emotional side of this season finale. These two are always a pleasure to watch, especially when they get to share scenes, but their dynamic usually brings great comedic moments. Not in this episode, because the writers went all in tapping into the great emotional range both actresses have. Instead of the typical comedy, the writers went straight for serious high-stakes drama and these two actresses brought it to a level that is hard to even capture in words. Before attempting to put that big scene into any sort of coherent wording its first important to look at what brought the characters to that point.
Maze spent most of the episode being a bounty hunter for Lucifer after the latter discovered that his mom was running out of time in her human body. She got too hilariously knockout Amenadiel and did so simply because she could and because he was talking way too much. She’s a self-professed hater of big emotions and didn’t really want to deal with his problems when bigger things were going on. It’s amusing that she can find high levels of tolerance for her human friends, but really has none for her celestial ones. The adorable scene she had with Trixie and Lucifer was a prime example of this. She clearly had zero tolerance for Lucifer’s antics, but was just along for the ride with Trixie. The young girl brings out a softer side to Maze, they just get each other. By the way, Maze babysitting Trixie needs to happen way more next season because their dynamic is just so adorable that it needs more exploration. While Trixie tends to favor Lucifer, she was definitely having none of him during their scene. She gave him a little bit of attitude that might indicate that Maze is starting to rub off on her ever so slightly. Brandt and Scarlett Estevez clearly have a ton of fun when they work together. It seemed very natural when Trixie plopped down on Maze’s lap and they fist bumped. It was nice that Maze got these moments, because unbeknownst to her at the time, her entire world was about to implode around her.
At the center of the implosion was Dr. Linda who throughout the episode found herself embroiled smack dab in the middle of Lucifer’s family drama. She was Charlotte’s target for both medical attention and information. The medical attention seemed innocent enough even if Dr. Linda isn’t actually that kind of doctor. She really had very little choice but to do as Charlotte demanded of her. And let’s face it, Tricia Helfer can pull off intimidating like no one else, so it’s understandable why Linda had to help her. Also, worth a quick note, the height difference between the actresses definitely added to the intensity of their interactions. Helfer really does come off feeling larger than life. It was all terrifying for Linda, but she handled it in stride until one tiny slip-up quite nearly cost her everything when Charlotte would later return to her office to extract information from her. And that is where things kicked up to an intensity level of emotion perhaps never seen before in this show. This exceeded the level of intense emotions that even surrounded Chloe’s near-death.
The moment where Maze found Linda, barely clinging to life was a scene that is truly hard to properly describe in words. It was hard to watch because it was just that good and the acting was so primal and raw. The pain that Rachael Harris brought to Linda was powerful and heart-wrenching. There have been thousands of scenes of characters injured, sick, or worse, but few performers have been able to capture as real a representation of that sort of excruciating pain as Harris did. Viewers wouldn’t be faulted if they had to glance away to catch their breath. That’s just how realistic this performance was. Then, as if things weren’t emotional enough, Lesley-Ann Brandt triggered a side of Maze that has never really been seen before. For the first time in the run of the series, Maze was truly genuinely terrified and Brandt captured that fear with such realism that the audience couldn’t help but be legitimately concerned as the fierce fearless demon turned to Amenadiel to beg for help. This is someone who never asks for help and who always has a plan, but in this moment the very human emotion of fear of losing a dear friend kicked in and for a moment it paralyzed her. All she could do was make desperate promises to Linda and hope that something would happen to save this human that she cares about. It was a desperate moment of pure primal vulnerability for two characters that usually are the rocks for everyone else. Again, words can’t do this scene proper justice. It was simply one of the strongest emotional scenes that the series has done. The fact it was pulled off flawlessly is a huge testament to both Rachael Harris and Lesley-Ann Brandt who can’t receive enough praise for the work they did.
While this scene was by far the most emotional, it was absolutely not the only intense emotionally driven scene of the episode. The other big one occurred on the beach in the final big epic moment between Lucifer and his mom. Let’s face it; she’s not going to be winning the best mother of all existence award anytime soon, but she does love her children. Everything she has done has been to be able to see them again. The things she did to try and accomplish that weren’t always moral or in line with what her children would want her to do. In fact, most of the time she did exactly the opposite of what her boys asked of her. And after what she did to Linda there really was no going back for her. The boys weren’t going to tolerate her antics anymore, Maze would probably have made it her mission to eradicate her from all existence, and going back to Heaven simply wasn’t a practical plan. Lucifer had two choices, kill her or find an unexpected solution to all their problems.
Being Lucifer, he went for the most outlandish wild plan he could think of in the spur of the moment. With the mighty power of the Flaming Sword, he quite literally sliced into existence a new realm with the sword that oddly grew and came to sort of resemble a light saber. By creating this realm he kept his mom alive while protecting the humans he cares about and preventing all out celestial war. It broke his heart, no matter how much she annoyed him or the messes he had to clean up, she will always be his mom. And even though he’d never readily admitted to it, he does love his parents. It was evident with all the God Johnson stuff that his ideal scenario would be to see his parents truly reconcile and reconnect. That looks highly unlikely to happen now, however, this is not likely to be the end of the Goddess. She might be banished to a new realm of existence, but she is there with part of the Flaming Sword and a whole lot of time.
While it may be a very long time until Mom makes a return appearance, it may not be a permanent end to Tricia Helfer’s time on the series. Charlotte Richards lives and given all that has happened to her I suspect that she’ll still be popping in from time to time as certain situations force her path to cross with Lucifer’s. Might be interesting to see Charlotte divorce her husband and actually start something with Dan. All likely wishful thinking just to keep Helfer around, but we can all hope. Helfer was without a single question or doubt an exceptional addition to the show this season. If this was indeed her swansong then she deserves a standing ovation for the incredible work she did bringing this larger than life character into existence.
Tom Ellis is his usual powerhouse self in this episode as he charges Lucifer through one tense situation after another. Lucifer had to deal with an immense amount in this episode. He found out that his brother was indeed the favorite son. Then he found out his mother was putting all of humanity at risk as her host body began to deteriorate. He had to save Chloe from his mom and ultimately had to send his mom away. Lucifer was running ragged trying to make everything right and that wasn’t an easy task when so many things were going on. Ultimately, in the end, he made the right choices. It was also a nice touch that he made sure to keep Amenadiel’s pendant before tossing the rest of the Flaming Sword away. It shows a maturity in him that of all the pieces that is the one he kept. There is a sentimentality to him that he doesn’t like to acknowledge, but the truth is there is a big heart hiding behind all the sarcasm and bravado.
The whole theme of this episode was finding a way to move forward and leave the past in the past. Early on Chloe told him that and it kept resonating with him throughout the episode. It’s something that Chloe struggled with in regards to Dan and her own upbringing, so it’s something she can relate with. They’ve been through a lot this season and while there is a path forward for them it will take Lucifer dropping some of his protective walls. As Chloe pointed out, while he can’t lie he is very good at omitting important facts. That has to stop for them to have any hope of a future and Lucifer has to let go of some of his fatherly issues to be able to move forward with her. In their final scene together, Chloe gave him quite a motivating ultimatum. He either has to open up with her or their partnership would be over. We all know they’ll find a way to come back together again, but it’s quite obvious things won’t be easy, especially after the big cliffhanger.
What is made clear is that Lucifer is finally starting to learn from some of his past mistakes. After everything with his mom, he was ready to make some changes, but he needed a final push. He got that when he visited Dr. Linda at the hospital. In a lovely and much-needed scene, Lucifer got some very sound advice and viewers got definitive confirmation that Linda had survived her ordeal. Linda let Lucifer see that it was better and fairer for Chloe to know the truth than to be running around blind and he was just about to reveal the secret when someone or something intervened by knocking him out. Whoever did it quite literally stopped the single biggest moment fans have been desperate for, so they aren’t likely to be forgiven anytime soon. On the bright side, Lucifer was prepared to reveal the secret, so this gives hope that at some point next season Chloe will finally find out the truth. Hopefully sooner than later so that the show can finally start to dive into what Chloe’s divine origins truly mean. It’s kind of hard to get too in-depth without her knowing what’s going on.
But, first, Lucifer has to find his way back from wherever he ended the episode. The bigger question at hand here is what the literal Hell did that final scene mean?! Lucifer has his wings back and has clearly been through some intense ordeal based on the wear showing on his body. Was he forced back to Hell? Did he get called back to Heaven and in some off-screen moment reconciled with his father hence the return of his wings before asking to be sent back to Earth? Is he in actually in Heaven? Though, if that is Heaven, he might be better off going back to Hell because that didn’t look very appealing. Was that some odd covert flashback to when he was banished to Hell? At least last season it was clear what the cliffhanger was setting up, but in this case, it’s completely open to interpretation. There are so many possible things that this means and the odds are none of us will be right because these writers like to do what no one expects them to. This was a mean way to end the season on this big crazy cliffhanger, but since it was so very brilliantly amazing the writers can be forgiven. They have certainly made sure that this is going to be a long summer as we wait for answers.
With this being the season finale here are a few stray observations from this episode. First, a moment of silence for Lucifer’s dearly departed piano. May it be miraculously resurrected next season. Lucifer needs that piano, so hopefully, it gets a divine repair or an even better replacement. Secondly, Lesley-Ann Brandt was pregnant during the filming of these episodes so huge kudos to her for powering through everything that comes with pregnancy to deliver some truly outstanding performances. Also, props to the show for still keeping Maze a true badass. With any luck, she won't miss too many episodes at the start of next season, but big congratulations to her and her husband. Thirdly, this needs to be noted again, that cliffhanger was just both cruel and utterly brilliant.
Now, on a closing note, here are some hopes for Season 3. Chloe needs to finally find out the truth. Seriously, slow-burn reveals are fun to watch, but this one is just about at the expiration date for how long the writers can stretch it out. Maze and Chloe will hopefully have more interactions. For roommates, their interactions really didn’t get any major focus until this last batch of episodes. Dr. Linda’s status as a practicing psychiatrist will hopefully be revealed considering that plot point sort of got dropped coming into this episode. Ella will hopefully get a solid plot that will allow her to be fleshed out more as a character. They’ve got a powerhouse performer in Aimee Garcia and need to tap into all that she can do. It would be great to see Dan and Amenadiel continue to explore their friendship because there is some comedic magic in that oddball friendship. And, the big godly elephant in the room will hopefully get dealt with by having God actually appear so he and his sons can hash out some things. Plus, we need to finally hear his side of events with his ex-wife. There is a lot of promise for Season 3 and it should be a fun and exciting ride. For now, this is the end of Season 2 and the long summer hiatus now begins.
Even though the season is over be sure to keep an eye on SpoilerTV for news on the upcoming season. Then make sure to return here in the Fall for more previews, reviews, and commentary about the episodes. I’ll be back reviewing Lucifer (8/7c in the Fall) and its new Monday night companion show The Gifted (9/8c in the Fall). So, for now, jump down to the comments to speculate about what the big ending meant. What do you hope will happen next season? What were favorite moments from this epic sized season finale?