Lucifer S02E03 “Sin-Eater” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Chloe and Lucifer are called in to investigate a serial killer who appears to be “punishing” people with gruesome deaths that reflect something bad they’ve done in their lives.
- The “punisher” MO makes Lucifer realise that he enjoys punishing people too and that he’s good at it.
- The killer appears to have some connection to an social media company called Wobble (Lucifer is disappointed to discover it’s not a porn site).
- Lucifer is intrigued by Wobble’s taste censors, or Sin Eaters – they guys who have to scour the site and take down anything vile, immoral or legally iffy. It’s his idea of heaven!
- The killer turns out to be the company’s PR guy. Who… really likes punishing people.
- Lucifer is increasingly appalled by his mother’s hedonistic behaviour (like mother like…? Oh, never mind). She says she’s just learning what it is to be human… talking of which, what is that tingling sensation you get in your nether regions when you rub up against someone?
- Maze is fed up with Lucifer’s mum hanging around the LUX.
- She turns to Amenadiel for help in getting rid of her (but not revealing who this mysterious woman is.)
- Amenadiel’s all too willing to help out, in the hope it’ll distract Maze from questioning why he’s hoovering up feathers in his office.
- Amenadiel goes to Lucifer’s flat where he realises the woman is his mother. Amazingly, she manages to win him over.
- Lucifer returns to his flat and is surprised to find Amenadiel and mum playing happy families.
- Lucifer, though, in a new mood of “poetic punishment”, decides to chuck mum out. He won’t shop her to dad yet, but she’ll have to live her life on Earth in the identity of the lawyer – Charlotte Richards – whose body she took over. That way she’ll really learn about humanity.
- As she walks to her new life “Charlotte” is attacked by a mugger. She casually throws him across the street. She’s clearly very pleased to learn that she’s not just human.
- Elsewhere, Dan tells Chloe he thinks they should divorce.
For a while it looks like “Sin-Eater” is going to achieve something unique in Lucifer: an interesting crime-of-the-week. The two murders are brilliant bizarre and the opening scene – with a guy begging for mercy as someone prepares to barbecue him – is about as edgy as this show’s ever been.
But then the usual lucky-guesses detective work comes into play and it all goes off the boil. It doesn’t really help that the serial killer – a man Lucifer is desperate to talk to about the art of punishment – has practically no depth or impact; a side-effect of the whodunnit format keeping him in the fringes of the episode until the big reveal. Vik Sahay is wasted in the role, and it’s difficult to understand why Lucifer would want to bother seeking validation from such a non-entity. Lucifer’s never exactly shown any signs before that he doubts his abilities to punish before, so why now? It all feels a little artificial.
That aside, this is a watchable enough episode, but lacking in real stand-out moments. Lucifer has some funny lines (“Did you know that this room collects all the best parts of the internet?”). His mum has a few amusing scenes. Ella continues to be fun. The bit with Amenadiel vacuuming up his wing feathers is poignant. There’s a little bit of movement on the arc plot, with Lucifer chucking mum out, and mum revealing her supernatural strength. But nothing that makes you sit up and go, “Woah!”
You think there’s going to be a face-off between Amenadiel and his mum but even that comes to nothing… Even more frustratingly it’s not entirely cleat why he’s so easily won over by mum. Is it something to do with his loss of powers? Is he now simply incapable of dragging her back to Hell?
Three episodes into this arc and what we really need is some clarification of the relationship between Lucifer, Amenadiel, God and Mrs God. All those hints in throwaway lines are fine for a while, and yeah, we know the big picture, but the lack of details is a little frustrating and it does make things like Amenadiel capitulation a little mystifying. And doesn’t dad know all this is going on? He is supposed to omnipotent after all.
- The murders are almost Hannibal-esque in their stagecraft.
- Tricia Helfer is great fun as Lucifer’s and Amenadiel’s mum. Especially the way she’s cramping Lucifer’s style. “I just want to be part of your lives,” she implores. “Not this part!,” says Lucifer clutching his sex toys. “Out of bounds.”
- Lucifer and Ella bonding over really bad “incinerated knob” gags is oddly cute.
- “Do not touch the charred crotch!”
- “He shared pictures of us together.”
“Ooh, mid coitus? If so we’ll have to confiscate those immediately.”
- “Have you considered for just one moment how your fighting affects those caught in the middle?”
“You mean Trixie?”
“What? No! I mean me!”
- For some reason we also loved “man-bun” telling Linda, “Because you’re an incredible woman.” He’s probably just being “barman friendly” – hoping she’ll buy another drink – but it was still sweet, and Linda looked really chuffed.
- The crime-of-the-week starts well, but fizzles out.
- Does Lucifer really needs lessons in punishment from a dorky PR guy?
- The teases about what actually went on back in the day between the God family are getting a little tiresome. Let’s have a flashback to get everything straight, okay?
- It’s not entirely clear why Maze doesn’t just tell Amenadiel that the woman in Lucifer’s apartment is his mum. Did she think letting him find out for himself was a good wheeze?
And The Random:
- The devil gets all the best tunes, and here’s the ones he had to share with us this week:
• “If You Wanna Leave” by Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado – when Dan enters the precinct to apologise to Trixie for being late.
• “I Wonder” by Naomi Pilgrim – Lucifer and Chloe investigate where Adam Wiser was murdered.
• “Asylum” by Desi Valentine – the Linda/Maze scene at the LUX.
• “All Eyes On Me” by Pigeon John – Lucifer watches his mum dancing on the table at the LUX.
• “Old Habits” by Hot Bodies In Motion – Lucifer’s mum throws the mugger across the street.
- Remember last week when Chloe looked like she was doing an impression of the Trixie’s trashed doll? Seems like it wasn’t a one-off…
- This week’s killer is played by Vik Sahay, well-known to cult TV fans as “indian lesbian” Lester Patel in Chuck. Shame he wasn’t wearing a Jeffster T-shirt, though.
- Just a random thought… was the guy at Wobble whose desk was covered in cacti supposed to look like Seymour from Little Shop Of Horrors?
- “Judgment Day? Oh. People should really be careful how they use that phrase. It isn’t actually due for another couple of years.” Is this merely a throwaway gag, or setting up something that could potentially happen in season four or five? #RumourStartsHere
Review by Dave Golder