Lucifer S02E05 “The Weaponizer” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- We discover that Chloe’s accident was caused by Lucifer’s angel brother Uriel, who claims to be here on Earth to at dad’s behest to drag mum back to Hell.
- Uriel cannot directly harm humans but he can set in motion complex chains of events that can lead to mortal death.
- This time, though Chloe is only slightly injured in the crash, as a warning
- He tells Lucifer to bring him mum in 24 hours time or Chloe will die.
- Lucifer decides to stick close to Chloe during her latest investigation and act as a risk assessment guru to keep her out of harm’s way.
- He asks Amenadiel to deal with Uriel, still unaware of the fact that Amenadiel has lost his powers.
- Amenadiel tries to bluff it out with Uriel but Uriel sees right through him and beats him up, releasing millennia of pent up anger at being picked on by his more powerful brothers.
- The case of the week involves a murdered action film star – he appeared in a series of films that both Lucifer and Dan are fans of. Amazingly they actually geekily bond over their shared love.
- It initially looks like the actor was killed by an old acting rival but it actually turns out the murderer was their shared business manager who’s been screwing them out of money for action figures, and also screwing an actress who’s been married to both of them. She actually came up with the plan to kill the one actor using an award given to the other.
- Learning that Amenadiel has failed, Lucifer challenges Uriel himself.
- Uriel reveals that he has Azrael’s blade – it has the power to wipe someone from existence completely, so that they go to neither Heaven nor Hell.
- Uriel is not here doing dad’s bidding but just doing what he thinks is best for dad; seeing the way mum has already wrapped Lucifer and Amenadiel around her little finger, he fears she will do the same with God, so he intends to take her out of the equation altogether.
- Lucifer and Uriel have a fight during which Lucifer gets hold of Azrael’s blade and stabs Uriel, wiping him from existence.
- He returns to his mum, heartbroken at what he’s done to his brother.
This isn’t the episode we were expecting but it is a gamechanger nevertheless. And not just because it requires more honest-to-goodness dramatic acting from Tom Ellis as Lucifer than ever before. The poor guy looks utterly broken by the episode’s end. It’s stirring stuff.
We thought this episode might have been 45 minutes of Chloe fighting for her life but stunningly she escapes the accident with little more than a scratch and a couple of hairs out of place. We’ll forgive the show this lapse, though, because the opening scene with Uriel setting up the crash – soundtracked by The Rolling Stones – is brilliant and totally unexpected. So “Weaponizer” might be a format breaker but it does deliver quite a few surprises and twists. (Blimey, Lucifer and Dan even find something to bond over – now that’s a surprise.)
Uriel dominates the episode and while he’s a scuzzy git, he’s also a fascinating character. Not just because of his ability to see and manipulate patterns but because of the things he reveals about what life was like in the God family. It actually sounds like he was the subject of some quite harsh bullying, so what does that tell us about Lucifer and Amenadiel? Even Mrs God comes to his defence, admiring his tenacity and gumption, and in his own way he is remaining loyal to his father even if he isn’t obeying his exact word.
It’s a shame Uriel dies at the end of the episode for a number reasons; not just because it would have been great to have seen more sequences like that opening one, but because his sessions with Dr Linda would have been very interesting.
We also get Lucifer trying to justify breaking his deal with dad using celestial semantics – God never actually said what he wanted, he points out. He never does. “The selfish bastard won’t just tell us!” rails Lucifer. “And I’m sick of it.” Well, it’s one of the drawbacks of having God for a dad; he’s always been vague on specifics and loves communicating in metaphor.
Elsewhere the crime-of-the-week plot is marginally more fun than usual even if the resolution hinges on both a handy coincidence (Dan is a fan of the films) and a lucky guess (maybe it wasn’t that award that was the murder weapon but that other award!). Maybe the presence of a couple of recognisable guest stars helps liven things up; it’s certainly nice to see Charisma Carpenter again.
The main problem is that Uriel’s threat comes to an end all too quickly and a potentially great ongoing character is dispatched after one episode. Introducing Azrael into the mix in the same episode – spiritually if not in body – also seems to be overegging things slightly.On the whole, this feels like it should have been a multi-episode arc. Maybe if “Azrael’s blade” had been introduced a few episodes earlier (as a metaphorical “loaded gun”) its sudden appearance here wouldn’t have felt quite so arbitrary, and its implications would have felt more powerful.
Not that it really matters, because Ellis does such a good job of convincing us that something pretty damned major has gone down.
- Uriel makes one hell of an impact for a character whom we’ll presumably never get to see again.
- The opening sequence of him engineering the chain of events that leads to Chloe’s crash feels very different for this show and is a brilliant way to start the episode. Did they really have to kill off Uriel? We’d love to have seen more of his “pattern” hoodoo at work. In fact, we can’t help imagining various ways that one note on a church organ could have lead to Chloe’s death in two days time.
- There’s some real, proper, dramatic acting going here. Again, it’s a testament to the power of Uriel’s presence in the episode – as well as Tom Ellis’s acting – that you genuinely feel grief for Lucifer when he breaks down after killing his brother, even though we barely know this character.
- Lauren German has a great episode too, especially the way she talks down Kimo by basically laying her life philosophy on the line.
- The scene with Maze, Charlotte and the barking child is just cracked genius.
- “He had a drug problem, right?”
“Well only if you consider ingesting millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine a problem. I call it a Tuesday.”
- “Clearly I got the fashion sense in the family. Word of advice. I’d lose the tench coat, cause as it stands it’s less cool, brooding angel, more sort of paedophile chic.”
- “Welcome to Devil Time.”
“What are you doing?”
“Trying out my new catchphrase.”
“Welcome to Devil Time? What the hell does that mean?”
“She knows what it means.”
“I have no idea what that means.”
- Lucifer not getting what’s wrong with wanting a selfie with a corpse is what makes him Lucifer.
- Chloe’s right: Dan and Lucifer geeking out is adorable.
- So Lucifer never did question Amenadiel any further after said in the last episode that he couldn’t take mum back to Hell? It’s not impossible, but it seems unlikely.
- The end of the fight, with Lucifer stabbing Uriel, doesn’t feel clever enough after what we’ve learned about Uriel’s ability to see patterns.
- And Uriel spouting a comedy line – “I didn’t see that coming” – doesn’t help with the tragedy of the moment, either.
- No Dr Linda! Okay she would have had to have been shoehorned into the plot this week, but damn it, she’s good enough to warrant being shoe-horned in.
- Charlotte suddenly agreeing to let Uriel take her back to Hell felt like a complete bolt from the blue. What did Maze say to her? Maybe they had a cunning plan? If not, then the decision just feels… off.
And The Random:
- This week’s hellishly good music includes:
• “Time Is On My Side” by The Rolling Stones – during the opening scene when Uriel engineers Chloe’s crash.
• “Turn It On Again” by Max Boogie Overdrive – Lucifer and Chloe on a stake-out.
• “California” by Bahari – When Uriel bumps into a man at the beach, resulting in Kimo almost hitting a construction worker, then seeing Jamie Lee with another guy.
• “I See You Walk” by Coco Moon – the cityscape montage leading into Charlotte telling Lucifer she’s going to let Uriel take her back to Hell.
• “We Don’t Eat” by James Vincent McMorrow – Lucifer drives off to meet with Uriel.
• “Whirlwind Of Rubbish” by Evangelist – over the final scenes of Lucifer telling his mum he’s killed Uriel and Chloe reading Trixie a bedtime story.
- The book that Chloe reads to Trixie is Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman also wrote Sandman, which introduced the version of Lucifer who, in a roundabout way, this show is based on.
- Jamie Lee is played by Charisma Carpenter best know as Cordelia on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel.
- Kimo is played by the always-brilliant Mark Dacascos, best known for the films Brotherhood Of The Wolf (2001) and Drive (1997) but most recently had a memorable recurring role as Hive’s boot boy Giyera in Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD.
- When Trixie does this face, it convinces us even more that she is actually a female Damien…
- We think Mrs God (or Charlotte as the show’s press releases insist on calling her) dropped her papers in shock when the giant fruit machine behind her hit the jackpot – three apples in a row!
Review by Dave Golder