Lucifer S02E08 “Trip To Stabby Town” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- A woman is stabbed 19 time while out exercising – it looks like a crime of passion.
- Lucifer recognises the weapon in some smart phone footage shot by a witness – it Azrael’s blade!
- He, Amenadiel and Maze visit Uriel’s grave – someone has dug it up and taken the blade.
- In human hands the blade turns its wielder into a murder-hungry psycho.
- Lucifer decides to try to keep Chloe away from the case for her own safety.
- He enlists CSI Ella’s help instead, leading Chloe to think they’re having an affair.
- Not that she’s actually jealous, you understand. Just… concerned.
- Dan is more concerned with who’s been nicking his pudding from the police department fridge.
- Clues uncovered by Ella lead Lucifer to… his mum!
- She admits she’s been dropping clues about the whereabouts of the blade, hoping that the ensuing chaos – with her husband’s “experiments” killing each other – might get her husband’s attention. So far, nothing.
- It seems that somebody associated with classes run by a dodgy health guru, Jenson Glory (not his real name) may have the knife.
- As the body count of lentil-eating, yoga-practicing gym bunnies mounts the knife is passed from perpetrator to perpetrator. So where is it now?
- Lucifer finally works out that it’s in possession of a woman who was once raped by Glory.
- He gets to her before Chloe and the police but after she’s killed Glory.
- When the police arrive Lucifer tells them that she acted in self-defence to reduce her charges.
- But while all this is happening, the knife goes missing again…
- Lucifer discovers that Dan has it, and Dan attacks Lucifer, blaming him for wrecking his marriage and stealing his pudding. Which is very amusing.
- But to Lucifer’s surprise, Dan begins resisting the knife and Lucifer wrests it off him. Lucifer is very impressed with Dan’s mental strength.
- Dan doesn’t recall what happened and Lucifer hides the knife, causing missing evidence paperwork nightmares for Chloe.
- Lucifer’s mum is annoyed that all her efforts to provoke God have come to nowt. She and Amenadiel team-up against Lucifer; they both want a family reunion in heaven and intend to force God to play his hand, while Lucifer says he’s never been happier than he’s been on Earth.
- As Lucifer rants about this, he doesn’t notice – but his mum does – that the blade is having some kind of reaction.
- As mum and Amenadiel leave Lucifer’s apartment she tells Amenadiel, “the window just opened”.
- Oh, and Dr Linda – after a period of adjustment in which she questions Lucifer about how Hell operates (well, you would be curious, wouldn’t you?) – finally accepts that the devil needs therapy as much as any human, and settles back into the psychoanalysis routine.
After last week’s quality wobble, “Trip To Stabby Town” sees the show back in fine fettle. We told you Lucifer’s better when it’s concentrating on its arc plot. More than that, though, this episode is consistently and brilliantly funny and shamelessly smutty. Exactly what you want from Lucifer.
Lucifer himself feels more like the more mature and caring character we’ve seen developing in season two rather than the buffoon of last week. And until the final scene he also feels like a man in control; he spends much of the episode bullying Amenadiel around like some kind of witless sidekick, forcing him to search offices and do the dirty work. Okay, Lucifer does use the dreaded “D” word again – that’s “douche” not “devil” – but it actually sounds half-hearted and he certainly realises he’s used it at a very bad time. Hopefully douche’s days are numbered as a running gag.
The subplot with the blade feels like it’s building intriguingly towards something satisfyingly cataclysmic, and Mrs God is clearly a woman with a plan; the blade appeared to react exactly as she wanted it to in that final scene. This is all good, riveting arc-plotty material.
Plus, what are we to make of Lucifer’s admiration for Dan’s ability to fight back against the blade’s mental allure? Is there more to the detective than meets the eye? It’s a supernatural telly trope that everyone in a series eventually gets powers at some point, but it would be great to think that in this case Dan is actually just a mentally strong guy and his ability to fight back is good old strength of character, not the fact that he’s half-angel or something.
It’s not all potents of doom though. “Trip To Stabby Town” has some brilliantly funny moments for everyone, and some of the wickedest dialogue the show has yet delivered. From Maze stealing pop tarts to Dr Linda wondering if there’s a tyrants’ wing in Hell, not a scene is wasted. The show even pulls off Dan ranting about his stolen puddings during the climactic face-off; that’s a piece of humour that could have misfired badly but instead is just brilliantly bizarre.
There’s little to fault here, although some of the set-ups designed to convince Chloe that Lucifer is shagging Ella are a little clunky. Also, is the first time that we’ve been given a real hint that Chloe could actually have romantic feelings towards Lucifer (rather than just fan-baiting moments designed to get ’shippers excited)?
Let’s hope next week the arc plot is still in the ascendent, as the last thing this show needs is to start thinking it’s actually a procedural again… like last week.
- Dr Linda trying to process: “How did you actually torture Hitler in Hell? I mean, is his cell next to Idi Amin’s? Or Mussolini’s? Or is there a kind of a… a… a… tyrant wing in Hell?”
- Dr Linda and Lucifer in role reversal.
- Maze stealing pop tarts.
- “You need a favour?”
“Yes, you scientific expertise on a discreet matter.”
“Mmm… paternity test?”
“What? Do I look like someone who’s be so irresponsible?”
- “That’s why great ideas come in the shower.”
“For me it’s usually women.”
- Oh and while we’re on the subject of smut…
- Lucifer being monumentally embarrassed at his mum boasting about her libido (as any son would be):
“Besides,where else am I going to hide it? Lux? You know how many people traipse through there each week?”
“Well, I don’t know. Your bedroom then?”
“Yes. You are sexually prolific. Turns out you get that from me.”
- “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want.” We have no idea why Lucifer was quoting The Spice Girls but it was amusing.
- The running gag with Dan’s stolen pudding was hilarious.
- Lucifer’s grudging admiration that Dan can resist the knife.
- There seems to be no real reason for Ella to hug Lucifer in his apartment other than for Chloe to walk in just at that moment for a “comedy” misunderstanding.
- Damn – Lucifer is still calling Dan detective douche. This is a gag well past its sell-by date now, especially after the bonding they’ve been going through recently.
- The actor playing Jenson Glory was having a real struggle trying to look overweight.
- Ella taking Lucifer to a church is a scene that goes precisely nowhere.
And The Random:
- If music be the food of love, then this week’s sexy feast included:
• “Feelin’ Like Whoa” by Alyssia & Andrew – Opening scene before the woman is attacked.
• “Darkroom Double” by Moon & Pollution – Lucifer drives to Corrina’s place where he finds her standing over Duncan’s body.
• “Bad Blood” by Tumbleweed Wanderers – Ella drags Lucifer to church.
- Just a thought – Azrael, the angel of Death, is female in this series. Also, this series is based on the Lucifer character who first appeared in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics. Sandman, aka, Dream, is one of the Endless, whose number also includes Death, who’s a female goth. Now, while Azrael and Death are clearly not meant to be the same character, we’d still love to see Azrael (if we ever meet her) dressed as a goth, just as a homage.
- Lucifer calls Jenson “Richard Simmons” – he’s a camp, frizzy-haired fitness guru famous in America, more for his crystal-encrusted tank-tops than his health advice, to be honest.
- Are Ella and Lucifer planning on entering Strictly Come Dancing? Look! Jazz hands!
- There are the usual call-outs to the crew in the list of suspects. Suki Parker is an art director on Lucifer; John Knowlton is a location manager; Antonia Allan is in the art department; Andrew Pedley is a digital imaging technician; Luke Barlow is a camera assistant; Bruce Seto is a props supervisor. We’ve drawn a blank with Craig Lane, but Christan Milot may be a reference to the owner of the Eagle Spirit art gallery in Vancouver where Lucifer is filmed. Maybe they’ve filmed in the gallery?
- Meanwhile, the yoga timetable has a few more call-outs: Kelly McLaughlin is in the camera department; Rebecca Mangieri handles casting; Shanna Mair, Megan Leson and Lenah Hama are in the costume department; Kathryn Metner is a lamp operator; Mark Aviss is a Best Boy; Dave McLean is a gaffer. Cal Thompson we’re not sure about, but he was also listed on the police department memorial board last episode, so it seems death is no barrier to teaching Warm Yin. Whatever that is.
Review by Dave Golder