“See, you’re just as bad as me, brother. Pride is your sin, too.”
What better way to ring in 2018 than to party like it’s 2011 in the City of Angels?
Of course, that all depends on if you like a pseudo ret-con with seemingly no relation to what came before it.
So what is the point of Lucifer’s 2018 premiere? Well, that’s tough to say. We get to see our favorite Fallen’s first jaunt onto the mortal plane since the 70’s. Like his standing MO, Lucifer wants to have a good time. Unfortunately, Amenadiel has other plans, namely ushering his brother back down into Hell. But it’s not long before Amenadiel’s plans are upended when a masked man shoots him and another man, taking the temporarily incapacitated angel’s necklace.
By now, we’ve seen the importance of Amenadiel’s necklace so already we know he’ll get it back. But, as is often said, it’s the journey not the destination. “City of Angels?” journey is, like many one-shot comics, entertaining but lacking in the narrative whole. The two celestial brothers find themselves involved in a murder mystery, one where two other familiar faces—the still married Chloe Decker and Detective Dan Espinosa—are running a parallel investigation. The victim in this instance is Aiden Scott, an MMA fighter whom everyone loved by whose refusal to throw a fight found him on the wrong end of a bullet. It turns out, like many procedural murders, Scott’s death is squarely on the deadly sin of greed. The fun, however, is of two brothers with vastly opposing personalities and yet have similarities that neither are keen on admitting.
And it’s this conflict, that partially saves “City of Angels?” from being a complete waste of time. Not only do we get to see Lucifer’s first forays into the art of the deal but are reminded that the Morningstar refuses to see himself as evil. From humanity’s perspective, Lucifer is that personification but, as he’s wont to tell everyone that will listen, he is nothing more than the punisher of those whose guilt places them in Hell.
But back to the episode’s primary conflict: that of a son in open rebellion versus one who follows their father’s Word to the letter. But as often is the case someone like Amenadiel who is inflexible in his thinking, often overlooks the fine print. When he accepts Lucifer’s assistance to find the stolen necklace, Amenadiel promises his brother a favor to be named later. At the end of the day, the favor is to be left alone on Earth, away from the doldrums of Hell. “Father will be furious,” Amenadiel reminds his brother, “and you will suffer His wrath”.
Lucifer doesn’t so much as brush off his brother’s last words as to embrace it, gleeful in his ultimate act of rebellion: having Mazikeen cut the angelic wings from his back.
- As mentioned, Chloe and Dan are also prominent in the episode and yet their arc was insignificant. Sure, we see Chloe’s drive to become detective and Lucifer’s senses going off when they are in one another’s presence but nothing came of it. The inclusion of Charlotte Richards was also an unnecessary inclusion…unless you look at the episode as a reminder of God the Architect and how random things may not be so random.
- Though the episode was middling at best, there were a few good moments littered throughout. Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best” was a hilarious inclusion, the background track to Amenadiel’s training montage as he planned to go undercover as a fighter for the investigation.
- But it’s Lucifer’s greatest act of rebellion, the willful removal of his wings with “American Funeral” playing will be the image that stays with me. Combined with the lyrics, so aptly playing into Lucifer’s desire for freedom from Hell and a father who—in Lucifer’s eyes—wishes to do nothing more than hold him back. “Give me my freedom” the lyrics go and by removing his wings, Lucifer believes he has found that freedom.
Lucifer: “City of Angels?”