“I know this is scary, but this is where we need to start. Your Hell.”
If there’s one thing you can always expect in an episode of Lucifer, is that our well-dressed, self-centered, antihero will say or do something firmly planted in the category of preposterous. In “Infernal Guinea Pig” the Morningstar comes up with one of his craziest plans yet. Fresh off of Chloe’s advice about the past at the end of last week, Lucifer knows exactly how he’s going to help Pierce (aka Cain aka the World’s First Murderer) break the curse in order to once again become mortal: resurrect the reason for Pierce’s undying condition, none other than his brother Abel.
So how does one pull a soul from Hell into our world? Well, taking a que from his mother’s possession of Charlotte’s body, the soul needs a freshly deceased meat suit in order for things to work. Despite being Hell’s ruler (though he’s abdicated said throne) Lucifer was never one to embrace the inner workings of his domicile, thus it comes as no surprise when the soul transfer develops a bit of a hiccup. Instead of tossing Abel into the husk of a recently deceased old man nearing the century mark, lines get crossed and Abel winds up in the body of Bree Garland, a young woman who’d just become victim to an attack seemingly aimed at her boss, Hollywood producer Alexa Lee.
It’s not a surprise that Lucifer’s supernatural plotline is linked with the procedural but whereas Lucifer is generally at Chloe’s side for the latter, he’s partnered up with Pierce as the unlikely pair focus on breaking the curse. And it once again becomes clear that the Tom’s—Welling and Ellis—have a wonderful chemistry that often makes for the best parts of an episode in which they’re paired. Granted, the back-and-forth is somewhat muted as they search for Abel, who somehow doesn’t realize he’s been rocking a woman’s body.
Though trying to get Cain’s curse removed is a major focus of the episode, the true by-line is finding a way to deal with your past. If an episode theme isn’t always clear, leave it to Dr. Linda to crystalize it. In this case, she’s taken on Charlotte’s case. The Assistant DA is doing everything she can to remember those months that have been lost to her while simultaneously trying not to think about the Hellish nightmare she had to relive over and over again. It’s not until she hears Abel—in Bree’s body—recall his own horrific experiences that Charlotte understands that she has no control over that past horror and, in order to move forward, has to let it go. But that is something that will take time, and the first step is talking about it with the good doctor.
While Charlotte realizes she does need to talk in order to move forward, Mazikeen would rather throw fists and feet. Her confrontation with Amenadiel—initially sparked by her trying to keep him out of Lucifer and Pierce’s business—escalates into what, for a demon, could be considered a cathartic row of violence. She still hasn’t figured out how to deal with the pain Amenadiel and Linda’s affair caused her, falling back into her comfort zone of drawing blood. But when the former angel refuses to engage, Maze falls deeper into her pain. “Even this,” she says of their fight, “you had to ruin.”
Whereas the Amenadiel/Maze/Linda triangle remains unresolved, we do get a firm ending to the Cain and Abel saga. As it turns out, Abel killing his brother—a sort of tit for tat—doesn’t work. Still, Cain maintains the hope that since his brother is now alive, there must be a way around the curse.
And then Abel goes and gets run over.
It’s a curious decision to end things so suddenly but not surprising as Lucifer rarely allows for plot threads to go for too long. The biggest surprise, however, is Lucifer’s decision to break his deal with Pierce. As far as we know, it’s something he’s never done but after Chloe was an eye blink away from getting blown to pieces, Lucifer realized that her life is much more important than keeping his promise.
- So…Bolivians, money-laundering, and blowing up your assistant was the procedural lost in the background once again. Though outlandish in a most uninteresting way, it did provide an organic connection to not only the Cain and Abel ordeal but also to the apparent solidification of “something more” in Lucifer and Chloe’s partnership. It’s been a “will they/won’t they?” for so long I hesitate to hope in the progression of something more.
- For an angel sans his power, Amenadiel has become quite adept at inserting himself into things in a deus ex machina sort of way. For everything he’s done, not to have his powers returned yet hints at a big finish as we head down the final third of this season. Additionally, his warning to Lucifer that “there are so many things that Father can still take away from you” along with Lucifer and Chloe seemingly moving forward makes me believe the two events are linked. Will Amenadiel’s powers be returned only for him to get the command to remove Chloe from Lucifer’s life?
- It was a mistake to remove Abel from the playing field so quickly. Though aspects of Lauren Lapkus’s performance as the first murder victim were over-the-top, it didn’t distract from her moments of true expression, such as when (as Abel) she recalled the horror of being trapped in an endless cycle of despair. While the comic portions of this body swap are apparent, I would have liked to see more about two brothers trying to make amends. Sure, Pierce said his conscience was clear; yet that doesn’t mean he doesn’t regret how things escalated. A missed opportunity though one that, should the Lucifer/Chloe dynamic continues to gain traction, will be forgotten in a week or two’s time.