“You take it for me, Maze. The best thing to do is always follow your greatest desire. The Burn brighter, Mazikeen. You should hunt the most challenging human you can.”
If it wasn’t obvious by the title folks (or last week’s promo) let me be the first to happily express to you that Mazikeen is back. And whenever the most soulfully soulless demon has the spotlight, things are bound to get interesting.
Absent the first two episodes of the season (due to Leslie-Ann Brandt’s pregnancy), Maze is back with the team after a few weeks of bounty hunting. But being back and being happy are two different things (especially when the hedonistic pleasures of booze, blood, and sex get old). So what does she need to do? Find her white whale or, as Lucifer says, “follow your greatest desire” and that she “hunt the most challenging human [she] can.” The questionable advice from the Morningstar leads her to Canada on the trail of Ben Rivers, one of the most wanted men on the organized crime division of the LAPD.
It doesn’t take long for Canada to feel the wrath of Maze. For starters, it’s a brawl here, a stolen taxi cab there. Then things get really interesting when she comes face-to-face with Mr. Rivers. Though ruggedly handsome, it’s not Rivers’ look that captivates Lucifer’s right hand woman. He’s got some pretty words for Maze, words that unexpectedly nail her current restlessness. He sees someone that, like him, is running away from something. His sweet words and even sweeter escape from their initial meeting perks Maze from her doldrums of antipathy. She passes that off as the adrenaline that accompanies a fight—one that we’ll get to soon enough—but after speaking to Athena Burns, Ben Rivers’ attorney, Chloe realizes that it’s not the physical danger Maze needs to watch out for but the emotional fisticuffs Rivers wields. Both Maze and Lucifer wave off Chloe’s seemingly unnecessary warnings but even from the first meeting, it’s clear that Rivers knows his way around conversations. And, as the two throw down on their second meeting, Rivers proves that he does know a bit of kung fu.
The fight between our favorite demonic bounty hunter and her prey isn’t too over the top (or in doubt) but, similar to the episode title, it put me in mind of the Pitt/Jolie 2005 action flick Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Thanks to the assassin that wants to put a few bullets into Rivers, things do get a bit crazier but only just. Even before the bullets fly, something about Ben’s demeanor makes it pretty clear that he’s not the cold-blooded killer. While he’s no saint, the story of his framing unfolds in parallel with his confession to Maze as well as Chloe’s own hunch that the case, led by Lieutenant Herrera, doesn’t quite add up. As is often the case with the Lucifer procedural aspects, this part is merely a means to an end, though the narration between characters and case in “Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith” has a more seamless flow and, more importantly, keeps the focus on the star of the episode: Maze herself.
For so long we’ve seen her as the violent sidekick who mimics Lucifer’s predilections for hedonism. It wasn’t until last season when Maze and Chloe shacked up (not in that way, you pervs) and the complications in her relationship with Amenadiel and burgeoning friendship with Dr. Linda, Trixie, and to a lesser extent Chloe, the true character under the surface emerged. And while not overly enamored with Ben Rivers, I must say, for their handful of moments on screen, he and Maze showcased some good chemistry. But there was a more important development than the possibility of a romantic liaison for Maze down the line. Despite the kindred nature and connection she feels, Mazikeen finally sees that, despite all her restlessness, she does have a home. It’s with Lucifer and Chloe, Trixie and Dr. Linda.
And, as she tells Rivers after he offers her a place at her side (albeit on the run), LA is her home. It’s exactly where she wants to be.
- Though he offered a bit of comic relief, Dan’s involvement was completely unnecessary to the story. The narrative would have been better served if they’d cut Dan out completely and added a few more minutes of interaction between Maze and Rivers.
- We can’t get an episode without Lucifer visiting Dr. Linda, can we? This sometimes has me torn as despite it often being a part of the comic relief in regards to Lucifer’s self-involved, narcissistic behavior (a tired drumbeat in my opinion), there are those moments in her office where his mask falters. Will that glimpse into Maze’s potentially burgeoning humanity spark a bit more change in Lucifer himself? After all, we’ve seen almost nothing of that Lucifer/Chloe ‘ship we were sailing towards at the tail end of last season…
- Finally, Rivers was right when he told Maze the people after him would “know more than you think”. The fact that they have files on the entire Team Lucifer gang has me wondering if the Sinnerman is involved. Either way, I have a feeling that we may be seeing Ben Rivers sometime in the not so distant future.
Lucifer: “Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith”