“That’s what eldest brothers want you to think. Always talking down to you from the pedestals that they put themselves on.”
Elder brothers and painful memories, that’s the focus of this week’s Lucifer as Ella tries clearing her brother’s name, Dr. Linda has to face traumatic memories, and Pierce comes face-to-face with the angel that gave him the mark in a fun and brutal brawl-for-all.
Since its premiere, one of my chief issues with Lucifer has been how often the procedural aspect of the show has been nothing more than window dressing for character developments occurring in the other storylines. The last two weeks have rectified that with these stories being an integral part of the characters’ development. Last week, it was the sting where Pierce and Lucifer went undercover as a married couple. This week it’s a murder and eventual discovery of a jewelry store insurance scam in which Ella’s older brother Jay is heavily involved. What works in this is that from the start, we see that Ella holds her brother in the highest regard. It’s the polar opposite to Lucifer’s current stance on his own brother, Amenadiel, especially after the latter refuses to assist with removing Pierce’s mark.
The dynamic between Ella and Lucifer’s brotherly experiences work extremely well in “My Brother’s Keeper”. Throughout the episode, Ella tries keeping her faith that, while he may be mixed up in something bad, no way is Jay a killer. It’s not a surprise that Lucifer jumps right to the opposite side of the equation. Even Maze, who Ella hires to help track Jay down, shares Lucifer’s sentiment. Though Chloe understands Ella’s need to prove Jay’s innocence, as detective she has to keep an open mind and doesn’t discount the possibility of Jay’s guilt.
Taking a break from the brother aspect for a second, one of the best scenes of the episode was Dr. Linda coming face-to-face with Charlotte for the first time since the latter (with a celestial parked in her body, of course) nearly killed the good doctor. Though not quite on par with her reaction when Lucifer first showed her his true face, Dr. Linda is both terrified and angry, dismissing the woman from her office. That dismissal only intensifies Charlotte’s thought that she’s beyond help. It’s only after Lucifer of all people tells Dr. Linda that Charlotte has done nothing to her. She’s “an innocent woman who needs help”. This isn’t the last time that Lucifer’s words are for the benefit of someone else, and they have the desired effect as toward the end, Dr. Linda pays Charlotte a visit, offering to help.
A tangential arc from the primary theme of brothers is that Lucifer unknowingly gives Pierce one of the few anticipatory events for an immortal human: the identity of the angel that cursed him with the mark. Turns out, God’s favorite son Amenadiel was given the task. Unfortunately for Pierce, the once-angel has no idea how to remove the curse. But seeing and doing everything, you take pleasure in the small things and, for Pierce, it’s beating Amenadiel to a pulp. It doesn’t work out too well for Pierce, as he discovers that, while Amenadiel may be human, his fighting skills are far beyond what a human could reach. Though Pierce gets satisfaction, in the end, it has nothing to do with the beatdown Amenadiel gives him. It’s the cracked look on the once-angel’s face when Pierce reminds him that he’s not the only one that tried to kill a brother. “At least I had the balls to do it myself,” Pierce says, “you pawned the task off on someone else. You’re worse. And if this is the punishment that I get for my crimes, what do you deserve?”
On the topic of what people deserve, one of the more lasting effects of the episode is a small change in Lucifer. While Jay is proven innocent of the murder, as it turns out he wasn’t so innocent of doing shady things. It falls in line with what Lucifer has been saying all along about brothers holding themselves higher than their younger siblings and how they can’t be trusted. Sure, we know the Morningstar is a cynical bastard but, in this case, he’s right. Still, it’s a bit of a surprise when he offers not to tell Ella about her older brother’s criminal activities but that silence doesn’t come without a warning. “If you ever disappoint her again,” he says as a flicker of red flashes through his eyes, “I’ll come for you”. Without realizing it, Lucifer has placed Ella under his wing…like a good brother would.
With the title, there’s no other way for the episode to end than with a confrontation between brothers. Amenadiel warns Lucifer that working with Pierce will “only incur Father’s wrath”. That’s perfect for Lucifer as that’s what he wants more than anything. He even threatens Amenadiel, warning his brother not to get in the way. But like a good brother who sees his kin headed in the wrong direction, Amenadiel response is simple: “I guess I’ll be in your way.”
Like the often useless procedurals, I’ve always taken issue with Lucifer’s inability to grow. He seems to take a step forward only to hop back three or four steps. That’s why it was a surprise to see him not only come to Charlotte’s aid but also, despite his opinions on brothers and Jay’s duplicity, protecting Ella from discovering the truth (and “inevitable disappointment”) about her own brother. Sure, he’s still hell-bent on beating “Dad” but maybe, just maybe there’s hope for him after all.
- One of my favorite aspects of Lucifer is how often two people are having a conversation with two totally different understandings of said convo. True, this often happens in reality but it’s even funnier in the show where humans are unknowingly speaking to angels, demon’s or the Morningstar himself.
- This is two consecutive weeks where Maze has bailed on an intimate conversation. Last week was after Charlotte bared her soul to the demon. This time it’s leaving Ella after they track down Jay. She wants Maze to help prove her brother’s innocence but the demon’s not interested. Of course, that doesn’t stop Mazikeen from returning just in time to save Ella’s life from the real murderer. I wonder how much of this is fighting off the burgeoning feelings of caring for others with still dealing with the pain of seeing Dr. Linda and Amenadiel together.
- Unfortunately, with all the emotional steps most characters took today, Chloe’s development has really gone stagnant. They really need to find a way to make her more integral to things instead of the afterthought she’s quickly becoming.
- It was so much fun seeing Trixie again. With Mazikeen as her tutor, that girl is going to be a bad ass, and sooner rather than later.