Lucifer Somebody's Been Reading Dante's Inferno

“I’ve always been honest with you, Detective. And I always will be.”

After the WTF ending with Chloe in Episode One, “Somebody’s Been Reading Dante’s Inferno” (that’s a mouthful) throws viewers right into the past and Chloe’s European getaway. While in Rome, her uncontrollable need to research every scrap of lore and information on Lucifer grabs the attention of Father Kinley. A member of the International Association of Exorcists, the good Father recruits Chloe to his task, namely ridding the world of Lucifer and, in effect, preventing the death and destruction that inevitably follows (so he says) any time the Morningstar walks the Earth.

Still uncertain of where he and Chloe stand, an unusually pensive Lucifer takes Amenadiel’s advice and asks Chloe out on a date. This is right at the beginning of their murder investigation of Melinda Hagey, a contestant on the reality show The Cabin. Like Survivor, the purpose of this show is the outlast the competition by any means necessary. This environment of duplicitous façades play perfectly with the turmoil warring within Chloe’s still uncertain mind. One of the contestants interviewed even mentions how no one is who they appear to be, a sentiment expressed earlier by Father Kinley in relation to what Chloe sees with Lucifer. That conflict drives this episode, overriding the bits of humor naturally sprinkled throughout. Because, as much as viewers may love Lucifer, he is the devil.

Lucifer puts himself in harm’s way to save Chloe. But does his willingness to sacrifice himself for her trump his nature as the devil?

But what is real and what is fiction when it comes to the ruler of Hell? These are the questions Chloe wrestles with, both as a person whose entire life has equated the devil as an evil figure, one that enjoys tormenting the souls of the damned—something Father Kinley continues to emphasis—and her own experiences with her kind yet narcissistic partner.

While everything the Father says may not be completely accurate, many of his points, particularly Lucifer’s ability to make adjustments to manipulate a situation to his liking, are absolutely on point. This particular aspect of his character is often made a joke during his visits with Doctor Linda but encompass his overtly selfish persona. That, coupled with his dominion over the Eternal Fires of Hell, could easily dump Lucifer in the category of bad news. And, if it weren’t for these years that has showed him to actually care about Chloe, there would be no discussion.

Yet, as the Father mentions, the charm and charisma that make Lucifer such a likable character, are his greatest weapons. It puts one in mind of the quote “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist”. When Chloe stoutly defends Lucifer’s honor in always telling the truth, Father Kinley responds with a damning question: “What if this is the biggest lie of all?”

This episode does an even better job than the Season Four premiere in delving into these existential questions of Lucifer (or people in general) as to how much one’s actions in the present can absolve their past. More to the point, even if someone shows genuine concern and care for your well-being, should that override the truth of their previous life? Again, because the audience may love Tom Ellis and his portrayal of Lucifer, it can be easy to put aside these difficult questions. Chloe cares for Lucifer, that much is obvious but, when one cares for another, it’s easy to have blinders on when it pertains to that person’s flaws. Despite Father Kinley’s words of truth (ironically, this is framed for his own gain), Chloe can’t help but judge Lucifer on what she sees him to be, not as how he’s been painted by all of history. This may be a noble sentiment but regardless of whether or not Lucifer is the embodiment of evil, one thing the Father said is absolutely true: “You don’t need to be the one pulling the trigger to cause evil.” More to the point, if Lucifer’s mere presence causes these horrible things, doesn’t that take precedence over him changing for the better?

Post Script

  • With all that happens between Chloe and Lucifer, the most satisfying may be his admission on how her presence affects his invulnerability. “I’m only vulnerable when I’m close to you,” he tells her and it’s a sentiment virtually anyone in love could say to their significant other. Being in love makes us vulnerable on an emotional level; in Lucifer’s case, it’s both figurative and literal. This new information forces Chloe to realize how Father Kinley has been manipulating her and just how far he will go to take Lucifer down. But now that she knows, will that help her wade through the fear and uncertainty? Or will it just confuse her even more?
  • Trying to figure out his place on Earth, Amenadiel gets the most surprising news possible for a celestial being: Linda’s pregnant. The question here becomes whether this child will have angelic qualities (in the literal sense) or will it be strictly human? How this pair deals with such an unexpected circumstance should make for some good content.
  • Whereas Amenadiel and Linda have this joyful news, Dan’s still in a bad place as it pertains to the loss of Charlotte and, to a lesser extent, his thoughts on Lucifer. He’s no longer enthralled by the Morningstar’s charm, instead seeing Lucifer as bad news and convinced he’s hiding many dark secrets. This attitude makes Dan the perfect mark for Father Kinley to sway to his divine purpose.