“If I’m doing this to myself, then the real truth is…there is something rotten inside of me. I find it near impossible to drown out the constant cacophony of voices whispering in my ear, telling me I am evil. I’m drowning, doctor. And I can’t stop asking myself…why do I hate myself so much?”
The question who am I? is one that every person—fictional or real—must at some point ask him or herself. While it may have taken nearly four seasons of shenanigans and conscious bouts of denial, Lucifer finally asks that question of himself and though it is not answered, our anti-hero’s initial thoughts are very sobering.
After the stunning reveal at the end of “Devil is as Devil Does”, Lucifer is looking for ways to cover up his winged mutation. That issue is quickly pushed to the backburner when Chloe shares Father Kinley’s warning on the prophecy with him. Despite the threat of apocalypse, Lucifer is excited by the prospect that external sources are at the root of his changes. Using that as his get-out-of-jail-free card, Lucifer begins an escapade of poorly thought-out and extremely hilarious stunts to push Eve away, thereby freeing him from the relationship he no longer wishes to be in with cutting off the prophecy at the knees a bonus. Sounds simple enough, right?
It should go without saying that things don’t go so smoothly. In fact, where “Super Bad Boyfriend” begins with several scenes of some much needed levity, the episode slowly drifts into a more serious and glum territory where both Lucifer and Amenadiel must come to terms with their own individual realities.
For Amenadiel, like all soon-to-be parents, he’s questioning his ability to be a good role model and provide for his unborn child. His quest puts him in Caleb Mayfield’s path, a young black kid who, despite attending a fancy prep academy, finds himself in the crosshairs of a street thug named Tahir.
Amenadiel seemingly helps Caleb overcome the first hurdle—getting rid of the drugs Tahir has intimidated Caleb into selling at his school—only for him and the young man to be accosted on the streets by cops after Caleb is fingered for the murder of a teacher at his school. Though the black man vs cop aspect of “Super Bad Boyfriend” is a bit overly dramatic, it’s not as if these situations don’t occur in life.
The most heartbreaking aspect of the ordeal is not Caleb’s resigned compliance, accepting that he’ll go down for this murder, rather Amenadiel’s naïveté when he addresses both Caleb and Dan. He harps on the cops not listening and how the truth is all that matters. Though Caleb points out that when it comes to him as a young black man, the cops (and others) already have their minds made up as to what he is. But it goes deeper than that; whereas truth should always be the deciding factor, too often it becomes a victim of prejudice, ignorance, and most often, greed. The common sense—an ideal represented here by Amenadiel—is lost to the selfishness of humanity.
It would have been bad enough for the story to end there but it doesn’t. Just when it looks that Caleb, proven innocent after the real killer is found, and Amenadiel make plans for the next day, Caleb ends up being murdered by Tahir and his crew. For a moment, Amenadiel’s anger is a living thing as he beats on the criminal punk, but just as quickly, it fizzles and the angel’s shoulders sag in defeat. “They’ve lost themselves,” he laments to Lucifer, adding “Earth is no place to raise my son”. And with that, Amenadiel walks off alone.
But Amenadiel isn’t the only one to have that type of epiphany. Just prior to the news on Caleb’s murder, Lucifer tells Eve what could only break her heart: it’s not that he just wants to break up with her but his declaration “I don’t like who I am with you”. It may be harsh, yet it’s the truth. He continues down this path of self-realization when he tells Chloe a similar thing; that her specialness in seeing him a certain way doesn’t make him feel good either.
He’s flailing in the wind and, when he speaks to Dr. Linda soon after, Lucifer finally breaks past that mountainous wall of self-denial and deflection, putting the onus on all that he is on its rightful target: himself. His final words—“why do I hate myself so much!?”—are devastating, both for him to say and Linda to hear. Yet, despite to soul-crushing nature of his admission, it’s Lucifer’s first step towards finally discovering the man (or devil) he truly wants to be.
- It’s not overselling this to say that I related to this episode more than any other in the Lucifer series, but not for the reason some people may assume. I can understand and empathize with Amenadiel and Caleb’s plight, being singled out and treated unfairly simply due to the color of their skin. And while I’ve had snippets of that experience, I’ve never felt that type of hopeless/they are out to get me resignation personified in Caleb. My biggest connection was with Lucifer’s realization on how much he doesn’t like himself. The self-doubt and self-loathing he exuded was an almost tangible essence, one I (and so many others) have felt at one point or another. Being honest with one’s self may be the most difficult things to do as, too often, we tend to make excuses for ourselves. But there is also an even more dangerous path—one where we castigate ourselves to the point of self-flagellation—where nothing we do is good enough and we feel as if we are never good enough. Finding the balance between those polar opposite sentiments may be the biggest challenge we face in becoming our best selves.
- Though not nearly as deep as Lucifer and Amenadiel’s journey, both Maze and Dan have their own awakenings. For Maze, it’s the connection she feels for Eve, one that may cause issues down the line, considering Eve’s love for Lucifer. For Dan, he’s fallen into that self-loathing territory, though not without reason. Not only did he selfish actions nearly get Eve and Trixie killed when he gave Jacob Tiernan the information on Lucifer, but his manipulation of Ella (by kissing her) to drop her focus on a cop being the one to tip Tiernan off, has left him spiraling into a potentially dark place. All this is piling on to the pain he’s still feeling after losing Charlotte and could find Dan falling into an even deeper depression.