Tori Brazier reviews the eleventh episode of Lucifer season three…
‘City of Angels?’ provides another – quite welcome – self-contained episode with its own storyline, separate to the season-long arc. The mid-season premier, this episode focuses on the recently less-featured Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside). It’s a flashback to before the start of season one, before Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Chloe (Lauren German) teamed up and before he established himself in LA.
Amenadiel has arrived to take Lucifer back to hell where he belongs (and we assume is missed, although any chaos reigning there in his absence has never been touched upon). A tangle with a panicked mugger results in the angel being shot in the chest – but obviously not killed. With his necklace stolen by the criminal, Amenadiel decides to report the crime because – as well as “respecting” the laws of human justice as he pompously declares – it was a gift from his father… the Father! The officer who begins to take his report at the station? None other than a pre-Detective Chloe, hungry to catch a break that will see her take the step to join her (still current) partner Dan (Kevin Alejandro) out of uniform and on investigations. When a body’s recovered from the same scene, not only does Chloe latch on, but Amenadiel decides there’s someone out there who knows where his necklace is.
‘City of Angels?’ also delves into the relationship between the celestial brothers, both of whom arrive on earth slightly out of touch with humans but with differing approaches – Lucifer, in a white flared trouser suit, wastes no time in enjoying the pleasures of human flesh (multiple times), whereas Amenadiel’s grey tunic doesn’t quite cut the mustard and nor does his bizarre beach bum replacement outfit. Or his righteous attitude.
This nostalgic trip down memory lane is comfortable and well-paced, balanced between the two teams of Lucifer and Amenadiel and Chloe and Dan attempting to hunt down the same criminals. As ever, it pulls no punches with Lucifer’s debauched lifestyle revolving around ladies and even masturbation… but these bald references are usually defused or interrupted by a witty jibe, the same as Lucifer’s ego. As an earlier point on the Lucifer timeline, it’s interesting to see him discover – and grapple with – his reputation as ‘evil’. It’s ultimately this admission, courtesy of a casual Amenadiel before a charged bare-knuckle fight, that convinces Lucifer against any continuing efforts to impress or please God.
The episode’s storyline takes in the underground fight scene of LA, as well as its more ‘above board’ porn industry, and as Lucifer’s production moved from Vancouver to real-life LA before this season’s filming, it’s able to continue to take advantage of more authentic locations and vistas. Lux’s beginnings are also revealed at the episode’s close, as well as Maze’s (Lesley-Ann Brandt) original summoning to earth (the premier torture enforcer is helpful in cracking the head of a fight-fixing syndicate). There’s even room for Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer), as lawyer to most of the criminals investigated, who accidentally provides Chloe with leverage in the case after doubting her investigatory ability as somewhat of a rookie.
‘City of Angels?’ works as a good, entertaining one-off episode, focusing on the past, but ultimately stalls the season’s progression – as with past stand-alone stories. Following on from the revelations of the Sinnerman’s true mission and master during the mid-season finale, there’s lots to follow-up on in the next episode of Lucifer.