Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Lucifer, Season 3, Episode 10: Sin Bin

This is the mid-season finale of Lucifer and finally brings us all the answers of Sinnerman

I guess?

I mean sort of? Or maybe just throws it all away and brings out a much different plot.

So, Lucifer is all celebrating that the Sinnerman is in prison while Maze thinks if the Sinnerman managed to steal Lucifer’s devil face and give him back his wings then there’s no way that a prison cell will hold him. And if he’s after Lucifer he could go after all the things that are important to him (basically, Chloe). So it’s back to focusing on this man

So back to the police station where Chloe accidentally tells Ella about Pierce’s dead brother and Ella continues to obsess over him in a way which would be kind of cute in a teenager and is vaguely creepy and deeply unprofessional in an adult towards her boss. Boundaries Ella, boundaries.

They question the Sinnerman - well Chloe does while Pierce and Lucifer argue about who gets to question him. Sinnerman continues to be cryptic and Ella, who knows nothing about police procedure, decides to interrupt them with the news his phone is ringing - they answer it in front of him to show a woman is being held hostage in a reservoir and about to drown. Clearly they assume Sinnerman craftiness, an accomplice and all sorts and need to run the the rescue. Lucifer decides the best way would be to take the Sinnerman’s suggestion and work with him to be led to the victim

Everyone else is kind of against letting the serial killer go and decides to use actual police work which Lucifer, in his classic fashion, disapproves of, pouts and is generally a spoiled child to get his way

Investigation doesn’t go very well, though we do find out that Chloe is a big fan of roller derby (which I understand is a sport where two teams of women try to kill each other on roller skates) and run down a lot of fake leads, with Lucifer being a nuisance the whole time. Until Lucifer insists on freeing the Sinnerman. Chloe doesn’t necessarily agree with this - but she backs Lucifer because he’s her partner. At least she does if he stops being all Loose cannon and Lucifery all the time

So one very very convoluted gaolbreak later which both works and involves more taunting of Dan for funsies, and picking up Pierce. Because he’s not fooled but he wants to join in the the freeing of the woman

The gang goes ahead and exposes that she’s actually working with the Sinnerman and not really kidnapped - she’s paying back a “deal” she made which ended up killing someone which she wasn’t exactly a fan of (despite Roller Derby which seems a real attempt to murder people brutally) and suitably intimidated her to make her obey.

This, however, gives Lucifer chance to be Lucifer - and he runs off with the Sinnerman, kidnapping him and taking him to his home to question him

Which literally means just asking the same questions and getting the same non-answers as before. So he brings in Maze to do some torture - and she fails.

Ok… really? I mean, Maze was Hell’s chief torturer? And she fails? She even unleashes Nickelback on him. And the Sinnerman is left looking… not all that bad? All things considered? I think we need to analyse exactly how he can resist literally inhuman, unholy torture? Because this needs expanding.

Lucifer wants to take over but Maze is against it because, despite being barely untouched, she thinks he’s near death and Lucifer could kill him. And this is epicly bad for an angel to kill a human, so epicly bad that Maze literally expects plagues of locusts from daddy for doing this. She also thinks that being “murder adjacent” is why Amenadiel lost his powers

What? We talk about this NOW?! Really? Because I thought that how Amenadiel lost his powers was a mystery? And how many times have we seen Lucifer nearly kill people? How many times was he just stopped? How many times did he use super strength to toss people around in moments that could easily have been fatal? I’m not entirely convinced he hasn’t killed people - or didn’t that apply when he was devil-faced?

There’s a lot of questions here and I’m not thrilled that the answer seems to be “retcon”.

Lucifer decides that actually murdering is a great idea because it will annoy dad (his reason for being because he’s a teenager) and he will get his devil face back. Because an outraged god is totally going to give you exactly what you ask for? Again, this doesn’t make sense at all

So insert - reason why I don’t like this episode much? We have a lot of not making sense here. There’s some retconning, some big questions going unanswered and this just keeps happening

Lucifer can’t bring himself to kill the Sinnerman though since he’s injured and helpless - which upsets the Sinnerman because he really really wants Lucifer to murder him

Instead he gets shot by Pierce when Chloe and Pierce arrive. They then spin a story about him being killed trying to escape (in Lucifer’s country house… while blind from recently gouging out his own eyes). So we have Chloe calling out Lucifer for completely failing to have her back again, for violating her trust AGAIN and generally having another argument that could be solved if Lucifer would show his wings and tell her the truth AGAIN but he doesn’t for REASONS adding to the problems with this episode

What is also addressed by no-one is that Pierce just murdered a disabled Black man completely unnecessarily and they all casually covered it up without even blinking. Can we have some commentary on this? Because, Lucifer, this is not bullshit that should just pass in a blink

They all return to the police station for some moping and Lucifer examines the picture of Sinnerman as a child - and has a sudden revelation when Pierce shouts at Ella for her ongoing stalking…

So he invites Pierce to his bar and tells him about the picture, showing the Sinnerman as a child, theorising that Sinnerman WAS working with an accomplice - but working FOR someone. And noting that the man in the photo had a notable mark - of course that man would now be very old. Unless he was immortal

And he stabs Pierce

There’s a long pause while Lucifer drinks and seems to go from confident to doubt to worry and then relief/triumph when Pierce stands up and removes the knife. Immortal it is then -specifically a cursed immortal covering his mark with a tattoo. Pierce is Cain, the first murderer. Who joins Lucifer for a drink

And I would say it’s a little bizarre that Lucifer recognised him from the shape of a tattoo and an old picture but I guess in this case we could say it’s more jogging his memory.

So the Sinnerman is a puppet of Pierce, removing what little agency he had, turning him into a tool that Pierce literally discarded when he was no longer useful and then covered up the murder with the help of the LAPD. There’s no way this could ever look good

And it adds to the ongoing feel of this episode as ultra clumsy. The Sinnerman’s motives make no sense, Cain’s motives are bizarre, Lucifer’s not much more sensible, the Chloe/Lucifer conflict is drawn out and doesn’t make a great deal of sense since we’re long past revelation and there seems to be a huge retcon in the nature of angels going on. It’s clumsy and rushed and a really awkward prequel to Cain’s appearance. And I kind of feel like the plot changed half way? Like they were going with Sinnerman and then someone said “hey what about Cain” and the writer’s room all replied “oh that’s awesome!” and they hastily scrapped the Sinnerman storyline to try and make a massive leap onto this new idea?

Throw in some really bad racial tropes here and it’s not a good episode at all

We also had Trixie, Dan and Charlotte… but it fell flat. I get that Trixie is precocious but handing Charlotte the inspiration to seeing her own kids so overtly is a bit on the nose. And her ultra-creepily acting as a wingman for her dad to parent-trap Dan and Charlotte together? Nope. No thanks