Lucifer: The Sin Bin

"You may as well pour me one too."

I think that I'm about to do something that I really don't want to do: write a mostly negative review of Lucifer. Buckle up. This is a long one.

I love Lucifer. Hopefully you guys have picked up on that by now. I love this show, these characters, and having the opportunity to sit down and talk about it with all of you guys. However, something has been gnawing on me recently. Season three, as a whole, feels like a step down from season two. "The Sin Bin" simply has the misfortune of encapsulating everything that is contributing to that feeling.

This wasn't a bad episode. I enjoyed myself. It was well-acted and directed. Glancing through the ratings other reviewers have posted on other sites, a lot of people loved it. (Which honestly, just makes writing this even scarier.) Still, this is the mid-season/winter finale, so we need to take stock of everything that's been building to this episode.

I had no idea that this was a finale episode. Yes, there were the requisite big reveals and relationship fracturing, but none of it felt serious. None of it had the impact that it should have, especially when compared to last episode.

Three important things happened this episode: Chloe and Lucifer's partnership has been damaged... again, the now blind accomplice to the Sinnerman is dead, and Marcus was revealed to be both the Sinnerman and Cain. Yes, that Cain. Everything involving Maggie was either filler or a contrived way to get Lucifer alone with the accomplice. It was fun, entertaining filler. But still filler.

How many times are we going to have to watch Lucifer do something rash and foolish in a bid to protect Chloe, only to have it backfire and damage their relationship because Chloe does not know the truth, and therefore does not and cannot understand what is happening? How many times has it happened this season? In the season two finale, we were told "No more going backwards." We have only been going backwards.

We have more than passed the point where the only way for Lucifer and Chloe's relationship and even for Chloe's story arc as a character to continue and grow is for Chloe to learn the truth. Refusing to do so is a disservice to the show, and it decreases Chloe's likability. We know and therefore understand why Lucifer is doing all of the stupid things he does. We may not agree with him, but we understand and therefore have sympathy for him and the choices that he must make.

We lose sympathy for Chloe because her only option is to be angry and disappointed in Lucifer without listening to or completely believing in what he has to say. I've seen a growing amount of fans talking about how unreasonable Chloe is being, how she should stop being so uptight and upset all the time. The thing is, she can't. Not until she learns the truth.

What makes this really upsetting for me is that their relationship is such a joy to watch in almost every other scene. The plot to smuggle the Sinnerman out of the station was so wonderful on so many levels. It was funny, beautifully filmed, and showed just how in sync Chloe and Lucifer can be. It was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favorite scene of the episode. I want more of that. I want them to be on the same page for once. I want them to get out of the holding pattern that they've been ever since Lucifer first ran away to Las Vegas and married Candy. Is that really too much to ask?

On the season long arc of the Sinnerman, we were just left with more questions than answers. A lot of us guessed that the blind man claiming to be the Sinnerman was actually an accomplice of some sort. We were right, although we still have no idea what motivated him enough to gouge out his own eyes and then try to commit suicide by devil.

Cain might explain why in future episodes, but at the moment, his existence only served to drive a wedge between Chloe and Lucifer. Once that was done, he was quickly killed off. I expected him to be a red herring. They're par for the course in storytelling. But I still want my red herrings to have some kind of logic behind them. At the moment? There is none.

The big reveal regarding Marcus fell completely flat for me. I'll admit that I was expecting him to be Cain. I actually really like that twist. It adds an interesting, new dimension to the Lucifer mythology. Cain is, presumably, human in terms of physical and mental abilities, but he was (presumably) cursed by God with immortality. That's a really fun thing to explore, especially given Lucifer's own issues with Daddy Dearest and Amenadiel's resurgence of faith in Him.

The issue is that Marcus simply hasn't had enough screen time for me to invest in the mystery of his origins. At the beginning of the season, I was pumped. I was excited to look for clues to Marcus' identity. After all, there was no way that he could just be a normal, hardass boss. Not when he said cryptic things that made it seem like Chloe magically turned him mortal. (I am happy that I guessed that, by the way.)

But then he was gone for a straight month. Four episodes out of the ten that have aired. Almost half. That's too many if you want a viewer to stay invested in a mystery. Not to mention it greatly reduced the amount of time that we could have spent getting to know Marcus and growing attached to him. I felt nothing when Lucifer stabbed him. Mostly because I knew that he would just get back up eventually, but also because I don't care about him as a character. I cared about Charlotte/Mom. I cared, a little, about Amenadiel. I don't care about Marcus, which puts him in the same boat as Malcolm in terms of villain characters. That't not a good place to be.

Random Thoughts

Lucifer comes back on January 1st with what looks to be a filler episode.

Trixie is an awesome wingman. Those scenes were actually very, very cute.

No Linda or Amenadiel.

I really can't wait for Marcus to tell Lucifer that he has nothing to do with his wings. The whole premise of that has been annoying me since the very beginning.

Did we know that angels weren't allowed to kill humans? Wait, yes. Back in season one with Malcolm. In that case: nice continuity there!

And on that subject, why was our blind accomplice so insistent that Lucifer had to kill him? To force him to break that rule? Maze made it sound like the consequences would be... well... biblical.

I totally didn't publish this review without adding a picture to it first... Pfft....

Quotes:

Trixie: Are you and my dad having sex?

Lucifer: Nothing screams weekend like tequila and scantily-clad women. And tequila. Cheers.
Maze: It's Wednesday.

Marcus: I've read Moby Dick six times.
Lucifer: Oh, really? What happened on page 83?

Chloe: Is that clear?
Lucifer: As a chilled vodka martini. Served neat, of course.

I'm very curious to hear what you guys think. Do you agree? Do you think that I'm blowing things out of proportion?
---
An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies. And sometimes she writes about them.

9 comments:

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

I'll restrict myself to comment on Chlucifer.

I think both some fans and all the writers of this show need to understand there's a difference between a "slow burn" and simple, dull procrastination.

At this point I'd rather have Lucy hook up with Ella.

Billie Doux said...

I'll definitely admit to being uninterested in the Tom Welling subplot and frustrated with Chloe and Lucifer's relationship being in what feels like permanent limbo because of her being kept in the dark.

CCY said...

To be honest, i dont care about the ship. It's not a teenage romance show

Anonymous said...

I agree this whole season has been filler. For me this episode felt like a return to the old Lucifer, yes it still had problems but we finally got back to the main plots like the wings and whatever is going on with their new boss (I just read your review and still can't remember the guys name, that's how bland he is) Maybe it's because Maze is finally back? this episode gave me hope that the back half of the season will actually contain some momentum story wise and Chloe has to learn the truth. It's really a disservice to her character to not realize something out of the ordinary is going on with Lucifer and Maze at this point.

Michal Dvorak said...

This whole season seems mismanaged somehow. The Tom Welling's character should be interesting but is dull beyond words. Chloe and Lucifer's relationship is going in circles, getting less endearing and more grating with each repetition. Linda and Mazikeen are hardly ever there (unavoidable in Mazikeen's case, unforgivable in Linda's). I really hope the writers can get their act together in the second half of the season.

Gina said...

I agree, I waited all of season 2 for Chloe to find out about Lucifer and I hate that she still doesn't know. It is beginning to grate on my nerves too. Actually, half the time (when I'm not laughing) I often want to punch Lucifer for being such an idiot. I mean, when he got his wings back, the first thing I thought of was how much easier it would be for him to reveal himself to Chloe without frightening her, and I don't "get" why he didn't just, well "wing himself" on the balcony of his mountain retreat. That would have deflected her anger and then he could have explained himself.

Don't get me wrong, loved the episode and the Cain reveal (I've said from the start of S3 that Marcus is immortal, I just knew it, but wondered if maybe another sibling in a human form that Lucifer just didn't recognize). But I've been pissed about Chloe not knowing since middle of season 2, and the longer they drag it out, the more annoying it gets.

And I don't want to be annoyed with the writers, because they can be brilliant. But, geez, Louise, why is her learning the truth taking so damned long? It doesn't mean they'll hop into a relationship as soon as she finds out, and there could be so much fun with her asking the obvious and more questions, there could be some rich territory there. And dammit, Chloe keeps getting hurt over and over and over again. She deserves a break and deserves to know the truth.

migmit said...

OK, so, I was wrong twice. I thought Marcus was a nice guy. And I thought the newly blind man was the real Sinnerman.

Cain, really? If he wanted to help his accomplice to die at the hands of Lucifer — why did he kill him after all? If he didn't — why all this fake escape?

I guessed Maggie staged her kidnapping as soon as they found her. It was nice to see Chloe figuring it out almost immediately.

Victoria Grossack said...

So, Marcus/Cain blames Sinnerman for the death of Abel. And his longevity explains why he has read Moby Dick six times.

Victoria Grossack said...

Also, the name Marcus must have been chosen to evoke the "Mark of Cain."