Lucifer S01E13 “Take Me Back To Hell” REVIEW

Lucifer S01E13 “Take Me Back To Hell” REVIEW

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stars 4

Airing in the UK on Amazon Prime Instant Video, new episodes every Tuesday
Writer: Joe Henderson
Director: Nathan Hope

 

Essential Plot Points:

  • When Lucifer realises that Chloe is going to arrest him for the murder of the preacher found in his night club he loses any hope that humanity will ever accept that the devil is a good guy. He goads the cops surrounding him to shoot him so that he’ll be sent back to Hell.
  • But – shockingly – Amenadiel rescues him and flies him away.
  • On a hotel rooftop Lucifer begs Amenadiel to send him home, but Amenadiel has had a change of heart. Guilty that people have died as a result of his pursuit of Lucifer, he wants to make amends by tracking down Malcolm and making him pay. He asks Lucifer for his help. Lucifer agrees and stops being a drama queen.
  • Malcolm worried by Lucifer’s disappearance, has gone to ground.
  • Dan reveals to Chloe his whole shady history with Malcolm. Chloe slaps him but other than that seems remarkably forgiving. They decide to track down Malcolm as well.
  • Even Maze puts aside her differences with Chloe to help out.
  • Independently, both teams intercept Malcolm when he visits a dodgy criminal associate in a warehouse to secure the readies he needs to flee the country under a false identity. A big fight between the Angel Bros and random hoodlums takes place. Angels win, and enjoy themselves in the process.
  • But then Malcolm stabs Amenadiel with one of Maze’s demon daggers and escapes when Lucifer tries to stop his brother bleeding out. But Malcolm has left behind the money he came for; it’s kept for evidence.

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  • Maze takes over medical duties so Lucifer can continue to pursue Malcolm. She takes Amenadiel back to Lucifer’s apartment and cures him using the feather from Lucifer’s wing that she secretly kept back in “Wingman” (S01E07).
  • To help out Lucifer, Dan goes to the police station and confesses to all his crimes, thus implicating Malcolm in the murder of the preacher and removing suspicion from Lucifer.
  • Lucifer calls him Officer Espinoza instead of Detective Douche and Dan appreciates the gesture.
  • Malcolm kidnaps Chloe’s daughter Trixie and demands his money back in exchange for his life.
  • Lucifer, against Chloe’s wishes, follows Chloe to the rendezvous. It’s lucky he does, because he steps in and saves Chloe’s life when Malcolm decides to shoot her anyway, even after she gives him the money.
  • So Malcolm shoots Lucifer instead. Because Lucifer is in Chloe’s vicinity, he is fatally wounded.
  • Dying, Lucifer asks his dad for help to make sure that Malcolm doesn’t kill Chloe.
  • Dad does resurrect Lucifer, but he has an ulterior motive; Lucifer is briefly returned to Hell where he’s shown that someone has escaped a very special cell…
  • Resurrected, Lucifer stops Malcolm from killing Chloe, then Chloe shoots him.
  • Malcolm thinks he won’t got to Hell as he has Lucifer’s Pentecostal coin. But Lucifer reveals that he has the coin now and since it’s just been used to bring him back from Hell (it’s “one-use only”) it dissolves in front of Malcolm’s dying eyes.
  • Later, Lucifer tells Amenadiel what happened, and that dad wants them to find and return someone to hell. Amenadiel comments that won’t be much of a chore until Lucifer reveals who it is: “Mum.”

Lucifer_1.13_take_me_back_to_hell_lift

 

Review:

This is a consummate season finale. Not the most blockbuster season finale ever, sure, but at least one that won’t have fans screaming “Foul!” because it failed to deliver (unless you’re a Chluci ’shipper desperate for them to have a shag).

It’s a neat and tidy conclusion to the season one plot arc. Maybe a little too neat in some areas. Amenadiel’s sudden repositioning from foe to ally is a little sudden and convenient; Malcolm proves incredibly easy to track down; Dan’s confession comes across a tad trite; Chloe’s forgivness of him even more so.

But there’s a lot that satisfies too. It’s fun to watch Lucifer and Amenadiel fighting side by side; they make a great supernatural-powered crimebusting duo. Finally the Amenadiel/Maze relationship begins to pay off. Dr Linda gets to knock the two angels’ head together in a very amusing scene. Malcolm comes across as such an increasingly desperate psychopath you feels like cheering when Chloe finally shoots him. Plus the fact that she pulls the trigger but Lucifer delivers the final blow – no coming back from Hell for you, mate –  is the perfect one-two combo. It also redressed somewhat the slightly annoying way Chloe has been forced into a damsel-in-distress role that doesn’t suit her at all.

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And finally we get to see Lucifer in his natural environment. A glimpse of Hell. Okay, the show’s representation of the underworld is a bit bargain basement, but there’s still a thrill to seeing how Lucifer reacts to the broken chains on that cell. With this image, the show elegantly dovetails the season one and season two arc plots. You could complain that dad answering Lucifer’s prayer a one of the most literal cases of deus ex machina ever written, but it’s not really; not when God’s part of your show’s lore. Besides, God’s aid comes with a cost: he resurrects Lucifer to do his own bidding, not just so he can rescue Chloe.

So, mum, eh? That was one hell of a cliffhanger, and one we genuinely didn’t see coming. You have to wonder how a revelation like that will affect the tone of season two?

With all that plot getting in the way, the show wasn’t quite as funny as normal, and a couple of comedy moments (especially the funeral) feel less sharp than we’re used to. On the other hand, there are lots of lovely little character beats (Maze’s rant about how Lucifer’s changed since meeting Chloe, Lucifer’s admiration for Dan giving himself up, Maze tending to Amenadiel’s wound) that maintain the warmth and charm that has come to characterise the show.

After a great pilot season one fell into an early formulaic rut before beginning to find its feet around episode seven with “Wingman”. The second half of the season has been far more consistent and hopefully the show can enter season two with the advantage of knowing what worked (such as the characters) and what didn’t (the rubbish crime plots) first time round.

 

The Good:

  • A satisfying end to this season’s arc plot that effortlessly introduces next season’s arc plot.

Lucifer_1.13_take_me_back_to_hell_fight

  • It’s great to have a big fight scene in the show. It’s not a particularly notable fight scene – you can’t help thinking they could have had more fun with it – but watching the the Angel Bros’ pre-fight preamble and the way they wade in with “bring it on” expressions makes the whole scene worthwhile.
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Linda leaves Lucifer speechless

  • Dr Linda may not have much of a presence in the episode but she does nab the best line:
    “Do you realise the ethical position you’ve put me in?”
    “Hah…!”
    “And you! Let me guess. You were going to make a sexual joke about putting me in a position.”
    “That’s true, yes.”
  • Has such a brilliant cliffhanger ever been crafted from such a simple, three-letter word? So ominous!
  • It’s actually a relief that Maze’s theft of Lucifer’s wing feather turns out to have had a positive outcome; there was the dreary, dangling potential for some kind of Maze-revenge plotline but that’s been eliminated now.
  • It’s fun to see Maze and Chloe reluctantly partnering up then scoring points off each other:
    “If you don’t make good money, why do you do this job?”
    “I get to shoot people, which is something you should keep in mind.”
  • And it may have been cheesy, but it was sweet the way Lucifer finally called Dan by his real name. Notably he’s still resistant to getting all huggy with Trixie, though.

 

The Bad:

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  • Lucifer’s little rant at the funeral isn’t witty enough to be amusing. He just comes across as a bit of a jerk. You feel genuinely uncomfortable for the family.

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  • Hell is a bit, erm… dull. Admittedly it was a relief that it wasn’t some over-the-top CG dog’s dinner, but perhaps this erred a little too much in the other direction. It seemed so… empty.
  • Lucifer’s “prayer” was a little on-the-nose.
  • Everyone worked out that Malcolm would be trying to change his identity to escape the country with surprising ease.
  • Amenadiel’s change of heart at the start of the episode is very sudden; not totally unbelievable but maybe there could have been a little bit more foreshadowing last week.

 

And The Random:

  • And on the Devil’s playlist this week are:
    • “Readin’ Your Will” by Zachary Kibbee –  at the futernal Lucifer interrupts.
    • “Romance Dawn” by Radkey – Amenadiel and Lucifer fight the Tommy’s bad guys.
    • “H” by Lawrence Rothman – Maz tends to Amenadiel’s wound in Lucifer’s apartment.
    • “Rough Detective” by The Dead Weather – Just after Chloe has received the phone call from Malcolm about Trixie.

Lucifer_1.13_take_me_back_to_hell_hotel_roof

  • Amenadiel and Lucifer have their conversation early in the episode on the roof of the Rosslyn Hotel Annex, which neighbours the Rosslyn Hotel which the subject of the 2000 film Million Dollar Hotel.

 

Review by Dave Golder


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