Lucifer, S2 E8: “Trip to Stabby Town”
Written by Jeffrey Lieber
Directed by Nathan Hope
“My pudding’s gone.”
Surely Lucifer must be the only show on television to handle God, glory holes, The Goddess, and Hitler all in the same episode. And the show also pokes fun at the Whole Foods-earthy crunchy-yoga lifestyle set by making a bunch of new age flakyheads the murderers (of each other), driven mad by Azrael’s death blade.
Someone dug up Azrael’s blade from Uriel’s grave: in the hands of human beings, the knife calls to people’s inner rage, causing them to go all stabby over even minor injustices. Lucifer, Amenadiel, and Maze search for whomever has stolen the blade, as yoga teachers bite the dust. The weapon just kills humans, but obliterates celestial beings. Because of this danger, Lucifer tries to keep the search secret from Decker. He recruits Ella to help him find the thief, and their secretive behavior makes Decker jealous.
Lucifer finds out that Mum, The Goddess of All Creation, set a bunch of her clients on the path to finding the blade. She wants the humans to kill each other in homicidal frenzies in order to attract God’s attention. She thinks it is the only way to get face time with God. Since by design all humans die anyway, she cannot understand why Lucifer has a problem with this. The episode paints her as licentious and uncaring about the fate of humanity, on both grand and individual scales. Interestingly, that is exactly how monotheistic religions vilified the Mother Goddess when they tried to displace earlier polytheistic religions. While the show does succeed in showing that Mum is a harsh deity, the most important thing to notice is that she does it just to attract God’s attention – and it doesn’t work. So this male God who is supposed to be so loving and benevolent can’t even be bothered to bestir himself when all hell breaks loose in human-land. What a nice guy. Let’s definitely choose him over her again.
Decker keeps catching Ella and Lucifer in what look like awkward, intimate moments, particularly when they reenact the yoga massacre. Ella explains how the yogis and yoginis butchered each other before taking their final corpse poses, using Lucifer’s body as a demo. Normally he would really enjoy that, but Decker’s icy stare makes for a very uncomfortable – and very funny – moment.
The team catches up with Jensen Glory, the yoga guru whose acolytes have run amok. He’s a lecherous faker who tries to instill cult-like loyalty in his followers, especially the female ones. Some of those female followers are suing him for sexual harassment. When Lucifer draws out his deepest desires, Glory reveals that all he really wants is a muffin and to remove his corset. It seems that he’s been indulging all his appetites, including the one for carbs. He wasn’t the one, however, who escaped the yoga massacre carrying Azrael’s blade.
Lucifer figures out that one of the yoginis at Glory’s studio suffered more than just harassment from Glory. He finds her standing over the guru’s dead body with Azrael’s blade protruding from his chest. Years before, Glory had cornered her and raped her. She had tried to push the memory away and forget, but the blade drew forth all of her long-suppressed rage. When Decker and the LAPD arrive, Lucifer covers for the yoga teacher, saying that she acted in self-defense. Lucifer states that justice has actually been served. Since Lucifer is the King of Pain, I guess he would know.
Immediately after the police arrive, the blade disappears from the corpse. Desperate to secure it, Lucifer goes looking and finds it in the possession of a completely whacked out Detective Douche. The blade has unhinged and enraged him so much that he attacks Lucifer for stealing his pudding from the precinct refrigerator. Detective Douche lashes out at Lucifer for destroying his marriage, job, and life. Even as Detective Douche screams that the pudding had his name on the label, Detective Douche fights against the call of the knife. It surprises Lucifer and the audience that Detective Douche possesses the internal strength to resist the murderous impulses aroused by the blade. Douche releases the weapon and seems to forget that he just tried to kill Lucifer.
Dr. Linda spends the episode trying to come to terms with the fact that the actual devil is her patient. She asks what punishment Hitler suffers, and who can blame her? She also asks about a certain uncle of hers whom she describes as one “bad mamma jamma” (suggesting a certain history). Always completely self-absorbed, Lucifer just wants her to focus on his therapy. This episode brings back all the witty repartee and smartass humor of the first season. Although the interesting theological angles have not been abandoned, Lucifer never answers Linda’s questions. Darn! It would be really wonderful if a Fox TV show could tell us all about what happens after death, or at least what happens to certain individuals after death. We wouldn’t need yoga to discover the meaning of life, then.
Since Ella worked on the disappearance of Azrael’s blade as a favor to Lucifer, she calls in a favor from him in return. It turns out that her favor is to attend her church. The episode shows the devil walking into a church. That sounds like the opening line of a joke, but if it is, we never see the punch line.
Mum and Amenadiel join forces. They think they can force God to allow them all to return home to heaven. Still holding Azrael’s blade, Lucifer screams at her that heaven was hell for him and he doesn’t want to go back. The only place he’s ever felt respected was here on earth, among humanity. The episode ends with Mum telling Amenadiel that she has thought of a way to force Lucifer to return with them to heaven. Judging by the preview for next week, it looks like she is going to attack either Club Lux or Decker or both.
This week’s show presents a nice balance between laughter and lament about the human condition. Lucifer even throws in a line of dialogue about Trump ending up in hell. Whether his election presents one of the signs of impending apocalypse or the working out of the will of a benevolent God depends on your politics. Since, as Mum points out, all humans regardless of political persuasion are meant to die, we may as well laugh our way to the grave.