Kevin Alejandro (left), Tom Ellis

At the risk of starting things back up on too serious of a note, Lucifer’s winter premiere (and beginning of its only brief return to our screens) is all about worth. Self-worth, mostly. For Lucifer, it’s his worth when it comes to Chloe, whether he’s a man “worthy” of her or not—whether he’s ”boyfriend material,” as he puts it to Amenadiel. For Maze, it’s her newfound appreciation of self-worth in the form of being the last person to realize that she’s “awesome.” To Charlotte and Amenadiel, Chloe’s worth is solely as the key that gets them and Lucifer back home, even if that means being far away from espresso and sex. Dan’s worth is tied to Chloe not thinking any less of him, because old habits die hard.

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It’s an episode of introspection, which is a risky way to return from a mid-season hiatus, especially when it’s only for three episodes. But showrunner Joe Henderson has mentioned that this episode is not just the first of three consecutive Lucifer episodes until May—it’s the first in a trilogy of episodes. So “Stewardess Interruptus,” while certainly working as a full one-and-done in a lot of ways, is ultimately a set-up episode. Having the characters exclusively look inward isn’t just something they can save for later, especially with the looming threat introduced here.

Continuing right where “Quid Pro Ho” left off, this episode immediately nips the Lucifer/Chloe kiss in the bud by having one of Lucifer’s hook-ups, flight attendant Jana, show up unannounced (and give us our episode title). From there, rational, “this was all a mistake” Chloe takes over, as Lucifer spends the episode attempting to convince her that he’s worthy of her. All while Chloe points out the reasons she and Lucifer would never work—and not just because he superficially fits in better with the Silicon Valley bro (an unrecognizable in sunglasses Jamie Kennedy) partying in Malibu than he does with a single mother/LAPD detective.

When it comes to Lucifer’s insistence of proving how worthy he is, he’s fueled here by the “acceptance” of his relationship with Chloe from his mother and brother. So instead of being deterred by Chloe’s arguments that the two of them are too different, he’s too busy appreciating that his mother claims to be happy he’s found a woman like Chloe and that his older brother even tells him he’s underestimating himself in this situation. Lucifer is sadly fueled by manipulative positive reinforcement from his family.

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And while Charlotte’s new approach as the supportive mother in all things Lucifer/Chloe isn’t quite heartbreaking yet, watching Lucifer see her give her motherly support to Chloe during the interrogation, it’s obvious just how appreciative he is of his mother’s acceptance… and it’s certainly going to hurt once he realizes it’s just another duplicitous tactic from mommy dearest. The same goes for how he’ll feel toward Amenadiel after the confidence boost he gives him here:

“Luci, listen. I have underestimated you for all of my existence. Both in your ability to frustrate me and your capacity for good. Even though you’ll never admit it. But, when it comes to Chloe, perhaps you’ve been underestimating yourself.”

As for Chloe’s argument for most of the episode, she’s technically right—they are two very different people with very different priorities, and that’s even without the human/devil designations. Fundamentally, they’re both very much about being honest and eradicating evil, but every single episode addresses how they don’t quite see eye-to-eye on how to be and do those things. He loves to party and have so much sex. She loves being a mom. But that doesn’t stop Lucifer from spending the majority of episode attempting to prove himself to Chloe, even though she tells him at the first crime scene that he doesn’t have to prove anything to her. On paper, there’s nothing that can make them work.

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However, the thing about Lucifer’s capacity for good (which is their greatest commonality) is that he constantly tries to deny it’s there. He even does it in this episode, as he tells “bad man” Bert that he himself is “much, much worse than” a bad man. Lucifer even resigns himself to that fate, which is what leads him to make his grand speech at the end about how he’s not worthy of Chloe and will stop trying to prove anything to her…inadvertently proving to her that he is worthy of her.

The question remains though: Is Lucifer “boyfriend material?” Perhaps these next two episodes or possibly the rest of the season will answer that question. But even with the happy ending of Lucifer and Chloe finally getting that kiss, there are still a lot more questions up in the air about what it means for their future. That’s not a bad thing, but this certainly isn’t the fairy tale ending to their story.

On a smaller scale, “Stewardess Interruptus” deserves a pat on the back for having a truly captivating Lucifer case-of-the-week. Though, in true Lucifer fashion, that classification comes from the case focusing so heavily on Lucifer himself, even without him being a true suspect. Besides, accusing Lucifer of crimes is just so last season. The case initially works because of Lucifer’s involvement; however, when it’s revealed that Lucifer honestly has nothing to do with the case, it’s luckily already reached a level of connection where it’s worth it to see how it all ends.

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And that’s something the case needs, because without the Lucifer hook, if there’s no engagement in the case, that makes the final reveals of the more sordid motivations behind all of it fall flat. If Lucifer has no connection to Jana or Raj—and good on Lucifer for apparently sleeping with half of Los Angeles, even best friends he didn’t know were best friends—there’s a much less chance of the audience caring about the case at all. And if there are no feelings there, then the final reveal of the package and the mysterious man (and the mentions of the loose threads before that) aren’t so much intriguing as they are the only interesting parts of a boring plot. That’s not how you want to set up the other two parts of your trilogy, and “Stewardess Interruptus” succeeds at being a proper set-up episode while also achieving full episode status

Plus, this case-of-the-week gives us Chloe’s interrogation of Lucifer’s “exes” and Lucifer’s stalker Suki Price, which certainly have their place on the list of single greatest moments in the short history of Lucifer. The episode really hits the fun meter just right, even when it turns that fun into something a bit more emotionally crushing. In this case, that would be all of Lucifer’s recent flings making clear just how little “the best night of my life” meant to them. While Lucifer is prone to obsess over the smallest things, this particular frustration works because of how much it fits into Lucifer’s current longing for an actual connection. Plus, to him, all of his sexual experiences are meaningful. So to know that no one else feels that way, that’s a true gut punch.

The only things “Stewardess Interruptus” are truly missing are the heart-wrenching emotion that has typified this second season’s best episodes and Ella. (How is there no Ella in this episode, by the way?) The lack of true heartbreak here doesn’t hinder the episode though, because Lucifer, at its core, should be all about fun.

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To be perfectly honest, I’m usually pretty cautious when it comes to giving a high grade to the first part of a multi-part episode event without seeing the other episodes first. But “Stewardess Interruptus” truly does its job as a set-up episode, a return episode, and as a procedural episode of Lucifer. It’s also a really good beginning to a trilogy, and even with the one scene use of Dr. Linda and the absence of Ella, every series regular in this episode has a function and doesn’t feel either tacked on or underutilized. Now to see if the next two episodes can live up to the hype built for them.

Stray observations

  • Lucifer has now made it officially canon that Lucifer isn’t just all about the ladies, which has been a long time coming. Even though he’s pretty much hitched his wagon to Chloe at this point. Still, it’s the principle of the matter.
  • We also get confirmation that Chloe hates ketchup and that Lucifer is not a “two pump chump.” Both of these are good to know, I suppose.
  • Lucifer: “Good. ‘Cause the last thing I need is a Step-Dan.”
    Dan: “You say some really weird things, man.” Apparently Kevin Alejandro improvised that line, which makes it even better.
  • Chloe still refuses to believe that Lucifer hasn’t slept with Charlotte, and you know what? It wouldn’t hurt for him to just say Charlotte’s family or “like family” so he can put that to rest. Even though it still is funny to watch Lucifer be so uncomfortable with the allegations.
  • Linda: “I actually think you’re more human than a lot of people I know.”
    Maze: “Take that back.”
  • Suki: “I’m just… really into Lucifer.”
    Lucifer: “And who could blame you?”
    Suki: “You’re my perfect man. Like porn. And stuffed crust pizza. And my Hello Kitty blankie all rolled into one.” Hopefully Suki makes a return one day. She’s a fountain of Lucifer knowledge!
  • Maze: “Because I’m awesome. Because I take risks for my friends, and I don’t need your thanks.”
    Chloe: “Am I supposed to be thanking you for something?”
    Maze: “No. Because self-worth comes from within bitches.”
  • Maze understandably wants to bro out with Dan over feeding Chloe’s father’s murderer to the mob. Why can’t he just let her live? At least she finally knows she’s awesome.
  • As entertaining as this episode’s case-of-the-week is… Basically, a private investigator could have figured out the connection between Jana, Raj, and Tim—they were all best friends—without rounding up all Lucifer’s “exes” from the past eight weeks. Just saying.
  • Greg Beeman’s directing of course deserves some attention, as there’s no better shot in the episode than as the true bad guy walks away from Andy’s dead body:

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