Lucifer: “Welcome to Devil Time.”
Chloe: “What are you doing?”
Lucifer: “Trying out my new catchphrase.”
Dan: “‘Welcome to Devil Time’? What the hell does that mean?”
Lucifer: “She knows what it means.”
Jamie: “I have no idea what it means.”
“Devil Time” isn’t as intimidating as Lucifer would like everyone to believe. In fact, the true “Devil Time” moment in this episode, “Weaponizer,” is pretty much the reaction of a frightened son/partner/brother who finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Coincidentally, the concept of the “Welcome to Devil Time” catchphrase is the result of Lucifer once again espousing the healing qualities of distractions. Here, it’s in the form of the wonderfully crappy action franchises introduced in this episode (Body Bag and The Weaponizer). As Lucifer explains them: “It’s a chance to escape your reality for a moment. Some people need that.” That’s understandable, which is why it’s also understandable that Lucifer spends most of the case-of-the-week attempting to escape from reality by framing it like a Body Bag flick. And instead of facing his reality outside of the case, he instead pawns the situation of middle brother Uriel (Michael Imperioli) coming to take their mother back to Hell off to Amenadiel. Lucifer is perfectly content living in his own fantasy world this week, devoid of any thought about the repercussions.
Until he has to face said repercussions, that is.
The most fascinating part about Lucifer’s attempt to live out the Body Bag/Weaponizer action hero archetype in this episode is that he’s not even remotely that type of guy in the first place. As the episode reminds us, he’s the type of guy to get starstruck over A-list turned barely D-list action stars, even though he himself prefers to be treated like the rockstar he is for being the literal Devil. But this failed desire to be the tough guy Lucifer—as ridiculous as that sounds, and the show is very aware it’s very ridiculous—ultimately and unexpectedly serves as a contrast to the final scenes of the episode. Despite spending most of his time during the case-of-the-week admiring the awesome, take no prisoners badass characters that come from those crappy action movies, when faced with living that same take no prisoners lifestyle in reality, he can’t handle it. Because while he may be the Devil, that doesn’t mean he’ll ever be fine killing any of his family members, no matter how little of a choice there is in the matter.
“Weaponizer” isn’t necessarily the funniest episode of the season so far, and depending on how you approach it, it may not even be the emotional high point of the season or series either. But it is very funny and emotional at the right times. It’s also a tightly-plotted and well-paced episode, competently showing what Lucifer has learned in such a relatively short time, as well as an episode that ushers in quite a few possibilities for the aftermath of Lucifer killing Uriel. And it’s not just that he kills Uriel but the fact that he kills Uriel to protect his mother and, more importantly, Chloe. It adds fuels to an already heated family dynamic and it takes Lucifer to a different place where the loss of a life absolutely matters to him outside of the typical case setting, especially with it being his own doing.
But first of all, it’s important to mention the case-of-the-week on its own, as it functions rather well in this episode, never halting the action and even managing to facilitate it over all. “Weaponizer” is a performance-heavy episode of Lucifer, even in what is typically the weakest part of the show, as it manages to strike guest star gold with Charisma Carpenter, Phil LaMarr, and Mark Dacascos, three actors who could easily carry a case-of-the-week for this show individually. Technically, there’s nothing too special about the plot because it falls under the Lucifer umbrella of “Hollywood things happening in Hollywood.” But the fact that it’s so simple—there’s no insanely sordid backstory that’s usually need to make these cases “work”—is really a point in the plot’s favor for once. In a nice turn of events, the bad guys (Carpenter’s Jamie and LaMarr’s Ryan) are undone simply because they’re both too dumb to avoid being seen in public together but also too selfish not to flip on each other. And the murder only happens in the first place, because they’re not able to keep the embezzling scheme under wraps in the first place, which is just so simple it’s refreshing. It’s certainly a nice change of pace from the typical “this is my long-winded, diabolical reason for murder,” and it helps that it also ends up being secondary to Chloe’s own crisis of faith.
But the meat of the episode is of course the introduction of Uriel, Lucifer and Amenadiel’s brother. He’s got a very good introduction to the series too, with the opening teaser that shows his pattern powers in action (and frames last week’s cliffhanger) and “Time Is On My Side” playing over the scene, channeling some fallen angel action of its own. Uriel is equal parts intriguing and a walking contradiction to the series as a whole. In what is presumably a one-and-done appearance, the character is played competently by Michael Imperioli, especially when it comes to Uriel’s obvious existence as the middle child who now thinks he has an opening to succeed where his older and younger brothers have supposedly failed. In a cast of dynamic characters and on a show where first impressions matter quite a bit (as Dan’s character rehabilitation is still a work in progress), Uriel falls short. There’s no time to warm up to Uriel—not as the villain and not even as the shunned brother of Lucifer and Amenadiel—and what we get feels at odds with Lucifer.
Because Uriel is completely lame.
It’s an interesting choice, as he’s clearly and also intentionally the complete opposite of his family members that we know so far. Uriel’s greatest sin at first is being the middle child ugly duckling in this family, because even dear old mom wins in the genetic lottery (with her flesh sack) against her own son. He’s short (Amenadiel towers over him), he’s kind of schlubby, and he’s not even actually sent on a mission by God. However, as the episode continues, it becomes apparent that shallow aspects aren’t the only reasons Uriel’s not exactly a character you (or the other characters) want to see more of. He’s smarmy but not the kind of smarmy you’d typically get from this show. He’s a self-righteous man on a mission, but the way he carries himself in said mission is nothing compared to Amenadiel. He’s the smartest man in the room, but he’s not really the smartest man in the room. Then he’s gone almost as soon as he’s arrived, and it’s gutsy and somewhat surprising in a show that can always stand to be more gutsy and surprising.
Uriel: “You’re lucky I’d never use Azrael’s blade on you, brother.”
It’s not exactly Chekhov’s blade, but Uriel saying that in the episode’s penultimate scene immediately opens up the floor for questioning: Could Lucifer say the same? Maze entering the fight is a smart choice for the episode to momentarily ignore that question, but it does ultimately go on to answer it with a resounding “no.” To say that Lucifer would “obviously” use the blade on Uriel ignores just how much he truly cares about his family (no matter how much they get on each other’s nerves) and how much any sort of familial betrayal weighs on him. But narratively, it’s the only thing he can do, and the moment Uriel says he’d never use the blade on Lucifer, he inadvertently signs his own death warrant. Like I said, Lucifer is stuck between a rock and a hard place here, and killing Uriel is the only way out in this situation.
Of course, Uriel probably should have seen it coming, but as his second set-up for Chloe proves (with Kimo and the shotgun), Uriel’s downfall is that he doesn’t appear to account for the concept of human compassion factoring into things. He realizes that Lucifer cares for Chloe’s well-being even more than their mothers, but he doesn’t understand what that type of human emotion means. The introduction of “Charlotte” this season has shown just how much these higher beings can completely disregard human lives and thoughts, but in doing so, it also exposes their lack of understanding of humans. Uriel goes on and on about the same old Lucifer, but the “same old Lucifer” has become less and less of a thing as the series goes on. It makes him more of a wildcard, even though he’s technically developing as a character and a “person.” Last season’s finale proved that Lucifer would literally die for Chloe, but this episode proves he’d also kill for her.
And it comes at a time when Tom Ellis and the rest of the are knocking it out of the park on a weekly basis. This even applies to poor “Detective Douche” Dan, as Kevin Alejandro finally gets to play the character lighter and with a sense of humor. His and Lucifer’s bro down over the Body Bag and Weaponizer movies is pretty great. The revelation that he skipped out on wedding planning to see Body Bag 6 probably should have been a warning sign for his and Chloe’s marriage, but it’s also just as “oddly adorable” as the rest of his fandom for the franchise. And while it’s not quite a Maze-heavy episode, Lesley-Ann Brandt gets to be at “peak Maze” in the scenes she does have, especially when it comes to the character growling at a child and fighting with Uriel. Lauren German also does well with Chloe’s talking down of Dacascos’ Kimo (and the “we can’t control what happens to us” line is very poignant), but it’s still the supernatural family drama remains head and shoulders about the rest of the show’s material. Again, Tricia Helfer and D.B. Woodside nail their mother-son scene, but it’s Tom Ellis who steals his own show back both with his speech about how no one honestly knows what God wants (“No more,” indeed) and the final scene, where he and Helfer just break down over Lucifer’s murder of Uriel.
An episode like “Weaponizer” shows how far Lucifer has come in balancing the humor and the genuine drama, and with the solid base of the family trio and the supporting cast, the sky remains the limit for the series. No terrible Heaven joke intended.
- “Not on my watch” is a good catchphrase but only because it makes me think of this.
- Then again, I need a Body Bag poster. Or six. How do we make that a reality?
- Lucifer’s assumption that Ella wants to have a quickie with him is only made better by Ella momentarily almost deciding to have said quickie with him.
- Unfortunately, the episode doesn’t commit half of its time to the new living arrangement between Maze, Chloe, and Trixie, but it does have Chloe call herself and Maze friends, “sort of,” as well as Maze’s sex toys. That counts for something.
- Speaking of Trixie, I appreciate the show immediately nipping her attitude problem in the bud. This episode is very good at its plot time management, and it’s better that it goes with a couple of quick yet affecting beats than try to stretch out a conflict.
- There is so much in Chloe calling Dan and Lucifer’s shared interest “oddly adorable,” as it’s something either man would be fine with Chloe calling them individually… But for her to do it to both of them, in front of each other, it causes them to take a step back from their bro-ing out. Even though Chloe and Dan are getting a divorce and Chloe and Lucifer aren’t in a romantic relationship of any kind, both men still have her as a point of conflict, no matter how many times they hang out (for work) or find common ground or acknowledge that she’s a human being. She reminds them that they’re vying for some imaginary alpha male prize, as dumb as that is.
- The more we see of “Charlotte’s” life, the weirder it becomes. Why is her “son” barking in defiance? No idea, but it makes sense that she’d chain him up as time-out. I do genuinely wonder how she’s doing as a lawyer though, so keep it up, Lucifer.
- This episode finally has Amenadiel spill the beans on his fall from grace (which is 100% worse than Lucifer’s), which is great, because I have no idea how they could have even tried to stretch it past this one. It’s also a nice touch that the one thing that ends up being Amenadiel’s giveaway to Uriel is that he talked way too much. Season one Amenadiel would’ve known to keep it short and sweet.
- I also appreciate how Amenadiel’s approach to “Charlotte” is completely different from Lucifer’s more blunt approach. Amenadiel tries very hard to choose his words wisely when it comes to their mother, because he’s constantly trying not to upset or disappoint her again.
- Rachael Harris is great, and Dr. Linda is only getting better, but this episode’s decision to not include her signifies a big step for Lucifer. This second season has found a way to better incorporate Dr. Linda, but it also now realizes that she doesn’t need to show up in an episode when she’s not needed and when it’s already full.
- One thing Lucifer has been doing very well so far this season—and which helps make Uriel the clear cut bad guy here—is its actual depiction of “Charlotte.” The season opened with Lucifer terrified she’d want revenge, and while she certainly may have ulterior motives (can’t forget the look she gave the Heavens once Lucifer told her she could stay or even that she has powers), the show’s done nothing to deny that she’s completely honest when it comes to her love for her children and her truly divine belief in the power of forgiveness. She forgave Amenadiel for taking her to Hell, and here, until Amenadiel warns her that Uriel won’t be so easy, she’s willing to reconnect with her middle child as well. Then she’s even willing to go back to Hell with Uriel, just to protect Amenadiel and Lucifer and the lives they’ve built for themselves on Earth. Uriel sees the patterns, and he’s probably right about how things will go down if she gets back to Heaven. But it’s difficult not to root for her when the alternatives are indecisive God and buzzkill Uriel.
- So what do we think Uriel tried to say to Lucifer as he was dying? It probably wasn’t anything good, right?