Right as Lucifer gets a full season order, this season gets angsty and it's probably the best the show has ever been. Spoilers ahead for Lucifer (S0206) "Monster"...
After kinda-sorta accidentally killing his brother last week, Lucifer is falling apart this week with a concerted effort and no one is hugging him nearly enough. Amenadiel is grieving in his own way, Mama Morningstar is dealing with him, and Lucifer is left all alone to stew in his guilt and sadness. The one person who wants to help him--Chloe--he won't let in because he doesn't want to tell her what and who he really is, and the one person who is supposed to help him--Dr Linda--won't take him seriously enough to make a difference.
It's all the feels in Luciland this week.
The case is a woman murdered at her wedding and a food truck chef murdered when they go to question him about a napkin left at the scene. There's no connection between the two, but the foodie's wife and the bride's husband worked together on medical malpractice cases. Which leads them, at the end of the ep, to the doctors who led the clinical trial that killed the killer's wife. He's making them all feel what he felt when he lost his love. It's sad, but it's pretty straight forward.
Most of the story is Lucifer flailing around and making things worse.
Chloe wants to know what's up, but he won't talk to her; in fact, he's convinced that she absolutely can't understand, and even though it looks like it pains him and frustrates him to push her away, he thinks there's no point in trying because she won't get it. I think he's selling her short; she gets him even if she doesn't have all the details. Lucifer doesn't even tell her that the problem is a death in the family. This is a perfect time to show that deep compassion she had for his wing scars from the beginning of S1, but he's not giving her a chance and she hasn't reached the end of her rope / the top of her worry for him yet.
He shows up to the wedding scene drunk, and gets a lead by seducing the first bridesmaid he sees. He harasses the suspect that lead brings them to until he's crying on the floor. He breaks into the snack machine in the middle of the police precinct. He steals the medical files they need so they don't have to wait for a warrant. And then, at the end, he saves the last victim sort of accidentally by trying to get the sniper to shoot him, because he feels like he deserves it. It was done so well: funny, but also heartbreaking all through the episode.
Because, even while he's self destructing and worrying Chloe to death and pushing everyone away, he's also still helping. Chloe asks if he even wants to help her, and the way he says he does sounds like punishing wrongdoers is the only thing he has left. Like it hurts that she'd question that. He drastically overpays for the snacks he takes from the machine. And he gets the files because Chloe needs them and he's even less patient than ever.
But then he also punches Dan in the face (which was awesome, but probably unneeded), and breaks the law, so Chloe kicks him off the case. After that is when he really flips out. There's a great piano number, which we all love, but he can't even finish the song, and he kicks everyone out of the club, before he goes and tries to get himself shot.
It doesn't work, because the guy doesn't think Lucifer deserves it. That's probably what Lucifer needs to hear, but he's not ready to hear it and so he doesn't believe it. Especially after Dan says that he never does anything he doesn't want to do, which just confirms his idea that he deserves to be punished, despite his protests that he's had to do lots of stuff he doesn't want to do. It's a deep problem for the one who usually does the punishing.
At the very end, after he almost makes Chloe cry by being so mean to her when she tries to get through to him, he finally goes to see Dr Linda. He actually tells her everything that happened, but she cuts him off and says she needs absolute real honesty. She's tired of metaphors and thinks all her work has been for nothing.
So Lucifer takes a chance.
He shows her his real face. The red one with the glowing eyes that still look sad. Not the one with the sharp teeth and horns, just the non-human one.
And she freaks out. Quietly, but totally.
And he's even more sure that he can't just be who he is, and no one will ever understand him or what he goes through. He was smiling a little, hopefully, when she said she'd like to see, but when she froze up and her lip started wobbling, the smile just fades and it's even more heartbreaking than all the self-destruction.
Meanwhile, no one is hugging him because they all have other stuff to do.
Amenadiel is busy with Mama Morningstar. She takes him to where Lucifer buried Uriel under a nice big tree in what looks like a state park...though it doesn't look really remote or anything. Will someone stumble across an angel-body and make things worse? But before that, Mama takes the opportunity to make sure Ama doesn't blame himself for everything that happened--because he totally does, since he's the oldest and the strongest and was sent down to put an end to everything long before now.
And she also takes the chance to push what sounds like an agenda. She seems to be quietly cultivating rebellions while she reinforces her childrens' ties to herself...
Chloe and Dan are working together as partners again, since Lucifer gets himself kicked off the case, but they mostly seem to be keeping it professional. It's sort of nice seeing her getting to just be a cop, like a glimpse of how things must've been before she knew Luci and before the two of them broke up.
And because the case keeps Chloe from getting home to go trick-or-treating with Trixie, Maze goes with her. This is the part that keeps the episode from being too dark, because Maze and Trixie together are always golden. It's the best friendship that's developed on this show. Trixie doesn't want to be a princess again, so Maze builds her a President of Mars costume. And then intimidates everyone into giving her lots of candy and some money.
Trixie says she wishes Maze had a costume, and Maze, torture-demon and people-hater, takes a risk on a little girl and shows Trixie her real face. Which is to say, how half her face is missing.
Trixie, in contrast to the reaction Lucifer got for the same thing, loves it. When Chloe gets home late, there's hundreds of candy wrappers everywhere and Trixie and Maze (with her whole face back on) are sleeping all snuggled up on the couch together.
As I said at the top of this post, it's probably the best this show has been yet. The case didn't matter as much to the plot, and when it did, it played nicely with what's going on in the characters' emotional lives, which is how the show works best. It's not really a crime show, it's a show that uses crime as a framework to get people into the same spaces together. The contrast between Maze's reveal and Lucifer's was heartbreaking as much as anything else that was going on with him this episode, and we can only hope that he can either come out the other side soon, or that Chloe can break through and bring him back, because it can't be good to have the Devil literally trying to ruin himself.
And what, exactly, is Mama Morningstar up to?
More notes on Lucifer 2.6 "Monster":
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