Lucifer season 1, episode 13, “Take Me Back to Hell,” just finished airing, and there’s no doubt that the show’s first finale is the best episode to date!
Setting aside the procedural structure for the final episode of Lucifer season 1 may have been the best thing to ever happen to this show. There’s no case this week, unless you count the minimal amount of time Chloe spends thinking Lucifer actually killed the man found in his bar.
Lucifer spent quite a bit of time in the first half of the season establishing the characters and the roles they play in each other’s lives. There’s the detective, the (kind of) ex-husband, the therapist, and the club owner. But as the show progressed, Lucifer ended up feeling less like just another cop show with a few hints of something else, and more like a supernatural drama that placed the procedural aspects of detective work into the background.
“Take Me Back to Hell” got rid of that initial structure completely and replaced it with a non-stop cat and mouse game among angels, demons, and humans.
The episode begins with Lucifer feeling as though Chloe has become just like everyone else. He’s convinced she has demonized him like the rest of humanity, and as he goads a rookie cop into shooting him, it’s clear that he’d rather take his chances ending up who-knows-where than living in a world where she doesn’t believe in him. Cue sad music and pouring rain.
Luckily, Amenadiel literally swoops into to save Lucifer, which is more than just a little surprising considering they had been going blow for blow just last week. Lucifer begs his brother to take him back to Hell, but Amenadiel refuses. he feels guilty about using Maze and Malcolm, and has decided to redeem himself with Luci’s help. Lucifer wants nothing more than to punish Malcolm for all the horrifying crimes he has committed, and so he readily agrees.
At the crime scene, Malcolm makes off with one of the demon daggers (that does not bode well), while Chloe admits to Dan that she doesn’t believe Lucifer killed the street preacher. With all his passion and tendency toward showmanship, shooting a man execution style just isn’t the way he would have done it. After Dan sees the murder weapon is the gun he stole from evidence for Malcolm, he’s absolutely convinced Chloe is right.
And finally Chloe knows everything Dan has been up to behind her back, from the time he shot Malcolm in order to save her life to the moment that sealed his fate when he did the man’s dirty work. Understandably, Chloe takes a swing at him, and Dan is smart enough not to defend his actions. He’s done something terribly wrong, and he’s ready to do anything he can to make it right, both for Chloe and for Lucifer.
Amenadiel and Lucifer have a similar heart to heart on Linda’s therapy couch. Crammed in there next to each other, bickering and accusing the other of being a big pain in the ass, I’m so glad the writers decided to redeem Amenadiel. He could have easily turned into another Manny from Constantine, who ended up being the Big Bad of the season. (This is where I tell you that if you like Lucifer, you should go watch Constantine immediately.) Instead, it looks like Amendadiel learned some humility and has resigned himself rather eagerly to working with Lucifer to make everything right.
In fact, after they track down Malcolm to an old brewery where he’s trying to scrape up some money in order to get the correct papers to disappear, Luci and Amenadiel have a little fun with the drug dealer’s thugs. They each find a way to let off a little steam, but that doesn’t mean either one of them can completely forgive the other. To be fair, despite all his charm, Lucifer can be quite aggravating when he wants to be. It’s a process, Amenadiel. You’ll get there.
Maze and Chloe show up to the warehouse, and everyone is on the hunt for Malcolm. Unfortunately, their target finds Amenadiel first and stabs him with a demon dagger. This is bad news for our angelic friend, who is seriously injured. Lucifer shows true compassion here and is willing to give up the hunt to save Amenadiel’s life, but the archangel tells him to go anyway. Luckily, Maze finds them and promises to take care of Lucifer’s brother.
Malcolm ends up escaping, but is forced to leave behind his money, which Chloe collects. Everyone goes to the station, and Lucifer puts his fate into Detective Douche’s hands. Except Dan is not a douche today, not in the slightest. He admits he took the gun from the storage locker, thereby providing evidence of Lucifer’s innocence.
But all is not well. Malcolm kidnaps Trixie and offers her safe return in exchange for his money. Chloe is quick to comply, but Lucifer stops her on the way to her car. He wants to help, but she’s adamant he stay behind. She cannot do anything that would put her daughter in more danger.
When Chloe arrives, the exchange goes smoothly enough, and she tells Trixie to hide until everything is over. Malcolm is seconds away from shooting Chloe, but because Lucifer can never follow a rule (and thank God for that — pun intended), he shows up and allows the good detective time to escape.
I knew the next moment was coming, I felt it in my gut, but I still wasn’t prepared to see Malcolm shoot Lucifer and watch our most reluctant of heroes bleed out across the floor. In his final moments, Lucifer gives up everything he had worked centuries to achieve if only God would save Chloe. Lucifer is sent to Hell, much to his irritation, but quickly notices a door has been opened. Before we can figure out exactly what this means, the Devil is sent back to Earth. His shirt is ruined, but he is very much alive.
Malcolm is astonished and terrified and angry, but he doesn’t have much time to react before Chloe puts three bullets in his chest. Lucifer’s coin is no help to Malcolm now, and he’ll be going to Hell for good. It’s almost unfortunate it ended this way. Not that I don’t think Malcolm deserves Hell after everything he’s done, but Kevin Rankin is so unbelievably fantastic in this role that it’ll be a shame to lose him in season 2. Then again, when you’re dealing with angels and demons, anything can happen.
It’ll be interesting to see what season 2 explores going forward. I’ve been a huge proponent of Chloe coming to terms with Lucifer’s immortality, and I hope this finally convinces her he’s telling the truth when he says he is the Devil. She’s quick and smart and great at her job, so if she finds another way to write off his miraculous recovery, it’s going to be a detriment to her character.
Even more pressing than that is the last scene of the finale. Amenadiel, having been healed by a feather from Lucifer’s wings, has conked out for some time in order to recover. Maze has split, which they were sure to point out. She was willing to heal Amenadiel and forgo any chance the feather could be used to take Lucifer back to Hell, so maybe she’s just trying to figure out what the hell she’s doing with her life. Lucifer, meanwhile, has returned to his smashed up bar.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, mate. The brothers have a big problem. Someone has escaped from Hell, and that person is none other than their mother.