Lucifer: 1.09 A Priest Walks Into a Bar
This week's episode of Lucifer was a mixed bag - some of the best character moments in the show yet, but also some ideas that didn't totally work for me. The idea that a priest would ever go to someone called Lucifer Morningstar, whether he believed he was the devil or not, seemed like a stretch too far. And while Colman Domingo brought an engaging gravitas to his performance as Father Frank Lawrence, A Priest Walks Into A Bar felt like an episode that didn't explore its premise fully.
Why would a priest ever take a deal with the devil? It was a fascinating idea to explore and I think it didn't quite achieve its goal, perhaps because the case that drive him to Lux wasn't strong enough. If there is one big flaw with Lucifer it is that the cases of the week are never great, just good enough to progress the story and it is the regular characters that make things entertaining. And that was doubly true here.
At least the show didn't go with the obvious choice of Father Frank being the drunk that killed Connor's parents; rather he was in the same car in them and lost his daughter in the crash too. The fact that he found his faith so late in life, having being something of a party animal musician before, made Frank an even more fascinating character. It was Lucifer's fascination with him that added some real heart to the episode, epitomised through through that wonderful scene where they played the piano together.
Lucifer's emerging humanity really came to the fore here - his grief over Father Frank's death at the hands of the real murderer added some well-earned depth to a character that has otherwise been playful, soulless and altogether disconnected from the world around him. Tom Ellis continues to balance the cheeky devil with what is essentially a man starting to relate to the world he is living in. It seems like there could be some redemption coming his way, though what that means for the whole balance of Heaven and Hell remains to be seen.
But on the flipside the case was dull and so was the subplot involving the newly-resurrected Malcolm manipulating 'corrupt detective' Dan. While this has surely added some depth to Kevin Alejandro's character, it barely little relevance to the rest of the show aside from giving Dan something to do. The only glimmer of hope for this plot came in the diner scene where Amenadiel ordered Malcolm to kill Lucifer, in doing so dragging him back to Hell.
A Priest Walks Into a Bar was definitely a mixed bag. There were some very amusing moments - the confession scene where Lucifer played the role of the priest and the young pizza delivery guy getting invited into Lucifer's party. Chloe and Frank had some great moments with Lucifer but the case and Dan's side story were boring. Lucifer is still great fun to watch, but are the cases starting to let it down?