REVIEW: Lucifer Season 3 Episode 11 (If I Could Turn Back Time)

The mid-season premiere begins….at the beginning. We dial back a bit in time and get a glimpse of the major players before they were one big team.

Season 3 Episode 11
‘City of Angels?’
Network: Fox

What You Need to Know:

Since this episode is a flashback story, all you really need to know is who the characters are. If you have even a passing familiarity with the show you should be fine. If you’re brand new from the show, a few things may be lost, but the main story should be easy enough to follow.

What You’ll Find out (minor spoilers):

We meet up with Lucifer still relatively new to Los Angeles and recently disengaged from Hell. He’s not up on his human culture entirely, but he’s enjoying the finer and cruder parts of the world. His brother Amenadiel is still in his aloof angelic form, Mazikeen is fresh from demon torture and Chloe and Dan are still together. Chloe is a beat cop with her sights on making detective, while Dan is a detective with a clean record. Charlotte Richards rounds out the retrospective and we see everyone in their own lives.

Now for the set up: Amenadiel is still trying to return Lucifer to Hell, but once his prized necklace (a gift from his Father) is stolen, both angels are reluctant to leave the mortal plane. Amenadiel seeks the help of local law enforcement, where he meets Chloe. The search for the necklace soon connects to a murder and leads to a trip through the underground fight scene of Los Angeles. Will this case help Chloe make detective? Will Amenadiel and Lucifer talk their differences out or duke them out? And how does all of this fit into the current situation of our intrepid detectives and demons?

What Just Happened:

It was an interesting choice for a midseason opener to be a retrospective, especially with the big reveal that the new Captain Pierce is the world’s first murderer, Cain. To me, this indicates that the events of the midseason finale are going to be a turning point of sorts for Lucifer and his relationships with the others. We get a lot of insight into Lucifer’s pain over how his father and his brother see him. In fact, how the whole world sees him. Lucifer has been burdened with the notion that disobedience and rebellion mean evil. Now he’s encountered Cain, whose actions were obedience twisted into evil acts by jealousy.  Before we see this two interact, we’re given a reminder of what drives Lucifer, what’s at his heart and how he’s changed through the show. And how he’s touched the lives of others.

The episode itself was kind of standard. The most interesting aspect to me was to see Lucifer more recently escaped from Hell, while his anger is still fresh and his rebellion has more of an edge to it. It was also interesting to see how Mazikeen ended up in L.A. as well on the show. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was giving Chloe and Charlotte an early connection that was significant for one, arguably both of them. From the earlier parts of the show, it felt like they barely knew each other or knew of one another, but here we see that they directly sparred with each other. It didn’t fit quite with the rest of the show, but that’s a pretty minor concern compared to the rest of the episode. It wasn’t entirely clear what the point of the story was except to be a flashback, but this show has shown that it’s capable of weaving threads together and this is the second flashback this season. I expect that the rest of the season will weave the past and the present together as a narrative of how Cain and Lucifer are similar and how they are different.

This is one of the things I love about this show, because it’s a really fun show, it’s also a police procedural. But behind all of this, it gets to some of the fundamental questions about religion, morality, and society’s relationship with pressure to conform and guilt. Cain and Lucifer stripped to their basic cores are both sons that disappointed their fathers in very different ways, but really, at least to me Cain’s acts were the much more “evil”. Yet Lucifer is the one seen as the ultimate evil by humanity, angels, and (in Lucifer’s mind at least) his Father. How will that sit with Lucifer? It’s an interesting question – Society at some point seemed to pain disobedience to be a sin on par with murder. What does that say about society? Is it still true? If not, what does that mean for the story of the evil nature of the Devil? Though this show is based on a comic book, the themes it tackles are some of the most fundamental in Judeo-Christian religions, in some ways religion in general, and still in more ways how society as a whole judge’s things. It’s a unique aspect of this show.

Score: 8/10

Final Thoughts: The midseason premiere was light on action and adrenaline, though there was some intrigue here and there, and a few punches. What it lacked in action it made up for in development, filling in some of the blank spots in various relationships. I’m interested to see how this fits into the modern day story with Cain and Lucifer.

Lucifer airs on Fox on Mondays. Check your local listings for times.

Lucifer is based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, and Mike Dringeberg and owned by DC Entertainment.

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