Published: Friday, 28 May 2021 03:56 | Written by SciFi Vision
Lucifer - 5.09 - "Family Dinner"
**The following is a detailed recap and review of the episode, which means it's full of spoilers. Please don’t read any further until you’ve watched it. You can also check out my (almost) spoiler-free review for the second half of the season if you prefer**
Netflix finally dropped the anticipated conclusion to season five of its hit series Lucifer less than an hour ago. In the last episode, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) was about to tell Chloe (Lauren German) how he felt when Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) accidentally stopped time, not in control of his powers. Lucifer’s twin, Michael (also Ellis), had got into Amenadiel’s head, revealing that his son, Charlie, was human. Leaving a frozen Chloe, Lucifer joined Amenadiel to battle his brother, as well as Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), who had sided with Michael, believing that he could get her a soul. At the height of the battle, the brothers’ father, God (Dennis Haysbert), appeared, putting a stop to the fight. Season 5B picks up in that moment.
Following the recap is a review of the episode.
God comes down to stop his sons from fighting. Lucifer and Michael blame each other, and Amenadiel tries to take the blame for not keeping them in check. Their father just wants them to get a long as a family; he doesn’t care where the fault lies. He’s happy to see his grandson and unfreezes time. Lucifer, upset, goes to Lux, leaving a confused Chloe behind in the storage room.
Chloe comes to Lux, misinterpreting why Lucifer left, not giving him a chance to speak. She worries she pushed him to say how he felt, so she is going to back off until he’s ready.
At the crime scene at a miniature golf course, Chloe talks to Dan about him learning the truth about Lucifer and a bit about giving Lucifer some space.
Ella, who insists working is helping her get over what happened with Pete, says that the victim, Chris Peterson, was set on fire. His family owns the golf course, the Kingdom. She quips if the murderer is a sibling, she just needs to talk to them, and whoever she is the most attracted to is the killer.
Lucifer is watching Chloe and Dan when his father comes up and asks what he is about to say to her, guessing it’s romantic because he has that look on his face. Lucifer asks why he cares when he already knows what will happen. He also questions that it’s not a problem that he’s down on Earth. His father doesn’t really answer much, to Lucifer’s annoyance, and says that he wants them all to have dinner before he goes back. Lucifer just says, “Hard pass.”
When Lucifer automatically assumes the killer is one of the siblings, Chloe realizes he’s projecting his own issues onto the case and that he’s actually having family trouble; it’s not about her.
Lucifer and Chloe go to question the siblings. They say that they all have a role at the Kingdom, but Chris never settled in and left a few years ago. Lucifer compares it to the son rebelling and says that they killed him for it. They deny any involvement, thinking it’s Juan Perez, the owner of Hole in Juan, a rival miniature golf course, because he spray-painted that he wanted to destroy them on their castle. They are always pranking each other, and maybe he took it too far.
The two go to talk to Juan, who tries to run, because he thinks they are there to arrest him for juicing his go carts with ZX3. He wasn’t aware that Chris was killed. He was getting “lit up” when he was killed and also had no reason to kill him. Chris came there looking for a job, but he turned him down, assuming he wanted to spy for his family. It’s odd that the siblings wouldn’t mention that.
Lucifer and Chloe bring Chris’s girlfriend, Betty, in for questioning. She says that miniature golf was all he knew and cared about, but his family made his life a living hell, so it makes sense if he tried to get a job with Juan. He would never go back to work at his family’s place.
God is cooking when Maze comes in, and he offers her what he says will be her favorite drink. She plays it off that it’s not but gulps it down. He tells her to ask what she came to ask. She says that she wants a soul and thinks that is why she is so alone and can’t connect with people. He tells her that she is perfect just the way she is, and he can’t help her. She says she thinks he just won’t help her and that he messed up when he made demons but doesn’t want to admit it.
Lucifer is playing golf at the precinct with a portable miniature golf hole when Amenadiel comes to talk. He wants them to talk to their father, and they can get some answers. Lucifer tells him that based on their conversations it’s not likely they will get any. He says that Amenadiel has done so well getting out from under their father’s thumb, and one pat on the back, and he’s back to being his lacky. Amenadiel says that Lucifer went back to being a spoiled child with their father’s return. Amenadiel says he knows their father has been careless in the past and distant, and eventually admits he’s been “a real ass,” but he’s still their father. Lucifer says he will never admit to being anything other than perfect.
Dan talks to Ella, trying to make her feel better about being fooled by Pete, but it doesn’t work. He tells her not to let what happened change her. So many people wear masks, but she put herself out there, heart first. The downside is she can get hurt more easily, but the upside is she puts so much love into the world. They need more people like her out there, not less.
Chloe tells Lucifer she has a new theory. Wayward son Chris attempted to burn down the Kingdom, and one of the siblings, at least, found him mid-arson. They fought, and Chris ended up dead. Chloe, says, comparing them, if he was Chris, then the killer could be Michael. He’s having family issues, and rather than fight it, she thought maybe she could use it to help him - them - solve the case. So, they need to find their “Michael.”
Lucifer and Chloe interrogate the siblings, but they all claim they are innocent and just blame each other. When April says that Larry was always jealous of Chris, Chloe says it looks like they found their Michael, but then surmises that maybe they are all Michaels since they turned on each other.
Suddenly, the case turns when Peter Peterson, the father of the victim, comes into the precinct and says that they are after the wrong suspects and that he killed his son. He can’t let them suffer for his mistakes. He claims that he stopped by the Kingdom and saw his son take a gas can from the shed to set it on fire. He tried to stop him, but they fought and there was an accident.
Lucifer says that hearing the confession felt great, and now he knows exactly what he needs to do.
Lucifer shows up for family dinner at Linda’s. He sits at the end of the table away from Michael. God questions that Linda isn’t joining them and insists she does; she’s family too now.
Linda is tasked with saying grace but gets nervous and stumbles, embarrassed when she thanks God for napkins. Amenadiel tells her that it’s better than he would have done.
Throughout dinner, Lucifer says things to get a rise out of everyone and complains how their father didn’t just tell them they self-actualized. He also questions why Hell no longer needs a warden, but his father just says he had a “good reason.”
Michael thinks Lucifer shouldn’t complain; he got his own kingdom for bad behavior. Of course, Lucifer doesn’t see it that way, as he was forced to torture souls. He thinks Michael had it easy, but Michael’s hell, to him, was having to share Lucifer, the Light Bringer’s, face and therefore live in his shadow.
It continues to escalate, until their father yells and thunder booms, knocking out the lights. He just wanted to have a normal family dinner, but apparently it was too much to ask.
Linda is uncomfortable and starts laughing and babbling about the chicken. Amenadiel apologizes for their dysfunctional family, but she says that it’s wonderfully normal, except for the rain. It’s just three sons who want their fathers love and don’t feel they are getting it. Lucifer says he doesn’t want his love, he just wants him to admit he’s a bad father. He says, however, that maybe that’s why he is a bad father, and that she’s insightful. Linda says that that wasn’t what she was saying.
Lucifer asks Amenadiel if he were honest, if he would treat Charlie the way their father has treated them. He says he hopes not. He would do anything for his son. Lucifer says that he and Michael don’t agree on much, but what they do have in common is their father and how much he screwed them up. If the apples are bad, maybe it’s the tree that’s the problem.
Their father tells him that he’s sorry he feels that way; he only ever wanted to empower them to make their own choices.
Lucifer asks him if he loves them. Their father says that if he has to tell him, then he really has failed. Lucifer notes that he didn’t say “yes,” and says that when he doesn’t want to lie, he doesn’t answer the question - he gets that from their father. Lucifer says that he thought the moment would help him but instead helped him realize that he will never love them, because he is incapable of love, and that’s sad for all of them. Lucifer gets up and leaves.
Back in the lab, Chloe says Peterson’s confession doesn’t add up. They found traces of ZX3 in the fuel that burned down the Kingdom, so the father had to have lied about the fuel being from the shed; it came from Hole in Juan.
They watch a surveillance video from the day before he died that shows what appears to be Chris applying for a job at Hole in Juan, with his girlfriend nearby, who said she didn’t know anything about it. They need to bring them back in.
Dan comes in to tell them that Peterson is running; he bailed on house arrest. He’s headed to the station; he’s running, which he shouldn’t be if he’s innocent.
Amenadiel outright asks his father if Charlie is mortal, which he confirms. Amenadiel doesn’t want him to suffer like a human or grow old and die. He asks him to make Charlie an angel instead and make him human. He would do anything for him. God says, “if only fatherhood was ever that easy.”
Michael comes in, and God tells him that he is staying, but it’s time for him to go home; he’s no longer welcome on Earth. Michael questions he’s the one being punished, but he says he isn’t. He says to Amenadiel that it is never easy.
Lucifer and Chloe follow Peterson, who has pulled a gun on Betty, who he realized killed Chris. He tells them that he only confessed, because he thought one of his children did it, and he couldn’t bear to lose another. Lucifer is surprised he was willing to sacrifice himself for his own children. He tells Lucifer that that is what fatherhood is. He found Betty skipping town and realized what happened.
Betty says that all she wanted to do was burn the place down, because everything that was broken in him was because of it and them. She stole the gas to burn it down, but Chris caught her, and they struggled. He fell and hit his head on the concrete, and everything went up in flames before she could do anything. She didn’t mean for it to happen.
Peterson realizes his son died protecting the Kingdom and his family. Lucifer says it looks like self-sacrifice runs in the family. He seems to realize something, but Chloe distracts him, telling him to get the gun.
At Lux, Michael tells Maze that he is leaving town and admits that out of everyone he met he doesn’t entirely hate her, and for what it’s worth, he’s sorry she didn’t get what she wanted. She says she’s sorry he didn’t either. He says it isn’t over yet - for either of them.
Later, Chloe tells Lucifer that she said it might be useful to draw a parallel between his emotions and the case, but it turns out the killer was an overbearing girlfriend trying to change her boyfriend, because he couldn’t deal with his family issues, so there was no parallel. She apologizes that she said she would give him space and used the case to rush him anyhow.
He says that she has been nothing but wonderful, and she deserves to hear those three words back, but the truth is, he’ll never be able to say them to her. He realized that he is his father’s son and therefore incapable of love. He always tells the truth, and if he said it to her, it would be a lie.
There is a lot to unpack in this episode as emotions fly. First, I appreciate how the case parallels Lucifer’s thoughts on his family, not the way things truly are, but the way he feels they are. I also find it interesting to note that in the end, the father does sacrifice himself and shows he loves his children.
The interactions with Haysbert and Ellis in the episode were so needed, and while I admit, it did bother me in the beginning to see God in human form, it’s definitely interesting to see him and his sons as a family with issues like any other. The scenes between the father and siblings felt true to the characters.
When Lucifer and his family sit down to dinner, it is so satisfying to finally see Lucifer speak about his feelings dealing with his family; he always bottles so much up. I also appreciated the shoutout to fans about wanting to know why Hell doesn’t need a warden anymore, even if we didn’t get an answer.
I also liked seeing the other side and learning more about how Michael had viewed things. Both of them have been hurt, and they both have valid reasons for seeing each other as the bad guy, though obviously Michael has not dealt with his feelings in the right way. Lucifer, of course, didn’t either, originally, but he’s learning.
Amenadiel’s painful conversation about Charlie being human with his father was also needed, knowing he also struggles with his father’s choices.
Seeing such raw emotion from all of them makes them feel more human, even if they are celestial.
Aside from the family issues, Linda (Rachel Harris)’s interactions with God were also great, seeing it from an outside point of you, yet she was not sure how to act. Her saying “grace” was a riot, as were her comments about chicken. I also enjoyed though her insightfulness into the sons wanting their father’s love.
Maze struggling with her identity is also an important part of the episode. She continues to grow but is held back, as she never quite feels she belongs. It’s something she’s struggle with throughout the series and will likely continue to.
The most important take away from this episode, at least to me, is also the saddest part, which culminates at the close of the episode. Not only can Lucifer not see that his father loves him, but there is so much irony in the fact that Lucifer is the one who has learned to love the most, even if he doesn’t realize it. It’s quite heartbreaking that he feels he will never be able to love Chloe and more so that he tells her so. Whether it’s true or not, he believes it is. As the season progresses, this will continue to be the heart of what governs his actions, his desire to love and be loved.