Storytime With 'Lucifer' Reveals a Major Piece of Maze's History (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 4 of Lucifer, "It Never Ends Well for the Chicken."]
Once upon a time, in
a land far, far away New York City in the year 1946…
Lucifer's (Tom Ellis) hopes for some things to remain the same, despite Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) struggling with the revelation that she was a gift from God for him, are dashed when only her daughter, Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) shows up for Game Night. And since Monopoly isn't fun with only two people, she demands a change of plans: storytime, about a dagger, handcuffs, or his ring (his choice). And she gets it, with the one that is the most child-appropriate.
In Lucifer's story, as tends to happen with such episodes of TV, familiar faces fill the roles of the people he met back when he reunited with Maze's mother — and her spitting image — Lilith (Lesley-Ann Brandt), to help her find her stolen ring. Also as is always the case, the lives of those characters mirror those from the present.
The Past Is a Bit Familiar
In 1946, Lilith is the chanteuse of the hottest spot in Manhattan, the Garden Club, and also seeing a mob boss, Tommy. She's determined to get the ring — the only thing that means anything to her — back, and since Lucifer owes her, he must help. "The devil solving crime," he says. "It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."
Lucifer brings in professional help, private investigator Jack Monroe (German, because Trixie points out investigators don't have to be men). The first person they speak with is the club's bartender, Gertie (Rachael Harris), who tells them of a man, Lucky Larry, lurking around Lilith's dressing room the night the ring was stolen. Tommy (Aimee Garcia, to fit Trixie's request for a "gender-balanced narrative"), however, catches wind of their questions and warns them against continuing their investigation.
That doesn't stop them, and the next clue lands on Jack's doorstep, interrupting his awkward dinner with his wife, Shirley (Tricia Helfer). (The two are going through a rough patch, with silence reigning over the dinner table.) When the P.I. opens his door, Lucky Larry falls over, dead, stabbed in the back.
An informant points Jack in the direction of a person Larry was seen arguing with, Willy the Sausage, and on the way to question him, Lucifer remarks about the investigator's relationship with his wife. Jack explains that his captain paid Shirley, a call girl, to manufacture the meeting he'd thought was fate. Shirley says she loves him, but for Jack, he's found out the best thing that ever happened to him started as a lie. (Sound familiar?)
Will (Kevin Alejandro) insists that while he could have killed Larry, he would never. He even has an alibi: he was posing for his portraitist. Lucifer rules him out on the basis that he's not smart enough to be involved.
As a nice nod to Linda and Maze's friendship, Lilith confides in Gertie about the significance of her ring. Things weren't great between her and her husband, Adam, or his father, and by the time they sent her away, it was almost a relief. She took one piece of the garden on her way out: the stone in her ring. The piece of jewelry reminds her she doesn't need Adam, his family, or anybody. In return, Gertie tells her she's married to her high school sweetheart, who was injured in the war. Knowing she may not have much time left with him makes every day they do have together that much sweeter.
Lucifer and Jack's perusal of Larry's place — and Jack's analysis of the crime scene — leads to the tip of an expensive cigar and his killer: Tommy, who avenged his girl by taking out the man who stole her ring. But by the time they get to the mob boss' home, he's been killed and his heart taken. And while he did have the ring, the box is now empty. But the symbol drawn on Tommy's face, the Eye of Horus, leads them to Melvin (DB Woodside), a shaman selling packages to complete the Ceremony of Anubis. (It turns out word has gotten around that the ring makes Lilith immortal.)
Making & Seeking Connections
Lucifer's ready to give up and repay his debt to Lilith (with a castle, private island, or gold), but she wants her ring back. It reminds her of who she is and why she's done what she has, she explains. She sent her children to hell, giving Lucifer an army, without which he would have been alone in hell for eternity. That's why he's in her debt.
So why does everyone think she's immortal because of her ring? That requires a trip down memory lane. After hitching a ride through the Americas with an explorer, she hooked up with an Aztec warrior, Montezuma, and claimed to be a virgin (since it got the folks in Spain "going"). When priests threw her into a volcano and she survived, someone attributed it to the ring and wrote it on a stone tablet. Mortals, Lilith and Lucifer laugh. But that gives Lucifer an idea to get the ring back. He just needs the help of a high priest and a jeweler and a distraction.
They put the word out that the ring only works when attached to a gaudy bracelet, and Lilith makes a big deal out of handing it off to Shirley to put in the safe in her dressing room before one of her performances. Jack will be watching to see who goes after it. (But there's sad news for the P.I.: Shirley's planning to move back in with her mom in Des Moines after the case is over.)
After watching Jack and Shirley together, Lilith asks Lucifer if he's ever made an emotional connection with a human, and he's practically offended. It would take a "literal miracle" for him to want something like that, and he doubts Father's going to be handing any of those out. (Ha!)
The plan works, and Jack finds Willy at the safe. He thinks he's immortal once he puts the ring into the bracelet, but soon after Lucifer and Lilith join them, another interested party interrupts, armed: Gertie, who had hired Larry to steal it, wanting it for her husband. Larry then betrayed her and sold it to Tommy for more money, but the mob boss killed the thief for taking it in the first place.
Gertie had seen Lilith get caught in the crossfire of a shootout and survive, and she assumed the ring saved her. To prove that's not the case, Lucifer shoots Willy in the foot, since he's wearing the ring and performed the Ceremony of Anubis. Lilith can't believe Gertie risked everything trying to save her husband, but the bartender tells her, "We all die, Lily. And that's OK. Truth is, I'd rather die today, trying to save the man I love, than live forever without him."
Willy's arrested, and Lilith decides to pin the rest on Tommy so Gertie can enjoy whatever time Bill has left with him. After parting ways with Lucifer, Jack stops Shirley from leaving and asks to go with her to Des Moines. They can talk on the bus ride there.
Lucifer's ready to say goodbye to Lilith for another few hundred years, but she surprises him by sharing that Gertie was right, that knowing there's an end makes everything count. She's been immortal long enough, and she takes the ring off and blows on it. It turns black before she hands it over to Lucifer. She wants him to have it, but there's a condition: he must not tell her children what she did. She doesn't want him to bring them up from hell, either, because they're in a position where they can't be banished or abandoned, making them unbreakable.
As Lucifer tells Trixie, the only thing special to him about the ring is it reminds him of an old friend. And with that, storytime is over. But unbeknownst to him, this was all so that Trixie could get that information out of Lucifer to pass along to Maze.
And after the demon learns about his past with her mother, she tracks down her mother in Reno. But Lilith doesn't want to see her and only tells her she abandoned her to make her strong, which worked. Maze walks away, and her mother doesn't stop her.
All in all, the noir episode was a success, was it not? After all, it gave us great Lucifer-Trixie scenes, Lesley-Ann Brandt's impressive vocals, and some fun roles for our faves.
Lucifer, Season 5, Part 1, Streaming Now, Netflix