Episode Analysis – Lucifer 1×03: The Would-Be Prince of Darkness

Here we go again.  Let’s take a look at episode 3 of the first season of Lucifer, The Would-Be Prince of Darkness.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.


The episode begins with Lucifer at some sort of big house party at a football player’s mansion.  Ty, the football player, is, as Lucifer puts it, somewhat of a novelty as he doesn’t drink and he’s also a virgin.  Lucifer finds a beautiful woman in a red dress flirting with Ty and she gets rejected.  He then tries to push Ty to go and take what he desires, which is of course to get laid.  At the same time during this party, Lucifer meets a woman who claims that she met the “real” Lucifer Morningstar when he was at a rap battle in the valley and Lucifer is horrified and shocked when she calls him disgusting for pretending to be someone else.

In the morning Ty finds Lucifer and asks him to call the police because something horrible has happened.  Lucifer then calls his favorite detective, Chloe Decker, and gets her in on the scene of the crime.  The woman in the red dress from the party has been found dead in the pool.  Murdered.

Lucifer really wants to help solve this case but Chloe is having none of his BS this episode and basically tells him to go sit in the corner while the adults do all their jobs.  Lucifer gets in the way and just happens to find a piece of evidence (that I’m sure Chloe would have found if he hadn’t happened upon it first).  The evidence points to Ty being the murderer and when he gets arrested he blames Lucifer for it and Lucifer is deeply wounded and decides that he must seek justice and find the real killer because he doesn’t think Ty did it.  Chloe continues to push him away and keep him out of the case, considering he is a civilian.

Lucifer does manage to wheedle his way back into the case and Chloe reluctantly lets him ride along because he has been helpful (but mostly because he wouldn’t leave her alone until she said yes).  At the same time Lucifer is fuming over the fact that he got his identity stolen and his reputation is being ruined.  Eventually they get a lead on the case and at the same time Lucifer is able to find his impostor.  He and Maze give the lad a good scare, threatening to torture him, but then Lucifer lets him go without punishing him (much to Maze’s displeasure).  They find the real killer and trick him into confessing.  What he says makes Lucifer quite angry and he shoves him through a window.  Chloe is shook.

The episode ends and while Lucifer continues to not listen to anything Dr. Linda tells him because he doesn’t want to face reality, and meanwhile Chloe is going over the video footage of Lucifer shoving the guy through the window, trying to figure out just what the heck Lucifer is and wondering if, perhaps, he really is the devil like he says.

So in this episode Dr. Linda tries to convince Lucifer that the reason he is so upset that Ty was arrested is because he’s sure he didn’t do it, because he “punishes the guilty” and Ty isn’t guilty.  Lucifer is sure he’s wanting to seek punishment for the true killer, the true evil, and Dr. Linda also says that perhaps he wants to seek justice for the victim.  But the truth is it’s because he felt guilty because he tempted Ty to sleep with the woman in the first place and if that hadn’t happened the rest of it wouldn’t have happened either, which Chloe points out in the end.  Lucifer denies it of course.

There’s also a rather significant scene where he’s confronting his impostor.  As he and Maze are threatening to torture and mutilate him and Lucifer is getting angry at him and yelling, Maze says “This is so hot.  It’s like you’re punishing yourself.”  That immediately makes Lucifer stop and let the lad go.  I believe the reason for this is because of the fact that he’s been chasing around the killer because of his guilty conscience, not because he’s seeking justice.  When he hears the whole “punishing himself” thing, it just brings that whole guilt thing up more.  A guilt that builds over time, or perhaps that we just see more as the show goes on.  (It’s especially prevalent in season 2 but we’ll be getting to that later).

That’s not to say that what Linda said isn’t somewhat true, though, but I don’t believe that’s where his motivations really were.  Perhaps when she suggested that, though, Lucifer took that in subconsciously and he did in fact want to start seeking true justice.  Maybe another reason he let his impostor go is because he realized this is just a dumb kid trying to score chicks, but he isn’t technically evil and therefore doesn’t deserve any real punishment beyond scaring him to not do it anymore.  Meanwhile when he finds the killer he gets righteously furious at just how awful of a man he was.  The impostor didn’t murder anyone and he technically didn’t hurt anyone (other than Lucifer’s reputation but he clearly got it back afterwards).

There is an interesting thing I noticed that I wanted to mention, which becomes more clear as the season unfolds but it starts with this episode.  There’s something I’ve heard about in writing before that I never really grasped the concept of until I watched and began analyzing this show.  That’s the concept of Positive and Negative Ideals.  Generally these ideals run as part of the story’s main theme and some character(s) will embody these ideals.  The positive and negative ideals are supposed to be opposites to each other, or rather counterparts.  In Lucifer, the negative ideal is punishment while the positive is justice.  Lucifer’s ideal starts out as punishment; all he wants to do is make the bad guys pay for what they did, in a sense getting revenge for their victims.  On the other hand, Chloe’s positive ideal is justice; being a police detective she wants to bring down the people who did these horrible crimes, but not to the point that she would be doing something morally reprehensible like Lucifer does.  Justice vs Punishment.

Since Linda says that perhaps Lucifer is starting to want to seek justice, this is when we begin to see his negative ideal of punishment start to turn into justice, though his want to punish has never really gone away.  We do begin to see a change in him from this point, though.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be sure to keep bringing these out.  In the next episode, Chloe discovers something very interesting about Lucifer’s true nature.  Until next time.


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