Episode Analysis – Lucifer 1×09: A Priest Walks Into A Bar

And finally we come to my personal favorite episode of Lucifer, A Priest Walks Into A Bar.  Things start getting religious up in here.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

This episode starts with Lucifer partying at Lux and having a grand old time and getting the pizza delivery guy to stay and party with them.  But there’s something wrong and he doesn’t seem particularly inclined to join in with them.  It cuts to him talking about all of this with Dr. Linda and she comes to the conclusion that he’s lonely and she asks him if he has any friends.  She asks if he considers Chloe to be his friend and he says he’s not really sure what his relationship with her is.

He returns to Lux and Maze, who he’s still not talking to after her little betrayal, tells him that there’s someone there to see him that he will not want to miss.  It’s a priest.  The priest, Father Frank, says he’s there because he heard Lucifer was the one to go to when they wanted something done and done right, and he says that he felt God led him to Lucifer.  Frank explains he wants Lucifer to go and give the director of a youth center a good talking to because he’s apparently a drug ring leader and he’s pulling a kid named Conner, who Frank is close to, into the drug ring.  Lucifer refuses to help him on grounds that they are mortal enemies by way of him being a priest and tells him to do it himself.

Lucifer gets Chloe to come with him and investigate this youth center directer anyway because he suspects the priest of being suspicious, but then they find the guy is dead and Lucifer immediately decides it must have been Frank.  They find out the director actually had a restraining order filed against Frank in the past week and decide that’s enough to place him as a suspect and go off to question him.  Just as they’re about to bring him down to the station, someone drives by and shoots at them.

Frank says that the shooter might have been someone known as the Spider, who is another drug ring leader.  Since they went after Frank himself, Chloe says they should offer him protection until they can get to the bottom of it.  Lucifer decides to take him to Lux and make him as uncomfortable as possible and prove that he’s a bigot and a hypocrite, but nothing seems to work.  Frank eventually tells them about what his life was like before he became a priest, how he was a touring rock musician who played piano, but ten years ago he was in a car accident with Conner’s parents who both died, along with Frank’s daughter.  He then found his faith.  Lucifer thinks the idea is ridiculous but Frank says otherwise.

Between all of this, the plot thickens with Malcolm and Dan as Malcolm has made Dan his new partner and has blackmailed Dan into stealing a gun from the evidence storage for him.  It’s revealed then that Amenadiel is the one making Malcolm do these things, threatening to send him back to hell if he doesn’t do what Amenadiel tells him.

Back on the case, they find out that Conner is actually the Spider (or so they think) and Father Frank can’t seem to accept that.  Lucifer has a bit of a heart to heart with him and they talk about God.  Frank wonders why he doesn’t have faith in God and Lucifer says it’s because God never had faith in him.  Frank doesn’t think that’s true and says God has a plan, to which Lucifer said it was a terrible plan, but then Frank says, “How do you know it’s finished?”

Frank runs off after getting a call and Lucifer and Chloe realize he went after Conner on his own.  They go back to his church and find Frank being held at gun point by Conner, as well as another man who had been at the youth center who turns out to be the real Spider.  Conner can’t shoot Frank and the Spider tries to shoot Conner instead, but Frank jumps in the way and takes the bullet.  Lucifer runs in and tries to keep him from bleeding out, but it’s too late.  Just before Frank dies he says to Lucifer that God put Frank in Lucifer’s path and that his Father has a plan for him, and Lucifer is distraught to realize that he knew exactly who and what he was.

Lucifer goes home and yells at his Father, practically in tears over Frank’s death, saying it isn’t fair and not understanding what the point of any of it is.  Chloe comes in to comfort him and tell him she thought he needed a friend right then.  Meanwhile we see Malcolm again at an all night diner eating tons of food which he can’t seem to get enough of.  Amenadiel comes and threatens him again and Malcolm shows him he got the gun and Amenadiel tells him he wants Malcolm to kill someone.  Lucifer Morningstar.

THIS DANG EPISODE CEMENTED MY LOVE FOR THIS SHOW.  It wasn’t about the plot or the case they were working on, it was Frank and Lucifer.  Let me just say that Father Frank is one of the best Christian characters I’ve ever seen in anything ever and I loved him to pieces.  But enough fangirling, on with the analysis.

At the beginning of this episode, Linda said that Lucifer was lonely and just needed a friend.  He ended up finding the most unlikely friend in Frank, this priest who at their first meeting Lucifer kept antagonizing but couldn’t seem to shake or intimidate.  They bonded after a short time and even began playing piano together (in one of the best scenes of the episode).  Even though they had their disagreements, Lucifer ended up caring about him somehow.  And then he died and Lucifer felt alone again.  But then Chloe came and said she knew he just needed a friend.  When Lucifer was talking with Linda he said he didn’t know what his relationship with Chloe was exactly, but by the end he realizes that they are friends.  That she cares for him deeply, even though he can’t really understand why.

When Lucifer first meets Frank, he keeps mocking him and saying things that are obviously meant to get some sort of a reaction out of Frank, to make him angry and leave or something to that affect, continually making comments against the church and priests in general.  Nothing shakes him, no matter how hard Lucifer tries.  He’s obviously a man devout in his faith but won’t be hung up on little things.

Even though they end up bonding during that piano scene, they still have differing opinions.  All their conversations about faith are really what make this episode so special to me.  Up until this point of the show, while they obviously have mentioned things about God, they haven’t really delved much into the religious aspect that the subject matter of this setting would deal with.  And the way they do it is great, with two contrasting points of view.  You have Father Frank, a devout priest, and you have Lucifer, who hates everything his Father stands for.  Lucifer keeps shooting Frank down but Frank is insistent, but in a quiet, subtle way rather than an annoying way that’s overstepping boundaries.

They talk about God having a plan for people a lot.  Lucifer says “yes he has a plan, but why does everyone think it’s a good plan?”  Father Frank says maybe the plan just hasn’t been finished yet, maybe Lucifer can’t really see the big picture.  And just as Frank is dying, he says it again: Your Father has a plan for you.

Frank dies.  This priest dies in Lucifer’s arms, and Lucifer is on the brink of tears.  And then he gets angry.  He goes and screams at the man who shot Frank, threatening to strangle him to death, but Chloe stops him.  “Father Frank wouldn’t want this.”  Lucifer looks between weeping and unbridled rage and then he finally lets the guy go.  And then he goes and yells at the sky, at his dad, at God.  It’s so raw and emotional and it’s something I think a lot of people wonder at one time or another in their life.  “Why did you let this happen?  He didn’t deserve to die, this is unfair.”

I think Chloe in this episode was more an observer.  She didn’t get much focus and this whole episode was clearly from Lucifer’s POV.  But she serves an important role at the end.  She’s been observing Lucifer during this whole case and saw how attached he got to Frank, saw that they had become friends.  She could see how upset Lucifer was when Frank died and knew he needed a friend there at the end to console him.  I have to wonder whether or not her listening to Frank talking about his faith if it got her thinking more seriously about God and religion herself, since in an earlier episode she said she didn’t really believe in that sort of thing.

This whole thing with Frank was a shove for Lucifer to start thinking more about his Dad – not necessarily in a good way, but he will definitely be thinking about it a lot in the next episode.  Oh right and I guess Malcolm is going to try to be killing Lucifer or something, but that’s probably not important.


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