Lucifer: Off the Record
Original air date: November 13th, 2017
This was a beautifully tragic episode. The fall of Reese, or maybe better stated, the failure of Reese to adapt—made for an entertaining, funny and heartbreaking episode. Lucifer always has great actors to star in these one or two-part storylines and this was no different. Guest star Patrick Fabian, in a story by Jennifer Graham Imada, did an excellent job carrying the episode.
In the show, Hell is what you make it (I would imagine that goes for Heaven as well). Lucifer shared a secret with Reese: Hell doesn’t have any locks on its doors. Guilt over their sins is what keeps people locked in their eternal damnation. Reese is trapped in Hell and has that knowledge, yet he can’t escape. He can’t learn from his mistakes, so he is damned to repeat them. It seems to me there is a lesson about life there—it isn’t our mistakes that define us, it is how we learn, grow and adapt after making them.
I knew eventually we would learn more about Dr. Linda Martin, get more to her backstory, and we did learn a lot—yet the episode wasn’t about her. She played an intricate role, but this was Reese’s story. The episode was all about his Hell loop—the moments he lives over and over. It was right before he died (I might have been slow on the uptake here) that I realized what we were watching and oh, did that moment crush me.
I liked Reese, but he chose a path that set him up to self-destruct. I can see how he and Dr. Linda were not a good fit, I can see how meeting the Devil might mess him up a bit—but I wanted him to redeem himself. Not by acting contrite, because that is what he thought Dr. Linda wanted. I wanted him to truly grow and be okay with himself, without her. But, no– he went petty. He turned a serial killer loose in Lucifer’s direction and ended up the killer’s fodder instead. The kicker, when he woke back up, (to when the episode began) and he smiled thinking he had a second chance; that was brutal, because we know he doesn’t.
Though the story isn’t about Dr. Linda, she might have given us a very important moment. I think she gave Lucifer a breakthrough when she was speaking to Reese about him. She thinks Lucifer is a ‘good man’ and a good friend– she sees his potential. Lucifer cares about how others perceive him. Dr. Linda has seen his true face, she has seen what his family can be like, she has seen him at his best and his worst—but still thinks he is a good person. I think that is something he has wanted to hear for a long time. He wants validation, not to be the scapegoat. Like he said, he has never made anyone do something they didn’t want to; “The Devil made me do it.”, is just not true. Now he knows at least one person believes that.
I do question though if maybe Hell should have locks on it (a combination lock—the combo of course being 666). I mean look at all the problems Lucifer’s Mom caused. What if someone else learned this secret to Hell—like the Sinnerman. What if learning doesn’t go in a positive direction, what if there is evil that learns, grows and adapts to become eviler?