Lucifer: A Priest Walks Into a Bar starts with Dr. Linda telling Morningstar that he is lonely. Before you can sing a verse from Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,”Lucifer has two pals, one is the priest who walks into LUX hoping to find a real life “The Enforcer” and the other is Decker. (Maze could count as another friend, but the demon does have her own best interests at heart and she is “required” to be the devil’s protector.)
A “banished” Mazikeen approaches Lucifer after he makes a pizza delivery boys night and tells him there is something he must see downstairs. A priest, Father Frank (Colman Domingo) is in the bar area of LUX and he wants Lucifer to help him protect a young man from a drug dealer.
While the main plot of Lucifer deals with the devil eventually bonding with a priest, Amenadiel reminds his own personal Lazarus; Malcolm, that he brought him back from the dead for a reason. This peripheral storyline is interesting in and of itself.
Malcolm compulsively eating since his 30 second journey to Hell is reminiscent of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme where the pirate Captain Barbossa has a constant craving to taste food and wine.
Amenadiel, who is having to guard the gates of Hell during his brother’s absence, appears to be affected by his temporary posting. The Angel is turning dark; quite the reverse of Morningstar who is discovering humanity in his own make up the longer he is away from the underworld.
The dealer, Lenny Arietta, whom Frank wants dealt with, is the head of a community center for young people. Lauren and Morningstar go to speak with Arietta and find him beaten to death. They also find a voice modulator, Lucifer is amused to find the device and does the “Luke, I am your father,” quote using the modulator, much to Decker’s annoyance.
The priest reveals to Chloe and Lucifer that the boy he wants to protect; Connor, worked for the late Arietta. Decker tells Father Frank that he needs protection after someone shoots at the clergyman from a car. His new place of sanctuary is now Morningstar’s nightclub.
Father Frank resists temptation and after the priest proves he is not affected by the scantily clad women dancing around him, Lucifer bonds with the clergyman over the piano. Music does not just sooth the breast, it makes opposite’s attract.
The two play a boogie woogie duet and Decker leaves Morningstar in charge of the priest. Lucifer complains about “babysitting Frank” and Chloe replies that she babysits him, Lucifer, all the time. The two opposites bond further with a balcony chat about the “big guy:” and the fact that his plans for Lucifer are not over.
Dan brings Malcolm a gun from the precinct evidence locker. This is part of the former dead cops plan for Amenadiel’s task.
In this episode; A Priest Walks Into a Bar, Amenadiel tasks his little miracle with killing Morningstar and sending him back to Hell. Father Frank dies after a confrontation with the boy he has been trying to protect after being shot by the man who murdered Arietta and took it over his drug trade.
Frank tells Lucifer he believes that the “Father” put him in the devil’s path and not the other way around as he first thought. Lucifer holds the priest as he dies and the Father’s death infuriates Morningstar as much as it grieves him.
Morningstar rages at the man who shot the priest and killed him. Grabbing Erik Doyle (Adam Bartley) by the throat and slamming him up against the church wall Lucifer is ready to kill the man. Decker talks him down.
Later, Lucifer shouts at his father for playing some game where everyone loses. Decker puts off her talk with Dan (Kevin Alejandro) and leaves the house. Lucifer sits in the bar at LUX playing the piano. Decker joins him and they begin to play “Heart and Soul” as a duet. (Shades of “Big.”)
Amenadiel meets Malcolm in a covered carpark and orders the hit on Lucifer Morningstar. It really does seem like the angel has become the devil.
While the series has not yet addressed the cold, violent and uncaring side of the Amenadiel in the comic, it is increasing his deadliness. It also shows just how far the angel is prepared to go in his quest to put Lucifer back in Hell. Amenadiel really does not like having to stand in for his brother.
One thing that the death of Father Frank has done for Lucifer is that it has brought Decker and Morningstar closer. The two of them playing together at the end, before Amenadiel orders Lucifer’s death, has a warm glow to it as the devil’s humanity is growing.
Kudos to both Colman Domingo who played Father Frank Lawrence and Kevin Rankin who plays Malcolm. The actors killed it in this episode. Domingo manages to put the priesthood back in a good place (and after the damning film Spotlight, this is no mean feat). Rankin makes us believe that his Lazarus cop really did spend a 30 year visit to Hell in 30 seconds.
It has to be said that the scene with Father Frank is, at the very least, one which will have the viewer grasping for that damned tissue box with a large lump in the throat. Tear inducing and poignant, Ellis manages to make the audience wail on his behalf. Truly moving.
Ellis makes his small changes to Morningstar subtle and yet can fall back on his quirky humor at a moments notice:
“The most evil of people have the most normal names, I’ve experienced… Beware anyone named Keith.”
The smarminess is disappearing as is his lasciviousness (Morningstar even abstains from joining the delivery guy and the tree Barbies.) It bothers him but one feels that soon a more solid transformation will take place.
Or will it? After all Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) still has that feather…
Lucifer airs Mondays on FOX.