God Johnson - Lucifer (TV Series) blog
(SPOILER WARNING: The following is an in-depth critical analysis. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, you may want to before reading this review)
Remember when I used to write reviews about another TV series called Agent Carter? Its first season was pretty good. It had some good characters, decent writing and it handled its feminist themes reasonably well. Then along came Season 2. Its first episode was pretty bad, and then it was followed by another bad episode and then another and another and so on until about halfway through I realised that I couldn’t take much more. The writing had gotten so insultingly bad that it actually started to undo all the good the show did in its first season. By the time we got to the end, not only did I want to see Agent Carter get cancelled (which thankfully it did), but I also wanted to hunt down every copy of Season 2 and destroy them so that no poor innocent soul would ever have to be subjected to the same pain and anguish that I suffered through.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I’m slowly starting to get to that point with Lucifer now. Season 2 started off brilliantly with some wonderfully written character driven stories, but then for some strange reason (round about episode 10) the writing seemed to take a downward turn with each episode getting progressively worse, and now it appears we’ve finally hit rock bottom with God Johnson.
So this week’s murder takes place in a mental hospital… and already we’ve hit our first major problem with the episode. The way the show treats and depicts mentally ill people is fucking disgusting! I’ve praised the show in the past for its satirical elements, but this isn’t satirical. It’s not even funny. It’s just offensive. For those of you who don’t know, I suffer from mental health problems so this is a bit of a touchy subject for me. I just sat there open mouthed during the imaginary poker scene. Just… wow. Somebody actually thought this was okay? What the flying fuck? Just to be clear, there’s nothing remotely funny or clever about this. This is just a cheap shot. Using mentally ill people as the butt of the joke. Something I would have thought a show like Lucifer would be above, but clearly I was mistaken. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I was very fucking offended by this. Call me overly sensitive, but seeing Lucifer egg a bunch of mental patients on like dogs at a Crufts show in order to facilitate his own pathetic escape attempt isn’t what I’d call funny or charming.
And just in case you didn’t get the message that the Lucifer writers clearly don’t give a fuck about the mentally ill, Chloe goes on a date with a doctor who so clearly couldn’t care less about his patients’ right to privacy. While its nice to see Chloe date other people now (hopefully we can scrap Deckerstar permanently now), its a bit hard to stomach watching a doctor so gleefully breach the rules of patient/doctor confidentiality over a glass of fucking champagne. Now this would have been fine if this was part of some satirical point the writers were making about the treatment of mentally ill people, but nope. Clearly we’re supposed to find this guy charming. Well I say this guy can go and fuck himself.
So we’re not off to a great start, are we? What else do they fuck up?
Well the case of the week is kind of crap. Someone dressed in a Santa costume is killing mental patients and at the very end it turns out to be some nurse who wanted revenge against her abusive mum and who now harbours a grudge against all mentally ill people. So… why was she dressed as Santa?
What else? Maze was very annoying, and that pains me to say because she’s normally the highlight of a Lucifer episode. For some reason she’s become incredibly clingy with Chloe and… yeah, I don’t get. There’s no real reason for this and she’s never expressed this kind of behaviour before, not even with Lucifer. She just suddenly wants to spend time with Chloe 24/7. Obviously this is yet another load of bullshit the writers pulled out of their arses the day before they were due to start filming. Hopefully the revelation that Lucifer plans to abandon her and go back to Heaven with Mum and Amenadiel will make her character interesting again.
Now let’s see. We’ve talked about Maze, we’ve talked about the rubbish murder case and we talked about the offensive portrayal of the mentally ill. There was something else I wanted to talk about. What was it?
OH YEAH! GOD IS IN THIS EPISODE!
Well, I say God is in this episode. I think anyone with half a teaspoon of brains could have worked out this wasn’t the real God, even when he trots out the healing powers. And that’s the biggest problem with this storyline by a clear mile. It hinges on you actually believing this guy is God, but you just don’t. The main reason for this is Timothy Omundson. It’s such a stereotypical portrayal of God. All holiness and divinity and forgiveness so overblown that you just know this HAS to be fake. Not to mention it completely stands at odds with what we already know about the character. He’s arrogant and manipulative. He also seems to operate in a separate plain of existence and is treated as more of an abstract concept rather than a living being. Humans cannot understand or comprehend Him and angels only seem to have a vague notion of what His intentions are as He only seems to communicate through images and visions that must be interpreted. All they know is He has a plan. They have no idea what the plan is or if its even a good plan. They just know it exists and trust that God knows what He’s doing. With all of this in mind, do you honestly expect me to believe that this is God? Because if God had the ability to possess a human and voice His intentions so clearly, then why doesn’t He just do that all the time?
In the hands of a clever writer, God Johnson could have been used to explore our own perception of God and compare it to the reality that Lucifer and his angelic brethren live in, but nah! That’s far too interesting! The writers would rather make time for more important scenes, like… God and Mum dancing to pop ballads. Because this is what we want to see, right?
And another thing. I refuse to believe that Lucifer and Mum can be this fucking gullible. Because if we, the audience, can’t possibly be fooled by God Johnson, there is no way Lucifer or Mum could have been fooled by him. The writers must think we’re fucking stupid. Both Mum and Lucifer were sent to Hell for all eternity. It’s been stated numerous times how horrible it is (we even got to see it for ourselves). But God Johnson says sorry and suddenly everything’s cool? Yeah sure he damned them to an eternity of torture and damnation, but it’s okay because he’s sorry. Oh and that divine plan he’s been working on for billions of years? Yeah, turns out he’s more than happy to scrap it and make a new plan with Mum. Really Mum?! THAT didn’t raise a red flag?! You weren’t even just the tiniest bit suspicious? You had to check to see how well he kisses to make absolutely sure? Wow Mum, you’re a dumbass!
Plus it’s just the little things, you know? Like when Lucifer and God Johnson are being held hostage by the killer. At no point did Lucifer think to go ‘hang on a minute. You’re God, aren’t you? Can’t you zap yourself free or something?’
And in the end, how does this interaction with God Johnson affect Lucifer? Did we learn anything new about either of them?
All it does is just reinforce shit we already know. God is an arsehole and Lucifer hates Him. In other words this entire episode has been a gigantic waste of time.
So how did God Johnson come about in the first place? Well turns out he has a magic belt buckle (quick side note, if belts are forbidden due to suicide risk, how did God Johnson manage to smuggle it into the hospital?) that imbues him with all the knowledge of God and healing powers and is actually the missing piece of the Flaming Sword. Oh great! Because this season arc isn’t stupid or contrived enough. I scoffed when Amenadiel said that maybe they need to get a dragon to breathe fire on it because at this point I wouldn’t put it past the writers.
So let me get this straight. In The Weaponizer, Uriel went rogue, stole Azrael’s blade (another quick side note. Is Azrael ever going to show up? Is she curious as to where her fucking sword went?) and planned to kill Mum with it because that’s what he thinks God wants. He also clearly knew this was the Flaming Sword.., somehow, and it’s been established that he doesn’t like Lucifer. So, knowing full well that Azrael’s sword was one piece of the same weapon that Lucifer could use to defeat God, he effectively handed it to Lucifer on a silver platter and then told Lucifer about the second piece, thereby facilitating Lucifer’s scheme to destroy both God and Mum.
WHY WOULD URIEL DO THAT?! THIS MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE!
And once again I’m left to question that if this is all somehow part of God’s bullshit plan and that He actually wants Mum back in Heaven, why is He doing it in such a convoluted way? He’s God, isn’t he? Surely there must be a better way of doing it than giving Lucifer an all powerful sword. Can’t He just beam Her up or something? HE’S GOD!!!
Once upon a time I described Lucifer as the best show on TV and I genuinely meant that. But if this is the quality of the writing we have to to look forward to in the future, I won’t be sticking around for Season 3. The writers can and have done much better than this garbage. God Johnson is the final straw for me. If these next two episodes are anything less than stellar, then that’s it. I’m done with this shitshow.