The Devil’s Truths: Exploring the Mythology of Lucifer, Episode 2.10: “Quid Pro Ho”

Well, it’s nice to see Amenadiel swoop in and convince Mum not to detonate the bomb, thus saving Chloe. He did so by laying hard truths on her, which is the central theme of the entire episode. We’ve known all along that Lucifer doesn’t lie in this series, but this seems fundamentally at odds with the supposed role of tempter. So we’re left asking: which is the real Lucifer?

One of the names for the devil actually is father of lies, which comes straight from the mouth of Jesus in the gospel of John. Jesus reveals that “when [the devil] lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 NRSV). Well, there it is—the devil is a liar, and it came from the mouth of Jesus so it must be true. And he would know since he actually spoke with the devil after his famous 40 days in the wilderness. Up swoops the devil with temptations.

While some of these are just challenges for Christ to exercise his power, the most significant is a statement about the devil’s status: “To you I will give [the kingdoms’] glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours” (Luke 4:6-7). If the devil is lying, this is an easy one to catch him in. Interestingly, though, Jesus doesn’t call him out for lying. Instead, Jesus answers, “It is written, / ‘Worship the Lord your God, / and serve only him’ ” (Luke 4:8).

So, why doesn’t Jesus call him out for lying? It would be simple for Christ to claim BS, especially since later in John the devil is called the father of lies. How could the devil have been given authority over the earth?

The simple answer is that this is not a lie. If we look back to Job, we can see that Satan has indeed been given permission to “[go] to and fro on the earth,” (Job 1:7). So Satan freely roams the earth, but it doesn’t end there. God gives permission for Satan to tempt and punish Job, “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life’ ” (Job 2: 6). So Satan is actually telling the truth to Jesus as well, and Jesus knows it, which is why he’s not called out on it!

This goes back even further. In the Garden of Eden, the most famous temptation attributed to Lucifer, we see him in the guise of a serpent come upon an unsuspecting Eve—

I’d like to interrupt with an aside about Lucifer’s ability to charm women. With the exception of Chloe, he’s able to charm and send the hearts of an entire courtroom of women aflutter with his wit and attractiveness … and probably the accent. There’s something about bad boys and British accents, or so I understand.

—Ahem, an unsuspecting Eve, where he states, “when you eat of [the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:3). He’s truthful about that, as well. Both Eve and Adam became “like one of us, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:22).

Despite being labeled the “father of lies” by John, Lucifer has a record of telling the truth “so help me Dad.” But these truths are hard to come by for others in this episode. Mum, of course, wants to lie to Lucifer by first killing Chloe, then getting her to call Lucifer a liar. Amenadiel lies to Maze—something I do not recommend given the beating she handed out during the episode.

Even Dan has trouble admitting the truth of what he’s done by leaking the information about the case to Mum. It’s only after Maze’s intense litany of double entendres (which even Lucifer is oblivious to) that he cracks and reveals the truth. The truth is always presented as something uncomfortable to deal with in this episode, especially after being tackled through a doorway.

Linda brings Amenadiel face-to-face with his own uncomfortable truth. He has seen himself as having “no other choice,” but this is an excuse for him to “act any way [he] sees fit, including hurting those close to [him].” Interestingly, while he wants to repair the relationship with Maze by “apologizing [his] ass off,” he doesn’t make any connection to doing the same to repair his fallen angel status with God.

In fact, he gives Mum a vital piece of information when he finally recognizes Chloe’s mother and that “Father asked [Amenadiel] to come down [to Earth] to bless a couple who couldn’t have a child.” Instead of trying to understand a greater purpose for Chloe, he concludes that “[he] was a pawn.” Mum sees this as an opportunity to manipulate the situation in order for Amenadiel to get his wings back and for all of them to regain heaven.

The entire episode has all of the characters, save Chloe, dancing around the truth. But while Lucifer tells the truth whenever he speaks, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t lie to himself (as Linda points out) or keep things hidden. The revelation from the week before, that he still hasn’t told the truth to Chloe, still hasn’t been resolved. He and Chloe are moving on to something much bigger, which could end disastrously because Lucifer didn’t voice the truth about himself to her.

See also: Evicting the Devil: Exploring the Mythology of Lucifer, Episode 2.09: “Homewrecker”

 

Andy Adams is an adjunct professor of English at various colleges in the Phoenix area. He has an affectation for fedoras as they complement his villainous goatee. He’s been known to poke his head onto Twitter @A3Writer, but he’s never been big into birds. He blogs at A3writer.comabout writing, teaching, and the conquest of fictional worlds—they’re more fun than the real world.

Read all posts by Andy Adams for Criminal Element.

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