After letting Monday’s (Jan. 23) episode of “Lucifer” simmer in the cranial crockpot for a bit, an aroma of new skepticism is wafting through the air.

While the seemingly inevitable Lucifer/Chloe hookup from last week was feeling way too obvious (at least so early in the franchise), are we completely sure that Chloe’s sole role — after all this time — is to merely serve as God’s bait, designed to entice Lucifer to toe Dad’s line?

We’re thinking not so much. Chloe’s awfully good at feisty one-liners, for one thing, and as she’s been set up as a fine specimen of independent womanhood (albeit a “granny panty wearing” one, per Maze’s observation), the idea of Chloe having no control over — or awareness of — her divine destiny would be unfortunate. A plotline in which Chloe (and by extension the rest of us) is a mere pawn being manipulated and put through the motions of a preordained divine plan? Meh.

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Hopefully Chloe’s purpose here is more akin to a malfunctioning ACME trap from the Roadrunner cartoons, which will backfire in spectacular fashion (with God stepping into the role of Wile E. Coyote, of course). Because free will and all.

Of course, Lucifer doesn’t grasp the gravity of the situation when half-swaggering, half-skipping into that bar at the end of the episode — even though yes, Charlotte and Maze sitting semi-peacefully together, not actively throttling each other, should immediately send chills up his hellfire-hot spine…

It’s an interesting episode for character evolution all around, as Lucifer has spent so long trying to reason his way out of his emotional vulnerability: Having decided to finally embrace that vulnerability — only to have it stab him in the feeling place mere moments later — perfectly captures the rollercoaster-y impact of love: High highs, low lows, and the frequent urge to vomit.

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If Chloe’s on autopilot toward her fate, then it’s looking like her current condition (having fallen victim to the mad “designer poison” crafting Dr. Carlisle) perfectly positions Lucifer to concede to his Father’s demands in exchange for Chloe’s life. But a show with so many strong women — Charlotte, Maze, Dr. Linda, and yes, Detective Decker — would be striking a sour note with such a strategy, unless there’s an interesting, long-game second twist beyond it.

Either way, next week’s midseason finale is likely to end on a cliffhanger, so we can expect to wait a bit longer for Lucifer’s big “come to Jesus” talk, so to speak, with the Big Guy…

“Lucifer” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

Posted by:Julia Diddy

Julia Diddy is a freelance writer and critic in Los Angeles.