‘Lucifer’ Season 3 Episode 5 Recap: Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards

Lucifer Season 3 Episode 5
Tom Ellis and Tricia Helfer in ‘Lucifer’ season 3 episode 5 (Photo by John P Fleenor / FOX)

Fox’s Lucifer season three episode five brings Tricia Helfer back as a memory-impaired Charlotte Richards. But before we get to Charlotte’s story, episode five introduces a security guard at Performance Pudding Plus enjoying the company’s product. A worker interrupts the security guard’s snack by returning to the building at night to work on a new batch of pudding. He’s busy cooking in a large vat when someone pushes him in.

Lucifer (Tom Elis) arrives at Chloe’s just after Chloe (Lauren German) learns from hospitalized Lt. Marcus Pierce that they have a new case. Trixie’s swear jar is on the counter and a clueless Lucifer’s impressed Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) earns money for swearing. When he learns how it really works, he’s really impressed Chloe extorts money from her child. This leads to a discussion of accountability and how everything is always his dad’s fault. He thinks Chloe almost getting shot at the ranch was just another lesson his dad was trying to teach him. He’s decided he’s not going to be affected by his dad any longer.

Over at the crime scene, Ella (Aimee Garcia) is in the vat examining the pudding cooker’s dead body. His name’s Simon Fisher and he was a senior food chemist. His death doesn’t appear to have been an accident. Lucifer, always quick with the one-liners, observes the man obviously drowned in a vat of semen. Chloe corrects him, saying it’s pudding. “Sure. I’ve heard it called that, too,” says Lucifer.

Ella has determined the victim doesn’t have any wounds other than the burns. She pronounces it death by scalding. Dan (Kevin Alejandro) is also part of the investigation and he’s upset about the death, given that he’s a huge pudding lover.

The security guard, Lalo Vasquez (Omar Leyva), claims he was in the bathroom and didn’t see anything. Lucifer points out there’s a lot of security cameras, which is weird since it’s a pudding company. The guard explains that’s because they didn’t want anyone to steal Simon’s secret recipe. If they want to look at the security footage, they have to talk to the company’s owner.

Adrian Yates (Matthew Yang King), the Performance Pudding Plus owner, arrives at the police station but without the tapes. Why doesn’t he bring the tapes? Because Charlotte Richards, his attorney, has told him not to. Lucifer’s stunned to see Charlotte back at the station and reacts by saying, “Mom?”

A flashback to earlier that day finds Charlotte waking up, exercising, and preparing for work. She seems a bit off and tells herself she’s not crazy. She can’t remember the last few months or how she ended up with a scar on her stomach.

Back to current events and Chloe explains they’re shocked to see her, believing her brush with death changed her. Lucifer agrees and tries to confirm she’s the real Charlotte Richards. Charlotte won’t allow the police to have the tapes, and Chloe thinks that indicates Adrian’s hiding something. Lucifer, of course, believes Charlotte’s only there because of him. Everything is always all about Lucifer.

Lucifer looks confused when Charlotte doesn’t take the bait and instead gets down to the business of the tapes. Adrian won’t release them because they have the secret formula on them and he doesn’t want that entered into the public record. Adrian, against Charlotte’s instructions, reveals the killer can’t be seen in the tapes from any of the angles anyway. Chloe points out that means the killer knew where the cameras are and how to avoid them.

Ella tells Dan cleaning Simon’s corpse was extremely difficult. She then tries to distract Dan so he doesn’t notice Charlotte’s just mere feet away. It doesn’t work and Charlotte walks past, oblivious to the fact she (meaning Lucifer’s mom in Charlotte’s body) had a sexual relationship with Dan.

Dan can’t believe Charlotte didn’t react, saying it was like she was a completely different person. Lucifer agrees, but wonders why she’s at the station and what her angle is.

Chloe has discovered seven Pudding Plus employees had key cards. Lucifer’s preoccupied and not really listening when Chloe reveals Adrian’s ex-business partner, Grace Foley, also had a key card. She started her own rival pudding company two years ago. Chloe explains the reason why they’re visiting a movie studio is because Grace’s company is shooting a new commercial on the lot on Stage 69. Lucifer’s not listening and completely misses the opportunity to make a 69 joke.

Lucifer admits he’s been distracted trying to reach Charlotte, and Chloe wonders why he’s so obsessed with reaching his stepmom. He says he needs to get to the bottom of what’s going on and why she’s returned at this particular time. He thinks his mother’s return has something to do with this dad. Chloe reminds him he wasn’t going to think about his dad anymore, and Lucifer tries hard but fails to put his dad and mom out of his mind.

Chloe suggests he needs a distraction just as a gorgeous woman in a white bikini walks by. Lucifer follows her onto a set as Chloe says she meant he needed to focus on the case. The woman’s just one of many models involved in the pudding commercial shoot, all clad in skimpy white attire with angel wings. Poor Lucifer’s extremely conflicted by this scene, turned on but also wondering if his dad also has something to do with this. He’s unable to look away.

The models seductively eat pudding as Grace screams that she needs more pudding in the commercial. Chloe and Lucifer interrupt the shoot to ask her a few questions, and she admits she’s been trying to poach Simon for two years. Lucifer, still distracted by the angels, has to have Chloe take over the questioning. Grace claims she didn’t kill Simon and then asks for her lawyer. Chloe has to prompt Lucifer to use his Jedi mind trick, and Grace says her greatest desire is to stop shooting this “exploitative garbage.”

Lucifer can’t believe she’s calling the commercial garbage. He admits he’s never wanted pudding more in his life and calls the commercial “art.” Grace says sex has nothing to do with pudding, and she admits her pudding tastes like crap. She also reveals Simon offered to sell her the Pudding Plus recipe but then he was murdered.

Lucifer Season 3 Episode 5
Lauren German and Tom Ellis in ‘Lucifer’ (Photo by John P Fleenor/FOX)

Chloe’s in the middle of explaining this is probably about corporate espionage when she notices Lucifer’s wandered off following an angel. Chloe notices a man she saw outside the stage is lurking in the shadows, and she interrupts Lucifer’s chat with a model to tell him to escort the woman to her trailer while she talks to Grace again.

Lucifer can’t believe what Chloe’s suggesting and happily agrees. As he walks her to her trailer, he’s going off about his dad and mom and how they’re in his head ruining this beautiful moment. The lurking man is following them not far behind.

Chloe stops the lurker who she assumes is a spy working for Adrian Yates. He won’t talk without his lawyer.

Meanwhile, Dan waits in the lobby of Charlotte’s law firm looking like a lost puppy. When Charlotte finally meets with him, he asks why she’s giving him the cold shoulder. He wants to know what they were, and reminds her she seduced him. He hasn’t heard from her since she almost died, and she says it doesn’t make any sense to her either. He’s angry and frustrated, but decides to just let it go. As he’s leaving, he says he’ll let Lucifer deal with her since they were strangely close.

Back at the station, Chloe gets a call from Trixie’s school. Apparently, she’s using naughty language but changing the words a little (motherf*cker is motherflunker). This is all because of Lucifer who’s taught her loophole swear words. Lucifer’s proud of himself until Chloe informs him he’s made her job as a mom much more difficult. Lucifer takes offense, calling lessons administered by parents “mind games.”

Unfortunately, Charlotte’s not the lurker’s (who is actually referred to as “the fixer”) attorney much to Lucifer’s disappointment. Charlotte’s too busy so there’s a replacement from the firm, something that frustrates Lucifer.

When Lucifer returns home, Charlotte’s already let herself in and has poured a drink. She doesn’t speak and instead moves in for a kiss. Lucifer can’t believe it, but Charlotte says she knows they were close. Lucifer keeps backing away as Charlotte keeps kissing him. She finally takes the hint, but is more confused than ever. She doesn’t know what their relationship was, but thinks she must have been sleeping with Lucifer who she calls Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome.

Lucifer finally confirms to himself his mom is no longer in Charlotte’s body. He explains they were like family and Charlotte admits she doesn’t remember anything that happened for months. She says it feels like someone else was living her life and they ruined it – her work, her relationships, her family. She doesn’t understand why her ex-husband got custody of the kids. She’s just pretending she remembers it all so people don’t think she’s crazy.

Lucifer calls her an innocent and Charlotte admits she feels like she was trapped in a horrible nightmare during that missing time. She says it feels like she was in Hell, but she doesn’t expect him to believe her. He reminds her he’s Lucifer and then adds, “Perhaps you knew exactly where you were.”

Charlotte doesn’t think she deserved to go to Hell, but Lucifer says maybe she feels more guilt than she realized. She wants to know how to make sure she’ll never go back. Lucifer suggests she avoid doing devious things from now on and she asks if knowingly impeding a homicide investigation is considered a devious thing.

Back at the station, Dan munches on pudding and calls himself a dummy. He tells Ella he was rejected at Charlotte’s office. Ella warns him not to drown his sorrows in pudding, and then reveals Simon had golf ball-sized kidney stones. He had intense renal failure and, in a weird coincidence, would have died within days if he hadn’t been murdered.

Chloe questions the fixer and asks about Simon’s death. He reveals Grace’s company was going to merge with Pudding Plus, which means there wasn’t any motive to kill Simon. The fixer also admits he only followed Chloe to make sure her investigation didn’t threaten the merger.

Chloe’s interrogation is interrupted when she’s called into a meeting with Dan, Ella, Lucifer, and Charlotte. Charlotte turns over the security footage, saying she’s trying to do what’s right. She thinks it will prove her client is innocent and help them find the killer.

They watch Simon’s death on the footage, but the killer can’t be seen. Ella, however, figures something out. She slaps the pudding cup out of Dan’s hand and sends it flying. She claims she’s saved his life, pointing out that two of the ingredients – cyanuric acid and melamine – are harmless separately but together over time can cause renal failure.

Ella goes on to point out those chemicals can fake the appearance of a higher protein content, which is probably why Simon used them. People would die, but Charlotte says that if you have hundreds of millions in profit, losing a few millions is no big deal. Chloe thinks Simon was trying to stop the sale, and now it appears Adrian, Grace, and the fixer all had motive to keep Simon quiet.

Lucifer reminds Charlotte she represents all the potential killers, and Charlotte stalks out of the room. She’s ready to join the Peace Corps at this point because trying to do good as a lawyer didn’t work.

Ella stops Charlotte in the elevator and tells her she only sees darkness in her now. Ella also lets Charlotte know she has Dan’s back.

Chloe figures out none of the three had the most to lose if the merger failed. It was actually Lalo the security guard who stood to profit from the merger, due to stock options. If Simon revealed he was sick, that would ruin Lalo’s plans.

Lalo confirms he knew Simon was sick because they went out drinking a month before Simon died. He recalls Simon said Adrian wasn’t listening to him and that he should just end his life. Lalo didn’t tell the cops this sooner because he thought it was just drunken nonsense. He doesn’t think Lalo jumped into a boiling vat since that’s a horrible death, but Chloe believes maybe that’s what actually happened.

Dan discovers Simon gave away his money to charity and even found a new home for his pet turtle in the days before his death. Simon wanted the cops to investigate the companies.

Lucifer calls Charlotte to let her know, but she’s not at work. She’s gone to meet with her three clients, one of whom she suspects is the murderer. She whips out a gun and says they can’t leave until she figures it out. They swear none of them did it and when the fixer decides to just leave, Charlotte fires in his direction. They explain all they did was keep Simon quiet and then sped up the merger so they could make bigger profits.

Lucifer arrives to stop Charlotte from doing anything horrible. He informs her Simon committed suicide so he could expose the company. Lucifer assures Charlotte her clients are innocent but now she’s pissed because these three knew they were selling a poisonous product. She says this isn’t a loophole and they’re all guilty, but Lucifer stops her once again.

Charlotte doesn’t want to go back to her old life, and Lucifer tells her to trust him. He takes the gun and then reveals he’s been recording the conversation with Chloe listening in. The three pudding people are arrested, thanks to Charlotte and Lucifer.

Chloe thinks what she overheard sounded like Charlotte wrestling with her demons, and Dan tells Charlotte he recognizes she’s going through a lot. She apologizes for how she treated him and asks if they can meet for coffee. He says maybe.

That night at home, Chloe has a heart-to-heart with Trixie about loophole cuss words. Chloe admits the swear jar is a dumb idea and tells her that bad words make people feel bad. Chloe hopes Trixie will do the right thing from now on.

Lucifer visits Charlotte at home and she confesses she doesn’t remember buying this place. She also doesn’t remember buying 30 cases of Merlot. Lucifer admits he feels somewhat accountable for her lost time and she asks what she was like during that time she can’t remember. He says she was a handful, intense, jealous, emotional, and made epic mistakes. But, it all came from a place of love. Lucifer also admits he’ll miss that Charlotte, more than she’ll ever know. They toast to the real Charlotte, and he finally utters the episode’s title. “Welcome back, Charlotte Richards.”

More on Lucifer Season 3:
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 1 “They’re Back, Aren’t They” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 2 “The One with the Baby Carrot” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 3 “Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 4 “What Would Lucifer Do?” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 6 “Vegas With Some Radish” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 7 “Off the Record” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 8 “Chloe Does Lucifer” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 9 “The Sinnerman” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 10 “The Sin Bin” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 11 “City of Angels?” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 12 “All About Her” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 13 “Til Death Do Us Part” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 14 “My Brother’s Keeper” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 15 “High School Poppycock” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 16 “Infernal Guinea Pig” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 17 “Let Pinhead Sing!” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 18 “The Last Heartbreak” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 19 “Orange is the New Maze” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 20 “Angel of San Bernardino” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 21 “Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 23 “Quintessential Deckerstar” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 24 “A Devil of My Word” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Bonus Episode “Boo Normal” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Bonus Episode “Once Upon a Time” Recap