The Devil’s Perfect Prank On Dan Explained

In “Daniel Espinoza: Naked and Afraid”, Lucifer played the perfect prank on his hapless rival. Here’s a breakdown of the entire elaborate scheme.

Warning: SPOILERS for Lucifer season 5, part 2. 

Lucifer season 5, part 2 saw the Devil (Tom Ellis) play a perfect prank on Detective Dan Espinoza (Kevin Alejandro). Dan was already reeling from learning that Lucifer is the actual Devil in season 5, part 1, and he was even more flummoxed by meeting God (Dennis Haysbert), who briefly exploded Dan’s body since Espinoza used to sleep with His wife, the Goddess (Tricia Helfer).

Lucifer always enjoyed outwitting and taunting Espinoza, but they still developed a grudging friendship. In Lucifer season 5, part 1, Dan and the Devil even became “bracelet bros” on a case, but Lucifer’s twin brother Michael manipulated Dan into seeing the Devil’s true face. Horrified and tormented by this knowledge, Dan shot Lucifer. Although Espinoza didn’t (and couldn’t) kill the Devil, Lucifer spiraled into plotting elaborate schemes of vengeance but he abandoned them all in order to save Chloe, who was kidnapped by Michael.

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Related: Lucifer: Every One Of The Devil’s Revenge Plans Against Dan

Of course, the Devil never forgot the fact that Dan shot him and he finally got his payback in the Lucifer season 5, part 2, episode “Daniel Espinoza: Naked and Afraid”. Lucifer not only spent “countless hours of meticulous planning”, called in numerous favors with the Los X street gang, the Russian mob, Dan’s old friend Luis, roped in Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) as his accomplice, but the Devil also spent $5,004,157 to pull the wool over Dan’s eyes. It was an incredible (and incredibly complicated) prank filled with movie references that went off without a hitch because Lucifer banked on one crucial element: Dan’s “oafish optimism” and his desire to keep trying to do “the right thing” no matter how desperate and absurd his circumstances were. Here’s a breakdown of how the Devil managed to execute his perfect prank on his hapless victim.

Lucifer Dan Prank

Lucifer’s scheme was underway as soon as Dan arrived at work at the LAPD. The Devil planted the job to extradite a Los X gang member from Mexico to Los Angeles and it appealed to the stressed-out Espinoza. Of course, Luis was in on it and got Dan drunk so he would wake up in bed next to a dead body like in The Godfather. (Dan’s nudity was a bonus since he sleeps naked.) Luis made Dan believe he would deliver $200,000 he owed to the Russian mob and then Lucifer arranged for Dan’s car to be rammed by a truck, knocking him unconscious (and giving Dan the first of “three concussions”, although only two were directly Lucifer’s fault). Lucifer also sent Dan’s improv group to drive him back to LA.

Lucifer knew Dan would ask for his help and the Devil staged his therapy session with the Los X gang at their bike shop, knowing Dan would try to steal the box with “the money” inside, tangle with a guard dog, and try to escape on a bicycle so that he’d run right into Luis (and find a severed head in the box, just like in Se7en). Luis would pretend he injected Dan with a lethal drug that gave him 10 hours to live, and Dan was sent to kill the Russian mob’s accountant. Espinoza asked Ella Lopez (Aimee Garcia) for help planning the perfect fake murder and he then asked Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) to fly him back to LA after the Russian accounted knocked him out (and have him his third concussion). At this point, Mazikeen entered the picture and set up the plan to give Luis “proof” of the accountant’s death in exchange for the antidote, although Dr. Linda Martin (Rachael Harris) almost blew Dan’s cover as “Joe Stone”.

It all culminated back at Lux where all of the players assembled and faked shooting each other to death while Dan scrambled to chase the vial of antidote across the floor, just like the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. For Lucifer’s plan to work, he had to keep Chloe Decker (Lauren German) out of it entirely because she would have discovered the ruse, but Ella, Linda, and Amenadiel were unaware that they became part of the scheme. But the final punchline was Lucifer getting annoyed that Dan thought the Devil did it all to help him as opposed to revenge purely for the Devil’s amusement. Still, the madcap episode was Dan Epizona’s finest hour before his tragic death at the end of Lucifer season 5, part 2.

Next: Lucifer: Why Dan’s Shocking Death Is The Show’s Saddest Moment

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