Fans of Lucifer (#Lucifans if you’re nasty) are no strangers to torture. In fact, some might even say they enjoy it, given the show’s protagonist. Keep that in mind as we head into this review. After a surprise cancellation over at Fox, Netflix heard the cries of fans and picked up the show for a fourth season, which performed so well a fifth season was greenlit-although it was to be it’s last. Well, surprise, surprise after another torturously long wait, fans were thrilled to hear they’d be getting one last season to truly tie a bow on the show.
Season Five had a lot of checkmarks to hit right out of the gate. Season Four finally allowing Chloe to acknowledge the fact that Lucifer actually is the devil and explore what that means in relation to both her working and personal relationship with him opened up a lot of doors for future seasons. Their hotly anticipated romantic moment was swiftly demolished by Lucifer’s forced return to hell to keep the denizens of the deep in their place.
When Season Five picks up, Lucifer is still toiling away in hell, torturing its inhabitants as they pay for their crimes aboveground, below. Our group above aren’t dealing too well either, Dan (still struggling to accept Charlotte’s death and what the concept of heaven means for him) has turned to self-help remedies, Maze is taking everything personally, Amenadiel is trying to balance fatherhood with his need to help humanity and Chloe is pretending that everything is A-OK. While this is all familiar-each season we see our characters struggle with personal and group crises in their own way, it seems that perhaps thinking this was to be the final season allowed the writers and cast to really push the boundaries of who they are.
Maziken (portrayed by the ferocious and stunning Lesley-Ann Brandt), spends a lot of time in self-exploration after Eve’s abandonment, struggling to understand why she is unlovable and coming to believe that it is her mother’s (Lilith) choice to create an army of soulless children, that has damned her to be endlessly alone. We see her search for acceptance, love and humanity throughout this eight-episode arc and finally make a startlingly-but perhaps not unexpected when all is said and done-decision that might change the arc of the show in its entirety. Ella (Aimee Garcia in fine form), quirky, funny, spunky Ella is finally given a standalone story and doesn’t just serve as a fun insert during the episode. She’s given space to develop, and her storyline puts her on a parallel journey with Maziken that I hope we’ll see more of in the second half of the Season.
And what has our main man been up to? Well, for Lucifer, thousands of years have passed while he lingers in hell-although it’s only been a few months on Earth-and although he doesn’t stay below for long, it’s just enough time for Michael to come down to Earth and screw things up just enough. Emboldened by bitterness at always being second best, Michael has made it his job to destroy everything about Lucifer’s life, and he does so with ruthless efficiency. While Lucifer returns to his friends and family-once again using humanity’s feelings, actions and relationships as a way to understand his own complex nature-Michael plots in the background.
Lucifer also does manage to indulge in some interpersonal time with Chloe-their relationship deeping in ways that fans will find satisfying across the board, but that doesn’t mean that they’re out of rough waters. Keep an eye on them because things get a little choppy towards the end of the Season.
Although I largely enjoyed the Season, that doesn’t mean it didn’t have weak points. Lucifer has always been an episodic show, but now that the actors have been given more space to stretch their wings, so to speak, the traditional format of the show feels too small for them. We’re had a chance to see what could really be in a Black & White vignette-style episode that gives each character something new and exciting to do. I hope that the second half of the season provides us with the chance to see what can be done with these amazing actors.
Overall, I think die-hard fans of the show will rejoice in what they’re given, and newbies will enjoy it as a fun addition to the show. I think it serves as a suitable baseboard for what could be an excellent complete season, especially given a surprise appearance by The Allstate Guy (Dennis Dexter Haysbert) that will alter the show for good, hopefully, the show lives up to its promise.
Lucifer is back on Netflix, Friday August 21st!