When the Fox series Lucifer was canceled the public outcry was so deafening loud it probably permeated both heaven and hell. Then Netflix came along and gave the series a save and provided what was to be a 4th and final season regarding the Fallen Angel and his romance with detective Chloe Decker. And yet a big surprise was delivered when we learned that Netflix gave the series, not just a 5th season but also a 6th season to allow for the series to completely wrap up all of the story threads. But is this a good thing?
The 5th season opens with Chloe coming to terms with Lucifer’s absence, while Lucifer is still down in Hell and finding himself playing detective when a soul is sent to him that died of mysterious circumstances. This sets the stage for Lucifer to return to the land of the living and the City of Angels, only he doesn’t. It’s Lucifer’s twin brother Michael who appears and starts to woo Chloe. Or at least that’s what it appears he’s doing. He has other ideas simply because he feels he doesn’t measure up in their Father’s eyes as much as Lucifer did. Lucifer comes back and has a rather violent confrontation with Michael, thus ending Michael’s original mission, but not before giving him another idea on how to ruin Lucifer’s existence.
These episodes, while they retained much of the same amusing spirit from the previous seasons, feels like the showrunners are running out of ideas. First, there was Lucifer’s mother. Then there was Cain. Then there was Eve. We even know that before the series ends we will be introduced to God. While much of this had a certain amusement to it, the concept of Michael (presumably the same archangel Michael of both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible) being the bad guy for this season felt as if any literary credibility for this show was being stretched a bit too thinly. I understand that this is something of a satirical look at the ideas of God, Satan, Heaven, and Hell and that nothing here should be taken seriously, but the idea an archangel feeling inferior to the angel who fell from heaven is just a bit too much to accept blindly. The stories are still amusing, but the foundation upon which those stories are written feels flimsy at best.
The acting is still incredibly brilliant, especially from Tom Ellis doing double duty as both Michael and Lucifer. What makes his performance even more enjoyable is watching him act as Michael pretending to be Lucifer. He has to alter the performance in the subtlest of ways and yet it’s there for all of us to see if we look closely enough at it. The rest of the cast is equally as wonderful. Lesley-Ann Brandt as demon Mazikeen has shown tremendous growth in her character that shows a clear direction in where her arc is headed.
Rachel Harris as Dr. Linda Martin is always fun to watch especially now that she’s a mother of a half-human/half-angel baby. And yet, there is a new story thread regarding her past that looks like it will come back to haunt her. Lastly, Lauren German as Chloe Decker has been fantastic so far. We are seeing some definite changes in the character of the detective as she goes out trying to solve crimes without Lucifer, and when she finally meets Michael as he masquerades as Lucifer it has been wonderful with her, both comedically and dramatically.
Despite the first three episodes introducing an idea that gives a very shaky foundation, the episodes have still been strong enough to keep me wanting to watch more, as evidenced by the third entry of the season “¡Diablo!” Watching an episode take place on the backlot of the very studio where Lucifer films, where the characters are investigating a murder on a set for a TV a series that has a devilish detective, had me laughing hysterically at the brilliant self-lampooning. If the writing can remain this creatively strong despite the use of Lucifer’s twin brother, then I can easily see myself sticking around for the remainder of the 5th season of Lucifer.