Tom Ellis returns as the perpetually charming Lucifer Morningstar as fresh chaos unravels in the living world
Just when I thought Lucifer could not get more biblical, the fifth season pushes the proverbial envelope further. Evil twin? Check. Rivalries over God’s love? Double check. Parentage issues between angels, demons and the Devil? Triple check.
The fourth season — which marked the series’ fan-fuelled foray from network television to OTT platform Netflix — took on a saucier tone with improved CG animation. Plot-wisealso, we finally saw the culmination of a romantic relationship between Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) and Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). But then, Lucifer has to go to Hell, literally. He’d been put back to his original work as the original undertaker after a teary emotional goodbye with Chloe, and to his sinful and sun-basked playground, Los Angeles.
The trailer made it pretty clear that the Lucifer who makes his way to Los Angeles at the start of the season is not Lucifer at all, but rather archangel and twin brother Michael. Sporting an American twang and an ensemble Lucifer would not be caught dead — pun intended — in, his mission is to wreak havoc on the Los Angeles Lucifer left behind. Tom Ellis proves that playing twins is a piece of cake; he still makes Michael somewhat likeable, someone who brings out the absolute Devil in his brother.
Of course, Lucifer has to return to the human world to protect Chloe and keep his twin in check. But what dwindles is the fight between evil and more evil, and what takes its place is a romance which becomes predictable at some points, and — to my dismay — starts to feel very ‘written’ and inorganic.
All hail Maze
Thankfully, season five makes way for the much more interesting character arc of Mazikeen, yet again. Maze is known for her loyalty, but this season, we finally see her paying loyalty to herself as she takes stock of her relationships and the other elements around her.
One of my favourite television characters — not just for her daring fashion of leathers and dark colours —, Maze is layered. She is lovable for all her flaws while she continues to seek out the truth of her identity. She had started off the series as Lucifer’s loyal torturer and willing servant, but her time amongst humans brings out a yearning for her true purpose. Her relationship with Lucifer fights for a more equal ground, which has seen her accept female friendships and the power of sisterhoods. This translates to her quest to find her mother Lilith, whom she also portrays in a flashback noir episode ‘Once Upon A Time.’
The Maze we see in season five is dealing with abandonment, owing to the departure of Eve (of Adam and Eve) with whom she fell in love during season four. Lesley-Ann Brandt is no stranger to playing characters in pain; her performance as slave girl Naevia in Spartacus shows for it. With more screen-time and powerful monologues, Maze becomes a central character for season five. As audiences, we cannot help but ebb and flow along with Maze’s volatile temperament as she swings from childlike frustration to complete heartbreak to unadulterated love to seething vengeance.
Meanwhile, psychotherapist Linda Martin (Rachael Harris) and Lucifer’s brother Amendiel (D. B. Woodside) are in parental heaven; having delivered their child, Charlie at the end of season four. With this comes plenty of danger, including that in the form of Michael — and we get to see Linda’s fiery protectiveness, which is truly a thrill to watch, baby danger aside.
Finally getting an arc of her own is forensic scientist Ella Lopez (Aimee Garcia) who is swept off her feet by a tabloid journalist who clearly hates his job. But she also deals with her attraction to the dark side, despite her bubbly personality and penchant for toony T-shirts. Not getting much screen-time this season is Dan Espinoza, but it turns out that actor Kevin Alejandro sat in the director’s chair for two episodes, one of which is ‘Once Upon A Time’.
Despite its pitfalls, season five of Lucifer is an homage to the constant chaos reflected in the DC Comics (upon which the series is based) and in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. It is easy to binge-watch all eight episodes in one sitting, as I did. Thankfully, there is still a lot to explore in the Lucifer world; fans (myself included) are still waiting for Constantine, the famed exorcist, to make an appearance. Season six, anyone?