"Glee"? Is that you?
Part 2 of Lucifer Season 5 just landed on Netflix on May 28, and boy, was it a doozy! For the uninitiated, Lucifer is a fascinating supernatural-superhero-sometimes-musical-cop-show mash-up featuring Lucifer Morningstar, Prince of Hell, who gave up his underworldly throne for the streets of Los Angeles, where he runs a nightclub called Lux. He becomes a consultant for the LAPD, assisting detective Chloe Decker to close cases using his knowledge of LA's seedy underbelly, and his devil powers.
Because the pandemic interrupted the shooting of Season 5, it was released in two parts that, in my opinion, flowed together fairly seamlessly. Part 1, which consisted of 8 episodes, was released on August 21, 2020, and ended with the arrival of an extremely important character (spoiler: it's God), which felt appropriately climactic to still give the impression of a finale before picking up the storyline again in Part 2.
The whole show has been delightfully campy since its inception, never passing up a chance to poke fun at classic cop-show tropes almost to the point of satire. This season is camp on overdrive, with the introduction of an evil twin, Glee-like musical numbers galore, and Maltese Falcon-esque film-noir interludes.
Overall, the characters remain the best part, especially Tom Ellis's Lucifer, but some of the plot devices required a massive suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience and prevented the season from being truly great.
A cast for the ages
Why do we love Lucifer so much? Mainly because the cast is amazing. Tom Ellis remains the beating heart of the show. He has already demonstrated impressive virtuosity playing the swaggering, suave, but touchingly vulnerable Prince of Darkness, but this season, he plays his own evil twin, too, and the two characters could not be more different. He even dons a flat American accent to draw a greater contrast between the elegant Lucifer and the rather dowdy Michael. I can't even imagine what went into choreographing the fight scenes between the angelic brothers.
Linda, too, continues to act as the voice of emotional affirmation, tirelessly helping her celestial companions (and by transitivity us, too) develop self-awareness about the complicated feelings they frequently have. One of the show's greatest virtues is that it normalizes many difficult emotions, exploring themes from troubled family relationships to parental worry, self-acceptance, and even mortality. I always feel more willing to embrace the beautiful chaos of life after one of Linda's insights.
And then, can we just talk about the casting decision for the character of God? Dennis Haysbert, whom many of us may recognize as the State Farm guy, was a genius choice, and his whole character tickled me to no end. His version of God is inscrutable but easily amused, and in fact, the characters regularly break into song due to his presence. The intention behind this character choice again perfectly illustrates the show's refreshing ability not to take itself too seriously, plus it gives the cast the opportunity to show off an impressive range of song and dance talent.
I love you, but what are you doing?
While the show explores many emotional themes, sometimes, the reactions of the characters themselves (frankly) don't make sense and strike me as overly literal and transactional. Many of these instances seemed contrived to keep the drama going between Chloe and Lucifer. While their emotions are out in the open, there are still a million reasons that they can't be together; first from her, then from him, so we don't get to see much real development in their relationship, which is frustrating. At this point, I almost want to say, "you know what guys, never mind." Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
Many of Maze's actions confused me, too. She's exploring some majorly human themes in this season, such as how to connect with people, and how to nurture her soul. However, for someone so concerned with these kinds of spiritual issues, she gets talked into hurting her friends for dumb reasons on more than one occasion.
And then the last episode ... I mean, WTF, guys? Like, really. You know, I love some camp and some drama, but there is just way too much happening, with people dying and miraculously reviving three minutes later, for no apparent reason, and it's just a lot to ask the audience to accept at face value. I'm assuming it will be explained in Season 6, but I could've done with at least a little closure in Season 5.
Is the show worth watching? I think so. It's a refreshing, humorous, free-wheeling take on many media cliches. Was this season great? While it had its moments, I would rate Lucifer Season 5 a C+. I'm in it for the cast, but I'm going to need Season 6 to deliver some major explanations and to do the characters more justice.
Have you seen the latest season of Lucifer? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!