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Review: 'Lucifer' flexes its family bonds in Season Five

Posted Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 4:01 PM Central

by John Couture

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this news story. The opinions I share are my own.

Oh, the wicked web we weave! Lucifer is a show that is loosely based in the DC world but more directly a Neil Gaiman-inspired character from his comic book series The Sandman.

You had me at Neil Gaiman, but this was a series that I didn't really pick up until the pandemic reared its ugly head. With free time and new entertainment options limited, it was time to finally check out some of those shows that I put off for "later."

Well, it was finally later and I gave Lucifer a shot. After binging the series over a few weeks, my only question is what took me so long to get into this series? It has everything that an aspiring demon could ask for, from the CSI-Esque "murder of the week" to the just barely there Biblical mythology to pull in those looking for more divine inspiration in their TV watching habits.

Or less divine inspiration. Whatever the case may be.

As a consummate fan of Supernatural, Lucifer was a natural transition and just as easy to consume. Unlike Gaiman's American Gods, Lucifer is less showy imagery and more straight-ahead criminal procedural with a supernatural bent.

The story of the original fallen angel continues, with the charming, charismatic and devilishly handsome Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar, abandoning his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping savvy LAPD detective Chloe Decker take down criminals. In the stunning fifth season of LUCIFER, the stakes are higher than ever. Secrets will be revealed, Lucifer makes a tumultuous return, Chloe rethinks romance, Ella finally finds a nice guy, and Amenadiel adjusts to the whole fatherhood thing. In the first half of the season, Lucifer's twin brother Michael secretly takes the devil's place on earth while he's back in Hell. Eventually, Lucifer must return and face the mess his brother made with his life. He'll also finally confront his feelings for Chloe, and answer a question fans have been asking since the very beginning: "will they or won't they?"

Perhaps what Lucifer is best known for is being one of the first TV shows to be "saved" by Netflix after its broadcast cancellation on Fox after three seasons. This has actually become one of the trendier moves in recent years where popular shows will be canceled from a network only to see a streamer step up and "save" the show.

While this technique works in the short-term, those saved shows usually don't get much of a reprieve from their ultimate fate. As for Lucifer, the move to Netflix doubled its longevity and the fifth season is probably the show's best reflection of what it could have been at its best.

First, the season was split into two parts of eight episodes each. This allowed the showrunners to introduce two arcs over the entire season with a natural break to build off of the show's momentum. The first part followed Lucifer and his twin brother Michael.

Lead actor Tom Ellis enjoyed double duty in the two parts and responded handsomely. Beyond the different colored wings, there were little nuances and behaviors that Tom employed to keep the two character separate in his head. To say that he nailed it would be an understatement.

The second part introduced Dennis Haysbert as God and he was truly an inspired choice. Whether he's playing the President or the almighty, Dennis has a figurative weight that brings resonance to his performance.

I've seen a lot of actors take on the character of God to various degrees of success, but I was completely blown away by Dennis Haysbert's performance. He truly humanized the role which is a bit odd considering that he is playing an omnipotent deity, but it was nice to see a bit of vulnerability here.

Of course, he also didn't shy away from reminding his children that he was the man in charge, so he was able to show this duality convincingly. I don't want to give too much away here, but I truly felt that the eternal familial politics of the second of the season were some of the show's best moments.

I also felt that Netflix wisely chose to pull the plug for the final time after the ensuing season. Some stories aren't meant to go on forever and I felt that the show did a great job of telling its story without overstaying its welcome. It would have always felt lacking had the show ended after three seasons, so I'm glad they were able to give these characters the send-off they deserved.

But, that's season six, so perhaps we'll get into that next time. For now, Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season is available to own on Blu-ray and DVD.