Lucifer Season 5 Review: Despite Double Tom Ellis, Where In The Devil’s Name Is The Chemistry?
When I was a kid, the only Dark Lord I knew was Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. And not that I’d given much thought to it, but I’d always pictured him as a loner dude, incapable of love, and utterly asexual. So when author J.K. Rowling decided to make Voldy ‘daddy’ in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I revolted. No-nose Voldemort having sex? Eugh, no. But now, you could say, things have changed. I’ve come across many a Dark Lords in my adulthood, from Tom Ellis’ devilishly charming Lucifer on Netflix to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘s delectable version of Satan, courtesy Luke Cook. And suddenly, the idea of them having them in scenes with palpable sexual tension became infinitely more appealing. Which is why, I was looking forward to Lucifer Season 5, mainly because it would bring forth the much awaited union between Lucifer and his Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German).
Unfortunately, eight episodes of Lucifer Season 5 came. But that never did.
Lucifer Season 5 Plot
Last we left Luci and Friends, The Devil and The Detective had finally admitted their feelings for each other (though he didn’t say the words, but okay). However, because of a prophecy that was the central theme for Season 4, Lucifer was forced to return to Hell to keep any mutiny under check. You kinda get it, considering two demons almost tried to kidnap Amenadiel and Dr. Linda Martin’s kid and take him down to Hell. In the beginning of Season 5 , pining for each other, both Lucifer and Chloe have to get on with their respective jobs, which do intersect because when Chloe investigates homicides, and someone dying means their soul could be going to Hell, where Lucifer awaits them in their eternal Hell Loop.
Meanwhile, Ella is mad at Lucifer who she thinks has moved to Florida, and Mazikeen, aka Maze is pissed off because he left for Hell without her. She doesn’t have wings so who’s gonna be her ride, huh? Linda and Amenadiel are both obsessing over little Charlie, who they named after the dearly departed lawyer Charlotte Richards. They think being part-angel means he is special, and they could probably be paranoid because of the events of last season. Dan, on the other hand, is deep into self-help, as a way to get over the loss of Charlotte. And then there’s Michael.
As the promos have told us plenty, Michael is Lucifer’s twin brother is in town, playing house with his brother’s friends. Michael, also played by Tom Ellis, has an American accent and a bad arm. And his ‘mojo’ is not ‘desire’, but ‘fear’. Initially, he manages to fool Chloe and some others, but eventually, everyone knows he’s a jerk to steer clear off. Except Mazikeen.
Sibling rivalry ensues, forcing Lucifer to return topside. He and Chloe unite, drift apart again. Michael comes back, tries to ruin things with his schemes. And then finally, when a really cool battle is about to go down, something rather unexpected happens.
Season 5 has a lot to going for it. But where is the chemistry, guys?
Lucifer has always struggled hard to strike a balance between being a crime procedural drama with a ‘will-they, won’t they’ lead pair, like Castle or Bones, and a dark, twisted look at Christianity’s concepts of God, angels, devils, demons, Heaven and Hell. I’ll admit, I’ve often been asked why I am so invested in one of Neil Gaiman’s lesser versions of this biblical setting when there exists something like Good Omens, and Eric Kripke’s Supernatural. But how could I say no to the appeal of Tom Ellis and that divine British accent? The earlier seasons will remind you of how Ellis’ charm, coupled with Lesley Ann-Brandt’s demon-may-care act made up for any possible lack of chemistry between him and the Detective. Tom Ellis had me sold on the idea of a wronged angel who had come to the City of Angels to have a great time, as the Devil and Lord of the Sins would ideally do, and have the purpose of his existence turned upside down.
I was one of the several fans who outraged when Lucifer was cancelled after Season 3, and who rejoiced after Netflix resurrected it for Seasons 4, 5 and now even a sixth one. Because finally, we were delving deeper into the mythology of it all. I loved the occasional glimpses that the show gave into the psyche of The Devil and his other supernatural allies, telling us repeatedly that they were just as fallible and as desperate for love and validation as us humans. But it was time to whip out those angel wings and get into cosmic clashes, fighting destiny and God’s will, and some more of what makes the Lucifer, The Devil.
And that didn’t exactly happen the way it was supposed to.
There were some really fun episodes: A noir-themed flashback episode, another where the girls of the show have a fun ladies night and even a meta episode where Lucifer and Chloe investigate a murder on the Warner Bros Studio set of a show about a devil investigating crimes! And yet, in the episodes that really matter, like the one where Lucifer and Chloe finally come together, there was an utter lack of red hot spark. He’s the Devil, for crying out loud. And this is the woman he is destined to be with! Where is the burning passion? The desire? The chemistry? The fire?
Not just in the lead pair, but I felt the spark lacking in every aspect of the show this time around, even Ellis’ double act. It seems all good at first, the accent switch and all. But this is a cosmic rivalry, guys, it has to feel like the world is at stake. Instead, it ends up feeling sloppy and petty.
Redemption is coming
Give Lesley-Ann Brandt deserves major hugs for playing a lost Mazikeen with all the flair. She does it so convincingly, you feel her pain for being unable to connect with the human world around her as easily as Lucifer or Amenadiel, or even Charlotte did. Her abandonment issues from her mother, Lilith, and then Eve, leaving her are on full display, and you can see how badly she wants to feel something. Her search for a soul drives her to walk out on the one relationship that she is bound by duty to keep. And that’s hard to watch.
I love the episodes where she and Chloe team up to solve a case. In fact, I am thinking how lately, Chloe teaming up with anyone else, whether it is Aimee Garcia’s adorable Ella or DB Woodside’s serene Amenadiel, is a better idea than her and Lucifer wasting precious time on catching serial killers when there’s so much more to do!
From what I have read about the showrunners talking, Lucifer Season 5 was supposed to be the last season, before a sixth was requested by Netflix. Which means maybe, just maybe, Season 5 Part B has the real meat of good episodes that remind me why I stuck with this show all this while. I need that pay off to come, and to come as soon as Episode 9. I can accord that much benefit of doubt, especially after that divine intervention in the last few seconds of Episode 8 that might have saved the whole season for me.
Look here, I get where the makers are going with the theme. They’re underplaying these celestial beings as as vulnerable as the humans they think they’re superior to. But to completely reduce the epicness of it all, and infuse it with boring crime procedural drama energy and lacklustre cases that feel like interruptions? That’s a hellish ordeal for loyal Lucifer fans!