Created by: Tom Kapinos
Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, Scarlett Estevez, Aimee Garcia, DB Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Rachael Harris
Streaming on: Netflix
Lucifer’s Season 5 Part 1 left us at a bit of a cliffhanger. In case you have not seen the first half, consider this review spoiler heavy. As God’s favoured sons Michael, Lucifer and Amenadiel battled it out in last year’s finale, time stopped, and in entered their father, God himself, to sort out the family squabble. Or so we thought.
Season 5 Part 2, which just dropped on Netflix, does not waste time with a recap and jumps straight into the action. The immediate matters at hand are quickly resolved so that the show can move on to its standard machinations – with the addition of an omniscient and omnipotent character in the mix.
Lucifer is in general a self-aware show, and the titular protagonist played by the charismatic Tom Ellis has embodied that well. That is why, unlike the original comic book on which the show is loosely based, God’s entry to the physical plane, and his relationship with Lucifer isn’t played for metaphysical, quantum or philosophical conundrums. Instead, it’s tethered to his equation with his sons, as a distant, and apparently fallible family figurehead. Of course, the show does use his presence to answer some of life’s greatest questions, including, “Can God get a brainfreeze?” or “Why does everything taste like chicken?”
In this second part, meant to be the show’s last until a last-minute Netflix extension, the showrunners take the Bruce Almighty ridiculousness of God walking amongst us and run with it. Lucifer’s God puns and quips alone are worth the bandwidth and lead to laugh out loud moments. That said, part one does not use just comedy as its main vehicle and rounds off storylines and character arcs with satisfying ends and emotional consequences.
The creators also try to pack in the season with familiar off-kilter/experimental episodes like the musical ‘The Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam’, or my personal favourite ‘Daniel Espinoza: Naked and Afraid’. The results are a hit and miss. While ‘The Bloody Celestial…’ episode falls flat, much like the cast’s vocal skills (barring Tom Ellis) – the episode’s gag is eventually redeemed with a MC Hammer gag in the season finale that had this reviewer snorting coffee. On the other hand, ‘Daniel Espinoza: Naked…’ had the right grindhouse, noir and comedy vibe going for it, to turn it into one of the season’s best.
Tom Ellis, as usual, chews the scenery – but this season belonged to Kevin Alejandro’s Daniel Espinoza who delivers in performance that moves from manic to understated to emotional with ease. Dennis Haysbert’s God who delivers a performance that is the next best thing, if not better, to having Morgan Freeman play the same role.
The show keeps the crime procedural portions toned down this time around, focusing instead on the core heavenly character arcs and celestial machinations. In fact, most of the crimes Lucy and Chloe tackle are meant to be Earthly metaphors of the First Family’s emotional drama. This storytelling act is mostly a miss, rendering the season uneven and those crime-based story arcs, superfluous.
Part two has some stand out episodes comedically and emotionally but if you were to jump to straight to the final two episodes, you would not have missed much. With its finale delivering on the action and a larger resolution for Lucifer, Michael, Amanadiel and Chloe – I will admit that this reviewer is now curious as to what’s left to be done in its final and sixth season.