Creator: Tom Kapinos
Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro
Streaming on: Netflix
For those who have read the comic books, that is Neil Gaiman's Sandman where the character originated and then the 10 volume run by Mike Carey, the show would seem far removed from the original premise. Yet, through its seasons, and increasingly so since it found a new home at Netflix, Lucifer has been pulling in enough from the comic book's mythos to make it stand out from other American crime procedurals.
Lucifer treads a fine balance between being a whacky police procedural set in Los Angeles and a high concept fantasy that takes biblical concepts of heaven, hell, angels and demons and turns them on their heads. Season 5 on Netflix, doesn't deviate from that formula – if anything, it pushes more towards it. This works in its favour, especially after the cliffhanger ending of Season 4, in which the devil returns to his kingdom of Hell.
In context, that ending was meant to wrap the series – in case there was no Netflix extension – and it worked really well as a contingency send-off. But given Lucifer's renewal, and its clever integration into the DC Comics TV and movie universe with last year's Crisis on Infinite Earths on CW – coming back from that ending was always going to be a task.
Lucifer season 5 is mighty entertaining – especially when it's not taking its emotional quotient too seriously
As a result, the showrunners waste no time, literally and figuratively. By reversing the audience's known notion of how time works for immortals, we are given a quick way back to the normal scheme of things. The season starts with our main cast of Chloe, Mazikeen, Ella, Amanadiel and Linda trying to deal with Lucifer's disappearance for a few months. Meanwhile, the Lord of Hell, has already spent thousands of years in Hell, wondering how everyone is doing and what his role (which he had refused to accept) in the grander scheme of things really is.
The first episode gives us a quick rundown of everyone's situation and sets up the characters for their subsequent story arcs. It also gives us a rather entertaining insight into how Lucifer's Hell actually works. By episode two, Lucifer is back – but something seems off with him. The returned Lucifer, unlike the previous seasons, lies his ways through things and his powers seem to derive more from fears than desires.
Linda and the crew try to explain this character change as a result of his "time spent below". As the season progresses (and if you've already seen the trailer) the mystery of the "changed Lucifer" is revealed – and forms the base for Season 5's overarching plot. The grander plot also tries to resolve Chloe and Lucifer's 'will they Netflix and chill' or wont they, as well as Mazikeen's quest to belong.
Overall, Lucifer season 5 is mighty entertaining – especially when it's not taking its emotional quotient too seriously. Tom Ellis as the titular "Lucifer" owns every frame he is in and overshadows the rest of the cast by miles. He seems to be enjoying being Lucifer, and he brings that to the screen again, like he did in the previous seasons. As a result, some of this season's episodes that are mixed in terms of plot, light up and become fun, the moment Tom's Lucifer shows up.
Season 5 has fun with the source material and experiments with narrative and visual formats as well. My personal favourite was Episode 5 It Never Ends Well for the Chicken, shot in a detective noir format with a plot set in 1946. It introduces Lilith, biblically Adam's first rejected wife, and one of my favourite characters from the comic book. While Lilith's time on-screen is short, her introduction goes on to resolve some important character arcs later in the season. The other standout episode is ¡Diablo¡ – a fun, meta take on a murder on the sets of a TV show that is based on, you guessed it, our in-show Lucifer.
Three parts fun and two parts fantasy – with occasional heft, amped up VFX and excellent fight choreography to boot – Lucifer's season 5 is well worth the binge. It will be fun to see where they go from here, given the final episode's cliffhanger ending, and I for one am hoping that they steer even closer to the comic book's finale.