Creator: Tom Kapinos
Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, DB Woodside, Lesley Ann-Brandt
Streaming on: Netflix
The sixth and final season of Lucifer on Netflix is a long one – perhaps designed to give the devil his full due. Packed with 10 episodes, each 10 minutes longer than those of previous seasons, it is clear that the showrunners were given a free reign to conclude Lucifer’s story. This freedom is reflected not only in the production, design, and occasional CGI, but also in how much the fun the cast seems to be having.
That is why it is a pity that Lucifer’s final season doesn’t take that blank cheque and run wild with its storytelling. At the end of the fifth season, Lucifer and his loyal crew of angels (and humans) fought Michael for the throne of the Silver City. With some action, sacrifice and love, Lucifer won. If the show’s aim was peak narrative satisfaction, it should’ve ended there. Instead, at the beginning of Season 6, as we find Lucifer trying to decide whether to ascend to the throne of God. Down in hell, an angry, mysterious celestial, Rory, wants to get to him.
Without getting spoilery, the focus seems to be on giving the characters the sendoffs they want or deserve. To quote a certain double-hearted Doctor, the showrunners go about this “the long way around”. Mazikeen and Eve get to spend the season planning their wedding, Ella Lopez tries to figure out what the hell is going on around her, Amenadiel is trying to be an police officer while obviously pining for Lucifer’s job, and Dan Espinoza is trying to figure out what he feels guilt over, so he can get out of hell.
Meanwhile, Lucifer is avoiding being God, Chloe cannot figure out what her role in life will be and all the other angels are displaying administrative incompetence. The results of these plots and subplots are mostly mixed, at times tedious, and often, downright insufferable. Thank God for Tom Ellis (Lucifer) and Brianna Hildebrand (Rory), who turn in strong performances. They elevate this season from a boring, self-indulgent mess to being a partially watchable mess.
The season features Lucifer’s Greatest Hits, with murder-mystery episodes and episodes that break away from the main format. These deviants are the high points of the season. The partially animated episode Yabba Dabba Do Me is one of the season’s best, both funny and genuinely moving. Lucifer, in trying to understand what it takes to be God, tries to help Jimmy Barnes in hell. (Jimmy had shot Chloe earlier in the show.) The first episode, Nothing Ever Changes Around Here, in which they investigate the murder of a magician is another high point.
After those two episodes, the season runs out of narrative steam. It occasionally sets the stakes high, only to double back. The season also leads the viewer into familiar, predictable territories. As the audience, we know halfway through where these story arcs are going to go, and the show does nothing to surprise, shock or ever entertain us.
Lucifer’s final sendoff is at best satisfactory, elevated by the performances of its cast and the finesse of its production. However, it is caught in its own hell-loop of over-indulgence and predictable story choices. It closes the story arcs of our favourites responsibly and with care; adds nothing else. The only significant thing the season achieves is highlighting the importance of mental health and seeking help. Bonus points for that.
Fun fact: Peter Gabriel’s song, ‘My Body is a Cage’, is a needle-drop in two (gorgeous) finale sequences on Netflix – Dark and Lucifer. Did the streaming platform pay a lot of money for the rights? Is it now looking to get a good return on investment? If yes, where do we hear the song next? My money is on The Umbrella Academy season 3.