What if one day the devil suddenly decided that he didn’t like his job and just decided to up and leave hell for the mortal world? And then, after five years in the mortal world he ends up witnessing a crime and ends meeting a detective that’s immune to his powers and this intrigues him enough to try and get close to her by helping her solve cases? Well that’s what the premise of Lucifer, as show based very loosely on the comic book series of the same name. I’m going to be looking back at the first season of Lucifer to see what worked and didn’t work for the show. Light spoilers ahead after the break.
So yes, as mentioned above Lucifer ends up leaving hell after getting fed up with having to run hell and being hated by everyone. He, along with his succubus servant Maze, sets up a nightclub called Lux in Los Angeles. After about five years the nightclub is very successful and Lucifer himself has been helping several people find fame through several different ways. One of these people, an actress, gets gunned down along with Lucifer in front of his club. This is how Lucifer meets Detective Chloe Decker, a member of the LAPD. Chloe herself is immune Lucifer’s charms and this intrigues him enough to help her find the killer (In addition to him getting revenge for his friends death) by using his ability to force people to share their inner most desires to help get to the bottom of things. They succeed and Lucifer, still intrigued by Chloe attempts to assist her on further cases afterwards. This makes up the core premise of the show, basically a case of the week format with the added gimmick of Lucifer’s powers and bizarre insights helping to resolve the cases.
There is more going on of course. In addition to Lucifer helping Chloe he also must deal with the problem of his brother Amenadial. Amenadial has been tasked by god to make Lucifer return to hell and resume his duties. Lucifer of course doesn’t want to so Amenadial is forced to come up with alternative means to make him return to hell. Amenadial is largely the closest thing the show has for a long while to a main antagonist though it’s more because of a number of very misguided actions on then any actual malice on Amenadial’s part.
So on that note lets talk about the man himself. Lucifer as played by Tom Ellis is a very charming and charismatic presence whose performance makes watching the show just to see it worth it alone. Characterization wise Lucifer also proves to be a very well written and complicated character. Outwardly Lucifer just appears to be a very selfish and hedonistic character but as the season rolls on it becomes obvious that Lucifer is just someone who really hates their position in life and is lashing out at his father in anger over this. This plays into how he interacts with the world as well because when it comes to morality Lucifer is definitely not a hero but he’s far from being a villain.
One of the shows biggest strengths is the mythology aspect as the show tends to get some of it’s better character work and story’s from this part of the show more so then the cop side of things. Unfortunately the mythology aspect doesn’t get a lot of light shown on it during the seasons run until towards the second half.
This also unfortunately applies to the supernatural characters that serve as the supporting cast. While she’s an interesting character and she does get some short story arcs of her own, Mazikeen (Maze for short), Lucifer’s snarky succubus servant who accompanied him to earth, spends most of the season on the sidelines not doing much. And then you have Amenadial Who spends a good portion of the season off to the sides pouting in spite of being the main antagonist for most of it. That being said once he starts getting more actively involved he does get a whole lot more material then he had been getting before.
Now, let’s talk about Detective Chloe Decker. As the shows second lead she’s alright but she just felt like a generic good cop character and nothing really stood out about her to me. Characterization wise Chloe is a divorced single mother who at the start of the series is a pariah in the police department due to accusing a fellow cop of being crooked. Upon meeting him Chloe initially doesn’t want anything to do with Lucifer and generally tries to avoid having to work with him. She does eventually warm up to him a bit as the show moves along though and seems to consider him a friend by the end of the season.
She also spends a portion of the season attempting to solve the “mystery” about who Lucifer really is. This show uses what has to be my favorite method of keeping a superhero identity secret in that Lucifer does not keep it a secret at all. Lucifer does not keep his identity as the devil a secret at all as he tells everyone he meets that he’s the devil. Whether it’s because he doesn’t care if people know or because he knows that people won’t believe him but either way it works as every character on the show just thinks that Lucifer is just a very dedicated gimmick character. It does get kind of ridiculous as the show goes on as characters like Chloe witness Lucifer’s abilities first hand and never connects the dots.
Circling back, let’s talk about the police and the case of the week format. The police department as whole doesn’t get a lot of characterization or attention during the seasons run. Now while there’s a good reason for that as previously mentioned Chloe being a pariah at the shows start, but it doesn’t really help build a good impression. The only cop character besides Chloe who does get any focus is her ex-husband Det. Dan Decker. Dan is portrayed as a kind of douchey (Which causes Lucifer to nickname him Detective Douche) workaholic who constantly voices his dislike of Lucifer. That being said he’s not a useless character as he’s frequently helpful in solving cases and puts aside his dislike of Lucifer to help him out on occasions.
Then there’s the cases of the week themselves. As a whole they’re alright, some of them are better then others, particularly if Lucifer has a personal interest in the case himself. But compared to the shows Mythology aspect they tend to be a lot weaker and a lot less interesting in comparison. They’re not bad by any means but if in the future they managed to mix the mythology into the cases in the future things would be a lot more interesting.
Overall I like the show, it’s kind of rough going at the start but it builds itself up very well after a while and ends on a strong note for the future. If you haven’t watched this show yet I would recommend it. So, what did you all think about it?
- I didn’t really have anywhere to talk about this elsewhere in the review so I’ll do it here: Chloe’s daughter Trixie. As a whole I’m never really a fan of child characters, they usually wear out their welcome fast but Trixie showed up very infrequently and her interactions with Lucifer and the rest of the cast were pretty great that I didn’t mind her presence at all.
- Another main character I didn’t get to was Dr. Linda Martin. Linda is met by Lucifer in the very first episode and afterwards begins seeing her for therapy to help him figure out his feelings towards Chloe. As a character she was alright and their sessions were usually very entertaining, but overall Linda’s whole role on the show felt fairly gimmicked and if she got dropped from the show it wouldn’t really change things all that much.