The devil is back! After three seasons and 57 episodes on Fox Lucifer found a new home for its fourth season on Netflix where the shortened and streamlined ten-episode season dropped last Wednesday. I am eating my hat after saying, almost a year to the day, that this show was cooked in hellfire and would sit with the now-third-season-finale forever, but nonetheless here we are with season four.
We’ll be covering this new season weekly on Monday’s for the next ten weeks, which may be slower than some of you would like, and you’re welcome to watch ahead, but just know that you’ll have to wait for my esteemed thoughts as I work at my own pace. I take bribes if anyone’s into that though, might speed things up. Regardless, we begin as we ended, and pick up with all the characters a month after the season finale. Same rules, same game for the show loosely based on Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, and Mike Dringenberg’s version of the devil himself. With a drink in one hand, as the Netflix™ recap tells us to get, a cigar in another, and all the sarcasm and half of a master’s degree in religion that I bring to bear, let us dive in. Actually wait how am I going to type?
1. New network, new nudity, same show
We open with Lucifer at his famed piano playing through a month’s montage of “Creep” by Radiohead as his mental health slowly deteriorates, before he gets in a brawl with a character from the first episode of season three. It seems so serious, and coupled with that steamy teaser of Tom Ellis being all sexy coming out of a pool I had the thought, for merely a moment, “Oh wow Netflix done Netflix’d this show.” But then in but a flicker, Luci is giving the thief literal gold and I was transported back. Never change Lucifer (or do a little bit).
There are a handful of reminders for everyone that we’re broadcasting from a new network though as we kick off this new shortened season. That’s perhaps the first one. With only ten episodes, there’s a lot of plot this show has got to get through between here and there and they half the time to do it in. The case-of-the-week seemed tighter, and all the subplots wasted no time in bringing the characters back together instead of dragging Amenadiel coming back, Dan grieving, and Linda and Maze reconciling over three episodes. And honestly, I think we’re better for it. We’ll get one off stories, thematic themes, and this show doesn’t have to waste time like it used to (see most of the middle of every season).
Continuing, we see Tom Ellis’ naked behind. God bless the queen. And he almost gets out an f-bomb before the title credits role. Neither things we could get on network television. I look forward to more *cheeky* (forgive me) bits like this as we move forward. There was also a little more action and gore in the fight scenes, which I can see continuing, and it’s not overly gratuitous. I can dig it. Some of the religious stuff, mainly at the end of the episode which we’ll get to, is more present and I think will be discussed more seriously and nuanced this season, which I am definitely looking forward to. Even Dan saying “Jesus” jokingly is new. I don’t think Fox let this show go there at all. All in all, the internal parts of this show haven’t changed. It’s still a goofy and eccentric cop-romp with some Satan. But, I think with Netflix giving the creators of the show a little lead way, we might get some, slightly, more in depth exploration of some of the religion stuff that has been the most frustrating part of my experience watching this show. I’m cautiously optimistic. Gah look what Netflix has done to me!
2. Detective in denial
Ok, so everything’s okay. Lucifer has been showing up to crime scenes looking for Chloe for a month and leaving when she doesn’t show. She shows this time, back from Europe with Trixie. They were in Rome we learn towards the end of the episode. Should’ve tipped us off. Lucifer’s mouth is agape, he wants to know where they stand, she just wants to get back to work, and he thinks that she is in denial. We ended last season with Chloe learning that Lucifer is who he has been saying he is for three seasons, and she has every right to be terrified. But no, she says she’s accepted it, and she’s ready to get to work. They even joke some now about her being in on the joke. There is one moment where Lucifer touches her and she recoils and is frightened. But everything is ok right?Continued below
Lauren German does a really great job this episode as Chloe. She plays everything as a little bit off, trying to be strong and say things can be normal, work with the actual devil, who she had a romantic interest in at one point, and get on with her life. The whole case-of-the-week/theme-of-the-week is about monsters. There’s a US Marshall who kills his clients in witness protection because he thinks they’re unredeemable, awful people. There’s also avocado honey. Americans are gross. All these things make us ask though, is Lucifer a monster because he’s the devil? Has he showcased that he isn’t? He killed Cain, which is the first time the devil has killed a human ever in human history, but can he be redeemed? That’s really been the arc of this whole show, and Chloe is coming to terms with what that means and all the gravitas it involves. She’s so timid around Lucifer, she’s trying to put on a good face, and he comes around to that. Lucifer’s less concerned at this point if they could be together, and more just if he has his partner still. And she gives him that. Actually wait, see point five.
3. Supporting cast and peace
All last season, Charlotte, Dan, Amenadiel, and particularly, Linda and Maze had it bad. The supporting cast on this show didn’t much come out with a win, and Linda and Maze fighting over Amenadiel, which destroyed one of the good woman-woman friendships on the show was, in my opinion, handled really poorly. But here Linda is back in her office, counseling Lucifer and palling around with Maze. Amenadiel comes back from the “Silver City” and things that they’re still fighting over him because Linda is showing Maze she’s been taking kickboxing classes, but they’re not, they’re just friends again. It’s sweet and it totally works.
Even Amenadiel being back, learning that he’s turned into the Rudolph of angels and wants to make his home among the humans in Los Angeles makes a lot of sense. His arc of “Am I holier than thou or nah?” has also sometimes been frustrating, especially as it became further and further removed from the action. Here, after flying Charlotte to the Silver City and realizing Earth is cool, he’s here to stay. And it works, it’s genuine, and all three of those characters seem more relaxed and forced. All the supporting cast relationships are reset to ground zero.
This is especially true for Maze and Trixie, who reconcile at the precinct (conspicuously after Chloe tells Maze that Trixie won’t forgive her). Sidenote: Trixie is reading “Skyward” at the precinct, which is the Image book written by executive producer Joe Henderson in a fun nod. Anyway, they make up after Maze had been really mean to her, and things seem cool for everyone in that circle minus Dan. It’s good that they got a reset, there’s no time to waste, and it’ll be interesting seeing where all of those on the outskirt are heading as things heat up.
4. “She’s in heaven, Dan.”
So Dan has been grieving Charlotte’s death for the last month with little to no support from anyone. He threw himself into his work, he still hates Lucifer and had no reason to turn to him with Chloe gone, and Amenadiel was off at “home.” Dan finally stands up to Luci for the first time this episode, which just seems like a great improvement for him always being the butt of the jokes while also being a crooked cop. He’s better when he’s duplicitous.
Amenadiel and Dan finally catch up, and Amenadiel tells Dan that Charlotte “Is in heaven now.” Dan responds, the way any honest person should, and tells Amenadiel “I hate it when people say that.” That’s a horrible thing to say to a grieving person and not at all a word of comfort or healing. Who cares where they are, they’re gone. We don’t have funerals for the dead, they’re dead, we have funerals for us, because we’re hurting and grieving and crying and in pain. We are not helped by that.
Except in this case, in it’s funky convoluted way, it’s true, and Amenadiel does know that, and he imparts that knowledge onto Dan and Dan believes and cries and all that. I didn’t hate this scene, cause it’s a little bit clever coming from Amenadiel to Dan, but this is really the only time those words would be comfort. We really need to stop telling people that.Continued below
5. When in Rome
Alright so cliffhanger time. Luci and Chloe reconcile. But then…she finds herself in an immaculate Catholic cathedral weeping uncontrollably and a priest comes out and puts his hand on hers and tells her, “We knew this path would be difficult Chloe. What you’re doing is the best thing for everyone on earth. Including Lucifer.” Ok cool so remember how Chloe told Dan they went to Rome? I guess it turns out she ratted Luci to the Vatican and they’re using her all spy-style to get him back to hell. If God’s not going to do it, I guess the Church has to take matters into its own hands.
This seems like it’ll be the foundation of the ten-episode conflict, and I think, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, that I am super here for it. This seems like something Fox wouldn’t have gone for, but Netflix don’t care. We can get Lucifer versus the Church, real theology, fancy Vatican ninjas and conspiracy theories, and so forth. It’s probably going to be more Dan Brown-level than Neil Gaiman, but I like to laugh every now and then. Alright Lucifer takes on the Pope. Let the game begin. Peace be with you.
That’s all for this week folks, tune in next week for episode two, or watch em all and read at your leisure. Do whatever you want. We’ll see you then.