Review: Lucifer (Season 5, Part 1) – Madness, Mayhem and Murder

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Hell-Raising

Lucifer gets better with each new season, and part 1 of season 5 is no exception — an absolutely hell-raising watch!

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Madness, mayhem and murder; three key components in the latest instalment of Lucifer. Season 5, part 1 of the show started streaming on Netflix in the UK as of late August 2020. Tom Ellis reprises his role as Lucifer, the Lord of Hell, alongside Lauren German, who plays down-to-earth Detective Chloe Decker. In 2018, Netflix recommissioned the show for a 4th series after being axed by Fox. Initially, the streaming giant commissioned 10 episodes for season 4, but with the show increasing in popularity, 6 more episodes have been added to this new season. With a total of 16 episodes, the remaining 8 are yet to be released.

At the end of season 4, we last saw Lucifer leaving for hell in order to prevent a demon rebellion, thus increasing the already-high tension caused by the “will they, won’t they?” saga between Lucifer and Chloe. Over the course of the 8 episodes that are now streaming, Lucifer has a number of challenges to face. Usually these are a result of his own insecurities, his relationships with other people or the murder cases which provide a framework for each episode. However, in this season, Lucifer is faced with his biggest challenge yet: dealing with the fallout of his own twin, the Archangel Michael, visiting Earth and wreaking havoc. Tom Ellis is the perfect actor for the character of Lucifer in the way he conveys the character’s mannerisms and tone which somehow makes the devil close to being a lovable character. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the part of Lucifer as well as Tom Ellis does; nonetheless, it is even more surprising that Ellis is able to play Lucifer’s complete opposite so perfectly too! Even though Michael is God’s right-hand angel, he is the bitter, conniving and envious twin which jars with the stereotypically benevolent Archangel. Despite the contradicting roles, Tom Ellis may as well be two separate people; he expertly transitions from a British accent to American in various scenes and embodies both Lucifer and Michael as if he had used all of his time just preparing to portray one of the characters. With such great actors and actresses associated with this series, the casting team have outdone themselves.

Whether you’re reading this before or after you’ve binge-watched part 1, it’s imperative to draw attention to episode 4: ‘It Never Ends Well For the Chicken’. This was a particularly impressive episode for its plot structure, film noir resemblance and gender equality. Telling a story from Lucifer’s past in flashback provided an ideal setup for a film noir involving 1940s gangsters, criminals and a fierce private investigator. With the main cast members playing new roles, some female cast members playing male characters and them all being brought to life with detailed period costumes and sets, this episode made for an entertaining watch!

Lucifer is a show that features celestial beings with notions of heaven and hell, yet the themes which are explored in each season make it easy to resonate with the characters, whether human or celestial. At some point they all experience love, loss and rejection, emotions everyone has to process in their lives. Predominantly, the show focuses on Lucifer navigating how to build relationships, so although Lucifer is based on a non-human character who is considered above mankind, the plot and characterisation is rooted in very human matters. Lucifer may be the devil, but the fact that he is very human-like in the way he has desires, fears and insecurities like the rest of us makes it very easy to like him.

By establishing the plot in human concerns this ultimately makes it much easier to resonate with the characters, it also allows for rich, interwoven character arcs which are not only plausible but enjoyable to watch as the plot develops. Whilst all this is going on, each episode is based around a murder which needs to be solved. Particularly in season 5, part 1 the murders seemed oversimplified so as to not become tangled with the main storyline of the characters. This made some episodes quite predictable and lacklustre at times which was quite frustrating as many characters’ relationships have previously thrived on the pressure caused by solving murders.

This season of Lucifer was by far the best in terms of character development and plot structure. Showrunners have stayed true to their roots by keeping Lucifer’s narrative wrapped up in his own internal conflict between who he is and who he wants to be. Overall, it has been an exciting 8 episodes with many twists and turns — hopefully season 5, part 2 will be equally as exciting as the first instalment.

All episodes of Lucifer are streaming on Netflix. You can watch the season 5 trailer below.

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Third year English student interested in literature, art and music. Better known for my love of military history, planes, trains and automobiles (especially classic Ford Mustangs)!

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