Does the devil have his due on a new platform?
It is truly amazing how powerful social media has become over the years. It can be a platform for launching careers, sharing creative properties, and is often used for political ramblings, but ultimately it exists as our main source of communication in this 21st-century world. After a shocking season three finale, many fans were left perplexed at the decision to cancel Lucifer over at FOX. While ratings were slightly lower for season-three, the show retained a rather large following, leading many to rally for the show to be renewed.
After seeing the success of “The Expanse” being saved by Amazon streaming, social media was ablaze with efforts to save the series. Even Lucifer (Tom Ellis himself) encouraged fans to not give up hope and to continue petitioning for the series to be picked up. Luckily for us, Netflix saw the value in this charming and quirky series and renewed Lucifer for a fourth, 10 episode season.
We return to Los Angeles to find a rather distraught Lucifer finding solace again behind his grand piano. He is playing a rather melancholy version of Radiohead’s “Creep”, as the audience quickly becomes aware of Chloe’s absence. At first, the writers do this subtly, but quickly demonstrate the fact by displaying Lucifer’s returned invulnerability upon being attacked in his loft. For those who haven’t followed this series, Lucifer loses his invulnerability when in proximity to Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). Through taking multiple gunshots, and incapacitating his attackers we learn that Chloe left town on “vacation” a month prior to where we begin the season. After a rather comical callback to the beginning of season three, we get to see the return of Lucifer’s friend Mazikeen. “Maz” (Lesley-Ann Brandt) arrives to bury the hatchet in her attempt to redeem her season-three actions, returning this pair to a semblance of what they originally were, as the writers seemingly continue building us back to the series status quo. With this being a procedural cop drama at its core, we get to see our first murder scene for the season. Here we are reintroduced to Detective “Dan” (Kevin Alejandro) who is less receptive to see Lucifer, as he too is dealing with the fallout of the previous season. Even the bubbly Forensics expert Ella Lopez (Aimee Garcia) appears to be rather downbeat, as she greets Lucifer, mentioning her currently rattled faith. From here, we get the finally get the return of Chloe, as Lucifer (and the audience) patiently await her reaction to last season’s final reveal. At first, this reaction seems like a letdown, as we’re left with the assumption that all is well with this pair. Luckily for us, Lucifer isn’t buying the “it’s cool” approach to Chloe learning the truth about his very being!
Returning to one of the best parts of the show, we find Lucifer back in therapy with Doctor Linda Martin, attempting to reason through Chloe’s denial of events. “Linda” instead raises the question of whether it’s not a matter of Lucifer himself being okay with the fallout of last season and wishing for rejection from Chloe. I love the chemistry between these two here, and quite pleased that the writers aren’t afraid to return to these series staple scenes. I can only hope that they continue to give Rachael Harris more to do over the course of this ten-episode run, than provide insight and occasional comic relief, especially with how well they utilized her last season. Returning to the pairing of Lucifer and Decker, we return to the overarching investigation, gaining more information about our victim, who might not be so innocent after all. We are also treated to a reconciliation of sorts, between Maz and Chloe, as Maz learns about the damage she caused to the relationship she had Chloe’s daughter “Trixie” (Scarlett Estevez). While Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) returns to “help” his brother, raising the question of why he returned to earth at all, we begin to see signs that this angel might have more of a story with his brother in Los Angeles, than he does in “The Silver City”.
We begin to see signs that things aren’t quite right with her, and how she reacts to Lucifer. This, of course, sparks yet another existential crisis with Lucifer, that sees him comically overcompensating as is typical with the character. A discussion between Dan and Lucifer reveal the new normal between the two characters, as it appears Dan will no longer be Lucifer’s punching bag. I enjoyed seeing this scene, as I’ve wanted Dan to step up for himself more. I also love Kevin Alejandro’s role on the show and feel this might be a step in utilizing him more, as he processes his grief from last seasons’ events.
From here, the episode progresses at a rather predictable clip, yet remains as entertaining as the dozens of similar episodes like it in the past, with the added caveat of setting all of our major players up for the rest of the season. The one player that appears to be carrying the bulk of the weight this season is Chloe herself. She is clearly hiding something from Lucifer and Maz, even taking steps to keep Trixie away from the bounty hunting demon. She also appears to be working with a priest, who apparently knows more about Lucifer and the overall situation than I was left to feel comfortable with. From the scenes they share, it almost seems like Chloe is being set up to be a trojan horse against Lucifer. Will this come to pass? Guess you’ll have to binge to find out!
After the weight that season-three attempted to bury us under, and the long wait for the series’ revival, I was a little disappointed with the flow of the episode. Beyond the world building behind the scenes, there was nothing truly unique about the episode that really made it stand out. Some would argue that it didn’t have to be, as long as it established where everyone was, and what Chloe’s reaction to Lucifer was, but I feel that the episode might have benefitted from a more personal approach. Perhaps a Chloe and Lucifer only affair, with some exposition and flashbacks to flesh things out. I did enjoy seeing the cast get back into character, as well as a return to the seasons 1&2 formula, but fear that after the events of season-three, nothing can (or will) be the same. We recognize that as the viewer, hopefully the writers understand that too. I appreciated that beyond a brief nudity scene, “Lucifer” didn’t exploit the freedom of being untethered from a network. They could have easily infused the episode with unnecessary vulgarity, but instead treated this season opener like any other episode. Overall, this was a decent return to force, with plenty of room to grow.