Happy New Year everyone and I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. Let me tell you about mine.
Because I’ve been working on the run up to Christmas, I didn’t have much to time to go out and do any ‘present shopping’. That and because walking around in the midst of load of eager Christmas shopping brings me out in a cold sweat. Oh, no. Internet shopping is the way to go. Or more precisely, ‘Amazon’.
is the way to go. My parents got an ‘Amazon Echo’ and spent a lot of the Christmas period asking ‘Alexa’ to turn the living room lights on and off in amazement. My brother has ‘Amazon Prime’ and he told me that it’s really good if you want to buy in bulk what with ‘Amazon Prime’ offering free next day delivery. So I got it for buying Christmas presents and also to watch ‘The Grand Tour’. But before an episode of ‘The Grand Tour’, I saw a trailer for the supernatural show, ‘Lucifer’.
I mentioned at the start of my Midnight, Texas review that American television had been suffering from a ‘supernatural show dark age’ but Lucifer was released in 2016 and is currently in the middle of it’s third season. Originally airing on Fox, the show itself follows a traditional format but shows some unique and entertaining traits. A traditional format? What am I on about? When I say ‘traditional’, I mean it’s traditional for Americans. I’m sure it’s no secret that Americans love the British. So much so that they recruit them in cop shows. I’m not sure what the American’s obsession with British people is. I think they think that a British accent makes someone sound smarter which is not actually true. As a British person myself, growing up in England I can say with insurmountable certainty that a British stupid person sounds just as stupid as an American stupid person it’s just that America has a greater population density.
Anyway, British actors are being recruited on American cop shows to offer some interesting and witty insights into perplexing cases over a lovely cup of tea. In the past few years we’ve seen Ioan Gruffudd in ‘Ringer’ and ‘Forever’ although ‘Ringer’ wasn’t a cop show but it was bloody good and they should have renewed it for a second series. Jonny Miller was in ‘Elementary’ as Sherlock Holmes and now Tom Ellis has broken America by starring in ‘Lucifer’ as… well, Lucifer believe it or not. Tom Ellis was in another American show called ‘Rush’ but I’m not counting it because he played an American with a generic American accent and it only lasted for one series.
Unlike ‘Rush’, ‘Lucifer’ has been somewhat successful and in my opinion, that’s been down to Tom Ellis’ portrayal of the ‘Prince of Darkness’. Let’s have a brief rundown of the first episode which kicks of the plot for the rest of the series. I will say now that I will have to reveal some plot spoilers in order to review it so if you are planning on seeing it and don’t want to know what happens then this is your spoiler warning.
Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) is the owner of a nightclub called LUX in LA having left Hell five years ago. In the pilot episode, we see him being pulled over by the police for speeding. He gets out of a ticket by using his own unique ability of drawing out people’s deepest, darkest desires and using it against them.
When he gets to the club, he meets up with washed up pop singer, Delilah and he convinces her to clean up her act. You see, Lucifer in the business of granting ‘favours’. On the way out of the club, Delilah is shot dead and the shooter is killed on getaway. Lucifer draws out of him the killer was a ‘gun for hire’. After meeting Homicide Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), Lucifer convinces her to let him tag along and find the murderer.
Contrary to what I originally thought, Lucifer does not deny that he is the devil and actually spends most of the series trying to convince Decker that he is so. She just doesn’t believe him as his ‘desire’ trick doesn’t work on her for reasons that we find out later on. At the end of the pilot, Decker and Lucifer discover the killer as being that of Delilah’s producer, Jimmy Somethingorother who had Delilah killed so her records would go to the top of the American version of the Charts and make him loads of money. Decker is shot by the producer and whilst Lucifer is also shot several times, he takes the bullets, promises to ‘punish’ Jimmy and shows him his ‘devil face’. This sends Jimmy completely around the bend and he gets locked up in a mental house. Lucifer takes Decker to the hospital and whilst she saw Lucifer get shot, his explanation is that he is the devil. She still doesn’t believe him. After a few episodes, Lucifer is made into a ‘Civilian Consultant’ for the LAPD and assists Detective Decker for the rest of the series.
You see, this is not the classical, some might say ‘Biblical’ portrayal of Lucifer as being the bad guy. Whilst Lucifer did used to run Hell, he punished the bad guys and always felt like he was the victim. He obviously has a lot of resentment against his Dad or ‘God’ and decides that it would be fun to punish the bad guys on Earth instead of in Hell, on his own terms. Listen to me, I do sound like a psychiatrist, don’t I? Speaking of, for the rest of the series, Lucifer has his own psychiatrist which he voices his personal anguish too and occasionally has sex with. Dr Linda Martin (Rachael Harris) is very attracted to Lucifer upon their first meeting and starts up a sexual relationship with Lucifer as ‘payment’ for their sessions. For constant comic relief, when Lucifer has a problem, he always misinterprets Dr Linda’s advice in order to make the worst decisions possible. She initially believes that Lucifer is speaking in metaphors when he comes out with the constant Biblical references and names but she is soon put straight when he shows off his devil face, revealing his identity. Dr Linda soon becomes a friend of the group.
Lucifer didn’t come to Earth alone, oh no. Accompanying Lucifer is his own little demon from hell, expert torturer and lover of all things sexy and violent, Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) or ‘Maze’ for short. She appears throughout season 1 and 2 and makes a few appearances in the first half of series 3 but she’s mostly absent. Mazikeen is a bartender at LUX for series 1 and moves in with Decker in series 2. Also in series 2, she gets a job as a bounty hunter as she was ‘inappropriate’ for any other positions.
All the way through the first series, Lucifer is pursued by one of his many brothers, Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) who tries to convince him to go back to Hell as there is no one running it. Lucifer consistently refuses the offer and this kicks off the main plot tread of Season 1 and it does include Decker.
Season 1 is pumped full of information to make way for the wasteland that is the majority of Season 2. A few episodes in, Lucifer tries to convince Decker that is the devil and therefore invulnerable. He does this by convincing her to shoot him. After taking a bullet to the right thigh, Lucifer discovers that the wound actually hurts and his bleeding. This worries both him and Mazikeen as he’s convinced that staying on Earth has made him vulnerable. However, a little later on it’s revealed that Lucifer is only vulnerable when he is in the presence of Decker but there is one plot hole that I think the writers thought would go unnoticed and is never explained. In the pilot episode (as mentioned above) Lucifer is shot several times in the presence of Decker and he escapes unhurt. One might argue that maybe Decker’s effect took some time to effect but earlier on in the pilot, he tries his little ‘desire’ trick and it doesn’t work. Something to think about.
Chloe Decker herself is a major part of the show in terms of story and substance so I’m just a little confused as to why her character isn’t a little more interesting. I mean a lot more. She’s a very boring character. Not to the point of irritation and her uninspiring nature is pointed out by some of the other characters. As for her background, there are normally two traits that are used when writing a main character for a cop show. Either the character has a dead family member or it’s a case that went bad. Chloe Decker transcends the formula and has both. Her father who was also a police officer was killed when she was a teenager and she was involved in a case in which she accused a fellow officer of being corrupt. The officer in question, Malcolm Graham (Kevin Rankin), was gunned down and left in a coma. This case excluded her from the rest of the department. Her only backer is her ex-husband and colleague, Dan Espinoza (Kevin Alejandro). He is also the father of their daughter, Trixie (Scarlett Estevez).
When the decision is made to take Malcolm off life support, Amenadiel steps in and brings him back to life with one goal. Malcolm has to kill Lucifer. Season 1 comes to a head when Decker watches Malcolm shoot Lucifer. As he lays dying, Lucifer asks God for one favour, to save Chloe. After a brief trek through Hell, Lucifer then comes back to life and confronts Malcolm where he is shot dead by Chloe. At the end of the season, Lucifer reveals to his new pal, Amenadiel, that their mother has escaped from Hell. Well, that’s Season 1 wrapped up.
Season 2 starts and Lucifer and Amenadiel are looking for their mother who must have taken over a body of someone who was recently deceased. Mum shows up at LUX in the body of Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer). Known as ‘The Goddess’, she is partly responsible for the creation of the universe and it’s hinted that it was due to her and God having sex. Apparently whilst God was obsessing over his little side project, ‘humanity’, he wasn’t being a very good husband and so Mum tried to have humanity wiped out. Now she’s stuck on Earth and the majority of the season is spent trying to convince Amenadiel and Lucifer to find a way to get back into Heaven. Amenadiel can’t just get back into Heaven as God took away his wings and his powers as a punishment for being a naughty boy in Season 1.
In the meantime, Lucifer’s other brother, Uriel (Michael Imperioli), shows up and when he threatens Decker’s life, Lucifer kills him. This action mortifies Lucifer and he spends the next episode in a drunken stupor, believing that he should be punished for what he’s done.
As the series continues, Mum becomes more and more unhinged as she’s forced to keep up the identity as Charlotte Richards so no-one suspects that she’s missing. But meanwhile, there’s something else happening.
It was obvious right from the start that the relationship between Lucifer and Decker would be a ‘will they, won’t they, but you know they will’ kind of relationship which has been done to death in American television and everyone wishes that the characters would just fuck and get it over with. Well Lucifer had the same idea as he spends the majority of Season 1 trying to seduce Decker, even going so far as to stand in front of her completely naked as he believes he’s so irresistible that she couldn’t possibly say ‘no’. But she does say no. Season 2 had other plans. Lucifer begins to wonder if maybe he could have what it takes to be her boyfriend. Towards the end of the Season, Lucifer tells Decker that he is giving up any possibility of a relationship with her because she deserves someone better than him. In response, she kisses him. Of course, Lucifer is over the moon but comes crashing back down when his Mum and Mazikeen tell him a little family secret.
Chloe’s mother could not have children so 35 years ago, Amenadiel was sent down to Earth by God to give the Decker’s a present, a child. Chloe was born and she is a ‘blessed’ human, giving a reason as to why she makes Lucifer vulnerable, in more ways than one. Lucifer angrily confronts Chloe but once again, something else is happening. In their previous case, Lucifer and Chloe investigated a series of poisonings by a mad doctor. The doctor was vilified after he was in a car accident and instead of saving the driver, he saved a paper he had been working on making him a social pariah. He would poison a student at a university and give another influential person a choice. They can leave the student to die or mutilate themselves by cutting their face or destroying their hand. If they comply, the antidote will be sent to them and the student will be saved. The idea being that if given the choice, anyone would save themselves. Each poison is different and therefore the anti-dote is different. When cornered, the scientist reveals that there is no formula written down, ‘only in his head’ and then he kills himself.
Chloe is poisoned and the clock is ticking. The have the ingredients for the antidote but they don’t what quantities to give Chloe so Lucifer decides that with Dr Linda and Mazikeen’s help, he will kill himself, travel down to Hell, find the doctor, get the recipe anti-dote, and be brought back to life. Lucifer is successful and Chloe is saved. However, their potential relationship is put on hold by the goings on in the very next episode.
Here’s a thought. It’s never explained why the fact that Chloe was put on Earth by God was such a bad thing. I kept thinking that it doesn’t matter, who cares? Go for it. It’s obvious that they are meant to be together and he clearly adores and she can’t stop thinking about him so just do it already!
Anyway, back to Mum. Turns out, there is a ticking clock on how Mummy can be on Earth. Her powers are returning to her quickly and her fragile human body won’t be able to contain them. They figure out that they can cut through the Gates of Heaven using a special sword that I forget the name of and can’t be arsed looking up. After she almost kills Dr Linda with her powers, Lucifer decides that sending Mum back to Heaven would start a war that would only end up in more casualties so after a quick goodbye, Lucifer sends her into the void where she can start her own universe.
Season 2 ends with Lucifer promising Chloe via phone that he will tell her who he really is, only to be knocked unconscious. Lucifer comes to in the desert, his body covered in sun blisters and with a few new additions. Lucifer’s wings have returned.
Season 3 rolls around and Lucifer is trying to get adjusted to his new wings. And by ‘adjusted’ I mean cutting them off, again. But every time he cuts them off, they re-appear. Lucifer gets a name for the man who dumped him in the desert, ‘The Sinnerman’, a supposed criminal mastermind. Chloe is sceptical as there is no evidence that the Sinnerman was involved. LT Marcus Pierce (Tom Welling) begs to differ. Only 10 episodes of Season 3 have been released and the overarching plot of the Sinnerman seemingly gets wrapped up on Episode 10. But at the end of Episode 10, another revelation comes forward. Marcus Pierce is not Marcus Pierce at all, but ‘Cain’, the first murderer who was given immortality by God as punishment. What kind of a punishment God was hoping that would be? I don’t know. What is a bit more confusing is the re-appearance of Charlotte Richards. Now ‘Mum-free’, she helps out the LAPD with some cases because she’s a lawyer and I can’t remember if I already mentioned that. She’s a lawyer. I’m just wondering why she’s still here? Her little bit ended in Season 2. It just feels like the writers are scrambling around, trying to get her some screen time. There is one episode in Season 3 where Charlotte comes to Lucifer to try and get back her lost time from when she was ‘Mum’ and that was an alright episode but the rest of the time, it’s just strange to see her there when I feel like her bits are all wrapped up.
I think I may have found another plot hole. Amenadiel’s powers, along with his wings, degrade slowly until they’re fully gone. But, Lucifer cut his wings off and he is still invulnerable, can do the ‘desire’
thing and is super strong when he’s not around Chloe. What’s the difference? Does it make a difference if you cut your wings off rather than being punished? Presumably, God wanted to punish Lucifer so why not just take away his powers? You know, the very abilities that allow him to bounce around on top of beautiful women and men non-stop? I suppose you could argue that Chloe is his weakness and she was sent by God.
The rest of the season is still outstanding so I won’t go into any more detail about Season 3 than the above. That’s everything so far but I have left out some other plot points in case anyone does want to see which kind of wrecks the whole spoiler warning thing above but who gives a fuck? I’ve got a busy day.
What I will say is that it’s clear that the main draw is Lucifer himself (what with the show being named after him). There are some unanswered questions the main one being, ‘How and why did Lucifer get his wings back?’. Plus, I would like to see Lucifer reveal his identity to Chloe, I mean surely angel wings must be nicer to look at than his devil face?
We know that Lucifer’s depiction of Hell is that everyone whose sent there is placed there by their own guilt and so they have to relive their guiltiest moments over and over again. When Lucifer goes to hell to find the doctor, the bad man has to relive the car crash where he left that poor bastard to burn to death. But when Lucifer revisits his own personal hell, he forced to kill Uriel over and over again.
I would say so far that my favourite episode so far would be Season 3 Episode 7 ‘Off the Record’ which centres around Dr Linda’s estranged husband. Reese Getty (Patrick Fabian) wakes up in hospital, goes home and discovers Lucifer coming out of his house have presumably just shagged his wife. Because he’s a reporter, he decides to do an article of Lucifer, telling the world what a cock he is and in the midst of a murder inquiry, he sees Lucifer’s devil face (which the audience thinks that he has lost). Reese becomes obsessed with Lucifer and goes to the lengths of shooting Lucifer in front of Dr Linda to prove that he’s the devil, unaware that Dr Linda already knows and considers him a friend. Reese decides it’s time to kill Lucifer and knows that he’s vulnerable with Chloe around. So he gathers them both in LUX and watches the wanted murderer slips something into Lucifer’s drink. Lucifer doesn’t drink it, another party-goer does and she immediately dies. Reese is racked with guilt and is then himself poisoned by the murderer who is caught by Chloe. Reese closes his eyes and wakes up to the same scene we saw at the beginning, revealing that he is in his own personal Hell and he is in fact, dead. I thought that was a nice twist and at the very least worthy of a mention.
For what it’s worth, I really enjoy Lucifer and it is genuinely entertaining. It’s a little bit dirty and a little bit quirky and at least is trying. Of course there were mad people who tried to get it banned when it first aired due to the portrayal of Lucifer as a ‘caring, likeable person in human flesh’. Almost 135,000 people signed a petition to get Lucifer off the air and no one listened to them. HA! If you don’t want to watch something, then don’t watch it. It’s that simple. Don’t try and get stuff taken down because then you’ll just upset one lonely, independent critic.
The rest of the series starts TONIGHT on TV but I don’t know when it’s coming out on Prime. I’ll do my best to keep you all updated with a new review of Lucifer every week. I’m also going to try and do reviews of movies from this year on top of keeping up with my ‘Reviewing of a Cult Classic’ side project probably continuing with the next ‘Child’s Play’ film. As well, I’m going to be continuing my gaming channel, see my Devinelogic555 Gaming Facebook page for more details on what’s coming next. That’s my new years resolution. And to finish my book. Who knows when that will happen.
Happy New Year!