All the Ways Lucifer Succeeded in Being Entertaining as Hell in Its First Season

Lauren German, Lesley-Ann Brandt and Tom Ellis on LUCIFER. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Michael Courtney/FOX

Despite our initial misgivings—did we really need another police procedural?—Lucifer won us over fast. In fact, after just two episodes, we were ready to declare it the best supernatural detective show we’d ever seen. Now, with the finale airing tonight, we’re just as excited about the show as ever. Here’s why.


The main characters

The cast is ridiculously perfect-looking, but the actors are also capable of conveying depth when needed. Lucifer’s whole schtick is that he’s chosen Los Angeles over hell because hell is boring and lacks anything resembling a good time, but he’s not as superficial as he seems. All that jokey, self-centered behavior—making just about every case about himself—speaks to Lucifer’s intense personal-identity struggles: who is the Devil, if he’s not running hell? Not to mention the guy has some serious Daddy issues.

Tom Ellis, Lauren German, and guest star Christina Chang on LUCIFER. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Michael Courtney/FOX

The other main character, Chloe, is also kind of a mess. (We know this by her preferred hairstyle, which is a half-tucked “I don’t have time for this shit” ponytail.) She’s separated from her daughter’s father, a situation that’s further complicated by the fact that they work together and because she still has feelings for him. But for all her personal drama, Chloe is deeply serious about her police work. She’s also the audience surrogate when Lucifer does something exasperating, which is often. This is an element the show really needs—without someone like Chloe to point out when he’s being an asshole, Lucifer would be insufferable (and so would Lucifer).


Even the supporting characters act in unexpected ways. Amenadiel the angel has pulled some majorly dirty shit trying to get Lucifer back to hell, including bringing a crooked cop back from the dead to shoot him. And Maze the demon, for all her sexy badassery, has grappled with her loyalty to Lucifer throughout the series. Less fascinating, but fortunately not the cliche he could’ve been, is Chloe’s ex, Dan; though he’s proven capable of hiding some terrible secrets, he’s also genuinely trying to do the right thing for his family.

The weakest link is probably Dr. Linda Martin. This isn’t the fault of actor Rachael Harris, who is great, but her role as Satan’s man-hungry therapist basically confines her to the same room every episode, and only gives her on-the-nose, therapy-speak to work with. At least the profoundly icky, Lucifer-sleeps-with-his-doctor-as-payment thing was done away with mid-season.

Lauren German, Tom Ellis, and Kevin Rankin in LUCIFER. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Michael Courtney/FOX

The cases

The cases are completely silly—a shoe designer with a pet pig tries to frame a rival from his street-art gangster days! Lucifer crashes a seminar for sexist pick-up artists! Lucifer is personally insulted when he encounters a cheesy group of “Satan worshippers”!—but they suited the show’s balance of lightness and darkness. Silly as the circumstances might be, these are homicide cases, and the show took that seriously (though, often, the grieving spouse left behind was later unmasked as the culprit). But no single murder really became the focus of any one episode; Lucifer is more concerned with the meta-narratives that surrounded each event. For instance, a dead security guard led to the discovery that Lucifer’s precious wings had been stolen, which led to the revelation that Amenadiel had stolen them, which led to Lucifer burning them as a grand fuck-you gesture.


The mystery

The show’s central mystery is not Will Amenadiel Get Lucifer Back to Hell, it’s Are Lucifer and Chloe Gonna Hook Up or What? But Lucifer has played with the trope in interesting ways. He (nakedly) hit on her, she (drunkenly) hit on him, but so far nothing has happened. Their relationship is built on more than just the potential that they’ll have sex after solving their latest case. After Lucifer realizes that he’s only mortal while he’s around Chloe, he starts to wonder if she’s been supercharged by some unknown force... or maybe dear old Dad?


Of course, he has more to worry pressing concerns to worry about on tonight’s finale, having been framed for murder last week. Will Lucifer be able to use his charm to get out of this predicament, or will there be a divine intervention? And how will they set up season two? We’ll be watching.

Tom Ellis in LUCIFER. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR:Bettina Strauss/FOX

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