Lucifer: Season 2
It is only natural that sooner or later a person will get tired of the monotony of their job. Normally a vacation might be just the thing to revive waning interest. However, when the person experiencing that malaise happens to be Satan, the Devil, the situation quickly becomes extremely complicated. That strange set of circumstances is the premise for a television series on the Fox broadcast network, ‘Lucifer.' For a show with such an unusual premise, it is easy to imagine the myriad of things that can go wrong. Fortunately for discerning fans of the unusual not only were they expertly avoided but the result is far better than many supernaturally driven shows. There are many reasons for this, but the most substantial are the synergistic chemistry of the eclectic cast. The series underplays the supernatural aspects intrinsically bound to the plot driving the story with relationship issues. Everyone can readily relate to the family conflict that we all endure in one form or another. When sibling rivalry is between angelic members of the heavenly host, the situations tend to escalate beyond the usual drunken arguments over holiday dinner. The variations on familiar themes are conducive to a blending of genres that always manages to keep the proceedings fresh, novel and highly entertaining. The foundation of the series is one of the most enduring and venerable genres on television, the police procedural. I doubt that a single season has passed in the last sixty years that didn’t contain at least one cop drama. Over this time an incredible degree of variation has been infused into a fundamentally straightforward format that more than once supernatural plot contrivances were introduced. As a member of the baby boomer generation, we grew up watching these series on a regular basis. Few have approached the intermingling of a crime drama with deliciously wicked dark humor. Typical of a sophomore outing the cast was augmented with new characters
Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), has been enjoying his hiatus from ruling Hell for over a year. Freed from his assigned job function, Lucifer found purpose in working as an individual civilian consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department alongside Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). His relationship with Ms. Decker has surprised him breaking an eternity of jaded disassociation by stirring a feeling of concern, unknown to him but already revealed to the viewers, the relationship between them has an unusual side effect when in proximity to Chloe he is mortal, capable of being injured or killed. This vulnerability was crucial in the first season but underplayed in season two. The subtle nuances this introduces is a demonstration of the overall craftsmanship inherent in this series. It is useful in offsetting the flamboyant nature of the new addition to the cast. Lucifer’s life has become increasingly complicated since partnering with Chloe. Even the influence of her young daughter, Trixie (Scarlett Estevez). Her combination of innocence and high-spirited enthusiasm is so infectious that it has softened his overall nature. Being associated with this tiny human also altered the brutally hardcore nature of a demon, Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt). Maze still enjoys fighting and torture but now makes time for an occasional girl’s night out with Lucifer’s psychiatrist, Dr. Linda Martin (Rachel Harris) and crime scene investigator, Ella Lopez (Aimee Garcia). Three such completely different personalities. It is a situation that brings the ‘Odd Couple’ formula to an extreme.
The significant change instituted this season was bringing in Lucifer’s mother, Goddess (Tricia Helfer). In the absence of Lucifer overseeing Hell, she could escape her prison. On earth, she inhabited the body of a wealthy LA Lawyer, Charlotte. This permitted storylines that allowed her to become involved in some high-profile cases. Ms. Helfer is best known for her iconic portrayal of the cyborg ‘Number Six’ on Battlestar Galactica.' In this role, she dominates the screen with every appearance projecting the ideal mix of casual deadly threats and dark humor derived from her nonchalant attitude towards murder. She is close to giddy when about to murder Chloe with as pipe bomb under the detective’s car. A person might expect more sympathy from the mother of creation, but Charlotte possesses none. She is fiercely protective of her children and was quite upset when Lucifer killed his brother, Uriel (Michael Imperioli) when he came to earth to kill Chloe and return Lucifer to Hell. The only sibling that demonstrates a modicum of concern for Lucifer is Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside). Considered one of God’s favorites, who was chosen by ‘Father,' for a uniquely special assignment. That task would be the season’s big reveal and directly explains the secret relationship between Lucifer and Chloe. Amenadiel does his best to rein in Lucifer from his outrageous behavior. Under this he becomes involved in his brother’s therapist Dr. Martin, initially deceiving him by posing as a fellow therapist.
This series could easily have spiraled into a predictable spoof of the genre except for the careful crafting and the expression of considerable talent on both sides of the camera. Most importantly is the expertise infused into maintaining a balance between the episodic cases that define the show as a police procedural and the emotionally based threads that bind the episodes, and by extension, the entire series together. The highlights of any given episode occur when Mr. Ellis fully embodies the almost childlike glee in witnessing firsthand the propensity for evil that resides in most of the humanity. One episode that demonstrated the entertaining value of this involved a case where Chloe and Lucifer are on the trail of a serial killer. The modus operandi of the killer involves torturing his victims. Lucifer sees this as an attempt to displace him as the deliverer of divine justice. He always considered his responsibility of rooting out sinful conduct and meeting out appropriate justice, as his defining characteristic. His preternatural ability to force people to confess their deepest, darkest desires, proves to be useful when working a case with Chloe. The demonstration of such unusual abilities appears to work in favor of people accepting his outrageous claims of being the devil. It does require a degree of suspension of belief to accept the almost blind reception of the characters in his ridiculous claims. The brief rationale is simple, without that reaction there would not be a show.
Frequently, a sophomore season is seen by the showrunners as a desperate attempt to apply necessary course correction to prevent cancellation. The difference here is this series was not in jeopardy of being canned. The creative people behind this show could concentrate on progressing the story and further develop the eccentricities of the characters. The mythos that serves as the foundation is expanded to encompass divine artifacts including a heavenly sword and the powerful influence exerted by angelic wings. At this point, both Lucifer and Amenadiel are without their feathery appendages. As the brothers deal with the loss and plot regaining the wings, the other characters progress along their distinct pathways. Maze had been the bartender at Lux, Lucifer’s exclusive nightclub, so the demon gravitates to a profession that permits her to hunt human beings. A bounty hunter. It is a natural fit although Maze is disconcerted that extremes in torture methodology and killing her prey is heavily frowned upon. The third season has been approved and is scheduled to begin shortly. The legion of fan, myself included, anxiously await this moment.