One year ago, Fox cancelled Lucifer, a show about the Devil solving murders and running a nightclub in the City of Angels. It’s an interesting premise, evolved from its comic book source material. Luckily for fans, a month after Fox’s cancellation, Netflix swooped in and resurrected the show. Now, to quote the season four tagline, he is risen.
The Netflix-produced fourth season runs ten episodes. I’ve watched the first four so far, and I’m here to give you the rundown.
Mild spoilers are contained below…
The season premiere, titled “Everything’s Okay,” picks up one month after the season three finale, in which Chloe Decker finally discovered that Lucifer has been telling her the truth since day one of their partnership and that he is, in fact, the Devil. But sadly, everything is not really okay as we learn that Chloe fled to Rome with her daughter, Trixie, for a vacation that she largely spent researching Lucifer’s past in the Vatican library. It’s here that she meets one of the season’s new additions to the cast: Father Will Kinley (Preacher’s Graham McTavish).
German, as the stoic LAPD detective, has always been the show’s unsung MVP, but in this season’s early episodes, where she gets to let loose and breakdown in ways her character never has before, she brings one of the best performances to the table that I’ve seen in a really long time. Episode two largely finds Chloe straddling two worlds, being forced to reconcile the Lucifer that she has come to know over the past three years with the Lucifer that “every story of good and bad from throughout history, throughout time says” is “the embodiment of evil.” Her performance is subtle, and yet still somehow raw. It’s magnificent.
It is episode three, though, where German really gets to shine. In a scene that almost closes the episode, her and Lucifer stop dancing around the topic and put all of their cards on the table. German shows off a brilliant range across the scene’s three minutes, from the shame she feels when she admits she was helping Kinley try to send Lucifer back to hell to her pure fear when she bellows “Because I’m terrified!” when Lucifer asks her how she could do that to him, then to love and sadness. It’s the kind of performance that’s truly deserving of awards.
Lucifer himself is not to be discounted here either. Ellis knows his character inside and out, and every moment we get to spend with Lucifer feels authentic and relevant. There isn’t a moment out of place, right down to the raising of an eyebrow that doesn’t feel like it belongs. And his scenes with German crackle with a new intensity that I’ve been eagerly anticipating since “A Devil of My Word” aired in 2018.
Going back to Kinley, he brings an interesting facet to the show. In a show featuring the Devil as the protagonist, in a way, it feels surprising that it took four seasons to get a priest to show up as the central villain. And Kinley, an investigator for the Vatican who believes in a prophecy that says the end of the world will come when the Devil returns to Earth and finds his first love, beats around no bushes before making it apparent that he is a villain. Showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich have said that nothing on the show is as they appear, so maybe something will develop with Kinley in the back half of the season, but for now, it’s fun having such a clear-cut villain, something that even Marcus Pearce/Cain wasn’t back in season three.
Speaking of that first love described by Kinley’s prophecy, she shows up this season, too. Eve arrives in the final scene of episode three before getting to have all kinds of fun as “Heaven’s First Lady” in episode four. She has found some way to escape Heaven and come to Earth to find Lucifer, the only man who has ever bothered to ask her what she wants out of life. Lavi brings a childlike wonder to Eve as she tries an appletini, parties on the dance floor during a bar fight, and ball taps a murderer, while trying to recover a stolen diamond necklace with Lucifer.
The two weak links in the cast so far seem to remain Chloe and Lucifer’s partners in crimefighting: Dan and Ella. While I love both actors, they aren’t given a lot to do here, except be a dick in Alejandro’s case and complain in Garcia’s. We’re given reasons for their behavior, namely the deaths of Charlotte Richards and Pearce, but the constant one-note performance is just that.
For those afraid the show might not be the show you loved on Fox, Ellis and the team were very cognizant of that, despite operating within Netflix’s freer boundaries. The show is not any darker particularly or bloodier or more vulgar. Cursing is kept largely to a minimum and the only notable sequence of blood and gore comes in episode three when the killer escapes arrest by impaling himself through the face on a nearby spike.
All in all, I’m happy to report that Lucifer fits right at home on Netflix. The show is as good as it ever was, if not better. Here’s hoping Netflix sees fit to give us more episodes because, although I still have six to go, that’s not gonna be nearly enough to satiate me.
Lucifer rises from Fox’s ashes on Netflix with 4-out-of-5 deals with the Devil.