This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 5 Episode 8
“Just to be clear, this is you breaking up with me, right?”
It only took 75 episodes, but dear old Dad finally makes an Earthly appearance in the Lucifer mid-season finale, and hopefully, He’ll be able to suss out the details of Michael’s dastardly plan to bring down Lucifer. Directed by Kevin Alejandro (Daniel Espinoza) “Spoiler Alert” covers plenty of criminal territory, addresses personal grudges, and explores individual fears, but in the end, sends fans into the off-season feeling really good about what they’ve experienced and excited for what’s to come in the back half of season five.
Director Alejandro makes the most of his second stint behind the camera (3×26 “Once Upon a Time”) and manages to evoke an authentic sense of despair in the characters across the board. Lucifer’s agitation once he learns of Chloe’s abduction plays beautifully and for a moment, we forget that he’s not human as he struggles through initial feelings of helplessness. Even though Linda puts Charlie’s fever in perspective, Amenadiel becomes unnerved, and whether we’re parents ourselves, we sense the vulnerability any new father feels. Additionally, this feeling of powerlessness plays nicely against Lucifer’s on again, off again physical vulnerability.
Ironically, the demon Mazikeen remains the most susceptible member of the LAPD family and easily falls prey to Michael’s contention that he knows a way to secure her a soul. As endearing a character as she’s become, this seething anger towards Lucifer because he kept the confidence of her mother Lilith seems extremely misplaced and loses its attraction the further on we go. Still, Lesley-Ann Brandt nails the complexities of this terribly conflicted character. The brilliance of Dan’s reaction to Lucifer’s confrontation lies in the fact that it seamlessly blends humor with the natural terror of a man who finds himself face to face with the Devil.
While Lucifer traditionally follows the conventional standalone case approach, here, the callback to the Whisper Killer serial murders case coupled with Chloe’s abduction revives a fascinating investigation that forces Lucifer to take on roles the detective would ordinarily fulfill. Before we get to that point, however, Chloe’s forced to work on her own since Lucifer’s consumed with exacting revenge against Dan, and her foray onto the DarkNet to research serial killers signals a willingness to go places in an investigation she may have been reluctant to go previously. Character pairings remain an ideal way to keep investigations fresh, and once Chloe goes missing, Lucifer takes the reluctant Miss Lopez into the field with him, setting up a number of storytelling possibilities. You’d think meeting Scotty Thomas and the Killshare Nerd Squad would send Ella into a nerdgasm, and it does to a point, but when the uber confident forensic scientist admits to feeling out of her depth during the field work, it sets up the first of several reveals.
From the moment Pete the reporter enters Ella’s life, it’s been difficult to avoid questioning his motives since he just seems a bit too eager and definitely too nice. So how is it that she misses Pete’s true Lilyman85 identity? We receive clues. “For once, I know a good thing when I see it,” Ella admits at the crime scene, immediately setting off our spidey sense alarms. Ordinarily, we only see her process evidence, so it’s fascinating to watch her snoop in Pete’s apartment when she goes there to pick up the files he offers. Look, we know as soon as she finds his hidden-behind-the-wall secret lair he’s going to unexpectedly return to confront her about his true identity. But Miss Lopez’s got skills, and the next thing we know, old Pete’s in an interrogation room at the precinct. Brilliant.
Stepping out of their comfort zone as well, the writers remove Ella from the comfortable realm of the scientific world, and she questions Pete to find out where he’s stashed the detective as the still estranged Lucifer and Mazikeen observe from the other side of the glass. One of Ella’s ironies lies in the fact that she’s a people person and a hugger, two qualities that don’t generally align with how we view scientists, but she quickly gets to the core of Pete’s psychopathic behavior and the fact that he didn’t kidnap Chloe sending the team back to square one. However, before the search continues, we are left with a few tidbits. He tells her that “there is a darkness in you,” possibly setting up a later storyline when she finally learns Lucifer’s true identity. And how could she resist the classic “Pete, you’re going to burn in Hell.” Fortunately, she couldn’t.
In retrospect, we should have seen this coming, but it is a testament to the writing that with Amenadiel and Linda thriving as they raise baby Charlie, Lucifer and Chloe finally acknowledging their true feelings, and Dan making strides as he recovers from Charlotte’s sudden death, we naturally root for Ella to find someone with whom she can share her life. Will this relationship setback throw her into a funk, or will she choose to focus on the manner in which she responded to this knowledge and the fact that she caught the killer. I vote for the latter.
When all is said and done, hopefully, Dan will recognize the truth behind Chloe’s words in the opening scene. “He’s not what the world makes him out to be; he’s a good person.” Of course, there’s a lot to unpack here, not the least of which is why Dan’s direct hit onto Lucifer’s chest simply bounces off. What makes this detail so compelling is that we’re initially pleased Lucifer has regained one of his powers, that is until we consider the reason behind his return to invulnerability. Has Lucifer made the unconscious decision to pull away from Chloe thereby playing into the fear mongering Michael?
All of which brings us to the final showdown and yet another highly enjoyable, tightly choreographed fight sequence as Michael, Lucifer, Amenadiel, and Maze square off in a celestial battle royale. There’s a lot packed into the final minutes, and Amenadiel’s renewed ability to not only slow time, but stop it, is tied directly to his fears about his son’s health. However, we can’t ignore the feeling that Amenadiel is somewhat disappointed to learn his son is merely human, a detail Michael pounces on immediately. Most interesting is watching Maze try to hold her own against the brothers, and the point at which Lucifer finally appears to have had enough and throws her aside like a ragdoll. Is their relationship repairable?
Well, if anyone can repair the fractured celestial family dynamic, it’s dear old Dad. First though, let’s at least give props to the fantastic visual of the brothers unveiling the plumage that typically stays hidden. Michael in black, Amenadiel in gray, and the Devil, oddly enough in the white wings we’ve come to associate with him. It’s the final straw, and the voice of God booms “That’s enough!” To be honest, I never expected God to make an appearance on the Netflix series, but here we are. I’m not sure there’s a perfect actor showrunners Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson could have chosen to play God, but it’s impossible to argue with the choice of Dennis Haysbert. Forget the increasingly annoying Allstate commercials, Haysbert possesses the deep booming voice and physical presence to put his bickering kids in their place and restore order on Earth. Plus, we might finally learn His reasoning behind the Lucifer/Chloe connection.
We’ve got a lot to look forward to when Lucifer returns for the season’s final eight episodes, and “Spoiler Alert” sets in motion a wealth of character driven material. Does Lucifer really love Chloe? Can Amenadiel accept the fact that Charlie’s human? Does Maze’s obsession over a soul remind anyone else of the Tin Man? And maybe it’s time for Dad to give Michael a new job down under. Just sayin’.