Even before it arrives on Netflix on Friday, August 21st, Season Five of Netflix's Lucifer has been a wild ride. What was supposed to be a 10-episode final season turned into a 16-episode penultimate season, as the series has been renewed for a sixth and truly final season. It's the kind of wild ride that may make viewers wonder if the season will live up to their expectations as well as the quality that previous seasons have had, but Lucifer fans have nothing to fear from the Devil Himself. Season Five -- or at least the first eight episodes of the two-part season -- is delightful, devilish, and engaging.
Fans of Lucifer will immediately notice a sense of things being "off" in the first episode of the season and for good reason. The end of Season Four saw Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) return to Hell, leaving Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) -- who had just admitted her love for him -- behind on Earth. Lucifer's absence sets everyone off their game, including Lucifer himself who is pretty sad down in Hell. But, in typical Lucifer style, things start rolling pretty quickly. As the trailer for the season already revealed, Lucifer's twin brother Michael (also played by Ellis) shows up with an ax to grind.
This sets the stage for the overall conflict of the season and, as conflicts go, it's a solid one, though at times it feels a little thin. Family drama is, after all, very much a theme for Lucifer but Michael doesn't really feel menacing enough, though that's certainly not due to a lack of Ellis' acting skills. Ellis does a fantastic -- if not funnier than it should be -- job of playing Michael, complete with a mostly convincing and entirely jarring American accent, doing an especially strong job playing Michael pretending to be Lucifer.
The show also does a fantastic job of continuing its procedural element as well, giving Chloe some interesting cases to work through and, while some of the insights those cases offer are a little too on the nose here and there, Lucifer has never been a series about subtlety. Season Five leans into that and even has a bit of fun at its own expense with an episode that takes Lucifer and Chloe to investigate a murder on the Warner Bros. Television lot. The season also delivers something truly fantastic with the much-anticipated "noir" episode "It Never Ends Well for the Chicken" that isn't just visually a beautiful bit of television, but offers so much character insight and history for Lucifer and Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) all wrapped up in a charming Princess Bride storytelling device that it might be a series best.
There are a few weaknesses to the season overall, however. Other than the mechanics of Lucifer's family drama feeling just a little too played out here and there, Chloe's fragility and insecurity at times almost feel like the character hasn't really grown much while, at other times, it feels like things swing too far in the opposite direction. There's also some turns for Mazikeen that feel like a loss of all of Season Four's character development for her and, while this isn't technically a weakness because it's actually quite well done, there's a twist for Ella (Aimee Garcia) that may not make some viewers very happy just because, well, it's Ella.
The first half of Lucifer's fifth season offers up more of the same drama, comedy, and emotional weight that fans of the series have come to love and proves that the fantastic fourth season of the series -- its first on Netflix -- was no fluke. While it is at times simply more of the same, there are twists, turns, reveals, and yes, even the appearance of God (Dennis Haysbert) that satisfy and challenge the viewer without sacrificing even an ounce of its devilish sass.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Lucifer Season Five debuts Friday, August 21st on Netflix.