Lucifer: Season 2 — a review

LuciferS2

A coworker told me that she watched some of the first season of Lucifer, and she liked it, but stopped watching it because her husband said the show was Anti-Christian, portraying Satan as a hero. He suggested that watching the series could make God angry at her.

My wife doesn’t watch a lot of the shows I like to watch because she has trouble suspending her disbelief. She prefers true-crime series and reality shows (which I suspect are largely fictional as well). She finds a lot of fiction—and especially fiction of the fantastic or bizarre—unbelievable. I understand and respect this. Many times I’ve offered the advice that, to enjoy some things, you must be willing to suspend your disbelief, to turn off that critical part of your brain that refuses to accept the impossible. I couldn’t watch shows about superheroes, monsters or zombies if this wasn’t a skill that came naturally to me. In fact, I prefer to suspend my disbelief. Otherwise, I’d watch nothing but documentaries, NFL games and American Ninja Warrior.

The series Lucifer puts me in the unique position of offering similar, but different, advice.

When watching this show, you have to be willing to suspend your beliefs.

Assuming you have any, of course. If you’re an atheist, or have a non-Judeo-Christian faith, you probably have no more trouble seeing this as fictional storytelling than you have watching a movie featuring Thor and Odin. The religion of other people is more easily dismissed as mythology. We get touchy about our own faiths.

I identify as Christian myself. I’m not a fanatic about it, and I’m probably not as good a Christian as I could be, but in the still dark hours of the night I still have an abiding faith that I don’t think contradicts logic and reason. I dislike rabid atheists as much as I dislike rabid Bible-thumpers.

I also don’t have a problem with the series Lucifer, which I realize—using logic and reason, two of our God-granted abilities—was created, written, directed and acted by mortal human beings. It would have to be the slowest news day on record for God to take the time to be angry at me for watching, and liking, this show. And I do, you know. Like it, I mean.

I think if my coworker continued to watch through the second season, her husband might have had to summon an exorcist. Season 2 pushes the envelope on what was already questionable theology by introducing Lucifer and Amenadiel’s mother.

Yes, in the mythology of this show God actually had a wife, who was the Goddess of Creation. I’m not sure if this was ever a thing in the Apocrypha or any of the Dead Sea scrolls. I never learned that there was a Mother of All Creation in Sunday school. There was the Holy Mother of God, of course, Jesus’s mother the Blessed Virgin. But not a Goddess who was mother to the Heavenly Host. And this Goddess—again, according to the series Lucifer—was estranged from God, actually cast down into Hell for eternal punishment. This implies that the divine marriage had experienced a rough patch.

Any or all of this is probably enough to send the fervently devout running for their protest signs and the nearest group of like-minded marchers. For someone like me, it reinforced that this was a work of fiction, meant to be enjoyed as such, and actually added to my enjoyment of the series.

You’re probably going to have trouble believing me, but until now I didn’t realize this series was based on a comic book set in the DC/Vertigo universe. In essence, a spinoff character from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, Lucifer had his own solo run of 75 issues, written entirely by Mike Carey. Carey’s Lucifer ran a piano bar named “Lux” in Los Angeles, along with his mistress, Mazikeen, who is a Lilim, one of the race descended from Lilith. The comic book Lucifer Morningstar is portrayed as a sophisticated, charming man who prides himself on his refusal to tell lies. Amenadiel is also in the comic. Sounds a lot like the series, doesn’t it?

While I’m sure the comic book is entertaining, I’ll probably never read it. Just as it’s unlikely that I’ll ever read the iZombie comic. In this case, I prefer to judge the series based on its own merits.

You already know I like the series, so I’ve already failed to keep you in suspense. In Season 2, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) and Chloe Decker (Lauren German) remain as impossibly beautiful as they were in the freshman season. Both actors get to shine even brighter this time around. Ellis’s Lucifer is undeniably charming and funny, but the actor doesn’t shy away from portraying the King of Hell’s dangerous edge. This actor’s obvious range makes me wonder why Ellis hasn’t been tapped to play James Bond yet. Meanwhile, German gets to imbue Detective Decker with a bit more depth. She still believes that Lucifer is delusional, but their initial on-screen chemistry seems to continue to grow, while Decker’s role as mother to Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) and ex-wife to Dan Espinoza (Kevin Alejandro) are also further explored. I can’t stop there. Decker has also developed an unlikely, but believable, friendship with Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) and Dr. Linda Martin (Rachel Harris), and those two characters are also more fully developed, as are Dan “Det. Douche” Espinoza and Lucifer’s brother Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside).

With such a talented and attractive cast, you would think it would be difficult to introduce engaging new characters to the show. And you would, of course, be wrong. Aimee Garcia, as CSI Ella Lopez, managed to convince me that she had been a part of the ensemble since the beginning of the series. Her character was certainly needed: not only the stereotypical CSI representative on a detective procedural but also the first overtly Christian character in a series about the Devil. That she is believably witty and interesting is a bonus.

Likewise, Tricia Helfer joins the cast this season as Charlotte, the human vessel for Lucifer and Amenadiel’s mother. As any self-respecting nerd would know, Helfer was Number Six on the Ronald D. Moore reboot of Battlestar Galactica. She’s still beautiful, of course, and the perfect choice to portray the Goddess of Creation. She makes a perfect foil for Lucifer and leaves you guessing about her motives all the way to the end of the season.

There are 18 episodes in this season, compared to 13 in the first. I do believe this resulted in more murder-of-the-week filler episodes. But, the stronger mythology developed in the season helped to bolster the quality of the end product overall. I won’t spoil the season-long story arc for you, but I will tell you that it involves the reassembly of the once-flaming sword that used to guard Eden and Charlotte’s desire to return to Heaven. Along the way, we meet someone who believes himself to be God, Lucifer gets married, returns to Hell briefly, and nearly drives Dr. Linda insane. In the on-going “Will They or Won’t They?” plot, it seems like Lucifer and Chloe will, but the writers wisely continue to tease the viewer. Lucifer plans to reveal his true nature to Chloe during the finale, but, as the saying goes, when you make plans, God laughs.

This series has been a fun ride so far. I think I’m going to stay on until the end. Which is coming, you know.

Firewater’s Fire-and-Brimstone Report Card: A+

AplusImage

I’m not saying it’s the perfect television series, but it is horns, head and shoulders above most.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.