“Lucifer” Season 5 Part B Review: Netflix’s Show Devilishly Blends Procedural, Mythology, Melodrama and Humor

Tom Ellis and Lauren German in the fifth season of “Lucifer.” Photo Courtesy: Netflix

Rating: 7/10

I watch Lucifer, Netflix’s supernatural dramedy about the Devil trading Hell for Los Angeles, for two main reasons: its sharp dialogue and the fact that showrunner Ildy Modrovich challenges herself every season and always delivers some quirkiness. Part A of season five had a black-and-white film noir episode with period costumes. Season 5 Part B, which has eight episodes and drops on Netflix May 28, features a musical episode.

But you can watch Lucifer for many other reasons: as a police procedural with a new murder to solve every episode; as a source of constant pining for Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and LAPD Detective Chloe (Lauren German) to end up together; as a mythology-packed show that features all kinds of biblical characters depicted in the most bizarre and outrageous ways; or simply to see Lucifer in various degrees of undress and Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) clad in impractical but sexy outfits.

Part B starts right where Part A ended: God (Dennis Haysbert) descended on Earth to try to calm his children down. Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) has frozen time, overwhelmed by the idea that his son Charlie is not immortal. And he’s done it just the instant Lucifer was about to tell Chloe that he loves her too. Lucifer’s meddlesome twin brother Michael (Ellis) has turned the demon Maze against Lucifer and Amenadiel, promising to give her a soul. And, basically, chaos has ensued.

A Godly New Character

Dennis Haysbert and Tom Ellis in the fifth season of “Lucifer.” Photo Courtesy: Netflix

Haysbert, who merely had a cameo appearance at the end of Part A, has a very substantial role as Gold this time. He plays the devoted dad of Lucifer and Amenadiel, a dad who cooks divinely and wears cozy cardigans and socks with sandals. His children are not precisely thrilled with the idea of having him around. Haysbert couldn’t look more at ease playing the unassuming almighty being. Divinity suits him the same way playing the U.S. president did in 24.

The father-son sequences between God and Lucifer are some of the most wit-filled ones of the season. “Donuts are here. A triumph of mankind, as I’m sure you’re aware,” Lucifer tells God while showing him around the police station. Luci is also not so happy with the idea of something as “torturous” as a family dinner. “I already spent my time in Hell,” he quips.

In this second part of the season, Lucifer’s mojo is definitely back. He’ll use it here and there in his role as an LAPD consultant. But his detective skills are a bit lacking since he’s clearly way more preoccupied with his own personal life. Like in previous episodes, he always finds ways to spot parallels between the witnesses they’re interrogating and his own quandaries, making everything about himself in his usual, self-centered manner.

The season manages to somehow go back to the “will they or won’t they” between Lucifer and Chloe, even though in Part A they definitely did get together. Lucifer writers seem well aware of the fact that unresolved sexual tension tends to be one of the main components that helps procedurals and romance gel.

A Show Juggling Many Ingredients

D.B. Woodside, Tom Ellis and Lauren German in the fifth season of “Lucifer.” Photo Courtesy: Netflix

The thing is though, there’s so much more to Lucifer than just that relationship angle. Each character in the ensemble has their own troubles. Bubbly Ella (Aimee Garcia) keeps dealing with the consequences of having dated a serial killer in Part A; Linda (Rachael Harris) is devoted to motherhood in all ways and ends up being everyone’s therapist; Dan (Kevin Alejandro) is coping with the discovery of Lucifer being the Devil. Chloe’s ex actually gets to shine in an episode centered around his character. It features a trip to Mexico, the Russian mafia, Amenadiel carrying Daniel in his arms, and a group of improv performers.

The murders veer from the comic to the unlikely. The team needs to investigate a mini golf course, an aquarium, a wine cellar, and a high school’s football field. It’s the sports-themed murder that pairs with the musical episode, with characters singing and dancing to versions of “Wicked Game,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Every Breath You Take” and “Just the Two of Us.”

The reason why people suddenly break into song and dance isn’t gratuitous but well written into the series. And it certainly looks like Lucifer‘s cast not only headed to the gym but also to the dance studio before shooting Part B.

If all that doesn’t sound enticing enough, expect some big appearances from beloved characters this season. But Netflix doesn’t want me to get very specific with one particular and very welcome cameo.

Does it sound like the show is trying to juggle too many elements? Lucifer has always been a light watch for me. It features a group of characters I’ve learned to really like, some quick banter among them and a little murder on the side. But Part B is heavier with a lot of Godly mythology — to the point where some of the murder cases get a bit simplified. If you watch Lucifer more for the whodunnit aspects and less for its supernatural ingredients, you might find big themes — like immortality and the responsibility to rule the universe — a bit overwhelming this season. But you can still enjoy the show for all of its other parts.

And while the series’ constant need to evolve the titular character might be getting a tad out of hand — it tends to happen with series as they get more and more seasons — it doesn’t look like the trend is going to be sustained for much longer. Lucifer has already been renewed by Netflix for a sixth season, but that’ll also be its last.