Lucifer Season 5 Advanced Review: Fanfic with Plot

Lucifer season 5, part 1 is the best this show has been, and the best this show has been ranks it among the best shows on TV. No qualifiers, no genre distinction, no nuance involved in this declaration. To me, Lucifer is just one of the best shows on TV (or streaming) today. Period.

Big words, I know, but I’m pretty confident that if you don’t believe me now, you absolutely will in two days, when you all get to experience the magnificent season I’ve had to hold in my feelings about for three weeks.

And then maybe you’ll appreciate the level of torture that’s been my life since I first binge watched these screeners.

It’s like this …why do we love fanfic? Because fanfic gives us the fluff, the connection, the little moments that tie into other things. Fanfic is all about fans paying attention to the little things and then writing about those things. Sometimes it doesn’t have much of a plot, but that doesn’t really matter. That’s not why we love fanfic. That’s not what it’s all about.

Except Lucifer Season 5, part 1 is almost as if someone took a really, really good fanfic, you know, one with the good tags, and then gave it an A+ plot. It’s the kind of season of TV we’ve been conditioned not to expect, because if there’s something any longtime fan of TV knows is that, at some point, most shows will disappoint you.

Maybe Season 3 was Lucifer’s disappointment, and if that was it, then I’ll sign. We will all sign.

Of course, this being a non-spoilery review, I can’t go into what makes this season so good (and I wouldn’t want to – some things you should experience for yourselves), but I can give you some pointers on what to expect from the characters, the relationships, and more importantly, the ending (or shall we say cliffhanger?) of Lucifer Season 5, part 1.

CHARACTER GROWTH

LUCIFER (L to R) LAUREN GERMAN as CHLOE DECKER and D.B. WOODSIDE as AMENADIEL in episode 105 of LUCIFER Cr. JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX © 2020

My favorite thing about this season of Lucifer is the way the characters are all growing in ways that make sense. Character growth is where a show either completely fails or soars, in my opinion, and so much of the problems shows run into have to do with sacrificing characterization over plot – or uneven growth across its characters.

Now, Lucifer is an ensemble show in many ways, but in others, it isn’t. There’s a clear main character, whose journey we’re following, and a clear female lead, who’s not just there to balance him, but to grow herself – so they can both become the kind of characters that we can enjoy together. However, Lucifer has never been the show to sacrifice everyone else for the sake of making its main character(s) shine.

If you ask me, it’s a testament to the writing that it’s never had to. Yes, sometimes we get frustrated at Maze or Dan, two characters who seem to be going in circles in their development, yes we all kinda rolled our eyes at Ella’s repeated Dan mistakes, and yes, Amenadiel and Lucifer’s relationship has made us pull a few hairs out here and there, but growth doesn’t always have to be linear. It just has to be consistent.

And this season, if anything, the seeds for the conclusion of each character arc have been sowed, and all I can say is …wow, what a beautiful view.

DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS

LUCIFER (L to R) TOM ELLIS as LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR and LAUREN GERMAN as CHLOE DECKER in episode 502 of LUCIFER Cr. JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX © 2020

With consistent growth comes the thing we, as viewers, will always relate to more …the relationships between the characters. Lucifer Season 5 takes every relationship in this show, romantic, familial, friendships, farther than they’ve done before, until you feel like you understand not just the characters better, but the way they relate to each other.

Lucifer’s bond with Ella. Amenadiel’s relationship with Charlie. Linda’s relationship with Maze. Chloe’s friendships with both Maze and Ella. Dan’s friendship with Amenadiel …and Lucifer. Lucifer’s relationship with Trixie. And, of course …Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship.

Often it feels like TV shows don’t understand what keeps viewers engaged, why they come back to a show. It’s not about pain for the sake of pain, and it’s not about drama – it’s about a feeling of connection with these fictional people that we have basically adopted into our family, and who we want the best for.

Lucifer Season 5 needs no explanation of why we’re here; in fact, at times it feels like it understands it better than we do ourselves, which is rarer than it should be. Because this isn’t just the show giving us what we want, which hey, we’ll take, it’s the show giving us what we didn’t know we wanted, but once we get it, we realize we absolutely need.

That’s even better.

A STEP FORWARD, FOR EVERYONE

LUCIFER (L to R) LESLEY-ANN BRANDT as MAZE and TOM ELLIS as LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR in episode 108 of LUCIFER Cr. JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX © 2020

This ties into character growth, which is the backbone of good storytelling, but it also ties to a good, interesting plot that’s meticulously planned. When the kind of character growth we want is accompanied by smart writing that doesn’t just respect the characters its created, but understands them better than anyone, then you get what Lucifer Season 5 delivers.

Am I waxing poetic here? I’ve watched a lot of TV lately – as have we all, hello quarantine – and boy, so much of what I’ve watched has led me to appreciate season 5 of Lucifer even more. Because, as I said before, it’s not about pleasing the fans and fulfilling expectations, it’s about going one step farther.

Everything has a purpose – everything you see here, everything you saw before, even the things you thought might have been a step backwards …it’s all leading somewhere. To an ending that isn’t close to what we thought it was, and that might not be set in stone yet, but is starting to look much more defined with every passing day.

And I’ll add this: to an ending I’m pretty sure I will love, because this show, these writers, these performers …they love Lucifer as much as we do, and it absolutely shows in every second of Lucifer Season 5, part 1.

Enjoy the ride, Lucifans. Let’s talk Friday!  

Lucifer Season 5, part 1 will be available on Netflix this Friday, August 21st.

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