Most shows on TV have a romance. Whether it be the main draw of the show or not, TV is usually good at understanding the fact that we, as humans, crave a connection, and if they want us to root for the fictional characters we are presented with, the easiest way to do that is …well, making us care about their relationships.
Romance is a big part of that.
It’s not the only part, of course. There are plenty of enjoyable shows that center on platonic relationships: be it familial relationships or friendships. But romance is still one of the easiest ways to get viewers to connect to your characters.
Most of us, after all, crave romance.
That doesn’t mean that TV is actually good at writing romances, though. In fact, I’d say that most of the relationships – the OTPs – we root for, are more about external factors than about a group of writers’ understanding what they have and writing towards it. Mulder and Scully was something Chris Carter actively avoided. The Moonlighting Curse is a curse for a reason. And who hasn’t been caught loving a will-they-won’t-they relationship?
But fluke is not the Lucifer way, in any respect.
Unlike the shows I mentioned before, or even shows who capitalized on chemistry but always prioritized drama over good writing (looking at you, Arrow), Lucifer has always understood that to write a believable, compelling relationship, you first have to separately develop the two characters that make up the couple.
Plus, you have to be writing towards something.
Not to say Lucifer is the perfect show – I’m on record as saying the number of episodes in season 3 hurt the show and I’m not fan of the whole story-line with Pierce/Chloe, but even in the moments when I felt the show wasn’t fulfilling its potential, it always felt like they knew what they were writing towards.
They knew where they were going.
It all started in season 1, with the setup of a relationship that started very much antagonistically, but that soon allowed these two characters to show their best selves. It wasn’t about the romance then, it can never be about the romance so quickly if you want the OTP to work, it was about these two people figuring out that what they had together was worth more than just a fling.
They allowed that to grow, organically. They weren’t rushing; there was no set point where these two characters had to get together. But they also weren’t writing against it, weren’t throwing silly obstacle after silly obstacle at Deckerstar. Instead, their relationship just …progressed.
Shows about partners falling in love are a dime a dozen. But in those shows we usually have a heavy dose of denial, from one or both parties – denial that’s usually rooted in this antiquated idea that viewers don’t want to see two characters in a happy, loving relationship. In Lucifer, however, the thing that kept Deckerstar apart was never ignorance of what they felt – it was the world, who they were and, of course, the circumstances.
There was a journey needed, yes, but it wasn’t a journey to figure out they were physically attracted to each other: for Lucifer that was obvious instantly, and Chloe wasn’t that far behind, despite all her numerous protests to the contrary.
It wasn’t a journey to figure out they trusted each other, that came pretty quickly too, aided by good writing and a case or two. In fact, it wasn’t even a journey towards loving each other; it was more a journey towards accepting who they were as people, realizing what the feelings they had meant and, of course, accepting their magnitude and figuring out what it meant for an angel to be in love with a human.
As we all know, this part of the journey isn’t over. Lucifer has yet to verbalize his feelings – though he was trying when Dad interrupted – and we haven’t even touched upon the dreaded what next? How can an angel and a human make a life together? But the fact that we are here, and we are in a position to tackle those questions going into 5B means the show did everything that came before just right.
It means we believe that Chloe Decker, detective, mother, partner to Lucifer Mornigstar, the kind of woman who figured out Michael in 0.2 seconds and then went and got proof of her suspicions, the one who has trusted Lucifer even when he didn’t deserve it, and who has proven she sees him, fully, completely, and loves him for all that he is and will ever be, is truly the heroine of this tale.
It means we believe that Lucifer Morningstar, the devil we were taught was the origin of all evil, is much more than the stories we heard about him. He’s a man who makes mistakes, a man who doesn’t understand what’s going on inside him, and rarely understands others, but a man who tries, a man who seeks help when he needs it, and more importantly, a man who loves, truly, deeply.
And more importantly, it means we believe that, together, Lucifer and Chloe are the best versions of themselves they can be. That’s why we root for them. That’s why we continue to ask for more content, why we analyze every second we get. Because we love these characters as individuals, and together, they are better.
That’s the kind of love we want to see on our TV screens. Not the kind that cures all just by existing – because that’s just not real, but the kind that gives people tools to better navigate the world. The kind that is about support, and trust, and never-ending faith. The kind that means that, no matter what, you will never have to face the ups and downs of life alone.
You know, the Deckerstar kind.
Lucifer is available to stream on Netflix.