'Lucifer' season 4: Darker conflicts throw Tom Ellis' devil and detective Chloe apart
The season 4 of 'Lucifer' is a treat for fans who have waited long for their favorite show to come back after they saved it from getting axed
What is the difference between being a devil and being evil? If one had to scroll through pages of history and read about what really happened to Lucifer, it paints a picture of a fallen angel who is not referred to freely as satan and is banished to hell.
The show, 'Lucifer', which is based on the characters penned by Neil Gaiman for the comic book 'The Sandman', is in its fourth season and what they explore is, in essence, the answer to a very simple question: Is the devil essentially evil or do we make him to be one to fit our narrow perspective about what is right and wrong? With the 10 episodes released together on Netflix, the show is much deeper, darker and has conflicts that are emotionally intense.
This is exactly what works in favor of the show, because who can do an emotionally intense yet comedic role better than Tom Ellis at this point? He plays the lead role of Lucifer Morningstar and he brings alive that which fans loved about his persona.
The wry sense of humor that helped him hide his emotional core, something that he had just begun to value and even explore openly in season 3 with the help of Dr. Linda Martin has disappeared because of one single reason - Detective Chloe Decker.
The role portrayed by actor Laura German now knows the truth about Lucifer. She saw his devil face in season 3 when he killed Cane, the world's first murderer. Her reaction to the truth is what sets off a series of events that neither Lucifer nor Chloe can take back.
What the season has got in spades is how it explores the space between being a devil who punishes evil and being evil. For instance, there is a particular scene in the series where Lucifer is angry enough to not just wheedle a criminal into confessing his desires but hurt him for what he has done because the crimes remind Lucifer of the situation he is in.
He is betrayed and his anger is directed towards the criminal, but Lucifer is lucid enough to make out that something is wrong and he pulls back in time. The role that Chloe plays in the mental well-being of Lucifer and vice-versa is something that is portrayed a bit differently than in the previous seasons.
The more devious and murky avenues which Lucifer had stopped pursuing after his association with the detective are now being pursued. And all of this is a backlash to Chloe's answer to a complicated question that Lucifer asks.
The conflict, of course, begins with Chloe's trust in Lucifer or lack thereof after she finds out about him being the devil. At this point, we also understand that there is something bigger at play here this season.
It is not what Lucifer thinks his father wants from him as it was in the first season. It is not about his mother, the Goddess of all the universe wanting to wage a rebellion against God, which happened in the second season and neither is it about the one villain who has been alive since time immemorial.
As we saw Cane appear in the third season. This time it is much more than that with a possibility of an apocalypse if Lucifer were to continue to walk on Earth. Should Chloe save Lucifer or should she be worried about the human race? And what does she really think of Lucifer now that she knows about him?
All of this plays a role in how Lucifer reacts to his first ever lover - his ex-girlfriend Eve - who has arrived on Earth because she is bored of being Adam's wife in Paradise. There isn't much for her to do or freedom for her to be someone and the first person who taught her that she could be anyone she wanted? That was Lucifer.
The beauty here is how Lucifer's attempt at teaching Eve to be herself is addressed as him trying to 'corrupt' Eve. Something that only a devil would do, but on Earth, especially in the current times, this is something that he would be appreciated for. The irony is carried forward to what Lucifer really does as well.
As a man who punishes evil doers and tortures them in the deep bowels of hell, he is stigmatized and is even called evil when all he does is to punish evil. If Lucifer were a man on Earth with a passion for punishing the wrongdoers, someone similar to Chloe, and became a part of law enforcement, he would be celebrated. Hell is, after all, heaven's version of a jail run by the government. Isn't it?
It is also because of this that Lucifer enjoys his day job, that of working with Chloe to find criminals. Now, what happens when an ex-girlfriend drops in unannounced? Lucifer does what he does best - bury his head under the sand hoping things would right themselves and start working out the way he imagined. Of course, Lucifer deciphering his meetings with Dr. Linda Martin in the most unexpected ways is a part of his charm.
The show doesn't just play around with the conservative belief system when it unravels Lucifer's character but also subverts the belief that religious figures are holy. All that is perceived to be true and pure usually is and there is always a smokescreen hidden somewhere. This is true for the smidge of religious extremism that is projected on the show.
While Lucifer and Chloe battle through their struggles, the other characters, especially Mazikeen (Leslie Ann Brandt), Amenadiel (DB Woodside), Linda (Rachael Harris), and Detective Dan are seen going through a lot of changes. Dan, especially, has begun to see Lucifer as a man who betrayed them after the death of prosecutor Charlotte Richards, (Tricia Helfer) - someone that Dan was in love with. His misplaced hatred even puts his daughter Trixie in danger, but despite that, Dan continues to believe Lucifer is "a wrecking ball" that ruins everything he comes in contact with.
His comments made at inopportune moments when Lucifer himself doubts if he is a monster is impactful. The ninth episode particularly named after fans' campaign to #SaveLucifer inspired not just the title of the episode but also the direction of the show as well.
Even as Lucifer's self-worth is tied to Chloe's opinion about him in the beginning, he comes to realize that between the detective and Eve, he is being pulled in two different directions forcing him to split himself in two in terms of his behavior and it takes time, and effort for him to understand that his worth depends not on someone else, but on how he sees himself.
Mazikeen, on the other hand, is a character that can be dissected to bits with an impressive character arc since the first season. She is right now on the road to recovery, meaning, she is ready to understand that what she needs at this point on Earth is a connection. Someone that she could understand and make a home with.
While she tries to get closer to Linda than ever, she also comes to a conclusion that maybe their friendship is not something that she could dedicate her life to. After that finale, we are sure that there is more to Lux, Lucifer Morningstar, the Detective and other celestials on Earth!