raising hell

A Very Sinful Recap of Lucifer Season 5

Since Lucifer’s move to Netflix in season four, the lust factor has been upped. Photo: Netflix

In the first half of Lucifer’s fifth season, sins abound. The Netflix original, ported over from Fox in its fourth season, has morphed into a show that’s not just about the Devil gallivanting around L.A., but also concerned with self-determination and the nature of love. But predictably, considering the subject matter, gluttony, lust, and wrath (among others) aren’t exactly in short supply. And if it’s a sin to close on a cliffhanger, this half-season is guilty.

When we left off at the end of season four, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) had chosen to return to Hell, leaving behind a lovestruck Chloe (Lauren German), depressed Dan (Kevin Alejandro), and wayward Ella (Aimee Garcia). Demon bartender Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) didn’t get Lucifer’s invite and stayed on Earth. Lucifer’s brother Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), an angel, and the human Linda (Rachael Harris) had their baby, Charlie. For those left on Earth, season five picks up two months later. Chloe sports quarantine bangs, Dan is too into CrossFit (which must be at least a venial sin), and Charlie is adorable. For Lucifer, though, it’s been millennia, and once he returns to Earth, there’s plenty of opportunity to make trouble. So to help you keep track of the chaos, here’s a spoiler-filled episodic recap of everything that goes down in part one of this season, one sin at a time.

“Really Sad Devil Guy”: Gluttony

We open with gluttony. A boat party that threatens to sink under the weight of Champagne brings back Lee Garner (Jeremiah Birkett). Last we saw him, Lucifer was pressing gold bars into his hands and telling him to skip town. He instead bought a yacht and got murdered for his troubles. When Lucifer sees Lee in hell, he realizes that Detective Chloe Decker and the rest of the LAPD must be on the case. The episode slides between them hunting for clues — Lucifer in hell, and Chloe in the City of Angels. But what we really learn is that Lucifer is a glutton for punishment. He communicates with Chloe via recently dead people, but refuses to go to Earth to save her. Wait, but who’s the guy who looks exactly like Lucifer swooping in to her rescue? This doppelgänger is on Earth, but Lucifer remains in a hell of his own making.

“Lucifer! Lucifer! Lucifer!”: Lust

Since the show’s move to Netflix, the lust factor has been upped. In short, they can now air footage of Tom Ellis’s butt. In episode two, the man we are pretty sure is not Lucifer admires himself in the mirror. He cycles through Lucifer’s catchphrases. Does every body-swap episode include a naked mirror scene, or is this a Buffy callback? As Chloe and “Lucifer” work on the case, the lust remains, though some spark is missing.

After Maze attacks “Lucifer,” he admits that he’s Lucifer’s twin, Michael, in his inexplicable American accent. We learn that where Lucifer can sense desire, Michael can sense fear. Lusting continues apace when “Lucifer” and Chloe make a date to hook up. The tension shatters with a gunshot: Chloe knows. We close with Amenadiel admonishing Michael. And then God’s favorite child flies down to hell to retrieve the prodigal son. Lucifer is back, and even damnation can’t dull the lust factor of that accent.

“¡Diablo!”: Greed

We learn in this episode that Michael has been manipulating Lucifer since the dawn of time. Rather than sussing out what people desire, Michael trades in fear. Like Michael and Lucifer, desire and fear are two sides of the same coin. Also, Lucifer is back, telling Chloe that he knew she was a gift from God. She doesn’t respond well. Cut to the show within the show, Lieutenant ¡Diablo!, a procedural rife with Hollywood greed. Lucifer did a favor for its showrunner, and the guy copied him and Chloe (here an ex-stripper called “Detective Dancer”). When the showrunner and star end up dead, Chloe discovers that “Dancer” wanted control of a narrative determined to objectify her. She killed for her career, out of greed, but Chloe gets it. Chloe asks Dancer, “What’s the secret to getting up every day knowing everything you do and say is only servicing another person?” It’s a callback to Eve coming to terms with her creation for Adam, as Chloe wrestles with her free will.

After Dancer’s arrest, Michael pays his “bro” a visit. Two Tom Ellises fight; the Devil wins. Michael heads off to find Maze and put his plan into motion. Michael’s manipulations are all grounded in greed. We don’t know what he wants, but, like his Father, Michael works in mysterious ways.

“It Never Ends Well for the Chicken”: Sloth

“Sloth” derives from a Greek word meaning “without care.” We think of it as laziness, but it can also mean a neglect of duty, doing the same thing over and over because it’s easier that way. In this flashback episode, Lucifer hasn’t yet broken out of his king-of-hell rut. He’s been doing the same thing forever: ruling in hell, messing around on Earth, rinse, repeat.

Maze’s mother Lilith, Adam’s first wife, is a 1940s lounge singer. With the crew recast in noirish black and white, we hear Lucifer recount how Lilith gave up immortality. There’s a case of the week: Lilith’s ring is gone, and a hard-boiled detective, played by Chloe, helps find it. In the end, Lilith decides to live as a human and gifts Lucifer her ring. In effect, seeing Lilith relinquish immortality foreshadows Lucifer’s choice to live in the human world. And when we learn that Maze paid Trixie to get the truth about Lilith and she drives to Reno to confront her aged mother, it’s heartbreaking.

Honorable sloth mention: Ella’s shirt in episode eight, with a cartoon sloth and the slogan “Not Fast Not Furious.” 

“Detective Amenadiel”: Wrath

There’s plenty of wrath to go around in episode five. After learning that Linda abandoned her daughter, just as Lilith did, Maze hunts for Linda’s child. She forces a meeting with the unwitting daughter and guilt-stricken mother, then storms out — back to Reno, to find that Lilith died. Stunned, Maze shatters the poster from the previous episode. She can only express emotion through violent wrath. Chloe’s simmering with something like wrath, too, as she processes the facts of her creation. After a murder at a convent spoils her plan to avoid God things, she enlists the closest guy to the divine, Amenadiel, for help. And Amenadiel unleashes some wrath of his own. It’s awesome in the Biblical sense — so Godly it hurts to look. After the nun’s ex-fiancé confesses to her murder, Amenadiel unveils his wings and tells him it’s all real. “Have faith, Hank,” he bellows.

Lucifer and Chloe let go of their anger in the episode’s last scene. They kiss after Chloe realizes that Lucifer has chosen to be vulnerable. It’s a sweet end to an often-angry episode.

“BlueBallz”: Envy

This episode features a jealous Lucifer and Dan. But for once, they aren’t envious of each other. Chloe and Lucifer’s hookup is interrupted by a murder. The intended target? Chloe’s first love, a dude named Jed, or “DJ Karnal.” Jed manipulates Lucifer into ignoring Chloe and plays on Lucifer’s jealousy to try to win Chloe back. Cut to an elaborately costumed rave, a sting staged to lure the killer. Chloe’s got space buns, Linda’s getting hammered, Maze is attempting to be nicer, Ella is trying to break her bad-boy habit.

But Lucifer is distracted, trying to get Charlie to stop crying — accomplished only when baby sees his uncle’s Devil face. Michael then steals Lucifer’s phone and gets Dan to turn around at precisely the wrong moment. Bam: Another mortal is in on the celestial secret. As Chloe arrests the killer and Ella asks out Pete, a nice guy, Lucifer realizes his envy got the best of him. As Linda tells Chloe, Lucifer is “the oldest, most immature person in the world.”

Lucifer, unaware that Dan has just seen him … au naturel … apologizes to Chloe. Finally, those two get to know each other. In the biblical sense.

“Our Mojo” and “Spoiler Alert”: Pride

It’s fitting that pride is the sin most associated with Satan. In these final two episodes, Lucifer must get over that pride. At first, it comes from his “mojo,” the ability to glean people’s desires. When his desire — Chloe — is realized, his powers transfer to her. He can’t process sharing his gift. Meanwhile, Ella and her boyfriend Pete share everything, even fluency in Klingon. But Lucifer’s pride trains itself on a new target. After Dan, at Michael’s behest, shoots him, Lucifer swears revenge. Not that the bullets did anything: Lucifer is invulnerable. And Chloe’s pride is hurt; she knows that invulnerability means an emotional wall.

Back to our killer. After arresting a copycat, Chloe realizes something’s wrong. As she investigates, she leaves Lucifer a voice-mail. He’s focused on Dan, filling a whiteboard with potential tortures, including “perm.” The voice-mail ends with a struggle, and Lucifer goes to find Chloe. Meanwhile, Ella finds her boyfriend’s murder lair — we all saw this coming, right? But Pete didn’t kidnap Chloe. Turns out she’s in an abandoned zoo with the archangel Michael bringing her speciality coffee. After Chloe’s rescue, it seems Deckerstar is finally going to DTR. But time stops — thanks, Amenadiel. Cue an epic fight scene with three angels and a demon.

To be prideful is to think you know better than God. The best way to get over that belief is some admonishment from the man upstairs. And for the first time in Lucifer’s run, that’s what we get. God has floated down to LAPD headquarters. Will His visit put a stop to sin? Judging by the Bible, probably not.

A Very Sinful Recap of Lucifer Season 5, Part One