By the standards of today’s binge-watch culture, I’m already a bit late, but I did want to get in some thoughts on the final season of Lucifer — recently uploaded to Netflix — before it completely fades from relevancy.
The main thing making this so difficult is that the sixth and final season is a massive, jarring change in direction compared to the rest of the series.
Lucifer has always been a light-hearted dramedy with a healthy mix of “case of the week” standalone episodes and ongoing plot. Since moving to Netflix, the balance has shifted a bit more towards drama rather than comedy and plot versus standalone stories (to the show’s benefit), but it’s been pretty much the same show at its heart.
Season six pretty much throws out the case of the week format (no great loss in my book) in favour being almost pure plot. You might think that makes for a breakneck pace, but it’s actually a very slow, meditative season. I do think this was the right choice for the story they meant to tell, but it does take some patience.
Similarly, while there are still some laughs to be had, the final season leans far more on emotion and pathos. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but it feels very different from what’s come before. Almost like a totally different series. It’s still good — great, at times — but it doesn’t have that tongue-in-cheek sense of fun that so long defined the series.
Ultimately, this is the season where Lucifer finally grows up. So much of the series had him learning lessons, only to mostly be back to his old immature self next episode. This is the moment where he finally learns the lessons for good and becomes a mature, healthy person. It’s pretty gratifying, but again, sudden. It would have been better to spread his development out more evenly over the course of the series rather than have it all happen at once.
To be blunt, the final season is also contrived, corny, and full of plot holes. It’s very much a story that works best if you don’t think about it too hard.
Now, here’s the thing: The above statement could describe every season of Lucifer, and I’ve generally been fine with it. It’s always just been junk food watching, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not smart, but it’s fun and it makes you feel good. That’s a perfectly valid form of art.
But the silliness of the plot becomes harder to swallow when the show makes the shift to towards straight character drama. You can have ridiculous stories in a comedy, but when you’re trying for something more serious, it’s a lot harder to overlook. You can do one, but not both.
It also rankles that we never got an answer on why God created Chloe. I guess it’s meant to be some “so all of this could happen thing,” but it really feels like they just abandoned that plot thread. Come on, guys, it’s only the single biggest question in the entire series…
However, if you are willing to overlook the over-complicated plot and the various things that just don’t add up, it is a pretty satisfying season emotionally. We get to see Lucifer finally grow up and become the Lightbringer he was always meant to be, and that feels good.
Most of the other characters get really satisfying conclusions to their story too, with the possible exception of Ella, whose story deserved more screen time than it got. But I’m an Ella fanboy, so I’m biased.
Dan especially stands out as perhaps the best part of this season, and in hindsight perhaps one of the best parts of the series as a whole. I’m a pretty harsh person, and redemption arcs often wrankle me because I rarely feel they’re deserved… but this is a redemption arc done right.
Who would have thought Detective Douche would have turned out to be such an incredible character?
All in all, I do think the final season is more good than bad, but it’s not so easily digestible as the rest of the series has been. I suppose in some ways it’s good that it provokes so much thought — I definitely wouldn’t have expected to still be mulling the ending weeks later like I have been.