Despite changes in network, Lucifer demonstrates its spirit remains the same.
Season 4, Episode 1
Starring Tom Ellis, Lauren Graham, Kevin Alejandro, D. B. Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Scarlett Estevez, Rachael Harris, Aimee Garcia and Graham McTavish
It’s ironic that for a television programme purely based around the escapades of the literal devil in cahoots with LAPD, there can be such a fairytale surrounding its production of late. Lucifer was cancelled by its original broadcaster Fox in May 2018, stating that it had underperformed in their ratings estimations, though was miraculously picked up by Netflix merely a month later for a ten-episode fourth season. But how will the show be changed by the move to Netflix? Will it become more serialised? More gritty and dark? More sexy and outrageous? Will the writing change? Will the creative direction change? Is the reduced episode count a good sign or a bad sign? So many questions stemming from the renewal, especially considering the production of the fewest number of episodes for a season (Season 1 had 13, Season 2 had 18 and a whopping 26 for Season 3).
In this light, the return title, therefore, is interesting and prophetic. “Everything’s Okay” it proclaims.
It is true to its word. Despite the change in broadcaster and episode count, and presumably what the programme can get away with away from the constraints of network television, Lucifer remains remarkably consistent. There was the worry that, with Chloe (Lauren Graham) finally discovering Lucifer’s (Tom Ellis) real identity, there would be a change in the dynamic that forms the heart of the show, but with Chloe’s return to LA, she and Lucifer fall back into their old habits with an alarming ease. Additionally, despite the messy plot points that surrounded both Amenadiel (D. B. Woodside) and Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) towards the end of the mammoth third season have been subtly reset to zero. The entire programme has endured somewhat of a soft-reset back to starting space, enjoying the procedural aspect of solving a mystery of the week.
The premiere episode puts Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship front and centre, focussing upon Lucifer’s worry and anxiety over Chloe’s reaction to his news. His desperation and need is palpable, and it’s nice to see him in such a vulnerable position throughout the instalment. This is also echoed within the brutal Maze, from whom we see an emotional depth in stark contrast to her assassin persona. Ella (Aimee Garcia) continues to be a shining light within the show, demonstrating that a female character does not have to be brash, acerbic or provocative to be interesting and compelling.
While the majority of the episode feels like a return to Lucifer of old (though we do see a little bit more of Lucifer than we have done previously – thank you, Netflix), the final scene introduces a huge mystery surrounding Chloe. It is impossible to see without watching the rest of the season, but the reduced episode count and increased cohesion that comes with writing and filming a series in its entirety before broadcast is highly likely to have a significant impact upon the cohesiveness of this story arc being realised.
“Everything’s Okay” is a promising start to the fourth season of Lucifer, reintroducing us to the characters we love, as well as setting up some interesting tension to follow.
The fourth season of Lucifer is streaming on Netflix now.