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Lucifer’s Fifth and Penultimate Season is its Strongest Spectacle Yet

Spoilers Ahead

For a series to be on air for five seasons and get better through time is a true rarity in television, especially in procedurals. And no, Lucifer wasn’t always perfect—the first season takes some time to gain momentum, but once it does, it’s smooth sailing until the end of two. While there are a number of incredible episodes in season three, the majority of it struggles to find its footing. But even when situations got frustrating on this series, and we aren’t getting the things we wanted, this is a show that continuously set up stories that’d work in the long run.

Season 5A starts off strong and 5B finishes it exquisitely, however devastating that ending is, the thing with this show is that we find it hard to believe they don’t have a grand plan. As a devout Christian, I’ve always been incredibly skeptical to give this show a chance because of its title, but the way it has always handled redemption and Lucifer’s journey with vulnerability has been stunning to watch.

And the latter half of the fifth season handled God and Lucifer’s relationship most beautifully when it carried out the message of love with full force. No matter our faith or how we exercise it, it’s hard to believe that God wouldn’t love all his children, and this season cemented that notion by giving father and son the opportunities to explore the tethers and tears between them.

At the end of the day, this series has always been about parents and children. It’s been about finding absolution in the vulnerability that’s discovered when learning to love one another.

Please do not proceed further if you haven’t watched the second half of season five. So, let’s do it—let’s talk about the loss of fathers, which was the running theme of the season.

Dan’s death was completely unexpected. If you had told me when starting this show that I’d grow to care so deeply about him only to lose him, I would’ve been hesitant to believe you because I wouldn’t think this show would ever take that route. Because it’s so surprising to appreciate Dan since series in the past have often pitted the ex and the current lover against each other. And among other reasons, it makes his death that much harder to grapple with because you want a happy ending through everything.

And it particularly hits hard when you’ve also lost a father. (I sobbed my eyes out every single time the camera would pan to Trixie, and frankly, I still don’t understand exactly why they decided to kill of Dan. I also still don’t understand why he’s in hell of all places when it seemed as though he’d confronted his guilt.)

When a show kills off a character who’s worth mourning, it’s always hard to be trusting even when the story makes sense. But we can’t say that we’ve lost faith in these writers because we know this wasn’t done to subvert expectations or for unnecessary shock value, but instead because it’s what they believed was best for the story.

As much as this show is about redemption and hope, it’s still a procedural at the end of the day following the lives of celestial beings, which means mortals are still very much susceptible to death. We might not have all the answers we’d like about why it needed to be Dan, but it brought out some of the strongest performances throughout the show’s arc giving Scarlett Estevez especially, the chance to hold her own astoundingly among some incredibly gifted actors.

This season allowed each and every character the chance to explore their humanity, which takes me back to one of my favorite quotes from The Good Place: find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now.” Because in the midst of all this, it’s Trixie and Maze’s heartache which crushed me the most. Maze who is now understanding what it’s like to have a soul and that someone who isn’t immortal is susceptible to death. It’s Maze who is having to learn that though it’s dark and unbearable to lose people, it’s part of life. It’s part of love. And it takes incredible bravery to open one’s heart to love knowing that it can be both broken and hardened after there’s loss. It takes incredible bravery to fight through that pain and find the strength to move forward.

And that’s just it—a person’s bravery isn’t exposed in how well they can wield a knife or how strong they physically are, but rather in the decision to keep going amidst heartbreak. It’s part of life and every single one of us has known or will know colossal loss. Whether celestial beings or mortals, death is a part of the journey as equally as love is, and God’s plan, whether we understand it or not is so often a result of our own choices.

It’s also what this has done to Amenadiel that is so crushing, but reaffirming of the fact that from the very beginning, he’s had the strongest arc. Losing Dan isn’t going to be easy for him–he was after all, his best friend thus, making Amenadiel the right choice to speak for him though he needed to lie about where he is. Which again, surely this is something we must explore in the final season. But in that moment, and all throughout, Amenadiel made choices to stand his ground as a father to Charlie, and in this scene for Trixie too. It’s not a lie if it evokes the hope necessary, is it?

In the same way that we watched God decide to retire, to make the decision to join Charlotte this time, we watched each of the characters choose to love one another knowing that they could lose each other. And this is entirely why this season works best because it showcases the fact that relationships not only deserve to be rectified, but that as people, all that we need is so often already inside of us. And even if that thing inside of us is our faith, as it is for Ella. It’s the decision she makes to believe and to seek strength. Belief is an incredibly powerful tool, whether it’s in God, a person, ourselves, or whatever it may be. Belief gives the thing strength. Belief makes it real.

Belief is what’s necessary in every situation and that’s what this season brings to the surface with every character arc. It’s so often been Chloe’s belief in herself, her abilities and the strength she’s always drawn on to be the best kind of mother and detective that Trixie deserved. It’s the belief she’s had in her skills even while guilt tried to tarnish that. It’s her belief in the fact that she’s equipped to help Lucifer. However, prior to this, it was and is always Chloe’s belief in Lucifer that’s strengthened and brought out the best in him, which we were given the chance to see with exceptional progression this season.

Lucifer has won the battle for now; through dedication, forgiveness, and his tireless decision to try, he won. He found belief in himself. And while we know that it could not have been that easy because life never is, surely because of how this season has panned out, forgiveness along with the exploration of choice is leading to a fascinating conclusion. At its core, this has always been a love story, we can be certain, at the very least, that the final season will continue to improve these stories just as the series has outdone itself every time as opposed to worsening.

It’s a short, ten-episode journey we have ahead of us, but what we’ve seen with the series’ ability to improve upon the emotional beats that it sets up, I’m certain we’ll see the satisfying journey that’s deserving of acclaim and I’m certain we’ll get the answers we need.

What are your thoughts on Lucifer’s second half of the season?

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