This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance: Lesley-Ann Brandt

May 23-26
“Is This Really How It’s Going to End?!” and “A Chance at a Happy Ending” | Lucifer
Lesley-Ann Brandt

Netflix © 2021

The entire cast of Netflix’s Lucifer have outdone themselves impeccably during the latter half of season five, which makes this choice a difficult one. And if you’ve been here long enough then you know that’s something we absolutely adore. If our choice is difficult then it means the performances have been truly noteworthy.

It wasn’t an easy choice, I legitimately wanted to feature every single person especially during the last two episodes, but Lesley-Ann Brandt’s arc this season as Maze has been the most surprising. Yes, Lucifer has quite a journey, and it’s been extraordinary, but the development we’ve gotten for Maze has been wonderfully unexpected, and so much of it is due to Brandt’s performances from beginning to end. Brandt has layered the character masterfully through subtle nuances and brought her emotions front and center during the last few episodes with enormous depth.

Maze has had one hell of a journey on earth and finding her soul has been a large part of that journey—finding joy, finding a family, finding love and navigating through the fears of loss. Thus, when there is loss, it’s up to Brandt to show us just how harrowing the pain is and just how much Maze has grown even while she falls.

Brandt’s work this season has been nothing short of brilliant, and specifically in the last two episodes where Maze dealt with Dan’s death, the pain in initially letting go of Eve out of fear, and the utter rage when necessary. Whatever the emotion, Brandt’s expressions tirelessly revealed just how much the character is feeling deep within and thus showing the audience that Maze does in fact have a soul. I cried the hardest because of both Trixie and Maze, the former I was expecting, the latter stunned me beyond words and it’s why we’re here today.

Brandt brought every ounce of Maze’s heartache to life through such an organic performance, it floored me. From the moment she started processing at the hospital while talking to Trixie to the first punch she threw with the NSYNC shirt. She wasn’t a demon in that moment, she wasn’t a bad-to-the-bone woman who could wield knives and cut sharply with her both her words and weapons, but she was a woman experiencing profound, gut-punching loss, and Brandt was incomparable in her realistic showcase. (Again, they all were. There’s not a single performance that didn’t amaze me in the last two episodes though I couldn’t even properly see through my tears, but you never expected Maze to feel this strongly when the series first aired.)

Maze’s journey on any other show would’ve been too frustrating, but on Lucifer it works because Brandt makes it clear that there’s a plethora inside of the character Maze herself doesn’t even know how to grapple with. And those complexities, the darkness, and ever-blooming love she can no longer keep hidden underneath the facade is reflective of excellent embodiment. It’s easy to believe her journey will be an exceptional one because Maze’s loyalty now stands at the forefront of her essence and every performance Brandt puts on is full of stories to tell beyond the words she utters aloud. Because of all the layers that make her so complex, Maze could not have been an easy character to bring to life, but from day one Brandt understood the mechanisms inside of her better than anyone else and it’s translated onto screen in true noteworthy fashion.

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