Upon seeing the first few “Lucifer” episodes last spring, critics focused on a simple question: did the cast have enough chemistry and charisma to overcome the fairly pedestrian, procedural nature of the show.
By the end of the first season, the answer was a resounding “yes.”
As the title character, Tom Ellis somehow managed to exceed the lofty hype surrounding his star quality. The actor’s performance — a reason, itself, to watch “Lucifer” — turned the devil into one of television’s most endearing, charming characters.
His fantastic rapport with very talented, engaging co-stars Lauren German (Chloe, his police partner and potential love interest), DB Woodside (Amenadiel, his brother), Lesley Ann-Brandt (Mazikeen/”Maze,” his devoted ally and protector on Earth), Kevin Alejandro (Dan/”Detective Douche,” Chloe’s ex-husband), and Rachael Harris (Dr. Linda Martin, his therapist) substantially amplified the appeal. Even at its most rote and predictable as a crime series, “Lucifer” was an utter delight from an entertainment perspective.
Viewers connected with, cared about, and quite simply enjoyed watching these characters.
“Lucifer” was not a blockbuster live+same-day ratings performer, but it demonstrated admirable consistency — even as its lead-in support fell — late in the season. The numbers, when combined with the show’s appeal and compatibility with “Gotham,” prompted FOX to issue a second season renewal.
That second season begins Monday, September 19.
Headline Planet screened the second season premiere in advance of Monday’s broadcast. Here are seven things to expect (to the extent that some plot is discussed, consider this your “mild spoiler warning”):
Mom Is On The Mind
Season one ended with the revelation that Lucifer’s mother had escaped Hell. Season two picks up with Lucifer confronting that reality.
Confident — and terrified –that she has come to Earth in pursuit of vengeance, Lucifer makes finding her an absolute priority.
Lucifer’s search takes center stage during Monday’s episode, but television news aficionados already know the individual for whom he is looking. FOX recently confirmed that actress Tricia Helfer has been cast in the integral role.
The notion that one is actually the devil is obviously a hard pill to swallow. That skepticism played a key role in the first season dynamic between Lucifer and Chloe.
Making matters worse: for a presently unclear reason, Chloe is immune to Lucifer’s devilish power of persuasion. He, moreover, loses his immortality/invincibility when in her presence.
How can you prove you’re the devil if you lose your devilish abilities in front of the person you’re most passionately trying to convince?
As the season progressed, Chloe nonetheless did face evidence she could not explain. She may not, herself, be susceptible to Lucifer’s power of persuasion, but she regularly sees it in action. She has also witnessed Lucifer’s inhuman strength and inexplicable ability to recover from harm.
Season two opens amid Chloe’s struggle to reconcile common sense with what she has been witnessing. In her head, she knows it is preposterous to believe the devil is actually walking around. In her heart, however, she knows Lucifer is no ordinary human.
There is also another element to the debate: does her skepticism come with a cost? Lucifer, for all his faults, is a pretty loyal partner to Chloe. Is there any chance that her doubt will reflect a lack of trust — the kind of mistrust that ruins relationships? Is it worth the risk?
Fantastic Ellis, German Chemistry Persists
Earlier, we credited Ellis’ performance — and his chemistry with the various co-stars — for helping “Lucifer” transcend its procedural template.
It is important to double down on the role his chemistry with Lauren German plays in that transcendence.
Network television has few (if any) male-female pairings as enjoyable to watch as the two “Lucifer” leads. Their connection is simply outstanding.
Most notable is that while they are clearly positioned as love interests and clearly have some romantic chemistry, their connection is not solely defined by the “will they or won’t they” dynamic. In Lucifer and Chloe, they have created two characters who get along organically.
The season premiere is not necessarily rich with Lucifer-Chloe moments — they actually spend some time investigating the “case of the week” independently — but that’s the beauty of the character dynamic. It is not about a proclivity for memorable, Twitter-worthy exchanges. They captivate simply by being on screen together.
Not Enemies, Not Yet Allies
Over the course of the first season, the contentious relationship between Lucifer and Amenadiel markedly eased. The need to capture their mother maintains the peaceful relationship into season two.
By the same token, they are not quite allies. Lucifer and Amenadiel still maintain very different approaches to life — and to how their status as otherworldly beings should be communicated to humans.
In short, the fact Amenadiel is not explicitly feuding with Lucifer should not be mistaken as proof that they are precisely on the same page, let alone best friends.
Updates On The Rest; Ella Debuts
Rachael Harris’ Dr. Linda continues to play a big role in advising, comforting and challenging Lucifer. Based on the premiere, we see that her connection to the characters is expanding.
We also receive updates on Maze and Dan (aka “Detective Douche”).
We additionally meet Ella (Aimee Garcia), a quirky new forensic scientist. The episode does not make the character a focal point, but it definitely provides enough attention to confirm her relevance moving forward.
Case Of The Week
This week’s case involves a gruesome death on the set of a TV series. The investigation presents some literal — and figurative — connections to Lucifer’s own search for his mother. It is, moreover, against the backdrop of the case that we receive details about Lucifer’s relationship with the family matriarch.
Those who like seeing Lucifer sing from his piano are in luck. The devil plays a classic song late in Monday’s episode.
The second season “Lucifer” premiere airs at 9PM ET/PT on September 19. FOX’s official episodic photos follow: