Fox’s supernatural crime show, Lucifer, wrapped up its third season, and it was announced just a few days ago that it has been cancelled. Was this cancellation warranted? Well, here’s my review on the third season.
I am a bit sad that the show has been cancelled because there was a point in the middle of the season when it had picked up in a promising way. The show seemed to have gained solid footing in regards to the cast, which had seen addition after addition and personality tweaks until it’s reached perfection. Dan has become much less of an annoying mood killer into someone who is more relaxed and humorous. Ella Lopez was a great addition last season, and continues to shine in her role as the quirky and cheery forensic scientist. I was happy to see that Charlotte was brought back and former Smallville star, Tom Welling, made a surprisingly nice comeback as Pierce.
However, while the cast as a whole seemed much improved at this moment, there were issues with having so many side characters. Not all of them could get quite the same amount of screen time, so we saw a lot of them pushed to the side in minor stories that made me wonder what the point of even having them around was. Amenadiel was as lost as ever. There was really no point in having him around at this point. There were also questionable motives for the cast that seemed like a desperate attempt by the writers to give them something to do.
The biggest problem for me this season was the all-too-frequent back and forth with the characters when it comes to motives and intentions. You see them constantly flip-flopping from wanting to turn over a new leaf to wanting vengeance and planning sick betrayals. One episode, a character is all for being a good person. The next, with the smallest incentive, the character jumps to the other team in full force. And the reasons behind such back-and-forths were hardly stirring. For example, you see Maze go through a lot in the third season, but it is hard to understand her feelings or motives that warrant such a drastic change in character. It was as if they figured they couldn’t all stay buddy-buddy, so… time to make some of them evil again!
However, the cast shone the best when they were getting along. My favorite episode was the one in which Lucifer and Pierce are forced to play house while undercover. There was great chemistry when the two have to work together, but that lasted only two or three episodes, then the writers veered off the promising course once again in an entirely different direction. What about the bromance?! The writers are just breaking all the great relationships we want to see more of just for the sake of drama and “character development.” My second favorite episode was the one centered on Ella and her brother right after because she has her moment to shine and we see an unlikely pairing in her and Maze.
After that, all hell breaks lose. The writers just did not have a handle or vision of where they wanted this show to go. I could sense they were worried about cancellation so were trying all sorts of things experimentally. Trust me, the humorous episodes were best. For a supernatural crime show, the supernatural was at a minimum and the crime stories were completely lacking with predictable bad guys. Lucifer is supposed to have great powers, but the only thing he does is ask people what they truly desire. That it is as far as his “consulting” goes. The only genre they were sticking to was “DRAMA.” The show did not know what it was supposed to be otherwise.
They added a very sappy love triangle, and here’s the thing: I stay tuned to the show for all the friendships, not the needless drama and the love lines that lack any sort of chemistry. From behind-the-scenes footage, I could tell actors Lauren German (Detective Decker) and Tom Ellis (Lucifer) are good friends who fool around on set and make jokes. That is the chemistry they have on screen, as well. There isn’t much of a romantic chemistry in my opinion.
Here’s the other thing: most of the actors are stellar, but Lauren German just can’t do the whole doe-eyed, love-struck maiden deal. Her acting in all of those scenes are always very cringe (like teen-level sappy), and I can tell super unnatural for the more ballsy, crude-joke-making Lauren German I see in the behind-the-scenes footage. Her character shines when she lets loose a bit more and is not making goo-goo eyes at Lucifer (I love when she makes fun of him). This might be the other problem with the series: there isn’t a love match to really ship. I don’t think this is necessary in my opinion, but it certainly helps ratings. They were obviously trying this with Decker and Lucifer, but it just wasn’t working for me personally.
It is just such a shame because there was a moment and flicker of hope around the two episodes I mentioned. Around then, the cast and crew found their footing in delivering humor, friendship, and teamwork. All they had to do was work on more interesting crime stories and put in more of the supernatural. Instead, we were given two useless angels who were basically human, and where’s the fun in that?
I still do hope that Lucifer will be revived by another network, especially because I’m curious about how they will continue on from that peculiar cliffhanger. And there were some really great episodes and moments. However, this seems unlikely to me at this moment–unless maybe they make some changes behind the scenes. Work with the charms of the cast, writers and producers. You have a great cast. The actors have an amazing dynamic. Just trust in that and go with that, rather than against.
If you are looking for another crime show with a magical consultant, go try ABC’s Deception–oh wait, that’s been canceled, too (WTH? What crime-show-with-a-quirky-consultant am I supposed to watch now?). Also take my quiz on which crime show consultant you would get if you were a detective!
Update: The show has miraculously been saved by freaking NETFLIX. Whoa. In the nick of time, Netflix gets its first DC-licensed show. I’m still of the opinion that there needs to be a lot of work done on the show, though, to make it one worth watching after all its messy seasons so far. It’s not a show I can rely on to be good consistently, but maybe being under the more independent, limitless Netflix will be just what it needs.