This Lucifer review contains spoilers.
Lucifer Season 4 Episode 10
“I love you. Please don’t leave.”
From their first meeting at a crime scene outside of Lux in the series premiere, it seemed only a matter of time before the detective and the Devil became more than just partners. Fans of the show have weathered a number of close calls along the way, but the Lucifer season four finale “Who’s da New King of Hell?” concludes with Chloe admitting to Lucifer that she loves him. But this is a new Lucifer, and for all of the hedonistic behavior and self-aggrandizement, in the end, the Devil willingly accepts the role of mankind’s savior and sacrifices the one thing in the world he truly loves. Detective Chloe Decker.
Only too late do we realize that Lucifer’s vacation from Hell actually finds him navigating a semi-traditional hero’s journey as he assists the LAPD and the detective on their murder investigations. More importantly though, the two partners challenge each other along the way to move outside their comfort zones and ultimately embrace sides of their identities previously unexplored. Who knew Lucifer could put someone other than himself first when the stakes were this high. The human race owes Chloe Decker quite a debt of gratitude.
The roller coaster ride of an episode opens with an ebullient Lucifer feeling emotionally lighter than he has in years, and the choreographed dance number that begins at Lux and finishes at the precinct appears to set a tone that will leave us feeling alright heading into the series’ off season. We know how much Lucifer detests children, but now that he sees himself in a new light, holding his newborn baby angel nephew in the hospital appears to be an act even he can handle. Well, for a moment anyway.
In typical Lucifer fashion, he completely misinterprets Amenadiel’s confession about the plan to protect Charlie by taking his son to the Silver City and turns it into an amusing statistical analysis of circumcision. Amenadiel struggles with this monumental decision knowing it will crush Linda, and though it doesn’t appear he’s asking his brother for advice or support, the fact that he tells Lucifer at all reveals just how close these two have grown. Lucifer even presents Linda with the thoughtful gift of one of Sigmund Freud’s personal journals, and though she’s taken with the sentiment, she knows, despite his suggestion to the contrary, that he’s not cured. Or is he? His final act suggests Lucifer has at least chosen a different path and done so without regret. Of course, he must get in one final reminder that the old Lucifer has not totally vanished. “Enjoy your child. Have him ring me when he’s old enough to go to strip clubs.”
Nevertheless, as Lucifer reluctantly agrees to take a break from working cases, the potentially world ending events Eve sets in motion begin to take shape. The investigation into rapper Holla Bae’s murder provides escaped demons from Hell bodies into which they can leap once on Earth and a venue for the season’s final showdown, but little else. There’s been a lot to like about the Eve’s addition to Team Lucifer, but she does have her annoying moments as well. She suspects her scheme to destroy the prophecy, thereby freeing Lucifer to love her unconditionally, is going sideways, yet she withholds the truth from an already angry Maze. Already smarting from Eve’s earlier rejection, Maze tells Eve that “I was” on your side.
It doesn’t take the team long to figure out what has happened, and even though Eve kills Father Kinley in episode nine, Graham McTavish lives on as Dromo, one of Lucifer’s minions from Hell. Along with another buddy from down under, Dromo lays out the problem. King Lucifer abandoned his fallen flock, and he now believes that Dromo and Squee are trying to trick him into returning to his throne in Hell. “The demons of Hell; they need a king,” Dromo explains, but it takes a moment for Lucifer to truly process this statement. “Time for all good demons to go home,” he proclaims, but the door Eve opened is going to take some effort to close.
From a narrative perspective Amenadiel’s plan to surreptitiously squier his son off to live safely among the angels in Heaven sets up the obvious conflict with Linda, and now that we recognize that Dromo’s plan is to groom baby Charlie as the next king of Hell, the stakes suddenly multiply exponentially. It’s evident Amenadiel struggles with this decision, but the common sense decision to hire a night nurse provides an opportunity for the demons to kidnap the child.
Chloe has seemingly worked through any issues she has with Lucifer’s appearance, but now finds herself afraid that the demon problem might lead him to revert to his monster persona as means of coping with the attack. However, there’s really no scenario in which Lucifer can avoid personally putting an end to the situation by sending Dromo and his ever increasing army of demons back to Hell. Even in the direst of circumstances, the writers manage to remind us that not only does the Devil have a sense of humor, but he’s more culturally literate than we imagined. “How do we find three demons and a baby?” he asks as Eve turns up and point the team in the right direction.
It’s difficult to feel sorry for Eve as her well intentioned but poorly thought out plan goes awry, and when she confronts Dromo about his progress, it’s clear she has no idea how things have changed. “I don’t take orders from you,” he tells her, and at this point the stark reality of what she’s done strikes. And while she comes clean and points the team toward The Mayan, it’s Lucifer’s reaction that presages the decision he makes at the end. He’s obviously angry with Eve, but he’s also taken aback by Chloe’s perceived loss of faith in his ability to keep his actions under control.
Understandably, once they arrive at The Mayan, Eve is told to remain outside, but when Lucifer reminds Chloe that she makes him physically vulnerable, it appears he may be going it alone. Of course, we’re quickly treated to a powerful shot of the fantastic four as Lucifer, Amenadiel, Maze, and Eve assemble and enter the club ready to kick some demon ass. Three Celestials and a human. A human’s got to know her limitations and Eve stays out of the punching and kicking. But she thinks on her feet and places a bag over Dromo’s head allowing Lucifer to grab baby Charlie.
Eve’s made a lot of mistakes along the way, but this season has also been about finding her path now that she’s left Heaven. Like Lucifer she comes to understand that the idealized person she used to be doesn’t possess the depth of appeal it once did. Being around Chloe, Dr. Linda, Maze, and Amenadiel opens her eyes to other possibilities, and once this mission ends, it appears she plans to embark on her own journey of self-discovery. Before that though, you have to love the spiked heel through the eye method she employs to put down the demon trying to grab Charlie.
With Charlie safely back in the loving arms of his parents and Maze having come to terms with the fact that Eve is not going to reciprocate the feelings she has for Lucifer’s ex, it all comes down to Lucifer and Chloe. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and even though he’s not certain how this will all play out, Lucifer goes full on Satan and orders the now kneeling demons back to Hell. But this is a new version of the Devil; one that now embraces his angel side as well as his punisher persona. He immediately returns to his human form prompting a knowing smile from the detective.
Everything appears to play out just as we’d like it to. Elle returns her cross to its rightful place around her neck. Amenadiel and Charlie return home to Linda who has now changed her mind about her baby’s future. But Amenadiel has changed his mind as well and is determined to give his child the opportunity to experience life on Earth among the human race. “No one will protect him like we will.” Things seem to be going so well.
Now that we come down to what might be the final meeting between Lucifer and Chloe (Lucifer has not yet been renewed for a fifth season), it’s entirely fitting that each interprets the demon problem differently. He knows that without his leadership, demon incursions onto Earth are likely to continue, and like Hugo Hurley, he tells Chloe he has to go back. “I need to keep them contained. They must have a king.” Lucifer understands there aren’t a lot of options, and even though Charlie’s parents feel confident they can protect him, Lucifer isn’t willing to risk his nephew’s future.
And then there’s Chloe. “You can’t leave me,” she tearfully begs, “I love you. Please don’t leave.” Once we get past the irony of her asking the Devil to stay not only in her life but on Earth, there are very real possibilities to consider. Has Lucifer been right all along that his relationship with Chloe has been part of a well orchestrated long con perpetrated by his Father to get him to return to Hell? Now though, perhaps we should look at it from a different angle. Does God want to learn whether his son can meaningfully change and exert free will when this difficult decision is placed before him? “My first love was never Eve. It was always you, Chloe.” Their first purposeful kiss may turn out to be their last as well as he bids her goodbye.
Lucifer reverts to the more traditional version of the Devil to convince the demons to return to Hell, but we don’t know for certain what visage he employed during his prior reign there. His white angel wings appear as he leaves a distraught Chloe behind, but Lucifer has earned the right to be a true angel ruling over the demons of Hell if that’s what he so desires. And if we buy into the argument that God orchestrated this entire scenario, perhaps this was his intention all along.
Regardless, the final image of Lucifer sitting atop his throne in Hell wearing the designer suit we’ve come to know so well gives hope that his reign might be temporary. Yes, there’s a frightening aspect to it as well; how could there not be. But there is hope.
Netflix doesn’t release viewership numbers, so it’s unknown how well Lucifer has performed for the streaming service. Word is though that it’s been heavily binged. That said, it’s not unreasonable to feel that “Who’s da New King of Hell?” acceptably completes Lucifer’s transformation and the series even if we are left with a bittersweet taste in our mouths. Of course, we want Lucifer and Chloe to end up together, but in her heart she can draw comfort knowing she helped guide him toward becoming a better man. Yes, Lucifer deserves credit for learning to open himself up to change, but he sits on his throne, the product of a quintessential team effort. And isn’t that what partners do for each other?