Lucifer: The Complete Third Season
One of my favorite guilty enjoyment TV shows has a new season now available on DVD. Lucifer: The Complete Third Season is a mixed bag. The show got further into mythology this go-around, which could sometimes seem a little strained, but the stand-alone episodes are just wonderful, and I enjoyed the continuing character development.
(The studio, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, provided me with a free review copy of this DVD set. My opinions are mine. Lucifer is based on the comic book characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg for Vertigo.)
After the events of the second season, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) was about to be truthful with his partner, Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), about his supernatural state. Instead, he’s kidnapped and wakes up in the desert with his previously-amputated wings restored. That leads into an arc where he’s searching for the killer Sinnerman while his brother Amenadiel (DB Woodside) deals with his own loss of abilities.
The big new complicating element is the presence of new boss Lieutenant Marcus Pierce (Tom Welling), with his own secret. I was glad to see Tricia Helfer return as Charlotte Richards; no longer a goddess, now she’s a confused but still powerful woman trying to avoid going to Hell, which provides another way to explore the nature of fate and punishment and what it means to be good.
Various cases rely on fan-centered character bits and familiar plot twists. In one, Chloe has to act as Lucifer would while undercover. In another, Chloe takes Lucifer to a high school reunion. Two detectives have to pretend to be a suburban couple — but it’s Pierce and Lucifer, in an amusing twist. There’s also a certain amount of soap opera, with a couple of love triangles, as well as a sleep-deprived Lucifer making some rather odd Bones references.
In amongst the continuing plotline development, there are excellent spotlight episodes on various characters (made to extend the season, but it’s fun to see great actors get more focus). The first, “Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith”, sends Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) to Canada while bounty hunting a charming fugitive. (The parka conveniently covers the actress’ pregnancy at the time.) Given her brusque nature, how she deals with the niceness of Canadians is particularly amusing, and the story clarifies how she’s changed in her time on Earth.
In “Vegas With Some Radish”, Lucifer and Ella (Aimee Garcia) go to Vegas to find out what happened to Lucifer’s ex-wife Candy. Ella’s mysterious past is always fun to discover, and we get to see Ellis sing “Luck Be a Lady”.
The best of the season is “Off the Record”, a stand-alone where an investigative reporter (Patrick Fabian) decides to get revenge on Lucifer for sleeping with his soon-to-be-ex-wife. It’s an unusual take on the typical kind of case, with the investigation background to a very different story about redemption, obsession, and damnation.
After a huge cliffhanger shakeup in the finale, there are two bonus episodes that were going to be part of the proposed fourth season. The first gives us an unexpected revelation about Ella, while the second, an instant favorite, is an alternate universe where Chloe never became a detective but stayed an actress. Best part? It’s narrated by the voice of God, played by Neil Gaiman.
There are a number of deleted scenes across the five-disc set and a gag reel. Additional special features include:
“Off Script with Tom & Tom” — Ellis and Welling interview each other about their past and their roles. There are three parts, each 4-5 minutes.
A featurette, “Lucifer Returns! Bringing the Hit Show to L.A.”. I thought this would be kind of silly, but in its twelve minutes they make a great case for why the show needed to move out of Vancouver, in spite of the costs and effort involved in rebuilding all the sets. Plus, they filmed in Warner’s biggest soundstage, the largest in North America, and where they previously shot Busby Berkley movies.
The 2017 Comic-Con panel (30 minutes). I know it’s another kind of acting, but I enjoy watching these events when it seems like, as it does here, that the cast and crew enjoy working with each other and can be entertaining in this context.
The ten episodes planned for Lucifer season 4 will be available on Netflix, its new home, at a date to be announced, but likely not before 2019. In the meantime, I enjoyed rewatching this season in bigger lumps.