Hey y’all. It’s been a short while. How’s your weekend?
I’m back on The Spotlight with another review of a TV series I watched and took away lessons from. It is the highly controversial Netflix series, “Lucifer”, and after watching the complete four seasons, I felt a burden to pen down my thoughts about it. I’m sending this on Sunday morning, as I wrote it late last night and don’t want to wait until next Saturday to share it with you on The Spotlight.
When I first heard of the series, I had no interest in the subject matter. I had better things to do and entertain myself with. Who has time for watching a show all about the devil, potentially glorifying him and sending all sorts of weird and false messages? That was my reasoning in a blink of an eye, and I gave it no more thought. I didn’t watch any trailers nor previews nor anything.
But one day, it was featured on my Netflix homepage, and all I was watching at the time was Friends on Netflix! I was literally paying them and spending money on data to watch a series I have watched countless times on TV, just because I didn’t fancy much else on Netflix and wasn’t in the mood to get sucked into an addictive series.
So, I clicked on it, out of curiosity, wondering what it was about and if it could be a little bit interesting or thought-provoking. You know how I like to dig into these controversial issues and shake up my thinking a bit. I get lots of inspiration on blog posts because of it. Anyway, I started watching “Lucifer” this week, and from the very first episode, I was roped in.
Yesterday, within five days, I completed the entire series, as I wasn’t able to tear my eyes nor disconnect my mind from this DEEP series. It has even featured in my dreams, though I never had nightmares. When I started watching it, I was nervous. I mean, it’s all about Lucifer, the devil! From all I’ve been taught about this fallen angel, even the association of his name to the programme is scary. Because I believe he does exist, whether or not the producers of the show do, and I also believe he is attracted to things that bear his name…
So, yes, I was scared about exposing myself to spiritual attacks. But I was also eager to learn about what the series was trying to communicate and understand the vision/spirit behind it. So, I persisted and prayed through it, for God’s covering and protection, while opening my mind enough to appreciate the programme.
I found the series to be captivating, enlightening, unbelievably deep and realistic and relatable (to Believers and unbelievers) and totally mind blowing. It was just a very rich and deeply spiritual production that I am convinced that the people/person behind it actually believe/s in God, while I never expected that they would. I assumed that it would be worldly, contrived, a mockery, exaggerated and indulgent nonsense. But it was really a very worthy production.
The lead actors were also excellent! I really found their characters believable. In the beginning, I was definitely squirmish and appalled at Lucifer’s sexual exploits and arrogance. But what would one expect of the devil? Holiness? Certainly not. In that sense, his deviance and carnality were well portrayed. And his co-star and partner, Chloe Decker, who is a detective, really played her role excellently too. The emotions, as the show played out, were so real that I found myself rooting for the two of them, against reason. There were, however, a few characters that I felt were not very consistent nor well portrayed, and I didn’t very much appreciate their contribution to the story nor understand their relevance. But overall, it was a good show with a good cast.
The series is a crime-based series, which I happen to love. I am a HUGE fan of MONK, and Lucifer, as a character, had quite a bit in common with MONK, the special detective, who has an ability to see things others miss, because of his OCD disability. Lucifer has the special gift of getting people to tell him their desires, which he usually encourages them to pursue (again, consistent with the devil). Aside this, he has a narcissistic personality, where he finds it hard to think about anything but himself, and manages to make every crime about him (consistent with the prideful nature of the biblical character).
However, Chloe is special. She’s the only one that is immune to his ‘charms’, and he takes on the challenge to try to get her to sleep with him, which he has done with a sizable amount of the population of LA (men and women), where he resides, owns a nightclub and consults for the LAPD. Overtime, he discovers that he has a weak spot where Chloe is concerned, and it becomes a matter of concern when the once indestructible, immortal devil becomes a vulnerable man, who bleeds whenever Chloe is nearby. This he learns when trying to prove to her that he is in fact the devil. She shoots him at his insistence, and he is injured. And she doesn’t believe him, thinking he is speaking in metaphors, when he is just speaking plainly and/or arrogantly about himself and God, who he calls his father.
I found their relationship very interesting. And as the story plays out, you can see that they are falling in love with each other, but because of his devil persona and issues, he is not able to trust her with that info, and she also doesn’t know how to deal with her growing feelings for him, especially when he is very open about his promiscuity and also acts childishly and irrationally. Despite this, and the fact that he is actually the devil (which is clearly portrayed), he is charmingly lovable to most people. And this was where my mind was tripping.
The Bible is very clear about the devil being evil, and Jesus even referred to him as “the father of lies” (John 8:44). Yet, in “Lucifer”, we see a devil who is honest to a fault and who hates evil, but is burdened with the task of punishing evil as the lord of Hell, a title and a job he resents. He has left Hell, on an indefinite vacay, to defy God and to enjoy himself. And he hates, more than anything, being blamed for the evil things that people do. Repeatedly, we hear him say that he never makes anyone do anything, and he actually hates the things evil people do. Hence his decision to work with the police to catch the bad guys and punish them.
From episode 1, Lucifer and Chloe meet the therapist, Linda, as part of their investigation on a case, and Linda is immediately tuned into Lucifer, shamelessly eager to sleep with him. Lucifer makes an arrangement to pick her brains in exchange for his sexual services to her, and she agrees. So, they begin a sexual relationship, while she acts as his counselor.
In the beginning, for the first two seasons actually, Lucifer can’t stop speaking ill of God and blaming Him for why people see him as evil. He had “daddy” issues with God, who apparently met with a goddess (Lucifer’s mom, introduced in Season Two), and gave birth to all the angels. Amenadiel, Lucifer’s brother, also appeared in episode 1 to insist that Lucifer returns to Hell, otherwise there will be chaos. In Season Two, Uriel, another brother of Lucifer, comes to insist that Lucifer takes his mom back to Hell (yes, I laughed and laughed at the first mention of Lucifer’s ‘mom’ and God’s ‘wife’ at the end of Season One!). Apparently, God had kicked her out of Heaven thousands of years after the devil was cast out for staging a rebellion. Lucifer has issues with his mom too, because he thinks she stood by and did nothing, where as, she later reveals that she was the one who had suggested Hell as Lucifer’s punishment/dwelling, instead of the destruction of Lucifer as God had intended.
So, we see a dysfunctional divine family and Lucifer being one of many children, who Amenadiel accuses of actually being God’s favourite! In Season three, another angel visits the Earth, and happens to be a friendly “ghost” to one of the characters, while actually being the angel of death. This was one of the under-developed characters, and it just wasn’t clear what her addition to the story was. And in Season Four, a fourth sibling comes to battle with Amenadiel, because he has managed to impregnate a human being, after his previously hard stance against Lucifer mixing with human beings!!!
Amenadiel is definitely an enigma to me. I feel like he was an opportunity to show the glory of an angel and holiness, but he also fell (he actually had a sexual affair with Lucifer’s demon, Maze! Shock shock, horror horror!!!), and had to deal with identity issues when he lost his wings and his gift of slowing down time. He struggled with his faith and so many other things that humans wrestle with in the flesh. Even though I learned from his struggles too, I found his character to be foul and inconsistent. The message from him and other characters like Charlotte (who was possessed by the “goddess” and later suffered a life-crisis when she returned from her torment in Hell, following the departure of her host) and Daniel (Chloe’s ex-husband, who was a crooked cop, swinging from being good to bad while dealing with his own issues) was quite puzzling.
Anyway, as Lucifer’s therapy progresses, and he deals with his growing feelings for Chloe, we begin to see what a fragile and troubled soul he is. He swings from blaming God for his problems to self hatred as he struggles to understand why he has regained his angelic wings and lost his devil face in Season Three. It’s a major identity crisis for him, as he is worried that God is trying to manipulate him. He repeatedly cuts off his angelic wings, which persist in growing back. The therapy sessions with Linda now no longer include a sexual arrangement, as Linda realised, in Season One, what a troubled soul Lucifer is.
In Season Three, we also see the introduction of the biblical character, Cain, the first murderer, who God put a mark on that no man should kill him. Cain, is an immortal man who longs for death and has totally disengaged from trying to relate with humanity. But he also has a secret, which Lucifer discovers. Lucifer agrees to help Cain die, believing that he is also defying his “manipulative” father, but it isn’t as easy as he thinks.
And in Season Four, another biblical character makes an appearance… Eve, the mother of Cain and Abel and humanity, who is portrayed as Lucifer’s first lover. I had to roll my eyes on this one! They made a stupid joke about how the forbidden fruit she ate in the Garden was actually a ‘long banana’ and not an apple as often depicted (not that I believe it was an apple either).
So, Eve actually left Heaven, feeling discontent with her life there, unloved by Adam, who apparently had a first wife called “Lilith”, the mother of the demons (shock face… I can’t comprehend this, but I see they have taken much artistic license). She has come to L.A to party with Lucifer, because all she desires from life is a thrill, and she’s Lucifer’s match, when it comes to carnality and depravity! I have to say, I didn’t appreciate this portrayal of Eve, which I think was an extension of her first sinful act in the Garden. This also gave the impression that being in Heaven is horribly boring compared to being on Earth; an impression that Amenadiel’s return from Heaven a second time, after getting his wings back, supports.
However, besides being sexually and in every way deviant, Eve is portrayed as a gentle, happy, sincere person, who just wants to be loved. Everyone likes her, though Chloe begins to think she’s making Lucifer go bad. Eve tries to keep a genuine relationship with Lucifer, but he is just using her to manage his feelings for Chloe and explore his bad side.
In Season Four, the story comes to a climax, and Lucifer’s identity issues peak, after his devil face returns and Chloe sees it (at the end of Season Three). She goes away for about a month and he is torn apart. When she comes back, she too is torn about whether or not to betray him by plotting with the Vatican to send him back to Hell.
From Season Two, I noticed how pained Chloe’s face was. Her eyes were often red and she looked like someone going through hell, because of her conflicted feelings for Lucifer, who claimed to be something she could never imagine that he was. In Season Four, she struggles to come to grips with the fact that she is in love with “the devil”, while he is struggling to deal with his body transforming into an actual devil, complete with frightful demonic head, body, tail and wings. And with the Vatican wanting to bind and cast him back to Hell, things come to a head…
I won’t say more about the plot, but I’ll leave you to watch for yourself and see if you get as much from the series as I did.
I certainly didn’t like everything about it. There was a lot of sexual deviance (surprisingly not a great deal of LGBTQ flag flying, as has become common with programmes these days). I like that as Lucifer concluded his therapy with Linda, he was able to take responsibility for what was and had happened to him, instead of thinking that God was just using him and everyone as puppets. When Lucifer argued that he never lies, Linda actually said that was perhaps the biggest lie, because Lucifer’s problem was that he was in constant denial, lying to himself so as not to deal with issues. I thought it was good that that point was made.
I also appreciated how one of the characters, who had always professed faith in God, but then struggled with her faith following the murder of a close friend, later reconfirmed it in the tenth and last episode of Season Four. She said that she could no longer blame God for bad things happening, and that He was there to give us the strength to overcome, or something like that. I thought this was a powerful inclusion to a series where the devil’s voice and feelings were most profound and incited animosity towards God.
However, the part I would have loved the most, I didn’t very much appreciate. It was the part where “God” was the narrator (last episode of Season Three), and it was like He was responding to Lucifer’s accusation of Him being a bad parent. Mostly, it was good, but I took objection to the part where it seemed as if “God” was endorsing Amenadiel’s promiscuity and search for “romance” with humans on the Earth. It was just “NO!”
Nothing was suggested about sexual purity nor holiness. It seemed that the requirement to make Heaven was just to be a “good” person, which of course has nothing to do with one’s sexual choices and lifestyle, lol. Even the devil, who used people, showed a lot of anger and pride, was portrayed as being a “good guy”. And people only end up in Hell if they feel guilty for their actions on Earth.
In the series, Hell is a place where people relive their sins and torment in an eternal loop. Horrifying. It is an idea I have entertained before and think is quite consistent to Jesus saying Hell is a place where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. However, Hell isn’t depicted as a fiery furnace, just a dark place where ash falls, and people are locked in their own rooms and dreams of their own creation, tormented by devils and the souls of those they hurt.
Finally, what I hated, but also appreciated, was that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING was said about Jesus! I don’t think His name came up once. I hated it because it was an obvious hole in the whole series. But I also appreciated it being left out, because it could have been so out of RESPECT for Him and/or Christianity. I would have been repulsed if they have brought in His character, only to mock or defame His name. So, Jesus was left out, yet the series begs the question – what must I do to be saved?
I don’t know if there will be a continuation, but I know that while I couldn’t wait to complete the series, I was still thirsty for more when it concluded. I don’t know what more they could do with the series, because the ending was rather tight/conclusive. Yet, there seems to be an avenue for the story to continue, maybe not as “Lucifer”, but as something else… There were a couple of loose ends.
Some key lessons I took away from the series were: 1. There are two sides to every story; 2. The devil doesn’t make people sin; 3. We are all responsible for the choices we make and who we become; 4. God, like any parent, just wants what’s best for His children, and sometimes, He chooses to meddle because He can; 5. No one is irredeemable, even the devil.
In respect to the actual production, I have some criticism. I thought it was funny how whenever Lucifer got shot (and wasn’t around Chloe) his shirt got holes in it, but when he was blown up in a building, nothing happened to his clothes! OMG, how did they miss that?! And whenever his wings sprung from his body, they managed to not affect his clothing at all! There wouldn’t even be a tear at the back of the clothes, as though the wings were imaginary or the clothes were special. Yet, Lucifer could cut off his wings, and they had blood and flesh attached. So, that was a bit somehow.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this series. I wouldn’t recommended it to those easily spooked or who are unsteady with their faith, however. But I found it to be an existentialist drama, exploring humanity and divinity. It addressed grace, forgiveness, redemption, hope and love. I struggle to believe that those behind it are faithless people. It was deeply insightful and altogether inspiring, and I gave it a thumbs up.
If you do watch it or have already watched it, feel free to share your thoughts and concerns. Perhaps your perspective or lessons will be enlightening to me and/or my readers.
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
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