The Devil Faces Matters of the Heart in Season 4 of ‘Lucifer’

Even the Devil has to come clean in the new season of “Lucifer.” Originally a Fox production, this wickedly creative series has found a new home with Netflix. But fans following the last three seasons will not a miss a beat, because everything picks up right where we left off. The story now takes on a different tone from before, as our title character starts to come clean with some key characters about who he actually is. We still get the case of the week format, as Satan finds helping solve crimes more exciting than running Hell. He’s also in love, which isn’t just complicated for him, but per this show, it threatens to turn the world itself upside down.

Still smarting from last season’s events, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) is left wondering what will happen between him and detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), after he revealed to her his big secret. Now she knows he’s the Devil, posing as an L.A. club owner and now assistant to the LAPD. At the beginning of the season Chloe goes missing, presumably to process what she has learned. But when she returns she seems to be fine with it all, to Lucifer’s puzzlement. Life on Earth also gets complicated for angels, such as Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), Lucifer’s kind-hearted brother, who has decided he too will be staying in Los Angeles. Giving him a good reason to stay is psychoanalyst Linda (Rachael Harris), who informs Amenadiel that she’s pregnant. But something greater is afoot. Chloe has been secretly meeting with a priest (Graham McTavish) who is obsessed with a prophecy foretelling that when Lucifer falls in love, hell will be unleashed on the world. Amid all this the LAPD’s work continues and along with forensic scientist Ella Lopez (Aimee Garcia), Lucifer and Chloe tackle cases involving murder, theft and betrayal.

Rescued by Netflix after gaining enough of a cult following on Fox, “Lucifer” combines style with a rather playful charm in its concept. It uses the idea of Satan wandering around L.A. in nice suits as a fun and dark take on the issue of double identities. This is the season where Lucifer finally comes clean with the most important woman in his life. It’s one thing for someone to reveal they’re secretly the heir to some fortune, quite another to confess you’re the ultimate representation of all evil. Much of the drama comes from Chloe grappling with this new knowledge, realizing why Lucifer is so efficient at getting information out of suspects or finding clues no one else can catch. Now their relationship has a new tension, and even a new sense of fear as Chloe keeps her distance emotionally, agrees to a date with Lucifer but seems more scared than willing. On the surface he’s still the same guy, attempting to be funny, getting serious when necessary, but now when he falls into a rage Chloe’s perception is different. Of course this is augmented by the priest she gets close to. The fun of this season is that it never relents. Half-way through a new character, Eve (Inbar Lavi), drops in from Lucifer’s realm, orders an Appletini and proceeds to make life more chaotic. Because we are dealing with supernatural forces all this will lead to a great clash by the end of the season, when the forces of the beyond are indeed unleashed on the world in the form of murderous demons.

Much of the appeal of “Lucifer” is in how it combines so many genres. It’s a demon thriller mixed with a relationship drama combined with a weekly detective format. While Lucifer’s actions may put the world in jeopardy, Amenadiel deals with a pregnancy while getting to know more about life amongst the humans. The show has a lot of fun riffing on religious norms. Amenadiel’s an angel, so he’s a little too nice to pedestrians, and willingly gives to the homeless even when they run off with his wallet. Lucifer meanwhile chuckles when Chloe asks if it’s true that he eats small children. This season we also get to know Ella a little better. She’s a good friend to Lucifer and there’s much suspense in wondering how she’ll react when eventually she has to find out about who he is.

The case of the week format also flows well with the rest of the overall plot. This season we get everything from beekeepers murdered with honey scrapers to reality TV show stars possibly killed by fellow cast members. One particularly strong case involves the murder of an ex-gang member who had seemed to turn her life around. The episode shows how “Lucifer” also has a unique diversity, exploring themes such as the plight of Salvadoran immigrants. It’s not just a show set in L.A., but attuned to the city’s cosmopolitan identity. Tom Ellis maneuvers it all with his strong sense of comedic timing and rather convincing, dramatic moments. You wonder why Satan would ever get bored enough to want to hang out in L.A., but Ellis makes us believe it.

Yet the devil is in the details and after three seasons “Lucifer” starts becoming more apocalyptic, but not to the point of losing what makes it appealing. At one point he shows his true, demonic face to Chloe, wondering if she could ever truly love him as he is. Maybe that’s part of the charm of “Lucifer,” in the way it imagines that if anyone would have a hard time finding true love, it would be the prince of darkness.

Lucifer” season four premieres May 8 on Netflix.