Analysis – Lucifer Season 1 Overview

Now that I’ve gone over each episode individually in previous posts, I wanted to talk about season one of Lucifer as a whole.  As a side note, season 2 has just recently finished airing and I may talk about it briefly in this post, but I’m going to try to keep it to a minimum because I don’t want to go into too much detail about it until I start covering that season itself.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

A lot happened in the course of just 13 episodes.  There’s a significant amount of character development between all the characters from start to finish, though most of all it’s obvious in Lucifer himself.  Of course, he still has a lot of growing to do, but let’s not focus on that just now.

I’m going to go over each of the characters and their individual journeys here to give a better breakdown of just how far they came from episode 1 to episode 13.  I’m also going to go over themes and parallels that happened in this season.  We will start with Lucifer himself.

Lucifer Morningstar
In the pilot episode, we see that Lucifer is a guy who just wants to live life to the extreme.  He wants to party all the time, drink hard alcohol and do drugs and have sex with as many people as possible.  He doesn’t particularly seem to care about other people, not really.  Well, that’s a bit of a lie.  When his friend Delilah, who he was obviously close to in more ways than just having sex, is murdered in cold blood, he goes out to punish the person responsible, by any means necessary.

I find his relationship with Delilah to be very interesting and significant.  He and Maze keep constantly saying how they shouldn’t and don’t care about humanity, and we’re led to believe that it’s Chloe who begins to change him.  But from the brief interaction we see with Delilah it’s obvious how much he cares about her.  He took her in when she had nowhere else to go before, helped her get on her feet and go somewhere with her career.  She began messing her life up on her own and he tells her he wants her to get her life together.  Now why would someone who doesn’t care do such a thing as that?

There’s something else significant about his character that I’ve noticed him do on multiple occasions, including season 1 before he starts to change from being around Chloe.  Anytime a guy refers to a woman (especially someone who has been murdered) as a bitch, Lucifer gets furious and then dangles them out a window, or shoves them through a window, or other such things.  It’s those little sparks of rage when you see just how much he does care and how vile he finds those who see people as sub-human.

I think one of the most significant moments in the season is episode 9 with Father Frank.  Lucifer is deadset on Frank being up to no good, because he “works for his Father”.  But as he starts talking to Frank, learning about who he is past the religion thing, he starts liking him a lot and thinking of him as a friend.  When Frank dies, Lucifer is angry and upset, not only at the killer but at his Dad for letting it happen.  All that time he kept insisting he didn’t care about Frank, but he did.

All of this comes full circle in the season finale when he is shot and then begs Dad to protect Chloe, saying he’ll do anything as long as Chloe is safe.  People like to say that it was Chloe who made Lucifer start to change and care about people, and while she certainly had a part in it, he was already showing signs of it at the start before he ever knew she existed.  Perhaps it’s what Maze said at the beginning: Being among humans is changing him.  Or maybe he always had that side to him and he just needed a little nudge to let it come out further.

Detective Chloe Decker
Chloe is an interesting character.  On the surface she doesn’t really seem to have much to her other than that she just wants to catch the bad guys and she loves her daughter.  But there is obviously so much more to her, but you mostly have to read between the lines to get it.  I’m going to focus on the other stuff right now, though.  When we’re first introduced to Chloe, she doesn’t appear to have the best reputation with all the other cops she works with.  The person who seems to be pushing her away the most, at least at the beginning, is her ex-husband.  Yet despite everyone seeming to be against her, she keeps pushing forward, not just to get her reputation back, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Chloe won’t take any BS from anyone, least of all Lucifer.  When she feels like she’s on to something, she refuses to let it go until she uncovers the truth.  While she won’t take unnecessary risks, she’s definitely not afraid to use her gun either, going so far as shooting Lucifer at one point.

I don’t feel like Chloe went through any major character changes in the course of this season.  She did go on a bit of a journey, but it was more her fight to show everyone that she was right when everybody was against her.  We see her relationship with other characters developing and changing, but not so much her as an individual, though perhaps there is some in a few small ways.

Mazikeen “Maze”
Maze is honestly one of my favorite characters on the show, though unfortunately she doesn’t really get her chance to truly shine until season 2.  She does have a lot of development in this season, mainly toward the end, but it ends up being more a setup for her character arc that will continue with the next season.

Maze is a demon, and said to be hell’s chief torturer.  Lucifer brought her with him to Earth most likely because she refused to be left behind, and maybe because he wanted to have her with him.  They say that she is Lucifer’s bodyguard, though it’s obvious that he doesn’t really need her help in defending himself (until he finds out he’s mortal and vulnerable).  She seems to enjoy the partying, and especially the sex, but even in episode one she asks when they’re going to go back home.  Obviously for her, being among humans is nothing more than a fun distraction, just a little vacation, but she’s getting tired of it and she wants to go back.  Lucifer, on the other hand, never wants to return.  While hell was her home, for him it was always a prison, even if he was supposed to be the warden.

As Lucifer begins to grow more attached to humanity, and when he becomes vulnerable, Maze gets upset because she realizes, not only is this a dangerous game he’s playing, but she’s starting to lose him.  He grows more distant from her in each episode, and even when she does everything to get his attention he just ignores her, mainly for Chloe.  It gets even worse when Lucifer found out she was helping Amenadiel so they could go back and he shuts her out entirely.  She then starts having relations with Amenadiel but tries to use that as a way to get back with Lucifer.  She realizes that she cares for Amenadiel too, though, and that they are both trying to use her to get at the other.  She’s caught up in an abusive relationship with two different men, and she’s finally done.  This is the beginning of her story, and we will see it continue in the next season.

Amenadiel
He’s an angel sent to make Lucifer go back to hell and when Lucifer refuses, Amenadiel decides to take matters into his own hands.  That phrase is very important to keep in mind.  He says he’s doing this all because Dad told him to, but in truth he was acting on his own.  It turns out that since Lucifer wasn’t in hell, Amenadiel had to take over Lucifer’s job.  He hated it, and his hatred for Lucifer grew with it, so he decided to do anything it took, consequences be damned, to get Lucifer back.

He started out by manipulating Maze, going to her to try and get her to help him, because he could see how much she wanted to go back.  When he got what he wanted from her and it backfired and she was angry, he just turned it back on her as if to say it was her own fault for betraying Lucifer even though he was pushing for her help to begin with.  He manipulated Lucifer’s therapist to get her to say things to make him want to go back.  And then he released a damned soul from hell and brought someone back to life and blackmailed him into trying to kill Lucifer himself, which ended up resulting in the deaths of many innocent humans.

He began developing feelings for Maze later on, and when that happened I think that’s when he began to change his ways a slight bit.  It wasn’t until she yelled at him and Lucifer that he really realized that everything he’d been doing was wrong.  In the end he wanted to turn things around and make them right.  He even started being Lucifer’s brother again.  But like Maze, we will see more of his character arc in the next season.  He hasn’t escaped the consequences of his actions yet.

Detective Dan Espinoza
Dan, or as Lucifer refers to him, “detective douche”, is an interesting character.  In the pilot it almost seemed as if he was going to be the stereotypical jerky ex-husband character that no one would like and would always be at odds with Lucifer.  As the season progressed, though, we see that isn’t exactly the case.  Lucifer certainly perceives him that way which is why he continues being a jerk to Dan every chance he gets, but Dan isn’t really as bad as we’re meant to think.  Even though he’s separated from Chloe, it’s still clear that he cares about her and wants what’s best for her.  The problem is that his judgement isn’t always the best.

On top of being the one to shoot Malcolm and then covering it up, he then began gaslighting Chloe and making her think she was crazy and essentially turning everyone in the police department against her and then continuing to perpetuate it by saying things like “oh you shouldn’t take this case, people are still mad at you for the other one”.  While it’s true that he had good intentions in doing what he did – he shot Malcolm so Malcolm couldn’t shoot her – and how exactly was he going to tell anyone the truth without getting himself arrested?  But he could have done something more to stick up for Chloe during all of that.  And in the end he realized this, and though he couldn’t take any of it back, he still did all he could to make it right, including turning himself in.  Danial Espinoza is one of my favorite characters and he’s not given enough credit.  He will get more of a character arc in season 2 as well.

Doctor Linda Martin
Ah, Linda.  She’s an interesting one as well.  When she’s introduced in the pilot episode she comes across almost like a throwaway comic relief character, but upon watching that episode multiple times it’s clear that’s not what she was intended to be.  She immediately begins psychoanalyzing Lucifer while he’s talking with Chloe and Linda just seems to get him almost immediately.  And yes, while she does become subject to his charms, she’s still able to look past that and see through him like no one else seems to be able to do.

The best part of her development in this season was when she stopped saying no to Lucifer, that she wanted to keep their relationship completely professional and stop having sex with him. (Not only because of how unethical it was, but because she just realized that there could be more to him than just a pretty face or how good he was in bed, and she could only get to it if she stopped).  She is perhaps the most pivotal part of Lucifer’s development as she is helping him to learn about himself and cope with his insecurities.  Linda is truly the MVP of this show and she deserves all the love and probably really needs a vacation.  She will also get a deeper character arc in season 2.

Lucifer & Chloe
As I mentioned before, Chloe herself doesn’t seem to get that big of a development arc on her own, but she certainly has one when it comes to her relationship with Lucifer.  It starts out with her actively despising him, but as she keeps running into him and he keeps somehow weaseling his way into working with her, she actually starts to like him a little bit.  The reason Lucifer is so interested in her, of course, is because his charms don’t seem to work on her and that perplexes and intrigues him and he just really wants to find out what makes her so different.  But as he gets closer to her just to find this out, he also realizes that he really likes helping her on her cases.  It gives him a sense of purpose, plus he enjoys seeking out justice for those who have been wronged, though at first he just wanted punishment for those who did wrong.

I believe that, perhaps, as he worked with Chloe and saw what she was passionate about – which is getting justice – he saw in her something that he wanted to become.  Sure, he doesn’t like that she wants to follow the rules all the time because he likes breaking rules, but he deeply respects her for what she does and believes is the right thing to do and it begins rubbing off on him.  As he keeps saying throughout the season, he isn’t evil, he punishes evil.  What better job for him than being the partner of a homicide detective?

Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship starts off entirely professional – well for the most part anyway, barring that time Lucifer kept trying to get Chloe to sleep with him.  That ended swiftly when he realized the sorts of boundaries he was breaking and it was wrong for multiple reasons.  For a time they were just work partners, but they slowly started becoming friends, until they became friends outside of work.  Chloe was there for Lucifer when Frank died, and then she went to him when Dan (supposedly) broke up with her through a text.  He went to help her when her daughter was kidnapped.  For the first time, Lucifer had someone in his life who actually cared about him, and it wasn’t because of sex and partying or anything like that.  She just cared about him.

And I know people like to ship the two of them together (and yes there’s technically something to it in season 2), but I still hold that in season 1 their relationship works best as being completely platonic.  Sure, there’s UST there, but it’s more on Lucifer’s part than on Chloe’s, and in the end he realizes that their relationship is perfect the way it is.  It’s something more than just being work partners, and it’s not about having sex. They just care about each other, even when they don’t necessarily know everything about each other, and for the time being that’s okay.  Because even when it looked like the world was against both of them, they still believed in each other.

Themes
I think the theme of this show, overall, is redemption.  While that does carry over into the next season as well, it’s got a slightly different focus, but season 1 is all about redemption while focusing on different smaller themes as well.  Punishment vs Justice, betrayal, loyalty, second chances, selfishness and selflessness, sacrifice.  This season, while it does have strong side characters, is mainly focused on Lucifer and Chloe alone. (Season 2 focuses on all of the characters).  Because of this tighter focus on just these two characters, we get a more intimate understanding of the two of them alone.  It also comes across as much darker than the next season will.

This season is very much about both Lucifer and Chloe learning to overcome what people think about them.  Lucifer doesn’t want to be seen as the evil devil that the entire world thinks of him as, while Chloe is having to deal with her department hating her for seeing Malcolm as a dirty cop instead of the hero everyone else saw him as, along with overcoming how Lucifer and several others saw her as the girl from the movie Hot Tub High School.  The difference between them is that while Chloe is just trying to do what’s right and doesn’t care about what other people think of her, Lucifer just gets angry and even succumbs to it sometimes, saying if that’s how people see him maybe he should just prove them right and become the devil they all want him to be.  But that’s not him, even when he threatens to be more monstrous than he normally is.

Halfway through the show it sort of became a “what sort of life lesson will Lucifer learn this week?” while he was projecting onto every single case they did, trying to relate himself to the people involved only to brush what he might have learned aside because he is an actual child who does not want to deal with hard issues.  And, even though he is changing throughout this season, he still refuses to deal with most of his issues that Dr. Linda so desperately tries to make him face.  He’s come a long way, but there’s still more he has to learn, more he has to face about himself, before he’s truly ready to move forward.

But, those are things that will be explored in the next season.

Season 1 of Lucifer is an entertaining look at what happens when the devil decides to open a club in LA and then solve crimes with a homicide detective and how he changes along the way.  It’s a show about people just trying to live their lives and be the best they can be, but they mess up a lot.  Even when they mess up, though, they try to make things right and be good people.  In the end, what more can you ask for?  They’re just trying their best, and it’s wonderful to see.

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