Below is a spoiler-free review of Lucifer Season 6, which debuts on Netflix on Sept. 10.
The sixth and final season of Lucifer has come to its appropriately epic and bittersweet end, one that — in many ways — gives the fans what they truly desire.
That’s impressive, considering Netflix took on a lot when it heeded the fan-run campaign and picked up the admittedly odd show after it was canceled by Fox. How do you wrap up a show where characters live for eternity in Heaven, Hell, or elsewhere? How much fan service do you provide the fans who literally saved it? After the way Netflix ended the similarly toned The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I admit I had little faith. However, I, like Ella Lopez, found some things to restore it.
At the close of Season 5, Lucifer and his twin brother, Michael, battled at the L.A. Coliseum to decide which would become the new God. Ultimately, Lucifer and company defeated the duplicitous Michael and Lucifer seemed poised to ascend. Yet as Season 6 dawns, Lucifer isn’t quite so sure he’s ready to leave Lux and all his friends behind. Meanwhile, Chloe — who’s agreed to be God’s consultant in Heaven — can’t seem to hang up her detective persona. This becomes clear in Episode 1, “Nothing Ever Changes Around Here,” when they find themselves smack-dab in yet another whodunit while trying to have a last-night-on-Earth date.
But don’t worry, Season 6 doesn’t slip right back into a murder-of-the-week format. It experiments!
While last season saw Lucifer try musical and film noir episodes, this season features a cartoon episode reminiscent of Community’s “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” and a clips episode that eschews the monotony of the format for some insightful (and hilarious) perspective shifts. They make for some fun changes of pace in a genre that often relies on gimmicks.
And hey, gimmicks aren’t necessarily a bad thing; genre shows often do well with them. Just look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wynonna Earp, The Magicians, and even The X-Files. Lucifer’s work well, too, thanks in large part to the cast’s natural chemistry and the show’s sense of humor.
But one big challenge this season had was giving love to its supporting characters, arguably just as cherished by fans as Deckerstar, and here’s where it succeeds most. Season 6 sees a lot of Ella -- always a bonus -- and gives her more to do than play sidekick. Maze and Eve have some great scenes together, including a fun episode that revisits Eve’s past. Meanwhile, Linda contemplates her time as a celestial therapist, while Dan deals with being in Hell. It would’ve been a shame to nix Dan entirely after he spent five seasons going from Detective Douche to a likeable guy, so it’s nice to see the show catching up with him.
Amenadiel has perhaps the most poignant arc. Last season, he decided to enroll in the police academy, motivated in part by racial disparities he’d seen while trying to help Caleb, a Black teen bullied by cops and gangs alike, in Season 4. Actor DB Woodside has been open about the racist treatment from police he’s faced in his life, and told EW the episode with Caleb had been one of his favorites.
So, while Lucifer ignores the pandemic, it does revisit police brutality and racial injustice without mentioning specific real-world reckonings. It rightfully points out that Chloe, a white woman whose dad was a cop, wouldn’t have the same experience on the force as Amenadiel, an angel perceived on Earth as a Black man. As a white-passing Latina, I do not experience police harassment the way Black and Brown people do, so my ability to gauge how well this arc works is limited. What I do appreciate is that Lucifer didn’t back down on or forget the issue, chalk it up to “a few bad apples,” or cheerily wrap it up, the way shows might have in the past. It treats it as the ongoing, systemic problem that it is.
As for the main arc, the crux is obviously Lucifer’s upcoming job change, and it doesn’t come easy. There are new and old faces that come with whirlwinds of chaos, plus numerous Easter Eggs from seasons pasts. All told, it makes for a mostly satisfying conclusion, despite some timey-wimey plotting and unanswered questions. Will hardcore fans like it? It likely depends on what they see as the best endings for Deckerstar and company. Like Lucifer himself, it’s a little exasperating, but still a good time.
Season 6 could have done more with less, but instead chose to write itself into some very complicated corners that don’t quite pay off and are sure to ruffle some angel wings. Ultimately, however, it gives closure to its characters in a way that should be mostly heartwarming to its fanbase. It’s a fun, touching season to cap a fun series with a great cast that sells it, silliness and all.