When was the first time you heeded your ‘inner call’ and rebelled against your family? And what followed? Banishment from the house, grounding in your room? Perhaps they forced you to do some chores that you absolutely hated, and every second at it would have seemed like hell! If that’s the case, then you will deeply identify with the series “Lucifer” and its central character.
Lucifer Samael Morningstar is an errant angel who was subjected to a punishment exactly as described above and finally condemned to rule Hell after rebelling against his dad aka God! But tired of the mundane work and once again giving in to his desires, he leaves Hell and ends up running a nightclub called “Lux” in the city of angels, Los Angeles.
Lucifer, a biblical character in the series created by Tom Kapinos, found its inspiration in the DC/Vertigo cult comic called ‘The Sandman’. The character in ‘The Sandman’ was, in turn, penned by Neil Gaiman as a supporting character, which was largely derived from ‘The Devil’ in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. Later it was spun off into an independent self-titled comic book by Mike Carey.
The basic format of this urban American fantasy is very police procedural in nature. But this is merely a crispy curve as the series is dominated by Lucifer who comes across as a character of mystery and punisher of the underworld, but with the backbone of a detective. The show revolving around solving murder cases is rather shadowed by the mystery of Lucifer who has his own agenda in progress. But the fun aspect of the series is that it rattles our dearly held beliefs about God, Angels, Devil, Demons and Hell to their very core.
The show reaches another dimension (quite literally) when the devil, who on the one hand feeds on punishing people and on the other eggs them towards freedom and free will, realises he is stuck in the loophole of an existential crisis. He tries to actually understand the whole concept, and goes through the journey of self-awareness like any other human, fully grasping the potential of ‘The Devil’ and transcends into his real self, hugging the good, bad, and the crispy in him.
The series is indeed a mind-boggling fusion of scary and beautiful. It opens with Lucifer Morningstar (played by actor Tom Ellis) happily driving his sexy, black Corvette convertible. He is a smarmy, smug devil owning a night club but with the ability to woo anybody with his unworldly charms. He has the supernatural power to draw the deepest darkest desires of people, and his mojo is in a twist with his incapability to lie.
When a dear friend is murdered, Lucifer crosses paths with Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), a typical, no-nonsense cop, and joins hands with her to solve the case. Chloe, once an actress, finds solace in LAPD and her strict and stringent persona makes it abundantly clear that she would not be taken lightly for being a woman. She also is the only human being immune to Lucifer’s charms. Thus, begins the journey of their odd partnership in solving crimes.
Then, there are the others. Amenadiel (D. B. Woodside), the ‘Warrior Angel’ and Lucifer’s brother, is driven by one goal – to make Lucifer return to hell – and is thus forced to visit Earth despite known how precarious the interaction between the earthly and divinity would be. But who can tame the one who tames the world? Lucifer also has by his side his best friend, Mazikeen aka Maze (Lesley Ann Brandt), the demon without a soul, but with plenty experience torturing the dead. She protects him from all troubles, known and unknown. Dr Linda Martin (Rachael Harris), the psychotherapist of the show plays the crucial role of helping these characters straighten their crooked stories, only to realise that she is the only human insider into the celestial world, dealing with the most powerful and dysfunctional family of the universe.
Lucifer is a truly subversive and bold series, completely embracing the perversions and pleasures of the world in every possible hedonistic manner. Lucifer peels off all the layers of the dark side of human existence through drugs, sex, orgies, and various other things, to experience true freedom, but mainly to stick it to his dad.
One of the interesting aspects of the series is the humanisation of hell. Across cultures, we blame the Devil for our evilness, for all the heinous and shameful actions we commit, and then abuse him for chastising us in after-life. But is he really responsible for our actions or their consequences? The Devil doesn’t hold us at gunpoint and force us to be cruel, nor does he exploit our fallacies and insecurities to tune our lives. We make our own choices! Then, is our notion of hell as the purgatory of our so-called crimes, true?
Lucifer has been one of the most controversial series of the decade. Millions of people had signed petitions to cancel the airing even before the show started. With the release of every season, the show was claimed to be spiritually dangerous since it disrespected God and questioned the beliefs of Christianity. The show was vilified for portraying Satan as the protagonist and glorifying him as a caring and likeable person.
However, if you look closely, these protests might appear to be simply a hullabaloo with a hidden pro-Christianity propaganda based on reverse psychology; after all, the show did become popular in the more religious places around the world.
Lucifer might be the Lord of Hell, yet his character is as tragic as any human being in existence. He feels these minuscule creations of God, he smirks at the idea of change but fails to see how humane he has become, and he is fighting the same battles of unconditional love, care, and most importantly, achieving absolute freedom, something we all crave. Perhaps he does not realise the osmosis of being with humans which leads him to picking certain elements like feelings and emotions.
Will Lucifer achieve absolute freedom? Or will he simply prove to be the first living being ruined for life due to father issues? Will his interaction with earthly creatures put him in the path of self-discovery and realisation, eventually exposing whether he is truly the Devil or simply a fallen angel to be reborn? Lucifer is a must watch if you want to unravel these and many more mysteries lurking in the light, and more so in the dark!
Zeba Ali holds a Master's Degree in Psychology and is a Life Skills Coach. She loves to channelise her inner shrink into watching series and films, and then writes about them in a "crispy" manner.
The views and opinions expressed in the above article belong to the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official opinion, policy or position of Lokmaanya.