Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A celestial family reunion teaches Lucifer that “Nothing Lasts Forever”

Tom Ellis, Lauren German
Tom Ellis, Lauren German
Graphic: John P. Fleenor/Netflix

“Can’t you… stay and annoy me for a bit longer?”

I suppose that since God/Dad’s tenure on Lucifer officially began with a family dinner, it only makes sense that it ends with a family reunion. Or, a few family reunions, actually. Dad’s retirement barbecue at the park, Dad and Mom’s second act, even the double Decker date (featuring a returning Rebecca de Mornay as Chloe’s mother, Penelope). You could even say that Maze’s plans for Hell are technically plans for another family reunion. But ultimately, the family reunion that matters most is the one that means Dennis Haysbert’s time on Lucifer (and His time here in this universe) is over. And Chris Rafferty’s script provides a satisfying end to a satisfying arc.

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First of all, while Lucifer has done a solid job of portraying God as a parent who’s started to miss a step as He’s advanced in years, the reveal that it was Michael all along still works. (Michael’s ability to tap into fears plus that pesky little self-actualization feature equals a gaslit God.) This bit of business was set up in 5A—when Amenadiel informed Lucifer that Michael had become Dad’s right-hand man in the Silver City—and now it turns out to be paying off in a big way here in 5B. So even with the realization that He’s still got it, Dad still decides to retire from being God. And while Lucifer may want to be God now, he definitely isn’t the twin who had the idea first. Which means... Well, let’s worry about that later.

When Dad says the titular line—“Nothing lasts forever.”—it’s in response to Lucifer saying the “stay and annoy me” line. But it’s also the show’s way of saying that Lucifer’s daddy issues can’t last forever. While they’ve been a driving force of Lucifer’s characterization and behavior since the beginning of the series, much like his self-hatred, eventually, he needed to truly confront them. 5B has allowed Lucifer to do so, giving the series a much-needed sense of closure on this end. Even though season five isn’t the final season, this closure is still very welcome—because it is five seasons in, after all. Lucifer is still Lucifer, but at least now he understands Dad a lot more—and vice versa. And with Dad finally telling Lucifer He loves him, perhaps that now opens Lucifer up to realize that he’s not “incapable of love.”

However, with the loss of daddy issues comes the new issue of Lucifer having to prove to everyone that he’s “worthy” of becoming God. His siblings openly admit they don’t find him worthy—as they all believe Amenadiel to be—and we close the episode with the acknowledgment that Michael is seriously challenging him for the throne. (Which at least gets Remiel on Lucifer’s side.) Chloe also spends a good chunk of this episode concerned about what Lucifer becoming God will mean for their relationship, with Lucifer doing very little to lessen those concerns. Now, considering how much she’s struggled with him being invulnerable around her lately, imagine how much worse that would be with him as God. But ultimately, Chloe makes the decision to support Lucifer fully in this endeavor, choosing to quit the LAPD in order to do so. That’s how all-in Chloe still is when it comes to her relationship with Lucifer, even though things have been strained in 5B.

Because of that strain, this episode’s awkward double Decker date is truly a return to form for the Lucifer/Chloe relationship and a much-deserved treat for Lauren German. Chloe has spent most of this half-season being sad, and in this scene, while she ultimately ends up sad again (and mad), at least it’s not because of Lucifer. A Lucifer/Chloe double date with anyone is bound to bring shenanigans, but one with their respective parents (God...frey and Penelope) is an exotic recipe for awkward comedy. Chloe guzzling down wine as she tries to survive a night of embarrassing parental stories, Lucifer trying to poorly parent trap (again), Dad and Penelope bonding over parenting, despite the celestial-human divide. I don’t know who exactly in the writers’ room was the first to decide this double date needed to happen, but I greatly appreciate them.

The case-of-the-week is definitely worth it for the double date, even though the plot doesn’t quite land when it comes to the thematic element. (Or the case at all, considering the “sacrificing a few fish to save the many” reveal.) As much as Lucifer tries to paint the murder victim as “God-like,” the comparison just doesn’t track. Neither does Lucifer’s lesson learned from the killer’s speech—at least not fully. “If I had just listened to her… given her what she needed when she told me, then none of this would have ever happened.” Lucifer takes this all to heart in terms of listening to what Dad wants, but if anything—especially considering the arc in 5B—he should take it to heart with Chloe. While she makes the big decision at the end of the episode to show her support for him, that doesn’t change the fact that Lucifer still doesn’t listen to her all episode about her obvious and understandable issues with him being God.

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Stepping away from God talk for a moment, heavy is the head that wears the crown, but when it comes to Maze’s story, Lucifer proves that the same can be said when it comes to the demon that grows the soul. (“Heavy is the demon that grows the soul.” I mean... You know what I mean.) “Resting Devil Face” and “A Little Harmless Stalking” finally gave Maze what she’s wanted for quite some time: a soul and Eve. Unfortunately, she’s now regretting the former because she rejected the latter. As Maze tells Linda, “Having a soul is the worst.” Yeah, she wanted one... until she got one. Now all she has to show for it is heartache and a new fear of what awaits her in Hell, a Hell loop of her leaving Eve in that hospital room, breaking her heart over and over again. That fear and guilt then fuel a scene that challenges the double date as the comedic scene of the episode: Maze v. Puppies, Dawn Of Pupness. Call me morbid, but it’s absolutely hilarious to see Maze, surrounded by puppies, trying to hype herself up to go through with killing them—in Linda’s living room. Okay, that is the funniest scene of the episode.

But the best scene of the entire episode is Lucifer and Amenadiel’s farewell to their parents. Lucifer metaphorically moving Heaven and Earth to finally doing a successful parent trap on Mom and Dad is the kind of idealistic thing I’m sure a lot of children of divorce wish they could do. And as mushy as it might seem, it fully works. This is a scene that hinges on “finally.” Tom Ellis goes from playing a single-minded Lucifer all episode—putting the cart before the horse about the God thing—to a kid who just wants his parents to stay now that they’ve finally connected and he’s finally gotten past his issues with them. A returning Tricia Helfer and D.B. Woodside finally get to have the Mom/Amenadiel goodbye scene they never got to have at the end of season two. Dad finally tells Lucifer He loves him.

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The whole scene is also a beautiful reminder of how full of love Mom was for her children, even if the same couldn’t be said for her feelings on humans (other than Dan). Even without Helfer and Haysbert ever sharing screentime on the show prior to this scene, they both managed to bring such larger-than-life statures to these celestial parental figures in ways that have simultaneously felt in sync and like they made quite an odd couple. Finally put together—with Dad deciding it’s His time to live in Mom’s universe, among the centaurs—it’s impressive to see just how on the same wavelength these two actors are. Which makes for the perfect time and way for them to say goodbye to Lucifer and Amenadiel.

Because, unfortunately, as good as this scene is, nothing lasts forever.


Stray observations

  • Lucifer: “Lots of changes when I’m in charge. War eradicated, world hunger satiated. Hangovers… never should have existed in the first place.”
  • Lucifer: “Oh, well, it won’t change a thing. In fact, things will only get better. I’ll become omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. All the omnis.”
    Chloe: “But how is that good for our relationship?”
    Lucifer: “I’ll be there for you whenever and wherever you need me. I’ll know exactly what you’re thinking.”
    Chloe: “That’s not at all dangerous.”
  • Ella: “So the killer dumped the body, hoping the sharks would hide the murder?”
    Lucifer: “Should’ve known we’d smell something fishy.”
    Ella: “Aww, dad joke. Nice.”
    Lucifer: “Thanks. I’m practicing.” Surprised there’s not a runner of Ella assuming Chloe’s pregnant after this exchange.
  • This episode introduces a couple of new (speaking role) angels: Gabriel (Kimia Behpoornia) and Zadkiel (Joel Rush). “The Angel of Messages” and “The Angel of Righteousness,” respectively. Gabriel... is a backstabbing gossip. Zadkiel… is not a fan of Lucifer.
  • As for Remiel, we met her back in “Devil Is As Devil Does.” This episode marks the first time she’s interacted with Lucifer though.
  • Gabriel: “Have you heard? Dad’s getting old, and He’s losing it.”
    Lucifer: “Who told you that?”
    Gabriel: “Michael. At first, we were like, ‘What? No way!’ But then we heard that Dad was making people sing, turned himself mortal, lost his powers, exploded a human.”
    Lucifer: “He put the human back together again.” I imagine that by telling his siblings that Dad’s losing it, Michael is also playing into their fears. So, Lucifer announcing that he’s taking over could only further said fear.
  • Lucifer: “Actually, it’s not going to be Amenadiel. It’s going to be the handsomest of us all.”
    Gabriel: “Hanjobadiel?”
  • Linda: “Maybe you could focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t.”
    Maze: “Not when I know Eve will end up in Heaven. Where I can never go.”
    Linda: “You don’t know that she’s gonna end up in Heaven.”
    Maze: “She’s the brightest, nicest, most caring, honest person ever. Of course she’s going to Heaven.” Wow. Lesley-Ann Brandt’s sad puppy dog delivery as she lists Eve’s qualities? Maze has got it bad.
  • The show’s already been over the fact that Lucifer constantly leaves Maze out of the loop, so there’s no need for her to get upset with him for not telling her about the whole God thing. (It took this long for Lucifer and Maze to finally have a real conversation about Lillith and the ring. They don’t talk.) Instead, she’s jazzed, because if she’s going to go back to Hell, this is it. This is the way. As Mazikeen, Queen of Hell. Or Maziqueen. One of those two.
  • God: “Everyone has darkness in them. It’s not about getting rid of it. It’s about accepting it. … The darker the darkness, the brighter the light. And you, Miss Lopez, shine so very, very brightly. I can see it all the way from Heaven.” This is easily the best scene about Ella’s “darkness” so far. Before this scene, we learn that Ella has been seeing Dr. Linda ever since she found out about serial killer Pete. Good. But we also learn that, at least mentally, Ella’s basically Dexter Morgan. Less good. As I’ve said before, I’m really struggling with this particular story. Her therapy session makes it less vague but... hmm.
  • While Chloe and Penelope’s relationship has always been tense, I was surprised that Chloe blamed her mother for holding her father back. I wasn’t surprised when Penelope revealed that she and John had decided to take turns with their careers, because since “Quid Pro Ho,” I’ve never doubted how much she loved her husband.
  • Michael: “Azrael really should have kept a better eye on her blade.” Honestly, yeah, she should have. Come on, Ray-Ray.
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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Despite her mother's wishes, LaToya Ferguson is a writer living in Los Angeles. If you want to talk The WB's image campaigns circa 1999-2003, LaToya's your girl.