However one chooses to refer to him, Satan — aka The Devil — has been depicted in popular culture for basically as long as there has been a concept of popular culture. It makes perfect sense really, as it’s hard to find a villain more menacing than the Prince of Darkness, a being generally considered to be the living embodiment of evil and hatred. Of course, not all screen depictions of Satan have been purely negative, with many presenting “Old Scratch” as a severely flawed, but not entirely despicable character.
The latest in this line of sympathetic Satans is Lucifer Morningstar, the protagonist of FOX’s hit dramedy Lucifer. Starring Welsh actor Tom Ellis (The Strain), Lucifer focuses on the titular devil, who has grown increasingly bored with running Hell’s everyday operations. Desiring new surroundings, Lucifer heads to Los Angeles, and soon begins solving cases alongside outsider LAPD detective Chloe Decker. Why would Lucifer care about solving crimes? The answer is simple: for the fun of exposing sinners in public. He’s also fascinated with Chloe because she is somehow immune to the effects of his infernal powers. The series is based on a Vertigo comic book of the same name, and was developed for TV by Californication creator Tom Kapinos.
Lucifer was somewhat of a surprise success for FOX last season, with many doubting that such an offbeat premise would work on the network. Now, Lucifer heads into its second season with a good deal of fan anticipation, and hope that the series won’t suffer some kind of sophomore slump. To that end, FOX has released a new promo for Lucifer season 2, which teases the resolution to the season 1 finale bombshell that Lucifer’s mother had escaped from Hell, leading to Lucifer being tasked by God with recapturing her.
Played by Battlestar Galatica vet Tricia Helfer, Lucifer’s mom is for all intents and purposes God’s “ex-wife,” and mother not just to Lucifer but to all angels of the lord. She’s been sealed away in Hell for millennia, and naturally God is none too happy when she finally manages to get free and arrive on Earth in human form. Outwardly, she says she’s just there to reconnect with her sons, but Lucifer suspects that there’s more to her than meets the eye. Unfortunately, his supernatural abilities obviously don’t work on her, leaving him to try and discover what she’s up to the old-fashioned way.
With Lucifer now an established part of the FOX fall line-up, Ellis finds himself in a potential career-making role. He’s been acting for nearly two decades, mostly in the UK, but has never really managed to hit upon a part big enough to become a household name in the states. If Lucifer season 2 proves that the series’ initial success was no fluke, Ellis could very well continue riding this demonic wave for many seasons to come.
Lucifer returns for season 2 on September 19, 2016.