‘Lucifer’: Tom Ellis’ 5 Greatest Performances as Lucifer Morningstar
Lucifer gained a cult following during its time on Fox and Netflix, and there’s no denying the series just wouldn’t be the same without Tom Ellis as the titular devil. Ellis brings both humor and charisma to the role, but he arguably shines the most when he’s digging deeper into Lucifer’s emotions. That’s always a challenge with characters who prefer to avoid their feelings, but Ellis captures the many nuances of the devil impressively. In particular, these five performances showcase just how much the actor excelled at bringing Lucifer Morningstar to life.
Lucifer displays the gamut of emotions after Uriel’s death
Lucifer Morningstar doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but Lucifer Season 2 shows him barely holding it together after killing Uriel. Ellis captures his character’s rage within the moment itself, but he also does an impressive job of portraying the grief that follows. However Lucifer felt about his brother, it’s clear killing him was a last resort — and an impulsive one at that.
The aftermath of Uriel’s death is one of the first times fans see Ellis’ character so raw and vulnerable. It’s an intriguing change of pace from his usual demeanor, and it underscores how much depth the devil has.
Season 3 ended on a high note before the show moved to Netflix
Lucifer Season 3 was the series’ last outing on Fox, and episode 24, “A Devil of My Word” — which was originally supposed to be the finale — ended things with a bang.
This installment brings Lucifer’s storyline with Cain (Tom Welling) to a close, with the latter leading Lucifer and Chloe (Lauren German) into a trap. When Cain’s goons start shooting at them, it’s obvious they’re in trouble. And time stops when Chloe gets shot and Lucifer uses his wings to protect her.
This is another scene where Ellis captures a complex mixture of emotions in a short span of time. Lucifer’s carefully concealed rage combined with his affection for Chloe leads to a moment that many fans won’t forget. Of course, it’s equally as satisfying to see Ellis’ character give Cain what he deserves — and inadvertently reveal his devil face to Chloe in the process.
‘Lucifer’ Season 4’s finale is heartbreaking and powerful
Lucifer boasts a number of powerful finales, and season 4’s last episode is arguably as emotional as season 3’s. Following a roller coaster of a season for Lucifer and Chloe, the former realizes he needs to return to Hell at the very end. Sadly, that revelation comes just as Chloe learns to accept who he really is. She even tells him that she loves him before he disappears.
And although Lauren German’s performance here is likely to stay at the forefront of viewers’ minds, Ellis’ proves just as compelling. While she’s finally able to confess everything she’s been holding back, Lucifer goes through the heartbreaking experience of pushing his feelings aside. Ellis conveys the sorrow and determination that comes with that decision, resulting in a stunning interaction between the two characters.
Tom Ellis doubles his range with Lucifer vs. Michael
It’s hard to narrow to one scene, but Ellis’ performance as both Lucifer and Michael in season 5 is impressive to say the least. Twin storylines can prove difficult, especially with one actor tackling both roles. That’s doubly true when those characters have vastly different personalities, as Lucifer and Michael do.
However, Ellis juggles the two characters with ease, maintaining Lucifer’s charming personality alongside Michael’s bitter, manipulative demeanor. Even when the two are interacting on-screen together, it’s far from distracting. In fact, viewers will appreciate Ellis’ ability to breathe life into these two — even when they’re contradicting or acting against one another.
‘Goodbye, Lucifer’ is some of Tom Ellis’ best work
The penultimate episode of Lucifer is full of emotional farewells, many of which capture just how much the title character has grown throughout the series. Ellis portrays that growth impressively from start to finish. Lucifer’s journey is hardly linear, and he backtracks on more than one occasion. By the time “Goodbye, Lucifer” arrives, however, he’s clearly a more mature man.
Ellis’ best performance in this episode is probably his scene on the beach with Rory (Brianna Hildebrand). But even his heartfelt thank you to Linda (Rachael Harris) and bittersweet apology to Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) highlight his development. These scenes serve as emotional goodbyes to the characters, but they also prove that the series was leading somewhere: to Lucifer becoming a better version of himself.
All six seasons of Lucifer are currently streaming on Netflix.