WARNING: The following review contains minor spoilers for Lucifer's fourth season, arriving May 8 on Netflix.
As a procedural police drama, Lucifer is filled with lesser villains; murderers and other criminals ranging from the fearful to the fiendish. Those are not the ones that push the overarching plot along, though. That honor belongs to the major antagonists, which are, for the most part, supernatural or biblical beings. In Season 1, it was Malcolm Graham, the corrupt cop; in Season 2, it was Charlotte Richards or, rather, the goddess inhabiting her body; and in Season 3, it was Marcus Pierce, also known as the immortal Cain.
Marketing for Season 4 hinted at not one, but two major villains. One is Father Kinley and the other is the original sinner, Eve. The former is as deceitful and obviously evil -- at least, from Lucifer's point of view -- as you would expect, but Eve is another story. Unlike other villains on the show, she isn't out to harm anyone or destroy anything. She just wants to live freely, and she immediately starts to charm everyone around Lucifer. However, as delightful or friendly as she might seem, the show makes it very clear that her presence isn't a good thing.
Eve is introduced at the end of "O, Ye of Little Faith, Father" (directed by Jessika Borsiczky) as Father Kinley reveals the prophecy he had been trying to prevent: "When the devil walks the Earth and finds his first love, evil shall be released." It's heavily implied that Eve is a harbinger of destruction, though it isn't immediately clear whether she would intentionally cause it. In the episodes that follow, her role becomes increasingly clear, and we start to see that the destruction Kinley feared does not come about as a result of evil intent, but as a consequence of the kind of freedom Eve pursues.
In "All About Eve" (directed by Sherwin Shilati), we are reminded of her story. She was created from Adam's rib to be his wife, but there was never any love or affection there, and he never accepted her for being who she was and still is. Which is why, after thousands of years, she left heaven in search of Lucifer.
As much as the devil has changed throughout the show, we cannot forget who he was in the past. It was Lucifer that helped Eve unknowingly doom humanity by -- as it is heavily implied in the show -- fooling around with her, to put it mildly. As terrible as the consequences were for Eve, she still loved Lucifer and the unrestricted excitement he was able to give her. She loved his unbridled pursuit of pleasure and the unpredictable life he led, which is why she's able to accept him for who he is, unlike everyone else around him.
Because she offers that acceptance, Lucifer allows himself to be influenced by her, and therein lies the issue. Eve clearly loves a version of Lucifer that doesn't completely exist anymore. He's learned a lot and he's changed over the years, thanks to humans like his therapist, Linda, and, of course, his crime-fighting partner, Chloe Decker. If Eve just wanted simple fun and freedom, she wouldn't present much of a problem. Unfortunately, that's not all she wants. She wants Lucifer to be the devil she remembers: The hedonist who valued nothing except his own sense of pleasure.
The more time Lucifer spends with Eve, the more he seems to fall back into his old ways and embrace the monstrous image he has of himself, leading to almost irredeemable acts of evil. In Season 4, he comes perilously close to committing the greatest of all sins.
Lucifer has taken a human life just once, when he murdered Cain in order to protect Chloe. That murder was at least justifiable. In "Orgy Pants to Work" (directed by Louis Milito), Lucifer almost murders a second human, Julian, as punishment for the latter's involvement in human trafficking. He does so in front of Eve, who watches with a smile, perhaps not in any particular show of approval for the crime itself, but for the fact that Lucifer is embracing his role as the devil.
As with many of the storylines in Lucifer, Eve's involvement is complicated. Her love and acceptance of Lucifer has caused him to regress and abandon any and all changes he might have made in pursuit of Chloe Decker's affections. That's why, even if she isn't completely guilty when it comes to the utter mayhem that is sure to follow, she's still very much a villain. Regardless of her intentions or the fact that she might be arguably innocent at heart, her place in the story runs in direct conflict with Lucifer's journey as a hero.
It's certainly never been done before in the series, not even with Lucifer's mother. What's great about Eve is that she has slowly turned Lucifer into a monster. It will be interesting to see how he redeems himself, if he can, and how his actions with Eve affect his relationship with Decker, who has always tried to see the good in him. As any great villain, Eve has provided the show with a conflict that ensures Lucifer as a character can be more thoroughly explored. What's even more praiseworthy is the fact that she did it all without ever evincing any of the villainous qualities we've come to expect.
Helmed by Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich, Lucifer’s fourth season stars Tom Ellis as the Devil, Lauren German as Det. Chloe Decker, D.B. Woodside as Amenadiel, Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin, Kevin Alejandro as Det. Dan Espinoza, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen Smith, Aimee Garcia as Ella Lopez, and newcomer Inbar Lavi as Lucifer’s ex and Adam’s wife Eve. The show releases on Netflix on May 8.