'Lucifer' Showrunners on What Finale's Game-Changing Cliffhanger Means
“I think the next question is the same question that Lucifer is asking, which is, what do I do now?” Joe Henderson tells TheWrap
LUCIFER (L to R) TOM ELLIS as LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR in episode 509 of LUCIFER Cr. JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX © 2021
(Warning: This post contains major spoilers through the Season 5B finale of “Lucifer.”)
After finishing Season 5B of “Lucifer,” Lucifans are probably wondering where the hell the show goes from here now that Lucifer (Tom Ellis) is the ruler of Heaven — and the entire rest of the cosmos. Well, it’s certainly a pretty big game-changer heading into the sixth and final season of the Netflix (formerly Fox) series. But “Lucifer” showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich assure TheWrap they have a plan to keep fans of the Devil — er, God — intrigued and guessing about the show’s conclusion until the very end.
“Here’s what I can say: Every year we have an antagonist,” Henderson said. “But the biggest antagonist of our season was always Lucifer himself. He was always taking one step forward, two steps back. So I think the next question is the same question that Lucifer is asking, which is, what do I do now? And I think what’s so helpful in having a character as rich as Lucifer, is, you know, you got the dog that’s chasing the car. Well, what happens to the dog when he catches the car? That sounds like a great story for Season 6.”
See TheWrap’s full interview with Henderson and Modrovich below, in which they expand on the journey that allowed Lucifer to become God — including experiencing the pain of the death of Dan Espinoza (Kevin Alejandro) and Lucifer sacrificing himself to reverse his twin Michael’s murder of his love, Chloe Decker (Lauren German).
TheWrap: What was the decision behind Dan’s death as the catalyst to really get Lucifer serious about becoming God?
Joe Henderson: We realized early on that we needed something to really galvanize Lucifer. So much of leadership is you want the person who doesn’t want the job, right? You want the person who doesn’t want it for the wrong reasons, who needs to do it for the right reasons. And I’d argue that on the arc of it, Lucifer is still trying to figure out what the right reasons are. Because with Dan, he’s got the right justification, but there’s an anger to it that is clouding it. And so much of it within that journey, even with what happened to Dan, he’s still interpreting it wrong. So much of Lucifer’s journey is finding the wrong reasons to do the right thing, but ultimately then in doing so, in troubleshooting that path, finding the right decision. At the end, all of his actions aren’t about becoming God, they’re about saving the woman he loves, which in turn is what makes him worthy.
Ildy Modrovich: And the fun thing about Lucifer is that he’s always completely full of conviction, no matter where he is in his journey. Like, this is it. This is what I’m going to do. And he’s just all in. He’s never that wishy washy, which is something I am all the time in my life. So it’s hard to relate to. But at the moment when he decides that he wants to be God because of Dan, Joe’s right. It’s out of anger. And that’s still not the right reasons, but it is selfless. And that’s one step forward, at least. It’s not just out of vanity or because he wants it. It’s because of somebody else.
TheWrap: How did you set up the finale’s giant fight scene, which is a giant between Michael’s angels and Lucifer’s angels, humans and demons, for the job title of God?
IM: We were talking about this in another interview, but this is something that the pandemic kind of helped us decide. That final sequence is going to take place at the Mount Wilson Observatory. That’s where we had choreographed it. That’s where we had planned it. And then the pandemic hit, and when we started filming again, there were fires. Mount Wilson was engulfed in flames — and thank God they saved the observatory, by the way, those awesome firefighters — but we couldn’t film there anymore. Also, it was more enclose and we wanted to make sure we kept everybody safe. You know, we were coming back and we wanted an open space. So that’s when we found the Coliseum, and it became just a completely different animal in there. We also had less people; we couldn’t have as many people. So we thought of it as gladiators in the middle of an arena, and that’s what it became.
JH: And to that point, one things I love about TV is how the problem becomes the solution. Earlier on, it was much more of two big armies running in against each other. And because of limitations, we made it more about the Lucifer versus Michael, which is what the season is about anyway, what the story is about. And we were able to get that glorious midair battle, which there were elements of that we planned. But we really just leaned into that. We said, “Okay, let’s get a midair angel battle. We’ve never done that. Oh, my God, that will be amazing.” Basically we’ve got Tom fighting Tom in the air, who doesn’t want that?
TheWrap: Dan’s death is what gets Lucifer serious about becoming God, but it wasn’t until Chloe died and he journeyed up to heaven, knowing he would likely burst into flames upon arriving in heaven, to bring her back to life that he became God. How did you set this up, and Lucifer’s ability to finally confess to Chloe that he does love her, as the way to harness that power?
IM: Well, the final step in Lucifer becoming God was to do something completely selfless, but unconsciously. He didn’t even he didn’t even have to make the choice, really. He loved Chloe more than himself. And it’s when you do something and you don’t know that you’re going to get anything back, that’s the purest choice and the purest move. You know, he thought he was going to die and he did it anyway. It was kind of the ultimate sacrifice.
JH: And so much of the show is facing your fears, facing your past. And heaven represents the place that Lucifer could never return to. And finding a reason for him to go back that also was so urgent and so dangerous for him was so important to us. Like, he was his father, but going home is such a big and relatable metaphor. Having to go back to where you were and the fear of that. Being so scared of whether or not he will reject you — or in Lucifer’s case, burn you in flame. We really wanted to embrace that and wanted him to have the most dire reason possible to do so.
TheWrap: What can you say about where the sixth and final season goes from here? Where do you go once Lucifer is God? What story is left to tell?
JH: Here’s what I can say. Every year we have an antagonist. But the biggest antagonist of our season was always Lucifer himself. He was always taking one step forward, two steps back. So I think the next question is the same question that Lucifer is asking, which is, what do I do now? And I think what’s so helpful in having a character as rich as Lucifer, is, you know, you got the dog that’s chasing the car. Well, what happens to the dog when he catches the car? That sounds like a great story for Season 6.
Readers can find TheWrap’s interview with Ellis about the Season 5B finale and what to expect in the final season of “Lucifer” here.
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