LUCIFER - Season 5 Key Art |©2020 Netflix

LUCIFER – Season 5 Key Art |©2020 Netflix

LUCIFER wrapped its six-season run – the first three on Fox, the last three on Netflix, where all seasons are now available – on September 10, 2021. This multi-part interview with LUCIFER co-executive producer/writer Mike Costa is extremely spoilery, but by now, we’re hoping that readers have had time to catch up with the series climax.

ASSIGNMENT X last spoke with Costa in the middle of LUCIFER Season 5. The series, developed for television by Tom Kapinos, based on the DC Comics by Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth, based on the character created by Neil Gaiman for Vertigo (got all that?), was under the charge of executive producers/show runners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich for most of its existence.

In LUCIFER, the title character (Tom Ellis) leaves Hell, opens a nightclub in Los Angeles, and becomes fascinated with LAPD Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). Lucifer forces his way into being an LAPD consultant, and becomes good at the job, despite his astonishing self-centeredness. He and Chloe also fall in love, even though there are some speed bumps when she finds out that a) he’s not being metaphorical when he talks about being the Devil, and b) she was created by God (Dennis Haysbert) to be Lucifer’s soulmate.

Aimee Garcia, Kevin Alejandro, Lauren German, Tom Ellis, Tricia Helfer, Lesley-Ann Brandt, DB Woodside and Rachael Harris in LUCIFER - Season 2 |©2016 Fox/Brendan Meadows

Aimee Garcia, Kevin Alejandro, Lauren German, Tom Ellis, Tricia Helfer, Lesley-Ann Brandt, DB Woodside and Rachael Harris in LUCIFER – Season 2 |©2016 Fox/Brendan Meadows

Onscreen, in the second half of Season 5, Lucifer’s father God abdicates the Heavenly throne to support his wife (Tricia Helfer) in Her universe of creation (different than ours). This leads to a battle between Lucifer and his noxious twin brother Michael (also Ellis), with Lucifer winning and becoming God. That ends Season 5.

In Season 6, Lucifer gradually realizes he doesn’t want to be God. Instead, he is urged by his and Chloe’s time-traveling daughter Rory (Brianna Hildebrand) to go back and reform Hell. Lucifer accepts that it is his destiny to rule Hell not as a torturer of damned souls, but as a therapist-like figure who can help souls make peace with their Earthly lives so that they can ascend to Heaven. Upon Chloe’s natural mortal death, she (returned to her youthful appearance) joins Lucifer as his partner in this endeavor.

Behind the scenes, the LUCIFER company was initially told that Season 5 would be their last. They crafted the sixteen episodes accordingly – and then, partway through, were informed by Netflix that they’d been picked up for a sixth (but this time definitely final) season.

This first part of our exclusive phone interview with Costa concerns the end of the series. Was it originally set to end with Lucifer becoming God, as he did at the climax of Season 5, or was it always going to end with him becoming a therapist in Hell?

Tom Ellis as Lucifer and Lauren German as Chloe Decker in LUCIFER - Season 5 - "Lucifer! Lucifer! Lucifer!" |©2020 Netflix/John P. Fleenor

Tom Ellis as Lucifer and Lauren German as Chloe Decker in LUCIFER – Season 5 – “Lucifer! Lucifer! Lucifer!” |©2020 Netflix/John P. Fleenor

“Yes,” Costa acknowledges. “When we thought that Season 5 was our final season, which is what we thought for ninety percent of the production of Season 5, of right up until we were literally writing the final episode,” he laughs, “and then we found out that they wanted to do a Season 6. The ending that you see in Season 6 was essentially the ending that we had indeed planned for Season 5. Where all of the characters end up, that is exactly what we had planned when we were going to end it in Season 5.

“So, when we found out that Season 5 would not be the final season, we took a few days to really figure out, ‘Okay, what are we going to do?’ There were a lot of different things on the table. One of the things that we talked about was, ‘Well, why don’t we just do it? Why don’t we just finish the episode the way we had intended, as if it was the series finale, and then see if we can figure out something else to do in Season 6? Maybe there is more to do with these characters, even though we’re going to do what we did, we’re going to quote-unquote “end” it, maybe we can figure something out.’ That was one idea.”

LUCIFER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON | © 2016 Warner Home Video

LUCIFER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON | © 2016 Warner Home Video

One writers’ room suggestion was that Lucifer and Chloe, now working from Hell, essentially go back to being detectives to try to figure out what the people in Hell needed in order to stop feeling guilty so that they could ascend. “I think it’s such a great, organic idea to come out of the concept of Lucifer and Chloe in Hell. That definitely was something that someone suggested. And then another idea was, ‘Should we just throw away this whole thing, and come up with something brand-new that we work towards?’ We talked about a lot of things.”

Finally, Costa says, “We decided, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to end the final episode of Season 5 on the moment Lucifer becomes God, and we’re just going to cut off what would have been the last ten minutes of the episode, showing what happens to various characters, and various characters making decisions.’

“Because what was actually happening was, Joe and Ildy were writing the script for the final episode of Season 5, which we thought was the finale of the series. And Ildy in particular, I think, was the person who was writing the last act of the show. It was a six-act show. So, Act 6 was always the end of the script, and that was the thing that Ildy was tackling. Even though we no longer had commercials on Netflix, we still structured the scripts in the same way, because that was the familiar way to do the show. And she was working on that act.”

Costa believes that it was Modrovich who ultimately said, “ ‘Listen. Some of these characters are making such big decisions in what’s essentially seven pages of a script, it’s just not enough time’,” he laughs. “ ‘I’m realizing that Lucifer becomes God, and then almost right away, he decides that he shouldn’t be God, and that he should go to Hell instead. It’s just happening so fast that actually getting another season is very, very helpful. Because we should take more time with him coming to this decision. It’s not enough room for a character to make a decision this dramatic.’ And that’s really what clinched how we were going to do the end of Season 5.”

LUCIFER - Season 4 Key Art | ©2019 Netflix

LUCIFER – Season 4 Key Art | ©2019 Netflix

After that, Costa continues, “The rest of Season 6 was essentially, as I said, we were going to take where all the characters were going to end up anyway, and just expand that over a season. So, yes, it was going to end – Season 5, as the final season, was going to end with Lucifer becoming a therapist. Actually, specifically, it was going to end in the exact same moment of Chloe arriving, Lucifer saying hello, bringing her in, and closing the door. That was the end of the show from when we first ‘knew’ that Season 5 was the last season, which of course it ended up not to be, but when we started Season 5, knowing it was the last season, one of the things we did in the beginning of that year was talk about, ‘Okay, what is the last thing that happens in the show?’ We came to that idea pretty quickly, and that never changed.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with Kevin Alejandro chats more about Season 5B and more – Part 2

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with Kevin Alejandro on Season 5B and more – Part 1

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with Kevin Alejandro on Season 4, directing and playing detective – Part 2

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with Kevin Alejandro on Season 4 – Part 1

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with showrunner Joe Henderson on Season 4 and Season 5  – Part 2

RelatedLUCIFER: Exclusive interview with showrunner Joe Henderson on Season 4 and Netflix – Part 1

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with Tricia Helfer on playing the Supreme Goddess on Season 3

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with actress Aimee Garcia on Season 3

Related: LUCIFER: Exclusive interview with Kevin Alejandro on Season 3

Related: LUCIFER: Showrunner and executive producer Joe Henderson on Season 3 and mythology  – Exclusive Interview – Part 2

Related: LUCIFER: Showrunner and executive producer Joe Henderson on Season 3 – Exclusive Interview – Part 1

Related: LUCIFER: Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich on Season 2 – exclusive interview

Related: LUCIFER: Kevin Alejandro chats about his rivalry with the devil – exclusive interview

Related: LUCIFER: Lauren German on working with the Devil – exclusive interview

Related: LUCIFER: Jonathan Littman on having fun with the devil – exclusive interview

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ArticleLUCIFER: Exclusive interview with writer and co-executive producer Mike Costa on the end of the popular DC Comics adaptation – Part 1

 

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