There’s nothing “normal” about Lucifer’s journey as a television series, so it’s no surprise that the series’ final San Diego Comic-Con panel would just so happen to be a virtual one, as part of this year’s Comic-Con@Home. Moderated by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Luke Cook — Netflix’s other Lucifer Morningstar — Saturday’s virtual Lucifer panel featured series star (and executive producer) Tom Ellis and series showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich as they looking back at the very recent (second half of the) fifth season of the series and then looking forward to the upcoming sixth and final season.
[Ed. note: The following contains spoilers for Lucifer season 5.]
Naturally, this past season’s musical episode (“Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam”) came up, as quite the impressive undertaking of both the season and the series as a whole. “Normally when you’re choosing songs [for the show], you’re like, ‘Oh, We love this, but we probably won’t get it,’” explained Ellis. “We ended up getting pretty much everything that we wanted to do, which was like a dream. We dreamed a dream and we got it.” Ellis was, of course, referencing his showstopping number with Lucifer’s father, God (Dennis Haysbert), in the episode, a number that even Modrovich couldn’t get enough of.
“I’ve watched that final song in the musical probably, like, five times. And that’s a lot, since I’ve watched it already 50 times. So, I loved that final moment between Tom and Dennis. I just think it’s perfect.” As for how the songs were chosen for this particular episode, Modrovich explained, “We broke the story first, and there were a couple of songs we knew we wanted to use. We knew we’d have a crime scene and we knew we wanted to use Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘cause it was just perfect. And they graciously let us use it. But all the others really came from the story.” She added, “Like, Dan was gonna feel like he was gonna go to Hell. And so I literally Googled songs, ‘going to Hell’ and found Squirrel Nut Zippers. So, they all came organically like that.”
Due to an imminent final season, there was an air of nostalgia to the panel. While the rest of the cast weren’t around, that didn’t stop Ellis from praising them. “We lucked out as a group of people, basically,” said Ellis. “Because when you do these journeys with people, you really, really hope that there’s people that you can get on with. And it’s been a strange journey, this show, because it hasn’t been seamless, and it’s not been the usual route of a show that goes six seasons. So we’ve kind of been through a lot together. Even when we first started, the show was in L.A. and then we moved to Vancouver, so that was quite a galvanizing moment for all of us, really, because we only had each other. So, to have that for the first couple of seasons and then bring it back to L.A. ... It was the foundation of the success of the show, I think. Just the fact that we really wanted to work with each other and for each other.”
However, when the question of why the show killed Dan (Kevin Alejandro) off came up, the showrunners made it very clear. “I’m gonna say it, here and now,” Modrovich said. “Tom’s idea.” Henderson followed up the joke, explaining, “Yeah [laughs] Tom hates Kevin Alejandro, it’s true.”
In all seriousness, the Lucifer showrunners confirmed what Alejandro had said in various season post-mortems, which was that he pitched for his character to be killed off. Of course, that was when the plan was for season 5 to be the final season of the series. Ellis explained that the concept of him playing both Lucifer and Lucifer’s twin, Michael, also came from a similar logic. “It was a bonkers idea that Joe and Ildy floated to me when we were gonna do season five. And I thought, ‘It’s the final season. Yes, let’s do it.’”
The second half of this season then saw just how bonkers it really was with the episode “Family Dinner”— in which the titular family dinner featured a lot of moving pieces, with both Lucifer and Michael in attendance — an experience Ellis referred to as ”exhilarating, exhausting, and kind of just the most insane kind of workrate that I’d ever had to do.”
As season 5 was originally shot as the final season of Lucifer, it also had the titular character mature quite a bit—to the point of defeating Michael to ultimately become the new God in the season finale. (According to Ellis, Michael’s now “spending time in timeout” come season six.) But according to Ellis, moving forward, “I think he grew up a lot. And he’s still in the process of growing up. But I think it’s that classic thing of ‘be careful what you wish for’. Because he did convince himself about a lot of things in season 5, but when something that you think about actually happens, it often feels very different. So that’s the kind of conundrum that Lucifer finds himself in season 6.”
Henderson added, “Because so much of his story in season 5 was maturing and growing up — and to Tom’s point — there is so much to explore when you actually get to the point where you think you’re done. You think you’ve become the person you’ve been trying to become. And that became really interesting to explore.”
Plus, as Modrovich noted and Lucifans already know, “With Lucifer, it’s always one step forward, two, three steps back.” Even if he’s the new God. Or maybe especially if he’s the new God, as Henderson and Modrovich were quite tight-lipped about what this new status quo will mean for Lucifer in the final season. Yes, they were clear that Lucifer and Lauren German’s Chloe were not engaged. “It’s not an official engagement,” said Henderson, regarding Lucifer giving Chloe Lilith’s ring before sacrificing himself in the season finale. “But it an emotional one, some might say.”
But when asked if Lucifer will have all of the power of God in season 6, Henderson said the notion would drive early parts of the final season. “I think that will be one of the first questions that our characters will be asking when we start season 6.” Less vagueness came in the form of answers about the “DevilCop” aspect of the series. As well as the “AngelCop” part, as they confirmed that Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) will be joining the LAPD in season 6. When asked if Lucifer will continue to solve crimes, Ellis answered, “Oh, I think it’s in his DNA now. There may be the odd thing to solve. He’s got quite a few mysteries to solve, to be honest, in season 6.”
During the panel, Netflix dropped a promo for the final season, announcing the official premiere date and even giving a little tease with new footage at the very end. Specifically, new footage tying back to the Lucifer pilot, when Lucifer was pulled over by a cop. Henderson noted that during season 5, they figured that they’d done all of the Easter eggs they possibly could— but then they were able to create even more for season 6. Modrovich teased “another familiar face” (besides the cop who pulled Lucifer over) showing up at one point, “from a favorite episode.” (Possibly Lindsey Gort’s Candy Morningstar, who even pops up in the aforementioned promo?) Henderson, once again, got very vague, as he said, “We found one character we’d never seen. We found one character who we’ve talked about but had never seen.”
“This is the last year that we have secrets,” Henderson explained. “This is the last year we can surprise people.” Modrovich agreed, adding, “I can’t believe some things have not gotten out. Very exciting.”
Lucifer returns for its sixth and final season Friday, Sept. 10 on Netflix.