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Lucifer: Tom Ellis previews arrival of mom from hell in season 2

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Michael Courtney/FOX

His father may be God, but Lucifer is all about mommy issues in season 2.

After escaping hell in the finale, Lucifer’s (Tom Ellis) mother, Charlotte (Tricia Helfer), arrives with a goal that will cause an even deeper divide between him and his brother Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside).

“What mom wants is going to break Lucifer’s heart,” executive producer Ildy Modrovich says, teasing that her arrival will make for great fodder in the Prince of Darkness’ therapy sessions. “She watched as he was cast out of heaven and stood by and did nothing, so he’s got this resentment towards her,” Ellis explains.

Lucifer’s lady troubles will spill over to his dynamic with Decker (Lauren German) in season 2. “These two characters care deeply about each other, but they’re reluctant to tell that to each other,” Ellis says. Sounds like they both need counseling! EW caught up with Ellis to get the scoop on what’s next:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where are we picking up with Lucifer in season 2?

TOM ELLIS: So we’re picking up right where we left actually. We start with Amenadiel and Lucifer on a desperate search for mom, because obviously they’re in fear of what she’s capable of. So we start season 2 pretty much on a mission to find her, but the trouble is they don’t know what she looks like, because she’s a celestial being inhabiting a human body. It’s a fun adventure to find her, but the overwhelming ominous nature of it is the thing that drives it. That basically leads us into what our big arc of season 2 is going to be, which is about mom, who she is, what she represents. She changes the dynamics of our characters.

What kind of relationship does Lucifer have with his mother?

Well, there’s a lot of stuff that they’ve shelved and haven’t talked through. He’s obviously in fear of her, because he’s felt she’s been a prisoner in hell. She watched as he was cast out of heaven and stood by and did nothing, so he’s got this resentment towards her. But he’s never given her the opportunity to answer why and I think that’s something simmering away at the bottom of him. What we’re trying to do really is humanize these relationships as much as possible — like we tried to do with myself and D.B. last year. We’ve got these celestial relationships, but actually they’re not that different than the relationships that we know with our parents and our siblings. What I love about the introduction of this character is that we see a side of Lucifer and Amenadiel that is very different to what we’ve seen so far, because they’ve never really had to answer to anybody. I mean the notion of having your mum around, you behave very differently, at least a lot of people do behave different in front of their mums. We have quite a lot of fun with that this season.

What does it mean that someone can escape hell? Can others escape too?

Well it means that we can’t afford to keep it unguarded basically. But yeah, it doesn’t mean that everyone is about to bust out of hell straightaway. This was the main concern and also the main thing for Lucifer is that he made this deal with dad as he was dying and he said, “I’ll do anything for you as long as you protect Chloe.” That becomes the driving force for Lucifer’s  mission really. But as it starts to unfold, it’s not that simple.

How does Charlotte’s arrival change Lucifer and Amenadiel’s relationship?

They aren’t constantly after each other. They’ve been forced to team up again. There will always be this simmering resentment between them as the older brother and the younger brother. We start to get a sense of maybe our parents have favorites. But there is a big, big storyline for Amenadiel in season 2 about the repercussions of his actions in season 1 and him starting to do things for himself. They’re not sworn enemies as we start season 2. They’ve been forced together. I love the Lucifer and Amenadiel scenes, they’re a lot of fun to play out because there is always this undercurrent of bitterness between them, but when they’re forced into a situation where they have to team up, it’s quite funny.

Does Decker’s presence still threaten Lucifer’s immortality?

Yeah, Lucifer is still, as far as he knows, immortal, but also still vulnerable in the presence of Chloe. That’s still a big question that we were pushing to answer. Towards the end of season 2, we will fully explore that more. We do allude to that and touch on that at the beginning of season 2.

As to why she affects him?

Yes. We continue to ask this question, but it’s something that is going to play out over time.

How does the relationship change because he knows she is a liability in this way?

One of the interesting things about the end of last season is that Lucifer had this realization that he knows she makes him vulnerable, but yet he still feels compelled to spend time and be with her. That’s the overriding nature of what our show is, that suddenly he’s in a situation where he’s got free will and he’s got the ability to choose, and yet he still chooses to be with someone who makes him vulnerable. That’s part of Lucifer’s journey of changing from being the person that we’ve seen him to be and the person that he’s slowly evolving into.

Is there a possibility that she’ll finally believe the truth about him this year?

Well there is, but people will only hear the truth if they want and that’s the issue with Chloe. Lucifer has told her until he’s blue in the face that he’s the Devil. She’s witnessed many, many things that suggest he’s not of this world, and yet she still refuses to believe. She’s got such a logical, scientific brain that she thinks there must be another explanation. Obviously in the finale, she sees him shot point blank, basically die and bleed out, and then he comes back as if nothing’s happened. We don’t just ignore that, we pick that up in the first episode of season 2.

Is the show going to explore more of the will they-won’t they dynamic this season?

I think so. It’s quite interesting, because there was never really any sort of romantic thing between them. There was obviously the time when Decker got drunk and came to his apartment and he refused her in that state, which surprised him more than anybody. There’s this underlying sexual tension between them, so it will for sure play out over this season without a doubt, but there are other factors that come into it. We realize that these two characters care obviously deeply about each other, but they’re reluctant to tell that to each other. But through the actions of other people, we see that maybe Lucifer and Chloe care about each other a lot more than they say.

What will his relationship with Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) look like this season?

I would say season 2 is about Maze’s emancipation away from her role that we had. She was always at his beck and call. She was basically there as his demon protectant, to be there at all times when he was in danger, but now they start to come to an agreement where I hadn’t bargained on being on Earth for this amount of time. We allude to the fact that that’s not fair on her really, so giving her free will starts to give Maze her own identity and emancipation away from this traditional role that she was in. They start to become more like friends than they do colleagues.

How do Lucifer’s sessions with Dr. Martin (Rachael Harris) change now? Is it much more about mommy issues this season?

Oh, certainly that’s his initial issues in therapy when we start season 2. They change in terms of Lucifer is still always choosy about what he says to Dr. Martin, but there are times where she really hits a nerve and stuff comes out that’s quite a discovery for both of them actually. We’ve got some big stuff coming up with Dr. Linda around episode 6 or 7; there’s some quite big storylines happening, some well earned stuff. We’ve had some fun in those sessions and there’s been times when it’s really hit home and hit hard for Lucifer in those sessions, but there’s some big stuff coming up.

Will we see some more scenes with Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) and Lucifer?

Oh, for sure, absolutely. Trixie is back with a vengeance, that little dream killer. [Laughs] Yeah, we continue to have fun with that. It’s nicely simmering away.  

How will Ella (Aimee Garcia) joining the force affect Chloe and Lucifer’s relationship?

Ella’s a very different energy. She’s a very un-cynical character, who is quite joyful and pure. That’s very intriguing for Lucifer. It’s an energy that he’s not used to having around, certainly amongst adult humans. At first he’s a bit bemused by this character. Ella’s good at her job, but she’s also a bit ADD, she can’t concentrate too long on one thing without drifting off. I think Chloe finds that a little frustrating at times. But, as we move forward in the season, we start to realize that there is some connection between Ella and Lucifer that might make Chloe feel a little bit funny.

Ultimately, how do you think that Lucifer has changed going into season 2?

When we started season 1, we had this devil that did what he wanted, there was no consequences to anything and he just was toying around. As that season evolved, he started to change, to feel, to emote, and he started to think more, he became more introspective. Then, with mum escaping hell, we start off with Lucifer in a much more emotionally vulnerable position than he was before. Obviously there is still the side of Lucifer when his guard is up, his full veneer is on in front of humans and he doesn’t show any weaknesses — we still have that side of our character, but we start to go a lot deeper with him, we start to peel away quite a few more layers in season 2.

Lucifer returns Monday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.