'Lucifer' showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich explain THAT Lucifer-Chloe moment
Warning: The following contains spoilers from the entire fourth season of Lucifer, which was released on Wednesday. Read at your own risk!
The Devil’s work is never over.
Lucifer‘s fourth season, which Netflix released on Wednesday, followed the titular fallen angel (Tom Ellis) as he spiraled through an identity crisis. In the wake of killing Cain (Tom Welling) and Chloe (Lauren German) finally seeing his Devil face in the season 3 finale, and the return of his first girlfriend Eve (Inbar Lavi), the self-loathing Lucifer found himself torn between the old Devil that Eve remembers and loves, and the good person he was becoming by working with Chloe. Thankfully, by the end of the season, he was able to reconcile these two sides.
In the season 4 finale, several demons escape from hell intent on convincing their king, Lucifer, to return to his old kingdom. Because he just had a breakthrough and committed himself to becoming a better person and leaving his devilish side in the past (and because he likes it on Earth), Lucifer refuses and tells them to rule hell themselves. Alas, only a celestial is able to do that, so the demons kidnap newborn nephilim baby Charlie with the intention of making him their new king.
With Eve, Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), and Amenadiel by his side, Lucifer goes full devil (wings, horns, face etc…) and puts a stop the demon’s plans. But Lucifer knows the demons will eventually be back, so he does the responsible thing and resolves to return to hell, fully believing that he can both be the King of Hell and the good angel he wants to be. And this leads to one of the series’ most heartbreaking and highly anticipated moments.
“I love you,” Chloe tearfully says. “Please don’t leave.”
“See, we were wrong about something else in the the prophecy. My first love was never Eve. It was you Chloe. It always has been,” says Lucifer right before he kisses her, spreads his angel wings, and flies down under to reclaim the throne and lord over the damned.
Below, EW speaks to Lucifer showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich about the finale’s hellish twist and that big Chloe-Lucifer moment.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The season ends with two big things: Chloe and Lucifer saying I love you to each other and Lucifer returning to hell. I’m curious, which of those came first when you were mapping out the season?
ILDY MODROVICH: We definitely actually knew he was going to go back to hell. That was a given. We actually went back and forth on the “I love you.” We knew we wanted Chloe to basically come full circle from where she started at the beginning of the season. [From] “I don’t know if I can accept this person with this new information,” to end with, “not only can I accept him, but I love him.” We knew wanted her to express that someway, whether or not she said those three little words. If you watch again, Lucifer doesn’t actually say the actual words. We might just be saving that [laughs].
JOE HENDERSON: One of the things we realized as we were digging into it is that this is our season of breakthroughs. Season 3 was sort of where we broke a lot of our toys, and season 4 is where we try to heal them. One of the things we really wanted to do, as Ildy was saying, was have Chloe accept Lucifer for what he was and for Lucifer to accept himself. For this whole show, we’ve had Lucifer in therapy. One of the things we really wanted to do was have Lucifer actually have an epiphany and actually start down a path of healing. It was kind of a scary thing because at first we were like, “Are we going to break the show? If Lucifer has an epiphany, is that it?” One of the things we realized is that it just opened up all new story. To me, they were dueling paths that met in the middle, which is Lucifer learning to accept himself and Chloe learning to accept him. Lucifer accepting himself allows him to accept Chloe, because he wants to but what’s in the way is that he doesn’t think he deserves her.
Was having him end the season back in hell a way to also avoid breaking the show?
HENDERSON: That was definitely an element of it. So much of the show is that you want to have them take one step forward and one step back, and that was definitely something we felt could do that. But also, we loved the idea of Lucifer having to face the responsibility of his life, because so much of realizing who he is, is also realizing the responsibilities he has. An epiphany is a double-edged sword inasmuch as he realized that he’s a better man than he always thought he was, but if that’s the case, a better man would take on the responsibility in front of him. So, we really tried to have it come from character.
MODROVICH: Also, Lucifer is becoming a big boy. He has to learn to accept himself and that the love for himself can’t come from other people, and that’s really what the whole season is about and why we introduced Eve in the first place, too. There were a lot of people that balked at, “Oh, another love triangle,” but it really wasn’t about that. It was about bringing in a character who not only accepted Lucifer for being the devil, but like encouraged it. It forced him to go, “I’ve grown past that. I’ve become something else, something more.” Then by the end, really realizing that, “Yes, that is me, that dark side. But I’m also the light side. I’m both those things, and I have to embrace both sides of me. And the dark side is actually pretty useful sometimes.” So useful that when these demons come up, he’s the only one who can put it right, and he’s proud of himself in that moment. Chloe’s proud of him in that moment. He’s used his bad, if you will, for good. That’s kind of the big win of the end of the season.
Judging by the fact that he uses both his full devil form and his angel wings in the finale, Lucifer has reached at least the first step in self-acceptance?
HENDERSON: Yeah, I think a lot of it is him finding balance, knowing that you can have angel wings and a devil face. We don’t necessarily know if he has the devil face in that moment, but that’s the balance. He’s got angel wings but he’s sitting on the throne of hell. Lucifer is both, as Ildy was saying, lightness and darkness. He is both good and bad, or at least all of us have that inside of us.
It’s interesting, there was an earlier version of episode 9 that I had written where Lucifer took a lot more ownership of everything. Ildy actually gave me a bunch of notes on it. One of the things I did is that I had Chloe walk him through the path and sort of forgive him, and Ildy’s note was, “This is Lucifer’s journey. Let him find it on his own.” What I love about what the scene became is that Chloe is just guiding him on the path; It’s Lucifer discovering what he wants deep down. I think that’s so important that he both take ownership of it and Chloe recognizes that it’s gotta be him. You can’t tell someone how to fell, they have to find it.
Ildy, you wrote the finale. Is there a moment in it that you’re particularly proud of?
MODROVICH: The opening dance number is such a fantasy come true for me. I was giddy with excitement through the whole thing. I learned the dance along with the cast, so did Joe [laughs]. Oh yeah, we can do that s—t!
HENDERSON: That was the last thing we shot, wasn’t it?
MODROVICH: We planned it that way. We sort of held the best, or at least our favorite thing, for last. We were drinking champagne, we were dancing, it was so much fun! Oh my god, [Kevin Alejandro] flying through the air! The whole thing was just us being silly, and it turned out so well! It exceeded my expectations. That’s just one of my favorite moments in the whole show really. My favorite, though, has to just be the end when she finally has him and she’s finally able to say how she feels about him, and he has this responsibility that he has to go and has no choice. You see it in his eyes; it’s almost enough. He knows he can’t be with her, but just knowing that she accepts him fully, every facet, is going to sustain him down there on that deep, dank throne. You see the joy in his eyes. I take that with me, as an audience member.
HENDERSON: Speaking to that moment: Lauren likes to come fresh for table reads and experience them in the moment. Laurel made the entire room cry when she read that final scene.
MODROVICH: Yes, she did! This is absolutely her season. The depth of emotion she managed to hit, every single side is so much fun to watch. She just really brought it.
How did you decide what Lucifer’s throne would look like?
MODROVICH: Actually, that was a big discussion! At first, I wanted it to be really claustrophobic, so I went the opposite way in my head. I wanted it to be almost Inception-like, in that it’s curling back around on you — hell from every side. When we saw the renderings, it made it seem small.
HENDERSON: It lost its sense of scope.
MODROVICH: It just didn’t feel grand enough. Then, Joe was like, ‘Dude, we’ve seen hell.” We’ve also seen it from this angle. So, we pulled those images back and we just built on that. It did end up being more grand and more claustrophobic in a way because of its infinity. Feeling like it just went on forever and ever and ever was the most terrifying part of it. His throne: The only person who can sit on the throne has to be angel, so we knew the [only] way to get to it is to fly. We knew we wanted this precarious-looking spire that came up. Then our amazing production designer Alex Hajdu just went to town and a had a blast with it.
HENDERSON: The inspiration we described was: What if Yertle the Turtle was in hell? It’s basically Dr. Seuss in hell visually, but what’s so cool about it is that it’s jagged and irregular and looks like it both might topple over at any moment and will never fall. Yertle the Turtle in hell is my pull quote.
If Netflix renews Lucifer for a fifth season, would you want to bring Eve back?
HENDERSON: Here’s the thing: We loved working with Inbar. As you can see in the season, she’s absolutely fantastic. The question becomes, as we get into our room, how much story would we have for that character? We set her off on an amazing new starting point for her life, so I think that’s one of the first thing we’ll discuss. My hope is, in whatever way, that’s not the last you’ve seen of Eve.
MODROVICH: Good answer.
Another season 5 question: Do you already know how you’ll bring Lucifer back from hell?
HENDERSON: We have a lot of exciting ways, and one way in particular, to do it that launches an awesome, awesome season 5. We did spend some time digging into what we think can be season 5. We even have the first scene [of season 5], which is one of my favorite things we’ve ever come up with [laughs].
MODROVICH: Oh my god, so exciting! Overall, when we approach a new season, and this sort of speaks to your last question about Eve, we really try to ping it in a completely different direction. If everybody is speculating on one thing, we just try to think as a bats—t as we can, as outside of the box as possible, so that people don’t get bored, so we don’t get bored. We do have an idea. It’s an idea that when it came up in the room, we went, “Oh god, that’s crazy.” Then the more we talked about it, the more we went, “and brilliant.”
HENDERSON: Those are the ones that often stick and those are the ones that help to define our show.
Is there anything else you guys wanted to add?
HENDERSON: I am so happy we got to have [Lesley-Ann Brandt] sing at Lux. It’s funny, when we first listened to her recording, we thought someone had juiced it because her voice was just so amazing. And it was just her and it was her first take!
MODROVICH: I thought it was like a studio person marking it for her. “Woo, that’s good! When is Lesley-Ann going to jump in?”
HENDERSON: One of the things that’s been really fun is to explore the different skills of our cast as we’ve gotten to know them so well. To let Kevin go darker, to really push [Aimee Garcia] beyond her boundaries and see how she is on cocaine.
MODROVICH: And Molly!
HENDERSON: To give Rachael so much to play with dealing with the birth of the child. And Tom! It’s so easy to forget Tom Ellis because what he does is so casually amazing, but I think this was once again a showcase for how damn good he is and how amazing he is as an actor. He’s so effortless that you forget, but my god, we are so lucky to have him. And I leave Lauren out because we already highlighted her earlier. I do think this is Lauren’s season.
The complete fourth season is available on Netflix now.