Lucifer EPs and star Tom Ellis on the road to [SPOILER]'s debut and what comes next
Warning: This article contains spoilers from the first eight episodes of Lucifer season 5.
In the midseason finale of Lucifer season 5, Dennis Haysbert (24) descended from the Silver City and made his long-awaited debut as God. Apparently, a brutal fight between his three angelic sons — Lucifer (Tom Ellis), his twin Michael, and Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) — and Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) was all it took for the eternally aloof Almighty Father to finally bless them with his presence. Yet none of them could've predicted this.
Ellis was similarly surprised when he found out they were introducing God this season."I didn't know if we were ever going to go there on the show and actually meet Dad," the actor tells EW. "Every time I talk about this, the hairs on my arm go up because Dennis is just brilliant as a human being and as an actor, and playing the role of Dad on this show. The dynamic that it brought to the show and the stuff that we got to talk about because Dad was there, I didn't think we'd ever get to that level on this show."
To be fair, God wasn't part of the plan when Lucifer premiered on Fox way back in 2016 because the show was more concerned with how this absent father affected the Devil. "But once we did hell in season 1, I think that's really what changed everything [and] made us go, 'Never say never,'" says co-showrunner Ildy Modrovich.
To prepare for his inevitable introduction, the producers wrote season 3's "Once Upon a Time," which featured Neil Gaiman (whose work on DC's Sandman with Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg is the basis of the show) as the voice of God. Using an alternate timeline in which Chloe (Lauren German) never became a detective because her father didn't die, God showed that Lucifer and Chloe would always find their way to each other.
"We wanted to play with [God] and start teasing it because that was the last big role," says co-showrunner Joe Henderson. "We were never sure if we were going to do it because we always had to figure out how to do it right. Since we knew it was just going to be a voice-over, that was like opening the door a crack. That's why it was so fun to get Neil, because you have the metaphor of the guy who was the father of the character in there. But it also allowed us the flexibility to recast at a later date."
That time finally arrived last year when Netflix renewed the fantasy procedural for a fifth and final season (which became a penultimate season this July, when the streamer ordered a sixth season). With it came a few challenges. First, there was the matter of casting. Thankfully, they solved that with Haysbert, who has the ability to convey warmth while also remaining frustratingly inscrutable.
Second, there was the how, because up until this point Lucifer had mined so much character drama out of Lucifer and Amenadiel trying to interpret God's wishes from his silence. "So much of it, as we got toward it, was the fear of overly demystifying God," Henderson says. "Because God is the metaphor for all of our fathers — those unknowable figures we grew up with that we know to varying degrees but as a child we're guessing as to what they actually want and need. The challenge was honoring that while still bringing in a fully fleshed character in. But that's also what became the fun of it."
"I think we've crafted a way to maintain the mystery of God even though he's right in front of us," says Modrovich, adding that having God there makes things "even more frustrating because he's right in front of you and he's still playing coy."
In fact, God's enigmatic demeanor threatens all of Lucifer's growth over the past four and half seasons in the back half of season 5. "It takes him back to a very primal place, and his feelings are very raw," says Ellis, who is excited for fans to see what comes next. "I'm just so happy and so proud of what we've done. The first two episodes of the second half of season 5 are my two favorite episodes of the season, without a doubt."
The first eight episodes of Lucifer season 5 are available on Netflix now.