In its first season, Lucifer benefitted from the on-screen charisma of its title character, played by Tom Ellis. He brought to life the Neil Gaiman character, based on the king of hell from The Sandman comics who later got his own title. The show stays true to the basic elements of the comic—retired from hell, Lucifer runs a piano bar in Los Angeles with his Lilin companion Mazikeen (lilin are essentially night demons in Mesopotamian mythology). But this being Fox, the TV version of the former ruler of hell pairs with a Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), who he helps solve crimes, making it essentially a supernatural police procedural.
The first season hinted at more sweeping serial story lines in the final two episodes, ending with a new task from God to track down and recapture an escapee from hell, who happens to be Lucifer’s mother, played by Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica’s Cylon Number Six).
We talked to Lucifer creator Tom Kapinos, along with some of the cast about what to expect from Season 2, which premieres September 19.
On Lucifer’s relationship with Mom
Bringing Mom into the equation, we do see a different side of Lucifer. It’s not to do with powers; it’s to do with his relationship with his mom. And on a very relatable level I think, we’re trying to sort of take the weight off this celestial being side of it and we’re sort of on an even keel now, and we’ve stripped away a lot of the layers of Lucifer and the veneer that he has. And he will still go back to that at times, but by having Mom there, it certainly brings a new dynamic to the show and a new dynamic to Lucifer, as we haven’t seen him before. We may be getting a glimpse into the man he was before he was the man we know him as.
On Mom looking like Tricia Helfer
Needless to say, Mom hasn’t always looked like this, and it’s quite disturbing for Lucifer.
On Lucifer’s relationship with Chloe
As you know, Chloe doesn’t particularly believe that Lucifer is the devil. So sharing that his mom’s in town is something that he feels probably a little uneasy about, and something that she probably wouldn’t be able to cope with. So it’s something that we will explore as the show develops, but right now he needs to sort his own issues out.
Tricia: Yeah, there’s definitely enough to sort out for the beginning of the season before opening it up.
Tom: Unleashing it!
On Mom’s relationship with the other characters:
Mom obviously knows her other son, Amenadiel. She knows Maze. So there’s already enough in the beginning of figuring out her relationship with all those characters before opening it up to the others. Although I’m sure it will.
On playing Mom:
Like Lucifer, in the first season, discovering kind of a lot about himself and being in Los Angeles, Mom definitely has the same thing—being in a human form, and the newness of all that. And a lot of miscommunications and things that have happened—it’s very relatable in many ways in terms of relationships. But it’s been a huge amount of fun to play, because she’s a lot more layered than I think people are going to be expecting. They’re expecting, in some ways, this hell-on-wheels, revenge-driven monster to come in, and there’s a lot of other elements to her, there’s a lot of kind of comedic elements about being in this form.
On Mom’s differing outlook from her son’s:
She has a distaste for humanity, so unlike Lucifer’s fascination in many ways; there’s a dark distaste. She is angry, but she’s a loving mother at the end of the day that wants to be with her children. So there are a lot of heartfelt moments. I get to play Mom, I’m not just this evil thing—I get to play a mom.
On getting a second season:
It’s funny because some of my favorite shows, the best seasons are Season Two. And now I kinda get why. It’s because in Season One, you’re figuring out what works, what doesn’t, what’s good, what you can’t quite do as well. It’s a learning lesson. Season Two is when, if you’re doing it right, you can just hit the ground running and go. And that’s what we’ve done so far, and it’s been awesome. “How do we take all lessons we’ve learned and make the show even better?” So it’s been really exciting to take all of that and just be able to turn it into, what I think is, a really exciting season so far.
On whether Season Two is more episodic or serial in nature:
I’d say it’s about similar to what the last four or five episodes were, where we had a case that was the spine of the episode, but a lot of mythological and serialized elements put in around it. I like to have a case to drive story. What I love about the cases is that they give Lucifer a chance to explore the desires of humanity, and how they reflect on himself and all of that. So those are incredibly useful and fun, because you get to go into worlds, you get to have Lucifer point out hypocrisy, and while all that’s happening, have this inner character stuff building on the sides. And in this case in particular, all of the Mom stuff is going on, which is super fun. Tricia Helfer is so good. We already had an embarrassment of riches of cast, and adding her and Amy Garcia, it’s been fantastic.
On having more characters of faith:
Amy Garcia’s character, Ella, is a woman of faith, and that was actually a really big thing for us. We loved the Father Frank relationship, and we wanted a regular cast member who could speak to that. So she’s a practicing Catholic, and very much a believer and it’s been nice to have a character speak to the positivity of faith, because I’m a bit of a lapsed Catholic. But faith was very important to me growing up. It got me through a lot of things, and I think a positive message about that on a show about the Devil is fun. It’s also kind of funny because Lucifer thinks atheists are idiots—because he knows it exists, he knows it’s true. The funny weird thing is, as much as we get a little bit of flack for being a show about the Devil, we kind of affirm the idea of faith. So it’s a fun thing to play with, and that character gives us a lot in that aspect.
On Dr. Linda:
Dr. Linda will be back. We all love Rachael Harris, she’s fantastic, but if you remember in the finale, Amenadiel and Lucifer came in and she gave them a bit of a speech, like, “Hey, guys, I feel like you’re just redirecting things I say and turning them into things that you want to interpret for your own purposes.” So there’s a bit of a question starting in Season Two about whether or not this is working, and whether or not this should continue—which is a fun thing to play with.
On why Chloe is immune to Lucifer’s powers:
We will definitely be exploring that in Season Two. It’s a big question that Lucifer is wondering, and it is something that we plan to get into. We’re not gonna step away from it; it’s a big part of Season Two.
On Chloe’s skepticism [Spoiler alert]:
At the end of the finale, she did see Lucifer get shot point-blank in the stomach, bleed, and apparently die. That’s the first question she’s asking herself from the top of Season Two. It’s another thing that we really want to embrace and go: Okay, the key of the show is keeping Chloe formidable, right? She’s working with this guy who claims to be the Devil and is doing impossible things. If she’s a good cop, she’s gonna try to figure that out, she’s gonna look into it. And that’s one of the really important things to us, is to make sure that she feels smart and formidable on that aspect, just as much as her police work. So, right off the bat that’s question number one.
Lucifer returns to Fox on September 19.
Josh Jackson is Paste’s founder and editor-in-chief.