When Fox canceled “Lucifer” in May 2018, the decision was hellish for series star Tom Ellis.
“I didn’t expect it to happen, and when it did I was gutted,” says Ellis, who plays Lucifer Morningstar, a k a the Devil/fallen angel now spending time on Earth as a nightclub owner and LAPD consultant. “I really felt like we hadn’t finished telling our story, like we’d just gotten to the intermission.”
But he says he was “absolutely delighted” when, just a month later, Netflix resurrected the comedic drama. A new 10-episode Season 4 premieres on Wednesday.
“I was more delighted for the fans than anything else because it felt like a good thing happened because people wanted it to. That doesn’t happen a lot these days,” says Ellis, noting that the hashtag #SaveLucifer trended on Twitter when news of the cancellation first hit.
For Kevin Alejandro, who plays Det. Daniel Espinoza, the scenario was déjà vu: He’d already gone through a similar situation on the drama “Southland,” which NBC canceled after its first season in 2009, before moving to TNT for four more seasons. “With ‘Lucifer,’ it was actually more of a gut punch because we’d already been running for a few seasons. It was pretty devastating,” he says. “But with the overwhelming response from the fans, all of us were like, you know what . . . we don’t deserve to go away. It was an interesting, crazy roller coaster.”
Over three years the show’s plots have been a roller coaster, too, and they show no sign of slowing down. The story picks up a month after the Season 3 finale, in which Lucifer’s previously disbelieving LAPD partner, Det. Chloe Decker (Lauren German), realized he is indeed Satan after seeing his actual red, scarred Devil face for the first time. Fresh from a weeks-long vacation, she returns to work alongside Lucifer as if nothing has changed — but she is hiding something with long-lasting repercussions.
Lucifer also confronts temptation with the sudden arrival of Eve (Inbar Lavi) — yes, thatEve, who wants him to revert to the slippery soul she knew when he was just a snake in the Garden of Eden. He will struggle with his evil persona versus the good intentions that have begun to emerge.
“He is labeled the Devil, and a lot of stuff we touch on this season is, who was he beforethat?” Ellis says. “We have to remind ourselves that he was an angel. Ironically, he has to fight with demons that exist inside of him.” Meanwhile, Alejandro’s Dan overcompensates for the shooting death of his love interest, attorney Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer), by starting a professional partnership with demonic bounty hunter Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt). “It’s an exciting life that she lives, something that’s new to him and for the first time since [Charlotte’s] death he feels his heart beating again,” Alejandro says.
Fans may experience heart flutters themselves in the move from more-restrictive network TV to a streaming service.
“We can swear if we want to, we can show more flesh,” says Ellis, who even bares his bum during one episode’s scene at a nudist camp.
“That was one of those things we’ll do with the cheeky wink and a glint in the eye that we always do. It’s not gratuitous but it’s fun,” he says. “We might push it an extra 10 percent, but it hasn’t become a different show at all.”
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