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Lucifer's Espinoza on his 'douche' status and demon partner in Season 4
On the TV series Lucifer, angels, demons, and the Devil himself all reside in Los Angeles. The supernatural procedural finds the titular Lucifer (Tom Ellis) serving as a civilian consultant for the LAPD and solving crimes alongside Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) and her ex-husband, Kevin Alejandro's Detective Dan Espinoza.
Often referred to as "Detective Douche" by Lucifer, Dan is arguably the most human and flawed of the central leads. He's pivoted time and time again throughout the series' first three seasons as he attempts to figure out just who he is; he's filled the roles of a corrupt cop on the wrong side of the law, a questionable father, a jilted lover, and an improv performer (perhaps the evilest of them all).
As Dan started to leave his darker days behind him, he's butted heads with Lucifer and enjoyed a complicated affair with lawyer Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer), who also temporarily acted as the vessel for Lucifer's goddess mother. In the Season 3 finale, Charlotte was murdered by Tom Welling's Pierce (aka the Biblical Cain), leaving Dan shattered.
As Lucifer Season 4 drops on Netflix today, that loss will have changed Dan ... for better or for worse.
Alejandro recently spoke with SYFY WIRE about Lucifer's resurrection on Netflix, Dan's walk on the dark side, action sequences, and whether his character is still a douche.
Last time we chatted, Netflix hadn't picked Lucifer up yet. How did you find out the news, and what was your reaction?
Oh man. I was ecstatic. I couldn't believe it. The fact that the fans fought so hard to save us and it actually worked is extremely rare. I'm still a bit speechless. I remember I was cleaning out my garage when Tom Ellis FaceTimed me to confirm the news. It was a joyous, tearful moment.
During the one-month time jump between seasons, how has Dan been processing Charlotte's death?
Dan, like everyone affected by Charlotte's death, is struggling to grab ahold of any normalcy. We find him trying to come to terms with it and looking for anyone to blame.
Indeed, Dan holds Lucifer responsible for Charlotte's untimely demise. In what ways does that impact the "Douchifer" dynamic?
Dan is fed up. He's lost everything at this point. He's over the games and absurdity that is Lucifer. He wants answers and will continue to suffer internally until he has them.
Dan and Maze work outside of the law for a sting operation. It's a slippery slope that Dan has gone down before. What does he learn about himself this time around?
Dan actually finds that breaking the rules feels a little better than it should. He might have to struggle a little with good and bad.
Dan and Maze beat the crap out of the bad guys. Can you talk about filming that fight sequence — what went into it and how much you enjoyed Dan getting some action?
Finally. Dan gets to kick a little ass. I had so much fun learning all the choreography and being side by side with Lesley-Ann [Brandt] while she dominates the fighting world. We have the best stunt guys and gals in the business, so I was in awe of learning from them. I got to do almost all of the stunts as well. I was on cloud nine.
That pair also displayed some chemistry. Was that written on the page or just naturally developed between you and Brandt?
Lesley-Ann and I have great chemistry together! I love working with her. I think we challenge each other to bring our "A games." But the chemistry you're referring to was actually scripted. It wasn't hard for either of us to be in that moment, because we respect each other so much.
Lucifer immediately labeled Dan as "Detective Douche" back in Season 1. Do you believe Dan still deserves that moniker, or has he evolved past his douche status?
I think in Lucifer's eyes, Dan definitely deserves the moniker. But I think he's starting to grow on our audience in such a way that they're beginning to understand where Dan comes from. I think they're realizing that all of his emotions come from a place of honesty. He's only human, and he's just trying to figure out life as he goes along.
The series focuses on Lucifer and his journey. How do you feel Dan has helped Lucifer discover his own humanity, or gain a better understanding of mankind?
I think Lucifer sees that Dan's choices come from a place of sincerity. He's not trying to be anyone else but himself. Every time he gets knocked down, he fights his way back to standing. I feel there might be a bit of admiration from Lucifer for Dan.
Lastly, what else can you preview about Dan's involvement in the last block of episodes and the finale?
I can assure you that Dan will continue to search for a way to come to terms with the loss of his love. As to whether or not he'll find his way, we'll just have to see.