Somebody should have brokered a better deal with the Devil. After only three seasons, Fox canceled the supernatural drama, Lucifer. The show followed the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar, who currently resided in Los Angeles and worked closely with the LAPD to solve crimes.
Lucifer’s series finale, "A Devil of My Word," aired on May 14. However, two additional stand-alone bonus episodes, that were originally scheduled for the fourth season, will be shown back-to-back tonight. The second hour, "Once Upon A Time," marks Kevin Alejandro’s – who plays Detective Dan Espinoza – network TV directorial debut.
Alejandro recently spoke with SYFY WIRE about Lucifer’s cancellation, Dan’s downward spiral, helming tonight’s episode and the Save Lucifer Campaign.
You’ve starred in long-running series such as True Blood. Then, there’s other fare that never made it past one season including Drive and Golden Boy. Does cancellation ever get any easier or is it simply an inevitable part of this business?
It is an inevitable part of this business, but it doesn’t get any easier. We all know it’s part of what happens. It’s also exciting about what we do. When something ends, something new and something equally creative and sometimes better comes along. Each door opens another one. It is something we expect. I’ve been very fortunate to be part of some cool shows with really great people. Each time is difficult. We form relationships. You go from seeing each other every single day to, “Oh shoot. I’m not going to see you anymore.” It’s crazy.
Audiences seemed shocked that Lucifer got axed. The ratings were even healthy. How blindsided were you?
Completely blindsided. We knew we had to still pitch for Season 4. They did. They came out of that meeting feeling extremely confident. Everyone did. Then, all of a sudden, the network said, “No.” We were like, “Whoa. What happened?”
There was nothing we could do. Just the overwhelming response that our fans had kind of showed that maybe the way numbers are calculated could be a bit old-fashioned. All of our fans came out of the woodwork saying, “We don’t watch it on Monday nights. We watch it when we watch it, but we’re still behind it.” Our numbers prove it that way. We’re in a process of trying to figure out what’s being watched and what’s not being watched.
Your showrunner, Joe Henderson, was convinced Lucifer’s cliffhanger alone would ensure another season. What were your thoughts on that bombshell, with Chloe finally getting a glimpse of Lucifer’s true face?
Oh man. What a way to go out, right? For three seasons, Lucifer has been telling who he is to Chloe’s face. Now, finally, he’s able to show her. Just to watch her go through that “oh sh*t” moment, leaves the door open for so much to be done. There is so much to be said about this story that it’s unfortunate we may not be able to show what was going to happen.
In what ways did Charlotte’s death in the penultimate episode allow viewers to see a different side of Dan?
The audience has not had a real chance to see, from the beginning, how Dan is affected by life. We understand he tries to do the right thing but makes the wrong choices. Well, for the first time, the audience gets to see Dan start with something great and then lose it. If we did our jobs right, you can put yourself in that situation and say, “I would do the same damn thing.” This is the first time the audience got to take that genuine journey. If we were going into Season 4, you would see how much deeper and darker Dan’s life turns.
Let’s elaborate on that. How much did Joe outline what was in store for Dan in Season 4?
They had it all plotted out. There are still some talks, and still some hope, that there’s the possibility someone might pick us up and let us tell the rest of the story. They are actually talking about things right now. What can I say is Dan definitely takes a much bigger turn for the worse and blames Lucifer for Charlotte’s death. He goes haywire from there.
It didn’t appear Fox was going to air these two last episodes. You directed one of them, which is "Once Upon A Time." After all your blood, sweat and tears, how excited are you for fans to see the final product?
Oh man, I can’t wait. It was such an amazing experience. I got to make it with my friends. Our team of filmmakers that helped put this together made this the absolute perfect experience I could have gone through. I did the final sound mix the other day with Joe and Ildy [Modrovich]. It looks really nice. We are really proud of it. If this is the end, what a way to go out.
We’ve heard from our fans on how much they love our show, about how much they want more. I think the network heard that voice as well and are going to give them more and just show they do appreciate the work we’ve done. And, I appreciate them for saying yes while it’s still on everyone’s minds. People get to have that final spoonful of Lucifer.
What about "Once Upon A Time’s" script spoke to you?
One of the things that I loved the most about it is it’s a “What If?” world. It’s a world we are familiar with, but everything is just slightly different. They kept calling it “the repilot” because I didn’t necessarily have to follow all of the Lucifer rules. It’s a world that could have existed. That’s what excited me most, where I was sort of getting the opportunity to repilot our show for one episode.
What surprised you about helming this episode?
What surprised me is that no matter how prepared you are, you are not prepared enough. There’s always a wrench thrown into the circumstances, into what you are doing. I was very fortunate to be accepted into the Warner Brothers Directors Program, which helped prepare me for an episode of network television.
But, like I said, things happen. We had this big scene in my episode, where this big stunt is supposed to happen. I had it all blocked out. I spent hours the previous day on the set, blocking everything. Then, once I got there, the light wasn’t right. Some of my ideas were probably not the best ideas. I had to reconfigure it on the spot. It was kind of like taking wind out of the sails, but it’s also exciting. You are trying to figure it out as you go. That was the most surprising. “Man, I was really prepared, but really I wasn’t.”
The show definitely has its share of passionate fans. How closely have you been following the Save Lucifer Campaign?
Oh, dude, I’m on it every day. It’s so overwhelming. It speaks volumes to the loyalty of people that are involved in our story. I think it’s amazing. I choke up just thinking about it. We do this because we love to do it as performers, but, for the most part, we do it for an audience. This is the first time ever that I have felt this overwhelming, “We need this show. We need you to do it.” All of us are so touched by it.
Fox canceled Brooklyn Nine-Nine this season, but it found a new home. Last year, Timeless got axed, but because of the fan uproar, it was resurrected days after. What is your gut feeling on the fate of Lucifer?
My desire for it is that we get picked up by another network, or a Hulu, Netflix or Amazon, so that we can continue telling the story our audience wants and wrap it up with a nice big bow and end on a high note. My gut is I just don’t know. This business is so unpredictable. We were at least 80 percent sure we were going to get picked. I wish I had an answer, but I just don’t know. I really do want someone to give us the opportunity to come back and at least wrap up with a really nice story, so we don’t end on a cliffhanger like that.