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Lucifer Showrunners Look Back On The 'Bittersweet' Ending And Their Goal For The Series Finale

Lucifer and Chloe in Lucifer Season 6 on Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix )

Believe it or not, Lucifans, but almost one full year has passed since the series finale released on Netflix back in September of 2021. Lucifer survived one network TV cancellation and then even got a bonus season just when it seemed that the streamer would wrap the story with Season 5. Now, executive producers Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich are looking back at how the beloved series ended, and what they’d hoped to accomplish with it. 

With Lucifer’s sixth and final season coming to DVD and Blu-ray on September 13, the time has never been better to get ready to revisit how the devilish series finished. Despite Lucifer and Chloe trying to make sure that he wouldn’t disappear from their time-traveling daughter’s life before she was even born, Lucifer found his calling, and it was one that meant he couldn’t stay with them. While he and Chloe did eventually reunite, Rory still went through her childhood without her dad.

There was a happy ending... eventually, with some heartache along the way. When executive producers Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich spoke with CinemaBlend in celebration of the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release, Henderson shared his view on the series finale’s end:

I think it's bittersweet, but also one of the things I love about the relationship between Rory and Chloe that we tried to speak to as much in the season is Chloe was a great mom, and Rory loved her. They had such a great strong connection, like when she talks about her wings, and how they reflect her mother in a positive way, how she's proud of the person she's become. One of the things that I really liked about the message of our show and of our season is that it wasn't a tragedy that this happened. It was unfortunate, it's hard. Families end up having to be separated at times.

While Rory’s travels back in time didn’t change the past and guarantee that she’d have a childhood with both of her parents, she made the decision herself that Lucifer should follow his calling. The bond between mother and daughter was also very strong, which made their final scene together all the more poignant. Henderson continued:

To a certain extent we were really trying to embrace that metaphor of, yeah, it's hard, but you love each other and you make sacrifices for each other. Also, that time made Chloe and Rory both strong, and into uniquely themselves. That’s something that Rory – once she goes on this journey – realizes she doesn't want to lose. She loves the person she's become and she loves the person that her mother helped her grow to be.

If Rory changed her past, then she wouldn’t be the person who she had become by being raised by just her mom. She may have missed having a dad around, but – as Joe Henderson said – the story isn’t a tragedy. It’s not all happy, but it’s not all hopeless either for Rory and Chloe. 

Lucifer himself learned a similar lesson by the end of Season 6, and it’s hard to imagine that the Lucifer of Season 1 would have even considered becoming a healer of Hell. Ildy Modrovich shared her thoughts on his particular ending and how the Lucifer team found his calling to explain why he would miss Rory’s childhood:

Early on, we started talking about how Lucifer is primarily about redemption, but I think more as we went along, we realized it was about accepting the yin to the yang, the dark side of ourselves, and the fact that if you go through whatever you go through that's unpleasant, the challenges in life, they make you who you are. And you don't want to take those away. So Lucifer, as angry as he was, by the end he realized that being in Hell gave him a unique perspective that actually it was a superpower. He could help other people. If he understood what it meant to fall and rise, he could help others find that way too. The same was true for Rory. She was the strong person that she was and she realized, 'You can't change this because then it would change who I am. And I like me.' It was hopefully a beautiful message. [laughs] We thought so.

It was certainly a message that tied up the loose ends of Season 6 and explained why Lucifer was an absent father without villainizing him or creating a tragedy that would befall him and prevent him from being with Chloe and their daughter. Of course, it also meant that there was no magic fix that would let Lucifer and Chloe build a perfect family together, which may not have been what some fans were expecting. Joe Henderson acknowledged that they knew it was a twist that might not receive universal approval right away, saying: 

We knew we were choosing an ending that might be divisive, and we went through a lot of iterations of it. I had a lot of conversations, and a lot of with Tom [Ellis] as well. But we also felt like we wanted one that honored what the show is and who the characters are. I think bittersweet is a good word to describe it, because we get our ending, we get our happiness, but it takes a bit. And I think that's life to a certain extent. It was nice to be able to reflect that.

It was after considering many options and having conversations with star Tom Ellis that the Lucifer team settled on what ultimately became the final episode of the series. It wasn’t a fairy tale ending, but it brought the character full circle and gave farewells to all the key players. Even one who had been dead for quite a while!

So, how did they decide on the endings for all the characters, who were all in such different places in their lives? Ildy Modrovich explained:

I feel like the thought was, how do we do not endings but beginnings? How do we set them on their new chapter so that we feel that hopeful surge for each one? Ella opening this STEM group for young kids and Dan reunited with Charlotte in heaven and Maze and Eve journeying on their adventures of bounty hunting, and Amenadiel as God and Linda doing her book thing.

Even though Lucifer was out of miracle bonus seasons by the conclusion of Season 6, the finale didn’t close on the idea that these characters’ journeys are at an end just because Netflix subscribers won’t get to watch. Although the showrunners joked with me about the idea of a surprise Season 7 about dinosaurs or a Lucifer vs. Dinosaurs movie, the finished product stands on its own. Joe Henderson elaborated with his own thoughts:

We just really wanted people to sort of imagine these adventures continuing, because we imagine them continuing and to me that's part of the fun of TV. These characters live on in your minds and hearts, if you do your jobs right.

I think it’s safe to say that the Lucifer showrunners did indeed do their jobs right, as the final season was a wild ride that ended with a thoughtful and emotional finale (and a hilarious shout-out to Bones close to the end, of course). Lucifer also came out on top of the streaming chart for all of 2021 (and comic creator Neil Gaiman had a pretty great reaction to it).

If you’re ready to revisit all things Lucifer, you can find the sixth and final season with special features including deleted scenes and a gag reel available on DVD and Blu-ray starting on September 13 at online retailers and www.warnerarchive.com. Lucifer: The Complete Series will be available on the same day to deliver all 93 episodes of the show, including the episodes that aired on Fox and those that released on Netflix.  For some more viewing options look to the future, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.