Make no mistake, Tom Welling knew exactly what he was getting into when he signed on for Season 3 of Fox’s Lucifer, where it took a full 10 episodes to reveal his seemingly humdrum character’s true identity.
“I’m glad that we surprised some people,” Welling tells TVLine of the midseason twist in which we and Lucifer learned that Marcus Pierce was no mere (albeit esteemed) LAPD lieutenant, but no less than Cain aka The World’s First Murderer. “We like to surprise people.”
Welling is well aware that viewers were growing impatient with Pierce — if they had formed any impression of Chloe’s foil at all. But that was by design. “My first conversation with [co-showrunner] Joe Henderson was about an hour long, where he walked me through the entire season,” the actor recalls. “He was like, ‘Listen, he’s going to sound really boring at the beginning, but let me tell you where he’s going to go….’ Which is fun.”
That slow burn, Welling says, “is one of the reasons why at the beginning of the season Pierce kind of came off as hard-assed, but people were also like, ‘Who is this guy? What’s going on?’ We kind of wanted to maintain that.” And with the storyline picking back up this Monday, Jan. 22 at 8/7c, “We’ve still got a few surprises for the rest of the season coming up,” he promises.
To portray Lucifer’s iteration of the biblical Cain, “I brushed up on his story a little, to try to get into the mind of the character — what his motivations are and his take on what happened with Abel, because we’re taking some liberties here,” Welling says. “I was trying to understand a guy who killed his brother and doesn’t feel like he did the wrong thing. I kinda had to search for that a bit!”
As series lead Tom Ellis himself previewed in the immediate wake of the reveal, Lucifer will form an “odd bromance” with Pierce/Cain as the men ally to kill two birds with one stone. “Lucifer’s goal is to get back at his dad and get rid of his wings, and Cain’s biggest desire is to die,” Ellis told TVLine. And to that end, “Lucifer decides he’s going to help [Cain] do that and defy his father by lifting the curse somehow.”
Adds Welling, “Yeah, we’ve got some episodes coming up that really highlight that whole experience between Pierce and Lucifer, because they become ‘partners in crime,’ so to speak.”