The following contains spoilers from Lucifer Season 6, Episode 7 through the series finale.
As Netflix’s Lucifer leaped forth with its farewell run, it was a wayward frog that set in motion one of the series’ most momentous reveals.
Having seen said frog rain (safely) down on her car one night, LAPD forensics whiz Ella Lopez set out to solve a mystery of her own. Add a “murder board,” more than a few lost socks and a river running red, and a tipsy Ella at the close of Episode 7 boasted to everyone on hand for Maze and Eve’s wedding that she had gotten wise to their celestial secrets. On the heels of that boozy outburst, Ella in the following “bottle” episode (directed by costar DB Woodside) more deftly expressed the betrayal she felt, to Lucifer and to others.
TVLine spoke with Aimee Garcia about her alter ego’s well-earned epiphany, what her own theory about Ella had been, and what she thought about Lucifer‘s series-ending gift to would-be STEM students.
TVLINE | Had you been asking if and when Ella would get brought into the celestial loop? Or did you just have faith that, when all things were said and done, she would learn everybody’s secrets?
I definitely feel like the fans were asking more than even I was. I kept thinking Ella was going to be an angel — I thought she was Elaine Belloc from the DC comics — but I was way off. I was just as clueless as Ella seemed! Fans at comic-cons kept asking me, “Is she going to find out the truth?,” and then I would ask [showrunners] Joe [Henderson] and Ildy [Modrovich]. “Hey, fans are asking….” So it did start with the fans and then filtered into my brain, and then I started asking [the producers], and as you know, they “work for the CIA” over there and were very, very closed-lipped up until we got our “bonus” Season 6, where, yay, she finally gets in the know.
TVLINE | What did you think about the approach they took? Because in Episode 7 you had this great comedic showcase, and then Episode 8 was so deep and oftentimes sad.
I loved it. Ella is a problem-solver, she has a curious, detective’s mind, so I think it was such a beautiful setup of five seasons, where, in the sixth season, she’s solving the biggest case of her life, which is the end of the world! It was the perfect way to find out. I like that no one told her, because that made her feel very isolated from her Scooby Gang. It made her feel very alone, and as a result she got to explore places, as a character, we’ve never seen before.
It was the perfect way to distinguish her reaction from other characters’. Chloe had to escape and go to Italy and get answers [when she found out about Lucifer], and Dan spiraled into the depth of craziness, so I think it was so fitting that Ella figured it out on her own and that not only was she not surprised, she was more upset that they didn’t tell her. That is so indicative of where her priorities lie, that she was really upset that she was left out, almost more so than the world is ending.
TVLINE | Do you know how her epiphany was originally going to be handled, if there wasn’t a Season 6? Because I do….
Well, tell me. Was it going to be a montage?
TVLINE | Joe and Ildy told me that in the original closing montage for Season 5, Ella was going to be babysitting Charlie and he would sprout wings. Linda and Amenadiel walk in and say, “We can explain…,” but Ella smiles, “No, I get it!”
Yes, I remember, now that you mention it. Well, that’s why I’m so excited that we got a sixth season, because instead of every character’s arc being wrapped up in a montage scene at the end of Season 5, we got entire episodes.
TVLINE | Allowing you to really cover Ella’s sense of hurt.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I love Ella’s zingers, and her popping in and out of scenes is just the best. They’re discussing celestial warfare, and she thinks that, you know, they’re talking about STDs. Like, she’s so clueless as to what’s going on. But it was really good for her to get to really explore what it means to be betrayed by the people she loved.
TVLINE | When DB [Woodside, who plays Amenadiel] told me he had directed a “bottle episode,” I was wondering what the premise was going to be, and what it was was so great. Everyone reading through Linda’s book, and Ella working through her issues….
Can we talk about how awesome DB is as a director? I told him this, but I think I did some of my best work as a professional actor under his tutelage, and I am so proud of him. We were doing a scene where we had 10 minutes to shoot it, and it was the first time that Ella sees an angel. DB comes up and he’s like, “Look, in this one shot we want to see Ella think that Amenadiel has jumped to his death. Then we want to see her reaction to an angel for the first time in her life. And then we want to see that awe of seeing a heavenly angel actually fly up there. And then we want to see the disappointment of her being left out.” I’m like, “DB, how am I going to portray all that in one shot, and when we have to shoot this in 10 minutes?” [Laughs] And he just put his hand on my shoulder, and all of a sudden my nerves calmed. He was like, “Just be in it, and don’t be afraid to be still.” And Matt, I have to tell you, it was so scary, because I’m literally looking at a piece of tape [where Amenadiel would float up], and I have a guy with a [angel wings] fan in my peripheral. But that was about complete faith in DB as a director, and it’s one of my proudest moments. What a payoff to see a character of faith see an angel for the first time, and that was all DB’s direction. So, I just want to give a little love and shout out to him.
TVLINE | What did you think about Lucifer gifting Ella with that pencil that was much more than a pencil?
I love that. Again, we’re such a fan-oriented show — literally resurrected by them — that one of the things that fans keep saying about Ella is how they love that she’s a woman in STEM, and how she represents science, and how she’s one of the few Latina characters in media in STEM, and how she uses her smarts instead of her sexuality, and how they really appreciate her making science fun. Science teachers, I guess, play some Ella scenes in science class! And I’ve had girls come up and say, “Hey, I didn’t know what I was going to major in, in college, but Ella’s my favorite character on Lucifer, so I’m actually majoring in biology. I just want to see where it takes me.” It’s very sweet to have people aspire to be something that they can actually be. We can’t actually be demons or angels or celestials — I mean, I do believe in angels, and nurses and teachers are real-life angels — but I feel like a scientific career is more attainable than an angelic one.
I would mention that every year to Joe and Ildy, how Ells is such a great representation of women in STEM and how I would love for her to really showcase that. That was like my one ask before every season, when the actors go in and the writers say, “What do you want to do this season?” I was like, “I want to dance,” and then that’s when the Vegas episode was born, or I’d be like “I want to do more action,” and they gave me a little action. But for this, I said, “I really just want her to continue representing girls in STEM,” and they did. So I thought it was the perfect Lucifer goodbye gift for her. It was beautiful.
STILL AHEAD IN OUR LUCIFER FINALE WEEKEND COVERAGE: Tom Ellis and Lauren German weigh in on the final season’s big “Deckerstar” twists, and that very final line… Showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich answer our burning questions…. Animated episode secrets…. And one very fun exclusive!