Lucifer and Time Travel Explained: The Rules, and Why It Happened - VRGyani News and Media

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Saturday, September 11, 2021

Lucifer and Time Travel Explained: The Rules, and Why It Happened

[Editor's note: The following contains spoilers through the series finale of Lucifer, "Partners 'Til the End."]

One of the biggest surprises of Lucifer Season 6 came when a new badass angel appeared in Lucifer's (Tom Ellis) life with a mission to get revenge; while Lucifer has dealt with plenty of vengeful entities over the years, this was the first time his life was threatened by his own daughter, Rory (Brianna Hildebrand).

Lucifer has always been full of fantastical elements, Rory's arrival on the show marked the series' first major foray into time travel, which fans of the genre know to be a tricky narrative element to incorporate. Rory arrives in her past, before her own birth, to punish Lucifer for abandoning her and her mother, revealed to be Lucifer's true love Chloe (Lauren German). When Rory was growing up, Chloe never explained why Lucifer was absent from their lives, leading to Rory ultimately being so desperate for revenge that she figures out a way to go back and confront him directly.

According to showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich in an extended interview with Collider, bringing in time travel came about as a result of wanting to play out what would happen if Lucifer had to deal with a child who was angry at him for abandonment (the same crime for which Lucifer resented his own father). "We realized that we told this story of Lucifer understanding his father's perspective, understanding that his father was actually trying to do what was right by him. And then it became the question of, okay, well, what if he did to his child, what he felt his father did to him?" Henderson said.

As Modrovich added, "We knew we wanted Lucifer to be in his dad's shoes, because it was the final chapter, but then, how does it feel to be on the other end of an experience and to be the one causing the pain? And so we just had to get his adult child into our show, somehow... We didn't set off to go like 'I think we'll tell a time-travel story for Season 6.' That was a means to an end, which is the only way personally, it could have been a time travel story — because they break my head."

With time travel established as the means by which to bring Lucifer's adult daughter onto the series, the writers had to settle on how time travel would work in this universe — one which, to be clear, they had creative control over. "We walked down every time travel path," Henderson said. "And ultimately we really landed on the idea of a closed-loop paradox. It's clean, it's simple, it doesn't distract you with a bunch of rules, but also it speaks to how, as much as we are a crazy world with rules that can bend and break, we're holding to them. We're sticking to them."

RELATED: 'Lucifer' Season 6 Ending Explained: Do the Devil and His Detective Get Their Happy Ending?

Other time travel narratives that use closed-loop paradoxes include the Bill and Ted films and Rian Johnson's Looper — the idea is that even with the existence of time travel, the future cannot be changed, and in fact the act of time travel might lead to the ultimate creation of that future. This is the case for how Lucifer plays out, with Rory literally begging her parents not to change anything as she's sucked back to her original time (an unknown number of years in the future, enough for Chloe to have lived a full life and be on the verge of dying of old age).

From Henderson's perspective, maintaining the concept of a closed-loop felt like a good thing, "because guess what? Rory had a great mom. She grew up into a great kid, and it was exciting to be able to illustrate that and speak to that, and speak to the idea that she doesn't want to be different. There's that line where she's like, 'don't change me.' She loves who she is. She's a great person."

While there was discussion of allowing the characters to change the events of the future in some way, Henderson said that "the more important theme was the relatable one, which was, despite all the crap we go through in our lives, you got to look at it and go, 'that made me, that made me who I am.' And if you get to the point where you love yourself, which, Rory does, and Lucifer does, you can't say, 'I wish that didn't happen now.' You can't go back and go, I don't want that. Now you embrace the bad with the good. That's our whole show, that the dark side and the light side. It's all there for a reason."

Thus, while there's no shortage of sadness in those last scenes of the Lucifer finale, there is also a deeply felt satisfaction in how the show resolves the stories of all these characters. And in some ways, a TV show like this is its own sort of time loop — depending on how often you rewatch it.

Collider's full interview with the Lucifer showrunners will be available this Sunday. The complete series is streaming now on Netflix.

KEEP READING: 7 Best Shows Like 'Lucifer' to Watch



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