Kevin Alejandro, who directed the midseason finale of Lucifer season 5, breaks down the climactic brawl (“It was a three-day monster”) and reveals what the hardest shot of the episode was (Hint: It wasn’t in the fight scene).
Lucifer type TV Show network Fox
Warning: This article contains spoilers from the midseason finale of Lucifer season 5.
Lucifer’s burgeoning family feud turned violent in season 5’s midseason finale, “Spoiler Alert.”
Lucifer’s twin brother Michael (both played by Tom Ellis) spent most of the season using fear to manipulate everyone in Lucifer’s life. First, he revealed that Lucifer has known where Mazikeen’s (Lesley-Ann Brandt) mother Lilith has been this whole time, turning the demon, who was processing abandonment issues, against the stylish Devil. Then, he preyed on Amenadiel’s (DB Woodside) well-documented concerns about raising baby Charlie in the real world, which climaxed with Amenadiel freezing time in the precinct because he was so scared of him growing up (Gotta love angelic self-realization).
This powder keg eventually exploded at the precinct in “Spoiler Alert.” With time frozen, Maze attacked Lucifer for his betrayal and not even considering the possibility she could get a soul, and Amenadiel finally gave Michael what’s been coming to him all season long. Directed by star Kevin Alejandro — who worked in conjunction with fight coordinator Vlad Rimburg and stunt coordinator John Medlen — the ensuing fight scene was one of the show’s most impressive ones to date, especially because it required Ellis play both Lucifer and Michael. While the action was crisp and at times brutal, the emotional beats packed an even stronger punch (sorry, not sorry) — from Lucifer slamming Maze to the ground, to Michael distracting Lucifer and Amenadiel by throwing a demon blade at one of the frozen officers, and finally all three angels wing-ing out right before God’s (Dennis Haysbert) dramatic entrance.
“For me, the trickiest part of those sequences was going in and out of the dramatic action,” Ellis recently told EW. “You’re doing little chunks and pieces of fighting, but you have to remember there’s a packed scene as well. That’s always hard for me – to find that point of tension we’re at dramatically outside of the fighting.”
To that end, EW chatted with Alejandro himself about executing such a complicated fight sequence, the most challenging shot of the episode (which wasn’t in the fight), and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You previously made your directorial debut on season 3’s “Once Upon a Time.” How did that experience compare to directing “Spoiler Alert”?
KEVIN ALEJANDRO: When I went into the first episode, I had never done anything at that level before. I’d only done short films. The second time around, I knew just a little bit more, which helped me. One of the biggest lessons I learned the first time was I don’t have to have all the answers, that I’m surrounded by a team of amazing professionals that are at the top of the game so [I can] trust they know what they’re doing and take their advice, let the show run itself, and worry about your actors and make sure they feel safe and comfortable.
What was your first reaction when you received the script and read the fight scene for the first time?
I said, “What the hell? How the heck am I supposed to do this?” [Laughs]. No, dude, I was actually super excited but scared because when you read it for the first time, you don’t really know how to do it just yet. Once we got into the prep and realization of the story, the first time I had to do was step out of the crazy fight-ness of it all and ask myself, “What is the story? Why is this happening? What are my characters going through? What needs to be achieved?” Once I looked at it from the actors’ perspectives — their emotions — all I had to do was trust that Vlad, our [fight] coordinator, and our entire stunt team was going to put together the most amazing fight. And they did.
It was a three-day monster to put this whole fight together. But once we all agreed what it was going to look like — You know, we took screenshots of everything we needed and it was just a big giant puzzle on a bunch of boards and we would just check off the list. “Okay, we got this shot. We got that.” It was a beast, but we freaking did it.
One thing that makes this fight so difficult is that you have Tom playing two characters, Lucifer and Michael. I imagine there must have been a lot of body double work.
We did it in such a way that on one day, we tried to shoot everything [with] Tom as Lucifer, and only shoot that stuff. Then the next day, Tom came back as Michael, so he…
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