After playing the forensic scientist of the LAPD, Ella Lopez, for six seasons on Lucifer, we spoke with Aimee Garcia about the chipper Miss Lopez, queen of the quippy lines and graphic tees, about her character’s final arc for Season 6.
The following interview contains spoilers for the final season of Lucifer.
As one of the final characters of the main cast who does not know the truth about Lucifer, this final season gave Ella the opportunity to finally piece it all together. We spoke with Aimee Garcia about Ella and her struggles with PTSD from dating a literal serial killer, her romantic life with Carol Corbett (Scott Porter), her character’s faith, and Ella finally finding out the truth.
Therese Lacson: So, Ella’s attraction to bad boys is thankfully behind her. She had a really traumatic experience when she was dating Pete, and she also experienced a bit of PTSD when she meets Carol, because he’s got all the makings of a good guy, which is what she thought she was getting with Pete. What do you think finally allows Ella to trust her instincts again and be able to trust Carol as well so she can move on?
Aimee Garcia: That’s a very good question. I think it’s her group of friends. I think it’s a little bit of a piecemeal of what everyone says, you know, what Dr. Linda says, and what Lucifer tells her, and what Carol tells her, and that’s where I feel like the beauty of the show lies. One character will drop a nugget, and then another, and then it’ll have a huge repercussion in the best way. So I feel like Lucifer telling her that she just needs to trust that no one ever wanted to make her feel left out. And I think it was probably Maze and Dan, saying, ‘Hey, you are the inner circle, you need to trust that.’
And then Carol… I think, Carol just not running away, and knowing that he shouldn’t take stuff personally when Ella is just acting out. Like he said, someone who has emotional trauma, and has romantic PTSD, they just they’re guarded. And so I think that he isn’t scared by her trying to reject him before he rejects her. It’s a little team effort, of just realizing that she’s enough, and she has the strength to really put her heart on the line.
Therese: I really liked how her relationship with Carol slowly developed through that. It would have been disappointing if she hadn’t wrestled with it a little bit, especially since that was such a big part of her character arc, her experience with Pete, and then also the fallout afterward. I really liked that that was explored a little bit more.
Aimee: And that is a testament to the writers, they are so good.
Therese: Yeah, for sure. I think one aspect of Ella’s character that’s always been really strong is her relationship with Christianity and religion. I mean, she basically had the angel of death as her ghost bestie and she got a hug from God. What do you think drives Ella’s faith despite having no proof of it? She is, notably, one of the only characters who doesn’t find out about the truth until this final season, but she is the one who has the most faith out of everybody.
Aimee: I think something that she said was so beautiful, she said, ‘God isn’t there to take away the bad things. God is there to give us the strength to deal with the bad thing.’ I feel like that’s so much at Ella’s core, what she tells Dan in a previous season. I think that’s it. God is omnipresent. And even if it doesn’t feel like he’s up there, she has faith. I think it’s her journey of past seasons as well. She had a crisis of faith and she had a crisis of self.
Once you have those big emotional barometers as a person, it’s like, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I didn’t feel God at all. But then I found this wonderful man.’ Or I really thought that I was totally in the dark and have completely been ousted by my own family, in a way, because your friends are your family, and then come to learn that, ‘Oh my gosh, you don’t need to tell someone that you love them, they should just know if you’re doing your job being a good friend.’ So, I think she starts to listen, I think it’s the people around her.
And I think it’s also probably her poverty. She had to rely on herself. I think when you don’t have anyone to lean on in your formative years, you just lean on yourself because you do what you have to do to survive. So, I think, her grit and her tenacity and perseverance and her stubborn faith, which I love, and her stubborn faith in the goodness of people, and the fact that she’s not jaded, despite growing up in poverty and having her own brothers try to use her and they end up being criminals, and her abuelita taught her how to steal cars. She didn’t have the smoothest upbringing. I think that’s it, I think God was the one thing she could rely on because she couldn’t rely on things on this earth in a real tangible way, so she had to go the intangible route of faith.
Therese: I love that. And a big plot point of this season is her finding out that there is a tangible side to her faith. She’s such an intelligent character that I always that it felt wrong that she was the last person to know the truth. So I’m glad that she figured it out on her own. What was it like learning that Ella’s storyline this season was going to be her finally discovering the truth? And what was your reaction to it?
Aimee: I was so excited. I was so excited. I think the thing was, Ella, she’s just so fun, and they give her such cool zingers and t-shirts. It was really surprising, and it was unexpected because season six was unexpected. So, the fact that she was one of the few characters that didn’t have an arc and that hadn’t figured it out, that was really fun to have one character out of the group have somewhere really far to go. So I knew that there would be some really fun scenes. And I knew that she would get to make some really fun discoveries. It’s so juicy and fun. I think it’s well deserved. Like you said, she’s the smartest person in the room. Her clues always help find who’s done it and she’s always there for other people, and she’s a really good friend.
So, it was really nice to see her be included in a world that for so long she was completely blind to. But to your point, she is a woman of faith. In a way, when you’re a woman of faith, you know all that stuff exists anyway. Like, if you can’t see it, you’re like, ‘Well, yeah, of course, it exists.’ Chloe has to go away to Italy and reevaluate everything [when she finds out], and Dan basically went borderline crazy and, so it’s a lot to digest. And so I think for Ella to be more pissed about the fact that they didn’t tell her is so endearing. She’s like, ‘I don’t give a shit! Why didn’t you guys tell me?’ So it really speaks to her faith and her priorities are honesty and truth.
Therese: Yeah I liked that her revelation wasn’t that these things exist, because she always kind of knew they existed. It was the fact that all of her friends didn’t tell her the truth which, to be fair, given how everybody else reacted, it’s like ‘Oh, well, we had no idea how you would react,’ but I loved the way she reacted. I also love that she had it all figured out before anybody told her. Her crazy conspiracy board was all accurate! I mean, except for Dan being a centaur.
Aimee: Oh my god, I know. That’s so fun. This is my favorite season for her.
Therese: What do you think was the triggering event for her that made her suspect things? Or do you think she’s always been piecing things together?
Aimee: Well, I think it was the frog. Like, okay, that’s weird. And then, Amenadiel talking to no one, like, that’s weird. It’s kind of like a Keyser Söze moment, you know, where you just can’t look back. You know, he is always saying he is the devil. It’s not like, she just pulled that out of thin air. He’s constantly telling her he’s the devil. And then she’s like, he doesn’t get any acting gigs. Like, he’s never on set. He must be really bad. You know what I mean? But I think the main thing was really that first thing, just falling out of the sky, you’re like, ‘What is going on? Where did this come from?’ I think that was probably the first triggering event and then Amenadiel pulling a fast one on her and acting weird. I think once that happened, once she gets one nugget of an idea, then I think everything else falls into place.
Lucifer Season 6 is now streaming on Netflix!