Spoilers ahead for the penultimate episode of Empire Season 6 on Fox, called “Over Everything.”
The end is nigh for Empire, but sadly a couple episodes short of the original order for Season 6. The production shut down when Empire had only filmed 18 of its planned 20 episodes for its sixth and final season, and the Fox series will end rather than return at a later date to finish those last two episodes. The producers were expected to incorporate in the finale some of the footage that had been filmed for Episode 19 to close the series as best as possible. Now, after “Over Everything,” I’m wondering if the premature ending means a happy ending for the Lyons in the April 21 series finale.
Empire fans have known for a while that Lucious Lyon is supposed to be shot before the end of the final season, with Cookie possibly being blown up as well. With Jamal presumably staying overseas (and Jussie Smollett staying off-screen) and Andre coming off of a difficult season that involved almost killing his wife in front of their baby son, Hakeem seemed like the only on-screen Lyon with a chance of ending the season unscathed. The last two episodes of Empire basically felt likely to be pretty bad for the Lyon family.
But now, those two episodes aren’t happening, and “Over Everything” ended in a way that opens the series up for a happy Lyon ending. Or at least, an ending that’s not entirely miserable for the Lyons with Lucious and Cookie dead.
Lucious and Cookie joined forces in the penultimate episode to guarantee Empire’s support for Bossyfest, and Cookie realized that the love song Lucious wrote for Yana was actually for her. Cookie took that development a lot better than I did, even though those words actually turned out to be Lucious’ wedding vows from the first time they were married. They seemed bound for a successful festival and potential romantic reunion.
As for Hakeem, he and Maya came to terms about their marriage, with Hakeem agreeing to stay married since she was helping hype the movie and elevate him as more than just a rapper who got the acting gig because of his dad. Admittedly, Andre didn’t have the happiest end to the episode, as his recovery wasn’t enough for Teri to get past what he did to her, and he declared he was going on a mission trip to South America and wasn’t planning on coming back.
Even if Empire planned on changing all of their fates for the worse in the last two episodes, isn’t it possible that not all of the truly miserable footage could be shot before the production shutdown? Sure, there was at least enough flash-forward footage completed that viewers could be teased about Lucious and Cookie’s fates throughout Season 6, but is it enough? Could there be a happy ending?
Well, Empire has spent six seasons proving that things can go very wrong very quickly, so I’m not going to count on a happy ending. The episode description for the finale, called “Home is on the Way,” teases some of the complications on the way:
In the midst of the Bossyfest launch and the fight to regain control of Empire, Cookie reflects on her life and the woman she has become. Lucious finds it impossible to deny his feelings for Cookie, while continuing to support Yana (guest star Kiandra Richardson) and her rise to stardom. When the Lyons face their biggest threat yet, Lucious prepares for the battle of his life and realizes that in the end, family is what matters the most.
At the very least, Lucious’ support of Yana might not be as welcome as it was before “Over Everything.” Cookie’s realization that Lucious had written Yana’s song about her rather than Yana unfortunately happened in front of Yana, so she might not be thrilled with him in the finale. At this point, I’m just hoping that Empire found a way to end that doesn’t involve a massive cliffhanger that will never be resolved on screen.