Spoilers ahead for Empire’s series finale, called “Home Is on the Way.”
Due to the production shutdowns that halted filming back in March, Empire was just shy of formally concluding its six-season run. However, the creative and editing teams pulled together a series finale using footage from the Fox drama’s last two completed episodes. Now that the newly constructed finale has aired, Taraji P. Henson recently explained why she feels “incomplete” after this series finale.
It wasn’t the intended series ender, but Empire still managed to wrap up quite a few storylines, while leaving others — such as the flash-forward mystery foreshadowing Cookie and Lucious’ deaths — by the wayside. Suffice it to say, the cuts had to be made, considering the circumstances. However, it doesn’t make the bitter pill any easier to swallow. Taraji P. Henson, for instance, is devastated about not being able to film the original series finale. Here’s what she told EW about possibly getting to do the originally planned conclusion at some point:
I’m pushing for that. Just know that Cookie is pushing! These posts and DMs that I’m getting, they are heart-wrenching. As an artist, to not be able to finish something that you started, that hurts me. I feel incomplete. I don’t ever start something and don’t complete it. And so, for me, it’s deep; I have to finish, or this will haunt me for the rest of my life and career. As it would the audience. And I don’t think we should deprive such a loyal fan base of that ending. They deserve to be in their feelings. They deserve more than this abrupt ending. And I get it, where we are right now, we have to be responsible. But I think when the dust settles, at the end of the day, the audience deserves it.
It is unfortunate that Empire wasn’t able to wrap up the way it was planned by showrunner Brett Mahoney, but it could’ve been a lot worse, with all things considered. Mahoney held back from revealing too much about the original finale he had in store, primarily with the hopes that the episode will one day be “shot and done properly.” However, he did previously reveal how one of the shocking finale deaths was supposed to play out differently.
Ultimately, both Taraji P. Henson and Empire’s showrunner are hoping that they can pick back up once everything is more settled. For the time being, viewers will have to settle for the series finale that did air.