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Warning: spoilers lie ahead for the series finale of Empire on Fox.
Empire has officially ended its run on Fox after six seasons with a finale that unfortunately left some major questions unanswered. Nobody at the show is to blame for the Season 6 ending that was downright ridiculous even by Empire's spectacularly soapy standards. Empire had to stop production two episodes short of the planned series finale, and no Season 7 is coming to tie off the loose ends. So, unless Empire gets a chance to produce those last two episodes, there are three massive questions that need to be answered.
Who Shot Lucious Lyon?
Empire spent almost the entire final season building to the reveal of who shot Lucious Lyon in the flash-forward in the Season 6 premiere. The show dropped clues here and there about who might have done it, but Empire moves so quickly and Lucious creates so many enemies for himself that it's difficult to narrow down the list unless characters are killed off.
Tracy did hold Lucious at gunpoint at one point in Season 6, but only because he got in her way of trying to shoot Cookie, and Tracy herself was dead and out of the running as Lucious' killer before the scene could even end. Andre seems to have definitively beaten the violent Kingsley personality that had him crossing lines in some scary ways, so he probably wouldn't be the one to pull the trigger.
Billy Beretti is a possibility, based solely on his presence in a flash-forward that may or may not have taken place after Lucious' death. Damon Cross seemed like the most likely candidate for a while, especially once Lucious hooked up with his daughter. Damon died, however, in what aired as the series finale after a confrontation with Lucious, who Damon had been trying to shoot when he accidentally killed Yana.
Lucious managed to beat Damon to death with his prosthetic leg. He survived the encounter without being shot, and it doesn't look like this was because Empire decided to change the story at the last minute. Lucious' clothes in the final fight with Damon cross didn't match the clothes he wore in the flash-forward. However the series was intended to end, it wasn't with the confrontation between Lucious and Damon at the mansion.
So, if not Tracy, Andre/Kingsley, Damon Cross, or even Yana, who could have killed Lucious? Cookie could have done it, although she was back to considering Lucious the love of her life by the end of the impromptu finale. Lucious was on good enough terms with his sons (albeit off-screen with Jamal).
Giselle and Patel were still alive and with serious bones to pick with Lucious. But Lucious getting shot was teased as the climax of the final episode of the series; it could have been anybody, and fans may never get to see how it was supposed to go down.
Who Blew Up Cookie's Car?
Lucious isn't the only one who may have died in the Empire Season 6 flash-forwards. In another look to the future, Cookie was seen rushing out of the mansion after Lucious was shot. She climbed into her car, found a note, and then was seemingly blown up in her car.
Now, Empire didn't go nearly as far to confirm Cookie's death as it did Lucious after he was shot, since he looked pretty definitively dead in that particular flash-forward. It's possible the show planned a switcheroo and Cookie wasn't in her car when it exploded, or it somehow wasn't Cookie's car that did explode. Either way, viewers can only wonder: who blew up that car?
And in that question lies several others. Was Cookie inside of the car? Who wrote the note, and what did the note say to alarm her? Why was Cookie at the mansion in the first place, and why was she rushing out of it in such a hurry? Did the car explosion happen while Lucious was getting shot, or was that a trick of the editing? Could Cookie have shot Lucious?
Cookie made her share of enemies, although not nearly as many as Lucious. Still, Giselle and Patel have every reason to be as furious with Cookie as with Lucious, and Giselle especially might see Cookie as the reason why everything went wrong for her in the second half of Empire Season 6. Cookie also made an enemy from the head of the ASAs when she refused to cancel BossyFest. Carol was furious with her for a time, but not quite "kill Cookie with a car bomb" furious.
Like with Lucious, we can at least rule out the candidates who died before having the chance to enact any vengeance. Tracy was shot in the midseason premiere before she could shoot Cookie. Damon already did shoot Cookie but had moved on to focus his fury on Lucious, leading to his demise. Even Yana couldn't snap and kill Cookie in a jealous rage due to her own unexpected death. Who could it have been, and will we never know?
What Happens To The Rest Of The Lyons?
If we assume that Empire's original finale really did kill off Lucious and Cookie, that raises the question: what happens to the Lyons left behind? Jamal's ultimate fate presumably would have been kept off-screen, as the premature series finale didn't even show Jussie Smollett in the flashback montage. The last update on Jamal was that he and his husband were adopting a baby and doing well, so no need to wonder about him. But what about Andre and Hakeem?
Andre did make the decision to give up on his idea to pursue mission work in South America, wanting to be there for his son even if Teri wouldn't take him back romantically. That's not to say that Andre will ever completely heal from his experiences or get to a point of not needing medication, since Empire showed what can go wrong if he gives up on his meds. He seemingly resumed his work at Empire. Could the stresses of that job push him too far again, or had he learned how to handle it?
And what about Hakeem? As of the end of what served as the series finale, he was still reaping the benefits of his sham (or increasingly not-so-sham) marriage to Maya, but he never seemed to get closure with Tiana. The launch of the Empire movie also may have meant a big shift in his career and the public perception of him. Of course, his parents being murdered in real life shortly after the movie telling their story premiered might have caused some problems.
Unless Empire somehow gets those last two episodes, fans will never get to see how all of these questions and more were supposed to be answered. Even a TV movie event tying off the loose ends could be enough. The Empire team might have to make some tweaks to the original plan due to what was cobbled together to serve as the series finale, but the creators haven't given up on a real end to Empire. Even if the answers never come on screen, fans can only hope that the answers are revealed somehow.