Connect with us

Empire

EMPIRE Fall Finale: Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett & Trai Byers Deliver Top-Notch Drama!

If you missed the Empire fall finale on Wednesday night on Fox, you should catch-it! While it also gave the hip-hop soap a boost in its ratings numbers, it also showcased the power of three of its series stars: Taraji P. Henson (Cookie), Jussie Smollett (Jamal) and Trai Byers (Andre).

Courtesy/FOX

In story, the hour featured a heartbreaking intervention sending Jamal to rehab, but before that, mama Lyon needed Jamal to get it together to perform at The People’s Ball to help her beau, Angelo (Taye Diggs) get elected and garner votes.  After first demanding Jamal turn over his stash of pills, she later finds him puking his guts up and going through withdrawal, and he is late for his performance.  So, what’s a mother to do?  Well, show-off her plumbing skills – go under the kitchen sink where she threw away his pills down the drain – open the pipes up, and get some pills to help him get to the stage!

Courtesy/FOX

Later, after Jamal wows the audience he comes off-stage to be greeted by the Lyon clan and company telling him he is being taken to rehab right now.  Jussie Smollett played the betrayal of his family and in particular his mother and sadness beautifully, while Taraji P. Henson throughout the episode proved why “The Cookie Effect” as noted in the episode is in full bloom.

And as for Trai Byers, this season he got to show his acting chops and none more so, than when Andre reveals he suffers from bipolar disorder to Nessa, and he tells her how his late wife Rhonda helped him manage it. Nessa tell him: “I’m not gonna do any of those things for you. “I want you to learn to do them for yourself.”

Courtesy/FOX

Next, Andre who has been having hallucinations all season, has one last one, and this one is on the beach where Andre and Ghost Rhonda say their final goodbyes. But before she goes she tells the mentally unstable Lyon: “Promise me you will destroy that bitch that murdered me and killed our baby.”  Andre, in a show of symbolism, tosses his wedding ring into the water.  He then reveals to Shyne that he knows that he indeed liquidated his assets two weeks before Lucious’ assets were frozen.  He then very steely and confidently tells him how it’s going to be from here on out. That he is pulling the strings.  Andre tells Shyne to respect the heirarchy, “’til it’s time to kill my father.”  Andre looks down right scary.  The episode fades to black till Empire returns in March of the new year.

TV Line spoke to executive producer Sanaa Hamri in on what mght become of Jamal and his stint in rehab when the show returns in 2017:  “Jamal having to face pain-medication addiction, it’s a horrific thing. We see the rawness and the truth. It’s the unglamorous side of what a lot of artists have gone through over the decades — from Janis Joplin to Michael Jackson. We see what it does. It’s real. Cookie will do anything to get her son out of that pain, and that’s why she gave him those pills. It had to be addressed, but she couldn’t let him withdraw that severely. She and Lucious and the family all bonded in that amazing moment where Jamal has to go to rehab. He has to go through the program and come to terms with his addiction. And the journey now for him is if he can be sober — and if he can create being sober, which is a whole other thing.”

So, what did you think of the Fall finale of Empire?  What were your thoughts on the performances of Henson, Smollett, and Byers? Comment below!

Click to comment
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

avatar
su0000
su0000

Empire has been excellent, it also holds variety..
It is one of my all time favorites..
I did not the last episode was the final 🙁 can’t wait for the return!!

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I am just glad to have another soap on the air even if this one is prime time—the show is very well written and it’s actors are always top-notch.

Jane
Jane

I don’t like theses people , the acting is expected , no surprises.
Cookies one liners have been funny , Lucius in bed with a rag on his head with his women about to go down on him as his mother walks in with Vaccum. Disgusting.

Paul
Paul

The show, like Glee, takes its popularity for granted with stunt casting and somewhat generic storylines… most of the time.
The thing that bothered me here is that cookie put her boytoy ahead of her son by drugging him up first to perform and then carting his ass off to rehab. I hope the rehab center is not once of those with a grand piano and a gay guy who also likes to sing so this dude gets the trifecta: a new album, a lover, and plenty of counseling sessions where he can break out in song.

All three of these Lyon sons got the worst parents. Lucious knows who killed his daughter in law and first grand child but to safe his ass he’d rather sacrifice his son’s. Cookie just drugged up her son so he could preform to help her lover. And the youngest son is just juggled and discarded by them both so often that the one who should be addicted to anything is that kid and it should be coke and heiroin or worse.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

On the one hand I ike the show. Great acting; talented musicians. On the other hand, it smacks of racism, anfi-semitism. It’s black power message not very subtle from the dialogue to the song lyrics. There ARE friendships and trust both in business and personal relationships between people of every hue and religion but “Empire” only features the bigoted aspect. The family barely blinked an eye when Rhonda died; Andre knew hsr since college.

As for the season finale, objectively it was very good. Andre has become a force this season and I’m curious to see where his psychological state takes him next. Nessa is gorgeous…Taye Diggs hadn’t had enough of a part but all things Cookie willl lead back to Lucious. Speaking of Lucious, I thought thd scene where Jamal sang his angst about all his father’s wrongs to the backdrop of the video of Cookie and her dad/sisters was very poignant. On an interior design note, each character’s home is stunning!

Breaking News

AW and Y&R Alum Alicia Coppola To Recur On ‘Empire’

More exciting roles coming the way of Alicia Coppola! Casting news out today has that the former soap alum of both Another World (Ex-Lorna) and more recently, The Young and the Restless (Ex-Meredith) has landed a recurring role on Empire.

According to Deadline: “Coppola will play a smart, flamboyant attorney investigating Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and international money launderer Damon Cross (Wood Harris).  She’ll do almost anything for big target convictions because she believes they’ll take her to the Governor’s mansion and then the White House.”

In an Instagram post on Friday, Alicia posted: “What a way to start the Holidays, end 2018 and begin a wonderful 2019! Thank you is all I can say. To say I am Grateful is an understatement. @empirefox here I come!” Recently, Coppola also recurred on NCIS: Los Angeles.

On Thursday night’s Soap Nation Live radio broadcast, Linda Dano, who played Alicia’s on-screen mother on Another World, Felicia Gallant, had complimented Alicia during her guest segment, and she still keeps in touch with her.  You can listen to that here.

So, will you be checking out Alicia on Fox’s Empire?  Let us know via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

TEEN CHOICE AWARDS: ‘This Is Us’, ‘Empire’ & Actors Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Jussie Smollett Score Nods

On Wednesday, the nominees for those ‘way cool’ surfboard trophies at the upcoming 2018 Teen Choice Awards were revealed.  The ceremony will air live on FOX on Sunday August 12th at 8/7c live from Los Angeles.

The awards voted on by fans for their favorites in television, movies and music kicked off the determination of the winners today. Fans have the chance to vote up to ten times a day on each platform: Twitter and at TeenChoice.com up until June 19.  For Twitter, viewers can tweet a category hashtag along with the nominee’s name for the vote to be counted.

In the television categories, Riverdale and the just cancelled Shadowhunters led the nominations. but a few of your favorite primetime soapy dramas also came away with nominations in the major categories … This Is Us, and Empire.  In addition, Sterling K. Brown (Randall) and Chrissy Metz (Kate) scored acting nominations for This Is Us, while Jussie Smollett (Jamal) received an acting nod for Empire.

Check out these main TV drama categories below and remember to vote.

Choice Drama TV Show (#ChoiceDramaTVShow)
Empire
Famous in Love
Riverdale
Star
The Fosters
This Is Us

Choice Drama TV Actor (#ChoiceDramaTVActor)
Cole Sprouse — Riverdale
Freddie Highmore — The Good Doctor
Jesse Williams — Grey’s Anatomy
Jussie Smollett — Empire
K.J. Apa — Riverdale
Sterling K. Brown — This Is Us

Choice Drama TV Actress (#ChoiceDramaTVActress)
Bella Thorne — Famous in Love
Camila Mendes — Riverdale
Chrissy Metz — This Is Us
Lili Reinhart — Riverdale
Maia Mitchell — The Fosters
Ryan Destiny — Star

So, which show from the nominees do you think the voters will chose for Choice Drama TV Show, Actor and Actress?  Let us know in the comment section below!

Continue Reading

Empire

EMPIRE Season Four Finale: A Wedding, Two Deaths … Maybe More!

On the season four finale of Empire, two deaths, maybe another, and a marriage, highlighted the twists and turns of the Fox hip-hop music soap opera.

First, Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) long time rival, Boo Boo Kitty aka Anika, played by Grace Gealey, took one of the more horrific signature tumbles that Empire is known for.  Payback is definitely a bitch!

Courtesy/FOX

Andre (Trai Byers) spiked Anika’s champagne before her press conference when she announces she has taken over as CEO of “Empire.”  While she is making her speech, she starts seeing visions of Rhonda, featuring Kaitlin Doubleday reprising her role. As she is speaking to the press, Anika is having hallucinations of Rhonda and her delusions reach epic proportions.  Then, we watch Anika smash through glass and fall several floors below to her death. According to showrunner EP Greg Mahoney, Anika is truly dead.

But also, at the top of the hour, recovering junkie Tori, played by Rumer Willis, was rushed to the hospital.  This was following an emotional confrontation with Jamal (Jussie Smollett). He visits her in the rehab center where she realizes she’s still got deep addiction issues.  After, they have a talk, she tells him to watch out for himself, and that the Lyon family will bring him down, and he needs to find his own path in life. Later, Jamal comes back to see her, only to find out that she has suffered complications from a grand mal seizure, and has died.  This prompts Jamal to go on a self-journey, and leave the Lyon’s nest for now.

Meanwhile, at the end of the episode, Cookie and Lucious (Terrence Howard), finally, finally after all the bickering … all the backstabbing … all the health issues … all the betrayals … went down to city hall to get re-married.  This was a long time coming. It was a simple ceremony, but as with any Empire season finale, there was a major juxtaposition going on adjacent to the main scene, and this was also the case for season four’s final moments.

While Cookie and Lucious were getting married, the camera cuts to Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) and his baby mama Tiana (Serayah McNeill) getting ready to travel in a car along with white rapper Blake in tow, only to see that Blake’s racist father comes out of nowhere and attempts to assassinate Hakeem!  We don’t know if anyone was struck … we don’t know if anybody died … we fade to black.

On the business end of things, Eddie, played by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, won the “Empire” auction.  He has forced the Lyon family to start from scratch as they no longer have the business that they spent years putting their blood, sweat, and tears into.

Courtesy/FOX

When TV Line asked showrunner Brett Mahoney about the shooting at the end of the episode and if it will lead to a third death, he said, “I won’t say.  I will say that things won’t be the same between the four people that were involved in that.” Mahoney added that the early part of season five will focus on the Lyon family building a new empire.  He teased, “Yes.  But I think it’s going to be a much more difficult process than Cookie thinks it’s going to be.  And it’ll tear at the relationship between Cookie and Lucious and the boys, in terms of trying to achieve that goal.”

 

So, what did you think about the season four finale of Empire?  What did you think about who died?  What did you think about Cookie and Lucious tying the knot?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Timmm: “The ratings are okay BUT once they have something new they want to push, its gone for good!
  • Patrick: “it's truly a funny time... to bear witness to just what exactly is Frank VAlentini wringing out ?…
  • Patrick: “shoot, I know @DAYS films 6 months ahead... yet i'm fairly certain on my assessment... not that many may "care"…
  • Suzie rm: “Will the much loved vets be featured in the Ryan/Kevin story? VERY disappointed Laura, Mac, Felicia, Scott and Lucy are…
  • su000: “Ohh Gaddd ,, the Batchelor is woman whoring themselves for a Win .. I wouldn't want…
Advertisement

Power Performance

Beth Maitland as Traci

The Young and the Restless

Airdates: 10-24-26-2018

Advertisement

Popular