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‘Empire’ Fall Finale: Taraji P. Henson Reminds Us Why She Is Queen; Could Jussie Smollett Return In The New Year?

Photo: Fox Media

If you caught Tuesday night’s fall finale of Fox’s music biz soap opera, Empire, you witnessed a bravura performance by Taraji P. Henson in the pivotal role of Cookie Lyon.  In it, wanting to end her marriage officially once and for all to Luscious (Terrence Howard), she pulls a gun on him, demanding he sign the divorce papers … now! And in true, ‘Empire-style’, the scene does not wind up being just Luscious who is staring down the barrel of a gun, but Cookie too, when a revenge-filled, Tracy (Amanda Detmer) shows up with a gun ready to kill them both!

The episode entitled “Cold Cold Man” saw the final minutes feature Henson’s Cookie pinned to a table by Luscious who pleaded with her that their angst-ridden, twisted relationship is still about love, and that deep down she loves him.  Though she protests, you can see through her anger, tears, and frustration that she still loves Luscious … even after all the woman he has slept with, all the backstabbing, and all the hurt he has caused her and their children.

As viewers of the series know, there has been a flash-forward sequence that had been teased all season long of Cookie and Luscious’ demise. That sequence is different than the ending of the fall finale, leaving viewers to believe that obviously the two survive the fall finale, and then face what looks like certain doom by the end of the series finale, when the show returns for its last episodes in 2020.

In another shocker in the fall finale, Andre (Trai Byers) was revealed to have a duel personality in Kingsley (A.Z, Kelsey)! And, Kingsley is the one who is telling Andre to do all the terrible things he has been doing, which includse being physically and emotionally abusive to women.

However, the emotional high-point of the episode came when Empire’s first trans character, Melody Barnes played by trans actress, Alexandra Grey took to the stage and delivered a powerhouse vocal performance and then following it was questioned in a press conference where she reveals publicly that she is transgender.  Following the airing of the episode, Grey tweeted: “Hope you guys enjoyed @EmpireFOX I love getting to play #Melody thanks for all the love!!!! I can’t believe my life! A black trans woman singing on prime time television!! Wow!!!! Thank you.Hope we’re making a difference!”

Photo: Foc

Meanwhile in other key developments behind the scenes, Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney told TV Line that discussions are underway to potentially bring back Jussie Smollett as Jamal before the show wraps its sixth and final season this spring.

Mahoney offered up: “It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him.  It’s fair to say it’s being discussed, but there’s no plan as of yet to bring him back. There’s been no decision made.”

Photo: Foc

Smollett landed in a mass of troubling PR and scandal following the incident in Chicago in which he reported he was involved in a homophobic and racist attack on him.  Later, it turned out that police said that Smollett arranged for the attack on himself.  Still later, all charges were dropped against Smollett.

So, what did you think of the season six fall finale of Empire? Would you want to see Jussie back for the final moments of Empire when it ends its run? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.


Jussie Smollett Releases New Rap Single ‘Thank You God’ Speaking On the Injustice of His Court Case

Now that former Empire star, Jussie Smollett (Ex-Jamal Lyon) is out of jail while appealing his conviction for the 2019 Chicago hate crime hoax, in which he was at the epicenter, the singer/actor wasted no time dropping a rap single.

On his Instagram account, Smollett posted a short clip of a new rap song, which speaks about his court case and the injustices brought down upon him by the system.

The track entitled,“Thank You God,” features Smollett rapping lyrics like: “You think I’m stupid enough to kill my reputation?”  He also raps, that there will come a day when he can sit down and talk with his followers.  He gives a mention to “D.L.” who many believe is CNN anchor, Don Lemon, who was originally one of Smollett’s main advocates.

Jussie served 10 days of jail time of his sentence of 150 days before being released . He also has 30 months of probation ahead of him and was ordered to pay $120,106 to the city of Chicago and a $25,000 fine for his actions.

Smollett says any funds raised for “Thank You God” will be donated to the Illinois Innocence Project, Rainbow Push, Secure The Bag Safety.

Check out Jussie’s Instagram post containing the rap below/

Now let us know, what do you think about Smollett releasing this track and still defending his innocence? Comment below.


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‘Empire’ Star, Jussie Smollett, Sentenced to 150 Days In Jail For Fake Hate Crime Attack

Late Thursday, former Empire actor and singer, Jussie Smollett, was sentenced in Chicago more than three months after being found guilty on five felony counts to the alleged 2019 hate crime hoax that made national headlines, and got the actor fired from the former Fox primetime drama series.

In the sentencing, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days starting immediately.  In addition, he received 30 months’ probation, and has to pay the city of Chicago $120,106 in restitution, plus Jussie received an additional $25,000 fine.

Cook County Judge James Linn, who levied the sentence, came down hard in his words on Smollett due his actions noting he was, “selfish, arrogant and narcissistic.”  The judge added, “You wanted to make yourself more famous throwing a national pity party for yourself. You’re just a charlatan, pretending to be the victim of a hate crime.”

Linn went in on Smollett for his ‘performance’ and ‘pure perjury’ when the actor took to the witness stand in his own defense last year.

At the end of his sentencing, Smollett pulled down his mask to speak. He then let everyone in the courtroom know that he feels he is innocent, adding, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this. And I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”

Just before he was taken into custody, Smollett yelled again that he was innocent and raised a fist in the air as he exited.

Watch the sentencing of Jussie Smollett below, then weigh-in.  Did Smollett get enough of a sentence for his crime? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Ex-‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Found Guilty On Five Counts For Hate Crime Hoax

Jussie Smollett (Ex-Jamal Lyon) from Fox’s former primetime soap opera, Empire, was found guilty on Thursday on five of six felony counts of disorderly conduct stemming from making a false report to the Chicago police department that he was the victim of a hate crime.

The actor’s account of the story dates back to 2019 and finally made its way to the Chicago court system for trial.

In the end, a jury of six men and six women deliberated for more than nine hours Wednesday and today to return the verdict after sitting through testimonies of 13 witnesses.

According to reports, Smollett did not look at his family or the judge during the reading of the verdicts on the six counts he was charged instead he looked at the jury members.

Smollett could face up to 3 years in a prison and a $25,000 fine, Judge James Linn will have discretion in imposing a concurrent or consecutive sentence for each count.  That will happen at a later date.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb said at a post-verdict news conference: “Mr. Smollett would not have lost this case as he did today unless the jury found that he lied to them. The fact that he came up with a completely ridiculous story to explain his misconduct did not apparently have an impact on the jury’s verdict.”

During the trial brothers, Bola and Ola Osundairo testified that Smollett had paid them to stage the hate crime attack on him in an attempt to get media attention.  The brothers testified that they fake punched Smollett, poured bleach on him, put a noose around his neck and used racist and homophobic slurs, because Jussie told them to do so in return for the money.

According to Smollett’s defense team, they will appeal the verdict.

So, what do you think about the guilty verdict for Jussie Smollett? Comment below.

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