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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.

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sorry…. if they bring Jussie back… I will not need to watch the finale.

Empire

Taraji P. Henson Says She Fired Her Entire Team After They Failed to Capitalize on Her Success as ‘Empire’s’ Cookie Lyon

When Fox’s hit primetime soap opera, Empire, hit the air it became a smash hit, especially due to its lead female character, Cookie Lyon, as played by Taraji P. Henson.

The actress played Cookie for all she was worth and the some becoming one of the more original soap and television characters. After all, Cookie went to jail for 17 years before being released, and was the wife of former drug dealer, now music mogul, Lucious Lyon played by Terrence Howard.

Now, Taraji revealed all was not kosher behind the scenes during a sit-down interview for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation (see below). It was there, she revealed that she had to fire her entire PR team and more, because of how they failed to capitalize on her rousing success at the time as Cookie.

Photo: Fox

The moment came about during the Q&A Henson was asked what was the best business decision she ever made.  She swiftly answered: “Firing everybody after Cookie,” adding, “Everybody had to f**ing’ go. Where is my deal? Where’s my commercial? Cookie was at the top of the fashion game. Where is my endorsement? What did you have set up for after this? That’s why you all haven’t seen me in so long. They had nothing set up.”

Empire fans recall that a ‘Cookie’ prequel had been in the works to continue the character after the series was canceled after six seasons, but nothing happened. At the time reports shared, Danny Strong, co-creator of the Empire was said to be co-writing the series, and it would come through Henson’s new production banner.

Taraji explained what went down behind the scenes: “All they wanted was another Cookie show, and I said, ‘I’ll do it, but it has to be right. The people deserve, she’s to beloved for y’all to f**k it up.’ And so, when they didn’t get it right, I was like, ‘Well, that’s it,’ and they had nothing else. ‘You’re all f**ng fired.”

Photo: JPI

Henson added that she felt like she had Stockholm Syndrome from the entire situation, which is defines as a syndrome ‘where hostages sometimes develop a psychological bond with their captors.’ (Think Kevin, Y&R!) The moral of Henson’s story was to make sure the people you pay and who work for you, understand that you are the talent and nothing happens without you including them collecting a paycheck off you.

Henson can currently be seen in the musical version of The Color People in movie theatres everywhere.

Check out her emotional and enlightening conversation with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation below.

Now let us know, do you think Cookie Lyon was one of the best TV characters and should have either been spun off into her own show, or Henson should have appeared in more commercial and endorsement deals given the popularity of the character? Weigh-in via the comment section.

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Empire

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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Breaking News

‘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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