Tonight’s season finale of Empire picks back up with Eddie threatening to turn Lucious in for killing Shyne if he doesn’t step down and take the Patel deal. Lucious slaps Eddie, which is satisfying to watch, then tries to stab him, but Eddie is quicker than that—a point he keeps proving—and pulls out a gun. You know Eddie knows Lucious well, so of course, he came prepared! No further violence goes down, and the kicker is, Eddie informs Lucious that if anything happens to him, his lawyer will put out a statement implicating Lucious in the crime.
This is the takeover and Eddie is back on top. Lucious consults with Thirsty about the situation but in this case, the DA would be able to convict Lucious. In other words, even Thirsty can’t think of anything so they better come up with something else fast.
Cookie tries to finesse Anika. Her proposal is, if Anika can retrieve Lucious’ scarf then she will have her own independent imprint. But that doesn’t work. Anika is feeling herself, thinks she’s secure in her position and shuts Cookie down.
Right now it’s looking like the only way to save Empire is for Lucious to turn himself in. Cookie doesn’t want Lucious to do this. She wants to try to find some dirt on Eddie or something, anything! However, by this point, they only have until tomorrow and time is scare. So, Lucious accepts his fate and tells Thirsty and Andre what’s up. His only request is that they prepare a bid to buy Empire back and to “exterminate the rats.” Andre actually offers to take the fall for his father! He feels like if he hadn’t brought Shyne in the mix then this wouldn’t have happened. Lucious won’t stand for this and for once, he points out all the good that Andre has done for the company. Plus, he says that Cookie needs him and out of all his children, Dre is the one whose most like him. It’s that Lyon fire inside that Lucious recognizes.They share a beautiful, extremely rare, teary moment as they prepare for the worst, and even exchange, “I love you’s.”
We’re all still praying for a Thirsty mircale, though. Hopefully someone figures out how they can pin Shyne’s murder on Eddie. Anyway, now we’re at breakfast with the entire Lyon clan. Lucious tells Hakeem and Jamal what’s going on, including the fact that he did actually kill Shyne. Hakeem and Jamal are pissed because Lucious Lucious’d once again. Hakeem is especially mad because he feels like Shyne had his back. But Dre chimes in and says Shyne helped him plant the bomb in Lucious’ car. So the fact that Dre was part of that is yet another layer to the drama. Hakeem and Jamal are still disturbed but then they remember what family this is and offer their insight, which is that Lucious should just let Eddie have Empire if it’s going to save him because at this point, there’s no guarantee that they can actually buy Empire back. What if the board doesn’t accept? What if Eddie Patel comes with even more money? Lucious refuses to make the sacrifice.
So, now we’re at the board meeting and the rule is, whoever has the most money wins. Patel submits his bid for $700 million in an envelope, and then the Lyons come walking in. They raised $750 million but the envelope Cookie hands in contains a note for $0. Lucious and the other Lyon’s are confused and looking like…
Cookie gives a cute speech about how Empire belongs to the Lyons and they shouldn’t pay another dime for the company they built when Empire’s biggest asset is the Lyon family. That obviously doesn’t work and the board accepts Patel’s deal.
Lucious is furious and demands to know why Cookie gave Empire away. Her reasoning is that she refused to let Lucious rot in jail for the rest of his life. Plus, she got the scarf back. Now they’ll have to give the money back that they raised as part of the terms and conditions but the kinda sorta good news is that they will still make money from the deal. Cookie is ready to just rebuild Empire from scratch with the entire family together. Lucious is still pissed off but he resigns his fate to moving forward.
In other news, Tory Ash dies of complications from a drug overdose and this is the final straw for Jamal. He decides to pack his things and leave indefinitely. Cookie walks in on him packing and obviously tries to get him to stay, given that the family needs to stick together now more than ever, but he’s tired of the drama and one thing after another, and just wants to disappear. He makes it clear to his mother that she just needs to let him go and that’s that.
Anika, Giselle, Eddie and the rest of the crooked co are preparing to give a press conference about the new direction of Empire. Anika is gloating over their victory, and surprisingly, Andre pops up and congratulates her. He tells her he’s done blaming her for Rhonda and his baby’s respective deaths and that he knows what it’s like to have a guilty conscience and how it can haunt you. He hands her some champaign and toasts to calling a truce. Anika wishes Andre good luck before he leaves then chugs the drink down.
You know dang well…hold that thought.
Lucious proposes to Cookie. He’s finally embracing that they have to start over but he doesn’t want to do it unless they can do it as an official unit. Cookie accepts, of course. Hakeem and Blake are kicking it at Hakeem’s house, but Tiana busts up the fun to inform Hakeem that she’s pregnant. This obviously comes at a terrible time given that she pushed Hakeem away with her antics, and basically by choosing Eddie over the Lyons (he hadn’t been responding to her phone calls as a result), but one thing that gets Hakeem is babies. This is enough for him to kiss Tiana in forgiveness.
Now we’re back to that Empire press conference. Anika, who is the new CEO, starts giving her speech, but she’s not feeling so hot. Come on, we just established that Andre is Lucious’ son. So, yeah, Anika starts starts hallucinating and sees Rhonda, Andre’s deceased wife, as a reporter, asking questions about being a killer, etc. Anika tries to talk through it, but she’s literally looking like:
It gets so bad that she is forced to step away from the podium. She bumps into Dre again as she stumbles around and asks what he did to her. He tells her to smile for the cameras with a smirk on his face. Dre’s dastardly deed is confirmed in a quick flashback where we see him crushing up some pills. Anika runs upstairs, still haunted by her hallucinations, slips over a banister and falls to her death. The last thing she sees before she dies is another hallucination of Rhonda reminding her that karma is a b–ch.
Finally, Cookie and Lucious get married at the Justice of the Peace with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough]playing as the backdrop. Jamal’s first stop on his Operation Disappear Tour is London, and finally, we see Tiana, Hakeem, and Blake stepping out to their car. The episode ends with Blake’s father firing several shots. We don’t actually see who got shot because the screen goes black, but Blake jumped in front of the pack so that’s not looking so good for him and now we have to wait until the Fall to find out where this goes.
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