'Empire' Finale Just Killed Somebody Off in Dramatic Cliffhanger Ending

by Philiana Ng 8:05 PM PDT, May 18, 2016
Photo: FOX

Empire sent fans literally over the edge with its nail-biting finale!

After Jamal (Jussie Smollett) was mistakenly shot at the end of last week's episode, the Fox drama answered the question of his fate rather quickly, jumping ahead three weeks to show the wheelchair-bound Lyon recovering from his gunshot wound.

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While we all breathed a huge sigh of relief (never leave us, Jamal!), that wasn't the only big development from Wednesday's season two closer.

Things seemed to be on the right path for the Lyon family as Jamal vowed to end "the cycle."

"Death. Incarceration. We could change that cycle," he pleaded with his family. "I ain't singing again until we do."

And at the outset, everyone was all-in with the plan. That is, until it came time for the youngest Lyon, Hakeem (Bryshere Gray), to marry his fiancee, Laura (Jamila Velazquez).

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Things then took a dramatic 180 -- and we mean dramatic.

After Anika (aka Boo Boo Kitty) was served with papers requiring her to testify against Lucious (Terrence Howard) in the grand jury case against him just before Hakeem was set to walk down the aisle, things got a little ... crazy, for lack of a better word.

Laura called off the wedding, leaving Hakeem heartbroken, but instead of comforting his son, Lucious had other thoughts, offering up the only (semi-)logical move that would protect both him and Boo Boo Kitty (Grace Gealey) from legal repercussions: Get married!

Since Anika is pregnant with Hakeem's baby, this makes the Lyon family tree all sorts of twisted and Jamal said as much: "Are we sick or something? We were supposed to end the cycle."

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"I didn't save this b***h's life so she could ruin mine," Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) said with tears running down her face. (Earlier in the episode, she saved Anika from jumping off the ledge -- literally.)

But instead of figuring another way out, Lucious and Anika went through with the plan and got married. Yeah, we feel a little sick too.

But that's not all! After waiting nearly half a season to find out who pushed Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) down the stairs, causing her to lose her baby, she and Anika came to blows at the top of the building. Andre arrived , but came just a hair too late, yelling, "Noooo!" before the screen immediately faded to black.

So, who died: Rhonda or Anika?

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“It sure as hell looks like someone died. The cliffhanger is someone dies,” showrunner Ilene Chaiken told Variety, adding, "Someone went over. You can tell by Andre’s reaction that someone went over.”

Chaiken also promised that the identity of the fallen will be addressed early in the new season.

"Let’s say that we definitely are going to answer the question of who dies at the top of the season, and we’re going to set our stories in motion in a very dramatic way," she said.

Empire returns Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT this fall on Fox.