‘Empire’ Boss Breaks Down Fall Finale: Lucious Is "Pushed to a Edge"

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Empire‘s deteriorate dual decrease finale, “Et Tu, Brute?”]

The aristocrat has depressed from his throne.

After spending a initial half of a deteriorate during quarrel with Lyon Dynasty, Lucious (Terrence Howard) was private as CEO of his possess association in Empire‘s decrease culmination interjection to a energy play of epic proportions. Not usually did Mimi (Marisa Tomei) misuse him, yet she suggested she had been operative with Camilla (Naomi Campbell) – aka her tip mother and Hakeem’s former lover. Once Camilla was behind in a picture, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) solidified his alienation from his father by voting with her to have him removed. Stunned and devastated, Lucious took out a gun and started banishment shots in his home until Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) calmed him down.

It’s not only Hakeem whom Lucious is now during contingency with: he and Jamal (Jussie Smollett) are also on unsure belligerent after it was announced a dual are adult opposite any other in a desired “Song of a Year” difficulty during a illusory American Sound Awards. The news came after a dual common moving difference about Jamal’s sexuality.

The final – and maybe biggest – jaw-dropper of a partial was when Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) took a nasty decrease down a stairs of her pleasing new Long Island palace in a center of a night, withdrawal her health as good as that of her unborn child’s in critical jeopardy.

In a arise of those vital events and with 3 months to go before Empire returns in March, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with showrunner Ilene Chaiken about Lucious’ “retribution,” Hakeem’s “growth,” a “repair” Andre and Rhonda will have to do and Cookie during her “most empowered.”

How did we confirm to revisit Lucious’ issues with Jamal’s sexuality in this partial and in such a vast way? How do we consider Alicia Keys’ impression combined to that conversation?

The themes of Empire have a lot to do with identity, self-identity, representation, a ways we fit in a world. The story that we told for Jamal in a initial season, a entrance out, a entrance to terms with being happy generally with a exceedingly homophobic father — that story doesn’t end. We know a male like Lucious, he done a outrageous pierce towards toleration … that was serve than you’d ever consider that Luscious Lyon competence have gone, yet that doesn’t meant that he’s all a approach there. That his homophobia has been eradicated. That Jamal doesn’t have to understanding with his father’s homophobia or a homophobia of multitude during vast any longer. That story’s not over yet how do we go on revelation it carrying told that initial vast story? We wanted unequivocally to speak about a nuances of temperament and in a approach that pushes over only a apparent and a things that everybody knows and has seen portrayed.

The partial ends with Luscious unequivocally sceptical about going adult opposite Jamal’s in a aria of a year category. Where does their attribute go from here?

This clearly is going to put a vast aria on that relationship. we consider it would have been ridiculous ever to assume that that attribute would continue unchallenged.

The lyrics of Jamal and Skye’s song, “I matter, we matter, we matter” was unequivocally socially unwavering and unequivocally touches behind to a deteriorate premiere, that also dealt with a black lives matter movement. How do we and a writers plead when and how to pierce adult these kind of issues?

Those are positively themes that we understanding with a lot in Empire, and that are critical to us, and that are in a lives of a characters and in a life of a show. We knew that we indispensable a aria that did that storytelling pursuit for us. … When we initial talked to Alicia about personification this role, we wanted to speak about not only a attribute between Skye and Jamal yet also – and she wanted unequivocally many – to tell a story about biracial temperament and some of a hurdles of it. So we knew that we wanted her and Jamal to perform a aria that would emanate a recoil for her character, and we put that in a works. We knew accurately what that aria had to do from a story indicate of perspective and we sent that information off to a strain people and that’s a aria we got back, that we consider is fanciful song.

Jamal is entrance off of several ASA nominations and this outrageous Pepsi campaign. What will be his tour in a second half of a season?

From a indicate of perspective of personal drama, he’s only turn such a hazard to Lucious that that’s going to be something Jamal has to contend with and Lucious has to contend with. Lucious is not prepared to be surpassed by any of his children, not a slightest his happy son. That’s going to emanate problems. Further to that, Jamal is an artist who will always onslaught with revelation his law and vital in his law contra vital in a universe of luminary and vital in his luminary status, that to an artist like Jamal, can be corrupting, and that’s going to be a plea for Jamal.

Things don’t demeanour good for Andre and Rhonda’s unborn baby. How will their attribute be tested by this occurrence and what’s entrance adult for them?

Firstly, we wish a baby survives. We wish Rhonda survives. And, depending on a outcome of both those things, how will Rhonda and Andre correct themselves – that’s going to be a vast partial of a story for a second half of a season. Rhonda and Andre reckoning out either this was an accident, a infamous turn of fate, either it was something that God meant to occur or that somebody did to them for some other sinful reason is going to be a unequivocally vast story for us.

I consider an apparent think is Anika, who is also profound with a Lyon baby. How will she use this pregnancy to her advantage? What kind of interactions will she have with a family in a second half of a season?

Obviously, Anika would be a primary suspect. It’s something that a assembly knows yet it’s not anything that any of a characters have a reason to know during this point. Nobody else knows that Anika is pregnant, and nonetheless she clearly has ground and should be a suspect, we wouldn’t assume that she’s a one who did it.

Luscious is so ravaged to be private as CEO. How will this change him? What can we contend about his attribute with Hakeem going forward?

Well, his attribute with Hakeem has already been stretched and now it competence be stretched over repair. It positively is in for some hilly times. Lucious is positively pushed to a edge. Losing his association is presumably a misfortune thing that could occur to Lucious Lyon and atonement will be initial and inaugural for Lucious. Lucious has dual sides: he can transport in a many chosen circles and go to a White House and massage shoulders with other billionaires, yet he also comes from a roughest and meanest [place]. we would try that that’s a side of Lucious that’s going to come a small bit closer to a aspect in light of these events.

Camilla done such a good lapse to a uncover in this episode. Why was it critical to pierce her behind into a mix? What does she supplement to a uncover that wasn’t there otherwise?

It was tasty in all a ways that we wish Empire is delicious. It was also one of a harshest things Lucious did in deteriorate one and it felt like it deserved a comeback.

Camilla is still pulled towards Hakeem even yet she is married. What can we contend about their relationship?

Hakeem wasn’t awaiting it. It’s a vast snarl for him and how he reckons with it is going to be a vast determiner of his growth, of his manhood.

Where do all these movements during Empire leave Jamal and Andre? Will we see Lucious pierce to Lyon Dynasty?

All of that is adult in a atmosphere now. What’s going to occur to Lyon Dynasty? What about a partnership between Cookie and Hakeem and all that they built and all of a commitments they’ve done to one another? How will that fit in with Hakeem’s pierce for Empire? Will he get Empire? Where does that leave Lucious, Jamal and Andre? Those are all a questions that start to get answered in a initial partial of a second half of a seasons. They start to get answered yet they don’t all get answered for some time since it’s a vast battlefield.

This was a unequivocally romantic partial for Cookie when she went behind to prison. What is entrance adult for her?

Going behind to a jail is a education impulse for Cookie and it’s not anything that’s ever going to go divided in her life or her story. But unequivocally what lies brazen for Cookie is, in a arise of a events that unequivocally come to a conduct in this episode, a need to unequivocally galvanize her family, to pierce everybody behind together in some way. We know that Cookie is during her strongest when a family and a sovereignty is threatened and she needs to get everybody to mount together opposite an outmost counter and that’s where we’ve left her. We’re going to see her in her many empowered somebody – that’s unequivocally Cookie when that’s what’s motivating her.

The initial half of deteriorate dual was unequivocally about warring kingdoms and Lyon Dynasty vs. Empire. Now that Luscious is out as CEO, what is a thesis of a second half of a season?

The thesis of a second half of a deteriorate is unequivocally a family entrance together to quarrel for a empire. Hakeem, obviously, is a outsider, yet still everybody is fighting for a sovereignty opposite interlopers who have infiltrated a kingdom.

What other themes are we vehement to try in a second half of a season? Or storylines you’re looking brazen for a assembly to see?

We’re unequivocally vehement to try a rekindling – and we don’t wish to contend this with too many importance since that’s only something that we don’t meant – yet a attribute between Lucious and Cookie in a face of all of this. That impulse during a finish of a partial when Cookie finds Lucious in his bureau and she amenities him and tries to lift him behind – that’s unequivocally a core impulse for these characters and a commencement of where we’re going in a second half of a season. We’re vehement to try that attribute and these dual people who are so intertwined and who will never, ever leave one another as prolonged as they’re in this world; as many as they competence go during one another in all kinds of infamous ways. That’s unequivocally a vast story for us.

The vast foe between Lucious and Jamal and a ferocity with that Lucious refuses to be surpassed by any of his sons is a vast story for us, and where Jamal finds himself and his dexterity and his amiability in a midst of all of that. The story of either Hakeem emerges a improved male from all of this. He has had such a vast expansion arc this season. Can he unequivocally go a stretch and is that really, eventually what will make him a male – holding a sovereignty from his father? Or is there something else that’s unequivocally going to consolidate his adulthood, his manhood? And, finally, how will Rhonda and Andre recover, regroup after this comfortless event? And, of course, what’s Anika doing? What does she want? And what will she get out of it all?

Empire earnings with new episodes Mar 30 during 9 p.m.