With the Season 5 finale of Empire stored away in fans' hearts, the big question is; what will Season 6 bring? With ratings declining for the hit FOX show over the years, executives felt the time was right to give the show a proper send off. Despite rumors that a cancellation may be due to the legal troubles of Jussie Smollett, FOX has continued to deny these claims.
Nevertheless, for fans, this will be a bittersweet season. It's fair to say that Empire has had its share of ups and downs over the course of its run. Season 5 opened the door for new enemies, new love, lingering issues, great music, and death. With the last shot of Cookie and Lucious heading off in separate directions, fans are left wondering what's to become of hip hop's first family? The Empire brand itself is shaky. Andre is recovering from a heart transplant, Jamal is on his honeymoon, and Hakeem is fighting for the love of his kids' mother. All in all, just another season with Empire. Which brings us to the question of what should we expect heading into Season 6. Here are 10 things we need to have answered in the final season of Empire.
10 Can Cookie Get Herself Together?
Season 5 was not her best. From the start, she questioned Lucious on many things and for no particular reason at all. From hiding her apartment to sneaking off with another man, something just wasn't right with Cookie Lyon. As the season progressed, her loyalty to her husband continued to waver. Was it fair?
Cookie caught Lucious in a tight situation with Treasure. But instead of getting to the bottom of the situation, she thought the worse and made a move of infidelity of her own. The way Cookie treated Lucious after the truth came out regarding Kingsley being Lucious' son was just wrong. Lucious had no clue. He and Cookie were not an item back then, so why continue to give him the cold shoulder?
9 Will Becky and Giselle Give Empire A Run For Its Money?
With "Girl Power" friends, Becky and Giselle set to launch a new label. Will they have enough to take over where Empire is failing? With Empire still struggling after Kingsley's takeover, Becky and Giselle felt the time was right to make a power move of their own. Becky has the years and experience to run a label, and Giselle has the guts to make the hard decisions when need be. Together, they could very well be a force in the music industry. If Cookie and Lucious fail to get their stuff together in Season 6, will the new label headed by Becky and Giselle become the next power label in the business? If Empire has no leadership, then all artist are fair game.
8 Will Hakeem Win Tiana Back?
Their relationship has spanned the length of the shows' run; countless breakups, shootings, kids, baby mothers, label drams, and yet the spark between the two is still present. Season 5 has been rough for the young parents as they dealt with co-parenting and navigating their personal lives. While Hakeem continues to grow as a parent and man, Tiana has gone through her waiting period and has herself back on the market. By the end of Season 5, Tiana and new Empire signee Devon have engaged in a new relationship. However, Hakeem will not go quietly into the night.
7 Will Kingsley's Mom Be Out For Revenge?
One of the weirdest stories outlined in Season 5 belonged to Jeff Kingsley. To begin, he was the number-cruncher sent in to get Empire back on track. Little did everyone know, he had a master plan and a life-altering secret. As the season progressed, Kingsley and Lucious came to an understanding in which Kinglsey became a part of the Lyon Family.
But after his death, his mother gave the doctor the green light to give Andre his heart. Although she told Cookie it will not be free, is she really set to let her son go without a huge fight? Since Kingsley is the official first born, she may believe that her son's death is worth more than whatever she was paid.
6 Will Another Murder Be the Real Downfall For Lucious?
There's nothing like a good happy ending for a character/characters we've grown to love over the course of a show's run. The Lyon family is no different. Yes, they're dysfunctional, display a ruthless approach, and are often manipulative and dangerous. Yet, through it all, they're still family and will do whatever it takes to remain one. Especially, Lucious.
The Lyon family has ended a few lives. It could've been by their own hands or just given an order for someone else to get the job done. Lucious has been able to get away but will the news of Cookie's secret be the one that will place him back in prison? As of now, the new enemy of the Lyon family is Damon Cross. To make matters worse, Cookie admitted to Lucious that she and Damian engaged in sexual activities. When Season 6 begins, Lucious will be out for revenge.
5 Is Teri The Foundation Andre Needs To Lead The Lyon Family?
Throughout Season 5, Cookie has had to share her love of Andre with another woman. Since the inception of Empire, Andre has pretty much been the wild card. He started married then lost his wife and unborn child. Andre then jumped into what should have been a great relationship with Nessa but Andre, still dealing with his bi-polar ways, just wasn't meant for a happy ending then.
Now, he may have found the right one in Teri. As Andre's health has begun to put his life in danger, it was Teri who stood by his side. Now that's she pregnant with his child, Andre has something to live for. What a baby brings could very well be a new beginning for not only Andre but the Lyon family. Andre has always been the next in line to take the reigns when Lucious moves on. Now that he has a wife and family to ground him, will Andre be the best candidate and Teri be the best motivator to help lead Empire and the Lyon family into the light?
4 Will Devon Become The New Face of the Empire Brand?
With no clear word on what will happen to Jussie for Season 6, the writers will have to decide who to give the nod to as far as Empire's top headliner. While Hakeem or Tiana will still be a huge draw, it may be time to bring in a new face to lead the next charge. Jamal has been the go-to guy when Empire needs a hit. However, if his character is written off entirely, then giving Devon a bigger role within the brand will make perfect sense. Hakeem has held it down and so has Tiana. It's time for some fresh blood to take the reigns. Devon has the look and the sound to take over where Jamal left off.
3 Do We Root For Cookie and Lucious To Make It?
There are couples we root for in almost every TV Show. From the beginning of Empire, we wanted to hate Lucious from what we gathered regarding his and Cookie's past. As the show progressed, we got a chance to see the side of Lucious that made Cookie fall in love with him many years ago. Through the nonsense of fighting with and for their kids, the love interest, the wars regarding ownership of the label, and just the back and forth banter that goes with being a Lyon in love. Their relationship has been the pulse if the show.
Now it seems that the once unbreakable bond has been broken for good. But who do we root for? Do we want this toxic but lovable couple back together or not? At this stage in their lives, together or not will have no real impact on what their kids do. Can the label survive with Cookie and Lucious separated?
2 Who's the next Character to Receive a Hot Storyline?
What makes shows with huge casts so special and entertaining is that they cannot afford to focus on a certain character/characters for too long. With Empire's cast so big and diverse, the writers always had to bring the best storylines to the front. In Season 6, the writers will have to bring their A game but in doing so, they will need to experiment.
The one character we already have in front of us is Damon Cross. He was a nice addition to Season 5, but we really don't know that much about him. He's a gangster like Lucious, but where did he come from? Where does his money come from, and for what reason is he so in love with Cookie? There's a story there that the writers may want to make a huge focus point going forward, much like they did with Jeff Kinglsey in Season 5.
1 How Does It All End For The Infamous Lyon Family?
How does it end? Empire is not as intricate as LOST or as beloved as The Wire, but an ending is still an ending. Most shows nowadays just slide into the abyss without a farewell season. But Empire has a chance to right some of the things that have gone horribly wrong with the show over the last three seasons.
Will Cookie and Lucious take Empire back to the top as it was when the show first aired? Will Jamal make a return and lead the label? Will the Lyons's continue to deal with heartache? How good of a father will Andre be to his new child? Will Hakeem ever grow up and become the man Tiana needs for her and their kids? One season left. The chance is there to go out in style.