Tragedy has struck the world of “Empire.” Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) has been shot down and is in a critical condition. There’s no guarantee whether he’ll survive or if he’ll die. In any case, Jamal’s shooting will create a whole set of complications in the series.
Actor Jussie Smollett has also hinted on his Twitter account on Thursday morning that he is probably leaving “Empire.” “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time w/ @EmpireFOX. I love you all. Truth. Time 2 make a record & some movies. #Empire,” he wrote. Entertainment Weekly points out that Smollett has remained mum about the meaning of the tweet after fans began speculating about the actor’s tenure on the show and more importantly, Jamal’s fate. Smollet’s representative and Fox have refused to comment.
The world of “Empire” was never a simple one. It was always on the brink of chaos. The characters have all dark histories or a dark present and there is always something wrong. The Lyon family is a dysfunctional one, where the children grew up motherless. The father is a narrow-minded homophobic fame seeker. The whole deal is about the murderous struggle for something as transient as fame. Fame and crime in interlinked and Jamal is its latest victim.
A drunk Carol (Tasha Smith) showed up at the ASAs despite not being invited, as if she really cared. Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) tries to send her away but in vain. She then tells Freda Gatz (Bre-z) that Lucious (Terrence Howard) was somehow responsible for her father Frank Gathers’ (Chris Rock) murder. Shocked and filled with anger, Freda snatches a police gun and shoots Lucious, but Jamal comes between them and is shot instead.
It’s interesting that despite Jamal fighting for his life in the hospital, his shallow parents still think it necessary to turn on the TV and see who won the ASAs. Well, it was no one from the Lyon family and quite fittingly, is an unknown. That is a clever way to show the crumbling of the empire of the Lyon family who are imploding from within. Like the Usher family in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the dark past of the Lyon dynasty has begun rearing its ugly head. Of course, this is a television series and the complete destruction of the Lyons will be fun to watch but will no doubt be delayed, if it is given such a melancholic end at all.
However, Lucious might finally get his chances at redemption, thanks to his son taking a bullet for him. He’s the son who Lucious just wished would die from contracting AIDS. He has hated his own son not just because Jamal is a homosexual, but also because he has the potential to beat his father in music. Whether Jamal lives or dies, whether Empire Entertainment crumbles to debris, the Lyon family will hopefully have learned some much-needed lessons at the finale, which airs on May 18.