'Empire' fans blame the coronavirus for show's disappointing series finale

·Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read

After six seasons, Empire came to an earlier-than-expected end with an episode that wasn't supposed to be its series finale.

On Tuesday, Fox aired Empire's last-minute series swan song after the season was cut short due to the coronavirus and fans were not loving the thrown-together episode.

However, while Empire producers did the best they could under the circumstances, one huge part of the show was left out of the finale – Jussie Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon.

Following Smollett's alleged assault in 2019, his indictment for reportedly filing a false police report and, ultimately, the charges being dropped, the actor's character was completely written out of the sixth and final season, when Cookie Lyon told Jamal's friend Becky Williams he "ran off to London."

On Tuesday's finale, though, as the youngest Lyon, Hakeem, rapped about his family's story, the show flashed back to moments throughout the six seasons. While Lucious, Cookie, Andre and Hakeem's flashbacks showed the actors who play their respective roles, Jamal's flashbacks only showed a young child portraying the middle son. Fans took to Twitter to express their disapproval over the absence of the real Jamal, whom they believe was a huge part of Empire's success.

The show's producers have stated they are "hopeful" that they might eventually be able to make a real series finale once quarantine is over but, just in case that doesn't come to fruition, the greatest character of the entire series, Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), took to social media to say her final goodbye.

The Empire series finale aired Tuesday, April 21 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

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