Empire wasn’t supposed to end its final season like this. After 6 seasons, the show was supposed to have 20 episodes to bring every character’s story to a proper close. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Empire’s series finale will air on April 21 with its 18th episode. The final episode combines footage from episode 18 and episode 19, which wasn’t able to be completed before production shut down. Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney has high hopes that a proper series finale will eventually be filmed and talked with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about what to expect in this finale.
“What I will say is the spirit upon which we wanted to end the series in terms of the Lyon family coming together, recognizing that their family bond is more important than Empire, and also recognizing the love that Cookie and Lucious have for one another is there,” Brett told HollywoodLife. “Although we weren’t able to film our actual ending, although we hope that we will, when we shut down we were in the middle of shooting episode 19, when I knew that I couldn’t go forward and was looking into we had, I knew that with the movie premiere we had something that was the spirit of where I wanted to end it. I was able to craft something out of the materials putting together 18 and 19 to get us there. It’s not what we intended, but it is the intended spirit.”
Brett said it “breaks my heart” that the show wasn’t able to have a proper finale because there are two major plot points that won’t be answered. “There’s our storyline in terms of who shot Lucious and who blew up Cookie’s car, and that’s all in our series finale,” Brett continued. “At one point, I thought maybe I could sort of shoehorn it into what we have, but it just didn’t work. I didn’t want to put in there and not be totally satisfying versus taking it out and leaving it where we hope can we can eventually shoot it in our series finale.”
Even though Empire is known for its cliffhangers, don’t expect one in the April 21 finale. “We wanted to end it in a way that we felt would satisfy fans. We didn’t think that cliffhanger was the way to go,” Brett noted. “So we hope to give fans some closure and a feel for where the Lyons and people are going to be and a general feeling for where they’re going to go from there.” The Empire finale will air at 9 p.m. on FOX.