It may have been Jussie Smollett’s final appearance tonight on Empire, as producers haven’t decided whether he will return to the show after his recent legal troubles. If it was indeed his last moment on the show, the departure will at least be marked by a happy ending.
Smollett’s Empire character, Jamal, has been written out of the final two episodes of Season 5.
Tonight’s episode, “Never Doubt I Love,” was highlighted by the wedding of Jamal with journalist boyfriend Kai (Toby Onwumere), and father Lucious (Terrence Howard) apologizing for his prior homophobia and bad attitude toward his son over the years. Good thing, too – other son Andre dropped a bombshell during the episode.
Kai and Jamal returned to the U.S. this season after a stint in London. There was conflict, as Jamal was torn by his duty to family and love for his boyfriend. Eventually, Kai ended their engagement and headed back to London. But love won out, and he returned and renewed the relationship.
The overseas angle may be a way to quietly exit the Jamal character if the producers decide Smollett is too radioactive to return. Most of the season was in the can before Smollett’s late January legal troubles in Chicago began.
While Smollett’s castmates have issued a letter pleading for his return, it is anything but certain. He still faces a civil suit from the city of Chicago over expenses derived from police overtime investigating his alleged hate hoax.
Some Twitter reactions to tonight’s episode.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.