Is A.Z. Kelsey leaving Empire, Jeff Kingsley role after season 5 finale?

Empire season 4 episode 1Going into tonight’s Empire season 5 finale, there was obviously a big question — and it related to the casket mystery. Why was in it? From the vast majority of the episode, we saw the show building closer and closer to a final answer.

In the early going, it felt almost as though the identity of the deceased was going to be Trai Byers and the character of Andre, mostly because of the fact that his life was in danger and he was in desperate need of a transplant. At the start of the episode, we even saw the paddles out for him — it wasn’t looking good, but there was still another way. A way that involved trying to find a last-second donor.

Let’s be clear — it wasn’t something that was necessarily planned, but it’s something that came about after a confrontation between Jeff Kingsley and his father Lucious. Kingsley put a gun to the head of his father and made some demands, but after talking him down, Kingsley then pulled the gun on himself and killed himself. At the moment, it’s fair to say that A.Z. Kelsey is leaving the show … it’s hard for something else to happen when you’ve been killed off midway through a season finale. The real question that Lucious was left to deal with was questions as to whether or not he was actually responsible for killing Kingsley.

In the end, we saw Kingsley buried, and while we saw a pretty tremendous effort on the part of Tracy to at first resist, she eventually relented and decided to let Andre have the transplant. This was all he needed to try and recover.

In a way, we’re surprised that Kingsley was the identity of the departed, mostly because we almost thought it would be a bigger character.

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As for everything else in the finale…

In the closing minutes, we saw Lucious come up with a scheme to take off for a while in order to escape a crisis situation, one in which the U.S. Attorney was breathing heavily down his neck. He pushed Cookie to try and get on board the helicopter and escape this world, but she didn’t want to do it. She didn’t want to sacrifice herself, or Andre, to get on a helicopter somewhere and escape.

This could end up being the end for Cookie and Lucious — though we’ve also said this many times before. We’re not altogether sure they can climb out of it this time, especially after the Damon Cross reveal. Things could change in season 6, but it’s hard to have a lot of confidence in it.

For some more details as to when Empire could return…

Be sure to visit the link here right now!

What did you think about tonight’s Empire season 5 finale, and the person who ended up dying? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: Fox.)

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