Empire season 5 finale: Show boss on casket mystery resolution

Empire season 4 episode 3Following tonight’s Empire season 5 finale, we had a chance to learn who was finally in that long-discussed casket. With this said, there was one question that we’ve been wondering ever since the twist was revealed: Was that always going to be the plan? Was there another option that was considered, at least for a brief period of time?

Well, based on some of the early insight that we’ve got on the subject, it doesn’t appear that way. The decision to have Kingsley in there wasn’t one that was bade until a certain ways into the writing process of this season — there was certainly an argument that it could have been Andre, just based on what’s been going on with him; yet, the writers did eventually decide to go in another direction.

In speaking a little bit more about this decision via Deadline, here is some of what executive producer Brett Mahoney had to say on that particular subject:

I’ll tell you, we did not know right off the start who was going to be in that coffin. I mean, we definitely knew we wanted it to be a Lyon, because in the Empire world and in the Lyon world, they live in such high stakes, and we thought it was time to have the Lyons actually have a brush with mortality. But, after all the great stuff that we did with Andre this season, you know, by the end, none of us really wanted to put him in that coffin.

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Ultimately, the idea of it being Jamal in the casket is something that the writers didn’t seem to closely consider — the ideas for the big death were likely laid out before the Jussie Smollett headlines even started to surface, and with the actor’s contract extended for a season 6, it’s still possible that we’ll be seeing this character back in some shape or form. At the moment, though, there’s no real guarantee of it and we personally have a hard time having high expectations. How could you at the moment, given the current state of things.

For the record, here is some of what Mahoney had to say on that subject:

Well, it’s a challenge, of course, because Jussie is such an important part of this ensemble. The idea of moving forward without him is a true challenge, and no decisions have been made as of yet of how we move forward. We’ll work that out when reconvene the room and we come up with the creative. It’s difficult to see Jussie go through this because he is just an integral part of the Empire family, and then with everything that’s going on, it’s also just the challenge of getting the show done.

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What did you think about the Empire season 5 finale — and, beyond just that, the end of the casket mystery? Share below. (Photo: Fox.)

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