Empire Season 2 Finale: Anika or Rhonda? Who Do You Want to Live?

Terrence Howard and Leslie Uggams as mother and son in Empire

Don’t mess with me, boy. I’ll kick you in the teeth.

Empire’s season finale, “Past Is Prologue,” (5-18-16) wrapped up last week’s cliffhangers without much ado, but in all honestly, that is the general treatment of most “Shocking Twists” on this show. Jamal Lyon survived being shot by Freda Gatz and Leah Walker was whisked away by Thirsty Rawlings before she talked to the press. “You’re lucky Thirsty caught you before you blabbed to all those reporters,” Lucious said after she dropped the bombshell that Lucious’ father, Joe, “got what he deserved.” The ever-feisty Leah told Lucious “You keep squeezing my arm, and I’m gonna check your damn mouth with my foot.” Lucious told her that he is the only one who can talk to his children about his past. Mama said: “Tell them the truth,” implying that she has every intention of doing so if he won’t.

The brother from another mother

And she had a bomb to drop after another “Shocking Twist” — the marriage of Lucious and Anika. Leah revealed that Tariq the Freak is Lucious’ half-brother. Being tucked away for 20 years in a group home didn’t prevent her from keeping tabs on Tariq. How else would she know what he looked like all grown up? And no wonder she thinks Joe got what he deserved when he was shot and killed by the husband of Tariq’s mother! (right in front of little Lucious… er, Dwight, of course). The last thing Joe said on earth was “Kill me, you’ll go down for killing a cop and your son will grow up without a father.” His murderer replied: “That boy ain’t my son, Joe. He’s yours. Now him and Dwight will both grow up without a father.”

Lucious did not consciously know (cue the subconscious memory) that Tariq was his half-brother, but Tariq did. “Oh, you really didn’t know, huh? Yeah, our father was a good cop, Dwight. But a bad man. I guess we each got half of him, man.” Lucious replied that his name is Lucious and he “ain’t got no family.” right in front of his own sons.

Rhonda vs. Anika: Now convinced that Anika pushed her down the stairs and made her lose her baby, the very sound of Anika’s voice sends Rhonda into a murderous rage. She busted in a meeting where Anika was revealing the FBI news and started strangling her. But Anika is carrying the new heir– Hakeem’s child– and the Lyons are now all pro-Anika. When her own husband won’t take her side, Rhonda laid it out for Andre. Call her up when he finds the stones to harness his killer instinct.

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in Empire

I love y’all but I can’t go for this. No can do.

The very prospect of snitching on Lucious sent Anika into suicide mode. Cookie had to talk her off the ledge. After Hakeem’s marriage to Laura was derailed by a process server and a brawl, Lucious decided the only way he could stay out of the FBI’s crosshairs was to marry Anika. Conveniently, they had an old marriage license from Washington, DC (no expiration date on those but aren’t they only good in DC?). Cookie was badly shaken that she had saved Anika’s life only so “this bitch” could ruin hers. Lucious pleaded with her. He needed her to be on board: “We ride or die.” But Cookie wasn’t riding this time.

Grace Gealey and Kaitlin Doubleday in Empire

You and that devil child got to go.

After marrying Anika, Lucious walked her off and said to his new bride. “I know you pushed her.” LOL! How? Does he have footage of that too? Anika excused herself to the balcony where Rhonda found her. In the life-and-death struggle that ensued, Anika admitted that she pushed Rhonda. The showrunner Ilene Chaiken is all over the net touting how this episode sets up Season 3, teasing a death: “… what I’ll say is it sure as hell looks that way. All we have to go on right now is the sound of that scream and the look on Andre’s face — and that, to me, says somebody went over that railing. And it would be ludicrous to say that would be a survivable fall!”

We’re hoping it’s Anika. We would much rather have seen her go on trial for the horrendous thing she did to Rhonda. We have no worries about Rhonda facing charges over Anika’s demise. Mainly, we just really do not want to see Anika getting away with her crime. If there is any reason to be okay with Rhonda taking the fall, we just can’t see it. If you know one, fill us in.

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