The Empire Finale Proved There’s Such a Thing as Too Many Twists

March 19, 2015 2:39 PM

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Last night network television’s one true smash hit drama, Empire, ended its first season with a neat little reversal—mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) was in jail, his felon ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) was in the family mansion, and once-shunned gay son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) was running the family business. It’s as Shakespearean as the show’s King Lear beginnings promised, and sets up nearly infinite tension for the second season—not to mention opportunities for Cookie to expand her fur collection.

But to get there, the two-hour finale—really just two episodes crammed together—had to run through a dizzying number of plots, even for this soap-explosion of a show. Let’s review.

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