Why Taraji P. Henson Feels "Incomplete" Without a Proper Empire Series Finale

Could the story of Empire continue? Or at least get a proper ending?

By Chris Harnick Apr 22, 2020 2:25 PMTags

Fox's Empire is done. Or is it?

The series wrapped up its six seasons on television with an early finale, the proper series-ender was a casualty of the coronavirus. Production was shut down in the middle of filming episode 19 of the 20-episode final season. Instead, producers cobbled together a finale with episode 18 and what was shot for 19. Major storylines were left unresolved, like who blew up Cookie's (Taraji P. Henson) car and who shot Lucious (Terrence Howard) and whether they survived those attempts on their lives.

While it remains unlikely the show will be able to shoot the proper finale, showrunner Brett Mahoney has made it clear he wants fans to get the ending somehow.

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"[W]e will find some creative way, whether it's just releasing the script or something, we'll get it out there as to what it was intended," Mahoney told Deadline about the original series ending. "But I don't want to give it away now. I will tell you, though, the spirit that you see in this piece is similar to the spirit in which we intended to end the series."

Henson told EW if Empire doesn't get a proper series finale, it will be on her mind forever. She told EW she is pushing for it to be made properly.

Watch: Taraji P. Henson Says "Empire" Season 5 Reminds Her of Nike Campaign

"These posts and DMs that I'm getting, they are heart-wrenching. As an artist, to not be able to finish something that you started, that hurts me. I feel incomplete. I don't ever start something and don't complete it. And so, for me, it's deep; I have to finish, or this will haunt me for the rest of my life and career. As it would the audience. And I don't think we should deprive such a loyal fan base of that ending. They deserve to be in their feelings. They deserve more than this abrupt ending. And I get it, where we are right now, we have to be responsible. But I think when the dust settles, at the end of the day, the audience deserves it. Because they pay my bills!" Henson said.

Could the story continue in a rumored Cookie spinoff? Nobody is saying anything for sure just yet.

"I don't actually know. I don't have anything to do with any spinoff. But I would imagine [such a series] would be something people would be interested in. And I would imagine the studio and the network would want to explore that. But I don't know where that is or what they're doing," Mahoney told TVLine.

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