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S04.E18: The Empire Unpossess'd

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As the Empire ownership bid presentation nears, Lucious must make a difficult decision to save the future of the company and his family, while Eddie shows no signs of backing down. However, Cookie reveals a potential upper hand in the power play for Empire, after doing a little digging into her past. Meanwhile, Andre makes a power play of his own, Hakeem's high spirits comes to a quick end due to a threat, Jamal and Tory struggle to cope with the success of their new music group, tension boils as the Lyons face Empire's most existential threat yet and someone's past mistakes leads to a deadly consequence.

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Damn, Anika got her well deserved karma. Oh Andre, can you live what you have done?

I don't know about Cookie marrying Lucious. He seems changed, but you know how evil he can be.

Don't die, Hakeem and Tiana. 

Jamal in London. Not sure the point of this, but alright.

Edited by SimoneS.
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So. Many. DEATHS.

 

I have to say, I did not see Anika meeting her maker by the ghost of Rhonda (?!) at the hands of her real life husband.  RIP Boo Boo Kitty!

 

Show, I may have been confused as hell in the back half, and Cookie and Lucious will be divorced in a year, but you always keep it interesting.

 

See you in the fall my snitch bitches!

Edited by mtlchick.
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THAT. WAS. AMAZING.

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GHOST RHONDA IS HERE TO CASH THAT KARMIC CHECK BOO-BOO KITTY! THAT WAS SO SATISFYING! 

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11 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

GHOST RHONDA IS HERE TO CASH THAT KARMIC CHECK BOO-BOO KITTY! THAT WAS SO SATISFYING! 

I had a HUGE smile on my face. 

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They weren't kidding about this episode being crazy! So much went down, how can I wait until Fall?!?!

Cookie and Lucious get married! Again! Not sure this will end well, but they did both look fabulous at their wedding, and, for better or for worse, I dont think they'll ever really quit each other, even when they probably should. 

Poor Tori, and poor Jamal. I really liked their friendship, and that Jamal had someone in his life he connected with that wasn't someone he was romantic with or related to, and it sucks that she died when she had made real strides. Jamal running off to London wont last long, but I feel really bad for him. 

Just wrap it up Hakeem! Dude is gonna have a dozen baby mammas by the time he hits thirty! I did laugh when Tiana announced she was pregnant, and Blake was like "WOW" in the background! And then crazy redneck dad attacks with a shotgun! They cant leave us hanging like that! Blake seems like he got a full blast to the chest, but hopefully Hakeem and Tiana are alright!

So next season, the Lyons will have to rebuild their empire. Always bet in the Lyons. 

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That was awesome! Ding, ding the witch is dead (finally)! Anika got hers and by Andre and Rhonda’s hands. Love it! 

Wonder how this death with effect the Empire board? You know they go whichever way the wind blows. 

Lucious and Cookie’s marriage is doomed. What is the point of them getting married. He is horrible and has always been horrible. 

It’s  going to be a long summer. 

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1 hour ago, SimoneS said:

Jamal in London. Not sure the point of this, but alright.

I assumed he was going to reunite with Estelle (aka Delphine) for another duet. 

I hope Hakeem and Tiana are OK. I like them together.

RIP, Anika. You won't be missed. Does her death mean Giselle will be taking over as head of A&R or even CEO? Also, how is Eddie still alive?

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Just wrap it up Hakeem! Dude is gonna have a dozen baby mammas by the time he hits thirty! 

He's gonna be the new Shyne!

Edited by Gillian Rosh.
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26 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Just wrap it up Hakeem! Dude is gonna have a dozen baby mammas by the time he hits thirty! I did laugh when Tiana announced she was pregnant, and Blake was like "WOW" in the background! And then crazy redneck dad attacks with a shotgun! They cant leave us hanging like that! Blake seems like he got a full blast to the chest, but hopefully Hakeem and Tiana are alright!

 

Hakeem was shielding Tiana but we don't know if Blake's dad shot in their direction. I hope not, but it might mean that they lose the baby. 

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10 minutes ago, Gillian Rosh said:

He's gonna be the new Shyne!

He's already taken control of Empire and held a gun on Lucious, so he's halfway there already!

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I wonder if the pills Andre put in Anika’s drink were the same pills that doctor friend of the DuBois family gave him.

I didn’t pick it up that the shooter was the redneck father of the white rapper.  

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Now that Andre has enacted karma on Anika, it's beyond time that he receive his own.

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The Lucious/Andre scene early in this episode was incredibly moving. Lucious finally gave Andre credit for all he's done for Empire. TH and TB did a great job with that scene.

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ANIKA DIES!!! How satisfying. Even more satisfying is that Rhonda came back from the grave to complete the mission!! Nice move by Andre. That was sleek.

I totally agree with Cookie. Can someone please just take care of Eddie the way Lucious did with Shyne? Uughhh! Eddie's storyline is just annoying at this point. Too bad it didn't end with the season.

Poor Tori. I am not surprised at her demise because I could see it coming. I was very worried she might cause Jamal to fall off the wagon too. Too bad, she was a good singer but I won't miss her.

Jamal leaving for London was sad, but if he wants a break, I guess he should take one. There's just too much drama around his family and losing Tori just added to it. 

Hakeem and his baby mamas. Tiana too? The next thing you know, that actress who returned to LA will be back claiming she too is pregnant. Oh! God and Bella is not even 2 yet. He will soon need a daycare center of his own if he keeps that up. So is Tiana now on the side of the Lyons or is she still on Eddie's side? I don't see how Hakeem can hook up with her if she is siding with the devil who just stole their company. She was singing to Eddie and clapping for him when he was voted back by the board at Empire and the next minute she was telling Hakeem she was pregnant. What gives? That needs to be addressed.

It was a very endearing moment when Lucious finally told Andre he loved him and vice versa. That was touching and I'm glad it happened. For once Andre finally got the love from his father that had been missing for so long. It was about time.

The dinner table conversation in the Lyon's home was arguably one of the best. They had to weigh out the pros and cons of keeping their Empire business and it was worth thinking about what Empire had taken from them and what they had gained from Empire. Good discussion.

Cookie marrying Lucious was awesome though it is a general consensus about how long that will last. I hope they stay together to fight for their company.

That ending was gobsmacking.

Great wrap-up. Very well set up for next season. 

Edited by Margohill.
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39 minutes ago, Gillian Rosh said:

The Lucious/Andre scene early in this episode was incredibly moving. Lucious finally gave Andre credit for all he's done for Empire. TH and TB did a great job with that scene.

That was my favorite scene of the night.  The actors knocked it out of the part.  I was in tears watching it..

I loved seeing Andre and Rhonda working together to take down a common foe.  I feel that Rhonda's death was unnecessary. I liked how she never let Luscious intimidate her. I loved that scene where she told Luscious, while she may not be Black and experienced the hardships of life, as a Black. She has had to fight for her place in life. She did not have it easy, despite being White. I loved that type of perspective. The show should not have killed her off.  Rhonda and Luscious becoming allies could have been fun and unique. Plus, I always liked how she had Andre's back, for better or for worst..

Edited by Apprentice79.
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I was bummed about Tori. I liked her friendship with Jamal, and Rumer Willis is a much. Enter singer then I would have thought.

I was very happy that we may have finally seen the end of Anika. I feel like she has become the show’s default villain.

I thought Blake’s father shot him and Tiana and Jamal were behind Blake. 

Edited by Athena5217.
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All things considered, Season 3, and especially Season 4 have been pretty great. 

Craig Brewer did a fantastic job with the finale. He's such an underrated talent.

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Oh Anika, such a rookie mistake to accept a drink from the man whose wife and unborn child you've killed and whose family you've tried to screw over repeatedly.

I hope the SUV in the last scene is bulletproof, so whatever happens to Hakeem and Tiana, at least Bella will be safe.

Couldn't care less about Tori Ashe. Rumer Willis is so off-putting to me. The only reason she's getting any work is because she's the daughter of two celebrities, she doesn't have any star power in her own right.

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I love all of the seasons, and now I know why. I definitely can't wait until fall. I loved this season finale, but was definitely saddened by Tori's death because she was a great friend and performer, as well as another confidant to Jamal. Seeing Anika die and receive her karma was satisfying, and I look forward to seeing Grace in other projects. And Rhonda coming back to finish the job, was also even more satisfying. 

I am glad that Tiana came to her senses, and it seems as though Hakeem and Tiana will move forward together with Bella, and the new baby. I truly hope they are okay because we don't yet know if Tiana and Hakeem were hurt, and I hope they weren't, because I absolutely love them together. 

I think Jamal getting away for a while will be good for him, to clear his mind, and begin to grieve for Tori. I look forward to seeing how Cookie and Lucious's marriage will work out, but Eddie and Giselle and all the others need to go, because the storyline is boring, and as for Tiana siding with Eddie, I think it's safe to say she's back siding with the Lyons, since she and Hakeem are back together for good. 

Also, since Eddie acquired Empire from the Lyons, why did he look sad and guilty as they were taking down the Empire logo in the building?

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We haven’t actually seen that Tori is dead...

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I'm a minority here, but I hate seeing them get rid off of educated power women. I still do believe it was a huge mistake for them to kill off Rhonda, and I think Anika's death though completely logical plot-wise is a very controversial message in general.    

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23 minutes ago, skotnikov said:

I'm a minority here, but I hate seeing them get rid off of educated power women. I still do believe it was a huge mistake for them to kill off Rhonda, and I think Anika's death though completely logical plot-wise is a very controversial message in general.    

Anika could have had staying power, had she not killed Rhonda's baby. She went too far.   There was room for more than one Lyon grandchild in the family... Her reasons for doing that was nonsensical and evil. 

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17 minutes ago, Apprentice79 said:

Anika could have had staying power, had she not killed Rhonda's baby. She went too far.   There was room for more than one Lyon grandchild in the family... Her reasons for doing that was nonsensical and evil. 

I think you mix up intradiagetic reasons with the overall general message of these killings off. Within the Empire universe this killing is completely justified, no questions about it. But in general in this time and age to kill off of the show only female characters with university education is a wrong thing,  it  looks like a backlash. But what I'm talking about, it's on FOX, so quite natural for them.    

Edited by skotnikov.
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49 minutes ago, skotnikov said:

I'm a minority here, but I hate seeing them get rid off of educated power women. I still do believe it was a huge mistake for them to kill off Rhonda, and I think Anika's death though completely logical plot-wise is a very controversial message in general.    

No, you're not. trust me, I really liked the character Anika at the beginning. She was a good nemesis for Cookie and Lucious after she was dumped. I was very devastated when they revealed that she was the one who had pushed Rhonda down the stairs because I knew plot-wise, SHE WAS DONE. I was hoping that she was not going to be the one and I felt the writers had severely damaged her character first when they made her sleep with Hakeem (which was totally out of the blue considering who she was ) and finally put the nail on her coffin when they made her push Rhonda down the stairs. That was just character assassination and I knew from that point on that she was toast. No one liked her anymore and there was nothing she could have been able to do to redeem herself. 

Rhonda added a great dynamic to the show and I was sad to see her go. There was so much the writers could have explored with her background and I don't know why that was not done. 

Cookie and Lucious are unbeatable as the main characters and hold this show. However, they need a good convincing enemy to make things interesting and in my opinion, Eddie is not the one.

Still Empire continues to do well and the writing is still solid.

Edited by Margohill.
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Anika was done when she voluntarily abandoned the family in Season 1.

Sleeping with Hakeem was perfectly in character for Anika and the idea that Anika was some great schemer who was a genuine threat is strictly fanon.

Rhonda was a good character but she, just like Anika, received her due karma. Kaitlin was great but Rhonda was every bit as tired & irredeemable as Anika by the time she died.

Edited by Dee.
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VERY good episode!

Some musings…..

Cookie’s red suit with the peek-a-boo black bra was amazing!  She’s never looked so good from the hair to the makeup.  And loved her bravado at the beginning with Eddie, once a hoodrat always a hoodrat.  LOL at Eddie brandishing a gun at Lucious and telling him that he was ‘strapped’….Strapped being the first film FW directed.  Okay, I’m a nerd.

Lucious and Andre's conversation had me teary-eyed, very well done.

Wasn’t expecting Tori to pass away, but wasn’t sad about it either.  I like RW but like Tiana she was useless to the show. 

Side-eyed Tiana when she told Hakeem she was pregnant....still think Eddie tapped that ass, either unwillingly or through a spiked drink.

Speaking of which....noooooooooo, not Boo Boo Kitty!  Though as soon as she took that drink from Andre I knew he put something in it.  She died good though, I screamed when she fell 'cause I wasn't expecting that to happen.

Dang, Cookie’s mama don’t…like…Lu, does she?  LOL at her calling him ‘Old Yellow’.  Got weepy at their wedding vows, I must be the only one that likes them together.

(Gets on arthritic knees, prays)….Dear Lee Daniels, please let one of the three rounds that Blake’s father shot off hit Tiana.  You know I’ve no use for her, never have.  I’ll do anything, I’ll, I’ll….I’ll watch Star!

Edited by Vixenstud.
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10 hours ago, journalism16 said:

Since Eddie acquired Empire from the Lyons, why did he look sad and guilty as they were taking down the Empire logo in the building?

I saw it as him seeing that with the logo being taken down, there was no going back and his friendship with the Lyons is irrevocably over.

Edited by Vixenstud.
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For as loathsome as Eddie (and his crew) ended up being, I really appreciated that the show grounded his motives so thoroughly.

His incredible money problems aside, Eddie really did step in to help the Lyons when they were in dire need of assistance, and he truly believes in Empire's untapped potential.

That being said, when the Lyons eventually kick his treacherous ass to the curb, it'll be pretty great.

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40 minutes ago, Vixenstud said:

(Gets on arthritic knees, prays)….Dear Lee Daniels, please let one of the three rounds that Blake’s father shot off hit Tiana.  You know I’ve no use for her, never have.  I’ll do anything, I’ll, I’ll….I’ll watch Star!

LMAO!  Ditto.  When she came in talking about being pregnant, I didn't have enough eye rolls for her.  So we and Hakeem are just supposed to forget all her disloyal shit?  Bitch, please.  

Sad for Jamal that Tori died, but glad she's gone.  She was annoying and I was so worried she would pull Jamal back into drugs and shit.  She had an amazing voice though. I hope Rumor is able to do something musically related, but I don't need to see her acting anywhere else.  

Didn't think they would kill off Anika, but damn that was a gloriously soapy death. 

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3 hours ago, Vixenstud said:

(Gets on arthritic knees, prays)….Dear Lee Daniels, please let one of the three rounds that Blake’s father shot off hit Tiana.  You know I’ve no use for her, never have.  I’ll do anything, I’ll, I’ll….I’ll watch Star!

Star is actually pretty good. This past season has made me a fan...I just love seeing so much melanin on my TV screens.. Yes, I am biased and I have no shame proclaiming that..lol

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9 hours ago, Margohill said:

Rhonda added a great dynamic to the show and I was sad to see her go. There was so much the writers could have explored with her background and I don't know why that was not done. 

 

Yeah, I still think it was a mistake to kill Rhonda, there still seemed to be a lot of potential with her character. She was implied to be from a rough background, and that her past might catch up with her, and she and Andre were a great team. They were both cutthroat and ambitious, but not completely without morals, and they were totally in love with each other. I wanted to see them team up to take down Anika after she killed their baby. Its great that Ghost Rhonda got to help, but I wanted to see living Rhonda and Andre get revenge together. Plus, I just liked the dynamics she had with the family, and I think it would have been worth exploring, more so than her death. 

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A scarf  in a plastic bag being carried around for days is no proof of anything. I thought thirsty was a decent lawyer. 

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20 hours ago, Apprentice79 said:

I loved seeing Andre and Rhonda working together to take down a common foe.  I feel that Rhonda's death was unnecessary. I liked how she never let Luscious intimidate her. I loved that scene where she told Luscious, while she may not be Black and experienced the hardships of life, as a Black. She has had to fight for her place in life. She did not have it easy, despite being White. I loved that type of perspective. The show should not have killed her off.  Rhonda and Luscious becoming allies could have been fun and unique. Plus, I always liked how she had Andre's back, for better or for worst..

I think that Rhonda might have been a necessary character.  Like the network told Lee Daniels that, "we can't have it 100% a black show."  So Rhonda was necessary, but as the show grew in popularity, she became unnecessary.  I liked her as a character though, and I felt that she really loved Andre and had his back no matter what. 

As for "karma"  I don't get it.  I did think it was poetic justice that Anika died in sort of the same way Rhonda did, falling from a high place.  I don't know if Andre thought that would happen, but now he has to deal with it.  As for karma, well, what about Anika's parents, her family?  What if they found out what happened and wanted payback?  What if Bella grows up and finds out what Uncle Andre did to her mother and she kills him?  Is that karma?  For her it might be.  It's like karma becomes the gift that keeps giving.  I actually thought that Anika would confess to murder or something.  Yell out right in front of everybody that she killed Rhonda's baby, I don't think she ever admitted that to anybody (did she?).  That would have lowered Empire's stock for sure.

Edited by Neurochick.
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Rhonda began the cycle of bad karma and its consequences were visited upon her via Anika; and now that Anika's received retribution via Andre, Andre himself, is next in line, for a well overdue karmic smackdown.

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We haven’t actually seen that Tori is dead...

Yeah, my immediate thought was that there's a reason we didn't see the body. I think she either shipped herself off to rehab or someone did it for her. Probably someone who doesn't want to see her pull Jamal down to rock bottom with her.

I am stunned they killed off Anika. She's a legacy character for this show. Maybe the actress wanted out?

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On 5/24/2018 at 7:32 PM, milner said:

A scarf  in a plastic bag being carried around for days is no proof of anything. I thought thirsty was a decent lawyer. 

Exactly. All Lucifer needs to do is say he lost it. There is no chain of evidence and the person currently in possession of the scarf is someone with a clear motive to fabricate evidence to frame Lucifer (I’m still calling him Lucifer because just like Cookie’s Mama, I don’t believe that snake has changed— I still think he set Cookie up to be arrested, when’s that coming back to bite him in the ass?)

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On 5/23/2018 at 8:43 PM, Margohill said:

The dinner table conversation in the Lyon's home was arguably one of the best. They had to weigh out the pros and cons of keeping their Empire business and it was worth thinking about what Empire had taken from them and what they had gained from Empire. Good discussion.

That was good, but no one remarked on the big-ass house, luxury cars they all drive in and the gold chairs they sit on.  Empire has been very good to them monitarily as well.

On 5/24/2018 at 11:27 AM, Apprentice79 said:

Star is actually pretty good. This past season has made me a fan...I just love seeing so much melanin on my TV screens.. Yes, I am biased and I have no shame proclaiming that..lol

I passed on it because the previews made me think that the trio were all the Star, not just the one with the least melanin (as always).

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8 hours ago, jhlipton said:

I passed on it because the previews made me think that the trio were all the Star, not just the one with the least melanin (as always).

I have to admit that I was annoyed about that first. However, this past season, they tackled a lot of issues that gave the characters depth.   

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1 hour ago, Apprentice79 said:

I have to admit that I was annoyed about that first. However, this past season, they tackled a lot of issues that gave the characters depth.   

Thanks.  If / when I have time, and it's on Hulu or Netflix, I might give it a look.

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52 minutes ago, jhlipton said:

Thanks.  If / when I have time, and it's on Hulu or Netflix, I might give it a look.

You welcome! Season 2 that just ended was much better than season 1.  They had more focus on where they wanted to go with the characters.  

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On Friday I rewatched Season 1 (cause I had the day off and nothing else to do).  First off, it was so damn good; I was laughing so hard every single episode.  But, it reminded me that Anika never suffered any consequences for drugging Elle (Courtney Love's character) in order to sabotage Cookie.  It was such a disgustingly awful move to force someone off the wagon because of jealousy.  And then when she went to Barreti, she kept yelling at Lucious that he made her an awful person, which I don't believe for a second.  She was always awful with a veneer of debutante/class (which is why she worked so well with the Dubois') and always got away with almost everything.  I'm sad to see the actress and the character go, cause she was a good foil for the family, but good riddance.  As (RHoATL) Portia would say:

giphy.gif

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That's why I've never understood the assertion that Anika was sort of grand schemer.

She was a desperate debutante in the beginning, and a desperate debutante in the end.

One single saucy exchange with Cookie near the beginning of the series never changed that.

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Wow, this was a brilliant finale.

Anika deserved to die and I love that both Andre and Rhonda played a role in her demise. Good riddance.

I did feel sad for Tory dying though. I liked her character. Jamal in London, I hope isn't for too long.

I think only Blake will die. Hakeem, Tiana and Bella should be fine though. Not sure we need another pregnancy storyline.

Eddie should've been written out this finale but hopefully he'll be gone early next season.

Lucious/Cookie had some great moments. I want more of Renee next season, 9/10

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RIP, Anika.....every time I see this I'll miss you all the more.

 

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On May 26, 2018 at 1:31 PM, Joimiaroxeu said:

Yeah, my immediate thought was that there's a reason we didn't see the body. I think she either shipped herself off to rehab or someone did it for her. Probably someone who doesn't want to see her pull Jamal down to rock bottom with her.

I am stunned they killed off Anika. She's a legacy character for this show. Maybe the actress wanted out?

 I think Grace Byers wanted to pursue other projects, which I can't wait to see, and I think she knew that while Anika was motivated by jealousy and spite to do the things she did, after Anika killed Andre and Rhonda's baby, and then Rhonda herself, she could no longer redeem herself; and even after she had Bella, she never really cared about her, and always used her as a pawn against Hakeem and the rest of the family, and that is why once she gained custody of Bella for a short time, Diana said, "It's good to see you among people of your stature." But it showed that she only cared about herself and not Bella. So Grace saw Anika's death as justice, for what she had previously done to the Lyons. But we will see what will happen, and see what her parents will decide to do when they find out their daughter is dead.

Edited by journalism16.
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Anika didn't kill Rhonda.

And Grace has stated, many times, how she feels it's very weird that out of all the murderers on the show, Anika is the only one expected to suffer consequences.

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On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 4:25 PM, Dee said:

And Grace has stated, many times, how she feels it's very weird that out of all the murderers on the show, Anika is the only one expected to suffer consequences.

Oh! boy. It's so unfortunate for Anika to have been the one to "kill a baby" on the show. Pushing a heavily pregnant woman down the stairs the way she did deliberately and causing her to lose her baby in such a horrific and brutal way is beyond evil. That alone was a murder that was so evil and malicious that it painted her as a devil incarnate. I don't know about others but that scene left me traumatized for a while after I watched it, and that's all I have to say about that.

Edited by Margohill.
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Anika is/was no worse than any other character on the show that's taken a life.

The idea that she should suffer more than anyone else is ridiculous.

Especially when Rhonda, who was every bit as awful & dirty as Anika, has been undeservedly canonized in the aftermath.

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