Empire delivered a twist-filled episode that marked Jussie Smollett's final appearance on the show for Season 5.
The episode, "Never Doubt I Love," saw Jamal (Smollett) and Kai (Toby Onwumere) prepare for their big wedding day, as the public perception of the couple and Jamal's father Lucious Lyon's (Terrence Howard) opinions attempted to dim the light on the special occasion.
As the Lyon family participated in in-depth interviews ahead of the wedding, a reporter surprises Jamal and Kai with news that the reporter's HIV-positive status leaked to the press, along with fake rumors that Kai's lies about his status led to them attempting to get out of the marriage behind the scenes.
While the public finding out about Kai's status led to an argument between the couple, Jamal assured Kai that they would get through the drama. Kai worried his status becoming public would lead Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious to stop supporting their union publicly, though it did not seem to be an issue at the time.
Jamal later attempts to ask Lucious to walk alongside him and Cookie down the aisle during the ceremony, but the rap legend says he is not comfortable with being paraded in public for anyone's agenda. The comment clearly offends Jamal at the moment, but the family put their differences aside for the rehearsal dinner.
Elsewhere, the growing threat of Damon Cross loomed as he continued to attempt to steal Cookie away from Lucious, despite her repeated attempts to get the man to leave them alone. The family also faced the threat of the FBI on their backs, as the investigation against Lucious continued.
Later, Cookie confronts Lucious about his inability to support the union, making sure to tell him that if he disappoints Jamal once again he will have to answer to her. Lucious seems to believe that just showing up to the wedding is enough support, but Cookie says he has to step up.
Before he can decide what to do, Lucious is picked up by the FBI. The agent threatens Lucious to round up his entire family before the wedding if he doesn't cooperate with a new plan.
The meeting makes him late to the ceremony, but the freakout leads Lucious to finally accept his son and agreeing to walking him down the aisle. Lucious also tells Jamal he is ashamed of himself for not being supportive in the past.
The episode showed Jamal and Kai's breathtaking wedding ceremony, featuring an unforgettable performance by Chaka Khan and officiating by Jamal's best friend, Becky (Gabourey Sidibe).3comments
While Henson previously told press Smollett will be back on the show if it is renewed for Season 6, producers said there has not been a definite decision on the actor's return yet.
Empire airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.