Previously on Empire, Jamal was shot at the ASA Awards and Lucious's mama was about to reveal her true identity to the press. But don't worry about those cliffhangers — the show jumped ahead three weeks and now nothing matters!
1. DYNASTY (last week: not ranked)
I wonder where I've seen the last scene from tonight's finale from. It's on the tip of my tongue!
2. ANIKA CALHOUN (last week: 5)
Anika's diabolical plan finally came to fruition. She played the ride-or-die card literally, threatening to jump off a balcony instead of having to testify against Lucious in a grand jury. This, of course, led to him marrying her so she wouldn't have to testify. Anika's been scheming behind the scenes all season but there's been no sign of her evil side until she confirmed to Rhonda in the final scene that she did shove her down a flight of stairs. She and Rhonda get into a struggle and, like the aforementioned GIF, seemingly go over the balcony at the Lyon mansion.
3. SHYNE JOHNSON (last week: not ranked)
In case you were missing guest stars, Xzibit is here to play a murderous psycho. Because he could send Lucious to prison or whatever, he gets an invite to Hakeem's wedding and ruins the entire thing with hookers and hitting people with champagne bottles. THANK GOD he derailed that messy, boring-ass wedding that literally no one cared about.
4. LUCIOUS LYON (last week: 1)
Lucious is forced to be nice to everyone this week, because Jamal threatens not to sing music again. Then he gets married to Anika and everything works out for him, as usual. Cookie's mad at him but that always lasts about half an episode.
5. JAMAL LYON (last week: 15)
Sitting in a wheelchair and ranting "death and incarceration!" is probably the most ridiculous Jamal we've ever had to endure. But he GOT SHOT last episode and was on the verge of death. Now he's perfectly fine? And he's partially walking again, too? What a lame cliffhanger that amounted to nothing. And it makes Jussie Smollett's tweet from last week even more insane.
6. RHONDA LYON (last week: 12)
Rhonda decides to punch Anika in the face and tell everyone she pushed her down the stairs because it's the finale, I guess. Where were those fists last week, boo? Sadly, no one believes her and she might also be going over a balcony with Anika, so good luck, girl.
7. COOKIE LYON (last week: 4)
Cookie's son had a botched wedding and Lucious got married to Anika. She claims to be done with Lucious but that's literally never, ever true. At least she looked good this week.
8. FBI AGENT TARIQ THE FREAK (last week: 10)
He's Lucious's half brother! And the reveal is so undramatic that no one cares.
9. THE MUSIC (last week: 14)
Vee returns to sing a beautiful yet boring song for Hakeem's wedding. Jamal plays around with a choir for a song that he doesn't eventually sing, so the music is pretty much a wash this week.
10. DEREK MAJOR (last week: 7)
This down-low fool is still around for some reason, but he and Jamal barely share a scene.
11. PORSHA TAYLOR (last week: not ranked)
She brings a doughnut to Hakeem's wedding, so she's clearly the only one who got anything out of the event.
12. HAKEEM LYON (last week: 8)
I'd like to feel bad for Hakeem, but Laura was the most boring character on this show outside of Michael, Jamal's ex-boyfriend. Trying to shoehorn random Latino characters into the show for ratings without giving them actual storylines or real character depth really worked out for this show, didn't it? Also, his baby might be dead if Anika falls off the balcony. Sorry, ’keem.
13. LEAH WALKER (last week: 6)
This old woman couldn't even reveal her identity to the press before Thirsty stopped her (offscreen)? What a pointless character who's far from as "frightening" as people keep pretending she is.
14. FREDA GATZ (last week: 3)
Freda's in prison, but she's forgiven Lucious and is making music with him, all in the span of half an episode. Good character development!
15. THIRSTY RAWLINGS (last week: 2)
Thirsty is mostly just here to bark out orders now. Can he start locking people in secret rooms again?
16. SHAKESPEARE (last week: 11)
The episode title is "Past Is Prologue," and "what's past is prologue" is a quote from The Tempest, and I would rather be reading The Tempest right now than having to think about watching the third season of Empire. But that's all the Shakespeare we get this episode, thanks to the Dynasty cribbing.
17. ANDRE LYON (last week: 13)
He doesn't believe Rhonda when she says Anika pushed her, which seems kind of dumb, but anything to orchestrate Rhonda trying to push Anika over a balcony in the final scene of the episode! Andre mostly stands around and looks shocked when he learns something new each week. At least he looks pretty.
18. HAKEEM'S EX-GIRLFRIEND OR EX-FIANCÉE OR WHATEVER (last week: 16)