By Demetria Lucas D’Oyley
I missed the initial airing of the Empire finale. I’d planned to stay home and live-tweet it like I usually do, but a friend called me crazy. “You’d rather sit home and watch people build an empire, instead of build one of your own?” Her version of “building an empire” was drinking wine at happy hour prices while listening to a great DJ. Everybody builds differently.
Anyway, a day after everyone else, I’ve finally watched the manic two-hour season closer. My first thoughts as the credits roll? Whoa. I sat in silence, wondering, “What did I just watch?” Empire has played for team “Doing the Most” since the beginning. That, and Cookie are consistent. But last night was Daniels and the writing team— because no one person could come up with all this— at the height of their caffeine-fueled mania.
That finale was everything. And not like, EVERYTHANG. But like, literally, everything, plus the kitchen sink. It was enough plot to fill all 13 seasons of Dallas, and a few episodes of Jerry Springer. In no particular order, all these things happened: I’m pregnant! I’m locked up! I ain’t a killer, but don’t push me! I’m a murderer! I’m an attempted murderer! It was self-defense! I’m dead! I’m not dying! Mystery disease! Sex with someone other than my ex! Revenge sex! Gay sex! The Feds! My name is not my name! I ain’t no bitch! I’m bipolar! I’m a homophobe! Gospel music! Rap battles!! Sing offs! I’ve been kicked out of better places… Well, I ain’t never been kicked out before, but… Ghosts! Sleep talking! Catfight!! You get a gift! You get a gift! You get a gift!
Tyler Perry must be somewhere rocking his infant in a rage, cursing Lee Daniels for stealing his “all of it, everything, more is never enough” formula of storytelling, which has always garnered Perry viewers, but never the praise of critics or colleagues, of which Daniels has countless.