‘Empire’ Addresses the Disappearance of Jussie Smollet’s Character in Season Premiere

Empire returned for the sixth and final season on Tuesday (Sept. 24) and many wondered how the series would address the absence of Jussie Smollett? Viewers got a brief and quick mention of Smollett’s character, Jamal, during the premiere. He simply is in London.

The reveal came during a conversation between Cookie Lyons (Taraji P. Henson) and Becky Williams (Gaborey Sidibe), during a girls night.

“Jamal and I used to wear these to our sleepovers all the time,” Becky states in a onesie.

“No wonder that boy ran off to London,” Cookie replied.

The joke would turn back on Cookie as Becky suggested it was for an escape from the drama of the Lyon family dynasty.

In August, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said the departure of Smollett’s character would be written as the next step of his life after marriage, Entertainment Tonight reports.

“He’s on his honeymoon! [Co-creator] Lee [Daniels] has spoken a lot about this situation and this story will reflect it,” Collier told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “You’ll see pictures of him in the background. He’s on his honeymoon in the storyline. Lee and the team have talked a lot about what they’re going to do, and there are some surprises at the beginning of this season that you’re going to love. And I really think Empire is going to go out just on a high.”

Fans of the show may be more surprised to find out in the opening episode [Spoiler Alert] that Terrence Howard’s character, Lucious Lyons, is killed at the conclusion.

You can catch Empire Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.

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