[Spoilers for the Season 3 finale of Empire follow. Read at your own risk!]
Lather it up, because Fox's drama pulled out one of the oldest tricks from the soap opera books. But a good cleaning may be just what the show needed.
Empire has been ridiculous for a few seasons now, but the Season 4 finale leaned into its soapy roots on its way to a badly needed reset. Nothing like some good old fashioned amnesia to set things back on course!
Andre (Trai Byers) finally decided that his plan to murder his father Lucious (Terrence Howard) maybe wasn't the best thing after Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious decided to give Andre control over Empire — we were so close to a happy ending! — so he tried to call off a side deal he had with Shine (Xzibit): an assassination-via-car-bomb attempt. But it was too late! Shine said, "You started this, I'm gonna finish it."
As rejuvenated lovebirds Lucious and Cookie approached the car and Andre frantically tried to warn them to stay away, the bomb went off, the car exploded, and bodies were sent flying! Cookie was safe (her awesome coat, too) but Lucious was anything but. Was he dead? Nope, he was something better (if you're into the show's twists and turns, that is).
Three months later, Lucious woke up from a coma surrounded by family members (and new guest-star doctor with questionable therapeutic methods Demi Moore — seriously, why was he making Lucious pet her face?)... with no memory of anything. Oh. Snap. That's right, Lucious has amnesia, a condition reserved for characters on shows who need a jolt.
The move gives the show the room to operate anew, so to speak, in Season 4 with Lucious none the wiser to everything that's happened before. That means Lucious can start the same beefs with each family member all over again! Just like he's done for three seasons. But now we have a medical excuse for it.
Of course there's always the chance that he's lying. I wouldn't put it past this show.
Empire returns this fall on Fox.