A flash-forward at the beginning of Empire's fifth season saw Lucious (Terrence Howard) tearfully standing over a closed coffin, and Wednesday's spring premiere may have given us our biggest clue yet in unwrapping this head-scratching mystery.
The episode found the Lyons in disarray in the wake of the bombshell reveal that Kingsley (A.Z. Kelsey) is Lucious' biological son. But the big shocker came at the end of the hour, when Andre (Trai Byers) wound up in a serious car wreck after passing out behind the wheel.
The incident lines up with a flash-forward from earlier in the season that alluded to his death — he was seen flatlining on a hospital gurney. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Brett Mahoney confirmed the flash-forward in question is set to close to the season finale, giving weight to the theory that he may actually be the one Lucious mourns in the future. But could he also be a red herring?
There is still very little known about this imminent death, and Andre certainly seems like the prime candidate. However, he's not the only one. Lucious' emotional reaction to whomever is in that casket suggests a close personal attachment, which also puts Jamal (Jussie Smollett), Hakeem (Bryshere "Yazz" Gray), and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) squarely into the mix. And given the recent legal issues Smollett has had, which have resulted in the actor being cut from the final episodes of the season, it would not be surprising if Jamal was the person in the casket. However, we're still placing our bet on either Kingsley or his ailing mother Tracy after this week's episode made it clear Lucious is feeling guilty about everything that has gone down for them. Kingsley rejected Lucious' offer to reconcile, a choice that may have sealed his fate. As we've seen in the past, enemies of the Lyon family tend to wind up dead... or missing.
We've got our own theories about this mystery, but we'd like to hear from you. Take our poll below and let us know who you think is in that casket.
Empire continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.