Is Jamal Dead on \'Empire\'? Evidence For & Against
Empire Season 2 Episode 17 Jamal
Credit: Chuck Hodes/©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co.    

Empire

Is Jamal Dead on ‘Empire’? Evidence For & Against

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Last night's penultimate episode of Empire Season 2, Episode 17 ("Rise by Sin") ended with Jamal in the hospital after being accidentally shot by Freda Gatz, who had been aiming at Lucious.

Right now, Jamal is still clinging to life, but will he survive next week's finale?

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Actor Jussie Smollett is doing his best to convince you his character is a goner, tweeting about how he's "enjoyed [his] time with" the show, and writing that it's time for him to work on other projects.

Our response? This is even less convincing than the time Kit Harington tried to tell us Jon Snow wasn't coming back on Game of Thrones.

Even leaving aside arguments like "why in the world would the show kill off its most popular character?!" there's plenty of evidence Jamal will make it through next week.

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He Sounds Pretty Alive in the Synopsis

The synopsis for the episode says "after a life-changing experience, Jamal refuses to make music until his family ends its seemingly endless cycle of violence and fighting."

That reads like someone who has survived being shot and is hella pissed off, not someone still on the verge of death.

The Showrunner Isn't Really Pitching a Death

Showrunner Ilene Chaiken spoke to Variety about the finale, saying, "What happens next is about the consequences. Clearly, Jamal has been shot. It’s serious. It’s life-threatening. It happened because of everything that we’ve seen in the course of the season and all of the things that Lucious and Cookie have done, and the way they’ve lived their lives."

Yes, she calls the shooting "life threatening" but still, that sounds to us like the Lyons are shaken by what happened to their son, not absolutely devastated the way they would be if he died.

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There's a Freaking Wedding

As the promo shows, Hakeem and Laura are going forward with their wedding. We're pretty sure there's no way that would happen so soon if Jamal died. Hakeem, for all his faults, loves his brothers like crazy; he would postpone the nuptials if he lost one of them.

And, Oh Yeah, This Report Says Jussie Is Coming Back

If all that doesn't convince you, maybe this will do the trick: EW reports Jussie remains under contract and is not leaving the show. Sounds pretty definitive to us!

Fingers crossed we're right — Empire wouldn't be the same without Jamal!

Empire airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.

Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of Empire Season 2 below:


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Is Mariah Carey Really Coming to Empire?

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There’s a Marriage Coming — But Who?