Empire Season 4 Episode 18 Review: The Empire Unpossess'dPaul Dailly at . Updated at .
If you thought Empire could not get any more bonkers, then Empire Season 4 Episode 18 will have proven you wrong.
The drama and stakes were dialed all the way up to a level I never thought possible from this Fox drama, and it was a satisfying conclusion to Empire Season 4.
If you've been reading my reviews already, you know that I've not been Anika's biggest fan. Her character lacked direction and has for the past couple of seasons.
It's bizarre she lasted as long as she did after all of the stunts she pulled. Pushing Rhonda down the stairs, killing her baby and then killing Rhonda in another big bust-up was just the tip of the iceberg.
Will your new CEO pass a drug test?Giselle
It was predictable that Andre was spiking Anika's drink, but there was no telling to what lengths he'd go to in order to get one up on the villainess.
Related: Empire Season 4 Episode 17 Review: Bloody Noses and Cracked Crowns
There's nothing quite like burying a company when the new CEO is off her face on drugs and imagining the person she murdered is in the audience asking her questions.
There's no way Andre knew he was going to kill Anika. At the very least, he wanted to lure her into a false sense of security before publicly humiliating her.
The return of Rhonda was perfectly executed. I'll take as much Kaitlin Doubleday as I can get on Empire. Her character was written off too soon, but it was perfect that she got to play a part in Anika's final scenes.
Rhonda: I have a question. Are you aware of the insane number of CEOs that are clinical psychopaths?
Anika: What is happening?
A part of me questioned whether Giselle and Eddie were going to off Anika because, well, it's not like Anika is of much use to them now that they're in control of the company.
Now that Anika is out of the picture, Andre can finally start the healing process he should have started ages ago. Watching Anika strut around like she owned the place must have been horrible.
I'm thankful the showrunners opted to confirm her death on the episode as opposed to leaving us hoping she was really gone over the hiatus.
It will go down as one of the most memorable death scenes on TV in quite some time, but it came at the expense of another death that happened off screen.
Rumer Willis was a great addition to the cast, and her take on the character of Tori really tugged at the heartstrings.
Unlike some of the other characters, Tori was never too shy to admit that she was struggling. I dare say Jamal pushed her further down the rabbit hole by bringing the anonymous band out of hiding on Empire Season 4 Episode 17.
There had to be a big event to change Jamal's life, and the death of Tori was it. Tori was always vocal about Jamal having to put the family antics aside and choose himself and his needs for a change.
Leaving his family when they really needed him was unpredictable, but you could tell his deceased friend's comments weighed heavily on Jamal's mind.
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Did anyone else think Tori was going to show up and greet Jamal in London? It just a few scenes earlier that she was going on about wanting to be a nobody.
Wouldn't it have been fun if she faked her death to go back to living in the shadows, and Jamal was going to join her? Alas, it was not meant to be.
Look for Jamal to return in Empire Season 5 with a new love interest and a change in his personality.
I'm still trying to come to terms with that cliffhanger. I'm so mad that as soon as Tiana and Hakeem have a legit reason to make their relationship work, one or more of them could be dead.
Tiana: I'm pregnant.
If you watch Empire online, you know that Blake's father was a loose cannon, and it was only a matter of time before his views caused him to take action.
Opening fire (with a freaking shotgun, no less!) on Blake, Hakeem, Tiana, and Bella felt like a step too far. Those three shots could have done some serious damage.
There's no emotional link to Blake because he's legit only appeared in a handful of episodes. If he goes, it wouldn't even register on my radar.
It would be awful to have another woman injured to the point they lose their baby, but something tells me Tiana could perish.
Empire finally being in new hands was unsurprising. If Empire Season 4 has proven anything, it's that the show is ready to start embracing change.
The Lyons had a point when they admitted that Empire will always be associated with their family. There is no Empire without them, and Eddie and Giselle can tear away every single thing that reminds them of the family, but there's no way the family will be forgotten.
Related: Empire Renewed for Season 5
As we head into Season 5, I could get on board with the formation of a whole new company and the family working together to make it a success.
Was anyone else happy with the low-key wedding? Cookie and Lucious ran the risk of becoming just another back and forth relationship, but they're so much more.
The past may haunt them, but now both of them have recognized that they've done some horrible things, and there needs to be a change.
OK, Empire Fanatics. That's all I got.
What did you think of this crazy finale?
Were you impressed?
Hit the comments below.
Empire returns in the fall only on Fox.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.