‘Empire’ Boss Says Premiere’s Lucious Whodunit Will Be Solved Quicker Than the Casket Mystery

“And I promise you that it will blow your mind,” Brett Mahoney tells TheWrap

Empire Season 6 premiere
Chuck Hodes/FOX

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the sixth and final season premiere of “Empire”)

The sixth and final season of “Empire” kicked off with a bang Tuesday — literally. In the opening scene of the Season 6 premiere, titled “What Is Love,” Lucious (Terrence Howard) was shot off-screen and left bleeding on the ground of his home, suggesting that the Lyon family patriarch might meet his end by the time the Fox hip-hop drama itself ends.

And while fans are left wondering what Lucious’ fate will be, they’re also faced with a “whodunit” mystery. But don’t worry, because “Empire” showrunner Brett Mahoney has assured us that this mystery will be solved faster than the casket case from Season 5, which lasted all the way from last season’s premiere until its finale.

“I think even more than last season with the casket I think this flash-forward is going to live and evolve and change and shock as we move forward,” Mahoney told TheWrap. “I think compared to last season, that was a slow burn, I think this is going to be more of a rocket burn. And I can also tell you you’re going to have the answers to what you thought in the premiere you’ll have the answers to that in Episode 611. And I promise you that it will blow your mind.”

“I think you will be surprised as to who holds the gun and that is going to be tied to the previous villains because any one of the people that Lucious pissed off could be holding that gun,” he added. “It could be Billy Berretti, it could be White Tracy. Who is holding that gun? So part of these flash-forward elements that you’ll see are little vignettes of what Lucious’ endgame might be and why they could be the one holding that gun.”

So while you’ll have to wait until the eleventh episode of this final season to find out Lucious’ fate and who is holding the gun, that’s definitely a quicker reveal than the identity of the body Lucious was mourning over in Season 5, who turned out to be his illegitimate son Kingsley (A.Z. Kelsey).

Speaking of the now-deceased Kingsley, if you were looking closely at the car window when Andre (Trai Byers) murdered Mouse (Anthony Irons) on tonight’s premiere then you saw him appear quickly next to Andre’s reflection. And yes, the fact Andre is seeing dead people — especially the person whose death saved Andre’s life via a desperately needed heart transplant — is not great.

“I think you should absolutely be worried about that moving forward because Kingsley represents that dark side of Andre. And he has Kingsley’s heart,” Mahoney said.

That dark side came out in full tonight when, as we previously mentioned, Andre killed Mouse, a scene that was juxtaposed with his pregnant wife, Teri (Meta Golding), in distress on the floor of their bedroom. Yeah, Andre is going through a lot right now as he is now in charge of Empire and definitely overwhelmed while trying to maintain control.

“Andre finally has the throne, and not only does he have the throne that he’s always wanted, but he also has the family that he’s always wanted,” Mahoney said. “So, on the one hand, he’s got the possibility of this baby, but it’s like, will he sacrifice these things to have the throne at Empire? You see him driven to murder in the premiere, so what does that mean?”

Mahoney added: It’s always true that whoever sits on that throne, whoever gets close to power at Empire, we see power corrupt. So will Andre be able to pull back, will he be able to find a new direction where Lucious hasn’t been able to?”

“Empire” airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox.