Empire fans have been searching for clues as to whether Anika (Grace Byers) or Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) fell to their death from the New York rooftop in the drama’s Season 2 finale, and now new clues are giving fans a better look at who could have lost their life.
As Empire fans saw in the May finale “Past Is Prologue” earlier this year, Anika and Rhonda got into a rooftop brawl after Rhonda discovered that her former friend pushed her down the stairs, killing her unborn child, and as co-executive producer Ilene Chaiken confirmed to TV Line, whoever fell is “in for it” and will not be returning for Season 3.
“We love both of these characters and both of these actresses — and it’s hard to think about losing either one of them,” the Empire executive producer said when asked if Rhonda or Anika had died.
“In this instance, there’s no character motivation to consider: One of them is simply going to win the fight, and the other is likely to be gone,” she continued of Anika and Rhonda’s heart-stopping moment on the rooftop. “It’s in the hands of the gods, and whoever survives is going to have quite a story.”
But who’s actually dead?
Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie Lyon, recently confirmed that either Anika or Rhonda is most definitely dead in an interview with Extra, where she admitted that whoever lost their life caused quite a shock for the rest of the cast.
“They send us the script and then everybody’s calling each other like, ‘What? What? What?'” Henson said of the shocking death but wouldn’t confirm if it’s Rhonda or Anika who will not be appearing in the upcoming third season.
“You have to wait until September 21,” Henson teased when asked who’s dead.
But while the Empire cast continue to play coy about the big character death, there have been a few hints dropped in recent months as to whether Rhonda or Anika, the latter of whom is pregnant with Hakeem’s (Bryshere Y. Gray) baby, is out of the Empire fold.
Speaking to Variety earlier this year, Empire co-executive producer Sanaa Hamri appeared to hint that it could potentially be Rhonda who fell at the hands of Anika, leaving her husband, Andre (Trai Byers), heartbroken.
Hamri told the site following the Season 2 cliffhanger that Andre witnessed a death that will “deeply affect him” in the coming episodes, which appears to suggest that the eldest Lyon brother could potentially have witnessed his wife suffer the 30-story fall to her death.
But while the rumors swirl that Rhonda is dead, there have also been a number of hints suggesting that Anika’s actually the one who died in the season finale.
According to EmpireBooBooKitty.com, Kaitlyn Doubleday was spotted filming with the Empire cast back in July, suggesting that she’s alive and well following the rooftop brawl, though it’s also possible that the scene was an infamous Empire flashback.
Kaitlin also added more fuel to the fire that she’s still part of the Empire cast back in August after taking to Instagram to post a promotional shot of herself in character prior to the Season 3 premiere later this month.
“Sometimes you just gotta give some extra side eye in a Saran Wrap looking mini dress,” the actress joked in the caption, alongside the hashtag #Empire.
But as fans continue to speculate about who died in Season 2 of Empire, Hamri revealed that the big death question will be answered “in five seconds” when Season 3 premieres on September 21.
“I will say that the question that was posed gets answered in a fabulous and heartstopping way,” Hamri said of how Empire will reveal exactly who’s dead following the Season 2 finale.
Empire Season 3 is set to premiere on September 21 on Fox.
Do you think Anika or Rhonda fell to their death in the Season 2 finale of Empire?
[Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images]