We're finally getting somewhere!
Empire Season 6 Episode 17 was bursting at the seams with drama, so it's hard to know where to start.
It was a wild ride from start to finish, and I can't believe we have just one more episode remaining.
How are they going to be able to tie it all together? There's no way the finale is going to be satisfying, especially when you consider that it is not the planned finale.
Thankfully, the characters are finally starting to prepare for the end, taking great strides to prove how much they've changed.
The common consensus since the show's debut is that there is no show without Cookie and Lucious. I can't be the only one who has found Lucious expendable at the best of times.
He's pulled off devastating betrayals throughout the series' run and made it clear that he will do whatever it takes to have power.
Maya: I am so sorry I've been working on my new demo, Mrs. Lyon. You know, if you hopped on that, we'd have this generation's version of "We got something in common" on lock.
Hakeem: Yo, let me holler at this Real Housewife ... alone.
Fortunately, "Over Everything" showed a different side of his character, one that would cancel the most important meeting ever so that his son could focus on his mental health.
There's something satisfying about this direction because it makes all of the horrific things he's done seem worthwhile to get him to this stage in life.
His relationship with Cookie has never been better, and they work well together when they are taking people down.
Based on the way Yana learned about the track and the way Cookie reacted, it seems inevitable that Cookie will realize she still loves Lucious on the series finale.
I'm conflicted because Cookie excelled when she spread her wings away from the confines of her relationship with Lucious.
But there is still an undeniable attraction between the power couple at the core of the series, and their chemistry has remained even in the bad times.
Cookie's actions against the head of the ASAs were warranted. He wanted to silence her, her label, and everyone he's ever wronged.
He was the worst, and I'm happy Cookie worked with Lucious to take him down. The major frustration I had with this plot, though, was that Lucious claimed Empire has never silenced an artist.
He clearly doesn't watch Empire online, or he'd know that was not the case. Ha!
In essence, Lucious could have betrayed Cookie one last time by giving Yana the prime slot being offered up at the ASAs had he opted to go against his former lover.
That would have been the predictable direction, and Empire is starting to really increase in the quality department as the series reaches the end of its run.
Giselle getting back together with Kelly was another in a long line of power moves she's made to secure her future.
Only this time, she had to get together with him to literally save her life. Her fate was conveniently left up in the air after telling Damon the deal was off, so she had to return.
Her supposed takedown of Lucious to get her claws back into Empire left Cookie, Lucious, and Becky with little choice other than to expose the affair.
Had Giselle opened up to Cookie about what Damon was planning to do, Cookie would have probably tried to help her.
Cookie feels like Giselle manipulated everyone at Bossy Media, and to an extent, that is true. Giselle made terrible business decisions, and her attempts to cover them up were even worse.
If she does still find a way to become the acting CEO of Empire, she's going to run it into the ground. Some people are just not cut out for a life in the world of business, and Giselle is one of them.
Taking down Kelly and Giselle grows the list of suspects who could kill Lucious and Cookie, but I'm not even sure we'll find out the answer to that when the series finale airs.
The more likely scenario will show us another flashforward to the death day and Cookie or Lucious waking up from a nightmare with unused footage from a previous episode.
What's frustrating about this is that there have been a lot of worthless episodes on Empire Season 6, and had Fox stuck to the typical 18 episode order, we would have the entire story.
Cookie: When have we ever let someone put our backs against the wall?
Lucious: What you got in mind?
I'm not sure what to make of Maya's continued manipulation of Hakeem. She's a clout chaser who is trying to hold on to her 15 minutes of fame in a way that makes her look like a deranged stalker.
However, she was good at her job, and I believe she could help steer Hakeem's career in the right direction.
Becoming an actor and leaving the musical world behind would probably be a good way to end Hakeem's arc. He's been over music for seasons, so being taken seriously as an actor would make him happy.
But he's not going to be able to forget the way Maya acted when she got married to him. There has to be more to this story, but it's doubtful we're going to get much of an answer to it.
How dare Maya act like this, though? She would be wise to realize that the Lyons are not to be messed with because nobody gets away from them.
Which brings me to the new and improved Andre. It was too soon for him to contact Teri, and as I suspected, she's always going to remember him as the man who tried to murder her while their kid watched.
A month in a facility is not long enough for Teri to forgive him. They say that time heals everything, but something tells me Teri will not be able to get that image away any time soon.
Andre has always needlessly tried to steer the ship at Empire, and he never really takes time for himself.
Maybe going off on a journey to help others will be the thing that helps him realize what he actually wants in life.
He now knows more than ever what he wants, and I doubt he's going to want Teri when he figures it all out.
That's all I got, Empire Fanatics!
What did you think Lucious and Cookie working together? Do you want them to get back together? What's your take on the way Maya is acting?
Hit the comments below.
Empire concludes its six-season run Tuesday, April 21.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.