Romper

Did Anika Push Rhonda On 'Empire'? Don't Blame Her Just Yet

The mid-season finale of Empire ended with a shocking tumble: a mysterious figure shoves Andre's wife Rhonda — who happens to be very pregnant with the heir to the Empire throne — down the grand staircase of the couple's ridiculous mansion. Although we don't exactly see the culprit, all signs point to Anika, who has fully snapped in light of her own pregnancy with Hakeem's baby and her complete isolation from the Empire. But did Anika really push Rhonda on Empire?

Showrunner Ilene Chaiken revealed that that's definitely what the audience is supposed to believe. But since the deed is done in the middle of the night, when Rhonda is home alone, none of the Lyons will have any idea who it could have been. (Side note: how long is poor Rhonda going to be lying at the bottom of the stairs for?) Chaiken told TVLine:

"We didn’t show you a face. We know, but the world — Andre, Rhonda, the Lyons family — don’t know how Rhonda wound up at the bottom of that staircase. And we want to experience this from their point of view. I’m well aware that Anika would be the prime suspect in the minds of the audience. We know we’ve given her some motive, but it’s not an inevitable conclusion that she did it."
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We know from the same interview that the role of a grief counselor has been cast for the second half of Season 2, which means someone key to Empire Entertainment has been lost, or at least someone who will affect those at Empire Entertainment.

Rhonda is still alive, according to Chaiken, so that's one less thing to worry about. Now it's just a matter of time until we figure out if it was Anika that shoved Rhonda, or if there is a mysterious assailant running around town trying to take out the heir to the throne. The Lyon family has many enemies, but Rhonda is far enough removed that it would be surprising to learn that there was someone other than Anika that would do this to her.