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Fall TV Preview

Empire Promo Teases Big Death

When Empire returns next week, it will be down a cast member — but which one? In a just-released teaser for the Fox drama’s fifth season (premiering Sept. 26 at 8/7c), a somber Lucious can be seen standing over a closed coffin.

Fox’s marketing gurus would like us to believe the dearly departed character is Hakeem, whose fate was left up in the air at the end of Season 4. (Quick refresher: In the closing moments of last May’s finale, rapper Blake’s racist dad opened fire on Hakeem as he was traveling with his newly-minted baby mama Tiana.) Another, far more anticlimactic, possibility is Anika, whose death was confirmed in one of the finale’s last scenes.

Empire‘s new season picks up two years after the events of the Season 4 finale, so conventional wisdom suggests the Lucious/coffin scene is a flashback. As previously revealed by showrunner Brett Mahoney, newly-edded Lucious and Cookie ” have spent much of the past two years fighting to regain their Empire [following Eddie’s betrayal]. While Cookie is aggressively pursuing talent on the streets, Lucious is pursuing the financials. Lucious’ ‘ride or die’ mentality will question everyone’s loyalty and love, including Cookie’s.”

Press PLAY above to watch the promo, and then hit the comments with an answer to this question: Who do you think is in the coffin?