Jamal and Kai’s nuptials encounter a few potential hitches on this week’s Empire — not the least of which is the former’s super-syrupy wedding vows. In the above exclusive clip from this Wednesday’s episode (which will serve as embattled cast member Jussie Smollett‘s final Season 5 outing), Jamal struggles to find the right tone for what will arguably be the ceremony’s most critical moment. Luckily, Becky’s on the case.
After listening to the first draft of his vows, Jamal’s BFF offers him this blunt critique: “OK, honestly, it’s giving me Britney Spears when it should be giving me India.Arie.”
It remains to be seen if Jamal ultimately sticks the landing, but it is safe to say — at least based on this revealing Fox promo — that Kai will say “I do” regardless. Another open question: Given the abruptness of Smollett’s early departure, did producers have time to script an actual exit for his character?
As showrunner Brett Mahoney recently conceded to TVLine, “Jamal is such a pivotal piece of the family, so [writing him out] was definitely not easy.” Nonetheless, the EP says his absence in this season’s final two episodes will feel “very organic.” And regarding Smollett’s possible return for a still-not-officially-ordered Season 6, Mahoney tells us, “No final decision has been made.”
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Press PLAY above to watch Jamal work out his pre-wedding jitters, and then hit the comments with an answer to this question: Are you relieved Jamal and Kai’s wedding wasn’t a casualty of Smollett’s leave of absence?