That was not the finale we deserved.
If FOX thinks Empire Season 6 Episode 18 was a satisfying way to conclude one of its biggest hits, they are sadly mistaken.
If the network cared about ending the series in the right way, it would have taken a page out of The CW's playbook with Supernatural, and pulled the show off the air at a natural point in the storytelling to bring it back to say goodbye in the right way.
Understandably, production had to be halted early, but there are a lot of other options out there the network could have taken to salvage the show's legacy.
As things stand now, this is the series finale, and it's a royal slap in the face to the people who have watched religiously over the last six seasons.
Cookie's realization that she went from Loretha to Cookie without even thinking about it was the most natural thing about this makeshift conclusion.
If you watch Empire online, you know Cookie has struggled with the past, mostly because of her decisions.
Cookie, from the moment I saw you, I knew we were meant to be. You gave me Empire, you gave me our boys, you gave me life.
She lost a part of herself, and her sisters picked up on it from the jump. Now that she's made the breakthrough with her therapist, she wants to bring that part of herself back to the forefront.
Introducing herself as Loretha Cookie was a subtle way of highlighting that Cookie is going to take the best traits of the two personas and have a fresh start.
Learning the truth about the letters was understandably tough on her, and I appreciated the way that particular storyline was handled.
This show was built on the success of the chemistry between Cookie and Lucious, and despite the meanders along the way, it was inevitable they would find their way back to each other before the end of the series.
Given everything that's happened between them, it's a tough pill to swallow that they would miraculously get back together with each other.
But something changed in Lucious, and it was all thanks to the song. Who would have thought that a song he wrote for Cookie years before would be the thing that would allow him to win back the love of his life?
Giselle: Playtime is over, Cookie.
Cookie: Girl, bye!
Cookie spent so long telling herself she was done with him that she thought she was, but her identity crisis is what brought them back together.
Yana's death was probably supposed to be the final scene on "Home Is On The Way" as a means to set up the final two episodes, but it happening right in the middle gave me whiplash.
Indeed, the entire episode felt hastily cobbled together, but I have to give credit to the people working on the show for being able to edit something given the circumstances.
Setting Damon Cross back up as a villain in the aftermath of Yana's death was predictable, but having some time to play with this storyline would have been swell.
Yana was on the cusp of greatness. Lucious had nurtured her into a marketable star, who was about to go on a European tour.
An attack on one is an attack on all of us.Andre
Tragically, she was gunned down after realizing Lucious was never going to be able to get over Cookie.
The final song she ever sang was the one Lucious wrote for Cookie. It was no wonder he felt horrible about his actions.
The scuffle between Lucious and Damon in the mansion was harrowing, mostly because we picked up with multiple members of the security team dead, and Lucious caught up in a brutal fight with his nemesis.
Whacking Damon over the head with his prosthetic leg was something I could never have predicted, but it did give me a laugh. Lucious will always find a way out of these horrible circumstances.
As expected, we never learned who murdered Lucious and Cookie. It was the big mystery of Empire Season 6, and it will probably go unanswered, unless the creators release the script for how the series was supposed to end.
It would have been easier to show the flashforwards and one of the characters waking up from a bad dream.
It's not much, but it would have been some form of closure.
The family meeting up at the premiere of the movie was sweet and all, but the scenes of the show's past would have resonated more if they hadn't been used countless other times throughout the run of the show.
This harkens back to the time they had to craft a conclusion.
I can't help but feel like it would have been better to just wrap the series with Damon pulling out the gun.
He's the love of my life and it might be too late.Cookie
Empire is well-known for its OMG moments, with the series setting the ratings alight in the earlier years as a result.
In essence, "Home Is On The Way" felt like a clip show with some musical performances peppered throughout, and if we don't get a more conclusive ending, the show's legacy will forever be tarnished.
What did you think of the way the episode was thrown together? Are you satisfied?
How would you have ended the series?
Chat with me in the comments, Empire Fanatics.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.