Despite surviving a near-fatal gun shot wound, word on the grapevine suggested that Jamal Lyon may not be involved in Empire Season 3. Fortunately, Ilene Chaiken has put that rumor firmly to bed
Fans of Empire were really NOT OKAY with Jamal being the gun shot victim... That one solitary week between Episode 17 and Season 2's finale felt like an eternity - all we wanted to know was that our darling Jamal was safe. Fortunately, "Past Is Prologue" pictured the middle Lyon cub recovering from his injuries - panic over. Or so we thought... Ever since Season 2 drew to a close, debate has been rife on social media as to whether or not Jussie Smollett's character will be around in Season 3. Seemingly fed-up with the unnecessary chatter, Empire EP, Ilene Chaiken, has been quick to quash any such speculation. Speaking to TV Line, Chaiken shared: "It's the same damn cycle, all the time. Season 3 will be about really examining the journey of Jamal's recovery. In the finale, he comes out of the hospital after being shot, but he's clearly not recovered physically, and certainly not psychologically."
Chaiken confirmed that Jamal will "continue to dig in his heels" about his family ending their backstabbing, violent ways: "The question now is, can Jamal also bring his brothers and his mother along with him on this stance, and say 'This is no longer how we have to go about our lives and our business?'" From where we're standing, Ilene, no he probably can't... But who doesn't love a good challenge, eh? When all's said and done, the most important take-away from this interview is that Jamal definitely WILL be involved in Season 3, and arguably more-so than ever before! There will also be a return for Mal's 'close friend', Miss Freda Gatz. According to Chaiken: "She's part of our story. It's not over. Jamal understands she's a victim, but he still has to deal with the fact that she shot him." Watch this space, folks - there's way more to come here... Did you expect Jamal to return?