"Empire" kicked off its third season with the death of a character, who first appeared in the pilot.
The second season of "Empire" ended with the possible death of a Lyon, with Rhonda Lyon and Anika fighting over a rooftop.
It was revealed when the show returned for a third season that it was Rhonda who fell off the balcony during the cliffhanger fight.
In an interview with Variety, showrunner llee Chaiken, spoke about the decision to kill Rhonda, who however came back in the episode in Andre’s hallucinations.
“It was a really, really tough decision because it wasn’t as if we had an agenda last season. We love the character and we love the actress and we didn’t want to lose her from the show. It was really the story that led to the decision, Chaiken said."
“That fight on the balcony, it just happened. It wasn’t in the original finale script, and as Lee and I were working on it, we loved it and we said, we have to do it. And then I said, ‘Lee, you realized that means one of these women will be killed off?!’ Lee and Danny both said, ‘No! We love them both! They can’t die!’ But after much anguishing, we came to the very, very tough conclusion.”
She also spoke on Rhonda being a part of season three, appearing in hallucinations and flashbacks.
“We could still see her. Rhonda is quite likely not out of our ‘Empire’ world just yet. I don’t want to say how long Andre will have this unusual relationship with his deceased wife, but there’s a good chance that we will see more of her.”
Rhonda Lyon was a main character in the FOX series. She was the wife of Andre Lyon, and the character was portrayed by actress Kaitlin Doubleday.