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Would Empire really kill off a main character or are they messin' with us?

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Empire promises 'a Lyon will fall,' but I highly doubt anyone in this family will be down for the count

Given that it seems like Empire just returned, it's hard to believe there are only two more episodes left until the end of Season 2. Say it ain't so! And that news is particularly disconcerting knowing that sometime between now and the finale, "a Lyon will fall."

If the teasers are to be believed, that is.

While I suppose it is possible the series will kill off a member of the main family before the season is over, it's highly unlikely. There aren't that many Lyons to begin with, right? Lucious, Cookie, Andre, Jamal and Hakeem — so five. Six if you count Rhonda. It's only the second season and killing off one of the six primary characters seems premature.

More: If we're being honest, I'm kinda over Empire's Lucious Lyon

So what are the alternatives? We know something big is going to go down, because the sneak peek for the last few episodes made it seem like gunshots ring out at the ASAs. Here's my theory, though... Empire is just catfishin' us. Yes, someone goes down. A Lyon will technically fall, but it won't be one of the characters who currently have that last name.

It's far-fetched to think they are going to take out Lucious or Cookie. Andre could possibly go off his meds and have some sort of catastrophic breakdown that results in his death, but I doubt it — his character has been so stellar lately that I suspect he'll continue to grow.

If producers put Jamal in any real danger, they'll risk fans rioting, amirite? Hakeem has already had a traumatic event this season by being kidnapped — two if you consider Camilla's Lucious-assisted suicide. Same goes for Rhonda. They just pushed her down a stairwell and made her lose her unborn baby, so surely they'll lay off her for a while.

Rather, my money is on a surprise addition to the Lyon family falling.

My best guess would be Thirsty. You may be thinking, wait, when did Thirsty become a Lyon? Well, last week we explored a few fan theories about what really went down in regard to Lucious' "just joking, she's totally alive" mother, whom Andre officially brought back into the picture tonight.

More: 10 crazy theories about what really happened to Lucious' mom on Empire

One of those theories — and in my opinion, perhaps the most convincing — is that Thirsty is somehow related to Lucious. Maybe a brother who Lucious didn't know.

If this really turns out to be true, there are several ways that could play out with the end result being Thirsty getting shot. One such scenario might be Thirsty sacrificing himself to save his brother, since we all know there's no shortage of people waiting in the wings to take Lucious out at this point.

Another possibility? It comes to light that Thirsty was the one who pushed Rhonda down the stairs, Andre finds out and he kills Thirsty in a fit of sadness-slash-rage.

If Thirsty turns out to be nothing more than Lucious' unethical attorney, though, there are other possibilities.

What if Hakeem and Laura elope? She'd then be a Lyon, too. And if she were to get shot (Anika is hormonal and unstable, after all), it could lend itself to an interesting story arc for Hakeem. We could delve into much darker material for this former bad boy turned relatively respectable mini-mogul.

The only other possibility that doesn't seem entirely off-base is that Lucious shoots his mom. However, I simply can't see the show killing off a sweet old lady who viewers just technically met.

More: Empire's treatment of bipolar disorder strikes me as problematic

If none of these Lyons winds up in mortal danger, I must admit there is a chance one of our beloved core members of the Lyon family could get shot. Yet I still maintain that there's no way Empire would kill one of them off... yet. Next season, maybe, but not this soon.

If Lucious, Cookie, Andre, Jamal or Hakeem take a bullet, I suspect it would only serve as a dramatic cliffhanger and possibly an extended story line involving their long road to recovery.

Then again, I could just be in abject denial.

What do you think? Will one of the Lyon family really fall before Season 2 ends?

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