When a buzzy network soap goes on hiatus with a cliffhanger — say, leaving one of its characters in mortal peril, for example — said series would usually prefer that cliffhanger remain unspoiled until the show returns, in order to drive up anticipation and maximize ratings. Such is the case with FOX's Empire, which ended its Season 2 midseason finale with the fate of Andre's pregnant wife Rhonda up in the air after Rhonda was pushed down the stairs on Empire by a shadowy attacker. (But we all know it was Anika.) Will she live? Will she die? What about her unborn baby? Well, sadly the answer to those questions may have been spoiled for us almost a full month before Empire will return from its hiatus, and from a shocking source to boot: the character's portrayer herself. Kaitlin Doubleday's Instagram may have spoiled Rhonda's fate.
The spoiler came in the most unexpected of places — the caption of a photo the actress posted on Instagram. "PERFECT cup of coffee at a perfect cafe," the caption began innocuously enough, "before my last day of work at Empire." (Emphasis mine, because holy crap.) "There's even a heart in the foam," she went on, even though it honestly looks more like a leaf, "and I must say my heart is full while looking back on this whole experience and all the people Empire has brought into my life." Welp. Bye-bye, Rhonda.
I suppose one could argue that we all should have seen this development coming, since the title of the upcoming midseason premiere is "Death Will Have His Day." But 1) who actually pays attention to episode titles? And 2) that could have been a red herring, anyway. Who's to say the character the title referred to couldn't have been Rhonda's unborn child? Or Mimi, succumbing to her cancer? Or literally any other minor character who can be killed off at anytime because honestly this show is batsh*t crazy these days?
Just when you thought Empire couldn't get any more insane, Andre is now a widower, Anika is literally a murderer, and actors are Instagramming yuuuuge plot spoilers. If Rhonda really is dead — and that seems pretty certain at this point — then I suppose that Doubleday can't really get in trouble since she no longer works for the show anymore.
For all those Rhonda fans out there, you'll next be able to see Doubleday in the indie drama Po, about a young widower (Covert Affairs' Christopher Gorham) struggling to raise his autistic son singlehandedly after his wife's death. You can also see the actress' younger sister, Portia Doubleday, on Mr. Robot, Season 2 of which will be premiering this summer. In the meantime, tune in to the Empire midseason premiere on Wednesday, March 30, to find out if Rhonda's baby somehow miraculously survives… unless someone in the cast Snapchats about it first.
Images: Chuck Hodes/FOX