'Empire' Boss Explains That Surprise Kiss. Is Jamal Falling for a Woman?

'It just happened,' showrunner Ilene Chaiken says of the kissing scene that left viewers' jaws dropped in the latest episode.

AceShowbiz - If you're still reeling from that shocking kiss on "Empire", you're not the only one. In the latest episode of the music drama, [SPOILER ALERT!] Jamal (%cJussie Smollett%), who has proudly declared himself as a gay musical artist, is kissing a woman. She is a famous songstress and his collaborator named Skye, who is played by guest star %cAlicia Keys% in "Sinned Against".

Fans then flooded Twitter with various reactions to the shocking storyline. "I was beyond shocked when I saw this!! Holy!! What a way to end the episode!!!" so @AmandaCalvo3 wrote. Another fan, @bbonquiqui, simply tweeted, "speechless." @tessbuscus123 said her "mind is blown!" and @ReXamus9 tweeted this to express his feelings, "Whaaaaaat!!!!"

To Variety, showrunner Ilene Chaiken explains what this means to Jamal and his sexuality. "We're very clear that Jamal is gay and Jamal is clear that he's gay, but it just happened," she says, "Isn't personal agency all about being able to act on something in the moment and owning yourself and not having to explain it or justify it?"

Chaiken also reveals how the writers came up with the idea of the surprise hook-up. "The writers were already breaking a story in which - shock of shocks - Jamal hooks up with a girl, after all he's been through," she shares. "It's a conversation that happens among gay people about sexual fluidity - about being devoutly gay, if you will, but there's a spectrum. There are some folks who aren't attracted to people of the opposite sex at all, but there are some gay folks who sometimes do find themselves unexpectedly and momentarily attracted. Especially when you're involved in a creative endeavor, those sparks can flare up because when you do something creative with someone and it really catches fire, there's just nothing sexier."

Fans can expect to see the outcome of the twist next week as Keys is set to appear in episode 10. Chaiken says, "She's back for one more episode. You'll see in episode 10 that there's yet another twist. The story that we're telling, you'll see in episode 10."

"Empire" returns Wednesday, December 2 at 9/8c on FOX with a new episode titled "Et Tu, Brute" that promises more drama, including a betrayal.

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