It feels like the universe has spit out a new galaxy since Empire took its winter break, but alas; it’s return is upon us, and we are so ready.
But before you cozy back up to the Lyon’s den, make sure that you remember everything that you might (read: probably) have forgotten over the last four months. Happy Empire-ing!
Luscious vs. Hakeem
Luscious is officially out of the Empire. While fighting to maintain his power, he unsurprisingly ends up pissing off the wrong people, including Mimi (You remember, the Texas billionaire who has secured her seat as the Empire Entertainment chairperson and who—surprise!—is married to Hakeem’s ex, Camilla [Naomi Campbell]).
With the help of Andre, Luscious attempts to secure a board member’s vote by having his sleazy lawyer, Thirsty, seduce her. However, Mimi records his shady ways and broadcasts it to the entire board. Thanks to a rogue vote from Hakeem, Luscious is ousted from his Empire, leaving Mimi, Camilla and, yes, Hakeem in charge. Naturally, Luscious doesn’t take the news well and shoots up Hakeem’s house. Of course.
Oh, and he scored an American Sound Awards nomination for that song, “Boom Boom Boom Boom.”
Cookie Goes Behind Bars
Cookie went back to prison. Well, okay, not really, but in lieu of her canceled Cookie’s Cookout, she decided to stage a prison concert at her old stomping grounds. While there, she runs into her prison bestie, Jezzy (Da Brat), who accuses her of losing touch with her friends. She points to Cookie hosting a “Free Luscious,” concert when Luscious was incarcerated, but failing to recognize the thousands of women who are behind bars. Fair ‘nuff.
However, Cookie is not exempt from the Empire drama. On the day that that the board vote is scheduled to determine Luscious’ future, she trusts Hakeem with her vote, telling him “Empire is our legacy.”
Welp. You see how well that turned out.
Jamal Comes Out (Again)
When we left off, Jamal had just tied a nice little bow on his sort-of relationship with Skye (Alicia Keys). Their little tryst had been ongoing for a few episodes, much to Luscious’ delight, but Jamal finally told her that despite their hook-ups, he was still gay.
One more little thing: Remember how Luscious was nominated for an ASA? So was Jamal. For the same category. To say that their relationship will be explosive in the second part of this season is an understatement.
Rhonda? You alright?
Finally, an unlikely—and ultimately treacherous—friendship emerged between Anika and Rhonda, who is preggers. In the beginning, Anika is fully supportive of Rhonda’s pregnancy, but quickly becomes uneasy… and psychotic… when she realizes that Rhonda, not her, is carrying the heir to the Empire throne.
At the end of the final episode, we see a shadowy figure break into Rhonda’s home and push her down the stairs, and we can’t help but assume that Anika is to blame. Sheesh.
What do you think the second half of this season has in store?