Six months have passed since that two-hour, drama-filled finale of Empire, so it’s natural that you might’ve forgotten a thing or two.
We’ll, we’ve got you covered.
Check out our handy refresher guide to get you all ready for tonight’s season premiere at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox. Study up!
The good news? Lucious doesn’t have ALS and isn’t going to die! The bad news? Pretty much everything else. After finding out that Cookie was dating Malcolm, Lucious’ head of security, Lucious frizzed her out of Empire and ticks her off royally. Lucious attempted to repair his frayed relationship with Hakeem (Hakeem still isn’t over Lucious sabotaging his relationship with his cougar, Camilla), which resulted in Hakeem calling him out, and Lucious punching him in the face. Lucious, suffering from songwriter’s block, asked Jamal to help him write new music. He was so impressed with his son’s talents and tenacity (more on that later) that he crowned him the new king of Empire. Lucious effectively isolated his entire family except for Jamal—Andre is upset that he wasn’t selected to take over the business and that Lucious hijacked his religious nurse, Michelle White—which meant that no one was terribly upset when he was arrested for Bunkie’s murder. He suspected that Cookie snitched on him.
After Lucious cut her out of the company, she decided not to go to Washington D.C. with Malcolm and instead stay in New York and fight for the company that she built. However, the plot heated up when Cookie stumbled upon Lucious in a (prescription) drug-induced stupor. In his haziness, he admitted that he killed Bunkie. Cookie began to smother him with a pillow, but stopped once Lucious grabbed her wrist. The following morning, Lucious watched the tapes and saw that Cookie tried to murder him (remember when Lucious bestowed pricey gifts upon his family, and to Cookie, he bestowed a pillow?). Cookie ended up forming an unlikely team with Hakeem, Andre and Anika to plot how they could swoop in and take over Empire. Her feelings for Lucious haven’t dissolved completely, though—when FBI agents questioned her about Lucious’ involvement in Bunkie’s murder, she shooed them away, saying she wasn’t their snitch anymore.
After Andre’s mental breakdown last season, his family made the difficult decision to check him into a mental hospital, where he began falling in love with his Christian nurse, Michelle White, who was conveniently an adamant believer in music therapy. After Lucious, with a new evil lease on life, sought out to ruin Andre and Michelle’s relationship, offering her a recording contract around the same time that Andre’s wife, Rhonda, told him that she was leaving him. Andre joined forces with the other scorned Lyon family members to seek revenge against Lucious. Lucious’ right-hand man, Vernon, got out of rehab and went to Andre’s house to apologize for betraying him. The two got into a fight, and a pregnant (surprise!) Rhonda hit Vernon over the head with a candlestick, killing him.
Jamal managed to do the impossible in the final episode: make amends with his father. After Jamal helped Lucious overcome his writer’s block, Lucious was impressed, but said that Jamal still needed to prove himself to inherit Empire. Cue the dark side of Jamal. After Lucious’ sworn enemy, Billy Beretti stole some of Lucious’ music, Jamal stormed over to Billy’s hotel and hung him over the balcony while demanding that he return his father’s music, unsurprisingly earning Lucious’ respect. Jamal completely turned on his mother once Lucious told him that she attempted to smother him. So when Lucious is arrested for Bunkie’s murder, Jamal automatically suspected his mother was behind it.
Hakeem’s relationship with Lucious seemed to be in disrepair, even after Lucious offered him an opportunity to perform on stage with Snoop Dogg and gave him a jet to use when he goes on tour. In an effort to betray Lucious like Lucious betrayed him, Hakeem sought out the scorned Anika (hooking up with her at Beretti’s party in the process, which Lucious sees while at the hotel with Jamal) to take over Empire Records. After Lucious was arrested, Hakeem was seen grinning with a pleased look on his face.
What do you think is in store for this season?