Since the show began, there has been non stop drama, a war waging between the Lyons and the rightful owners of the company, the beautiful R&B soul music they produce, and the fight with the law, but last season set a new high for the shows standards.
From the battle between Father and sons, (Lucious, Andre, Jamal and Hakeem) to the build of Cookie's New label, Lyon Dynasty, to Andre's demons lurking dangerously close to the surface, the battle had began yet again...
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. IF you are not caught up on the previous season, stop here...
We began the season with the Free Lucious Campaign hosted by Cookie that's broadcasted nationwide. We see many aspiring artists as well as some already known artists. Then, we find Lucious in Jail. He's the man of the house, of course, but who does he meet up with? His old buddy Frank Gathers.
When he meets up with the prosecuting attorney about a plea deal, he declines, she gets mad and leaves. Then, we meet up with Frank Gathers and his daughter, Freda Gatz. She raps for her dad and Lucious walks in . impressed, he signs Freda to Empire's label. But its after that that he finds out Frank has beef with Cookie and he had a hit out on Cookie so he sets him straight... he kills Frank or rather his guys do.
Jamal comes by for a visit later on to give Lucious an update on everything to do with business and the campaign to break free. Then Lucious asked about the Lesbian bitch... Jamal has no answer but of course, the man knows who she is.
Later on, Jamal visits Lucious again to talk about Hakeem's return to the label and a song that he's been working on since he's been inside. Then, a lawyer by the name of Thirsty Rawlings butts in about Lucious' case and how he can help him. Jamal says no but Lucious wants to know if he can do any better.
Later in the episode, we see Lucious doing what he does, making music. With guards on his side and the tools he needs, he lays down his track "Snitch Bitch". If you ask me, the track is badass!
Back at home, EMPIRE was being run by a power duo of Son Andrea and the Lady Lyon herself, Cookie Lyon. Hakeem took over some of the artists including Tiana Brown. While those two had a fling, we all know would never last. He's taking it upon himself to find a new sound. So he looks for New artists.
Lastly we get to Andre. He goes to visit Lucious and to try to bond but he isn't having it. The man has tried over and over again to get his 'pop' to listen to him, to make him understand his worth, but Lucious just won't have it. This is when we start to see flashbacks of a young boy with his mother. Then we come back to an irate Lucious and a confused Andre.
The Court Case
As Lucious Lyon eagerly awaits his verdict, the prosecuting attorney throws blows Lucious' way left and right. But the ridiculously late Thristy finally arrives with the "New evidence". And, with that, Lucious is a free man.
He walked out of the court house a happy man.
After Lucious gets all cleaned up, he holds a conference outside the Empire building to announce his devotion to the music. (To the Empire)
Later that night, the Lyons have a 'family dinner' to celebrate Lucious' return . Not all goes to as planned. But does it ever really with this family? They chat, drink and eat as a family while fire burns throughout All of them. They hall have their problems with Lucious. But they're all still family.
Cookie, Hakeem and Anika split for Lyon Dynasty, leaving Jamal and Lucious at Empire. Though they still have their battles, Jamal and Lucious seem like they're perfect partners... for now.
While one son is on his side for the time being, the other is on Cookie's side. But one still resides in the middle. Andre. He tries all he can to get back into the business with his father but Lucious still denies his son the spot he believes is rightfully his. He tells him the only way he will be able to get back in with him is to bring something big. Andre has an idea...
While Cookie and Hakeem work on their new label, Lucious wants in. How Does he do it? Take Hakeem's New sound to build his Empire even higher. But that damn defense attorney still lingers behind, antagonizing Lucious with bogus deals and black mail. So when he declines, what does she do? She sends the FBI in to his office for a surprise raid of EVERYTHING. Lucious had yet to arrive that day but luckily Jamal was there to intervene and to ask what the hell the FBI was doing in his office. There answer? "we have a warrant." That's always their answer, isn't it?
Back At Dynasty
Ankia, Cookie Hakeem and the others are busy setting everything up at the New office, straightening account documents and talking about the no-trust Cookie has for Anika. Hakeem wants Cookie to trust her but she won't trust anyone any more. Especially knowing Ankia and Lucious' history. So she basically tells him to do what he does. Find more music. Then Ankia shows the raid on her phone only for them to get raided too...
Lucious Has A Plan...
After an unexpected surprise from the FBI at Empire, the Prosecutor Attorney, lovely Miss Roxanne Ford makes yet another unexpected surprise visit to Lucious' home. Luckily Thirsty is there to warn Lucious of the unexpected visit #1 and 2. What does Lucious do? Give her a welcome she won't forget for a long while...
Though Empire's Legal Attorney Mimi Whiteman and Jamal want to postpone curtain events to protect Empire and to get back on the right track, Lucious believes other. His solution? Business as usual. So that's what they should do.
"The future is very uncertain." Mimi tells every one at the board meeting
"And that is exactly why we will continue to expand immediately," Lucious says butting in at the meeting.
"Dad, no, you know you aren't even supposed to be here," Jamal tries but gets shut down.
"The Fed's wanted to play dirty, they took off the gloves this morning. Well it's game time bitches. The reason they are raiding us is because they got nothing. Otherwise they wouldn't be shaking us down."
His speech continues for a moment, bantering tween Mimi before he finally say this; "Hip-hop wasn't born on Walstreet, MRS Whiteman, where I come from, the cops raid your house, that makes you a 'G' but if the Fed's raid your house, that makes you an' O.G.' that gives us major street cred. That ghetto bass. Now the public will see we are so raw, so dangerous that even the FBI wants to shut us down. This isn't when we hide, this is when we roar!"
Later on, Thirsty, Cookie, Hakeem, Jamal, Andre, and Lucious meet up in the Lyon Lounge to talk about the case. Thirsty is curtain that Ford has no case, that she's just pulling from case after case to build upon with Lucious. But Lucious has his suspicions. He knows they're desperate. Thirsty tells them that in order to lay low, they need to remain a happy Lyon Family.
The Lyon Family will always ban together. No matter how many fights, no matter how much blood is spilt, they will always be Lyons.
Later on, Cookie goes to Lucious to make a deal; she'll produce the music video IF he leaves her artists alone. Lucious being Lucious simply smiles and declines her deal. He promises to leave her artists alone but he'll still be running Apex Radio Station.
Rhonda truly will do ANYTHING for her man. She is the real definition of "ride or die." She follows Andre to where Vernan is buried and tells him that she's going to help. If he goes down then so does she. (Well, she is the one who killed him in season 1).
So they go to dig him up but can't find the body. He doesn't remember where he put the markings in the tree. Then... headlights. Thinking they're caught, they give themselves up but who gets out of the car? Lucious and Thirsty. With Thirsty's handy clothes detector, they find him, dig him up and put him in the trunk of Thirsty's car. Andre apologizes then Lucious says his goodbye, "you will rot in hell you snitch." he slams the trunk close, turns to Andrea and says "Welcome back to the Empire."
When Prosecutor Roxanne Ford goes to get in her vehicle, she is greeted by an. "Unexpected Guest," Vernan's body.
When Lucious gets the news that his murder case his been dropped, he holds a press conference hosted by CNN about the New Developments and how happy he is that he was proven innocent. Then he goes to meet Andre inside for his 'Welcome Back" party. Strippers, lap dances, liquor and a stripper pole... and Andre doesn't want any art of it.He's a new man. A God fearing man. But Lucious isn't accepting that... Lucious later promotes Adre to President of Gutter Records.
While Lucious is away, Andre finds Thirsty snooping around in Lucious' office, drinking his bourbon. Andrea asks Thirsty what he's doing in his dad's office. Thirsty tells him his dad asked him to take care of a few things. Then he says to Andrea " I'm replacing Vernan, " Andrea fires back and says that nobody can replace Vernan. ThIrsty agrees. Shuffling around the office, ThIrsty tells Andre that he's in charge of getting the copies of Lyon Dynasty's music. Like the man he is, Andrea says, "No, I'm not. I'd never do anything to hurt my mother. And in the future, he can come to me directly about our family affairs." Thirsty replies "Right, Right. Now I'd appreciate it if this conversation stayed between us." Andre's reply; "I'd appreciate it if you set that glass on the table. Leave my father's office, and don't return until he gets back." Thirsty left the office.
Cookie and Hakeem are promoting Jamal's New video when they hear a crash in the back room, Cookie goes to investigate only to find two thugs ransacking the back office. She notices that sees they're taking the surveillance camera tapes. Odd... they draw on Cookie but then Cookie pulls a gun herself and cold cocks one in the mouth, puts it to his head and demands to know who sent them there. "Thirsty! Thirsty!" She just nods and they leave.
Andre decides that he wants to get baptized. He wants Lucious there but Lucious declines. But at the baptism, Lucious finally shows, everyone is staring in disbelief that the "devil himself" actually showed.
Lucious stayed for Andre's baptism but suffered from horrendous flashbacks of his mother attempting to baptize him but it seemed almost like she was trying to drown him. As soon as the pastor was done, Lucious bolted out of the church, leaving everyone wondering what happened...
When Hakeem goes for a jog to clear his head, he's kidnapped from the park he was running though. Cookie tries multiple times for Hakeem to answer his phone but he doesn't pick up for obvious reasons. Then she gets this mysterious face time from Hakeem. He's tied up, his mouth taped, he can't speak. Cookie automatically assumed it was Lucious and told him to knock it off. Well When she goes to visit Lucious to tell him in person to knock that mess off, she finds out he's been captured for real. They want $40,000 for Hakeem.
Sometime during the struggle Hakeem was able to shake his mask off and managed to see their branded backs...
At the drop sight, they find no Hakeem, just an empty van. They yank the driver out and demand to know what happened to Hakeem. Turns out Hakeem paid him $1,000 to drop somewhere... Anika's. Foolishly, he makes the decision to sleep with her after his kidnapping. Bad decision.
After having a superheated meeting with Lucious about her security, Cookie decided to hire New security... the men who happened to kidnap Hakeem. So when Hakeem found out, he pulled a gun and asked them "Who's the bitch now, huh?" Cookie begs Hakeem to put the gun down but when he does, she aims it at them, rocking the hammer back and they all back down.
Sleeping With The Enemy
After the whole ordeal was settled with Hakeem, the security was a go but Cookie... Cookie is sleeping with the head man of the group. Lax
Lucious has busied himself with meeting music Mogal Jago, wanting to make a deal with him and his company for a music streaming deal. He plays his and Freda's track "Boom Boom Boom Boom" Jago likes the track, tells Lucious that he's onto something but he needs to dig deeper.
'Lucious has another flashback. He's burying revolver bullets. '
Andre is sitting on a stool, reliving the moment that he most took his life in his father's recording studio. But his pastor is there. Asking him why they're . Andre confesses that's where he tried to commit suicide because of his father. His pastor tells him that he needs to find those roots of why his father has tried to bring him to this ungodly place of sin. Andre asks what he can do to help him through this task his father has laid before him. The pastor simply says "Sometimes, even warriors have to do things on the battle field that are... repugnant. But you do what you have to accomplish your task."
Lucious, Jamal, Mimi and others have a party at Leviticus to celebrate the signing of Freda Gatz. Lucious and Mimi get drunk and make their way back to Lucious' with a lady guest. But what Lucious sees on the girl's inner thigh makes him come to that deep spot Jago was referring to. So he calls up Freda and they lay out a badass version of "Boom Boom Boom Boom" with the revolver his mother attempted suicide through Russian Roulette as a sound effect.
The Battle For The Lyon Name...
After Lucious' drunken epiphany, he tells Freda that he feels more connected to her than his own kids, and Freda being the way she is, calls Hakeem out "I'm the son that your daddy always wanted. Daddy's little girl, you're just daddy's little girl." Hakeem isn't just gonna stand by so he puts a video out there that if she wants the Lyon name so bad, she'll have to battle for it. And in the background, Luciousnd and Cookie decide to lay a bet; so "when" Hakeem wins, Lyon Dynasty gets to drop Jamal's next album. If Freda wins, Empire gets Hakeem's project.
Hakeem meets up with his brother, Jamal for some brotherly love. But he gives Hakeem some nedded advise. He reminds Hakeem not to stoop to Freda's level, that he's a performer so give them a show. And that, he does.
Freda takes the first round but Hakeem smashes her (metaphorically speaking) and then changes it up... he tells her if she wants the Lyon name, she can have it. He's dropping his last name and will be only Hakeem.
Ankia is seen with a butcher knife and a pregnancy test, but why? Is she going to commit suicide? The test reveals that she is indeed pregnant. But by who? Is it Hakeem's, Lucious' or someone else's? She decides to pay him visit and tell him that she's pregnant but when she arrives at hos place, he tells her that he's in love (with Laura) and she drops the subject and leaves.
Who's The Real Liar?
After the epic rap battle domination of Hakeem, he has been getting a lot of New attention, so he hosts a concert, Cookout, which sold out.
Anika has become obsessed with Hakeem's New grl, intently fixed upon a live stream video with Hakeem and Laura while eating ice cream surrounded by photos of Laura with the word "lies" written on them.
After Lucious finds out Rhonda is pregnant, Lucious buys Andre and Rhonda a mini mansion for his heir, his already cherished grandson. They have a needed tender father son moment and tells Andre that never has he been prouder of him (Andre).
Rhonda gets an unexpected visit by Ankia and confides in her that she's pregnant by a musician.
Jamal gets the Pepsi commercial and announces he'll be working with Sky Summers (played by Alicia Keys) which he fangirls over. When they're at Jamal's rehearsing a along called "Powerfull" Jamal overheard her singing the song by herself. She confesses to Jamal that if she sang the song herself, her fans would turn on her. He turns it into a duet. When they're done singing, they kiss!
Who's The Boss, Now?
Jamal receives word that he's been nominated at the American Sound Awards while Hakeem was denied a nomination for rapper of the year. However, Freda is the nominee choice over Hakeem. Suurprised and upset, Hakeem storms out of the room.
Lucious has been working on a project with SwiftStream which is his baby. He's all set to make the announcement that revitalized his promise of his Legacy. He invites Mimi on stage which happened to be a big mistake because a he has been working on removing Lucious from controlling power of Empire.
Do you remember Camilla? Guess what, she's Mimi's wife... and she pays Hakeem a visit. She ssausage she can promise she can take him to a "new level"
While Lucious is Away, The Trouble will Play...
Attempting all they can, Lucious' trusted sidekicks, Andre and Thirsty attempt to bribe members of the board to keep Lucious in power of Empire. Andre tells Hakeem and Cookie what Mimi is trying to do and Cookie won't stand for it.
"Lyon Dynasty is our company, Empire is our Legacy." Cookie says.
But Camilla had gotten under Hakeem's skin and he voted his father out of controlling power of Empire, just committing the biggest backstab of the season. In a fit of rage, Lucious shoots some of his possessions.
"Watch Your Back, Baby Boy."
As Hakeem temporarily dethroned Lucious from Empire, he took both the title of youngest CEO of Empire and Lucious' biggest enemy. Lucious vowed to kill Hakeem next time they crossed paths. But his first day isn't going so well, butting heads with Camilla.
Rhonda survived the horrific fall she took but the unborn child did not and a devastated Andre Paris for God to help but Rhonda renounced any religion she had because her prayer went unanswered. (Even if she had to die 1,000 let the child live.) When her Andre returned from the hospital, she seemed to experience a flash of memory that indicated her tumble was more ththan a simple slip and fall. When she looked towards the door, she was met with the memoring image of a red sole'd high heeled shoe.
Things Are Never Exactly As We SeeThem To Be.
Hakeem held a press conference to announce himself as Empire's New CEO and to list the family roles within Empire. He handles himself very professionally by not throwing Lucious under the bus but he didn't mention his role within empire either. A reporter that would later report back to Lucious asked about him (Lucious) and Hakeem didn't dignify an answer.
Cookie and Hakeem are putting a plan together to take Camilla and Mimi down. Hakeem figures the best way to get Camilla to admit to her skeletons is to get it on tape. But he is smart enough to know she won't admit it through conversation so he desides to sleep with her, and she admits that she wants Mimi to die faster while Hakeem and her are doing the nasty. Then, Hakeem sends it to Mimi. Mimi does something completely unexpected by Camilla. She sells off her Empire Trades. Camilla loses her mind quite literally. When Lucious desided to pay her a visit, he walked in on Camilla staging Mimi's "suicide". Lucious pulls a gun on Camilla but he desides that she needs to "off" herself. So he makes her chug a vile of poison.
After things settle at Empire, things start to come to everyone. Jamal is laying down power house is, wanting Freda in on one, Hakeem is on tour with Tiana and Hakeem proposes to Laura. And dispute their feud, Lucious surprises Cookie with a birthday bash with her kids where she surprises Lucious with a rough cut of his music video highlighting his childhood trauma. But then Andre flips out about his mother having bipolar disorder.
Rhonda calls Anika to come pick her up from the house. She comes to Her aid.
No matter how bad things may seem, Cookie and Lucious will always love each other. No matter what situation, what circumstances, they be will always be Lyons.
Shortly After Rhonda arrives home at her temporary home, (Anika's Brooklyn apartment) she has a heart-to-heart with Andre about them moving back home but it's interrupted by a bout of morning sickness from Anika. Anika quickly confesses that it's Hakeem's and Empire has a new heir. Immediatly, they take her to Lucious, Hakeem and Cookie. Cookie goes off, as she should, striking Hakeem. And Lucious Anika how much she wants once the child is born to go away. Anika says what she wants is priceless. There is no making it go away.
Later Lucious pays Anika a visit, offering her $10 million dollars to disappear once the child is born. Once again, she refuses, so Lucious makes a threat "I would be very careful. A lot of women don't survive childbirth.
Hakeem, Andre and Cookie a're gearing up for Empire's shareholders meeting. The shareholders want Lucious back in command. And Lucious wants his Empire back. Evidently, Hakeem has to share the throne with his dad -but only for a day before Lucious has full control of his company. (The board votes Hakeem out of power).
After receiving word about his boot from the company, Hakeem rents out an entire strip club. Laura's gets flooded with messages and video of Hakeem partying. The following day, she goes to check on him and he breaks he news about his and Anika's child which leads to a slap by Laura. Later on, she gives Hakeem The ring back.
Cookie was on her way to pay Boo Boo Kitty a visit when she saw Anika being carted out of her apartment into an ambulance. Cookie jumps into the back of the ambulance to calm her down. She succeeds.
When they get word that Anika is in the hospital., Hakeem and Lucious rush right over. Even Laura shows up to support Hakeem in this time of need. When Laura hears Lucious saying Hakeem is turning into a man he respects, she seems to have a change of heart.
After a whirlwind of back to back stress, Andre Gets a moment of freedom. Or so he thought. The reporter that was insistent on an exclusive with Lucious Lyon approaches Andre with photos of his grandmother, Leah Mary Walker, in a mental physicality. So Andre wants to know if Lucious "came clean " about his past, was what he said the truth?
. After the reporter told Andrea about Leah Walker, he went for a visit. She had no idea who he was at first but he took her through the doors of Leviticus and she knew exactly who he was. Caught in a web of his lies, Lucious is shellshocked upon the sight of his mother. It was like he was seeing a ghost. Andre explains to the family how Lucious paid the home hush money for 21 years to keep her quiet.
Surprisingly instead of lashing out like he normally does, Lucious simply replies " You have no idea what you've done... none d you understand how dangerous she really is. " He leaves it at that.
Lucious confesses to Cookie the truth about his mother. Everything was the truth apart from his mother having bullets. That was the only lie.
Some time during the night, Leah Walker was brought to Lucious' by Andre. she's thought of as an old frail woman but after all, she is Lucious' mother...
While Anika and Rhonda are setting up a nursery, Rhonda experiences a flashback. when Anika places a hand on the small of her back, the person she sees in her mind is Anika. She now knows Anika was responsible for fall and the loss of her child.
"No Matter What Happens , I'm Still Your Father, You're Still My First Love And You're Still My Kids."
It's the day of the ASA's and EVERYONE was there. The best of the best are there, the most stunning and the best dressed. And then there was Carol. Essentially, Cookie called her a cheap whore in the dress she wore for The ASA'S and had her escorted out.
The whole Lyon Family was walking the red carpet, stunning as usual. But it's when Freda meets up a very intoxicated Carol that Lucious felt guilty for what he did to her daddy, and Freda being smart, put two and two together and figured out she (Carol) meant Lucious killed him. So what does she do? She pulls a gun and fires at Lucious. But Jamal takes the bullet.
Freda was arrested on the spot, and Jamal was rushed to the hospital for an emergency surgery. He makes it through and they welcome him home three weeks later.
Jamal's views have changed though. Things are different for him. Good and bad.
Later at a business meeting, Hakeem busted into the board room saying there was am emergency. He escorted Lucious and Cookie to the top floor where Lucious' office is. What do they ? Anika sitting on the edge. She says that she'd rather die than testify against Lucious. But Cookie manages to talk her down from the ledge.
The Wedding Day
Laura and Hakeem were all set to be wed until an unexpected disturbance erupted. Old family friend Shine. As Laura was about to walk down the aisle, Anika was served by a cater waiter and all hell breaks loose. Laura and her parents walk in on the chaos with Anika and Shine's crew.
"What the hell is going ? " Asked Laura's Mother.
"This is exactly what I was talking about." Saysher Father all while Laura is crying under her veil. Laura calls the wedding off...
Lucious, Cookie, Hakeem, Thirsty, Jamal, Anika and Andre meet ,the back room. They discuss ways to save Anika from having to testify. The only way? Marriage. Cookie is PISSED but she tells her kids that she'll kid anything save her family. Ankia and Lucious wed.
As they walk down he aisle together, Lucious tells her knows she pushed Rhonda. Anika dismisses herself.
As the night settles, Anika is getting some fresh air at the top of the hotel they're staying in. Rhonda suddenly appears and strikes Anika. They fight back and forth before Andre shows up. Then, someone (or both) go over and it cuts to black...
There are still SO manquestions left unanswered, who went over? Who didn't? Will Empire ever be the same? What will be of Empire in general? How will the Lyon family recover from this tragedy? Will Hakeem and Laura get back together? Will they consider marriage? Wednesday cannot get here any sooner!
Tune in this Wednesday for the season 3 premiere at 9p.m.
-Editor, Joeleen Gatlin