Previously on Empire
Shame on me for not having a season one Empire marathon before the season two premiere. Not only did I not remember why Lucious is in jail, I wasn’t sure who put him there or who was on his side.
While Lucious has been rotting in jail for three months, Cookie works with Anika, Andre, and Hakeem to launch their hostile takeover of Empire Records. Even though this is a play against Jamal (acting CEO) as much as it is against Lucious, Cookie maintains this is about securing the company for all of her sons.
She woos the mega-rich Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei), hoping she’ll invest. But Mimi backstabs Cookie and crew and throws in with Jamal instead.
Meanwhile, the drug dealer Cookie ratted on last season (after spending 17 years in jail for him), Frank Gathers (Chris Rock), has been arrested and is transferred into the same prison where Lucious currently resides. All is cool with them until Cookie’s cousin (the dude she and her sister paid to kill Frank’s men in season one after she mistakenly thought Frank was after her) tells Frank that Cookie recently ratted him out. Frank threatens Cookie and her children so she has no choice but to visit Lucious in jail and ask for help.
Proving that he still has power, even behind bars, Lucious buys the favor of a group of men in prison and order them to murder Frank.
Andre has nightmares about murdering and burying his Uncle Vernon. Rhonda seems okay with it. She just hopes he hasn’t told his pastor. “Why would I tell my pastor?” Uh, how ’bout ’cause you spent four days in rehab and became born again.
Cookie’s best line:
“You can’t even dyke right.” – Cookie to Anika when she learns Mimi betrayed them even after Anika slept with her.
Number of times you wanted to slap Hakeem:
Just once. When Jamal rejects his new album cover art, Hakeem replies, “I’m telling Ma.”
Most triflin’ character:
Mimi. They went out of their way to drive home that Mimi is a super lesbian, making eyes at anything with a vagina. She had sex with Anika, knowing full well she was going to betray her later.
Runner-Up: Lucious. Before having Frank killed he tells him he’s going to sign Frank’s daughter to his record label and slip her “his bone.” Ugh.
Whatever disease Lucious had that wasn’t ALS seems to be under control. Rhonda’s pregnancy is healthy.
Who should jump the line for relationship counseling:
Jamal and Michael. They’re back together, but Jamal isn’t nearly as comfortable being out of the closet as he would have everyone believe.
Lee Daniels Extraness:
To kick off the Free Lucious concert, a gorilla in a cage is lowered onto the stage. It’s Cookie in the gorilla suit and props to Taraji P. Henson for delivering a rousing monologue about the false imprisonment of black men with a straight face.
Why did the prosecutor have her titties out in jail?
Al Sharpton refusing to get involved with the #FreeLucious campaign because word on the streets is that Lucious ain’t right on this one. You right, Al.
Come cool off under all this shade:
50 Cent had a lot to say about Empire and how he felt it was a ripoff of his show on STARZ, Power. Cookie refers to his trash talking and refers to him as “thirsty-ass.” Welp.
Best minor character moments:
Portia rushes Cookie’s sister off the phone by telling her, “I have to go boo-boo.”
Throwbacks to throwing Jamal in the trashcan:
Two: a brief flashback and Jamal brings it up to Cookie, who points out she’s the one who took him out of the trashcan.
Biggest LOL moment:
Lucious: “You were always ride or die.”
Cookie: “Save that for Anika. Or one of these little boys in here you messing around with.”