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Empire – S2E1 – The Devils Are Here

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. 

Empire Season Two Cast

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.

Empire S2E1 Cookie and Mimi

Images: FOX

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.

Other Goings-On: 

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.

Empire S2E1 - Frank and Lucious

Health check-up: 

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.

Empire S2E1 - Cookie in a cage

Why did the prosecutor have her titties out in jail?

Best Cameo: 

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. 

Empire S2E1 - Cookie, Porsha, and 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.”

Empire S2E1 - Cookie and Lucious

About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

14 Comments on Empire – S2E1 – The Devils Are Here

  1. Can we talk about Hakeems hoverboad!? He needs to be on that all the time! But overall as a premiere, I thought the it was good, not great. What really ruined it for me was Chris Rock. I just can’t take the man seriously as someone intimidating. In the back of my mine, I’m always picturing him in Pootie Tang or the guy who says “Good lawd that’s a lot of money”. That’s all I got, I love everything you guys do!

  2. I noticed amongst my Twitter and Facebook friends, a lot of had the same reactions to the premiere: what’s up with all these cameos, why is Hakeem still so HAKEEM?, Chris Rock as a scary bad guy?; pardon me while I laugh my ass off!

    I feel like it was okay episode, but like Mimi said, they were trying too hard. Speaking of Mimi, I thought for sure a threesome with her, Cookie, and Anika was gonna pop off. That would have been better than seeing Don Lemon. 😒

    Jamal ain’t shit and I don’t like it. It’s one thing for him to be mad at everybody for “betraying” Lucious, but the way he was treating Michael and his assistant. That is not a cute look. And who knew Miss Lawrence had pipes?? Werk, hunty!

    My tweet said it best: Lucious is a fucking Lannister. I hate that guy. HATE. Why is he still alive?

    Can’t wait to hear what you all thought.

  3. I agree it was a good premiere. Coulda been great they just tried to do too much. Too many special guests, ran thru scenes and plot lines at a break neck pace etc. And not enough songs. But I did love the one liners and zingers. Mrs Clarence Thomas haha haaaaaaaaaa. Bill Clinton is here. He better be if he wants his wife elected. Zing. The show was so much fun. Shout out to Sylvester 😉

  4. I had trouble believing Chris Rock as this all powerful gangster. It wasn’t his acting. He’s just so little.

    Love me some Cookie but wtf did they have her in a freakin gorilla suit in a cage? Really. Was that necessary?

    Love Al Sharpton’s cameo tho. That was hilarious! But I had no idea who the dudes were at the beginning. I never really look at Swiss Beats and I still don’t know who that other dude was.

    So what happened to my sweet Jamal? How he gonna turn on the fam like that? And do you think he let his aunt Carol and and the kids stay the night?

    As always, Cookie and Boo Boo Kitty are hilarious together! And Mimi had me dying telling that waitress she was trying too hard.

    So Lucious is the devil and runs everything. No surprise there. But it was really smooth how he handled gangster Chris Rock. I do love the love/hate thing he & Cookie got going on. Do you think he would ever physically harm her?

    Trying to keep this short. Can’t wait to hear the podcast! Empire is a mess but it’s a fun mess.

  5. I’m really not here for this new Jamal, but, I really did enjoy the goofy team of misfits trying to do the hostile takeover. Hey, have you ever heard of a hostile takeover? You have? Cool. I digress, they work well together trying to get Lucious but I can’t help but think it would make more sense if they were fighting Hakeem. Cookie is coming off greedy trying to say she’s saving the company for the kids. Lucious is locked up at the moment, Jamal is more than capable. So say you’re trying to save JAMAL. Because he can do the CEO job. Or just flat out admit you just want the company.

  6. This episode was all over the place, but what it lacked in structure, it made up for with humor. I appreciated all the low key shade.

    I was not here for that Free Lucious concert, at all. He’s in there on murder charges and they’re treating him like he’s Nelson Mandela. There’s no way Bill Clinton would show up for that. Cookie’s caged gorilla entrance was so unnecessary. They have so much budget this season that they let it go to their heads.

    There were about 10 too many cameos. The shady Don Lemon appearance was hilarious though. Where the hell did they even find Petey Pablo? Ricky’s momma from Boyz in the Hood came through, still looking good, to be the punching bad for Lee Daniel’s women issues.

    Why is Anika still around after everything that went down? Does she know where all the bodies are or something? I think Hakeem is still smashing. I love how Cookie pimped her out though.

    Sidenote: The hoodrat in me is rejoicing at the fact that they have the budget to get music licenses. Flick of the Wrist and Bobby Shmurda?!? Yaaaasss!

  7. WTF was with that Gorilla Suit?
    Jamal was look all types of good with that beard and so was Dre
    Hakeem and Jussie are still having album wars; and Hakeem basically was screaming at the top of his lungs “I’m the captain now” to get Jamal to respect him.
    Boo Boo kitty couldn’t dyke right and they made sure to zoom in on her ass as she was dancing. But I liked her nonetheless. Marisa can’t dance.
    Marissa don’t you ever dance again as long as you live
    Baby wipes aint shit
    Jamal closed the door on Cookie all slow and I couldn’t breathe because after she smacked the shit out of him all she did was back up out the door.
    Chris Rock had me laughing. This was his best comedic part I have ever seen because Steve Wonder could see how terrible he was. I couldn’t breathe anytime he on the screen because he seem like he was struggling to say his lines while trying to act hard.
    Overall, I loved it and I am here for all of the ratchetness

  8. Welcome back my beloved empire, and yes I enjoyed all the ratchetness that ensued!! Let’s get to a few of my highlights!!

    1. I love Dwight couldn’t help but let his light skinnedness show!! He can’t but be in love with that cookie!! Say it with me ” THE NOOTSIE IS UNDEFEATED.” I will say I didn’t buy Chris Rock initially as a mob boss, but he delivered in that last scene!!

    2. Next is the hostile takeover!! What a waste of time, I really wanted to see where this goes after they were screaming all episode HEY THIS LADY IS A LESBIAN!!! Also disappointing is finding out 💩💩 kitty is whack in bed? I thought after she started to shakin dem cakes its a done deal!!

    3. Is Jamal!! Y dey do dis?!?! I mean first he back with Dora! Then when he tries to be hard, he turns into red and cries in da car!!
    I don’t like it and we all know he gon try hard to be bad and fail miserably and get saved by his family!!

    That’s all I got can’t wait to hear the podcast!! Oh and shouts out to Rhonda on callin out Andre on his softness, you know he probably gave up all the tea! Ain’t no way I’m tellin my secrets to another ninja! God already kno, the pastor just nosey( I’m a Christian so it’s ok)

  9. All this rachetness I love it! I loved the premier and while it had a ton going on I think it sets up the rest of the season well. I just wanted to add another “slap Hakeem” moment when he came rolling into the board room on that skateboard. Also, I wish Cookie would’ve slapped Don Lemon….but that’s cause I’m petty. Can’t wait for the recap and the discussions within the podcast fandom group.

  10. 1.ummm where did Michael come from? 2. Anika, you call that twerking? I can twerk better than that. 3. Lil bow wow could have played a more menacing villain then Chris rock. 3. HEEEEEY JAMAL. Well excuuuuse me, who knew Ms. Lawrence had a voice like that. And I can’t remember the last gay club I went 2 were they didn’t play Sylvesters you make me feel (mighty real) That’s my jam.

  11. Before I jump into the episode, since this is my first episode comment ever, I just wanted to say “thank-you.” Thank you, for your amazingness. I came to project fandom because of my buddy, Ellen. She told me she was invited to podcast AHS episodes but because AHS unevenness pissed me off so much AND Season 3 was just ok for me AND I never bothered finishing season 4, I never really checked y’all out. Then she told me that PF started podcasting my favorite new show of last season, “Empire.” That’s when I earnestly started listening and that’s when you gave me LIFE! Since then, Podcast Fandom twisted my arm and I started watching “The Flash” and “Humans” and I may now pick-up “The Leftovers.” I loved hate watching “Scandal” with Nina. I even went back to listen to the AHS podcasts for the episodes I missed last season. And because I love you all so much, I even listened to the podcast to “Wayward Pines,” a show that I wasn’t even watching. Nina, you are a goddess. Thank you for all you do. Your “Empire” makes me happy. I wish I watched more of the shows you podcast because I do adore John, Ellen, Donny and Mo. Rock on, y’all, rock on! Sorry that was longer than I meant it to be but praise be flowing and can’t be stopped.

    So onto the episode. Yay, season 2 premiere. There was some crazy in this episode.

    That opening rally scene cracked me up! That looked really fun to shoot. #LuciousLifeMatters.

    Because I’m old and because not up-to-date on all things hip hop, all the cameos really distracted me and took me out of the flow. Although I didn’t know who anyone was, I knew they were somebody. And then it pissed me off that I didn’t know who that somebody was. And then it pissed me off that they were even there. Like I said, took me out of the flow.

    Speaking of flow, sigh, do I truly love me some Jamal. His voice is YUM! I seriously have crazy person visions of him and me totally being besties and discussing the trials and tribulations of being a queer person of color. We would go to Broadway shows together and have gay brunch every Sunday.

    Speaking of gay, how the hell did Lucious know that My Cousin Vinny was a lesbian? Just because she and Cookie were whispering in each other’s ear? Is that all it takes? Now that he’s in jail, his gaydar must be all tuned up. Shit.

    Speaking of gay, part 2, what the what with the ghetto fabulous dyke par-tay. If I had 250 million dollars do I get an invite?

    Speaking of gay, part 3, when Cookie told Boo Boo Kitty that she can’t even dyke right, the wife and I just fell off the couch. So fucking funny. Love me some Cookie/Anika banter.

    All the pop culture references were awesome. I know there were more but “why you crying like Tammy Fae Baker” and “why do you look like Mr T” both had me rolling.

    And I giggled every time Cookie calling one of her sons “boy;” it made me think of Foghorn Leghorn. I say, I say, boy…

    And what was up with Cookie calling Lucious a tampon? It that a legit insult now? Am I truly THAT old? Anyway it made me think of Prince Charles.

    Overall, I really liked the episode. It was a fun start to the season. And it set up a few interesting arcs. Is Mimi really sticking around? She could be an interesting addition. I am looking forward to how Andre is going to deal with killing Vernon. I am interested to find out how Lucious manages to get out of jail. I want to see more of Jamal’s journey out of the closet because he seems to have some internalized homophobia going on. Clearly he and I need to grab brunch and then see the matinee of “Wicked.”

    So looking forward to hearing the podcast and what you, John, Ellen and other listeners thought of the first episode. Yay, new season.

    Sorry again for this being so long.


    • I am so bummed that I’m JUST seeing this! It didn’t show up on Facebook and with the new site, I thought I no longer had to check both places for feedback. Ugh. I’m totally going to read this at the top of next week’s podcast. <3

  12. Ah ha! I’m supposed to leave my comment here. Got it. Now I know! Yay!

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