After a 119-day hiatus, America’s most-watched Wednesday night drama is back! Before we jump into the Lyon family’s latest trail of seduction and backstabbing, here’s a quick recap of things from the ghost of Empire‘s past to remind you exactly where things left off a few months back.
Rhonda and Andre are expecting their first child – and the first [grand] heir to the Empire. Anika is pregnant with Hakeem’s baby, but she hasn’t had the nerve to come clean about being with child since Keem moved on from his one night stand with her and into the arms of his artist, and now first love, Laura. Anika’s fueled with jealousy, and breaks into Rhonda’s house and pushes her – and the baby – down the stairs. Jamal had an overnight fling with Skye Summers, (Alicia Keys), and Lucious knows all the sultry details. Unfortunately, sleeping with women nicks Jamal’s credibility as a spokesman for the gay community. Mimi Whiteman records a private conversation between herself and Lucious with a pen, and catches him off guard when she calls an emergency board meeting and votes him out of Empire with the help of his own son (Hakeem). Camila Marks, Hakeem’s much older ex, secretly married Mimi in a plot to take over Empire after Lucious banished her across the pond. Thus, Mimi names Camila the new CEO of Empire.
The Empire mid-season premiere opens with Thirsty, Andre and Lucious breaking into Lucious’s former office. While the former king of the Empire is ready to out with guns blazing, Rhonda is still laying in the middle of the floor covered in blood in her pink silk pajamas. She whispers for help, but that doesn’t go very far, so for the first time Rhonda decides to pray.
“Oh God, please, save the baby. I don’t care what happens to me. I can die a thousand times, just please not my baby.” And just then, heaven’s light miraculously shines down – or the moonlight shone through the glass doors (however you want to look at it) – and Rhonda sees her house alarm is armed again. She reaches for now cracked and non-working phone, and throws it glass doors to signal for help. Thank God for technology! Next thing Rhonda knows, she’s waking up in the hospital with Lucious, Cookie and Jamal present. Hakeem eventually shows up, but Cookie lets him know he’s not wanted there. After you vote your own father out of a company he built, Hakeem couldn’t possibly think people would be happy to see him. Or maybe he would. Tragedy does seem to bring people together. Needless to say, Andre arrives at the hospital last, and loses it as he falls to the floor.
Magically, Anika catches wind of Rhonda’s accident, and goes to the hospital to pay her respect. Lucious’s former leading lady asks Rhonda what happened, but to her benefit, Rhonda doesn’t remember a thing, which mean Boo Boo Kitty’s off the hook, for now.
Although Rhonda’s in the hospital, Cookie hasn’t forgotten there’s business to be handled. Cookie’s old school. Even if family stabs you in the back, family always protects family. So when Hakeem eagerly cast his board member vote against his father, the lyoness took things personal. After sitting in the dark waiting for Hakeem to come home, Cookie turns into a momma gone wild as she starts beating him with a broom and a landline telephone.
Lucious is ready to take out everybody, and finds himself in a closet loading an unlimited number of rounds into a gun that can’t actually hold as many rounds as he would like to believe. But leave it to Cookie to walk in and let him know she has a better, more sane idea. He gives her 48 hours to get it together.
The Lyons’ HBIC confronts her youngest cub, but it seems he really doesn’t have much to say.
Meanwhile, Lucious hires a recently released crew of thugs to do whatever is needed to take down every possible CEO contender looking to run Empire under Camila. He even motivates them with a little speech.
“The truth is we’re at war. The Empire is at stake, and you can’t be afraid to do whatever you gotta do to secure the Empire – whatever’s necessary to bring back a victory.”
To no surprise, Hakeem wants to be CEO, and Camila promises to get him there if drops his “Mexican girlfriend,” Laura. The only problem is, Keem thinks he really loves her. So which is more important, the woman or the title? Well, he embarrasses her in front of her group, calls her a bitch and then calls her lazy. So when it’s all said and done, he didn’t have to end with her because she chose to walk on her own.
Side note, Jamal Lyons’ Pepsi just commercial officially aired in real life. Who knew TV characters could do commercials? Apparently FOX!
Through all the controversy with Skye Summers, Jamal addresses the relativity of sexuality in a conversation with his mother because word has gotten out that he had sex with a woman. “Sexuality is fluid…Sometimes sex happens…Just because I’ve had sex with two women in my entire life doesn’t mean I’m straight or bi[-sexual] or anything.” Cookie tells Jamal he needs to get his head in the game and get his “gay” back so he can win this ASA award.
Another side note, has anyone noticed that Jamal is the only one guaranteed to premiere news hits every episode?
Before the episode could wrap, Rhonda came home from the hospital, but refuses to sleep upstairs. Hakeem makes up with Laura, and tells her he had to break things off to get the Empire. Cookie makes Hakeem an offer so that Empire can release Jamal’s album, and he doesn’t refuse. And Lucious tells Hakeem to kill him because if he doesn’t the next time he sees his son he will do it to him. “Watch your back baby boy. I keep my promises.”
Stay tuned for next week’s episode … coming soon!