If nothing else, Empire surely kept to his spectacular plot lines and fantastical twists in the season two opener.
Lucious and the crew are definitely back and Lee Daniels left nothing to chance. I mean, there are lesbian orgies, sex deals, queens and hostile takeovers.
It opens up with a “Free Lucious” rally and special guests like Swizz Beatz encourage the crowd to make their voices known. Even Al Sharpton and Don Lemon join in the fun and play their real life roles to the max.
I feel what Daniels is trying to do here. Bringing awareness to what is going on with black men incarcerated epidemic. I just can’t get with some of the outrageousness. Like Cookie being lowered from a scaffold in a Gorilla suit. The purpose was evident but it just seemed… weird.
Marisa Tomei plays a rich businesswoman who has her eyes on more than just getting in bed with Empire. She plays Mimi, a lesbian billionaire that knows how to get what she wants and she plays the hell out of the role.
We see Lucious in prison where he is still a boss. He watches the rally on TV and of all the things he sees, Cookie getting cozy with Mimi is what peeks his interest.
Frank Gathers, played by Chris Rock, is the newest big man on the prison block and it is clear that he and Lucious have a history. “It seems like yesterday you were moving biscuits for me at 50 a pop.” Whatever beef they may have or that they are insinuated to have seems to be put aside, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have plans up their sleeves.
A central vibe we get from this episode too is that no one likes the fact that Jamaal is who Lucious chose to run Empire. He visits his dad in prison as he updates him on what’s going on with the others and the business. Lucious doesn’t hide the fact that he can’t stand Cookie and especially asks about Mimi. “Who was that lesbian bitch cuddle up with your momma at the concert?”
Andre and Rhonda are still together but it seems for only business purposes. He struggles with the fact that they killed Vernon. They are still trying to get Empire as their own too and obviously have something planned outside of what Cookie and Hakeem are planning with Mimi.
In prison, Frank confronts Jamel, played by Dee Rey, a friend of Cookie and Lucious, because he knows that he killed one of his men back when. Jamel denies it but Frank is not having it. “I know you did it.”
At Hakeem’s house, they throw a party for Mimi full of the finest women. Boo Boo Kitty also shows up unbeknownst to Cookie. She understand that her job is to do what she needs to with Mimi to make the deal go through. And Kitty pops that thing back, down and around. Mimi is no fool though, she knows what’s going on and asks Cookie why she’s wants to get rid of Lucious so badly to which she replies, “Lucious has lost his way.”
Jamel makes phone calls to Cookie to let her know she’s in danger but cant get a hold of her. Her sister Carol, played by Tasha Smith, also tries to get a message to her to no avail.
Lucious gets a visit from the federal prosecutor who tries to get him to confess, telling her that Vernon believes that his killing Bunkie was about more than extortion. He tells her to kiss his ass.
Miss Lawrence also makes his singing debut and is the biggest queen out there. He is fierce; he is bold and has a pretty good voice. He sings to Jamaal in his office to give him a taste of what he will be doing at a GLADD event. They also mention Donnie McClurkin saying that he was going to be at the event, which is major shade to the gospel singer. For what, I don’t know but I’m just going to leave it there.
Hakeem, Andre, Cookie and Anika put their plan into action. They interrupt Jamaal’s meeting to let them know that Mimi is backing them take a controlling interest in Empire. Well little do they know before they pranced in is that she met with Lucious earlier that morning and, “made a better deal.” According to Mimi, Empire is Lucious and they can’t separate that. They also get a video call from Lucious who let’s them know, it’s “Game over bitches,”
Back in prison, Jamel gets his ass kicked by Frank who wants to know why he killed his man. Jamel spills the beans that it was Cookie, which surprises the hell out of Frank.
At Empire, Cookie tries to reason with Jamaal and now see what they did as a betrayal. He doesn’t want to hear what she has to say so she leaves. When she gets home, Carol and her kids are there (playing with her wigs). Carol tells her sister that she’s in danger and that the rose she received was from Frank, who is a an OG for real as he sends her Jamel’s head in a perfectly wrapped box.
All of this prompts Cookie to pay a visit to Lucious. She tells him that Frank is messing with them causing Lucious to go into poppa bear mode. “I need you to fix it.”
And fix it he does. Lucious finds Frankie and seeks to work out whatever issues they may have. He apologizes if he overstepped any boundaries and even offers his daughter a home at Empire since he heard her rap when she visited her daddy earlier. But that’s not what Frankie wants as his issue is with Cookie not Lucious.. She’s a snitch he has to handle it. They shake giving Frankie the impression that Lucious understands but daddy Lyon quickly turns the tables on him. Lucious tells him that he loves Cookie so if he has war with Cookie he has warn with him. Frank says fine and tells his people to kill Lucious but what ends up happening is that Lucious bought his people and they end up killing him instead. Frankie may have ruled the streets but Lucious “rules the world.”
The rest of the family gathers at Lucious’ house as a safe haven and they finally hear word that things are cool. Jamaal then kicks everyone out of his “father’s house.” Cookie tells him to wait, he doesn’t listen, she slaps him twice and he tells his momma, “you done now, lady.
Whoo that’s a lot. Now patiently (not so much) waiting for next week.