HOLLYWOOD—It was the series that took the TV world by surprise in January 2015, and less than 9 months since its premiere, “Empire” is back for round two. Yes, the show that mixes music, family and drama unlike anything seen on television is ready to shake things up again.
The second season premiere episode titled, “The Devils are Here” picks up three months where the first season ended with Lucious still behind bars and the battle to rise to the top begins. A concert was held in honor of Lucious Lyon courtesy of Cookie, who argued with Hakeem about her masterplan. Damn Cookie is smart as hell, but what friction will this cause between her son Jamal, when he learns about her betrayal?
Guest stars like Al Sharpton, Swizz Beatz, Andre Leon Talley and countless others only added to the star power of the new season, let’s hope it doesn’t conflict with the storytelling aspect. Behind bars Lucious watched the concert being performed in his honor. Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei entered the foray as Mimi, a woman Cookie was willing to cozy up to in an effort to get her hands on the Empire fortune.
Chris Rock appeared on the screen as the drug kingpin Frank Gavis; the man Lucious once worked for. Becky called out Jamal and Hakeem on their childish antics, which was hilarity when Hakeem noted he was going to tell his mother. The pressures of running a company was indeed frustrating Jamal to say the least. The audience got to see the aftermath of what transpired when Andre and Rhonda buried Vernon to cover their tracks. All things that are buried eventually come to the surface?
Cookie was none too pleased to see Boo Boo Kitty aka Anika make waves, and it was apparent Mimi had eyes for her. To see her twerk a bit was a funny scene to say the least. Cookie did damage control with Hakeem and his relationship with Jamal in efforts to ensure that her quest for power would not be interrupted. It was a hilarious moment to see Jamal get serenaded by Lawrence from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” as Becky chimed in on the laughs.
Andre, Cookie, Hakeem and Anika dropped a bomb on Jamal about removing Lucious from the company, but Jamal had an ace up his sleeve: Mimi. He utilized her and Lucious to his advantage and turned the tables on his betrayers. From behind bars, Lucious is still pulling the strings. Oh, that moment was spectacular to watch. Jamal and Cookie bickered about who betrayed who the first, and she echoed something that was quite interesting: Jamal is slowly transforming into his father.
Cookie learned that she received another batch of roses, and this time they were indeed a threat from Frank Gavis, this time inside the box was a man’s head! What devious plans does Frank have in store for Cookie Lyon? Jamal returned to the studio to belt out a ballad that sounds like a number one hit waiting to explode, but Becky forced him to deal with his mother, who warned him of imminent danger.
We’ve been waiting for this confrontation for months, Lucious and Cookie came face-to-face behind bars to discuss recent predicaments. Looks like Cookie is about to start a war between Frank and Lucious behind the walls and a bloodbath is sure to spill out onto the residents of Empire Records. Carol broke the backstory to Jamal about Frank. Lucious and Frank discussed new tactics, and the tables were turned on a former friend. Lucious may not seem threatening, but that guy knows how to maneuver out of any situation, even behind bars.
That family gathering at the Lyon’s den turned sour quite quickly, and Jamal booted everyone from the house including his own mother. It left his hurt, cold and in tears, but when betrayal strikes when its least expected what can the audience expect.
What I appreciated about the premiere of “Empire” is that it didn’t overload the audience with too much craziness. There was just enough surprises to keep viewers on the edge of their toes. “Empire” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on FOX. Get ready for plenty of craziness!