In case you weren’t paying attention, fall TV drops this week — and thankfully that means Cookie and company are back serving up drama, betrayal, greed, and maybe even murder.
Ya’ll ready for this?
What to expect:
Given how season two ended, it’s clear the Lyon family’s world has been turned upside down. Here’s what to expect during the first episode of season three, Light in Darkness, and throughout the season:
Episode 1 picks up right where the finale left off:
Light in Darkness doesn’t skip a beat from the finale. So just to refresh your memory: Hakeem got left at the altar; Lucious and Anika tied the knot so she can’t testify against him in court; Lucious’ half-brother Tariq unleashed his serious vendetta against the Lyon fam; and Lucious’ homophobia reared its ugly head toward Jamal (the same son who took a bullet for his pops). Oh, and somebody fell off a roof.
Also, look for this season to embody “a Godfather-style opus of crime and hip-hop,” Cheatsheet reported, with the theme of “dark vs. light” threaded through it. Specifically with Cookie “fighting for the souls of each of her sons” and Lucious fighting the dark demons of his past, Deadline noted.
A major character is going to die:
It’s no secret that a beloved character is going to kick the bucket this season. Given that Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) and Anika (Grace Gealey) got fisticuffs on a roof, with one falling off, it’s a safe bet that it will be one of these ladies. Rumor has it, the writers won’t draw it out and we’ll know early on who meets their demise. And whoever survives will have one heck of a story line, as will Andre (Trai Byers) if it’s his wife who goes six feet under.
Cookie is gonna get her groove back:
Clearly, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) was devastated when Lucious (Terrence Howard) married Anika. Remember when she said, “I love you and I’ll always do my best for my family, but your father and I are through”? And Cookie’s not playing — her word is bond.
Look for her to connect with Angelo Dubois (Taye Diggs), a city councilman hailing from a respected and affluent New York family. Hey, we’re here for that chocolate loving.
We get to see how Cookie and Lucious first met:
Thanks to a series of flashbacks, we’ll see first-hand when a young Cookie (Ajiona Alexus), who went to Catholic School, of all places, first laid eyes on bad boy Lucious (Jeremy Carver) and how he stole her heart. Definitely looking forward to that.
Will Jamal heal and find himself again?
No lie, Jamal (Jussie Smollet) had it pretty hard in season two, but Empire’s showrunner Ilene Chaiken told TV Line season three will be about “really examining the journey of Jamal’s recovery. In the finale, he comes out of the hospital after being shot, but he’s clearly not recovered physically, and certainly not psychically.”
She adds that he is serious about rejecting the family’s backstabbing ways and giving up music until they can get it together (we’re sure that boycott won’t last long though). Plus, him and D Major might get back together, but we’re not holding our breath on that one. Whatever the case, Jamal deserves love and peace in his life and we hope he finally finds it in season three.
Poor Hakeem …
Speaking of tragic. Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) was left at the altar and his baby mama married his father. “[Hakeem] suffered humiliation after humiliation over the course of Season 2. He really made a noble effort to be a better man, and he did grow up some, but everything he tried ultimately came back at him,” Chaiken told TV Line back in May.
“His failures were public. So, first and foremost, Hakeem needs to regain his dignity, and hip-hop is going to play a big part of that. Given who Hakeem is, though, you can expect him to get into some trouble.”
Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good.
Guest Stars, guest stars, and more guest stars:
Now, I think we can all agree that last season did a bit much with the guest stars, but still expect to see stars such as Mariah Carey (Lee Daniels’ BFF), Taye Diggs, French Montana, Sierra McClain, Kid Cudi, Birdman, and the iconic Phylicia Rashad, who will play Cookie’s new nemesis.
What Libations you need on deck:
With all this drama, you’ll most definitely need a cocktail or two. Either tequila with no chaser, a glass of chilled Moscato, or a Maker’s neat.
Is it worth watching?
Of course it is. Yes, we know that folks had complaints with season two — too many guest stars, celebrity cameos, and unnecessary storylines — but the second half of the season shaped up.
And be clear: Empire still has a lot magic left. As long as the performances stay top-notch and the writing team delivers that same amazing mix of twisty turns, lust, betrayal, and music they did in season one, we’re still in. And so should you:
Will the Lyon family regain their dynasty or will they succumb to the darkness around them? Find out on Wednesday, September 21 for the season premiere of Empire on FOX (9 p.m. ET/PT).