Wow. Okay, so, after what seemed like a solid year and a half, we are finally BACK with new episodes of Empire — and let me tell you, they didn’t waste a minute getting right back into the ~delicious drama~ during the midseason premiere.

The episode begins with Rhonda lying at the bottom of the staircase after Anika pushed her (we have no proof as of yet that Anika pushed her, but like, Anika pushed her). She’s bloodied and pregnant, and I wish her the best.

BESIDES THAT NONSENSE, Cookie and Hakeem have a blowup scene where Cookie straight-up beats Hakeem with a broom handle because he has no concept of what he did to his family. It’s almost baffling sometimes how thick Hakeem can be, you know? I get that he wanted to “stick it to the patriarchy," but voting Lucius out of the board was so unbelievably stupid I’m just thrilled to see how he'll fall.

Lucius, who is still in the process of digesting what Hakeem has done to the family, refuses to leave his offic,e even after Thirsty basically offers to shoot people and Naomi Campbell (I know her character name, but like…) shows up with a slew of security guards. Becky shows up and informs Lucius of Rhonda’s accident, and the whole family flocks to the hospital.

Once there, the Lyon clan waits to give Andre the bad news (the baby didn’t survive Rhonda’s fall), and absolutely *no one* is having it with Hakeem. Andre and Rhonda have a brief scene in which Rhonda declares that God does not exist, which, if we remember from the beginning of this season, is a big thing for Andre. He’s all God now.

Cookie and Lucius, in the wake of all of the drama that went down at the hospital, are both dead-set on taking the company back again. Lucius is seen loading a gun and in no certain words said he would kill Hakeem if he tries to get the CEO position, in which I personally would take a small bit of joy. Cookie calms him down, obviously, because she is the all-seeing entity of reason.

At Club Leviticus, Lucius and Thirsty have rounded up their goonies? Employees? And have assigned them to pay a visit to each of the board members. They were instructed not to do anything violent but, I mean, let’s be honest.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital: Top shelf bitch Anika dares to pay a visit to Rhonda in the hospital. Little does she know Rhonda has *seen* the Louboutin red sole, and she *WILL* remember it — it just boils down to when.

Speaking of top shelf bitchery, Hakeem shows up to one of Laura’s rehearsals after confessing to Jamal that “he loves her” and tells her she doesn’t work hard enough...and that she’s a bitch. Hakeem has the same social skills as the inside of my refrigerator.


Cut to arguably the most wonderful montage in all of Empire herstory: Remember when Lucius sent his goonies out to “persuade” the board members? WELL. While Lucius plays some dulcet tones on a grand piano, we see vignettes of board member’s cars blowing up, cats being hung, and some just being physically beaten. All while Lucius plays his piano.

God damn. I missed this show so much. It’s becoming incredibly difficult to maintain a singular narrative of the show since they’ve added so much conflict and so many characters, but it just means the show is becoming more and more like Dallas. Which is fine - if that’s the thing you’re innnntooooooo.

Back at the hospital, Cookie and Jamal remind us why they have the best relationship/are the best team on the show. Cookie tells Jamal to “pick a side” after it becomes known he’s slept with a woman, and then they gay out a little bit over needing men. It’s cute. Hakeem is made the CEO of Empire after a 30 second scene in which everyone eligible was like “no,” and Hakeem was like “okay I’ll do it." It was a really weird scene, and Hakeem is an ass.

Chuck Hodes, FOX

Jamal performs an empowering song about sexuality to keep Jameson in his good graces, as we’re still unsure about how he’s going to go about pursuing his career - does he please the masses or does he please the gays?! Can he do both?! #Jamal

Chuck Hodes, FOX

At Empire records, Cookie, Jamal, and Andre essentially bum-rush Hakeem with valid threats about how he doesn’t have control over Jamal’s music. If he didn’t make Cookie head of A&R at Empire and have her own sub-company within the umbrella, Jamal would release his album online to say a big fuck you to Hakeem. Eventually, Hakeem says Cookie has a deal and that they can all run Empire “like a family” again. LOL.

Cookie and Lucius, as insane as they both are, are adorable. While Cookie plans to take out Camilla, she gives Lucius operations of Lyon Dynasty so he can “sit down and write the music."

To round off the episode, Hakeem and Becky make up and pork under the cross above her bed, and Lucius calls Hakeem to the waterfront where he killed Uncle Bucky. He gives Hakeem a gun and tells him that if he doesn’t shoot him now, he’s going to do everything he can to take Hakeem down. Hakeem drops the gun, declaring he “doesn’t have to do” what his dad tells him, and god damn, Lucius is gonna have his way.

Watch Empire Season 2 Episode 11 on FOX.

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