Lucious tells his sons that he doesn’t have ALS. He gives them all gifts. Hakeem’s is a chain with the emblem of Empire’s jet fleet. When his album drops, he’ll have his own jet to tour on. Andre’s is a replica of the Lion of Judah; he apologizes for trying to break Andre’s faith. He’s creating the Lyon Foundation, with $100 million available for Andre to use.
And Jamal’s gift? Empire.
Cookie arrives. Her gift is a pillow.
Jamal promotes Becky to A&R.
Jamal wants Andre’s and Hakeem’s support, otherwise he won’t be comfortable in charge. He’s willing to give Hakeem control of his album, but he thinks it should be pushed back so that both their albums aren’t competing.
Lucious won’t let Cookie back into the company. Security cameras caught Cookie trying to murder him, and he shows Jamal the footage. Malcolm caught Cookie before she could suffocate Lucious.
Jamal is visibly devastated as security escorts Cookie out; he doesn’t seem to hear her say that Lucious killed Bunkie.
The FBI wants Cookie to help them in a case against Lucious. She refuses. Why, I have NO idea.
Hakeem won’t sign to Creedmore, even though he and Anika joined forces to hurt Lucious. She still wants the two of them to take Empire from Lucious.
Lucious recruited Vernon to follow Cookie. He thinks her visit to the FBI was actually to her parole officer, of course. Rita Ora pulled out of the tribute concert because Cookie isn’t doing it anymore.
Empire does a press conference ahead of the concert. Patti LaBelle announces that 10% of the concert proceeds are going to Black Lives Matter. One of the rappers on the concert lineup, Black Rambo, crashes the conference; he won’t perform at the concert because a gay man is the successor to Empire.
Andre clashes with Jamal and Lucious on what to do. Lucious wants to put out a statement against prejudice; Andre insists that will alienate investors and cost Empire millions.
Cookie suggests to Hakeem that the two of them start a label together.
Rhonda is leaving Andre because of Michelle. He calls Hakeem; he wants to take down Empire.
He meets with Hakeem, Anika, and Cookie. Cookie sets things off by throwing a drink in Anika’s face. They nearly kill each other until Hakeem manages to separate them. Andre convinces Cookie to work with Anika, because Boo Boo Kitty knows someone powerful enough to help them.
Jamal crashes Black Rambo’s freestyle show (or whatever that is—he’s terrible), and completely shows him up with his vocals. Burn.
The hostile takeover’s underway. Lucious needs to be caught in a scandal for everything to work. This can’t be too hard…especially considering Cookie and Anika are the queens of scheming.
Cookie meets with Vernon. He tells her why Lucious killed Bunkie.
Vernon goes to visit Andre. He’s still angry at Vernon because he should have been leading Empire. They end up fighting and it’s pretty violent. Rhonda walks in and knocks Vernon out to defend Andre. When Andre checks his pulse, there isn’t one.
Rhonda talks Andre out of calling the police. She’s pregnant.
MESS. MESS. MESS!!!
Jamal is rehearsing when Cookie finds him.
“All I ever wanted was for that man to love me,” he admits.
She tells him the same thing she said when he was a kid: “No matter what, I got you.”
I love Cookie/Jamal moments.
Lucious, the boys, and Rhonda are at the NYSE to ring the bell. Lucious wants to wait for Vernon, but Andre talks him out of it.
The Lucious Lyon Sound concert is underway. Jamal and Hakeem kick it off, of course, followed by Michelle and Juicy J performing a classic Lucious track.
Jamal goes to see Lucious backstage. He reveals his real name is Dwight; not even Cookie knows it. He named himself Lucious because he thought it made him seem stronger. He says that he’s always loved Jamal; he was just afraid for him, growing up as a gay black man.
The FBI walk in and arrest Lucious for Bunkie’s murder. Cookie walks in; she didn’t know it was going to happen, but he doesn’t believe her. Jamal doesn’t either.
Jamal and Patti LaBelle perform a duet of one of Lucious’ songs.
The news of Lucious’ arrest hits before he even gets out of the building. The stocks start to plummet. As he passes Andre and Hakeem, they stare their father down.
Turns out Vernon was the star witness in the case, but for obvious reasons, the FBI can’t reach him.
And that’s a wrap for season one. I don’t know about you guys, but my emotions are once again all over the place…September, are you here yet?!
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