The 2nd half of Empire’s second season is off with a bang and it seems Lee Daniels finally got the writing back on track!
Camilla sinks her claws into Hakeem, the acting Empire CEO, while the rest of the Lyon family members try to get him back on their side; Jamal gets backlash from his fans; Rhonda and Andre’s marriage is tested.
In case you missed it, read recap + watch Empire Season 2, Episode 12 below…
VIDEO: Empire Season 2, Episode 12
Just last week, the Lyons spent the entire episode piecing together a plan to overthrow Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) and Camilla (Naomi Campbell) so that they could gain back control of their Empire.
Lucious (Terrence Howard) even threatened to knock off his youngest son over it but Cookie said she’d handle it and he gave her 48 hours to do so or Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) was a dead man!
While it would seem that this story line would drag on, it was all cleared up in episode 2. Now lets get into a few life lessons revealed during this week’s episode.
The family that PREYS together, stays together…
As the new CEO, Hakeem wastes no time updating the company logo by swapping Lucious’ face with his own to rebrand the ‘new & improved’ Empire.
The youngest Lyon is also basking in the glow of his newfound power by gathering several notches on his belt. He’s deflowered Laura (Jamila Velazquez) and tagged her as his girlfriend, but he’s still Camilla’s plaything.
But since he actually ‘loves’ Laura, he’s less inclined to be all up in Camilla aging punany, so now Hakeem’s mind is finally clear to think about the family.
Hakeem decides to help with Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) plan to trap Camilla into admitting that she and Mimi acquired Empire illegally, but he realizes Camilla is way too smart for that lame plan. Hakeem decides that a kinky sex tape — à la Kim K and Ray J, would make a better choice (PLUS he’d have fun doing it).
He sends the footage to Camilla’s jealous wife, Mimi, who just got out of the hospital and the plan works like a charm! Mimi begins selling all of her Empire stock and Andre (Trai Byers) instructs his finance team to buy all of the shares in a trust he set up in his late son’s name.
The family celebrates their victory! Empire is back in control of the Lyons!
Jamal (Jussie Smollett) gets accosted by an angry LGBT flash mob armed with ranbow colored flip-flops. Apparently his girl crush with Sky is the talk of the town and the Gay community is in an uproar!
Word of Jamal’s ‘HETERO’ relationship was spread by his father Lucious, who leaked the news so that he could get the upper hand with the fans since they are nominated for the same award.
So what does Jamal do when he finds out it was Lucious? He drops a BANGER called “Like My Daddy” as payback!
In the song, Jamal sings about having the freedom to choose who to love (a sentiment that totally got him back on track with the Gays) AND he also serves a bit of juicy tea about his dad really is (or isn’t) by spilling the fact that ‘Lucious isn’t even his real name!’
Clearly getting back control of Empire isn’t enough for Lucious and he’s out for REVENGE!
The Lyon patriarch conveniently shows up at Camilla and Mimi’s house just in time to catch Camilla knocking off Mimi and attempting to stage the scene.
He’s looking for retribution, but it seems the story has already written itself.
Lucious (who shows up in untraceable sneakers because he’s seen the OJ trial and isn’t leaving any tracks!), has Camilla right where he wants her. While he’s certainly no stranger to a swift kill, Lucious decides that Camilla should suffer for her crimes, so he instead forces her to drink the same poison she used to kill Mimi.
[Sidebar: If that ain’t poetic justice, I don’t know what is… ]
Now wait… Who the hell is Lucious Lyon if he’s not Lucious Lyon?
Lucious chooses to spill his own ‘tea’ by sharing his story with a nosy journalist who’s just scored the exclusive of a lifetime.
The mogul plans to reveal the sad story of his humble beginnings as an orphan to his rise to become one of the biggest music moguls the fictional EMPIRE world has ever seen.
But as we all know, ‘changing the narrative’ is merely just a way to deflect from the obvious because Lucious is still ‘Lucious’ even if his name is isn’t. But as the title appropriately reminds us… “a rose by any other name…”