By: Harmony Takhar
Empire Season 2 airs on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Did you miss the first season but desperately want to watch this show? Or maybe it seemed interesting, but you just didn’t watch it? I got you covered. Here’s a recap of Season 1:
Our main characters in this show are the members of the Lyon family. There’s the father, Lucious, the mother, Cookie, and the three sons, Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem. It was Lucious’s big dream to become a musician, and when Lucious has a dream, it’s in anyone’s best interest to not get in the way. The Lyon family was poor way back when. They are living in Cookie’s sister’s home, working their butts off to make their dream come alive. Cookie is saving up her money for their future. One day, Lucious was caught up in a fight in the streets, and he ended up killing someone. The police found out, and Cookie took the bullet for Lucious. She didn’t know she’d be in jail for 17 years as a result.
Skip forward 17 years and it’s time for Cookie to get out. While she was locked up, Lucious made it in music. His albums went platinum and he became a billionaire. He started his own record label named Empire, hence the show name. His three sons and he were all living large. Lucious has a new woman in his life now too, named Onika, and they are engaged. So when Cookie gets out, Lucious gives her a job at Empire, as it was only fair of Lucious to do. A few days later, Cookie’s cousin, Biggie, is found dead. (IT WAS LUCIOUS, but no one else knows.) Biggie knew Lucious’s money to build Empire was from illegal drugs and Biggie was blackmailing Lucious. (I told you that no one should come in between Lucious and his dream!)
Just a little later, Lucious discovers he has ALS, and it’s fatal. Most of the season becomes a competition to see who will get Empire once Lucious is gone. There’s Andre, the oldest child, who helped build Empire with his father after he went to business school. Not only that, Andre was the main man behind the idea of making Empire go public on the stock market. Then there’s Jamal. He is an up-and-coming artist, reaching the top of the charts with his singles. Next there’s Hakeem. He is the youngest, and is also an up-and-coming artist, but he raps too. Lastly, there’s Cookie. She believes the company belongs to her because Lucious built it on Cookie’s saved-up money, but she’d give it all up for her boys.
Cookie and Lucious re-connect a couple times, and this enrages Onika. So Onika starts working with Lucious’s main rival, Creedmore. Cookie realizes she loves and hates Lucious at the same time, so she just can’t be in a relationship with him. She decides to focus on her job as a manager for Jamal, Tiana (Hakeem’s ex-girlfriend), and Elle (Empire’s first artist).
Hakeem wasn’t exactly getting along with his mother at first, because he believed she loved Jamal more, but Hakeem eventually came around. Hakeem was who Lucious envisioned to take over Empire, but things changed. Hakeem was dating a way older girl, who Cookie saw as a gold-digger. Because Cookie doesn’t approve, Lucious gets rid of her. Hakeem found out and turned on his father.
Andre believes he should have Empire because he has done so much for the company, but mid-season, Lucious ends this dream of his when he says he’ll never hand over the company to him because he married a white girl. Andre freaks out and goes to therapy. We then learn Andre is bipolar. He stays in therapy for a while, goes to church, finds God, yada yada yada.
Jamal and Lucious’s relationship wasn’t so good at the beginning of the season. Lucious wasn’t quite as accepting of Jamal as the rest of the world was when he announced he was gay. Jamal and Lucious eventually become closer as they bonded through music. Jamal gains Lucious’s trust when Jamal proves himself to him to show how much he’d do for his father. (He almost killed Billy Beretti, the owner of Creedmore!) Lucious decides to give Empire to Jamal. Everyone is flabbergasted, except Jamal of course.
But all of this is stopped when a doctor tells Lucious he doesn’t have ALS. He has MG, a disease with very similar symptoms as ALS and totally treatable. Cookie, Onika, Andre, and Hakeem decide to do something, because they can’t stand the thought of Lucious still ruling over Empire. They decide to perform a hostile takeover.
In the season finale, the police catch up on Lucious and he’s sent to jail for killing Biggie. A hostile takeover takes place with Lucious gone, and at this point the only one of Lucious’s side is Jamal (and me of course). Thus begins Season 2. Oh, and in the season finale, Andre’s wife, Rhonda, accidentally kills Lucious’s right-hand man, Vernon. They don’t call the police though: they hide the body because Rhonda is pregnant!