In tonight’s explosive episode (part 2 of the 2 part season finale) of Empire, Cookie and Anika get to scrapping Jerry Springer style. #meowPowPow
Lucious calls his three sons together at the family table with important news to share and gifts to bare. Looking refreshed and renewed, he tells his three sons that he was misdiagnosed with ALS and that he is not dying. Asserting that he’s changed and contrite, Lucious admits that he’s harmed each of his sons and has bought them gifts of reconciliation. Hakim opens his box to find a jumbo-sized gold chain with a golden winged medallion, symbolizing the freedom that Lucious will now offer to him. Andre gets a golden lion of Judah, symbolizing his faith to see through Lucious evil ways. Jamal opens his box and finds a golden staff topped with a lion head — a symbol that he is the son who will inherit THE EMPIRE. Jamal is shocked, Andre and Hakim look pissed. Cookie walks in on the festivities to find her gift — a pillow in a box. She looks down nervously, realizing that Lucious knows she attempted to kill him.
Newly minted as the head of Empire, Jamal begins to assert himself. He promotes Becky from Assistant to A&R. He tells Hakim of his plans to allow him creative control to manage his projects, but then tells Hakim his album release will be pushed back 2 months. Hakim is pissed, but Jamal ensures him that he’s not like his father.
Alone in his office with Jamaal, Lucious confronts Cookie, showing Jamaal security footage proving that Cookie attempted to smother him with a pillow while he was sleeping. Jamal is left speechless as Cookie tries to explain her actions — she did it because Lucious killed Bunky. She is hauled away by Empire security – again — while Jamal looks on shocked.
As Cookie leaves the building, FBI Agent Carter rolls up on Cookie and whisks her away. Agent Carter states that they are building a case against Lucious Lyons. Back in the days Lucious killed Shine Johnson’s son, so now Shine Johnson is going to testify that Lucious killed Bunky. [How Shine knows this is beyond us but…], Despite wanting to get Lucious back, Cookie turns down the feds request, telling them to find themselves another snitch.
Vernon is released from his stint in drug rehab and is warmly greeted by Lucious. Vernon attempts to tell him something important, but Lucious interrupts him and tells him all that has been happening while he was away.
Anika visits Hakim – while he’s working out. Hakim refuses to sign to Creedmore Records, noting that smashing Anika was more about them getting back at Lucious. Anika notices a book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, on Hakim’s nightstand and compliments Hakim on his reading material. Realizing that Hakim is a lil’ smarter than she gave him credit for, Anika gives up on trying to sign Hakim to Creedmore and instead fills Hakim’s head up with thoughts about a hostile takeover of Empire. [Note: Hakim must have gotten an advance copy of the book because it doesn’t drop until April 2015.]
Realizing that she’s lost Jamal to Lucious, Cookie approaches Hakim while he is in the barber’s chair about starting their own record label. Picking up a broom, Cookie begins to sweep up the floor. [In the season premiere, when Cookie meets Hakim at the barber, she beats him with a broom after he disrespects her.] Hakim tells Cookie they don’t have to start from scratch, alluding to the fact that he and Anika have been planning a hostile takeover.
Rhonda is in her bedroom packing her luggage, clothes strewn about. She believes something is going on between Andre and Michelle. She’s also upset with Andre because he gave up Empire without a fight. As Rhonda brushes by him to go to her friend’s house, Andre calls Hakeem to say he wants in on this hostile takeover.
Andre, Hakim, Cookie and Anika (aka Team Takeover) meet to conspire to seize Empire by hostile takeover. Before the meeting can start, Anika and Cookie get to scrapping, in dresses and heels on the pool table. The sons break up the fight and Cookie promises to behave. The plan is to hire Tony “Tricky” Trichter, a successful corporate raider. Cookie sees the bigger picture and agrees to work with Boo-Boo Kitty – for now.
Team Takeover met up with Tricky. They offer to sign his talentless grandson if he comes on board to help them. Tricky advises them to nail the current CEO with a good scandal and also invests $250 million with another $250 million to be raised for the takeover.
Vernon visits Andre to talk and reconcile. Andre is disrespectful to Andre, who he practically raised while Cookie was in prison. Vernon punches Andre, a fight ensues and Rhonda walks in, taking a large paperweight and bashing Vernon in the skull. Vernon drops and dies with blood pouring from his skull. Realizing he has no pulse, Andre gets up to call the police but Rhonda is hesitant that they’ll go to jail and because – drumroll – she’s pregnant. [Good thing she already has baby bibs! ]
On the morning of the IPO launch, Lucious and his sons are at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell to Empire’s initial public offering. Lucious notices that Vernon is a no-show – because he’s dead.
The Cookie Lyon presents The Lucious Lyon Sound tribute concert is star-studded and underway, with appearances by Pattie Labelle, Rita Ora and more. Backstage at the concert, Lucious is sitting looking at himself in front of a mirror when Jamal walks in. Lucious reveals to Jamal that Dwight Walker is his real name, a fact that he even kept from Cookie.
As Lucious apologizes again to Jamal, the FBI bursts in the door, declaring they are arresting Lucious for the murder of Bunky. Lucious is handcuffed and perp-walked through the concert arena, past waiting fans who are shooting video of the incident and sharing it on social media.
Lucious tells Jamal to go out to the stage and perform the song they practiced. At the show’s final Glee Power moment, Jamal and Patti LaBelle perform Lucious’ new song.
The show closes as the Feds are looking for Vernon, who Agent Carter states is their “star” witness.
During an Empire press conference, Empire artist Black Rambo, refuses to be on a label run by a gay man. Later, at an open mic battle ala 8 Mile Style, Jamal confronts Black Rambo. Black Rambo spits numerous homosexual slurs at Jamal which makes the rowdy crowds applaud with approval. Jamal boldly comes back with his own “dis-song” which the crowd approves.
BTW, this scene is worse than: