With yesterday’s installment of “Empire” season 2 episode 17 on Fox – it had been ominously foretold in just about every Fox promo leading up to the airing of this episode that “one Lyon would fall,” but seriously, some honest to goodness fear has been struck into the hearts of many a loyal fan when it comes to what may or not be “mortally” permanent when the all the dust settles and “Empire” season two is one for the record books, shuttered up tight over the summer to prep for a brand new “Empire” season three. So hold on to your hats and be warned by this *** spoiler alert*** that if you don’t want to know, you need to stop reading now:
Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey) gets scooped up by the Feds via Cookie Lyon’s (Taraji P. Henson) pal from around the way, Tariq (Morocco Omari). Last week, ‘Tariq The Freak’ from the old neighborhood where Cookie and her sister Carol (Tasha Smith) grew up suddenly materialized on the current Lyon scene, trying to cuddle up with Carol in order to get dirt for the Feds on Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). In yesterday’s episode, neither Lucious or Cookie were buying Tariq’s love song for a crackhead, and Cookie gave Tariq the news in no uncertain terms at Laviticus regarding her addict sister, causing Carol to relapse and show up drunk at the ASA Awards. Tariq, not to be deterred by any of that ASA drama sets his sights on another weak link in the chain by detaining Anika at Federal headquarters.
Lucious’ Mama, Leah Walker (Leslie Uggams) starts scheming hard to reveal herself to the world at large as Lucious Lyon’s mother who is still alive and kicking. Never one to be above a good slow burn, Leah is incensed when she sees Lucious’ video on television showing her abusing Lucious as a young woman and then taking her own life. When Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) tries to tell her that it would hurt the family for her to go public, Leah swears that she would never betray Lucious or the rest of the family in this way. However, when things take a dramatic turn at the ASA Awards, Leah maneuvers herself into the center of a hungry knot of paparazzi and while she refrains from telling them exactly who she is, she reveals that she is indeed a part of the Lyon family.
Freda Gatz (Bre-Z) Shoots Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) at The ASA Awards when Jamal jumps in front of the bullet meant for Lucious as a means of revenge by Freda for the death of her own father, crime lord Frank Gathers (Chris Rock). In what was a shocking twist, Freda is forced to put it all together when a drunk and embittered Carol accosts Freda on the red carpet and reveals that it was none other than Lucious Lyon himself that killed the notorious gangster Frank Gathers, aka Freda Gatz’s dad. In a fit of passion, Freda rips a gun from the holster of a member of the ASA’s security detail and aims for Lucious’ back as he is turned away, addressing the press and photographers with Cookie. Jamal, seeing what Freda is about to do and knowing why thanks to a recent and very candid conversation with Cookie, jumps directly in front of the bullet, saving Lucious’ life but also possibly ending his own. Will Jamal survive? Only next week’s episode, the last of season 2 in it’s entirety, will tell.
“Empire” airs Wednesday nights at 9:00/8:00 central on Fox.