This week is sure to be a special one as "Empire" revs up once again with it's highly anticipated third season on Wednesday, March 30, 9/8c on Fox. Just in case you've forgotten, here are our four top reasons to tune in and get the skinny on exactly what jumped off last season and what new crazy it might bring come tomorrow:
- Who Pushed Rhonda?Replete with it's own #WhoPushedRhonda hashtag, one of the biggest emotional cliffhangers of last season was when Andre Lyon's (Trai Byers) very pregnant wife Rhonda Lyon (Kaitlin Doubleday) was pushed down a flight of stairs in her new mansion by an unknown intruder. Everything seems to point to the spurned but newly pregnant Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey) as the obvious assailant. Everything points to Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray) being the sperm donor for Anika's still very secret embryo situation, but before she could let Hakeem know, Hakeem rather cruelly kicked her to the curb with regards to him and the rest of his family by proxy, setting off a stalker laced break with reality for our favorite Boo Boo Kitty. Given the physical and mental blows Anika has suffered from both Cookie Lyon (Taraji P.Henson) and Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), perhaps it was only a matter of time before Anika did something of this magnitude - if she in fact is the one who did this diabolical deed. Did Rhonda unknowingly sign her unborn child's death sentence as well as her own by telling Anika that the best way back into Lucious' graces was with the promise of a new Lyon heir? One never knows when it comes to the passions that drive the desperate on "Empire." Does Rhonda survive? Does the baby? Will Andre keep the faith as well as his mind, or go back to old habits? This is something juicy to look forward to in season 3.
- Camilla Marks vs. Lucious Lyon - She Who Laughed Last Keeps The Empire? In a huge power grab, Camilla Marks (Naomi Campbell) made extremely good on her seemingly empty promise to best Lucious at his own game when it came to his rejection of her as a viable partner for his son Hakeem. At the end of season 2, Camilla pulled a hustler's clinic on Lucious by dethroning him as the head of Empire by clandestinely marrying Empire board member and stockholder Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) and manipulating Mimi along with Hakeem to vote Lucious out as CEO, effectively clearing the path for Camilla herself to become the new CEO of Empire as Mimi's proxy. Will Camilla stay on the throne, or will Lucious and Cookie send her packing back to cougar town where they believe she belongs? Does Camilla really give a f*ck about Mimi or Hakeem? More than likely somebody that ruthless has something more than love on their mind when it comes to cradle robbing and marrying ailing rich women. Should be fun to see the master plan.
- Jamal vs. Lucious - Which Lyon Roars Best? In a tale as old as time, with the battle ground being the "Song Of The Year," award for the "American Awards," it's a father versus son head to head fight for the "Empire" equivalent of the Grammys. Lucious has already said that he is not the type of father who looks to have his children surpass him as a measure of quantifiable greatness. Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) has told Lucious to his face that he is going to prove that he is by far the better artist when it comes to his famous but homophobic dad. Let the mind games begin.
- Jamal Lyon and Skye Summers - "Fixed" or Friends? A big part of Jamal's troubles with his father Lucious have come from the fact that Jamal has always been and always will be a gay man... or is it that simple? When one of Jamal's musical idols Skye Summers (Alicia Keys) comes to town, their musical connection turns into a physical one - much to the delight and surprise of Lucious, who declares Jamal "fixed." Nevertheless between Skye and Jamal, they seem to be more comfortable as friends with occasional benefits versus lovers - especially given that fact that Jamal's relationship with ex boyfriend Michael Sanchez (Rafael de la Fuente) is anything but settled. However this recent sexual fluidity with regards to Jamal's personal life might be used as a destructive tool by Lucious to discredit Jamal within the LGBT community as they both campaign to win "Song Of The Year."
All said and done, sounds like four great reasons to settle in for some serious drama.