For those of you who took our humble but emphatic advice to watch the premiere of the second half of "Empire," season 2 that aired yesterday at 8/9c on Fox, the drama certainly did not disappoint when it came to answering some of those nagging questions that had us hanging by a thread last season after that huge fall down the stairs for Rhonda Lyon (Kaitlin Doubleday), and the ousting of patriarch Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) from his Empire CEO roost. For those of you who haven't checked your DVR, or just don't want to know, from this point forward we are listing some of the best season 2, episode 11 highlights, so hugeSPOILER ALERT for those who decide to read the below:
- Rhonda is alive, but her baby with Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) is no more. So very sad, but at least we didn't have to say goodbye to one of the best ride or die b*tches Andre is likely to come by. However in an interesting development, Rhonda doesn't remember being pushed down the stairs, but believes that she just lost her footing and fell. And but of course, Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey) made sure that she visited Rhonda in the hospital to hear this from the horse's mouth and add her own two cents that perhaps this tragedy was "for the best." The best for Anika, certainly....
- Lucious Lyon is ready to regain control of his company by any means necessary. In scenes that had him packing and handling more guns than an anxious mobster planning a holiday getaway, Lucious has made it clear that he's gunning for Empire's board, Camilla (Naomi Campbell) and his own son, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) if they don't toe the line towards re-clearing a path for him to regain the Empire CEO crown. Lucious even offered Hakeem his own gun to shoot him in the back, rather than otherwise be shot on sight by Lucious should Hakeem take the open position of Empire CEO. It was a close one, but Hakeem sensibly chose not to shoot his own father and take his chances in the Empire boardroom as it's new CEO.
- Cougars are going to roar, and Camilla in offering Hakeem top spot as CEO of Empire demands that Hakeem break up with his Tiger Beat Lyon cub love Laura Calleros (Jamila Velazquez) in the bargain - which Hakeem does. However, in his usual raw and emotionally driven way, Hakeem soon realizes that he is actually in love with Laura. As such, he goes to Laura's grandma's house in the hood and wins her back - consummating the relationship and saying the L word back to Laura just as he is deflowering her. Can you say virgin be gone? Camilla will likely be wishing he had all while making 'Keem pay.
- Lastly, Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson)has her own designs for taking out Camilla from the inside by leveraging middle son Jamal Lyon's (Jussie Smollett) record release as a hefty incentive to get Empire to acquire Lyon Dynasty and appoint her both Empire and Lyon Dynasty's head of A&R. More tricky moves ahead for the Cookie monster... should be fun to see how it all gets her to final destination: revenge island.