empire keeps bringing the thrills and drama
By Tishanna craddock, Senior Writer
The second season of ¨Empire¨ was full of surprises and revelations. Loyalty and family values were tested in many situations that occurred throughout the show.
¨Empire¨ is a television show based on the music industry and revolves around Luscious Lyon (played by Terrance Howard) who is a former drug dealer who turned his life around by becoming one of the most successful rappers of all time. Lyon starts up a record label named ¨Empire¨.
Many have wondered how Luscious started a record label, in other words; how did he get the money? Luscious’ ex wife, Loretha “Cookie” Lyon was sentenced seventeen years for drug trafficking. The money Cookie made from drug dealing helped start Empire Entertainment. When Cookie is finally released from prison after 17 years, she is ready to get back what is rightfully hers -- the ¨Empire¨!
As Cookie fights to get back ¨Empire¨, the three of her sons are put against each other by their father to see who can take over ¨Empire¨ since Luscious is “dying”. Luscious was mistakenly diagnosed with ALS, making him decide who can control the label while he is fatally ill. This may sound similar to the story of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, which is about a king who decides to step down from his throne and divide the kingdom evenly amongst his three daughters. Each of them are put through a test to see who will do anything to get that position.
This season started with Luscious being incarcerated for the murder of his childhood friend Bunky Williams (he actually committed this crime). While Luscious is in jail, Cookie and his youngest son Hakeem starts a record label, Lyon Dynasty. The oldest son Andre also takes part in starting this company until Luscious comes home. Cookie got an investor that can help start Lyon Dynasty, billionaire Mimi Whiteman. But, tables turn when Mimi decides to invest in ¨Empire¨, leaving Cookie with no investors.
Since the last season of Empire, Cookie and Luscious wasn’t the best of friends, since Cookie tried to kill him while he was sleeping. Cookie heard Luscious confessing in his sleep that he killed her cousin Bunky, which made her grab a pillow and attempt to suffocate Luscious until he unexpectedly grabbed her arm. Luscious is still angry at Cookie since he thought that she cooperated with the FBI about the murder of her cousin Bunky Williams. Luscious’ longtime best friend Vernon Turner (played by New York Undercover actor Malik Yoba) is the one who told police that he killed Williams, but Luscious doesn’t know that. Vernon “disappears” the day that Empire goes public, leaving Luscious confused. Vernon was accidently murdered by Andre’s wife Rhonda during an argument Andre and him was having. No one didn’t find out about Vernon’s death until Luscious was released from prison. Sadly, Luscious was happy to find out that Vernon was dead since he snitched on him.
Middle child Jamal Lyon is the one who gets the chance to take over Empire. While he is running the record label, he also is busy with working on his debut album that’s releasing.
Since he is the CEO of Empire now, he has the right to push back any of the artist's’ album back, including his brother Hakeem. Ever since Jamal took his father’s position while he was in prison his relationship with his beloved mother dramastically changed. When he found out that Cookie and Hakeem was starting their own record label he was furious at the fact that Cookie “betrayed” him. So when he had to write songs for his album, he was completely stuck, he was missing something. The one thing he was missing was his mother’s musical brain that helped him finish his songs. Even his father who wasn’t a musician couldn’t help him. Jamal eventually reached out to his mother to help him out with the songs on his album. Luscious was upset when he found out that Jamal turned to his mother for help.
Hakeem is the rebellious child out of the Lyon family, he always speaks his mind even when it's not the right time. Throughout the show Luscious offers Hakeem a spot back at ¨Empire¨, but Hakeem declines. Hakeem has a lot of anger and resentment towards his father, considering the fact that Luscious kept him from seeing his mother while she was in prison. While starting Lyon Dynasty, Hakeem discovers a girl group Mirage a Trois. He also starts a romantic relationship with the leading Singer Valentina, who is uninterested in him at first because of his reputation.
One day Hakeem gets kidnapped and held ransom for 40,000 dollars, leaving Cookie and Luscious confused as of who would kidnap their son.
To get Lyon Dynasty off it's feet, Cookie needs to start planning a concert featuring her artists, to showcase their talents. She looks to Laz Delgado, who is played by Adam Rodriguez, for assistance since he is a concert promoter. While planning the events Cookie and Laz develop a romantic relationship. Cookie is oblivious to the fact that Laz is apart of the gang that kidnapped Hakeem. Cookie eventually figures this out thanks to her ex husband Luscious.
During the season finale, Jamal, Andre and Hakeem’s loyalty is tested when Luscious is in jeopardy of losing ¨Empire¨. Surprisingly, Mimi secretly turns against Luscious by making the board members of ¨Empire¨ vote him out as Chairman of ¨Empire¨. After she found out that the company was built on lies, murder, bribery and extortion Mimi realized that Luscious doesn't deserve to run ¨Empire¨ Entertainment. It was the three sons vote that would help Luscious keep his position. Jamal and Andre voted for Luscious to stay… except Hakeem. As Hakeem is thinking about his decision he has flashbacks of the things his father did to him, which made him vote for Luscious to step down as chairman of ¨Empire¨.
From the looks of next season's preview Hakeem will be the center of attention in result of his decision that changed everything. Tune into Fox Spring 2016 to watch the new season of ¨Empire¨!
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