After her break-up with Lucious, he’s technically not a part of the Lyon family anymore, but the Empire expat’s connection to the family of five means she’s still relevant. She’s vowed to put her beef with Cookie on hold so they can band together with Hakeem and Andre to fight against Lucious. Based on their history, however, we can’t imagine this detente with Cookie will last long.
When we last saw Hakeem, he was doing what he does best (well, besides starting romances with older women): Making music. Of course, his role in the season 1 finale’s closing montage only painted part of the picture. Dissatisfied with Empire begin handed over to Jamal, Hakeem is part of a plot against Lucious that joined the forces of brother Andre, mother Cookie and, most importantly, his recent fling (and almost stepmother) Anika.
The biggest switch-up from last season’s premiere? It’s Lucious, not Cookie, behind bars. When we last saw the Lyon patriarch, he was carted off in handcuffs, under arrest for his brother-in-law Bunkie’s murder. His family (and company) may be surviving without him, but in the finale’s last seconds, we were reminded of what Lucious is capable of – even from jail, with his final line: “Game time, bitches.” This Lyon comes to play – although, he’ll have to get out of jail first.
What this Lyon brother lacks in musical talent, he makes up for with his business sense and education (he went to Wharton, after all). Andre found religion after a stint in treatment for his bipolar disorder, and is expecting his first child with his (briefly estranged) wife Rhonda. Although it seems inevitable that nothing will stay picture perfect for any couple in this high-pressure, high-powered world – especially since they covered up Rhonda accidentally killing Vernon.
The woman Lucious thought was Cookie’s parole office was actually the agent leading the charge on his, so Lucious has a pretty good reason to be convinced that Cookie snitched on him to the feds. In a post-arrest montage, we saw Cookie looking content in a lavish pad and even though Cookie lives large in Lucious’ absence, the state of her relationship with her locked-up (and well-connected) ex is dangerously rocky – she did try to kill him, after all.
For most of the season, Jamal’s relationship with Lucious had been strained (at best). But now that he’s been handed the Empire, Jamal’s the Lyon brother who has remained loyal to Lucious – and a post-arrest montage, we see that he’s now running the company in his father’s absence … for now.