Mariah Carey and Empire belong together! The pop diva joins the Fox drama's third season, which premieres Wednesday, September 21, as fans wait with bated breath to learn who dies following the rooftop tussle between Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) and Anika (Grace Gealey) in last season's finale.
Here are five big spoilers for the new batch of episodes, including what's in store for Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) and the rest of the Empire Entertainment crew.
1. Mariah Carey is joining the fray.
The "We Belong Together" singer will appear in the October 5 episode as Cookie's pal who helps Jamal through a fallow songwriting period by working on a tune with him.
2. Other famous faces are coming on board too.
Taye Diggs is joining the series as Angelo Dubois, a community organizer who turned his back on his family's wealth, and who just may have sparks with Cookie. Phylicia Rashad is his mother, Diana Dubois, who pushes her son to pursue higher office. And French Montana appears this season as music mogul Vaughn, who has history with Lucious.
3. Jamal vs. Lucious for the future of Empire.
Smollett, 33, tells Us Weekly exclusively that his character and father Lucious will engage in a bit of one-upmanship in an effort to assert their power this season. However, the pair's friction will have more complexity than ever. "There’s still an adversarial way of life for them, but now it’s more of a calm way, where it’s not yelling and screaming," he says. "Now it’s more of a thing of 'I’m trying to do what’s best for my family.' The problem is, they both equally believe they are doing what’s best for the family."
4. Cookie's alliances aren't easy to predict.
When asked if Cookie will be siding more with Lucious or Jamal this season, Smollett tells Us, "Some of these rounds, Jamal is not going to win, and some of these rounds, Lucious is not going to win. So when you say who’s on whose side, it’s not as clear cut as that."
Henson, 46, was asked at the Television Critics Association press tour last month whether Cookie could ever walk away from Lucious, and the actress quipped, "Not unless she kills him."
5. Who's a goner?
The premiere picks up right where the season 2 finale left off, with a body apparently getting tossed off the roof. Promos have promised a corpse, and indeed, fans should brace themselves. "We answer the question," Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken said at the TCA press tour about who dies. "The question that was posed gets answered in a fabulous and heart-stopping way."
Tell Us: Who do you think dies?
Empire airs on Fox Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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