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Empire Season 2 Premiere Recap: Lucious Lyon Gets His Murder On

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Terrence Howard in Empire Chuck Hodes/Fox

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) is back! Fox’s Empire returned for its sophomore season, and things are crazy dramatic with Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and his family of music moguls. The premiere kicked off with more soapy intrigue than even Cookie could handle, plus a casual beheading. Yep, things got real. Check out the the biggest moments from the episode, which took place three months after the events of last season.

Also, shout-out to Vogue‘s André Leon Talley, who made a special appearance in the premiere just to insult Cookie’s style. How. Dare. He.

Amanda Seyfried

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It’s Cookie’s World and We’re Just Living in It

Last season, Lucious left Empire Records in his son Jamal’s (Jussie Smollett) hands, and Cookie wasn’t thrilled. Her genius plan? To hold a #FreeLucious concert as a way to impress investor Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei), and then use her money to stage a hostile takeover. Cookie and her sons threw Mimi what can only be described as a lesbian-themed party, and Cookie even made Boo Boo Kitty (Grace Gealey) sleep with their guest of honor to loosen her purse strings. Tragically, this plan failed miserably, causing Cookie to quip, “You can’t even dike right.”

Oh, and in unrelated Cookie news, she also said, “Ooooo, Krispy Kreme!” upon seeing a box of donuts, so she is officially the best.

Trai Byers and Taraji P. Henson
Trai Byers as Andre Lyon and Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in the premiere episode of Empire

XOXO, Gossip Girl

Mimi ended up investing her millions in Empire (score!), but Cookie, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) and Andre (Trai Byers) got a rude awakening when they tried to announce their hostile takeover during a company meeting. Turns out Lucious watched Empire’s concert on TV, saw Mimi and Cookie scheming, and then made Mimi a better offer. The best part? Lucious video-called into the meeting and mused, “Game over, bitches.” Who knew he was such a huge Gossip Girl fan, right?

Costar Couples

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Dead Head

Speaking of Lucious, he spent most of his time in jail looking hunky/playing basketball — until Frank Gathers (Chris Rock) showed up. In case you need a reminder, Frank is the drug dealer Cookie snitched on, and it only took about five seconds before he convinced Cookie’s cousin to sell her out. Frank’s response to Cookie betraying him? Oh, you know, just sending her a casual head in the mail. (Also, the head might have belonged to Cookie’s cousin — we only saw part of its face.)

Naturally, Cookie was terrified — but then she put her best patchwork denim jacket on (um, why) and proceeded to visit her husband in jail. Poor LL was kind of bumming, but after some flirty banter with Cookie and her denim jacket, he made things right by killing Frank. It’s casual.

Another One Bites the Dust

Because he’s only kinda cool with being a burgeoning serial killer, Lucious tried to cut his enemy a deal: If Frank left his family alone, Lucious would give his daughter a record deal. Unfortunately, Frank was like, “Nah, I’m going to murder you” (in so many words) and set his pack of jail buddies on him. The twist? Lucious turned every single one of Frank’s allies against him and promptly had them kill their former crime boss. He then said the immortal sentence: “I’m gonna sign your baby girl and I’m gonna slip her my bone.” Well then.

Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin

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Jamal Overdoses on Feelings

So, what’s going on with Lucious’ sons? Hakeem’s taken to riding around on a hover board and hates Jamal due to #AlbumArtDrama (typical), Andre is still distraught over the fact that he’s basically a murderer, and Jamal is busy being angsty, making out with his ex-boyfriend and hating his family. In fact, he ended the episode by kicking everyone out of Lucious’ house — even Cookie, who got in a few slaps first. In other words, drama.

Empire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

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