Empire’s Bre-Z: Freda Doesn’t Yet Understand Shooting’s ‘Detrimental’ Impact on Jamal

She’s back. Empire viewers saw the return of Freda Gatz, played by Bre-Z, on the Fox drama’s Wednesday, October 5, episode. The rapper had last appeared on the penultimate episode in season 2, where she accidentally shot Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) after he jumped in front of a bullet meant for his father, Lucious (Terrence Howard).

Freda returned to the show this week in cuffs and an orange jumpsuit while meeting up in the visiting room of a prison with her former friend Jamal.

“It was highly anticipated. People want to know what’s going on between Freda and Jamal,” Bre-Z exclusively tells Us Weekly of her return. “It was very emotional, it was very serious, it was very real.”

During the reunion, Jamal continued experiencing flashbacks to the shooting that occurred at the ASA Awards. “I don’t think she really has a clue about the pain he’s in. She can obviously understand that someone gets shot, and it hurts, but I don’t think she understands how detrimental that was to him as a human being, period,” Bre-Z says. “I think she’s looking at it just like, ‘I didn’t mean to do it.’”

“She wants to be able to say sorry and hopefully things will be OK, but she’s got a little bit of growing up to do before she can acknowledge certain things,” Bre-Z explains. “That’s that level of maturity. When people suffer from traumatic experiences like that, there’s a healing process. It takes time, but she doesn’t really understand that yet.”

Bre-Z as Freda on 'Empire.'
Bre-Z as Freda on 'Empire.' FOX via Getty Images

While Bre-Z stayed mum on when she will be returning to the show, she did hint that we may hear some new music from the talented rapper.

“I think we will, because she’s got to give her side of things, she’s got to say something, and I think when she’s going through things we all know that she portrays it best through her music, so I think we should in the near future,” she says.

As for recording with Lucious, Bre-Z doesn’t think it’ll happen anytime soon.

“I’m not going to go as far as the music just yet, but I do believe that they will speak,” she says. “Freda is angry, but life has to keep going.”

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

For more with Bre-Z, read her Q&A below:

US: The scene in Wednesday’s episode was so dramatic, especially to see it with you and Jamal, contrasting from the fun you had last season. How was it shooting that scene?

BZ: It was very emotional, it was very serious, it was very real. We both just focused on getting through it because I feel like that moment needed to be portrayed in the best light we possibly could. There wasn’t no time to play around. The story is highly anticipated — people want to know what’s going on between Freda and Jamal.

US: Do you think Freda has any idea how much pain Jamal is in?

BZ: I think it’s something she may think about, but I don’t think she really has a clue. Someone gets shot, it hurts — but I don’t think she understands how detrimental that was to him as a human being period.

US: Do you think that’s a product of how differently they were raised?

BZ: I think it could be, slightly, it could be, it could have something to do with that, but I think that Freda is still trying to wrap her head around what went on for her as well. So I feel like her mind just isn’t there, it’s not in that space to really think as such.

Bre-Z and Jussie Smollett on 'Empire.'
Bre-Z and Jussie Smollett on 'Empire.' FOX via Getty Images

US: We see it from Jamal’s perspective, but she’s hurting too because of her dad.

BZ: Absolutely. You’ve got to look at everything she’s been through as well. She’s not there yet — she’s got a little bit of growing up to do before she can acknowledge certain things.

US: And then what’s really missing from this season is Freda’s music — all my favorites from last season. Do you think we’ll get to hear her rap in prison?

BZ: I think we will because she’s got to give her side of things, she’s got to say something, and I think when she’s going through things — we all know that she portrays it best through her music, so I think we should in the near future.

US: I’m hopeful! And then the dynamic between Freda and Lucious was interesting last season — do you think we might see them speak? Reconcile? Record together?

BZ: Hmm, I’m not going to go as far as the music just yet, but I do believe that they will speak, I do believe they will speak at some point.

US: Do you ever throw ideas to the writers?

BZ: Oh, yeah, we all do! You go into the writers room, and you just talk, and they listen, bounce ideas, they might even ask, like, “What do you want to do this season?” It’s pretty cool.

US: Can you say when we’ll see you next?

BZ: No! Absolutely not. [The October 5 episode] was a good one, though.

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