Tonight’s season finale of Empire ended with the type of dramatics and cliffhanger that you’ve come to expect for this show, and we ate it up! The episode opens with Mama Lyon on lockdown at the Lyon home after she killed Tariq right before he was about to reveal Bella’s whereabouts. Lucious refuses to let her go and insists that she take her medicine, but she still has access to a phone and she’s still plotting. She calls Anika over to her house, claiming it’s time for her to get the rest of her things. Once Anika gets to the house, Mama Lucious gives her her mail. One letter is a giant envelope that Mama Lyon encourages Anika to open with a letter opener. You see where that’s going, right? You know Mama Lucious killed Tariq with a letter opener, right? Yeah…
Lucious and Giuliana take one final walk through of Leviticus before the big opening, and Charlotte reveals that her father was the gaming commissioner on the night Tupac was shot and that he lost his job because of the incident not being under control (Tupac was involved in a brawl beforehand). Basically, this is her way of warning them that if there’s any trouble during the grand opening, then it’s a wrap for Leviticus.
Speaking of Leviticus, Shyne and Andre are planning to plant a bomb at Leviticus. It’s not clear where, but we do know that they want to take Lucious out.
Hakeem is distraught about Bella and refuses to do any Empire-related business. Lucious still hasn’t mentioned to his family what happened with Tariq, but tells Hakeem that he’s close to finding Bella.
Later on, Lucious rescinds his black ball of Cookie and invites her to the opening of Leviticus.
And then we cut to Anika showing up at the Dubois’ family home. Mama Dubois is just about to let her see Bella until Hakeem barges in demanding to know where she is. It turns out that Mama Lucious put the bug in Hakeem’s ear that he can’t trust Anika so he followed her and got exactly what he was looking for—shady business. Hakeem says he’ll do anything to see Bella so Mama Dubois lets him hold her, but he really does have to do anything for her. It starts with him having to tell his parents that Bella is safe, but there’s more, and he’ll have to wait until he gets word from Mama Dubois to move forward with anything else.
It’s the big night at Leviticus.
Cookie comes through and starts wandering around. Lucious approaches her as she gets too close to a classified area. That’s when Giuliana’s thirsty self comes over and tells Cookie she needs to bounce. Lucious then drops the bomb that he did this all for the love of his life. Giuliana is gassed up until he reveals that he’s talking about Cookie. Basically, he’s just as petty as he has always been so this relationship with Giuliana was just a ruse to get back at her since she played him and stole $10 mil from him all those years ago. Giuliana gets escorted out, but it’s obvious this isn’t the last of her.
Lucious, ever the romantic, unveiled another surprise—Jamal, who came out and performed a song for her from When Cookie Met Lucious. Jamal has been in on it the whole time. Cookie then calls Shyne and tells him to call off his goons who were going to make a scene (Shyne obliges). Things get even better when Lucious takes the stage for a song dedicated to Cookie as well.
Later on, Lucious asks Cookie to travel the world with him and she agrees.
Hakeem shows up and feeds them Mama Dubois’ lie—that Anika found Bella and that she’s safe at Anika’s parents’ house. He even shows them a photo he took. However, that story is about to fall apart. Mama Lyon found out that Anika was holed up at the Peninsula hotel on the Dubois’s dime, so she called the police. You guessed it, the cops arrested Anika for Tariq’s murder because her fingerprints are on the knife.
Basically, Mama Lyon is crazy like a Fox and her plot may have caused a chain of events that will expose Bella’s real location and subsequently, The Dubois’ plot.
Lucious and Cookie tell their sons that they have decided to step down from day to day operations of Empire and Lucious does what he should have done a long time ago—he gives Dre the keys to the kingdom. Hakeem and Jamal are artists, and need to focus on that while Dre should be the one in charge.
Dre should have been happy, but then he remembered that bomb situation.
He rushes off to find Shyne and promises him a piece of the pie if he calls off the bomb. However, Shyne refuses. Dre catches Cookie and Lucious just before they get in the car and tells them to get away from the car. Lucious knocks cookie out of the way, but he caught some of the impact of the explosion, which blew him forward.
Three months later, he’s still in a coma. The family is at the hospital reading to him and eventually his eyes flutter. He wakes up, but he has amnesia—in true soap opera-style.
We’ll have to wait until the fall to see how this new house of cards comes tumbling down.