‘Empire’ Season 2, Midseason Finale Recap: Lucious Loses Empire, Anika Tries to Kill Rhonda, Da Brat Has Words for Cookie
Last night marked Empire's midseason finale. Star-studded to the core, Fox proved they have what it takes to pull out celebrities at the drop of a hat.
The show's 60-minute midseason finale kicked off with Jason Derulo appearing as himself as he announces the 2015 American Sound Award nominations live from Los Angeles. Please keep in mind, the American Sound Awards - or the ASAs - are not real, but in the interest of not paying to use the title of an actual awards show, Fox invented the next best thing. While announcing music's hottest nominations from the West Coast, Lee Daniels and Danny Strong tapped Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club to simulcast ASAs contenders from New York. In fact, The Breakfast Club held their own nomination party, referred to as Charlamagne's Nomination Party, on the show.
Performances are going on throughout the day, but Jamal and Skye Summers, played by Alicia Keys, make their musical cameo with the premiere of "Powerful," it seems like the two did a little more than just kiss when things wrapped during last week's episode. Lucious walks in on the two canoodling with one another, and asks Jamal point blank, "are you hitting that?" And with a smile on his face, Lucious finishes his statement with a simple, "She fixed you!"
Now, fast forward to Skye and Jamal's nomination performance. If you know Charlamagne tha God, you know he doesn't hold anything back. So, after the two finish their debut duet, Charlamagne hits the stage. He commends the duo on their song, but quickly finds a way to erase the compliment by challenging Skye and her racial identity. "Powerful" addresses the brutality and civil injustice going on across the world, so Charlamagne seemed a little surprise to hear Skye lend her vocals to such a track since her career has thrived in the pop lane. "So you Black, now?," he asks her. Skye may have built her career with a strong pop influence, but that doesn't take away from the fact that she's Black.
While Jamal is feeling the fruits of his musical labor, his father is busy
illegally purchasing Swift Stream, "the fastest streaming service in the Universe." As he's explaining his plan to his business partner, Mimi, she's recording the entire conversation with her pen. Lucious, of course, is none the wiser. So when Mimi pulls Empire together for a staff meeting, the devil himself is totally caught off guard. Mimi moves to hold an emergency board meeting to overthrow Lucious as Empire's chairman and CEO now that it's a publicly traded company and all.
Andre, Thirsty and Lucious work to round up every board member they can to vote in favor of keeping Lucious on the team. The family needs one additional board member to vote with them, but Hakeem heats things up when he lobbies against his father. Thus, Lucious loses the empire he's spent 15 years building, and Mimi Whiteman is named as Empire's new chairman. However, Mimi's battling breast cancer so she authorizes her wife to act in her place. Who's her wife might you ask? Remember Hakeem's ex-girlfriend Camila Marks? Well, looks like she's back. And looks like this entire hostile takeover was orchestrated by her. Well played, Camila!
Everyone in the family clearly has their own problems, and during this round of familial drama, Cookie takes Hakeem and Laura to perform during Family Day at the prison she was incarcerated at for 17 years. Here, Da Brat finally makes her Empire debut as Jezzy, Cookie's "family" in prison.
Cook always promised Jezzy should would make her a star after she was released, but it looks like Jezzy's locked up for life. After Cookie got out, Jezzy thought she bounced and bailed on her, so she didn't see a reason to fight anymore. Thus, Jezzy got life while locked up by offing her bunk mate over some toothpaste.
But before over-saturated celebrity drama could bid farewell to 2015, there was one last story line left to leave viewers cringing on their feet: Anika and Rhonda.
For weeks now, Anika has kept her pregnancy a secret. She's befriended Rhonda, who's having Lucious' first, and only, grandchild, as far as anyone knows, and lets the jealously spill over instead of coming forward with the truth. Boo Boo Kitty asks to see the nursery one more time, not knowing Anika had ulterior motives up her sleeve. That same night, Anika sneaks into Rhonda and Andre's home wearing all black and pushes Rhonda - and her baby - down the stairs. Talk about going out with a bang.
For all those rocking with anticipation for the next episode, sit back and take a breath because things don't heat back up until Mar. 30.