Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) can’t seem to lose so far in “Empire” Season 2. Everything seems to be going his way, and he keeps getting the last laugh over Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray). Just when it seems the two are going to really get a big push for their new label, Lyon Dynasty, Lucious turns the tide on them in episode 3, “Fires of Heaven.”
Lucious emerges from jail as cocky as ever, even as prosecutor Roxanne Ford (Tyra Ferrell) swears she'll still get him convicted on the murder charges. As part of his bail agreement, Lucious can't go inside of Empire because if he does, he'll go back to prison.
On his first night out of jail, Lucious brings the whole family together for dinner. He tells them he’s willing to forget about everything they’ve done to him if they drop the new label they’re trying to create. Lucious believes they can't eat without him, and he thinks they'll give in. Cookie wants to build something for her sons and won’t stop building up the label. She says she’s always going to eat, just not with Lucious, and she pulls the entire dinner off the table.
Anika (Grace Gealey) meets with Lucious after he reaches out to her. He wants her to turn on Lyon Dynasty, and he’ll reward her by bringing her back to Empire. He believes Lyon Dynasty will fail and also that Cookie won’t keep her around. She agrees to hear what he has in mind.
Andre (Trai Byers) meets with Lucious again wanting to rejoin Empire. Lucious says he’ll need to bring something to him that no one else can. Meanwhile, at Empire, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) sits down with Freda (Bre-Z), Frank Gathers’ (Chris Rock) daughter, about wanting to sign to Empire upon Lucious' suggestion. She doesn’t trust Jamal and wants to hear it from Lucious himself, so she leaves without signing.
Anika returns to Cookie and lets her know about Lucious’ proposal because Anika wants to hurt Lucious, not rejoin him. After a few minutes of being sarcastic to her, Cookie agrees to listen. The two talk about a party Lucious is throwing for himself that night, and a new alliance is born.
Pitbull and Jamal perform “No Doubt About It” together at Lucious' party. About halfway through the song, the music stops and the lights go out. Cookie comes out with a microphone and introduces Hakeem, Lyon Dynasty’s top artist. Hakeem crashes the party along with Timbaland, and he debuts a song aimed right at Lucious. Pitbull stops Cookie on her way out after he is impressed by Hakeem, and the two could perform together in the near future.
Lyon Dynasty’s introduction turns a lot of heads, and the phones are now ringing off the hook at the new label. Despite this, Andre goes to see Cookie to tell her he belongs at Empire and also that he and Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) are expecting. She believes he should use that on Lucious because he might bring Andre back after learning that.
When Andre goes to see Lucious, the latter is excited but asks if he’s afraid for the child's mental health. Through a series of flashbacks it’s revealed Lucious’ mother, Leah Walker (Kelly Rowland) suffered from some sort of mental illness, and that could be why Andre is the way he is. Lucious is mad Andre tried to use the child as leverage to get back to Empire, and Andre leaves.
Lucious meets Freda in a park, where she’s rap battling, to try to sign her again. A fight breaks out, and guns are drawn, but Lucious grabs Freda and tells her he can give her a new life because Frank didn’t want that life for her. She agrees to let him help her, and they all run from the scene before the police arrive.
Cookie starts to coach Hakeem's all-girl group Ménage a Trois and makes them work hard on their dance routine. Cookie wants all of them to put in the work, especially Valentina (Becky G). Cookie wants her to prove her talent so the world is impressed with her and doesn’t think she’s there just because she’s sleeping with Hakeem.
Lucious crashes Cookie and Hakeem’s Ménage a Trois premiere at Apex Radio with Sway, where they plan to give the world another taste of Lyon Dynasty. Lucious reveals he now owns Apex Radio and has a controlling interest in every urban outlet in the country. In another stunning twist, he tells them he signed Valentina to Empire and took her away from Cookie and Hakeem. Cookie tells Lucious he should know by now he can’t keep her down and she'll get him back.
Other Major Moments From Episode 3
- Jamal has been going through producer after producer since Cookie left. Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) tells him he needs to talk to Cookie, and she'll help him again because her problem is with Lucious, not him. When he goes to see her, Lucious shows up in his limo and tells Jamal that he needs a god to produce him and reveals that he'll be Jamal's new producer.
- Lucious sees Roxanne when he's walking back after seeing Freda. She says he won’t find Vernon (Malik Yoba) because they’ve got him hidden away, but Lucious isn’t fooled and he assumes there's a problem with Vernon. Lucious makes a few cocky passes at her, and she swears a murder wrap is just the beginning of what she has planned for him.