Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) thought she finally had what she needed to make Empire hers. However, Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) turned the tables on her and made a deal with Lucious (Terrence Howard) to keep the record label in his hands in the Season 2 premiere of "Empire" titled, "The Devils Are Here." The Whiteman moment was a shocker, but showrunner Ilene Chaiken promises there will be more surprises ahead involving the lesbian billionaire.
In an interview with TVLine, Chaiken said Mimi will appear on five episodes this season and the storyline will play out in a very interesting way. "That storyline pays off in our midseason finale — episode 10 — airing sometime in December. I’ll just say it builds to a glorious and hopefully unexpected conclusion," Chaiken dished.
All throughout episode 1, Cookie did her best to impress Mimi and convince her to invest $250 million into their cause. Mimi took a liking to Anika (Grace Gealey) and Cookie had Anika dance with Mimi and also hook up with her. Despite doing all of this, Mimi went behind their back and made a deal with Lucious because she believes there is no Empire without Lucious Lyon.
Watch a clip of Mimi and Anika from "The Devils Are Here" below:
Chaiken said they originally called Tomei's character Rich Whiteman and was meant to show the dangers of what can happen when Lucious made the company public. "You expose yourself to being appropriated, to having your art taken away from you or having it changed. And that’s the story we’re telling. We wanted to start with Cookie — and having Lucious turn things around on her," she explained to TVLine.
Several celebrity guest stars like Tomei will be appearing on "Empire" this season. In an interview with Variety, Chaiken said they try not to make it too much of a stunt when the guest stars appear. "When those people come on the show, the best part about it is the guest stars are as talented as the cast, and everything that we do, we try to do with maximum impact, but they fit seamlessly into our show. They don’t hijack it, they don’t derail our stories, they’re there to be part of 'Empire,'" she said.
Tomei joined the cast of "Empire" in June. Deadline reported she signed on to to be a potential business rival for Cookie, who will become entangled in the Lyon family finances. Empire” Season 2, episode 2 will air on Fox on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 9 p.m. EDT.