Empire Season 2, Episode 12 Recap: Wait, Who Is The Real Lucious?

Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Hodes/FOX.
I hope Empire isn’t doing what I think it’s doing. And that is: trying to power through the rest of this season. I want it to take its time with me, to work through its plot lines with detail and purpose. What I don’t want is for it to throw a lot of story at me quickly and leave me standing there deciding whether I’m okay with it all come May.

I say this because SO much happened in this latest installment, titled “A Rose by Any Other Name.” Just two episodes ago, we were presented with the huge cliffhanger of the Empire takeover. Last week, the Lyon squad spent the hour piecing together a plan to overthrow Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) and the evil Camilla (Naomi Campbell) and snatch back the label they all worked so hard to build. Hell, Lucious (Terrence Howard) was even poised to knock off his youngest son over it. I figured this would at least take a three- or four-episode arch to accomplish. But nope. Needless to say, this week, shit went down.

Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) wastes no time peeing on the proverbial tree by swapping Lucious’ face with his own for the new logo of the rebranded Empire with Hakeem as the new CEO. And now that he’s deflowered Laura (Jamila Velazquez) and tagged her as his girlfriend, he’s less inclined to be Camilla’s plaything. So he's ready to comply with Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) plan to trap Camilla into admitting that she and Mimi acquired Empire illegally.
Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Hodes/FOX.
Advertisement
But Hakeem quickly realizes that Camilla is too smart for that lame plan and devises one of his own that involves kinky sex and a video tape — à la Kim K and Ray J. He then sends the footage to Camilla’s jealous wife, who starts dropping Empire stock like it’s hot, while Andre (Trai Byers) instructs his finance team to swoop up the shares in his late son’s name. And just like that, Empire belongs to the Lyons.

But getting Empire back isn’t enough for Lucious. He wants retribution. He shows up in some “no evidence shoes” at Camilla and Mimi’s place just in time to catch Camilla knocking Mimi off and staging the scene to look like a suicide. Lucious has Camilla right where he wants her and, though we know he’s no stranger to filling someone with lead, he instead forces Camilla to fill herself with the same poison that she used to kill Mimi. And just like that — the problem is gone.
But wait! There’s more because…Empire.

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) gets accosted by an LGBT flash mob armed with flip-flops — because of his smushing session with Sky. Only now does he realize that his relationship with these fans has been threatened by the one and only Lucious, of course, who apparently spread around the rumors of his bedroom business. So Jamal drops an absolute BANGER called “Like My Daddy” as payback, and as a way to serve all kinds of hot tea about who Lucious really is…or isn’t.

Now we’re left with a cliffhanger that I PRAY Empire takes its time with. And that is: Who the hell is Lucious Lyon if he’s not Lucious Lyon? He begins to tell the story to a nosy journalist who’s just scored the exclusive of her lifetime. Lucious will reveal the sad story of how an orphan became one of the biggest music moguls this world has ever seen. But I’m sure this will not change any of his evil, ugly ways because, as the title says, a rose by any other name…
Advertisement

More from TV

Everything about Luke Cage communicates strength. The burly Harlem resident seems patient and unfeeling. Bullets can’t wound Luke Cage, and knives can’t ...
Try as we may to separate the man from his work, it feels disingenuous to write about a Woody Allen project without so much as mentioning the personal ...
A major network has just ordered a series about a man who sends for a mail-order bride from the Philippines and winds up with a full mail-order family. ...
The 2016 Emmy Awards were off to a great start when a surprising announcement came over the loudspeaker. A voiceover announced the next presenter: none ...
Julianne Hough has responded to Amber Rose's accusations that the dancer body-shamed Rose on Dancing With the Stars. Hough told Entertainment Tonight that ...
Every once in a while, a show comes along that we're super psyched about — and not just like, "This is a cool series you should consider watching," but ...
Every Wednesday, the Johnson family enters millions of living rooms across America. Dad Andre brings the laughs with his stubborn-but-silly antics, which...
Kimmy Schmidt lives in her own world. It's a cross between middle school, the year 1999, and present-day New York. Mix in the fact that she was held ...
Grey's Anatomy is back, and it's kicking off this week's episode with a Hamilton reference. Well, kind of. Technically, when Webber offers to be Bailey's...
We know what you're thinking: Gee, I really could use more Kardashian-Jenner-West coverage on TV. Just kidding. The only people who think that are E! ...
Amazing news, TV lovers of the world: Since we first published this story in 2013, there have been leaps and bounds in the number of streaming platforms ...
We're less than two months away from the Netflix premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on November 25. In the meantime, Rory and Lorelai thought ...
Two episodes into the third season of How To Get Away With Murder, we're one step closer to finding out who dies in the fire at Annalise's (Viola Davis) ...
We've written extensively about how all the American Horror Story seasons are linked. But we didn't realize that Roanoke would be the Rosetta Stone through...