‘Empire’ is back and ready to roar. The show jumped two years (and then some) in the season 5 premiere and revealed the fates of Hakeem and Tiana. So, what the heck happened?!
Empire season 5 opens with Lucious walking up to a closed coffin. The person inside that coffin has gotten Lucious choked up. This is someone near and dear to his heart. The show flashes back six months earlier. Lucious and Cookie are living in their mansion, but their air conditioning has been cut off. They don’t have any cash flow coming in right now after losing Empire.
Lucious and Cookie get a call from Jamal, who is living in London. He has a new boyfriend named Kai and started his own label. His mom and dad don’t let him know how bad things are at home. Meanwhile, they’re selling all of their stuff. Those poor coats.
Lucious is fired up and ready to fight for Empire. Cookie wants to take care of Eddie at the MVP Movie Awards. They need Andre’s help, but he’s in prison for reckless endangerment over Anika’s death. Despite the circumstances, he’s actually doing pretty well for himself on the inside. He’s a businessman through and through. He meets Eddie’s former money manager, who has access to what Andre needs. All the guy has to do is give it up.
Over at Empire, things are going very well for Giselle, Eddie, and Becky. Becky is running the show along with Giselle. Empire’s profits are all the way up at the moment. Don’t tell Lucious and Cookie.
But what about Hakeem and Tiana? Hakeem was shot in the chest and had to get part of his lung removed. He is still alive, thank goodness. Blake was shot as well, and he killed his father in self-defense. Hakeem is struggling. He can’t get his wind back. Tiana, who has since given birth to a baby boy named Prince, is the most supportive partner. She wants to perform at the MVP Movie Awards and make a big comeback. Eddie sidelined her after she got pregnant. Hakeem is unsure about performing, but Tiana says he can have a backing track. Hakeem doesn’t want to lip sync, but he wants to make Tiana happy.
While going to visit Andre, Cookie hears a girl singing in the parking lot. This girl has some serious skills. At the MVP Movie Awards, Cookie and Lucious arrive looking flawless. Eddie looks absolutely terrified at what they might do. Giselle and Cookie trade disses at the bar. Giselle is officially the new Boo Boo Kitty.
Tiana and Hakeem perform, but he loses his breath mid-way through and reveals that he’s lip syncing. Blake is watching from backstage. Blake sees that Hakeem is struggling, so he takes over. He kills it. I love Blake, you guys…
Cookie and Lucious manage to get some one-on-one time with Eddie after Cookie spills wine all over Giselle’s dress. They tell him that he’s going down. They have proof of another one of his scams and force him to announce that he’s stepping down at the show. Eddie goes back to Empire and starts confiscating evidence. He’s also been drinking. He believes it’s over, that the Lyons have won. Giselle is absolutely blindsided. Eddie tries to come on to Giselle, but she pushes him off. When he falls, he hits the corner of a table. Giselle watches him die. Now the Lyons are screwed.
Lucious and Cookie get into a nasty fight after Eddie’s death just as Jamal arrives home with Kai. They’re forced to tell him how bad their circumstances are. Jamal tells them to let Empire go and “build magic from scratch.” Cookie takes his words to heart. She wants to go looking for a new sound. Lucious gets on board as well. Suddenly, Cookie remembers the girl from the prison parking lot. She goes back to prison and finds the girl, whose name is Treasure. “I’m going to change your life,” Cookie says. But she also tells Andre to not do anything that could prevent him from getting out. Protect Andre at all costs!
Treasure stops by the Lyon house along with her sleazy manager. Cookie and Lucious want her to just sing and show them what she’s got. Lucious takes the manager outside to “talk business,” but Lucious takes a heavy candelabra with him. That guy’s a goner. Once Lucious and Cookie hear her voice, they know Treasure is their girl.
After the MVP Movie Awards, Hakeem gets drunk and into a fight. He tells Tiana that he needs space from her. He goes to stay with Jamal. Hakeem still holds a lot of resentment for Jamal going back to London during his recovery. Jamal vows to do better. When Giselle is named interim CEO of Empire after Eddie’s death, she dumps Eddie’s ashes into a sewage drain. Savage.
The episode ends with the show flashing forward again to Lucious and the coffin. “I’m sorry,” Lucious says before walking away. Who is in the freaking coffin?!