Everyone's favorite hot mess hip-hop soap is back and boy, was it missed. Where else on TV can you get an in-depth exploration of music business drama, a knife-wielding grandma and a diva going berserk in a fur coat?
When we last left the Lyons, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) was going to rehab; Andre (Trai Byers) vowed to kill Lucious (Terrence Howard); pouty brat Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) was beefing with Andre over Nessa (Sierra Aylina McClain); and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) was still fighting for some R-E-S-P-E-C-T at Empire while trying to add some bougie to her bad by making Angelo Dubois (Taye Diggs) her man. All this while Tariq (Morocco Omari) and Shine (Xzibit) are working to get Lucious' lusciously permed head on a plate. By the end of Wednesday's episode, Jamal got his (musical) groove back and Cookie went full Lemonade in Lucious' office with a bat and re-ignited their longstanding war...and almost hooked up with him. Oh Empire. Never change. Here's the six most outrageous moments from the Spring premiere.
#2 When Cookie dragged out Lucious' disoriented mom Leah Walker (Leslie Uggams) on stage
Cookie's first shot at Lucious was a low-key threat to expose family secrets by trotting out his perpetually confused momma. The best part here is the not-very-convincing reaction from the crowd. Did you hear someone shout, "Who's the old lady?" Priceless.
#3 When Tory Ash (Rumer Willis) popped off at Cookie Lyon
Tory first tries to get cute with Cookie in Jamal's rehab facility, prompting Cookie to say, "Don't try me little girl, not today." Tory mouths something else off before sauntering away, but she really went for it in the studio, forcing Cookie to tell her she needed her ass beat. Tory gets points for being brave enough to come for Cookie, but will she get through the season with all her teeth intact? We'll have to see.
#4 Nessa (Sierra McClain) and Tiana's (Serayah) on-stage catfight
Nessa threw the first verbal dart when she says, "I'm a lady, so I'm not gon' beat your ass," (which, well, why bring it up Nessa?) but Tiana's clapback — calling her a "dusty skank" — got the action underway. Shine yells, "Back up, let em fight!" like someone's uncle trying to make sure a neighborhood fight is clean, allowing the ladies to start slapping each other. Kudos to the Empire sound people too, becuase those slaps were LOUD. Tiana yanks some of Nessa's weave, and they end up wrestling on the floor. See you at the NAACP Awards, ladies!
#5 When Cookie snaps at Porsha
Poor Porsha (Ta'Rhonda Jones) was just trying to do her job when she shows Cookie a Snapchat video of missing Jamal and Tory Ash. She was doing so good too, until she suggests the pair could be at a crackhouse. Cookie barks "Shut your ass up!" and shoves her; Porsha's stuck-on-stupid expression is too funny. God, we love Porsha.
#6 Cookie goes full Lemonade in Lucious' office
I guess brooms just weren't cutting it anymore?
Empire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Fox.