Pictured L-R: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and guest star Chris Rock as Frank

Pictured L-R: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and guest star Chris Rock as Frank

*”Empire,” last season’s most buzzed about show, returned last night with some new characters, new music and a lot of old beef resulting in an entertaining 44 minutes of TV.

But let’s just go here first. Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) needs a get-out-of-jail free card ASAP. Orange definitely is not his color.
Working to expedite his father’s release is Jamal (Jussie Smollett), who was given the reigns of the company when Lucious was charged with murder. But even with his wardrobe challenges, Lucious is getting more done in jail than most people do with access to smart phones, tablets and laptops.

He’s already taken out Frank Gathers (Chris Rock), an old frenemy who was looking to snuff out the entire Lyon clan because Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) ratted him out to the feds. And, you just know he will somehow thwart Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Andre (Trai Byers) and Hakeem’s (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) hostile takeover attempt of Empire. It might be more difficult, however, to rid himself of the sexy yet pesky new prosecutor Roxanne Ford (Tyra Ferrell). She wants Big Lu to rot in hell.

There’s something more to that story.

empire episode 201

Empire – Season 2, Episode 1: (L-R) Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Gray, Swizz Beatz

The highlights of last night’s episode included the Swizz Beatz-hosted “Free Lucious” rally featuring performances by Sean Cross and Smollett; and the cameos by CNN’s Don Lemon, Al Sharpton and fashion guru Andre Leon Talley. Also, Marissa Tomei’s turn as a filthy rich lesbian who betrayed Cookie, Andre and Hakeem to team up with Jamal and Lucious, is absolutely tasty.

Some of the more forgettable scenes included any involving Frank Gathers. Sorry but Rock just isn’t believable as a convicted felon. His death—a mercy killing. Add to that any scene featuring Hakeem. Unfortunately Gray’s ability to deliver his lines isn’t on par with his rhyming skills.

Top 10 Lines From Last Night’s Episode:

1. “You can’t even dyke right?” Cookie to Anika after the deal with lesbian Mimi Whiteman fell through.

2. “Why you look like Mr. T?” Lucious to Cookie when she visits him in jail.

3. “Kill him. Make it loud and make it long.” Lucious ordering his fellow inmates to kill Frank Gathers.

4. “Gucci. Last season.” Andre Leon Talley assessing Cookie’s wardrobe at the Free Lucious rally.

5. “Lucious—word on the street is he isn’t right on this. I can’t get involved in nothing wrong.” Rev. Al Sharpton responding to Cookie’s request to help Lucious get out of jail.

EMPIRE: (L-R): Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, Ta'Rhonda Jones as Porsha and guest star Don Lemon

EMPIRE: (L-R): Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, Ta’Rhonda Jones as Porsha and guest star Don Lemon

6. “I’m not feeling what you did out there in Peterson (meaning Ferguson).” Cookie’s assistant Porsha to Don Lemon.

7. “You’re rude, he’s crude and the both of y’all are socially unacceptable. You need to fix this.” Jamal’s assistant Becky after an altercation between Jamal and Hakeem.

8. “Don’t you worry your pretty little weave about that.” Mimi to Cookie when asked where she’s getting her information from.

9. “You’re trying too hard. Move.” Mimi to a woman at Hakeem’s party rolling up on her.

10. “You just gave me goose bumps.” Lucious to Roxanne after she told him she was going to be his worst nightmare.