We’ve got some time to kill, Empire fans.
So, first things first, there are spoilers on this page. Lots of spoilers. Lots of season two spoilers that can help keep us all occupied while we wait for Empire to come back on TV in March.
The FOX hit wrapped up the first half its second season two weeks ago and left viewers with more than just a few cliffhangers to deal with during its winter break. Let’s break ’em down.
Did Rhonda Survive The Fall?
The end of the midseason finale showed Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) unconscious at the bottom of the stairs after being pushed down them. So, who pushed Rhonda down the stairs? Is she still alive? Is her baby still alive?
Showrunner Ilene Chaiken talked about the scene with The Hollywood Reporter and gave a bit of insight into Rhonda’s fate:
We hope Rhonda survives. And, depending on the outcome of both those things, how will Rhonda and Andre repair themselves? That is going to be a big part of the story for the second half of the season! Rhonda and Andre are figuring out whether this was an accident, a cruel twist of fate, whether it was something that God meant to happen or that somebody did to them for some other nefarious reason is going to be a very big story for us.
Mariah Carey Guest Star? Mariah Carey Guest Star!
There have been reports for weeks that Mariah Carey is set to join Empire this season, but after a half season in the books, we’ve yet to spot the songstress on TV screens. It’s actually lead to some rumors that Carey isn’t even slated to appear on the drama and depending on who you listen to, you’ll get different reports.
Series creator Danny Strong told E! Online:
I have no idea. All these names that get floated and talked about, it’s often literally just some preliminary conversation that on any normal TV show would not be spoken about publicly because it’s not going to happen. So for this show, it’s just endless names I read about that there’s really no deal in place or even storyline in place. It happens over and over and over again.
This comes after co-creator Lee Daniels said that Carey would be on the show in August. Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal, also added fuel to the fire, claiming, “That rumor is true. That makes me feel so good to say that rumor is true.”
Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a Carey appearance in the second half of the season. After all, Empire has been jam-packed with talented guest stars this season, including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, Becky G and Jason Derulo.
So, Jamal Kissed a Girl
Last season, much of Jamal’s (Jussie Smollett) arc was focused on his struggles with his sexuality and finding acceptance, both from himself and his family. This season, things have gotten even more complicated.
Jamal locked lips with Skye (Alicia Keys) during the midseason finale of Empire and it sent fans into a bit of a tailspin. Co-creator Danny Strong explained the decision to E! Online:
Look, I thought it I knew it was going to be provocative, which I personally really like—doing something that I know is going to be provocative—but also to do something that’s truthful. I’ve got friends that are gay that have hooked up with women. It’s happened. To discuss this and examine it, it’s just truthful to human nature. [It’s] just not something you’re going to see on most TV shows, so let’s go for it. To do it with Jamal, I know Jussie [Smollett] loved it and Lee Daniels loved it, and they’re both gay and out. For them it felt very true so that was a good barometer. … It was provocative and it was interesting, and it will continue to be an interesting discussion about sexuality. Jamal made really clear that he did not become straight—he’s still gay—and he just had this thing with this one woman.
So, that’s that. Jamal isn’t straight. End of controversy. Instead, let’s focus on the controversy with his father, Lucioius (Terrence Howard). The recently ousted CEO sees his son as a threat and the tension between these two, particularly after Jamal’s ASA nominations and Pepsi campaign, are going to add fuel to the emotional fire.
Camilla & Mimi Are Married…And Ready to Cause Drama
That really did happen, guys. Camilla (Naomi Campbell) and Mimi (Marisa Tomei) are married and have just taken over control of the Empire after watching the board push Lucious out.
As expected, that move will have a major impact on how the rest of the season shapes up.
Camilla is going to be taking on a fairly major role at Empire as well, particularly with Mimi’s health issues, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to stop pursuing Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) either. That’s going to complicate things for Hakeem who is dealing with about 18 different things at once heading into the second half of the season.
Remember, Hakeem has already been kidnapped this season, gotten Anika pregnant and is trying to come to terms with being a man. It’s not going to get any easier.