Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) might be in jail when “Empire” Season 2 begins, but he is ready to take down those who led to his downfall.
“He’s coming back with a vengeance, and with more power and determination than ever,” showrunner Ilene Chaiken teases in a new special for the FOX series.
Howard dubs Season 2 “Lucious’ revenge,” and is excited to delve into his character’s backstory. Beyond seeing how Lucious handles life behind bars — where he’ll run into a new character being played by Chris Rock — viewers will also learned what happened in his early years to leave him an orphan at age 9.
Lucious isn’t the only character getting their past revealed. Taraji P. Henson reveals she demanded time to learn what happened to Cookie to get her to this point in her life.
“Season 2 will be more of backstory. We’re going to get into Cookie and the 17 years she spent in prison,” Henson says. I need to know how did it change her.”
The Season 1 finale left Empire and the Lyon family in a tumultuous state with Jamal (Jussie Smollett) taking over the family company and Lucious being imprisoned. “We’re going to begin Season 2 three months later with some chickens coming home to roost, and a whole bunch of new ones showing up,” Chaiken promises.
Because Lucious chose Jamal, there is a big divide between him and his mother. “Jamal and Cookie are pretty much not speaking to each other because Jamal thinks that Cookie betrayed Lucious and the family, but hopefully he will come around and know that his mother is not a snitch,” Henson says.
It doesn’t help that Cookie is still teamed up with Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray), Andre (Trai Byers) and Anika (Grace Gealey) when Season 2 kicks off. Anika is dead-set on revenge, while Andre is bitter about being passed over.
“I’ll think we’ll be disturbed by where Andre’s world is coming,” executive producer Lee Daniels says.
With Cookie, Hakeem, Anika and Andre working together, they’re going to be going head-to-head with Empire — and Jamal.
“Empire” Season 2 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.