Empire Season 3 Episode 1 Recap: A Lyon Cub is Born

empire-season3-ep1-lucious Chuck Hodes/FOX

It’s Wednesday night, and you know what that means…Empire is back for Season 3! Which also means…someone is getting pushed off a balcony!

NO! I wasn’t ready for this. It was Rhonda that fell off the balcony! I’m sorry, but I was kind of hoping it would have been Anika. Andre can’t live with this!

As if that wasn’t enough, Anika’s water breaks as Andre starts choking her because he saw Rhonda get pushed off the balcony.

Hakeem is too worried about getting left at the altar that he pops up at Tiana’s house, looking for some sugar. Boy, put your pants back on! Your brother just lost his wife and baby thanks to your baby momma, who happens to be delivering your baby!

Chuck Hodes/FOX

As Anika is trying to give birth, Lucious starts whispering into her ear the lie that she’s going to tell the cops about Rhonda’s death. He wants Anika to tell the cops that Rhonda tried jumping off the balcony and that when she tried to stop her, Rhonda tried pulling her down with her by grabbing her by the throat.

Surprise, Lucious! It’s a beautiful baby girl. Not the boy that Rhonda was carrying, the same one that Anika pushed off the balcony. I’d hate to be Anika right now.

Chuck Hodes/FOX

Someone I wouldn’t hate to be right now though is Lucious. Did you see that mansion?! Lucious is trying to launch his new music streaming idea called Empire X Stream but not everyone thinks it’s going to be so successful without his queen, Cookie. I agree. Everyone needs Cookie in their lives.

Tariq is one persistent dude. He’s trying to get to Lucious and doesn’t care if he has to get him by going through Cookie’s sisters first. Tariq knows that Lucious and Anika’s marriage is fake and wants Cookie’s help in proving he’s right. Doubt she’ll be so willing to help.

After Anika was released from the hospital, she has to make it look like she’s moving in with Lucious so their marriage also looks real. Now Anika and baby Bella have to share the house with Lucious and Leah, Lucious’ mom. Awkward!

Leah welcomes Anika by telling her she’s not sure why Lucious married her. She’s about as “trustworthy as a snake in a hamster cage” and Leah knows Anika tried to poison her. Not sure what Leah meant by that comparison, but it was still funny to hear.

Since Tariq is spying on Lucious by sitting outside his house, Lucious decides to just invite Tariq inside for dinner the next night. Tariq accepts Lucious’ invitation but I don’t think their conversation is going to be regular small talk.

Shine keeps hassling Lucious to get Nessa heard. Finally, Lucious agrees to have Nessa perform at the Empire X Stream launch. What Lucious didn’t tell Shine is that he plans on not even plugging in Nessa’s microphone. Yikes! I wouldn’t want to pick a fight with either of these guys.

Is it weird that I feel bad for Hakeem? I know that he’s not with Anika and now his father is married to her, but that doesn’t mean Lucious is baby Bella’s father. Hakeem is still Bella’s father and Lucious doesn’t seem to think that way.

It breaks my heart to see Cookie helping Lucious prove that his marriage to Anika is real. I know she still has feelings for him but doesn’t want to show them because he’s married now. Stay strong, Cookie!

Dang! Tariq sure knows how to push the Lyons’ buttons. At dinner, he goes around the table and tries to make every single member of the Lyon family crack. He digs down deep into their past of how the children were raised and even questions Cookie’s loyalty after the way Lucious treated her. In the end, the Lyon family sticks together.

Right before Jamal was supposed to perform for the Empire X Stream launch party, he starts to panic on stage. It seems that Jamal might be suffering from PTSD after getting shot by Freda. Not being able to perform, Nessa takes it upon herself to sing the song.

Chuck Hodes/FOX

I’m just sitting here thinking, who told her to go ahead and sing?

Nessa ends up nailing the performance and even has Tiana looking worried. Lucious is livid. He’s so angry at Jamal because now Nessa is the face of Empire X Stream and he has to work with Shine.

Oh no, poor Andre! Now he’s seeing hallucinations of Rhonda telling him her death was all his fault and that he won’t be able to survive without her. I hope his family is actually able to help him out and not drag him into Lucious’ mess.

Remember when I said Tariq is a persistent dude? Well, here’s some more proof to back that statement up. Tariq managed to somehow get a nanny cam inside Bella’s nursery through one of the stuffed animals. It’s genius! No one would ever expect it to be there. Now Tariq just gets to sit back and watch all the action unfold.

What were your thoughts on the season 3 premiere of Empire? I’m really sad that Rhonda was the one who fell. It also makes me mad that Anika doesn’t get in trouble for what she did. Do you think Lucious will get back at Anika for lying to him about the baby? Now there’s no one to carry on the Lyon name. Do you think Andre will make it through the season? I say he gets a nice, peaceful vacation from his father for a while. Will Tariq get what he wants with his nanny cam? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

New episodes of Empire premiere Wednesday nights at 9/8CT on FOX.


  1. Really disappointed!! Hated that not only did Anika lived but it seems as though she is getting away with not only the murder of Andres unborn baby but Rhondas too!! There was no funeral, no grieving for Rhonda. Also every outfit cookie wore was hideous! I always love her fashion and style but it was not the same cookie! Then these thugs go into the recording studio and push their weight around made Lucious look weak! Jamal seems to be losing it in this episode!! The Lyon family all seem to have lost what makes them Lyons!

    • Dene, I feel the same way! Anika gets no punishment while Andre has to suffer. OMG! You’re right! Where was Rhonda’s funeral?! I don’t think the Lyons are going to go away that easily.

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