Empire: Will Jamal Lyon Live?

In “Rise by Sin” (Empire S2 E17 5/11/16), Freda Gatz learned the real reason why Lucious kept her around and she took immediate steps to straighten that out with a hastily borrowed weapon.

Leslie Uggams as Leah Walker on Empire

Leah Walker watches the Boom Boom video that she dies in

Juanita was still on the job, bringing toast, ham and scrambled eggs to Leah Walker who turned up her nose at them. “You don’t season your food. I’m not eating it.” She coldly told Juanita and also said she thought she fired her. “Hmmmm,” an unhappy Juanita replied. Watching TV promos for the upcoming ASA Awards, Leah saw the part of the “Boom Boom” video where she supposedly killed herself. “He’s always been a liar,” she declared bitterly, “A bald-faced liar.”

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon and Morocco Omari as Tariq

Tariq gets some bad news

Carol may be oblivious to “Tariq the Freak’s” game, but Cookie is not. After figuring out that he is a Fed, she questioned him about his interest in Carol. Tariq claimed it’s just a date and after some thinly veiled verbal sparring, he reminded her that Lucious killed her cousin Bunkie. Cookie gave a short laugh and told him to be careful because Carol has herpes. “Hope it’s not too late,” she smirked. Of course, Carol refused to believe that Tariq had ulterior motives and threw up how Cookie always stole her boyfriends, including Lucious. The argument escalated and Cookie kicked her out.

Cookie also continued to worry about Freda Gatz being around her sons, so much so that when Jamal brought Freda up, after an angry confrontation with Lucious, she felt compelled to tell him of the history she and Lucious had with Freda’s father, Frank Gathers. She snitched on Gathers and Lucious had him killed in prison. But it was a drunken Carol who told Freda that the only reason Lucious kept her around is because he felt guilty about what he did to her daddy.

Here is Ta’Rhonda Jones with Jake Hamilton in this week’s B Side with a lot more on the episode, including the OMG moment when Jamal stepped in the path of Freda’s bullet.

S’cuse us, but the teasers are off the charts. Someone will die and it will be a gamechanger. We can’t even speculate on whether Jamal will live or not. Jussie Smollett teased on his Twitter that the character dies, but other reports left that open. There will be a marriage but whose marriage? Rhonda will confront Anika but did Anika really do it? This is a lot of stuff to wrap up in one episode, but they stress that the scene is being set for Season 3. In the meantime, remember how this episode ended with Leah Walker about to say something momentous to the press about her bald-faced liar of a son? Not a word about that in the B-side previews. Clearly, most of what we think is going to happen isn’t.

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