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Donnell Jones

In the early 2000’s Donell Jones exploded on the scene with a sound that became the musical score for love. An acclaimed songwriter and singer who mixed old school soul with new school style, his storytelling painted a vivid picture of his own real life story. But behind it all Donell Jones was hiding a dark secret that threatened his career, and his life.



The Devils Are Here

Cookie organizes a "Free Lucious" concert for her sons to perform at, but secretly aims to impress new investor Mimi Whiteman for her own nefarious purposes. Meanwhile, Frank Gathers, a notoriously violent drug dealer who knows Lucious from his criminal days, is transferred to Lucious’ prison, which causes a hit man friend of Cookie’s on the inside to panic. When Mimi turns her eye toward Anika, Cookie urges Anika to win the investor's favor. Lucious is visited in prison by ambitious state prosecutor Roxanne Ford, who wants to make a deal with him. Jamal’s ex-boyfriend Michael organizes an LGBT award for him, but Jamal is uncomfortable with the flamboyant company, and the two come to new terms. At a board meeting, Cookie, Andre, Hakeem and Anika arrive as a team to announce they have a new direction for Empire — but soon learn Jamal had anticipated their move with help from some others. At her apartment, Cookie receives a box containing a terrifying warning. Fearing for her and her family's life, Cookie asks Lucious for help. When Lucious confronts Frank Gathers, the tables are viciously turned in a surprise show of force. Back at the family mansion, Jamal vows to Hakeem and Cookie that recent events have changed his view of them.



Without a Country

Cookie convinces Hakeem and Andre that the best course of action is starting their own company, but Hakeem's recommendation to bring in Anika causes tension. Lucious is denied something crucial in the prison clinic, leading him to a guard with a grudge. Cookie asks Jamal for Hakeem's album back, while Hakeem holds auditions for a girl group and is taken by Valentina, a fiery performer, while Andre expresses concernes about his new project. Lucious asks Jamal to aid him in prison in a move to put Empire back in the spotlight. Crafty lawyer Thirsty Rollins corners Lucious and aggressively pitches what he can do for him. Jamal talks to Hakeem about moving past their grudge, which makes Cookie suspicious. Rhonda comes to Jamal to speak about Andre and finally tells him about her big news. Thirsty Rollins does Lucious a favor, enabling him to make a serious move for Empire, but the prison guard who has an eye on him has other plans. Hakeem makes his own decision about his new album, sending Andre to confess his true feelings about the situation to Cookie and finally speak to Lucious. Hakeem tells Jamal he's made a decision about his offer. At Lucious' court case, Rollins produces a surprising set of documents, leaving the judge little choice what to decide in the case.



Fires of Heaven

Prosecutor Ford is disappointed at the judge's verdict in the Lucious case, and Lucious speaks to a crowd about his intentions for the label. Cookie reprimands Hakeem for his relationship with the star of “Ménage a Trois,” his new girl group, but in a radio appearance, a proud Hakeem brags about them and new label Lyon Dynasty, making a promise to the DJ. Jamal asks Cookie and his brothers to come to the mansion so they can speak to a special guest, but Cookie protests. Lucious asks Anika for a favor. Andre takes a private meeting with Lucious to plead with him for a change of mind, so Lucious asks for something in return. Lucious advises Jamal to sign Frank Gathers' daughter, a raw singer named Freda, causing a conflict. Lucious throws a party where Jamal performs, but Cookie has plans of her own to demonstrate Lyon Dynasty's talent. Andre delivers his big news to Cookie and Lucious. Lucious confronts Freda in her neighborhood with a proposition. Prosecutor Ford warns Lucious about Bunkie's murder. Lucious pledges to Jamal he'll give him what he wants, then shows up at the radio station where Lyon Dynasty is making its move and has some surprising news involving Valentina.



Poor Yorick

The FBI stages a raid that puts Empire at risk, and Cookie sees an opportunity. Lucious decides to use the press as pushback, with Thirsty advocating they find a key player who can dismiss their case. Lucious sits down with Cookie for some hard bartering. Jamal works with an eccentric photographer for a big publicity opportunity, who turns the session into a major new look for Jamal. Andre makes a mysterious offer to Lucious concerning the case against Empire, and soon confesses to Rhonda his plan, which involves Vernon. Lucious masterminds the vision for Jamal's new video shoot, but during the shoot, an argument threatens to derail it. Cookie is surprised by law enforcement and Prosecutor Ford lets her know how serious she is. Andre and Rhonda are interrupted as they enact their plan, but their visitors end up being unlikely allies. While brooding over a fight, Jamal overhears a stunning new female singer.



Be True

Lucious celebrates the legal outcome he was looking for, while Hakeem speculates on how Vernon died. Andre reluctantly joins Gutter Life, while counseled by his pastor. Lucious tells Jamal he should leave Michael behind when he tours, while Chase One has his own designs on Jamal and Michael. Tiana is assaulted by some “fans” out for blackmail, and Cookie confronts Lucious about Vernon. Thirsty asks Andre for a devious favor, while Ne-Yo offers Jamal his opinion about Michael. Hakeem gets a little too close to Laura. Cookie and her new business partner Laz catch some gangsters red-handed. Andre confesses his sins to his brothers and his father. During a recording session, Lucious uses “tough love” on Freda. A surprise guest shows up at a church service of importance to Andre, and Hakeem is given a shocking surprise of his own.



A High Hope for a Low Heaven

Lucious works on a new track with Jamal, urging him to put his issues into his music. The family discovers Hakeem’s whereabouts, and Lucious and Cookie must team up to uncover a conspiracy. In the aftermath, Hakeem expresses himself to Anika. Frustrated at only being defined as a gay artist, Jamal accepts an offer from Jamieson, one of Lucious’ old rivals. Fallout from Jamal’s recent experience causes damage that threatens his ability to make music. Cookie takes a dangerous suggestion from Laz, and makes a move to avenge Hakeem. Andre, making a decision in his position at the label, urges rapper J Poppa to put a positive message in his music, but his creative decision crosses Lucious. Lucious makes an ovation to Hakeem, but his brothers are the ones who talk some sense to him. Freda snaps at a live show, and Lucious speaks with her after. Mirage a Trois premieres and Hakeem’s ability to perform is called into question. That night, Cookie takes Laz up on his offer.



True Love Never

Laz seeks to ingratiate himself to Cookie, but she is unaware of his agenda. Lucious pushes Freda to work harder, and takes the track to R&B legend Huey Jarvis. Jamal goes against Lucious’ rules by asking Cookie for help. Mirage a Trois are introduced at a new hip-hop showcase masterminded by Cookie, with Laz’s help. Mimi argues that Lyon Dynasty needs to merge with a streaming service, butting heads with Andre’s plans. Lucious urges Andre to go against his principles to do a favor for the label, but Andre finds a way to get it done on his own terms. Mimi introduces Lucious to Jago, the owner of the streaming service. When Jago prefers to negotiate in a boxing ring, things go awry. After Jamal is asked to play Huey Jarvis’ living room session, Lucious grows introspective. Hakeem stages a publicity stunt in public for Laura. After Cookie attempts to negotiate with some thugs, Hakeem has his own ideas about how to close the deal. An invitation from Mimi and a friend causes Lucious to come to terms with a difficult memory.



My Bad Parts

Lucious sends a message to Hakeem via Freda, and Hakeem takes the bait, risking everything for Cookie’s label. Jamal gets an offer to be the new face of a major corporation, so he stages a performance that forces Cookie and Lucious to barter. Mimi pressures Lucious to close the deal with Jago, and Andre reluctantly agrees to go with Lucious’ plan. Anika receives some life-changing news and goes to Rhonda for advice, but when she speaks to Hakeem, his connection to Laura drives a wedge between them. Coming head-to-head over Hakeem, Cookie and Lucious make a bet that risks the future of their respective labels. Freda and Hakeem face off, and Lucious is stung by the performance. Cookie’s sister Candace arrives with an alarming message, and Laura is placed in jeopardy.



Sinned Against

Candace insists that Cookie continue their search for Carol, so Cookie sees ex-prison mate Pepper to get information and some help. When Big Heavy confronts Laz about his deal, the two come to a crossroads. Lucious makes overtures to Rhonda and Andre with a generous gift, and also tries to bargain with Hakeem. Jamal collaborates with mega-star Skye Summers, and his advice pushes her to a place she’s never shown her public – as well as a new dimension to their relationship. When all the sisters reunite, Carol is forced to make a choice. After Anika goes to Rhonda for advice, she makes an aggressive play for Hakeem’s attention. Lucious, looking to acquire a new streaming service, decides to make a bold business move using Andre’s advice. Laz’s secret alliance is revealed, with violent consequences.



Et Tu, Brute?

A major award show announces its nominations and creates a rift in the Lyon family. Jamal is concerned with Lucious’ impression of his new love interest, which also brews trouble for Jamieson Hinthrop’s publicity efforts. Mimi leads Lucious to believe she is behind his play for a streaming service, but hides her true motives. When Empire’s board learns what she’s hiding, Lucious’ team has to scramble. Meanwhile, Jamal triumphantly performs his duet with Skye Summers, but the host changes the tone of the performance. Cookie visits her old crew in jail with a special show, and has a heart-to-heart with an old friend; a key figure in Hakeem’s past returns with an offer that turns the tables at Empire; and an intruder at Andre and Rhonda’s mansion could change the fortunes of Empire’s heir.



Death Will Have His Day

In the aftermath of Hakeem’s decision, Lucious and Cookie form an alliance against Camilla, while Lucious schemes with Thirsty to take Empire back, old-school style. Meanwhile, Andre and Rhonda absorb some crushing news that tests their faith. Jamieson and Cookie criticize Jamal’s lifestyle, so he chooses to publicly make a statement. Hakeem’s feelings for Laura come in conflict with Camilla’s plans, forcing him to make a decision. At the spot where Bunkie was murdered, Lucious dares Hakeem to demonstrate how much Empire is worth to him.



A Rose By Any Other Name

Hakeem announces Empire’s new direction, while Lucious plans an ambitious music video that runs into trouble with Camilla. Jamal is confronted with a public demonstration from the gay community, and in turn sends a harsh message to his father, prompting Lucious to make a deal with a journalist. After Tiana’s new tour is put in jeopardy, Cookie delivers Hakeem an ultimatum. With the family growing concerned about Andre’s mental health, Hakeem and Jamal stage a musical intervention. Lucious confronts Camilla at a crucial moment in her relationship with Mimi.



The Tameness of a Wolf

With her birthday approaching, Cookie helps Lucious plan a music video that evokes a disturbing emotional scene from his past. Tiana is irked by Laura as Mirage a Trois steals the spotlight on her tour, so Hakeem is forced to mediate. Hakeem and Jamal look for Freda Gatz in a neighborhood very different from their own, and a musical celebration spontaneously arises. A visit from Laura’s family strikes an emotional chord with Hakeem, prompting him to make a romantic gesture to her. On Cookie’s birthday, Andre has a revelation about his family; later, Cookie realizes a fateful connection between Freda and Lucious.



Time Shall Unfold

Lucious releases his new music video as he manipulates and sabotages those around him to regain his CEO position at Empire. Meanwhile, Andre learns more about his grandmother’s mental illness in order to understand his own struggle with bipolar disorder, Anika reveals a big secret to the family, and Hakeem leads the big shareholder meeting



More Than Kin

With help from Andre, Lucious hosts a fundraiser, as part of his campaign to prove to the board that he should return as Empire’s CEO. Meanwhile, Hakeem must decide whether he wants to be a father to his and Anika’s child.



The Lyon Who Cried Wolf

A wrench is thrown into Lucious’ deeply personal music video about his mother, when Andre discovers a dark secret. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Jamal are compromised after pursuing secretive affairs. Then, Rhonda starts to suspect who her attacker was.



Rise By Sin

Hakeem feels the pressure of his underwhelming fiancé, Laura, as he struggles to find a place for her both in his family and his career. Cookie finally reveals to Jamal the truth behind what happened to Freda’s father, prompting Jamal to warn Freda of his family’s ulterior motives. Meanwhile, despite his frustration with the family, Jamal makes a sacrifice for Lucious from which it will be hard to recover.



Past Is Prologue

After a life-changing experience, Jamal refuses to make music until his family ends its seemingly endless cycle of violence and fighting. Meanwhile, the Feds are tailing Anika because they want to force her to testify against Lucious. In order to protect her family, Cookie organizes a meeting at Hakeem and Laura’s wedding with various people from her and Lucious’ past.


Fatal Attraction

Sex, Drugs, and Murder

Monroe Finley and Anntwenette Jones are soul mates bound together forever until a hail of gunfire kills him and leaves her and another woman critically injured. When detectives investigate what sparked the attack, they uncover a tawdry world of sexual fetish where everyone has a motive for murder.


Fatal Attraction

Hidden Homicide

Iraq War veterans Almanita Smith and Marcus Bailey seemed to be the perfect match. But on August 17, 2012 Almanita goes missing. Her distraught boyfriend tells investigators that he last saw her leaving with a man in a dark car.


For My Man

Desiree Satterwhite/Cadedra Cook

Desiree Satterwhite falls under the influence of a man almost twice her age, and walks away from her life to become his partner in crime on a dangerous armed robbery spree across North Central Texas. Georgia teenager Cadedra Cook finds herself in love with a younger man whose reckless ways will leave Cadedra at the center of a very bloody crime scene.


For My Man

Tosha Dunigan/Connie Ikpoh

When Tosha Dunagin gets fired from her job at a massage parlor in Dallas, Texas, she lets her boyfriend talk her into committing a revenge robbery…with deadly results. In Los Angeles, Connie Ikpoh puts her faith in her pastor husband, only to get pulled into a world of multi-million dollar fraud.


For My Man

Verna McClain/ Shaketa Jones

Verna McClain falls hard for a young handsome stud; and her desire to hold his attention will drive her to commit a horrifying act. Later, Shaketa Jones becomes infatuated with Sunday school’s new bad boy. But when the fairytale veneer fades, his drug habit forces Shaketa into a life of crime.