Empire: Season 2 (2015 - 2016)


Season 2

Critics Consensus

With masterfully melodramatic writing and gloriously glam performances, Empire is not backing down on the soapy spectacle in its second season.



Critic Ratings: 36


Audience Score

User Ratings: 386

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Air date: Sep 23, 2015

Season 2 picks up three months after the arrest and incarceration of Lucious, who is trying to run Empire Entertainment from inside federal lockup. Elsewhere, a headline-grabbing state prosecutor hangs her political ambitions on bringing Lucious down; and Cookie stages a star-studded concert in support of her ex, while at the same time she's plotting with Andre, Hakeem, Anika and Mimi Whiteman to finalize the hostile takeover of his company.

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Air date: Sep 30, 2015

Cookie and her cohorts decide to start their own small record label, but their opposing visions make for a bumpy start to the venture. Meanwhile, Hakeem woos a hot Latina singer for the girl group he wants to form; Lucious hires a new lawyer and records an epic track from inside jail; and Jamal proves to be just as ruthless as his father when making business moves.

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Air date: Oct 7, 2015

Cookie and Anika work behind Lucious' back to pull off a performance that will catch Pitbull's eye; at the same time, Lucious tries to convince Frank Gather's daughter to sign with him; and Hakeem focuses his energy on making Ménage a Trois a success. Meanwhile, Andre and Rhonda pin their hopes of a return to Empire on their baby to come.

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Air date: Oct 14, 2015

The Lyons collaborate on a music video, putting aside their differences long enough to capitalize on Hakeem and Jamal's duet from Hakeem's leaked album. Meanwhile, Lucious, who has the federal murder case hanging over his head, decides the answer to his problems is to find Vernon and make him permanently disappear.

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Air date: Oct 21, 2015

Cookie and Anika work with Laz to organize a big block party to launch their company, an event that will be highlighted by a signature anthem written by Hakeem, who finds himself entering into a tender romance with the lead singer of his girl group. Meanwhile, Jamal collaborates with Ne-Yo; and Andre takes steps to rid his soul of past sins.

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Air date: Nov 4, 2015

Lucious and Cookie put aside their differences for the sake of their family who need them to work together to stay out of danger; Jamal does his best to get back in the studio and break away from the "gay artist" label; and Hakeem struggles with how to feel and act like a man.

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Air date: Nov 11, 2015

Lucious explores the possibility of partnering with Jago as he maps out a plan to turn Empire into a global music monolith; at the same time, Andre struggles to find a balance between his newfound values and demanding career. Elsewhere, Hakeem molds Laura into a star; and Cookie pushes to get Lyon Dynasty involved in a major televised charity concert.

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Air date: Nov 18, 2015

Battle lines are drawn when Lucious attempts to assert his power by releasing a rap by Freda challenging Hakeem as his heir. Meanwhile, Cookie's spitfire sister pays her a special visit; Jamal works on landing a major sponsorship deal; and Anika receives some life-changing news.

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Air date: Nov 25, 2015

Cookie and Candace recruit an ex-con to help them rescue their sister Carol; and Laz's romantic relationship with Cookie gets complicated when she finds out the truth about him. Meanwhile at Empire, Jamal collaborates with a pop star who connects with him on a deep level.

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Air date: Dec 2, 2015

Lucious makes a reckless play for the streaming service that he believes will put him on the map as the most powerful man in music, but in the end this move could cost him big time; and Cookie decides to stage a concert at the prison where she was locked away from her family for 17 years.

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Empire: Season 2 Videos

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Tv Season Info

The second season of the hip-hop drama centers on a battle for control over Empire Entertainment. The premiere opens three months following the shocking arrest and incarceration of Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), who is attempting to control his record label from inside federal lockup. At the same time, his ex-wife, Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), is still plotting a hostile takeover of the lucrative biz, while also trying to establish a small startup. Neither goes smoothly. But success does come to Lucious when he records an epic track from prison. Guest appearances include Ne-Yo, Ludacris, William Fichtner, Adam Rodriguez, Kelly Rowland, Chris Rock, Andre Royo and Marisa Tomei.

News & Interviews for Empire: Season 2

Critic Reviews for Empire Season 2

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (23)

The second season isn't the phenomenon of the first. But no other series on network TV this year has better proven the power of diversity.

Nov 26, 2019 | Full Review…

Empire remains a soap with no pretensions beyond the suds. But there's something melancholy, and forlorn, in its heart: Reach the mountaintop, and the view is still lousy, and worse, everyone wants to push you off.

Sep 23, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The elements that made Empire a sensation last season have not dimmed.

Sep 23, 2015 | Full Review…

The first season of the wildly popular Fox dramarama was soapy in all the right ways, but, like the best soaps, teetered between being, like, the greatest and a big mess. This season walks the same precarious path.

Sep 22, 2015 | Full Review…

"Empire" rules, bigger and badder than ever.

Sep 15, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

If the premiere is any indication, we can look forward to the usual Empire fare: sexual intrigue, LGBTQ issues, fabulous wardrobe, slick pop tunes and rap hits, and - of course - a seemingly endless succession of double and triple crossings.

Sep 25, 2015 | Full Review…

[Strong's] structure injects the drama with something more, and the new season music absolutely is moving this series into the legend category.

Aug 20, 2018 | Full Review…

The show's sophomore season improves on the first in its sense of scope.

Sep 23, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Simultaneously refined and deliciously pulpy, Fox's mega-hit Empire roars back to life in its second year, with all the brand-specific viciousness and gasp-earning twists fans have come to expect from the Lyons.

Sep 20, 2015 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Empire is succeeding at the game it's playing, and if that's our criteria, then yes, it's a good show.

Sep 17, 2015 | Full Review…

There are still the twists and turns, the gasp-worthy tweetable moments, and the songs made of pure fire.

Jun 7, 2016 | Full Review…

Overall, I really enjoyed the season 2 premiere of Empire, although I am going to try to forget that the gorilla scene ever happened.

Sep 28, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Empire: Season 2

  • Oct 01, 2017
    Never have a seen such s poorly written piece of trash that panders to the lowest common denominator. The plot is spoon fed and predictable, and it perpetuates stereotypes that most of us do not aspire to. Not all black folks are like this people, and your kids shouldn’t look up to these type of nonsense characters. I love Terrence Howard and Taraji, this show is no better than here comes honey boo boo. These rolls are beneath Terrence and taraji, they deserve so much better.
  • May 22, 2017
    Empire's glossy melodramatic flair has worn out its welcome, at least for myself. Taraji Hensen, while a capable actress, is exhausting to watch and near-impossible to like as Cookie Lyon and each of the male leads act like a child half their respective ages. Add that to the producer's insistence on trying to keep up some gang elements in their portrayals, as well as an unfortunate step back to the quality of this season's soundtrack, and Empire S2 is hard to recommend as anything besides a guilty pleasure.
  • Apr 05, 2017
    After a strong and shocking start,Empire waste its talented cast and made it another boring soap opera.It lost energy by wasting cliffhangers and wasting entire episodes with boring sub plots and honestly forcing some cast members to become useless.
  • Sep 18, 2016
    Even better than the previous season. The tagline MUSIC FAMILY POWER was really visible to the eyes of the viewers. The characters of Lucius, Cookie, Andre, Jamal and Hakeem are connected but the individuality of each can stand alone without the other. And amazing performance for Taraji. A well-deserve defeat of Viola. Two thumbs up.
  • Jul 25, 2016
    I couldn't stop watching!!!! I loved it????
  • May 20, 2016
    ummmm..... this was a disaster. A big disaster and it is nearly impossible to fix now. I will keep watching, but wow what a disaster. Cookie keeps on making this interesting though i am still so frustrated. I really have no idea what to give this so i will give my undecisive 2.5/5. The writers need to stop turning this into a bad soap (which it is headed for) and make this the intense and addictive show it almost was in season 1.
  • May 20, 2016
    The Empire has officially fallen this season. This whole season their has not been one great episode they took along break just to show us more disappointing episodes. Especially the season finale like what made them decide to have Rhonda and Anika the main focus at the end when that is more of a side story. Did anybody else see the horrible acting from Hakeem when his wife called the wedding at the last minute, he reacted like he dropped his last chip or something.I do not think it worse acting than Tiana when she got robbed for her purse earlier in the season.
  • May 18, 2016
    While Season 2 is heavily flawed and no where near as good as it could've been when it's great it's great getting more into characters pasts and why they are they way they especially for Lucious Lyon but of course the real MVP of the season is Taraji P. Henson who further who pours tons of pathos into her performance. However where Season 2 struggles is sticking to storylines as well as moving way too fast and many times gets too over the top for it's own good but ends the season in a confident new direction that hopefully for the show's sake works out moving forward. Overall Grade of the Season: B-
  • May 04, 2016
    really bad. dont know why people even watch this
  • Apr 26, 2016
    Fed up of the musical chairs to be "Chairman" so stopped watching!

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