The season 2 finale of “Empire” ended with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) feeling hurt after Lucious (Terrence Howard) married her enemy, Anika (Grace Gealey). Though Lucious did it to avoid getting sent to jail, Cookie was still offended as she was starting to have feelings for him again. When the show returns, Cookie will try to move on from her ex-husband, and this might involve a new man.
Producer and showrunner Ilene Chaiken previewed the new season in an interview with Yahoo! TV and said that Henson’s character will have a “fabulous” story arc in season 3.
“The story of trying to move on from Lucious that might well involve a new man,” said Chaiken. That man will be played by Taye Diggs, who has been cast as wealthy councilman Angelo Dubois. Chaiken told TVLine that part of Cookie’s arc will find her “making it her mission to reclaim both the professional and the romantic sides of her life.”
“Somehow Cookie is going to show us what it means to be done with Lucious and still co-CEO with him,” the showrunner revealed.
But while the new season will see Cookie trying to move on from her ex, season 3 will also delve deeper into the couple’s relationship, and the story of how they met will be featured when the show returns. Chaiken said that viewers will be learning about the Lyon family, their connections and history in the new installment.
Meanwhile, the middle Lyon son, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) will be having a tough time recuperating, both physically and emotionally, after he got accidentally shot by Freda Gatz (Bre-z) on the red carpet last season.
“He realizes that he can’t just make music frivolously anymore,” Chaiken said. “He’ll be self-examining in every way to make sure his life is meaningful.”
The season premiere is expected to reveal who between Anika or Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) was the one who fell to her death in the finale, as the two had a catfight after Anika revealed that it was her who pushed Rhonda down the stairs, which led to her miscarriage.
“Empire” season 3 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.