Empire begins with Cookie warning Hakeem he must make amends with his family and help her oust Camilla, or things will end badly for him. He tells her he has things under control. At the press conference he announces himself as the new CEO of Empire and take questions from the press. He announces Cookie, Jamal, and Andre’s new positions within the company, but disregards his father. He tells them it is a new day for the company and shows off the new logo with his face on it! Later, Hakeem signs off on important documents and oversees how the company is running, Jamal tells him he seems to be a natural at it. He recounts his days in his position and tells him how he hated that it took him from his music. Elsewhere, Porsha and Carol interrupt Cookie’s meeting to tell her that Camilla has cancelled Tiana’s tour due to the budget. She goes to Andre for help, but he tells her that Camilla and The Board have the right to turn it down, but her actions give him more ammo to build a case against her. Cookie becomes impatient and calls him crazy, but quickly apologizes.
Lucious makes new music at Lyon’s Dynasty, garnering Cookie’s respect. She tells him that Hakeem has a plan to get rid of Camilla, but he needs more time. She tells Tiana about Camilla’s decision, prompting the former to threaten to leave. Cookie realizes if she gets Miragetrois to open for Tiana then both acts can tour and will meet the budget’s parameters. She proposes the idea to Laura and Hakeem. Laura agrees, but Hakeem feels it is just a way for Camilla to keep them apart. Cookie checks on Andre and Rhonda, feeling they have both returned to work too soon after her accident. Rhonda tells her she has agreed to go to grief counseling with Andre’s pastor, but feels he is unraveling. Later, outside of Empire, a group of gay men hassle Jamal, making parody of “Drip Drop,”–“Flip-Flop”–and call him a sellout for stating he does not put labels on his sexuality. Jamal becomes angry, believing Lucious told Jamison about he and Skye to ruin his chances at the ASAs; and tells his mother he is going to make his father suffer.
Rhonda notices Andre is falling apart and becoming more and more paranoid. At the counseling session, he accuses her of being unfaithful. Rhonda warns his pastor he is on the verge of a mental break. Jamal performs a new songs at the ASAs, berating his father, revealing his name is a lie. Hakeem invites Camilla over to his house and they have sex. Afterwards, she tells him that Mimi is returning and she is not happy. She goes on to say she wishes she would hurry up and die. When she leaves Hakeem takes a camcorder out of his wall. He sends the video to Mimi! Elsewhere, Lucious reveals to a reporter his real name and that he is going to remake the music industry and regain his throne. At Empire, Andre informs the rest of his family that Mimi has dumped all of her Empire shares and calls their stock broker to buy all of them. Cooke and Jamal commend Hakeem for dethroning Camilla. However, when the broker asks Andre did he want the stocks in his son’s name he becomes angry and throws his phone against the wall. His mother and brothers calm him down, with the latter performing a song they wrote for him. Lucious goes to Mimi and Camilla’s hotel room and finds the former is dead, succumbing to a poisoned drink Camilla prepared for her. He tells her about everything that will happen to her in prison and the conditions. He pulls out a gun and advises her to take some pills, before putting the gun away. He then pokes fun at her about Hakeem. Camilla takes the pills and dies.