Empire begins three weeks after Jamal being shot. The Lyons throw an intimate welcome home party for him, and there Veronica sings a new song, “Hourglass,” Hakeem wrote; and wants them to sing at his wedding. Jamal, is seemingly wheelchair bound and tearful as she sings and then tells his family he appreciates the vote of confidence in him, but he is never doing music again. He tells them until their cycle of violence and drama ends, he will not return to the stage. The family feels he is just tired and needs rest. Lucious thanks him again for saving his life and promises him they will get one of the best physical therapist in the country to help with his rehabilitation. Jamal dismisses him and tells him to help Freda, feeling she is a victim in all of this too. Leah warns her grandsons that their are paying for the sins of Lucious’ father.
Later, Cookie talks with Lucious about Jamal, feeling something may be mentally wrong with him. Lucious tells her the doctors say he can walk, he is just choosing not to. Anika walks in on them to tell them about the Feds questioning her, she refused to give them any information. Thirsty warns them she will be subpoenaed. Rhonda busts into the room and then attacks Anika, punching her in the nose, and accusing her of pushing her down the stairs! Security and Andre break them apart. Rhonda becomes angry when he tells her he does not believe Anika hurt her. She leaves him on the spot! Later, Lucious and Cookie discuss their issue with The Feds. The former reveals the part they played in the murder of a few drug dealer who could testify against them for past crimes in court. He also tells Cookie two of their former allies keep in touch with him and are tight lipped about anything that has transpired. Their final loose end is a hitman, Leslie ‘Shyne’ Johnson (Xzibit) who they must silence or get on board.
Cookie goes to see Shyne and convinces him not to snitch to The Feds and in return she will get Hakeem to perform one of his songs and allow him to come to his wedding. Meanwhile, Andre and Hakeem return Jamal to his home. He tells them he will be fine, but seems saddened when they leave. In the elevator, Andre reveals to Hakeem that Rhonda has left him and gone to LA to start a jewelry line with a college friend of theirs. Lucious goes to visit Freda and lies to her, telling her that he did not kill her father, and took interest in her out of hope for a better life for her, and not pity. She feels horrible about what happened to Jamal. He brings a phone with some beats on it and she freestyles on it. Later, he takes the song to Jamal, who still refuses to perform in front of him. When he leaves he listens to the song and then begins to add to it. His creativity is renewed and begins to work on a song for Hakeem’s wedding–produced by D-Major. D-Major is glad to work with him, but concerned about his health. At Empire, Cookie and Lucious’ meeting is interrupted by Hakeem who brings them to Anika–preparing to jump over a ledge. Cookie manages to talk her down and tells her she is now a Lyon, like she has always wanted to be. Lucious promises she will not be served and will have security around her at all times.
At dinner, Laura’s parents express concern over Shyne attending the wedding due to his violent background and ask that he be uninvited. Hakeem stands by his parents’ invitation and declares to them that he will keep Laura safe and end the cycle of violence pervading their lives. At the wedding, things seem to go off without a hitch. Laura gets ready while Hakeem mingles with the guest before taking his place. Lucious and Cookie talk with their friends and assure them all loose ends have been tied up. Shyne, however, arrives to the wedding with four girls in tow, loud, and obnoxious. As the wedding begins a court courier dressed as a server serves Anika! Security tries to stop her, but Shyne inadvertently knocks him out, causing a ruckus! Laura sees her wedding in a disarray and refuses to marry Hakeem, not wanting their violent lifestyle. Lucious makes everyone leave as he and his family regroup. He tells them he has to marry Anika to keep her from having to testify. Thirsty assures her there is no other way. Cookie reluctantly and angrily agrees. She tells her boys she would do anything for her family, but that Lucious was too much. She leaves angrily. Anika and Lucious get married and as he walks her down the aisle he tells her he knows she pushed Rhonda. Anika excuses herself to the balcony for some air. As the others prepare to leave, Tarik confronts Lucious and congratulates him on his nuptials. Leah reveals Tarik is Lucious’ half-brother, and that their father was murdered for his infidelity! On the balcony, Rhonda attacks Anika and a fight ensues! They try to force each other off the balcony. One, or both of them, falls before Andre can reach them!
Empire returns in September for a third season!