Free Lucious! Empire begins with Ms. Ford answers the press questions, who feel he she is leading a campaign against Lucious to win her bid for Attorney General. She has put in place an order to keep him from entering Empire or he will be arrested. Elsewhere, Cookie admonishes Hakeem for sleeping with Valentina, and not resting before his interview with Sway, telling him it is an Unsung episode waiting to happen. Lucious holds a press conference in front of Empire declaring himself a god and still on top. Hakeem performs on Sway’s show and conferences Lucious in, asking him about how he feels about him leaking his album. Lucious dismisses the question and Hakeem declares he will run circles around his father. He tells Sway about his new girl group, Miragetrois, and promises to have them on the show later that week despite Cookie’s protest. The Lyons come together for dinner where Jamal tells them what Lucious has in store for him. Cookie dismisses his father’s goodwill, but Jamal insists Lucious just wanted to see them together. Lucious declares them there will be war and tells them to dismantle their record company. He offers them one final chance to end their feud. Cookie rescinds his offer and pulls their dinner off the table to the floor!
Lucious summons Anika in hopes she will rejoin him and dismantle Lyon Dynasty. She refuses to help him, telling him Hakeem is coming into his own there. He reminds her when it comes down to it, it will be her or Cookie. She agrees to help him. At Lyons Dynasty, Miragetrois record a song for Sway’s show. Cookie disagrees on how their hook sounds, but Hakeem admonishes her for not trusting him. She commends him when things finally come together. Elsewhere, Lucious and Andre meet for lunch. There, he tries to offer Lucious 200 radio stations that could corner the urban radio music market. He asks to come back, but Lucious refuses telling him he will have to give him something no one else can and to pray on it. At Empire, Frieda shows up with a group of thugs demanding he record deal. Jamal and Becky try to sell her on the deal but she leaves feeling Lucious has lied to her. Jamal is jealous of how Lucious feels she is musically his father’s everything.
Lucious watches a video of Frieda performing and admonishes Jamal for not being able to sign her, and tells him he was going to use her voice to revive a label. His lawyer realizes where she is and they head out to recruit her. Anika informs Cookie about Lucious’ party at Leviticus in exhange for a position at Lyons Dynasty. Later, Jamal performs with Pitbull. Things seem to be going great until Cookie and Chicken sabotage the show and debut Hakeem who performs and calls out his brother and father. Timbaland joins him on stage. Lucious tires of him and orders his goons to escort them out. Pitbull is impressed with Cookie’s antics and wants to work with her in the future. The next day, Lyons Dynasty booms with business, while Miragetrois begins to implode from fighting. Andre comes to visit his mother and tells her about Rhonda’s pregnancy. She tries to get him to use the pregnancy as leverage to get back into the company. Andre tells Lucious, but he is more concerned about the child’s mental state, flashbacking to his mother. Lucious hugs him, telling him he has always wanted a grandson. He then admonishes him for using the child as leverage and demands he leave. He flashbacks again to his mother and singing to her when she was manic.
Lucious goes to see Frieda, admiring her freestyle as she battles against another rapper. Things go south when he insults her father. She tries to shoot him, but Lucious stops her and pleads with her to stop before she ruins her life, telling her he believes in her. Ms. Ford confronts Lucious and threatens him, promising she will dig up more dirt to pin on him. He in turn, realizes she cannot either find Vernon or he is not cooperating and that her case has stalled. The next day, Cookie has Miragetrois rehearse to her specifications, spoofing Fame. When she is done, they seem to have pulled it together. Lucious meets with Jamal and agrees to produce him. Jamal demands special treatment and not to play second fiddle to Frieda. Elsewhere, Valentina is late showing up to Sway’s show. Lucious shows up and announces he now owns a share in the radio company there. He signs Valentina as a solo act behind his back and bars them from radio. Cookie declares he cannot keep her down. Hakeem leaves with Cookie, defeated.