‘Empire’ recap: A minute-by-minute reaction of the premiere (in GIFs)

Without “Empire,” television hasn’t been the same. Thankfully, Cookie returned Wednesday night and Empire Entertainment still has plenty of drama to go around.

In the first episode of season two, there was a little too much drama. From an impassioned monologue about mass incarceration to Jamal’s resurrected relationship with Michael to the cameos of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” bestie and singer Miss Lawrence, DeRay Davis, Al Sharpton and Don Lemon, my body was not ready.

FULL COVERAGE: All things ‘Empire’

But since there was so much going on, my recap this week reflects that. Below are my play-by-play reactions (in GIFs) as “The Devils Are Here” episode unfolded:

Spoilers ahead.


When the season one recap played ahead of the episode

At sight of a #FreeLucious rally and concert

When the first line uttered of the season spoke to mass incarceration

Seeing Taraji’s full first outfit, complete with feathers

When Taraji, in a gorilla costume, descended from the sky and launched into a monologue on black people being treated like animals

At Al Sharpton’s cameo

At Andre Leon Talley (my father, in my head) and his shade toward Cookie’s last season Gucci outfit

Listening to the socially conscious song ‘Born to Lose,’ which features Sean Cross, Swizz Beatz, Jussie Smollett and Yazz

Looking at Jamal with a beard

Seeing Lucious has a live feed of the concert in jail

At DeRay Davis as Cookie’s incarcerated cousin

When there were closeups of the ripped bodies of Lucious’ jailed associates

Chris Rock as Lucious’ former drug-pushing boss Frank Gathers

When Becky has fully stepped into her VP role and shuts down both Jamal and Hakeem

At Andre waking up in a cold sweat, shirtless, with a beard of his own

And Rhonda starts to rub Andre’s sweat-soaked chest

But then Chris Rock pops back on my screen

When the Lyon clan (minus Jamal) throws Mimi a lesbian party

But Mimi gets flirty with Anika, and Hakeem gets jealous

Meanwhile, Michael, Jamal’s initial boyfriend, is back in the picture

Then Jamal and Michael kiss

But Jamal wasn’t satisfied and tugs at the back of Michael’s head to grab another, more titillating peck

Discovering that Jamal’s black boo from last season with the Australian accent is out of the picture

When Anika starts to twerk at Mimi’s request

When Lucious tries to rebut his prosecutor (Tyra Ferrell)

Realizing they don’t know Vernon is dead

When Lucious calls the prosecutor ‘Miss Clarence Thomas’

When I see Miss Lawrence perched on the piano singing a song by legendary performer Sylvester

His final note had me like:

But then he threw shade at gospel artist Donnie McClurkin and Becky joined in

When Mimi jumped ships and was poached from the takeover plan, by Lucious himself

Then Lucious Skyped into the board meeting

When Frank thought he was going to kill Lucious, but Lucious had already paid off Frank’s jailhouse body guards

Then an angry Jamal kicked the whole family out of ‘his father’s house’

And then a second time

But he still shut the door in her face

And then he stormed off screen crying

Realizing it was over


The most exciting person on TV – Taraji P. Henson as Cookie – returns to claim her ‘Empire’

Jimmy Fallon spoofs ‘Empire’ on ‘The Tonight Show’ with ‘Jimpire’

‘Empire’s’ Gabourey Sidibe talks up Becky, ‘the smartest person in the room’

Get your life! Follow me on Twitter: @TrevellAnderson.