‘Empire’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Did Rhonda Or Anika Die?
The season finale of Empire opened three weeks after the shooting at Jamal’s welcome home party with Veronica performing a new song for Hakeem’s wedding. Hakeem and Laurel want Jamal to sing at the wedding but he says he’s not singing anymore. Not until the violent cycle within the music industry is over. Lucious expresses that he’s incredibly grateful to Jamal for taking a bullet for him, just as Jamal reveals his opinion that Freda is a victim as well. Also in attendance at the party is Lucious’ mother who says that believes this curse on Lucious’ family is a result of his own father’s sins. We see a quick flashback to Lucious’ father in a fight when Andre and Hakeem question what Lucious has told them about him. Lucious declares it’s time for his mother’s nap and walks her out of the room telling her she’s lucky Thirsy stopped her from speaking to reporters at the hospital.
‘Empire’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Rhonda Or Anika Dead?
Later, Cookie is with Lucious in his office expressing her concern for Jamal. In particular the fact that he wants to stop performing. Thirsty knocks on the door with Anika as she tells them about her conversation with Tariq. Cookie demands Anika to recall what she was asked. She says she remembered being asked about Shine Johnson. Andre walks in asking “Shine Johnson?” As Rhonda runs in and grabs Anika’s neck, calling her an “evil bitch.” Andre manages to pull Rhonda away but no before she punches Anika in the face. Rhonda explains that she knows it was Anika that pushed her down the stairs. No one is especially convinced and she asks Andre for support that he doesn’t give. Outside the room, Rhonda yells at Andre and reminds him what she did to Vincent to protect him. She expects Andre to do anything for her as well.
Cookie and Lucious are talking about Tariq and the issues he’s causing. Lucious confesses to killing someone while she was in jail that she never knew about it. Shine Johnson, who Tariq has been asking about, does. As well as old friends who will be at Hakeem’s wedding that Lucious isn’t worried about. Cookie doesn’t think they should trust anyone.
Cookie pays Shine a visit encouraging him to keep the secret. He said he’ll only do it if he can come to Hakeem’s wedding and that he’ll record a song produced by Shine’s relative. Cookie agrees.
Hakeem and Andre help Jamal settle back in at home after he’s been recuperating at Lucious.’ As Hakeem and Andre leave in the elevator, Andre shared that Rhonda has gone to stay in LA for a while. Hakeem tries to reassure him that she’ll be back. They also agree on being worried about Jamal, as everyone except Lucious seems to be.
Lucious goes to visit Freda in jail. He asks why she tried to shoot him and denied killing her father when she accused. He explains he’s only ever wanted to help her but she said it was just because of guilt. He promises he never hurt her father. Lucious then explains to Freda that she is causing Jamal to be in his current situation. As a way to remedy this he has her listen to a beat he produced and when she tells him she thinks she has lyrics for it, they record on the spot.
Lucious stops by Jamal’s to tell him about his visit with Freda. He tells Jamal she agreed to accept help with representation and passes along the song they recorded. Hearing it inspired Jamal to get back to his music.
At brunch the day before Hakeem and Laurel’s wedding, both sets of parents are in attendance at Lucious’ house. Laurel’s parents express concern that Shine Johnson is attending the wedding given his criminal background. Jamal is in his apartment working on his song for Hakeem’s wedding with a small orchestra.
Back at Empire, Cookie and Lucious are involved in a meeting, planning new records for the boys. Lucious assures Cookie that Jamal’s break from music is over. Hakeem runs in and calls his parents out due to an emergency. Anika is sitting on the edge of her balcony, threatening to jump.
Cookie and Lucious try and talk her down after she explains she doesn’t want to have to testify against him. Lucious promises her it’ll be over in two days. Cookie appeals to her emotional side by admitting that even though they’d had rough times, she’s carrying her grandson and she’ll always be family and Anika comes down.
D-Major goes to Jamal’s as he is rehearsing the wedding song with a choir. He tells Jamal he stopped by the hospital to see him but Lucious wouldn’t let him in. Jamal gives them all a scare as he almost falls. Regardless, the two seem to be in a good place.
At Empire, Cookie and Lucious have a drink in his office. He admits how much better their life would be if she hadn’t left or if he’d waited for her to come home. She tries to refocus him on Hakeem’s wedding tomorrow.
At the wedding, the boys are finishing up getting dressed as Jamal asks their grandmother what she meant the other day about sins of their grandfather. Leah explains she meant what she said and that their grandfather got what he deserved, right in front of Lucious. He walks in to stop the conversation.
Everyone’s mingling before the wedding and they catch up with Lucious’ old partners who express interest in representing Jamal. He tells them about his new song produced with D-Major. Shine walks in causing a scene. Lucious and Cookies’ old partners also know about the past situation involving Shine. They talk about ways to keep him quiet.
Laurel’s parents prepare to walk her down the aisle as Anika gets served. This causes commotion with Shine by accident and he tries to fight whoever accidentally bumped him, causing an even bigger scene. Laurel walks into the chapel seeing this and her father immediately wants to get her out of there. She is visibly upset and as Hakeem tries to explain the misunderstanding she decides it’s all too much for her and she doesn’t want to be apart of it. Laurel leaves and Hakeem is jilted.
The family discusses next moves with Anika’s subpoena while simultaneously supporting Hakeem and getting the guests and vendors out of the house. Lucious asks Thirsty if marrying Anika would be able to keep her from testifying. He explains they’d gotten a marriage license when they were engaged. Cookie is not for it. Lucious assures her that it would only be a formality and that it doesn’t change their relationship. This is not good enough for Cookie and she leaves.
The remaining Empire employees and family members reconvene where the wedding was taking place for Lucious and Anika’s union, performed by Andre. Unfortunately for Jamal, he still has to sing. As Lucious and Anika walk back down the hall he tells her he knows she pushed Rhonda. Jamal decides not to sing after all, upsetting Lucious.
The family, minus Cookie, walks out of the ballroom and run into Tariq. Lucious asks him why the Feds are still after him. Leah asks Lucious why his half brother is there. We flashback again to Lucious seeing his father getting killed before the killer reveals his own son is Lucious’ half brother. Tariq knew this already of course.
Rhonda finds Anika alone yet again on a balcony. The two start fighting and Anika admits to everything. As Andre finds them we hear one woman screaming and see him yelling “No!” We’ll have to wait till next season to see who that was.