You're turning into your daddy. I'm watching it happen

Cookie to Jamal

The Devils Are Here
Season Two, Episode One
Empire S2E1 Free Lucious.png
Air date: September 23, 2015
Writers: Danny Strong
Ilene Chaiken
Director: Lee Daniels
Premiere: 16.18 million
Who I Am
Without a Country

The Devils Are Here is the first episode of the second season of FOX's television series, Empire, and the thirteenth episode overall. It was written by Danny Strong and Ilene Chaiken, and directed by Lee Daniels. It aired on September 23, 2015.

Still in federal lockup, Lucious is trying to run Empire from inside, while a headline-grabbing state prosecutor hangs her political ambitions on bringing him down - no matter what it takes. Meanwhile, Cookie stages a star-studded #FreeLucious concert in his support, while scheming with Andre, Hakeem, Anika and the business savvy Mimi Whiteman (guest star Marisa Tomei) to finalize the hostile takeover of Empire.


Cookie introduces Mimi Whiteman to Empire Entertainment.


The episode begins with a #FreeLucious concert, where many artists sing songs about Lucious' unfair incarceration and the American prison system as a whole, which they believe is prejudiced against black men and should be dismantled, piece by piece. Hakeem is against performing because he'll have to put on a charade that he too believes Lucious' incarceration is unjust, as he is now aware that his father killed BunkieCookie, however, tells him that the entire point of the concert is to persuade investor Mimi Whiteman to fork over the $250 million needed to take over Empire. At the concert, Cookie, coming out of a gorilla suit in a cage, gives a rousing speech about the prison system. Jamal follows with the next act, where he sings a passionate song.

Lucious in prison.

Meanwhile in jail, Lucious is watching the concert live on television. He is approached by Jermel, Cookie's cousin, who is in jail with a five year sentence for armed robbery. Jermel tells Lucious that Frank Gathers is being shipped to the prison today, but Lucious dismisses him seeing as he himself has no problems with Frank Gathers.

Hakeem joins Jamal on stage, while Andre brings in Mimi to meet with Cookie. Mimi does not explicitly hide her sexuality and Lucious, who is watching on television, wonders who she is, and believes Cookie and her are conspiring together. As Lucious heads out to play basketball, Frank Gathers arrives at the facility. He and Lucious are on good terms, as Lucious and Cookie used to sell dope for him.

At Empire HQ, Cookie is talking to Hakeem about 50 Cent's comment regarding Empire on his Instagram (a jab and reference to his real life comments about Empire) while Jamal, as interim CEO, is struggling to handle all of the tasks that a CEO must do. The tension between Hakeem and Jamal is evident, and Hakeem angrily leaves and throws a childish outburst, tattling on his mother, when Jamal criticizes Hakeem's album artwork.

Jamal goes to visit his father in prison. Lucious asks how Hakeem's album is coming, and Jamal tells him that Hakeem is unable to focus or concentrate on it, despite Cookie trying her best. Jamal tells him that it's because Cookie cannot manage him like he (Lucious) can. Lucious wonders where Vernon is, and tells Jamal to "take care" of him, but Jamal tells him "not now". Lucious wonders who the "lesbian bitch" at the concert was. Jamal is unaware of who Mimi is, but Lucious tells him to find out, reaffirming his belief that she and Cookie are plotting something together. 

At home, Andre wakes up covered in sweat in the middle of the night, thinking of when he and Rhonda buried Vernon's body. He is paranoid that everyone knows they caused his death, but Rhonda assures him that no one knows, adding that if they were even suspects they would have been already called in. Andre expresses disbelief that Lucious chose Jamal of all people as his successor, but Rhonda tells him that he will soon have control over Empire. Andre asks how their little boy is (Rhonda is pregnant), and Rhonda simply responds that he's tired.

In jail, Frank sits next to Jermel, and asks what he's in for. Jermel tells him that he got sentenced for five years for armed robbery, although he maintains his innocence. Frank asks whether it's the same thing as when he killed his right hand man, Teddy McNally, but Jermel continues to maintain his innocence, swearing on his mother that he had nothing to do with it, even with Frank telling him that he knows he did.

At Hakeem's place, Cookie throws a party with a bunch of girls kissing in order to entice Mimi even more, as Mimi is willing to give $250 million to them. Mimi, however, asks why they want to dethrone Lucious. Cookie tells her that Lucious has lost his way, and is destroying the company that she founded. Cookie tells her that she's doing this for her babies. Mimi drinks to that, as she eyes Anika, whom she's taking a liking to.

Jamal is having dinner with his old boyfriend, Michael, and it's revealed that the two have reconnected. Michael inquires as to his relationship with Ryan, but Jamal dismisses him as a "ho", and says that Michael is the one he truly loves.

At the party, a girl tries to come on to Mimi, but Mimi dismisses her for trying too hard. She then asks Anika, whom she refers to as Anita, to dance. Anika refuses, but Cookie prods her into doing it, at which point Anika starts to twerk with Mimi.

The next day at Empire, Hakeem is busy complaining about not taking orders from Jamal. Cookie gets a video call from her sister, Carol, but tells Porsha to take care of it. Carol asks if Cookie got flowers, but Porsha dismisses her and the call as she has stuff to do.

In jail, Lucious is approached by an attorney. As the new prosecutor on the case, Lucious is aware that their meeting is illegal, and tells her so. She, however, says that she has an offer for Lucious - if he pleads guilty, he can make a deal where he can turn in some other killers at Empire, and in turn he will be protected in jail. Lucious dismisses her, revealing all the personal details he knows about her, and tells her that no matter how hard she tries, she will always be a "black bitch in cheap heels".

As she heads out, so does Lucious, who stumbles onto Frank Gathers', whose eldest daughter is rapping for him. Lucious interferes, telling her and Frank that she has a gift, and that she is talented. However, Lucious is immediately notified that he has a visitor.

On the way to the meeting

At Empire, Cookie, Hakeem, Andre and Anika barge into a board of directors meeting, where Jamal is attempting to assuage them about the fact that a shareholder has purchased controlling interest in the company. Hakeem and Cookie spill the beans about them wanting to control Empire, with Andre telling the board members that as they now own the controlling shares in Empire, they are removing Lucious from his position as CEO. Hakeem provokes Jamal, but tells him that it's just business, and not personal. However, Jamal defers to Mimi, who swivels around in her chair. Mimi tells them that she met with Lucious this morning, and believes that Lucious is Empire as Empire is Lucious, and therefore, as she controls the shares, will not be removing Lucious as CEO. She tells that the company is nothing without Lucious, as Jamal switches the TV on, as Lucious, connected to the meeting via a live stream, laughs in his victory.

In prison, Jermel sits across Frank, beaten. Frank asks him to tell him the truth, and Jermel tells him that it was Cookie. Frank refuses to believe him, as Cookie Lyon is a not a snitch, but Jermel repeats it, and Frank, looking at Jermel, believes him, and angrily calls Cookie a bitch.

At Empire, Cookie is angrily talking to Jamal, as Jamal was the one who got in touch with Mimi and undid the deal Cookie had in place with her. Cookie tells him that she was doing it for her company, the one she sacrificed her money and time for. Jamal, however, is fed up with her constantly referring it to her as company due to her sacrifice, and dismisses her. As she leaves, Cookie remarks that Jamal is becoming more and more like Lucious, and that she's watching it happen right before her eyes.

Cookie's Gift - Head in a Box.png

Cookie heads home, and sees a box outside her doorstep. She takes the box and goes inside, and is surprised to see Carol and her kids, Kisha and Luther, inside her house. She demands to know how Carol got in, but Carol tells him that the roses they've been getting is from Frank Gathers. Cookie sends her niece and nephew to the other room as she opens the box left on her doorstep - the contents of which are the head of a man, whose face is painted in white, to Cookie and Carol's horror.

Jamal, who has finally made some time during his busy schedule as interim CEO, is in the studio trying to record a song, but is interrupted by a phone call from Cookie. She frantically and seriously tells him to stop whatever he is doing and head to Lucious' house, where he'll be safe. Jamal asks what she's talking about, but Cookie repeats her message and hangs up.

Cookie meets with Lucious in jail

Cookie is then seen in prison, where she meets Lucious. Lucious tells her that he missed her, and apologizes for not visiting her when she was in prison, as he finds prison hell. Cookie, however, tells him that he's only been in here for three months, in comparison to Cookie's 17 years. Cookie tells him that Frank is causing them trouble on the outside, and proceeds to tell Lucious exactly what's happened.

At Lucious' house, Rhonda and Jamal wonder why Cookie had the entire clan go there immediately. Carol tells them story of Frank Gathers. In jail, Lucious goes to see Frank alone, which Frank commends as brave. Frank tells him that he's got a problem with Cookie, as she snitched on him to get out of jail. Frank, however, says that his beef only affects Cookie, and states that he's cool with Lucious. Lucious says that he's cool with Frank too, but since he loves Cookie, if Frank has a problem with her, he has a problem with him. Frank, who's covered by his own personal gang, tells them to kill Lucious silently as he begins to walk away.

Frank realizing he's about to be killed

However, the guys stop Frank from leaving, to his surprise. Lucious tells Frank that he has control both in prison and in the outside world, and tells him that every single one of Frank's protection inside prison works for him. For example, one of Frank's boys has a life sentence, but his mother will not have to worry financially because Lucious is taking care of that. Lucious then orders them to kill Frank loudly, and walks away and Frank screams and is killed.

Cookie enters Lucious' house and tells them that Lucious has dealt with Frank, even in jail. Jamal, however, orders everyone out of his father's house, as they all conspired against him. Rhonda and Andre leave, but Hakeem is hesitant, as the house isn't even Jamal's. Cookie tells Hakeem to go and that she'll deal with Jamal. Jamal, however, tells her to get out, which causes Cookie to slap him twice, with tears running down her face. As she leaves, Jamal shuts the door on her and begins to walk away, with tears running down his face.


Song Title Performer(s)
Born to Lose Hakeem LyonJamal Lyon,
Sean Cross, and Swizz Beatz
Same Song Freda Gatz
Pieces Jamal Lyon


Main Cast

Special Guest Star

Recurring Cast



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