EMPIRE Preview: Jamal Continues to Suffer from PTSD & Lucious Goes the Extra Mile to Win Over Cookie


Taye Diggs guest stars in this week’s EMPIRE as councilman/businessman Angelo Dubious. He first appears on a radio show with Jamal and the two of them discuss issues of race and violence. Jamal is reluctant to believe he’s a victim and thinks that Frieda is the real victim, but Angelo insists that there’s no reason Jamal should be ashamed of his PTSD and thinks he needs to embrace it and look to the future. As a result of this conversation he invites Jamal to attend his organization’s anti-violence summit. During a recent conversation with reporters, Jussie Smollett (Jamal) said “I’m very happy with where Jamal is going”. It’s the toughest season for him thus far because he’s had to do real research about PTSD and panic attacks to help his performance but he said “I love exactly where Jamal is.”

Lucious also becomes involved in Angelo’s cause when he offers up Empire as the venue for the summit. This isn’t something that Jamal responds well to, but the entire event leads to a relevation from Jamal about his own state of mind. As for the continuously fractured relationship between Lucious and Jamal, Smollett said that “when we think of this good versus evil, I always say that no one is all bad and all good. Lucious is not all bad and Jamal is not all good. We see this battle between the good and the bad and [Jamal] finally admits in this episode that he has a problem. But what comes with that problem is rooted in the family. In this episode we get to see that he’s really tapping into his own awareness and sensitivity and awareness of what’s really going on in the world. There’s a certain level of guard that he’s had this entire life and this season is really about the Lyon brothers opening their eyes to what’s really out there. You’ll see in this episode that it really is the opening of his eyes, so to speak.”

Elsewhere in this episode, Anika tries to hire a nanny, but Lucious doesn’t want any strangers in his house and forces her to stop her interviews. Meanwhile, Lucious is making a big attempt to win over Cookie by sending her extravagent gifts and summoning up memories of their shared past (which leads to more flashbacks to the origin of Cookie and Lucious’ relationship). Hakeem will also start to record new songs with Shine and Nessa (who is becoming a real collaborator of his), but Shine’s violent temperment continues to be a problem. And at the end of the episode Andrew runs into some trouble with the police that will ring very real given the recent debate about police brutality.

A new episode of EMPIRE airs tonight (September 28) at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Fox (U.S.) and

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