Empire season 3 premieres this Wednesday (21 September) at 9pm EST on Fox Network. Episode 1 is titled Light In Darkness, and it will resolve the season 2 finale cliffhanger — who fell off the balcony, Anika Calhoun or Rhonda Lyon?
The Lyons will return with more drama as Cookie and Lucious reunite to face an "unexpected adversary". Hakeem is still reeling from heartbreak after being left at the alter and Jamal will slowly recover from the gunshot wound, in season 3 of the Fox series.
The premiere episode synopsis reads as follows:
Empire picks up exactly where Season Two ended — Hakeem left at the altar, Lucious and Anika married and Anika and Rhonda fighting on the roof — until someone falls. Also, Lucious pursues his music legacy with his streaming service, while clashing with his half-brother, Tariq (Morocco Omari), who is leading a federal task force investigating him.
Showrunner Ilene Chaiken spoke to TV Line about the Rhonda-Anika cliffhanger and teased what is next for the Lyon family. When asked who fell off the roof, Chaiken played coy and said, "Rhonda and Anika are both such sexy, dark, interesting characters. I can't imagine saying goodbye to either one of them."
"Lucious and Cookie have an unexpected adversary," teased the showrunner and added, "You should look for it right away, but you won't see [the adversarial nature] 'til much later. But again, you should be looking for it all along."
Fox has cast new actors to play younger versions of Lucious and Cookie. According to Chaiken, these flashback scenes will take us deeper into the stories that the show is telling in the present. She explained, "It's more than what we've done in the past. They're flashbacks, but they don't take us out of the story, they take us even deeper and inform the stories we're telling in the present. They're fleshed-out characters. These are actual scenes and a story that we're telling."