As the months fly by in 2016, Empire‘s Season 3 premiere is right around the corner. A new teaser unveiled recently gives Empire fans a glimpse of what we can look forward to when the hit show returns.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Empire Season 2 and the Season 3 teaser.
In the one-minute preview, we get our first look at Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) when they first met as teenagers, shown in flashbacks. As the International Business Times previously reported, the younger version of the couple is portrayed by Jeremy Carver and Ajiona Alexus.
Jamal (Jussie Smollett) accused his mother last season of falling for Lucious again, unthinkable considering everything Lucious has done to his own family just to preserve his own power and ego. Cookie admits that their relationship is deeper than Jamal can even fathom.
What she said may be true, but their determination to protect their loved ones is exactly what’s landed the entire family in hot water now.
Lucious and Cookie reclaimed their thrones as heads of Empire during Season 2, but the Feds want him in prison more than ever, so he was forced to make a drastic decision in the season finale.
Despite the threats surrounding them, formidable matriarch Cookie has always shown just how much she’s willing to do for her family–which might be exactly why she and Lucious have such an unbreakable bond, even when they’re at odds.
Earlier this year, executive producer Ilene Chaiken told Entertainment Weekly that, unsurprisingly, Cookie and Lucious’ relationship is a big storyline in Season 3.
“Lucious and Cookie really went through a big evolution in this season in which they fell for one another and finally, with the path cleared, there were no obstacles. Nobody was cheating, and they were ready. They love one another. They pretty much said it, and then this happened. And when Cookie said she was done, I sure believed it. She’s not up for having her heart broken by this man one more time. So that’s a very, very big story for us in season 3.”
There will be a slight transition for the show overall, as well.
“The show got more grounded in the second half of season 2, and season 3 will be even more grounded. It will always be Empire, it will have those great gasp-worthy moments, but I think you’ll definitely see us do more of a slow burn with character and story and really play things out in great detail, taking advantage of every moment of the drama,” Chaiken explained.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Empire will continue its tradition of casting high-profile musicians and celebrities as original characters, or to play themselves. Confirmed guests for Season 3 include Taye Diggs as Angelo DuBois, Mariah Carey as Kitty, French Montana as Vaughn, and Birdman as himself.
According to IBTimes, Sierra McClain is also on the list, portraying Shyne’s latest protege, Nessa. Rumors continue about an appearance by Romeo Miller, who posted an Instagram photo with an Empire script, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
So what are the biggest questions hanging in the air since Empire‘s Season 2 finale?
- Did Rhonda succeed in pushing a pregnant Anika off the balcony? Or vice versa?
- Can Tariq take down Lucious and Cookie?
- Is Cookie actually going to rekindle things with Lucious this time? Can they survive it?
- What’s Freda’s fate? Does she really forgive Lucious for killing her father?
- Will the Lyons be able to convince Jamal to return to music? If he does, will he venture out on his own or stay with his parents at Empire?
- Does Lucious plan to keep his mother around?
Those questions are just the tip of the iceberg. If there’s one thing Fox’s hit is skilled at, it’s drama.
Watch the Empire Season 3 teaser below.
What better way to end 2016? Empire Season 3 premieres on Wednesday, September 21, at 9 p.m. EST.
[Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]