Empire Round Table: Welcome Home, Lucious

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Lucious wasn't locked away for very long, huh?

On Empire Season 2 Episode 3, Lucious made his triumphant return to both Empire and his family, although no one was really embracing him with open arms. While Cookie and Hakeem sought to build their Dynasty, Lucious was courting old flame Anika to help him bring Cookie down.

But just whose side is Anika really on? Our TV Fanatic panelists Carissa Pavlica, Paul Dailly and Whitney Evans debate Anika's intentions and Cookie's next move.

Empire Round Table 660px

What was your favorite quote or scene?

Carissa: Honestly, I just loved that damn girl band song. I rewound it several times and played the "hook" again and again so I could sing along.

Paul: Favorite scene was Anika double crossing Lucious. Girl has learnt that man can't be loved.

Whitney: I loved Hakeem's performance at Leviticus. I like that Cookie and Hakeem found a way to upstage him and take away from his "all about me" shenanigans.

Do you think Anika really wants to help Cookie destroy Lucious?

Carissa: I do. But things on Empire turn on a dime, and Lucious is extremely manipulative. He could very easily do something else to sway her to want to destroy Cookie. I'm just rooting for Girl Power.

Paul: I agree with Carissa. She'll go with wherever she has a better chance of having power. Everyone on this show is power hungry.

Whitney: I think so? It's really hard to tell if Anika hates Lucious or Cookie more. She should be more angry at Lucious than Cookie, but in the long run Lucious could have more to offer her.

Is Lucious trying to protect Andre by pushing him away?

Carissa: No. He's just pushing him away. I don't think Lucious is that magnanimous.

Paul: Not at all. Lucious is the ultimate villain. He doesn't care who he hurts in the process, even if it means making his son feel little self worth.

Whitney: Even though I think Lucious is awful, part of me wants Lucious to be doing it from the weird place of love he sometimes shows his children. However, we all know Lucious is selfish and it's much easier to believe that he's pushing him away to keep him away from messing up things at Empire.

What will Cookie's next move be?

Carissa: I have no idea. She could try to beat Lucious at his own game, but I don't know what she has in her bag of tricks to release on her new label to make that happen.

Paul: I'm clueless. He's played a dirty game, so I'm guessing she'll get him some bad press and we all know how much he hates that.

Whitney: She needs to sign more artists to the label. And these need to be acts that can compete against a company that has tons of profitable artists. The only way to truly get to Lucious is to mess with Empire.

Will Frida eventually land at Empire?

Carissa: What, exactly, did Lucious vow to do to her, anyway I know the BS he's pushing about her now, but he said something to Frank Gather in prison, but I couldn't understand his mumbles. Is he going to hurt her? But was that before he thought she was talented? Maybe that's who Cookie will steal and thusly her next move.

Paul: Her attitude stinks, so hopefully not.

Whitney: I like your thinking, Carissa! Frida does seem talented, although the bad attitude is going to get old very fast. If she ended up at Dynasty, that would be a major blow to Lucious.

Who would your dream guest star be?

Carissa: As I don't generally like the music, I'm just not the right person to ask. I'll leave it up to you all and go along for the ride.

Paul: This is a bit out there, but Sarah Michelle Gellar. She could play some sort of lawyer who will help Dre and Rhonda get away with murder.

Whitney: I would love for Jay Z and Beyonce to find their way to Empire, as friends of Cookie. Their star power could do wonders for the new label.

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Empire Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

Andre: So why'd Dad ask us here, Jamal? So he can kill us all together, instead of having to do it one at a time?
Cookie: Same reason why we're all here. To keep our enemies close.

Uh, Hakeem? Hooking up with the lead singer in your all female group? That is an Unsung episode waiting to happen, stupid.

Cookie