Fox’s hip-hop drama ended its freshman season with Terrence Howard’s Lucious Lyon being locked up for the murder of his childhood friend Bunky and the spurned members of the Empire family -- Cookie, Hakeem, Andre, and Anika, a.k.a. "Boo Boo Kitty" -- teaming up to plan a hostile takeover from Lucious’ chosen successor Jamal. At the start of season two, everyone is still gunning for their spot in the Empire.
Here’s a look at some of the best lines from the season two premiere, "The Devils are Here":
1. "Bill Clinton is here!" "He needs to be, if he wants his wife to get elected."
Season two kicked off with an epic "Free Lucious" concert, which included cameos from Rev. Al Sharpton, CNN anchor Don Lemon, and the introduction of potential investor Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei). Clinton didn’t make an on-screen appearance, but #Hillary2016 got a prominent Cookie mention.
2. "You’re rude, he’s crude, and the both of y’all are socially unacceptable. You need to fix this."
Two thumbs up for the return of Gabourey Sidibe’s exec assistant Becky, who’s still trying to keep the peace between feuding brothers Jamal and Hakeem, as the two compete for a higher spot in the Empire and on the music charts.
That one word in a flashback was enough to remind us that, oh yeah, Andre and his wife totally killed Lucious’ left-hand man Vernon and ditched his body at the end of last season! That, plus the baby they’re expecting will provide the couple with plenty of drama apart from all the Empire and Lyon family beef the two already have going.
4. "I’m hungry. You hungry?"
It doesn’t sound like a scary line, but coming from Frank Gathers, the man Cookie ratted on to reduce her jail time (played by a menacingly dead-eyed Chris Rock), it’s definitely a threat. Later, we see why it’s truly scary, as Gattis cuts his way through a bloody steak while coercing Cookie’s cousin into confirming that she snitched, before serving the cousin back up to the family, Seven-style.
5. "I thought I told you to sleep with her." "I did."
When the takeover team arrives in the boardroom to tell Jamal he’s been deposed, the middle Lyon son turns the tables, revealing that Mimi Whiteman double-crossed them, putting her investment money on Jamal’s side despite Boo Boo Kitty’s best attempts at taking another one for the team.
"I give Anika an A for effort," Whiteman sneers. "But Lucious Lyon is Empire, Empire is Lucious Lyon. Without him, the company is nothing."
6. "You plan to run for Attorney General but as a Republican, and you think that being the black bitch in cheap shoes who took down hip hop, that’s your way to victory?"
Lucious meets with the new prosecutor in his case, and let’s just say the two do not see eye-to-eye. When she offers a reduced sentence in exchange for his guilty plea and snitching on other criminals in the music industry, he all but spits in her face.
7. "It’s crazy how I can love your ass and hate you at the same moment."
Cookie finally goes to visit Lucious in jail, and despite him telling her she "looks like Mr. T," the two share a few moments, before she tells him why she’s really come to visit: Frank Gathers’ threats on her and their family.
"I need you to fix it," Cookie tells Lucious.
8. "Make it loud and make it long."
Despite Lucious' offer to sign his talented daughter to Empire, Gathers decides to kill him in prison for his loyalty to Cookie, telling his goons, “Make it fast and quiet.” Little does he know, Lucious has turned all his men against him, giving them the opposite instructions as he orders Gathers’ death.
"By the way," Lucious tells Gathers as a parting line before his thugs descend, "I’m gonna sign your baby girl and I’m gonna slip her my bone."