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‘Empire’ Raises the Stakes in Battle Between Lyons, Camilla

Lucious takes his viciousness to another level in bid to get his company back on Fox hip-hop hit

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t seen Wednesday’s episode of “Empire”)

“Empire” took the battle between the Lyon family and Camilla (Naomi Campbell) to a whole new level on Wednesday’s episode.

Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) solidifies his position as CEO — including replacing his father’s image on the company logo with his own — but Camilla is still insisting that he break things off with Laura (Jamila Velazquez). Hakeem also officially announces Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) as the head of A&R for the company.

Lucious (Terrence Howard) is staying busy by prepping a music video for his American Songwriters’ Award-nominated song “Boom Boom Boom Boom.” But a tough young reporter named Harper (Annie Ilonzeh) wants to know more about the fallout between him and Hakeem, which naturally Lucious avoids discussing.

Meanwhile, Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) is itching to get out of the house and back to work after her miscarriage, so she asks Andre (Trai Byers) to get her a job at Antony & Cleopatra, the high-end fashion label Camilla is launching under the Empire umbrella.

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) thought he had put any problems resulting from his tryst with Skye (Alicia Keys) behind him, but he was wrong, as group of gay activists gather outside the Empire offices and berate him for flip-flopping between men and women.

Camilla begins to interfere with Cookie’s new role at the company, blocking her from funding Lucious’ video and from booking a tour for Tiana (Serayah).

But Cookie comes up with a solution: she wants to send Laura and her group on tour with Tiana, effectively ending her relationship with Hakeem. Camilla considers the arrangement and agrees. Hakeem is furious that Cookie undermined his authority, but Laura is thrilled for the opportunity.

At the fashion label, Rhonda is back to work but also spying on Camilla on behalf of Cookie. One day, she overhears Camilla arguing on the phone with Mimi (Marisa Tomei), who is travelling back to New York.

Later, Andre convinces Rhonda to attend counseling with their pastor to discuss the miscarriage. Andre accuses her of cheating on him, which Rhonda attributes to Andre’s bipolar disorder and a need to modify his medication.

Jamal learns that his father has proudly been boasting about his son’s affair with Skye. Furious, Jamal performs a new song in which he calls out his father for being a fraud and reveals that Lucious Lyon isn’t his real name.

Lucious hears about the performance, but rather than get angry, he contacts Harper. He tells her he wants to give her his exclusive life story as he has never told it before, revealing to her his real name: Dwight Walker.

Hakeem invites Camilla to his apartment, and wants to know what he means to her given that she is married to Mimi. Camilla says Mimi will die soon from cancer, leaving all of her Empire shares to Camilla, and that she and Hakeem can be together with no problems after that.

But unbeknownst to Camilla, Hakeem recorded the whole encounter, including the two having sex. As part of a plan he developed with his mother and brothers, Hakeem sends the tape to Mimi. Mimi immediately divests her interest in the company, leading Andre to buy up every share he can for the family.

With Mimi’s share of the company back in their control, Cookie goes to tell Lucious the good news. He is happy, but says he wants to celebrate alone.

But instead of going home, Lucious goes to Mimi’s hotel room, where he finds Camilla cleaning up the fact that she has poisoned Mimi. Lucious pulls a gun on her and tells her he plans to tell the police. But he gives her the option of drinking the same poison she used on Mimi, which she does.

“Empire” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.