Light in Darkness
Season Three, Episode One
Air date September 21, 2016
Writer Malcolm Spellman
Joshua Allen
Director Sanaa Hamri
Viewers 10.87 million
Past Is Prologue
Sin That Amends

Light in Darkness is the first episode of the third season of Empire and the 31st episode overall. It aired on September 21, 2016.

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.


Hakeem leaves the altar; a rooftop fight between Anika and Rhonda leads to a tragic fall; Lucious uses his streaming service to pursue his music legacy and clashes with Tariq, who leads a federal task force to investigate him.



Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

  • Sierra A. McClain as Nessa
  • Ajiona Alexus as Teenage Loretha (Cookie)
  • Jeremy Carver as Teenage Lucious
  • Birdman as himself
  • French Montana as Vaughn
  • Tha Pope as Jack
  • Tyla Abercrumbie as Nurse
  • Patrick Clear as Doctor
  • Eric Lane as Drop
  • Ivan Ellis as Royale-T
  • Claudette Burchett as Juanita
  • David Lively as Butler
  • Birgundi Baker as Teen Carol
  • Lawnyae Marie as Teen Candace

Major/Highlighted Events

  • Rhonda is pushed off by Anika and is killed as a result.
  • Anika gives birth to a baby girl, who is named Bella Lyon.
    • Despite being angry at the fact that it was a girl, Lucious declares himself as Bella's father on the birth certificate.
  • Lucious rebrands SwiftStream as Empire X-Stream.
  • Jamal loses his father's respect after he tries to sing a song about freeing Freda Gatz at Lucious' X-Stream launch.
  • Andre's bipolarity worsens with Rhonda's death


  • This episode begins taking place on May 10, 2016. [1]
    • Despite taking place in May 2016, Jamal references the Orlando club shootings as well as the murder of Alton Sterling.
  • Bre-Z, Morocco Omari and Xzibit are bumped up to the main cast as of this episode, while Kaitlin Doubleday is bumped down as a result of her character Rhonda Lyon being killed off.
  • As of this episode, Grace Gealey is credited as Grace Byers, having married Trai Byers (Andre Lyon) and taking his surname in between seasons.