Empire Entertainment is yours, Jamal.
|Who I Am|
|Season One, Episode Twelve|
|Air date||March 18, 2015|
|Writers|| Danny Strong|
“Die But Once”
“The Devils Are Here”
Who I Am is the twelfth and final episode of the first season of FOX television series, Empire, and the twelfth episode overall. It originally aired on March 18, 2015. This episode aired together with "Die But Once" as a 2-hour finale.
Jamal and Lucious are on their way to forming a music-centered relationship, but once again, Lucious has a secret that's about to change everything. Hakeem decides to flirt with the enemy, while trying to figure out what the best move is for his career. Meanwhile, Cookie is cooking up a plan of her own.
The episode begins where the last left off: Cookie's attempt to smother Lucious with a pillow fails as she can't bring herself to kill him. After, Lucious brings his family together and gives each a gift. With each gift, Lucious makes an attempt to “forgive” each of his sons and move on (and also hope to get their forgiveness in return even though he says, “I’m not asking y’all to forgive me”). Through Jamal’s gift, he reveals that he made Jamal his successor, which ultimately upsets Hakeem and Andre. He also tells his sons that he just found out that he’s not dying of ALS and lets them in on what’s really wrong with him. Upon hearing this news, Jamal is the only one who is truly happy about his father not dying. Lucious gives Cookie a gift too — a pillow (to let her know that he knew about her attempt at murdering him).
Rita Ora makes an appearance. While Rita Ora rehearses, Lucious calls Jamal into his office to talk, where he tells the new Vice-Chairman about Cookie’s attempted murder (and shows him proof — turns out Lucious had Malcolm put cameras in each room, so he got the murder attempt on camera). This upsets Jamal, and puts Jamal and Cookie on two different sides. Cookie tries to tell Jamal that Lucious killed Bunkie, and would kill anybody, but Jamal was too confused to see the truth. Lucious quickly buzzes in security to remove Cookie from the premises, as she warns him to watch his back.
Then, the feds “kidnap” Cookie and try to get her to snitch on Lucious (about Bunkie’s murder). They tell her that they have a key witness, but she still doesn’t give in. In the meantime, Vernon is back from rehab, and tries to apologize to Lucious, but Lucious cuts him off and he puts Vernon back on his duty to stalk Cookie. In the next scene, it is revealed that Anika and Hakeem are still speaking to one another. And Anika gets Hakeem into the notion of a hostile takeover to take over Empire, alongside Andre. During a press conference, Patti LaBelle makes a guest appearance, while Jamal is pegged at for being a homosexual by one of Empire’s stars, Black Rambo. This later leads to the two having a rap/singing battle, where Jamal shows him who’s boss.
While Hakeem gets his shape-up fixed, he manages to talk his mother, Cookie, into the hostile takeover too. Then, Anika, Cookie, Hakeem and Andre all meet up to discuss what they plan on doing, but Cookie and Anika get into huge physical fight. But they do eventually get past the fighting and speak on how the hostile takeover is going to happen. This conversations happens through a rich white man named Tony Trichter, also known as Tricky Trichter, because he’s the best at hostile takeovers. They plan on getting him to buy into Empire through the signing of his grandson who wants to be a rapper, albeit having no talent whatsoever.
Cookie confronts Vernon about the death of Bunkie and Vernon admits that Lucious is the one who killed Bunkie. Vernon goes to visit Andre, and they get into a physical brawl but this brawl gets out of control because Andre’s wife comes in just in time and tries to defend Andre and in the process, ends up killing Vernon with a vase. She tells Andre to not call the police because she's worried what may happen to her if it goes to court or trial and resorts to stopping Andre by telling him she's pregnant.
In the meantime, Cookie tries to talk to Jamal, she tells him, “No matter what’s going on between me and yo daddy, I got you.” Lucious takes Empire public on the New York Stock Exchange (he attempts to wait for Vernon, but Andre slyly says, “Maybe he fell off the wagon, again,”) and with that Lucious proceeds to press the button that officially makes Empire a publicly traded company. After making Empire public, Lucious gets ready to perform on stage for the first time in a long time during his tribute concert, even having a private conversation with Jamal beforehand and telling Jamal his real name, Dwight Walker. Right after, Agent Carter and the FBI stroll in and Lucious gets arrested for the murder of Bunkie. He suspects Cookie to be responsible for his arrest, and Jamal does too.
Jamal performs their song with Patti LaBelle as Lucious is being walked into the police car, passing Andre and Hakeem who look at him with a grin, while Becky (his assistant) tells him that Empire's stock shares are plummeting and people are talking and plotting a hostile takeover. The camera pans showing how everybody is doing good without Lucious with them.
The season ends with Lucious behind bars saying, “You may think you’ve gotten away with it, but don’t fool yourselves; this is only the beginning. See, the streets couldn’t defeat me, disease couldn’t stop me, even God can’t kill me. The day will come when Lucious Lyon will return. Game time, bitches.”
- Power of the Empire - Hakeem Lyon (Yazz)
- Nothing To Lose (Empire Concert Version) - Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett)
- Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon
- Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon
- Trai Byers as Andre Lyon
- Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon
- Bryshere Y. Gray as Hakeem Lyon
- Grace Gealey as Anika Calhoun
- Kaitlin Doubleday as Rhonda Lyon
- Malik Yoba as Vernon Turner
- Malik Yoba as Vernon Turner
- Gabourey Sidibe as Becky Williams
- Ta'Rhonda Jones as Porsha Taylor
- Jim Beanz as Titan
- Serayah as Tiana Brown
- Derek Luke as Malcolm DeVeaux
- Eka Darville as Ryan Morgan
- Judd Nelson as Billy Beretti
- Jennifer Hudson as Michelle White
- Rita Ora as herself
- Juicy J as himself
- Patti LaBelle as herself
- Charles Hamilton as himself
- Lucious appoints Jamal as his successor as CEO of Empire Entertainment.
- Cookie, Andre and Hakeem, believing Lucious has lost his way, decide to initiate a hostile takeover.
- Cookie gets confirmation from Vernon that Lucious did indeed kill Bunkie.
- Vernon and Andre get into an altercation, and Rhonda accidentally kills Vernon in an attempt to protect Andre.
- Rhonda also reveals to Andre that she's pregnant.
- Empire Entertainment's IPO successfully goes through, transitioning Empire from a privately-owned company to a publicly traded company.
- Lucious confides a family secret to Jamal - that his real name is Dwight Walker.
- He also tells her that no one, not even Cookie, is aware of this.
- Lucious is arrested by the FBI for Bunkie's murder.