On the brink of Empire Entertainment's 20th anniversary, Lucious is making his first public appearance after the explosion in Las Vegas, while all members of the Lyon family, as well as Lucious' nurse, Claudia, have their own interests in Lucious regaining his physical and mental faculties.
With Leah still insisting that he is a monster, Lucious sneaks away in hopes of finding out what type of person he was before the explosion. Cookie panics that Lucious has gone missing on Claudia's watch, until she realizes he found his way to Uncle Eddie, a music icon who has since become family to the Lyons. Meanwhile, with Anika still behind bars, Hakeem and Tiana grow more comfortable as a family, and Becky makes a rash decision regarding Jamal's new song.
When Cookie is denied a line of credit, she flashes back to her years in prison and compares her past struggles to her life now. Lucious continues to struggle with demons of his own and begs his family to tell him about the ways he's wronged them, but they are reluctant to tell him the truth. Meanwhile, the NYPD is still on Andre's case about the events that transpired in Vegas and one officer in particular catches his eye.
The race is on when Cookie announces that the number one album for Empire's 20-For-20 will be a competition between all of the label's top artists, giving Jamal a bold idea for his newest song. On the heels of Bella's first birthday, the family plans a special "Prince and Princesses"-themed birthday party, including a special Prince tribute, but the special day brings back haunting memories for one of the Lyons. Meanwhile, Lucious is at a crossroads, as he tries to put to rest the anger from his past life.
When the secret about Lucious' memory is exposed, Cookie attempts to convince the board that he is fine by inviting the press to watch him produce the first 20 for 20 album. Eddie Barker jumps in to help Lucious get back in his groove and make music in the studio. Just as Andre's feelings for Detective Pamela Rose intensify, she reveals information that's been uncovered regarding the explosion. Meanwhile, Hakeem worries about his secret involvement with the DuBois family and Claudia helps Lucious with a breakthrough.
The Lyon family stands together as Anika and Hakeem begin a custody battle for Bella. Although they're confident in Hakeem's ability as a father, no one is prepared for the revelations her team brings to the trial. Meanwhile, Claudia grows more possessive over Lucious, who has unlocked a new way to understand music through his paintings. Also, Jamal introduces Warren to Lucious, Andre begins seeing a new therapist, and one of Becky's old flames returns.
Production comes to a halt on Empire's 20-For-20 when Calvin and Portia, feeling overworked by their new producer, Eddie Barker, call for a strike, leaving Cookie to find a solution to the issue. In an attempt to prove that he can still be the man he was before the explosion, Lucious arranges a deal on Hakeem's behalf, not knowing the repercussions that could follow. Meanwhile, love is in the air for Jamal and Andre, who each express their feelings for their significant others, not knowing the secrets that are being kept from them.
Cookie and Lucious take matters into their own hands as they watch Diana DuBois' master scheme unfold. Meanwhile, Andre begins to spiral out of control, wondering what she could have in store for him. Also, Jamal's sobriety is put to the test and Shine gives Hakeem advice on how to maintain a balance between his work and personal life.
Cookie and Lucious devise an elaborate plan to take down Diana Dubois and her family once and for all. Andre recovers from his mental breakdown in the hospital, Shine tries desperately to protect his secret and Eddie Barker is concluding his tenure at Empire. Amidst the chaos, someone's life hangs in the balance.
Nurse Claudia takes her job to a new level, when she kidnaps Lucious. To find him, Cookie must race against time and use the skills she learned in prison to rescue him. Meanwhile, Andre, Jamal and Hakeem pick up the pieces from their battle with the Dubois family.
On the brink of a lucrative tech deal, Eddie realizes that he must work on rebranding Empire. Cookie springs into action when a girl group from the past re-unites and threatens to expose secrets about Empire and Lucious. Meanwhile, Hakeem makes a major move with Tiana, Andre continues to struggle with his guilt and Becky is faced with a difficult situation.
A Lyon health scare shakes up Empire, as Cookie holds down the fort, in spite of it all. Both Andre and Jamal try to right their wrongs, and Jamal makes a shocking revelation on live TV with Robin Roberts. Eager to take Empire to new heights, Eddie's motives are questioned when numbers don't add up. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Tiana find common ground and Becky reveals the secret she's been keeping from J. Poppa.
Although Lucious pressures Cookie to take it easy, she can't help but take matters into her own hands when she receives unsettling news about an old friend. Meanwhile, Tiana's new 20 for 20 single takes off, leading to an unexpected change in her demeanor. Also, Jamal struggles to rebrand his image, Hakeem adopts a new role as musical mentor and Andre recruits Lucious to help him uncover the truth about Eddie's intentions.
Lucious and Thirsty try to squash Eddie's takeover by confronting him with legal papers. Cookie recalls her complex relationship with her mother, while she continues her search for her friend's orphaned daughter. Meanwhile, Andre flounders, Hakeem anxiously prepares a release strategy for his 20 for 20 single and Jamal and Tory try to find a new team to make their own first non-Empire single.
As Eddie fights for his place at Empire Entertainment and gets the board on his side, Lucious and Shine must find a permanent solution to keep him out. Meanwhile, Cookie is desperate to fulfill a promise to a friend before it's too late. Then, when tensions rise in Jamal and Tory's new band, Preacher Azal inspires Jamal with an idea to get everyone in sync.
When Cookie finally visits her mother, the two must confront their complicated past. Meanwhile, Lucious and Eddie continue their fight over Empire and Eddie makes a power play at the grand opening of Empire's 20 for 20 showcase. Then, Jamal and his band anonymously release their latest single and Hakeem tests out a career in film.
Cookie and Lucious fight to keep Empire in the family, as they prepare a livestream concert to crowdfund the amount needed to trump Eddie's plans. Meanwhile, the success of Jamal's new anonymous group climbs, Hakeem brings Haven to the showcase to make Tiana jealous, and Andre is put to the test and must decide between the family or his career.
As the Empire ownership bid presentation nears, Lucious must make a difficult decision to save the future of the company and his family, while Eddie shows no signs of backing down. However, Cookie reveals a potential upper hand in the power play for Empire, after doing a little digging into her past. Meanwhile, Andre makes a power play of his own, Hakeem's high spirits comes to a quick end due to a threat, Jamal and Tory struggle to cope with the success of their new music group, tension boils as the Lyons face Empire's most existential threat yet and someone's past mistakes leads to a deadly consequence.