7:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
'Empire' Season 4 First Look Previews War and a "Different Side" of Lucious (Exclusive Video)
Get ready to see a new side of Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) when Empire returns for season four.
Last viewers saw the tough and ruthless family patriarch, he was trying to turn over a new leaf and explore the world with his on-and-off love Cookie (Taraji P. Henson). However, their travel plans came to a screeching halt when Lucious was nearly killed in an explosion planned by his eldest son, Andre (Trai Byers).
The season ended with Lucious recovering in the hospital and struggling to remember his life before the accident.
According to The Hollywood Reporter's exclusive first look at season four, Lucious' memory loss will unlock a "different side" of him going forward. "Maybe that's why someone like Cookie would fall in love so deeply with a man like that, because she was able to see the true him," star Jussie Smollett says in the video.
Adds showrunner Ilene Chaiken: "The depth of the relationship between Lucious and Cookie will be the most surprising thing to the fans when season four begins."
Andre's failed plan to take down his father results in a messy partnership with Shine (Xzibit), who helped him plot the unsuccessful hit. "He's going to have that to hold over Andre for a very, very long time," Smollett says.
Elsewhere in the land of Empire, it's rough going for Anika (Grace Byers) after she was arrested for the murder of Tariq Cousins in the season three finale. As Cookie says, "jail ain't for the weak."
However, the biggest development might be the brewing war between the Lyons and Dubois families after Cookie's relationship with Angelo (Taye Diggs) went up in smoke last year and left his political career in shambles.
Now, it will be "dangerous" matriarch Diana Dubois (Phylicia Rashad) pulling the strings. Warns Smollett, "This is the worst kind of war because they have no idea and the Duboises are infiltrating the very fabric of the empire," warns Smollett.
Those storylines all combine for a "complex" and "emotional" fourth season, in the works of Chaiken.
Check out the extended first look video below to hear new songs and see more fresh season four footage.
Empire returns in its new time slot Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. on Fox.