Empire is keeping Jussie Smollett far away from promoting new episodes of the series.
The beloved Fox drama series returned with new episodes last week, prominently featuring the actor in the spring premiere, but coincidentally leaving photos of his character — Jamal Lyon – out of promos as Smollett continues to face charges for allegedly staging a hate crime in late January.
While Jamal has a few episodes left of story before getting written off, we’ll have to wait until the hour airs tonight before we can get a clue as to what comes next for the singer.
Take a look at the new photos from tonight’s new episode, titled “In Loving Virtue.”
Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) may be back on top at Empire but they are far from out of trouble.
The investigation into all the trouble Kingsley (A.Z. Kelsey) caused is still heating up, which probably explains why Thirsty (Andre Royo) is coming back to help the family with their troubles. He looks pretty happy in this photo, so maybe things aren’t as bad as we thing for the Lyons.
The new episode will be introducing Alicia Coppola into the world of the show as a smart, flamboyant attorney tasked with investigating Lucious, as well as a man with a connection to the Lyon’s past.
Reports said the ambitious lawyer is on the lookout for big convictions to advance her political career, which means Lucious and Thirsty will have to watch their backs.
Things will be tense as Empire records works to move out of the recent data mining scandal, but that does not mean we won’t have some lighter moments during the episode.
We will see Maya’s (Rhyon Nicole Brown) return in this week’s episode, and spending some quality time with Porsha (Ta’Rhonda Jones), who is always a source of laughs when she is on the screen.
Andre (Trai Byers) had a terrifying cliffhanger ending last week that left fans worrying for his life, but it seems like he may have had a miraculous recovery.
After he collapsed while driving himself and his date after an Empire event at the club, viewers were left to wonder if this would lead to the flash forward scene of Andre coming into the hospital on the edge of death, but looks like he will be back at work despite the health scare.
The episode will also find Andre getting closer with Devon (Mario), as he attempts to poach the artist for Empire to improve business.
Will the arrangement work out, or will his failure contribute to Andre’s downfall?
Little Bella (Bella Chanel) has had an eventful Season 5, what with holding the Lyon family at gunpoint during a particularly tense episode last fall, but now the little girl is making her red carpet debut.
Featured alongside her father Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray), the little girl is serving royalty look on the red carpet of the event.
As Hakeem enjoys the event with his daughter, the rivalry between Tiana (Serayah) and Treasure (Katlynn Symone) will be heating up, as both singers will be competing for the female vocalist track on Jamal’s new song.
With Treasure also trying to get in between Tiana and Hakeem, could their rivalry turn savage this week?
Cookie and Lucious are not in a good place after the reveal that Kingsley is his illegitimate child, and having to ask a former boyfriend of Cookie’s for help will not make things easier.
In this photo, Cookie is seen seemingly getting cozy with Damon Cross (Wood Harris), an international money launderer tasked with helping them find the money that Ediie (Forrest Whitaker) stole before his death. Will Lucious be O.K. with Cookie getting close to her ex?
While Jamal is not in the promo photos for the episode, we can expect his story to continue to unfold. After seemingly breaking up with Kai (Toby Onwure), the couple’s story is likely not over yet given that they were engaged to be married.
The singer will also be laying down some new music, and could still be the person who ends up in the ominous coffin we’ve been seeing in flash forwards throughout the season. Will Smollett’s drama lead to an early death for the beloved character?
Empire airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.