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Within the first 10 minutes of last night’s Empire Season 2 premiere, Cookie donned a gorilla suit to protest mass incarceration at a #FreeLucious rally that seemed like a send-up of Black Lives Matter...

...and we saw cameos from Swizz Beatz, Al Sharpton...

...Andre Leon Talley, who mocked Cookie’s last-season Gucci...

...and Don Lemon.

“You did good in Ferguson!” said Cookie after her assistant Porsha said she wasn’t feeling what he did “out there in Peterson.” Under her breath as she walked away, Cookie said, “But he did mess up the N-word.” The only thing that could make praising Don Lemon’s showing in Ferguson—where he reported that he smelled marijuana obviously—right is clowning him immediately after on a show that he signed up to guest on. Empire truly is a gift.

Watching Cookie pimp her ex-husband’s current wife Anika to Marisa Tomei’s lesbian music exec character Mimi Whiteman (ha) was the epitome of soap opera deliciousness:

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And then Cookie’s response to Anika’s failing to adequately seduce Mimi was deliciously tasteless: “You can’t even dyke right.”

Miss Lawrence sang the shit out of Sylvester’s disco classic “(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real,” only to be dismissed later by Jamal for being so queeny.

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Hopefully Jamal’s existential grief over his sexuality/masculinity will continue to be teased out—what a thing to explore on the most important show on television.

But my favorite moment is the brief clip at the top of this post, in which Porsha dismissed an urgent Carol (Cookie’s sister, played by Tasha Smith) by saying, “I gotta boo boo.” Really, the best way to get off the phone with someone is by telling them you have to take a shit. Try it, you’ll like it.

The premiere was characteristically goofy and fun in flashes, but overall, it did have the feel of treading water. The Lucious jail stuff was particularly inert—a Chris Rock character was introduced only to be killed—and because this season is almost twice as long as the first, I got the feeling that they were stretching the individual characters’ arcs (watch Jamal slowly turn into a monster because of his power). Still, it’s Empire. What are you gonna do? Not watch it?