It’s been over three months since the last Empire episode aired, even if that seems impossible considering how much the show has been in the news over the last six weeks. But Fox’s hit series returns Wednesday with its midseason premiere, the first of season 5’s final nine episodes.

To catch you up on : Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and fiancé Kai (Toby Onwumere) are on the rocks; Andre (Trai Byers) was flatlining in a flash forward; a return to Empire was within grasp; Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) were accused of data mining; and Kingsley (A.Z. Kelsey) announced to the Lyons — and the world — that he’s Lucious’ illegitimate son.

But since the drama-filled December finale, Empire has been rocked offscreen by

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