Empire's Rafael de la Fuente Confirms Multi-Episode Season 2 Return

Looks like Season 2 of Empire might find Jamal and Michael hitting an “up” in their “up-down up-down up-down” romance.

Rafael de la Fuente — whose Michael Sanchez exited Jamal’s life, and the Fox ratings smash, after Season 1, Episode 7 — confirmed to TVLine that not only will he be back for the show’s sophomore premiere, but that he’s already shot four episodes.

“I can’t wait for the audience to see Jamal and Michael’s new dynamic,” the actor told TVLine from Empire‘s red-carpet premiere event in New York City this weekend. “I think they’re going to like it.”

While de la Fuente was reluctant to share any specifics of how he and Jussie Smollet’s R&B star/label exec will reunite, he agreed to tease their vibe in three phrases: “Sexy,” “unexpected” and “real love.”

As for the couple’s abrupt Season 1 split — and the way Jamal publicly came out just one episode later — de la Fuente contended that his character “is proud of Jamal for coming out, because Michael is a big LGBT advocate. But a part of him is disappointed that he decided to do that after breaking up with Michael. It stings a little bit.”

de la Fuente also hinted viewers can expect more “really funny” dynamics between Michael and Jamal’s mercurial mother Cookie (Taraji P. Henson).

Excited about a Michael-Jamal reunion? Do you think their relationship will grow stronger the second time around? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kerri says:

    What about Eka Derville’s character? He and Jamal never broke up.

  2. Gerald Christie says:

    Meh, I never liked the character or actor. They basically never gave him much to do and he just always came across as bland and boring.

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    Looking forward to this for sure!!

  4. Eva says:

    I’m in, but only if they give him something to actually do this time around.

  5. drewrayg says:

    I believe they did break up. When Jamal found out he had a child it was not something that Eka Dervilles character was not interested in and they sort of parted ways.

    • Annie says:

      Ryan was in the second to last episode. He and Jamal had sex on top of Lucious’ desk, and he was with Jamal at a record store signing.

  6. drewrayg says:

    I meant to say it was something he was not interested in (raising children). And, his name was Ryan Morgan.

  7. Annie says:

    Ryan was cute, but he didn’t have any chemistry with Jamal. The writers didn’t do him any favors, which was the main part of the problem. I hope that they take the time to develop Michael more, and make his life about more than just being Jamal’s boyfriend.

  8. Tim says:

    I’m surprised! Hopefully, he’s been taking some acting classes.

  9. Fernanda says:

    As a latina I’m very proud to see Rafael again on Empire. Also Eka Dervilles is on season 2 too according with the promos.

  10. Spence says:

    So glad!!! I honestly would rather have a broom be Jamal’s love interest rather than that hideous, Megamind-lookalike, so I’m glad Michael is back!

  11. Kaze says:

    My OTP is coming back! yay!!!!! Can’t wait to see Jamal and Michael!

  12. Lovennda lalanne says:

    Honestly I’m glad that Michael is coming back he was a much better fit or Jamal then Ryan will ever be I just hope this time they actually give him something to do and that he actually stay on the show this time

  13. Diane says:

    I am really excited to see Michael back. I was really sad when he and Jamal broke up last season. I am hoping he isn’t going to be with the last guy anymore because he seemed like he was kind of using Jamal to gain more fame. Jamal and Michael seemed like they had good chemistry and a supportive relationship.

  14. tiffany howell says:

    I hope that Lucius will learn his lesson while in prison also I hope that someone will find out the wife who killed lucis guard.

  15. Monica says:

    I love this couple!!! I hope they last because they seem to have something real!

  16. jeremiah says:

    Am so happy seeing micheal back with jamal again, they kinda look cute together… I love them…