Who Is Thirsty Rawlings On 'Empire'? Andre Royo Plays Lucious' Brilliant, But Shady Lawyer

Last week, Empire Season 2 made its fall debut and gave us all a taste of what's to come for the Lyon family — many famous faces, Lucious Lyon making moves from jail, and of course, lots of drama. It's enough to make the week-long wait between episodes seem so long. But when another episode finally airs on Wednesday night, you may wonder to yourself who is Thirsty Rawlings on Empire , why does he look so familiar, and how on earth did he get that awesome-as-hell name? Well, I can help you with two out of three: Thirsty Rawlings is the lawyer hired by Lucious Lyon and he's played by actor Andre Royo, who The Wire fans remember as Bubbles, an industrious homeless Baltimore drug addict and police informant. He's also currently starring in the Amazon series Hand of God.

TVLine describes Thirsty Rawlings as a "a sharp lawyer" who has "unethical moves and [an] equally shady past." Royo described the character further in an interview with Jet, saying, "Thirsty understands that there are no law, just lawyers, and he’s going to do whatever he can to make sure whoever he’s representing is getting out ... He put himself through law school, so he has that tenacity I think Luscious appreciates. Real boss like, you know? Two alpha males that go about it differently but together." It sounds like either Thirsty will be the perfect lawyer for Lucious — or they'll totally butt heads. Either way, it will definitely be fun to watch.

As for how Thirsty got that cool name, well, I hope we find out when the episode airs on Wednesday night — along with how Thirsty might get Lucious out of jail. Here are a few of my guesses.

Tampering With Evidence

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If Lucious' laywer is as ruthless as Royo makes him out to be, Thristy would probably stop at nothing to get the charges dropped — including making whatever evidence that exists disappears.

Manufacturing Witnesses

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Along the same lines, Thirsty could have some witnesses magically appear that will make Lucious look innocent.

Getting Involved In Music

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Everyone's got a dream — and what if Thirsty's real ambition was music? Perhaps he and Lucious make a deal: Thirsty can defend Lucious in exchange for a record deal or at least some recording time at Empire Entertainment.

Going To Trial

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On most TV shows, the presence and casting of a lawyer usually means a TV show is headed to court room. Thirsty could be defending Lucious to a jury.

Acting As A Go-Between

Maybe Thirsty isn't Lucious' lawyer for court or crime — perhaps he's needed so Lucious can better communicate with the Lyon family from jail. It'll be a lot easier for Lucious to help run Empire Entertainment if he has a representative at that board room table. After all, as we saw in the premiere, Jamal's having a hard time juggling it all.

General Shady Business

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If Thirsty has a shady past, he may still be involved in questionable dealings in the present.

No matter what Thirsty's agenda is, it'll be fun to watch him and Lucious work together on Empire this season.

Forgot what happened last season on Empire? Watch the Season 1 drunk recap video below.

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