Please welcome our newest guest blogger at TT, Glow, with her first recap of Empire.
Last night’s return of EMPIRE was filled with Delicious Cookieness. Picking up with Hakeem’s snatching and ending with a scene that left no doubt of the drama to come. This episode served a buffet of intriguing delights, but this episode belongs to Cookie Lyon and this is why.
“You Ain’t A Boss, You’s A Busta”
While Jamal and Lucious are in the studio Cookie interrupts and shows the video she received of a captured Hakeem and accuses Lucious of doing the dirty work which he denies. Lucious says he knows what this is and off they go ending up at the drop off point. Apparently the Snatchers only want $40,000. After assuring all is on the up and up and Hakeem is alive, if not well, the drop happens and Hakeem is released but takes it upon himself to go wandering ending up at Anika’s (AKA Boo Boo Kitty) place and his parents wondering where he is. He eventually shows up a Lucious’ place where is examined, deemed to be ok, and leaves after another of his angry rants. Sometime later Lucious and Cookie meet about what happened to Hakeem during which Lucious advised Cookie she is not cut out for this business. He does the whole “house dog and junk yard dog, I’ve been protecting you with Empire, you can’t make it on your own” spiel. Cookie asks if this is his way of getting her to give up and crawl back to him to which he advises her he doesn’t want her but he does want Hakeem and if she loved Hakeem she would want that for him too. Cookie, “You just gonna leave us to the wolves so you can prove your little stupid point? You ain’t a boss Lucious, you’s a busta.” With this she leaves with one of the most kick ass exits I’ve witnessed. Walking away she sips her glass of wine, decides she likes it, throws Lucious a killer look, takes the bottle, throws that “I’m a bad bitch look” to Lucious and leaves the room…bottle of wine in hand.
“Welcome To My Streets, Bitch”
Cookie meets with Laz about needing to get a security team in place. He suggests she hires the team that snatched Hakeem. Cookie is not receptive although he gives what seems to be a convincing explanation of why this would be a good thing. She rejects his suggestion of hiring ex cops also. He reassures her he’s got her back if her hire the snatch team and after a sweet moment and a sweet kiss she agrees to set up the meeting. At the meeting Hakeem promises to be cool but immediately goes into crazy mode pulling out a gun and trying to exert his manhood, ranting and raving about how he’s the big man now that he has the gun. Cookie tries to talk him down and seems to reach him when she tells him she’d rather die than lose him again. Just as he begins to put his arm down we see one of the snatchers start to go for something in his back pocket just as Cookie takes Hakeem’s gun and takes ownership of this little meeting. She points the gun at the crew and says “Now, let’s talk”. After some half assed demand to raise the fee Cookie sets the terms and everyone present straight while holding the gun to the leader’s forehead. “Are we clear?” After the leader acknowledges they’re good Cookie announces “Now, Welcome to my streets, Bitch.” Taraji played this entire scene beautifully, from the concerned mother trying to keep her son from making a big mistake to the HBIC trying to protect herself and her cubs from the mean streets. And she looked amazing doing so.
“You Said You Got Me, Right?”
This was the last scene of the episode and it was totally unexpected and actually left me hyperventilating. Cookie shows up at Laz’s door asking him to help her forget the week she’s had. She asks “You said you got me, right?” He assures her he does and they proceed to make out. He takes off his shirt and there it is….The Mark. When Hakeem was snatched his captors took off their shirts and they all had some kind of tattoo, or branding, or something on their backs that looked like…I don’t what it looked it like but he asked if they were some kind of cowboys. The branding sort of looked like a steer’s head. Well, Laz has this same branding on his back so we know things are going to go dark with Laz and Cookie and I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Between all this superb Cookieness we are treated to some pretty good scenes this week. Becky is apparently sexually involved with an artist named J Poppa who is a part of Empire’s Gutter Life roster. Earlier, Andre met with all the Gutter Life artists so he could decide who to keep and who to let go. He seemed impressed with J Poppa when he learned J Poppa’s first name is Job (like the biblical Job) that his grandfather was a preacher who kept him off the streets and focused on his music. Andre asks J Poppa if he ever considered incorporating the Word into his music because he can reach more people with light than with darkness. J Poppa seems shocked but receptive to the suggestion. Later at the club when J Poppa performs Lucious is not so receptive to the Word in the music. Lucious’ pet project Freda performs and when heckled by guy in the crown she kicks him in the face. Andre wants to get rid of her but Lucious is not having it. Freda reminds me of Hakeem because they are both so angry and intense. All the time.
I am still treading lightly when it comes to Hakeem. I don’t really like most of his scenes and tend to zone one during most of them. He makes me uncomfortable. His level of crazy is scary in the unpredictability of it all. There was a scene with him crazed out while alone in a room, and then going into a crazed daze as he took the stage at the club. It appears he got locked into a staring contest with his father that went on a bit too long while a member of his girl group did her best to bring him back while keeping the performance going. Cookie is doing her best but I think Hakeem needs professional help.
Lucious meets with Hakeem and offers him a track which Hakeem appears to like but has to act like he doesn’t. He rejects it and walk away which leads to some more family drama. Lucious later meets with Freda and…does he offer her the same track he offered Hakeem. I can see where this is going. What is with Lucious anyway? He definitely needs to join his son in therapy.
Cookie and Jamal had a very good scene where they voiced their concern for Hakeem and she considered cancelling his concert. Jamal asked her to not do that, they would take care of Jamal and he just needs her to keep the train on the tracks. Loved that.
This episode was full of goodies and for me it was one of the best episodes I’ve watched. I was bit slower than most warming up to EMPIRE but I think I’m getting there. It’s a rocky road for me but I think I will stay on this road a bit longer and see where it leads.