By: Guest Recapper, Glow
Tonight’s Empire brought the Lyon family together in several situations and since Lucious wouldn’t have it any other way, he continued to attempt to rip the family apart.
Lucious has a message he wants to send to Hakeem and that message is Freda Gatz. Uncut and Raw. Lucious has released Freda’s rap song Shots Fired” which is obviously filled with jabs at Hakeem. Becky advised Lucious this is going too far and there has to be a better way to reach his son. When Hakeem sees Freda’s performance and the lyrics referring to Hakeem as daddy’s little girl he does a periscope letting it be known that he won’t allow Freda to come at him like that. Hakeem feels Lucious is trying to replace him with Freda and he is pissed. He declares a battle for his name. Hakeem walks in on Cookie and Laz discussing the battle and gets a bit irritated with Laz, accusing him of causing problems. Cookie is opposed to the battle telling Hakeem they are trying to get Cookie’ Cookout going and a battle is not good because if Freda wrecks him they lose all credibility. She tells him if he loses they become Empire’s bitch.
Laz is still in the room and when he speaks up things get tense between these two alpha males. Hakeem tells Laz he’s just a promoter and should be handing out flyers. Laz decides to leave but Hakeem blocks his way. Laz tells Hakeem he doesn’t want to do that and shoves Hakeem which propels Cookie into action. She slaps the crap out Laz and tells him don’t ever touch her son.
As he prepares for the battle Hakeem has a few other things going on. He is trying to build a real relationship with Laura who shares that she’s a virgin. Hakeem has no problem taking things slow. Anika is at her place looking like she has fallen on hard times. She has knife in one hand and a pregnancy test in the other. She decides to take the test which of course is positive. At some point she decides to tell Hakeem. She meets with him at his place and tries to seduce him but Hakeem is not having it. He’s sprung. She tells him she has something to tell him but before she can get it out he tells her he thinks he’s in love. It’s Laura. Anika is cool but she is not happy.
At the battle Freda and Hakeem go at it. Freda comes hard and appears to be getting the best of Hakeem but he holds it together. Earlier, Hakeem had discussed the battle with Jamal who told Hakeem Freda is a one trick fool whereas Hakeem is a MC and an entertainer. To win Hakeem has to put on a show and not just be in Freda’s face spitting words. Hakeem takes Jamal’s advice and puts on a show which he ends by smashing out the lights on the name Lyon hanging in the background, announcing he is dropping the name Lyon and will be just Hakeem going forward. After the show Hakeem calls a car to take Laura home. The driver turns out to be Anika. This was totally unexpected so I wonder how this will play out.
Jamal has a lot going on musically and seems to be in a good place. He’s coming into his own. In addition to working on an album and the biggest deal of his career he is one of ten artists being considered for a Pepsi campaign. He needs to submit a song and sets out to work on a song with Cookie. Lucious also has given him a song. When Lucious discovers that Jamal is working with Cookie Jamal tries to convince his parents they need to work together to fuse the two songs because he likes parts of both songs. Lucious reminds everyone that no matter what they do with the song it’s an Empire song and Empire is paying for the session. Jamal says no, he is paying. After more bickering Jamal walks out. With Jamal gone Cookie and Lucious make a bet. If Hakeem wins the battle Lyon Dynasty gets to release Jamal’s album and Empire can release Hakeem’s album if “Freda Wack”, as Cookie called her, wins. Cookie and Lucious show up for the Pepsi presentation. Jamal starts to perform and Lucious is gloating when the performance starts with his song. As Cookie starts to leave in a huff the beat changes and it’s her song. Jamal has merged the two songs. After the performance he tells his parents his album will be equal parts Cookie and Lucious. He wins the Pepsi campaign.
Lucious is still working with Mimi and Andre to secure the merger with Swift Stream and the CEO Jako. It’s something about streaming music and Lucious wants this badly and wants to do some underhanded stuff to get things to go his way. Lucious is working Mimi’s nerves and mine. Andre advises his father it’s dangerous to come at their biggest investor like that. Lucious doesn’t care as long as wins in the end. Andre asks Lucious if winning is why he wants to humiliate Hakeem and control all of them instead of teaching them and making them better. Lucious: “I think history shows you’re a much better man under my control.” He tells Andre to get Thirsty to dig up dirt on Jako so he can control him as well.
Thirsty has some dirt on Jako. Andre is opposed to going this route and thinks they should back out of the deal. Later Lucious, Thirsty, and Andre are meeting with Jako and his team. Mimi is late but finally rushes in wearing a suit that seems a few sizes too big and reminding Lucious she is dealing with personal matters. I guess she’s referring to the girlfriend issue she had last episode. After the contract for the merger is signed Lucious declares he will own the world in six months.
Cookie has her hands full between her verbal sparring with Lucious and trying to hide that she is working with Jamal. She is caught between her sons Jamal and Hakeem because of Empire and Lyon Dynasty and because their daddy is an a-hole. When Hakeem walks in while she is skyping with Jamal and threatens to tell Lucious, she does her special Cookie Mommy Magic and calms him down. She asks Hakeem “You know what you sound like? A Snitch Bitch.”
She tries to convince Jamal that he should tell Lucious about them working together. She has to hide when Lucious shows up at Jamal’s place while she’s there. “I feel like a damn fool.” With all this going on it looks like one more thing has been added to Cookie’s Plate…. Her sister Candace. Enter Vivica A. Fox. Candace has shown up because the other sister, Crystal, has gone MIA leaving her kids at Candace’s house. Candace is supposedly bougie and married to a white man. There is some conflict between the sisters which is evident when Candace tells Cookie if she learned anything from her seventeen-year prison stint it’s “definitely to dress like a monkey and talk like a pimp.” Lucious seems to be enjoying Candace’s sudden arrival and the interaction between Taraji and Vivica is entertaining. I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode.