Empire Recap

In a scene that makes very little sense, Booby McBoobs, Esq Roxanne Ford (Tyra Ferrell) is vowing to a group of reporters that even though Lucious  has been released on bail, she’ll make sure he’s back behind bars eventually. So much for that whole innocent until proven guilty thing.  A reporter asks if her vendetta against Lucious (Terrence Howard) is motivated by her desire to be the attorney general. I’m surprised no one asked about Roxanne’s vendetta against turtlenecks. Girl, we get it–you own a Wonderbra.Meanwhile, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) arrives at Hakeem’s (Bryshere Y. Gray) apartment to escort him for his radio interview and is disappointed to see that he has been hooking up with Valentina (Becky G), the Spicy Latina lead singer of his girl group (now named Mirage a Trois, by the way). She rightfully points out what a stupid idea that is but Hakeem, of course, isn’t bothered.

At the radio interview, Hakeem’s impulsiveness rears its head again when he brags to DJ Sway about his girl group. Sway asks for the group to stop by later in the week and Hakeem happily agrees, despite Cookie’s wild gesticulating for him to say no.

However, they put on a brave face when the Lyon family meets at Lucious’ mansion for a “Welcome Home From Prison” dinner. Lucious mocks Lyon Dynasty and tells them that they have nothing but his leftovers. He offers to “forgive” Cookie if she just swallows her pride and dismantles the company. “I’m always going to eat–just not with you,” snaps Cookie. For dramatic effect, she clears the table of every single dish . . . before anyone had eaten.

I guess the Lyons will be ordering pizza.

Lucious arranges a meeting with Anika (Grace Gealey) and asks her to be his double agent and sabotage Lyon Dynasty from the inside. Uh, is Anika officially working there? Or anywhere? Cookie has chased her out of every meeting and Anika doesn’t seem to have much t do. Lucious tells Anika that Lyon Dynasty is dead in the water since Hakeem is also ready to defect. Anika agrees to go where the steady paycheck is.

Yet, Lyon Dynasty may not need any outside sabotage to fail. Hakeem won’t let Cookie help him produce and like I predicted, Valentina is too Spicy to take criticism and has a huge ego for someone so damn tiny.

Freda (Bre-Z), Frank Gathers’ daughter, shows up at Empire to see if Lucious was serious about signing her (although hopefully not about boning her, as he promised Frank). She is annoyed that Lucious is in a meeting with Andre and storms out. Lucious is furious with Jamal for not getting her to stay; he wanted to rebuild one of Empire’s defunct labels around her. Jamal is jealous that Freda will overthrow him as Empire’s star artist but Lucious doesn’t have time to stroke his ego; he sets out to track down Freda.

Anika tells Cookie about Luscious’ double agent offer and tells her about the huge party he is throwing at Leviticus. Cookie uses Anika’s information to crash the party, where Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is performing with Pitbull, so Hakeem can show off his latest track. Even though Lucious kicks them out, everyone is buzzing about Hakeem’s performance the next day.

Andre stops by the Lyon Dynasty to tell Cookie about her future grandchild. Cookie suggests that he use the baby as leverage to win back Lucious’s favor. “Sometimes you gotta pull those heartstrings to get paid,” shrugs Cookie. Andre tries her tactics but it fails because Luscious is fixated on the possibility that his grandchild might also be bipolar–just like how his mother (Kelly Rowland) was.

Lucious goes to a street battle to find Freda but she runs away when the cops arrive. Roxanne, in a button up that actually buttons up, sees Lucious there and warns that she has her eye on him. What was she doing there? Was this thing announced on Twitter?

Recovering mama’s boy Jamal is on his way to ask Cookie to help produce his album, but Lucious miraculously shows up in time to intercept him. “You’re past Cookie,” Lucious tells him. “I want to produce you.” Jamal is mollified but insists he needs to be the sole superstar at Empire. Only time will tell if Freda can outshine him.

Mirage a Trois is finally ready for the group’s first radio appearance but Valentina is missing! Nope, she doesn’t have stage fright. Nope, she’s not stuck in some traffic or some wacky accident. Lucious has not only bought out all the major radio stations in the country (Uh, is that even possible, by the way?), but Valentina’s contract as well. She still gets to perform, but as an Empire artist.

[TV Juriste note: If Lyon Dynasty had Valentina under contract, Lucious would not have been able to poach her without subjecting himself to a potential lawsuit for tortious interference with contract and Valentina to a breach of contract lawsuit. Maybe Cookie and her cubs didn’t bother to get Mirage a Trois to sign a contract. Who knows? Empire is not exactly a stickler for details other than the detailed designs of Cookie’s manicures and outfits.]

He smugly tells Cookie good luck trying to make a label when they can’t get their music on the radio. “You can’t keep Cookie down,” warns Cookie.

I don’t know, Cookie. I think he may have you beat this time. Well, for now anyway.

And now, for the Empire Episode Awards!

Cookie’s Worst Outfit


Girl, you are not an extra in a bad sci-fi movie.

Worst Workout


Push ups in six inch heels? Ouch.

Sucks to Suck Award


The other two Mirage a Trois members. Maybe if they slept with Hakeem too, Lucious would have poached (poked?) them.

Best Line

Let’s vote on this because I can’t decide.

“I’m not talking to you Guadalupe, you need to go put your drawers on.”–Cookie

“I get it! You are the baddest bitch, you’re badder than all the animals whose prints populate your wardrobe.”–Anika