Empire Recap

The last episode left off with Hakeem getting kidnapped by a mysterious gangster. This is a problem because he is missing the Not So Supreme’s rehearsal and he is supposed to do a rap bridge for them. Porsha offers to be his stand-in, but Cookie reminds Porsha that she is only there to do stupid stuff and be comic relief. But seriously, if Porsha has some secret rap skills, I hope we hear more, eventually. It would be great to develop this character so that she’s not used solely for comic relief.

They get a video from a tied up Hakeem, but Cookie thinks it’s a prank from Lucious. However, Lucious has his hands full trying to coax Jamal’s hurt feeling about Michael cheating into the music. Cookie bursts into the studio to confront Lucious and they all quickly realize Hakeem is in danger. Cookie and Lucious handle the ransom drop off as Hakeem stays with his kidnappers, who all have red bull tattoos on their backs.

Over at Empire, Andre starts his first day as the head of Gutter Life records. He announces that they will be reexamining their roster to make sure their artists are of high-quality character. Everyone is doubtful that any of their bad ass, hardcore gangster artists will pass Andre’s inspection. Becky is especially worried because she is dating JPoppa, one of the most troublesome Gutter Life artists.

Cookie and Lucious wait for Hakeem at the drop off site but find out that he has been released elsewhere. Hakeem turns up at Anika’s door and engages in some “Glad to Be Alive” sex with her before he goes home to tell everyone he’s fine. Everyone is understandably worried for Hakeem but to be honest, this kidnapping storyline was wrapped up in fifteen minutes. Why worry, Hakeem was returned before the second commercial break?

Lucious heads back to work with Jamal, who is upset his big Staples Center concert has been canceled due to the fact his audience is “too narrow” aka “too much of a gay crowd.” What? I call BS on this–doesn’t Jamal have a huge fan base of straight women who think he’s cute? Everyone, including Jamal, seems to have forgotten about his fruit flies, so Jamal calls in Jameson, a gay member of the Staples Center Board of Directors, to help Jamal get his concert back. Lucious is not enthusiastic–he almost signed with Jameson’s record company until he found out that Jameson was gay. Jamal tells Jameson and Lucious to suck it up (no, not in that way) and work together for Jamal’s sake. Lucious reluctantly agrees.

At the Not So Supremes rehearsal, Hakeem is all over the place and acting like he just got stung by a tracker jacker. PTSD or did the Bull Gangsters inject him with something? He has a meltdown and stomps out of rehearsal. Meanwhile, JPoppa keeps his cool in his meeting with Andre. After finding out that JPoppa used to be a preacher’s (grand)kid, Andre suggests that JPoppa insert the Word of God into his lyrics. “You can reach more people with light than with the darkness,” says Andre.

Lucious attempts to use the aftermath of Hakeem’s kidnapping to convince Cookie to let Hakeem back to Empire. Cookie ignores him and meets with Laz Delgado, her new promoter hired in the last episode. Laz advises Cookie to hire the Bulls as security for Lyon Dynasty so they and no other rival gang will mess with the company again. Understandably, Cookie does not trust hiring the same people who kidnapped her son but reluctantly agrees with the logic. Laz kisses Cookie, and while she seems enthusiastic about the kiss, she quickly gets back to business. Aw, come on, Cookie. Get you some sugar!

Cookie brings Hakeem along to her meeting with the Bulls but turns out that was a bad idea: Hakeem brought a gun to the paperwork negotiation. Cookie calms him down and takes the gun away from him to use it on the Bulls. She threatens the lead Bull and tells him that he will protect Lyon Dynasty for the agreed upon fee and leave her family alone. “Welcome to my streets, bitch,” she says coolly. The Bulls are (understandably) more afraid of Cookie than they are of Hakeem, so they quickly agree.

At Leviticus, JPoppa performs for the crowd with new Christian-themed lyrics. Lucious is displeased that Andre is thinking with his Bible instead of his Wharton degree, especially since Andre wants to drop Freda from the roster. Freda kicked an obnoxious heckler in the face during her rap performance, and Andre thinks she’s too much of a liability for the company. That may be true, but I still kinda think it was awesome.

The Not So Supremes prepare for their big performance as Hakeem stands outside, trying to calm down. Lucious pulls up and tries to offer Hakeem a new track, no strings attached. “With you, there are always strings,” says Hakeem and he goes inside. Lucious follows him and mocks Hakeem for his panic attacks. Andre and Jamal interrupt the argument and talk to Hakeem alone. They tell Hakeem that it’s okay to be traumatized but he shouldn’t give in to his fears. “We already beat the odds as surviving as the children of Cookie and Lucious Lyon,” points out Andre.

This pep talk cheers Hakeem up and although he has some initial stage fright, he and the Not So Supremes give a supreme performance. Anika shows up at the after party and tries not to die of embarrassment when Hakeem blows her off to hang out with Laura. Poor Anika! What was the point of her being in this episode again?

Lucious finds Freda and tells her that unlike Andre, he’s not mad about her losing her temper. He gives her the song originally meant for Hakeem, and they have a good time freestyling together.

Elsewhere, Cookie shows up at Laz’a apartment. “Are we going to do this or what?” she asks. He kisses her and she doesn’t pull away not one little bit. 😉 But wait! Laz has a bull tattoo just like the gang members! Is he playing Cookie or does he having feelings for her? Or is it both?

And now it’s time for the Empire Episode Awards!

Cookie’s Worst Outfit


I know you love animal prints, but maybe not this animal print. Ya know?

Best Badass With a Gun


Cookie. Sorry Hakeem, but your mom is cooler than you.

Sucks to Suck Award


Anika. Can’t land a job and can’t land a man–not even an immature twenty-something rapper. This is rough patch, girl.

Get It, Girl! Award

11  14

Tie between Cookie and Becky. I’m straight up jealous of both of them!

Best Pearls of Wisdom

“There are all kinds of vampires in this business. Some suck your blood, and some suck your–”

–Lucious Lyon