Empire Recap

The women on “Empire” are getting their lovin’ on! Last episode it was Becky in bed with her rapper boyfriend and now Cookie is in bed with her concert promoter/secret gang member boyfriend. Laz gives Cookie the idea to have a concert in the park. Cookie is excited to have a boyfriend who encourages her company to flourish (instead of trying to sabotage it at every step like a certain ex we know) but unfortunately, Laz has ulterior motives. Rock Steady Park, the concert location Lazy suggested, is controlled by The Bulls and Laz knows Cookie will have to pay for the gang’s protection and for Laz’s concert promotion.

Well, at least she’s getting laid.

Cookie takes a break from getting nookie to advise Jamal on how to record his latest track since Lucious has his hands full helping Freda record their collaboration “Boom Boom Boom Boom.” Lucious wants to present their track to super producer Huey Drivers, who could assist the pair to get the Grammy Lucious has always wanted. Huey likes the track, especially Freda’s verse, but tells Lucious that he needs to tap into his emotions more. Lucious has a flashback to when he was a child and buried the bullets for his mother’s gun. “Uh…I’ll get back to you on that,” he says.

Meanwhile, Cookie invites hip-hop bloggers to the Lyon Dynasty offices to promote her concert, Cookie’s Cookout. Despite the name sounding like something your grandma would organize for the church picnic, everyone is pretty pumped for the event. The Not So Supremes perform for the reporters and trouble arises when one of the back up girls, Carmen, ousts Laura from the Queen Bey spot. Cookie is impressed with the girl’s “Showgirls”-esque moxie and tells Hakeem to promote her. Hakeem insists that Laura has the voice but Cookie counteracts that she doesn’t have the personality. If Laura doesn’t break out of her shy little girl mode, she’ll be out of the spotlight.

At Empire, Mimi, Lucious, and Andre discuss business. Andre suggests that Empire move into music streaming but instead of building their own platform, Mimi suggests that they buy Swift Stream instead. To Andre’s disappointment, Lucious picks Mimi’s idea and Andre’s only task if to make a gang injunction against Freda go away. He suggests that Andre uses his friend (with benefits) at the mayor’s office for help.

Cookie gussies herself up and asks Porsha’s opinion about her behind before she meets her boyfriend…Jamal? Yep, Cookie dressed up just to have a private dinner with her son. These Oedipus vibes are too much, even for Empire. He thanks Cookie for her help on his track and they tell each other that they missed each other. You two are mother and son, not ex-lovers! The incest vibe is heightened when Cookie brings Jamal over to see the Lyon Dynasty studios and quickly hides him when Hakeem comes by.

Speaking of crossing boundaries, Andre meets with his pastor to discuss whether or not he should sleep with the deputy mayor to please Lucious. “Would fulfilling your father’s task help you advance your larger task within Empire?” asks the pastor. He tells Andre that he is God’s warrior and sometimes warriors have to do less than godly things to win battles. He adds that there are other ways besides sex for Andre to get what he wants. Uh, why do I have the feeling that this guy isn’t a real pastor? Anyway, his advice works: Andre successfully blackmails the deputy mayor with their previous sex tapes. Triumphant, Andre goes home to tell Rhonda that he didn’t sleep with another woman and the two have sex. Sidenote: Rhonda was going pretty hard on the elliptical machine when Andre came in. I know that pregnant women aren’t that delicate but, uh,  have the writers even remembered that Rhonda is supposed to be pregnant?

Lucious and Mimi find the head of Swift Stream at his boxing gym. Mimi advises Lucious to get in the ring and let the guy win the round but after having his music insulted, Lucious delivers beatdown. They go to his hospital bed to apologize but when the guy refuses to accept their apology, Mimi and Lucious up his morphine dosage and convince the now drugged up guy to call the lawyers to move forward with the Empire-Swift Stream merger. Uh, TVJuriste, please break it down – is this as illegal and implausible as it sounds?

Hakeem has Laura mentored by Tiana, but it doesn’t go so well considering that Tiana is the flattest actress ever. Instead, he makes Laura perform a Spanish version of “I Will Survive” in the middle of a busy street. Of course, everyone stops to clap and cheer her along. Now brave, Laura kisses Hakeem after she finishes her performance. When the Not So Supremes rehearse together, Laura takes her place back in the spotlight and Cookie admits that maybe Laura has what it takes after all.

Cookie reluctantly agrees to meet with The Bulls to discuss renting out Rock Steady Park. Hakeem is furious that his mother is collaborating with the guys who kidnapped him one episode ago!  He insists on staying for the negotiations, and they work out a deal. Hakeem tells his mother that he wants to be more active in business decisions and warns her that there is something off about Laz. Cookie dismisses his concerns. So do we for purely superficial reasons. Settle down, Hakeem, let us have our eye candy.

As he celebrates his totally illegal merge with Mimi, Lucious has a flashback to when his mother committed suicide. To avoid confronting his feelings, he gets super drunk with Mimi and they pick a hooker “party girl” for a menage a trois. The three-way is halted when Mimi gets a mysterious phone call that drives her to tears. Lucious takes her phone and yells into the receiver, ” You need to deal Mimi  the love and respect that she deserves or you’re going to have to deal with me!” Lucious convinces the tear-filled Mimi to return to the three-way but he ditches them when the party girl’s gun tattoo inspires Lucious to use his mother’s pistol as sound effects for his track.  How M.I.A. of him. Maybe he’ll get the Grammy after all.

Most Valiant Attempt to Break Into the Spotlight


Carmen. You did your best but unfortunately since you’re not making out with Hakeem, you’re just a background character. Impressive moves, though.

Least Godly Pastor


Andre’s pastor. “No, don’t sleep with someone else besides your wife. God says that’s wrong. But, uh, He’s cool with you blackmailing.”

Most Unrealistic Street Performance


Yeah, sometimes people stop to enjoy street performances but no crowd this large would gather. This is Empire, not Glee, Lee Daniels.

Worst Couple to Have a Three Way With


She’s an amoral snake, and he’s Terrence Howard. Do not fall into bed with them.