It’s back to business as usual at Empire Records, and there’s always the proverbial snake in the grass lurking too. We start with Lucious popping awake from a bad dream about the night his car blew up, and now his Lyon senses are tingling. In other words, he suspects that Andre might have something to do with trying to kill him so he tells Thirsty to get to investigating.
In other news, Eddie (Lucious’ Uncle) and Giselle (Eddie’s ex-wife) are part of Empire’s staff now. They’re exes, but they’re in deep financial trouble so of course, they’re going to try to use Empire for a come up. This is actually a good time for scheming because Empire is making money moves with their streaming service. Eddie and Giselle brought a new investor to the table and Cookie and Lucious are down with the partnership. Unfortunately, said business partner is down to steal Empire right along with Eddie and Giselle and later on in the episode, he mentions that he’s actually going to buy Empire based on the moves they made, but Eddie said he’ll deal with telling Lucious what’s up. The other part to this sneaky takeover is that Eddie has been going around planting divisive bugs in people’s ears. He lowkey convinced Jamal to drop out of the upcoming 20 for 20 Celebration, and while working with Tiana on her music, he tells her that she can’t let Hakeem distract her from her music. Later on, Hakeem proposes to her and she says she needs to think about it because she can’t have any distractions. It was that easy.
Speaking of 20 for 20, there’s an old Empire act that they didn’t invite back. It’s one of Empire’s first acts, a girl group called “TBD” (with Tisha Campbell guest starring as the lead), and they are so salty that they’re on TV telling everyone who will listen that they got beef. They plan to release their own anniversary album, which will include a dis track that spills all the tea on Empire.
But you know the Lyons ain’t having that. Cookie shows up to a TBD performance at a mall to handle her business. The group is a bunch of has-beens so they need all the money and attention they can get. Cookie offers them a deal with Empire for their anniversary album. They says they’ll be in the studio as long as they get an apology from Lucious for…whatever it is that he knows he did. You know pre-accident Lucious was trash.
Later on, Lucious apologizes, but they don’t accept it because they think it’s disingenuous. They start talking about how Lucious sabotaged their last album, they feel some type of way about Cookie running things, etc—basically, they’re returning the petty and just like that, they leave because they say that have another deal on the table anyway. However, Lucious points out that it’s a smaller label with less money. Cookie is obviously annoyed when she learns it didn’t work out, but Lucious says he’s going to show her how to get it done the “Old fashion Empire way.”
Surprisingly, the Empire way isn’t violent, but there are chess moves involved. Empire acquires the label TBD decided to sign too so now they’re stuck. The conditions are that they take back their dis track, apologize to Empire now, and perform at the showcase. If all goes well then they get to keep their reunion album.
Finally, the episode winds down with a Lyon family dinner. It starts off innocently enough, with Cookie and Lucious telling Dre that he’s still going to be able to take the reigns of the business, not now, but down the line when he’s better. However, what is a Lyon family function without the dysfunction?
Fast forward a bit. Dre and Lucious are alone in another room and Dre finally admits to Lucious he called the bomb. He said he tried to call it off if that’s any consolation, then hands Lucious a gun and tells him to do what he has to do. Lucious snaps and pistol whips Jamal. Think about this, Dre almost killed Cookie too. He didn’t anticipate Cookie getting in that car but that’s what happened, and we know how Lucious feels about her so that’s what that rage was really about. Luckily for Jamal, the rest of the Lyons rushed in and break it up. Hakeem and Jamal express how disappointed they are in Dre. They point out all the messed up things Lucious did to them, as well as the fact that they never tried to kill him. Cookie and Lucious are chatting at the same time in another room. Lucious says she doesn’t know what to do but he’s obviously shaken. Cookie tries to get Lucious to be positive by pointing out that Dre wasn’t in his right mind and that he’s getting back to his old self,, but then she collapses and says she can’t feel her right arm.
Issa heart attack.
Hopefully, we’ll find out Cookie’s fate next week.