My first thought was that she is after money and power, obviously. The stakes and implications aren’t sharply defined, but it’s a much sharper story than Empire has told in season two. Their discussion is interrupted by the sounds of Anika vomiting. Boo Boo clearly left the bathroom door open so she could coyly reveal that she’s pregnant with Hakeem’s child.
Meanwhile, Lucious is having a party to celebrate the launch of his video.
Finally, as you’ll see when you watch Empire online via the video above, Hakeem headed up an important meeting of the shareholders – and things got pretty intense. Jamal, who is supposed to have a collaboration with Freda, is confused about Cookie wanting to pull the plug on her son Jamal and Freda’s project. Anika threatens to spill five years’ worth of secrets she’s been hoarding on Lucious to the Feds if he makes raising him (it’s a baby boy!) as a family hard.
Jamal is enthralled by Freda’s talent, and she is going to be on two tracks on his “Black and White” album. Of course, this ends up having the effect of getting people to cheer for Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and float her name as a possible CEO.
It’s exactly that realness, her inability to dissemble (coupled with relative naiveté when presented with the opportunity to achieve her dreams), that makes it easy for her to become a pawn within the Lyon family’s neverending competition among one another.
Cookie tries to find any excuse in the book to break up the professional marriage between Jamal and Freda.
Though Lucious usually takes things he wants by brute force, to unravel Hakeem’s position, he opts for mental warfare. The problem is Hakeem is now engaged to his girlfriend Laura. The unexpected flashes of brilliance are especially surprising here, considering how far Empire has wandered off its path. There’s no way any of this should work, but somehow most of it does, even while the show continues in the same baffling direction.
Cookie has set up a surprise for Jamal … and it’s Nicki Minaj knock-off named Stacey Run Run. The catch? She’ll only appear on a track if she’s the only female rapper on the whole album. Cookie is anxious about Freda, though. Lucious is trying to sway Andre to his side, but there is some truth to what he tells his son.
Lucious’ lawyer, Thirsty, gives some thugs a key to Empire’s warehouse so that they can steal the Antony & Cleopatra clothing. They’ve quoted him time and time again, in the naming and telling of this hoodtastic (I made that word up) drama. A lot of people depends on Empire’s live shows for their income, and Hakeem doesn’t really know how to handle a crisis. Pushed to the margins of his company by his (seemingly) united family, lined firmly behind youngest son Hakeem, he takes a page from Karl Rove’s political playbook and attacks his kid’s perceived strengths. He explains about Stacee Run-Run’s exclusivity deal, and tells Freda that he doesn’t want to stop their collaboration. Freda knows that Jamal needs to work with Stacee to get to the next level, and she tells Jamal that he shouldn’t make any promises to her about working together in the future. He then turns the floor over to Rhonda and Anika. This revelation results in yet another Hakeem head slap from Cookie. What’s that mean? Is he going to slip into the delivery room dressed like a nurse’s aide, get the baby, shiv Boo Boo Kitty and run?
With all this talk about heirs, Jamal remembers little Lola.
The one storyline I didn’t expect to resurface was Lola. He says he’ll give her $10 million dollars for the baby and his silence, and yet she counters with a threat.