This week’s episode Empire wasn’t as chock full of over the top drama as last week’s premiere, but there were a couple of important developments: Cookie may have a new love interest, played by actor Taye Diggs, Jamal comes to terms with his PTSD and Andre becomes a victim of police discrimination.
Major moments from Empire Episode 2, “Sin That Amends” below:
- Lucious is legit not over Cookie. Or maybe his ego can’t take that she seems to be moving on. He shows up at her door with musicians who sing the first hit song they wrote together. Also, crazy gifts show up at her doorstep, including a gold plated gun and a life-size statue of a lion. Much to her assistant Porsha’s dismay, she sends it all back to Lucious. Well, not the gun. She keeps that. “Bye Felucious,” says Cookie when she shows up personally to bring back his gifts.
- Anika is basically being kept prisoner in the Lyon household. When Lucious finds her interviewing potential nannies to help take care of baby Bella, he flips his sh*t and throws everyone out. He declares her only job right now is being a mother to her new-born child.
- New character! City councilman Angelo Dubois, who heads up a program for inner-city youth called WOKE. After a tiff during a joint radio interview about gun violence, Angelo convinces Jamal to attend WOKE’s anti-violence summit. Cookie is having none of that. We’ll call it meeting not-so-cute. “That bougie bitch, he wouldn’t know the streets if they shot him in the ass,” is how Cookie sizes Angelo up. “We got the FBI up our ass, we don’t need a politician too.” These two seem destined to be together.
- Lucious meets with his old friend Shyne and his niece Nessa. Remember, last week, the singer took over for Jamal at the Empire Xtreme launch when he succumbed to a panic attack. She blew the crowd away and now has some leverage over Lucious. Hakeem wants to collaborate with her, but Lucious has other ideas.
- Empire Xtreme needs content, and Lucious intends to release Jamal’s Black and White album against his wishes. Also, Lucious insists fans need something to forget his “fainting Justin Bieber moment.”
- When Jamal gives Angelo and the WOKE kids a tour of Empire headquarters, they run into Lucious. One of the kids spits a few rhymes for Lucious, which prompts him to snark that Jamal has turned away from music and into a do-gooder. When Lucious catches wind that Cookie is keeping her distance from the summit, he offers to host and underwrite the meeting at Empire. He wants to stream the whole deal on his service. Content!
- Hakeem is back in the studio with Shyne and his niece laying down some tracks when the producer punches out the engineer, accusing him of looking at Nessa the wrong way. The look on Hakeem’s face is basically, “This mother eff Shyne be cray cray…” It’s only a matter of time before Hakeem is at the other end of that nasty hook, no? Because Hakeem and Nessa are growing closer and closer.
- It’s Cookie and Jamal who are in denial about his PTSD and Lucious who won’t let it go. That’s a switch. Lucious brings around a track for Cookie to give to Jamal, explaining that it might give him a lift. Cookie rolls her eyes when she realizes it’s a sample of the song he was singing on the street corner when they met as teenagers. The flashbacks are back. Cookie says the first time she saw Lucious rap she knew “right then and there” she was meant to do music. She promises to give Jamal the track, however, Lucious will not wear her down. She’s done! Sure she is.
- In the meantime, Andre is a total mess, in his apartment begging his dead wife Rhonda to “talk” to him. Jamal catches him hallucinating and fumbling with his medications. He promises to help Andre stay on his med schedule and says off-handedly that he’s trying to get off the pain meds. Gulp.
- When Cookie walks into the club and finds Lucious hosting the WOKE summit, she’s not happy. Luscious says Thirsty ran a check on Angelo and found out his family pulled strings and in order to thwart a DUI conviction. It proves he’s as square as a checkerboard, says Lucious, but it goes unsaid the tidbit could eventually be used against the councilman.
- Cookie calls out Angelo, accusing him of high-minded, tone deaf, preaching to the choir. And then she throws up the DUI situation as an example of why he has no idea what the youth he’s trying to “help” actually go through on a daily basis. “Acting all holier than thou,” shouts Cookie as she walks away. “the only person I’ve ever seen her go off on like that is you,” says Jamal to Lucious, who looks really worried. Time to step up the wooing of Cookie!
- When Lucious met Cookie she was dating a college bound boy named Barry (a nod to Obama perhaps?) “I should have stayed with Barry!” says Cookie. That gets her thinking about the councilman… He admits from the summit stage that he met a remarkable woman who taught him the difference between being a victim and a survivor. Sparks are beginning to fly! Lucious catches on, refusing to shake Angelo’s hand.
- Lucious puts Jamal on the spot, inviting him on stage to sing. He freaks out again with another panic attack. Of course, Lucious knew that would happen. Both Jamal and Cookie face the fact that he has a problem.
- Uh Oh. Becky’s man, rapper J Pop got an offer from a rival label and negotiated a deal to take Becky with him. The Lyons still have not come through with that A&R job they promised her. And the feds are coming. What’s a girl to do?
- Hoo boy. Anika, while toying with her baby monitor in the nursery, discovers the bug in the teddy bear. Lucious rips it out of the stuffed toy’s tummy. Tariq’s video goes dark. Busted.
- While Andre is picking up the last of his stuff from the apartment he shared with Rhonda, white cops mistake him for a neighborhood thief. Before you know it, Andre is slammed into the concrete with a gun pointed at his head. Black Lives Matter. Until next time…
What did you think of this week’s Empire episode?