In this week’s Empire Episode, What Remains is Bestial, it’s Lucious Lyon against…everybody. When he takes things to far as he’s wont to do, Cookie fights to keep her half of Empire. Jamal continues to wrestle with his PTSD and resulting drug addiction. Hakeem continues to try and make Lucious see that he’s Daddy’s best boy. Andre still sees dead people. Mariah Carey drops by! Read on for more episode details.
- Anika and Lucious go toe to toe. The episode opens with Anika confronting Lucious in his office about how he’s literally holder her a prisoner in the house. As they argue, Lucious’ face seizes up like he’s having a stroke or something. Anika is alarmed, until her former assistant gets up from behind the desk. Yeah, it’s what you think it is. Anika will not be denied, however. She gets her revenge by calling Lucious to the office to watch his XStream service hit a 10 million milestone. And out from behind the desk comes a hunky UPS man. Ha! She reminds Lucious that he needs her more than she needs him. She will be coming and going as she pleases, or they’ll both go down in flames. The catty banter between Anika and Lucious’ mother is all the more delicious when you consider they are both bat sh*t crazy.
- Lucious is obsessed with Empire’s streaming numbers. If he doesn’t hit 10M streams by the end of the week, the board will shut him down. He desperately needs content, and spends the episode twisting arms to get it. He wants to release the Black and White album against Jamal’s wishes.
- Cookie hooks Jamal up with superstar singer, Kitty, played by Mariah Carey. She wants to take him out on tour but he’s still suffering from PTSD. He’s not dealing with it well and is pretty much in denial about it until he visits Freda in prison and literally recoils from her.
- His drug problem is beginning to spiral. He can’t get through a recording session with Kitty without getting getting high as a kite. Lucious knows he’s on drugs, but Cookie refuses to see it.
- Lucious is all about the revenge. When he learns Cookie is going out with councilman Angelo, he offers one of his WOKE charges–the kid who rapped for Lucious during the WOKE Empire tour–a lucrative recording contract. There’s a push and pull between Angelo and Cookie. They’re hitting it off. But she becomes angry when Angelo confronts her over Lucious tempting his kid with shiny things. He’s got a free ride to MIT, after all. She feels like his silver spoon upbringing has led him to look down on her lifestyle. After almost walking away from him in anger, Angelo convinces Cookie that he respects her. Just now, as I’m writing this, it occurs to me that Angelo COULD be working with Tariq and the feds to nail Lucious. Hm. Anyway, Angelo convinces Cookie to wrest the young man away from Lucious, at least until he’s out of college.
- I wonder about Angelo and Tariq, because Lucious’ half brother is working every angle he can think of to nail Lucious, including colluding with the cops to trump up the charges against Andre. The cops have changed their statement to say Andre attempted to assault them. In reality, Andre was moving out of the fancy apartment he shared with Rhonda and the cops assumed he was up to no good and wrestled him to the ground. There’s no video–it’s Andre’s word against the cops. Andre wanted to play by the rules. While Cookie and Lucious were ready to go all Black Lives Matter on their asses, Andre decided to trust the system, and he paid dearly. He shoulda let Lucious sic Thirsty on those cops like he wanted. This storyline plays into the battle Tariq and Lucious are waging against each other. But it’s also serving as a way to make a statement about institutional racial bias. Andre’s white lawyer wants to cop a plea, but Andre refuses. He also refuses to cave into Tariq’s offer to make the charges disappear if he rats out Lucious. Oh that’s right, Tariq was totally behind the police suddenly changing their report. And Andre is still hallucinating visions of his dead wife Rhonda.
- Lucious drives his three sons back to his old neighborhood to deliver a lecture about how the life of privilege he raised them in has made them weak. They literally don’t know they are black, Lucious laments. Andre becomes angry and demands to be let out of the car. Jamal follows him.
- Hakeem stays behind. He’s going to prove his father’s words wrong. Earlier, he felt cuckolded as his ex-girlfriend Tiana performed with a hot new rapper. They flirted and kissed on stage, in a deliberate attempt to provoke him. It works. Lucious convinces Hakeem to confront the couple publically, via a dis track. Hakeem cuts a misogynist rap with Shyne. When his niece Nessa refuses to sing the bridge, he puts his hands around her neck, after which she storms off. Hakeem is not cool with that. When he brings the issue to Lucious his reaction is pretty much NOT MY PROBLEM GET ME THE TRACK. In the end, he takes recorded samples from Tiana’s offending performance and works them in. Nasty. Hakeem, Lucious and Shyne all pat each other on the back. I predict a major showdown between Hakeem and Tiana. And Shyne…he’s terrifying.
- Xstream hits the 10 million milestone, with help from Jamal’s duet with Kitty. But, Lucious goes back on his word to kill the Black and White album. He releases the Black album, a set comprised of all the tracks Lucious produced. (Cookie supervised the “White” cuts.) That’s the thanks Jamal gets for taking a bullet for him.
- Cookie is furious with Lucious for going back on his word to Jamal. When she rebuffs Lucious advances for the umpteenth time, he vows to cut her out of the company. Cookie is basically “try it, bitch.” And it’s on.
Infamous ft. Jamal Lyon & Kitty (Mariah Carey)