Empire Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: Payback

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Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon on EMPIRE. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Christopher Fragapane/FOX.

On the last episode of Empire, we saw Lucious score his “get out of jail free” card. Now he’s focused on getting his kingdom back to the way it was. The only problem is, he’s not allowed inside the Empire building. If he walks in there, he’s going to right back to jail.

Empire Season 2 recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6

This hurdle won’t hold Lucious back from making his Empire what he wants it to become.

Meanwhile, Cookie also isn’t playing around with her mission to make Lyon Dynasty the next Empire. But she’s worried Hakeem is too busy “living la vida loca” with his new side chica, Valentina, when he should be focusing on promoting his new album since he decided to just release the thing online. After hearing from Lucious during an interview with Sway, Hakeem wants to one-up his father. Instead of listening to Cookie, Hakeem tells Sway that he’ll be bringing in his new girl group to show the world what he’s been up to. Does this boy ever listen?

During his first night out of the slammer, Lucious invites his family over for a nice dinner. As he walks in, Lucious lets everyone know that he wanted one last night for his family to be happy and make merry before the war starts the next day. This family does not know how to even pretend to get along.

Lucious also brings up Lyon Dynasty and says that he would forgive everyone for ganging up on him, if they destroy their little business. Lucious offers everyone one last opportunity because they’re his family, but Cookie ain’t no fool. In true Cookie fashion, she gives Lucious her answer by getting up from the table and walking away while dragging the table runner, including the food, onto the floor.

Cookie is Queen!

Empire203-FredaThings get heated between Lucious and Jamal after Jamal let Frank Gathers’ daughter walk away from the opportunity of signing with Empire. Gathers’ daughter Freda (Bre-Z Murray) is currently Lucious’ everything, musically. I feel bad for Jamal because hearing those words from your father — when you too are an artist and he picked you to run his company because of your talents — wouldn’t make anyone feel good about themselves.

And what’s this? Looks like Boo Boo Kitty is trying to make an alliance with the Queen. Anika stops by Cookie’s office to let her know that she had a special talk with Lucious about the future of Lyon Dynasty. He thought Anika was still working for Cookie and tried to convince her to sneak all of Lyon Dynasty’s tracks back to him. Cookie knows the  game that Lucious is trying to play and won’t let him get away with it — even if it means she has to work with Anika.

It only seems fitting that the best way to get back at Lucious is to crash the lavish party he’s throwing for himself. Plus, some important industry people, like Pitbull, will be there to see it all go down.

OEmpire203-Cookie-Pitbulln the big night, a smoke bomb goes off, the music stops and all the lights go out. Cookie appears to introduce the surprise performer and No. 1 artist of Lyon Dynasty: Hakeem Lyon. And sure enough, that track was hot! Disses fly everywhere. Not only did Cookie achieve what she wanted by ruining Lucious’ night, but she also got Pit’s attention. Looks like he’s interested in getting Lyon Dynasty their own stage in Miami. You go, Cookie!

Andre finally tells Cookie about Rhonda being pregnant. She’s excited to be a grandma and tells Andre that he should tell Lucious, too. Since Lucious has always wanted to keep his legacy going, this could possibly help Andre get back on Lucious’ good side again.

But when Andre tells Lucious the baby news, his initial response is to ask if Andre is worried about the baby’s mental health. Andre doesn’t seem to be worried because he says bi-polar disorder doesn’t run in the family. Little does he know. Lucious has a flashback of his mother (Kelly Rowland) at that moment that would suggest that might not be the case. Lucious tells his son congrats but then tells him how he should be ashamed to use his child to get back into Empire. Andre tries to tell him that he just wanted to let him know the good news, but Lucious doesn’t want to hear anything else.

Well, that could have gone better. Speaking of which…

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EMPIRE: Pictured L-R: Guest star Becky G as Valentina and Bryshere Gray as Hakeem Lyon. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck Hodes/FOX.

With a lot of help from Cookie, Hakeem was able to make his girl group, Ménage a Trois, ready for their radio debut with Sway. Unfortunately, Lucious stopped by for some payback. When Valentina finally showed up for the gig, she wasn’t ready to perform with the group. She was ready to perform for Sway solo, having signed with Lucious that morning.

Lucious may have won this round but the fight is never over. Cookie will never back down from this fight.

What were your thoughts on this episode of Empire? What do you think will happen to Hakeem’s Ménage a Trois now that Valentina signed with Lucious? What does this mean for Lyon Dynasty? Will Pitbull still be interested in helping them out? Will Lucious be able to sign Gathers’ daughter? Why do you really think he wants to sign her? Do you think Lucious will ever forgive Andre? After seeing the flashbacks of his mother, it seems like Lucious is connecting his emotions from childhood with Andre. It isn’t Andre’s fault that he is bi-polar so why would Lucious act this way and not tell him about his mother? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

New episodes of Empire premiere Wednesday nights at 9/8CT on FOX.

Photos: Chuck Hodes/FOX