Empire fans, rejoice! Now that the World Series is over, Empire is back on its usual Wednesday nights.
We saw Hakeem get kidnapped and thrown into a van in the last episode, and Cookie can’t get ahold of him because of the predicament he’s currently in. Since this wouldn’t be the first time Hakeem has blown off responsibilities, Cookie thinks he’s not answering her calls on purpose so he doesn’t have to work with his group. When she gets a video of Hakeem with duct tape over his mouth, she thinks it’s a prank played by Lucious. She must be really mad at Hakeem to not have her motherly instincts kick in to go save her son.
In true Cookie Lyon fashion, she barges into Lucious and Jamal’s recording session to tell Lucious how low of a person he is and show Jamal what his father has done to Hakeem. When Lucious views the video of Hakeem, he tells Cookie that he didn’t do it but he knows exactly who did. I’m surprised that Lucious is the one who stepped up to the plate to go save his son versus Cookie. One brownie point for you, Lucious.
Lucious and Cookie need to negotiate a deal with the “cowboys” who took Hakeem. I never thought I’d see someone so prideful of being a cowboy that they’d have a huge mural of a longhorn on their back, but all these kidnappers just proved me wrong. The deal is that Lucious and Cookie swap $40,000 for their son. But I’m not so sure these rangers will allow the Lyons to walk away so easily. Especially now that Lyon Dynasty is on their turf.
Things don’t go as planned with the drop-off, because Hakeem instructed the guy driving the van to drop him off before they reached his parents. Turns out Hakeem wanted to visit Anika for a quick physical therapy session, instead of the less interesting comfort of being reunited with his own parents. The reason why Hakeem is so upset with Lucious and Cookie is because none of this would’ve happened to him if he weren’t their son. Boy, you would not have anything if Lucious and Cookie weren’t your parents. I’ll allow Cookie to adopt me — I love her!
Jamal is struggling to get back into the recording studio and find a way to promote himself as an artist. It seems that the marketing team at Empire is pushing the idea that Jamal is a gay artist, when all Jamal wants to be seen as is someone who is gay and also an artist. He feels as though being marketed as a gay artist isn’t allowing him to access all the opportunities he would be able to if he weren’t labeled as such. You would think our world would finally be able to not see this as an issue, but I guess not.
I think it’s safe to say that Hakeem has lost it. Hearing static and other voices in his head, he’s using his fist to break his mirror and he thought it would be a good idea to bring a gun to a meeting with the cowboys that kidnapped him. Lucky for him, Cookie grew up on the streets and knows a thing or two. She takes the gun from Hakeem and threatens the longhorns to stay away from her family and company. Now these are Cookie’s streets. You go, Cookie Monster! That’s how you rule the streets. (PSA: I don’t encourage everyone to go out and threaten people with guns. This is just a TV show.)
Becky’s new bae, J-Poppa, is Andre’s new musical archangel Michael. Turns out Andre wants to get God’s word out through J-Poppa’s music. Since J-Poppa comes from a spiritual background having grown up in the church, he likes Andre’s idea and wants to help. Someone who doesn’t like the idea: Lucious.
Hakeem still hasn’t recovered from being kidnapped. Big brothers Andre and Jamal try talking to him, without Lucious and Cookie around, to let him know he’s not alone. The brothers assure Hakeem that they’ll always be there to support him and he’s no less of a man for not doing anything about the kidnapping. They would’ve reacted the same way if they were taken hostage.
It’s a rare and beautiful scene to see all the Lyon boys holding onto each other with smiles on their faces. Not much help, though.
When Hakeem steps out on stage with his girl group for their debut performance, he freezes. It seems to me that Hakeem is more afraid of Lucious than he is of the cowboys that kidnapped him. As soon as he saw his father’s face in the crowd, his face went blank. Lucious knows he has this power over his son and that’s the reason why he’s standing in the crowd with a grin on his face. That’s some parenting!
Luckily Laura is able to touch Hakeem’s face and get him back on track. That girl has some serious power if she’s able to get Hakeem to focus on just her and the music and not Lucious. Who says women can’t rule the world?! That’s right, Lucious, turn that grin upside down and leave.
Things have really heated up between Laz and Cookie. Now I’ll admit it, I didn’t trust the guy at first because I thought he was involved with the people harassing Lyon Dynasty. After seeing the two together I started to like the idea. I wasn’t mad at the two hooking up — until Laz took his jacket off. I’m going to love saying this… I told you so! Instead of the perfect back I saw in Magic Mike, I see a huge longhorn on Laz’s back. I know Cookie is flawless but he was way too interested in her and the serious issues she was dealing with.
What were your thoughts on this thrilling episode of Empire? Who do you think these longhorn people are? Are they also in the music industry and have something against the Lyons? Anyone else sort of shipping Hakeem and Laura? Their ship name can be Hara or Hakra. Do you think J-Poppa will be able to continue this new style of music with Lucious in charge? It’s worked out in the past so it’s really up to Lucious. Did you predict Laz to be one of the bad guys? It could be that he was once a part of this group and now left but I’m not buying it. Anything that seems perfect in this show has some kind of catch. I just hope Cookie is okay. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
New episodes of Empire premiere Wednesday nights at 9/8CT on FOX.
Photos: Chuck Hodes/FOX