In the world of ‘Empire,’ Lucious Lyon is seemingly on top of the world — running the biggest hip hop company, Empire Entertainment, with three extremely successful sons. However, all is definitely not how it seems.
Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) spends his days and nights living the high life, finding hip hop artists and creating Empire Entertainment. However, when his ex-wife, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), gets released from prison after taking the fall for their drug-induced past, she wants her take — and she’ll do anything to get it.
Lucious Reunites With Cookie
They may have three kids together, but Lucious and Cookie are far from together. He’s currently dating Anika (Grace Gealey), an employee at Empire. So, when Cookie returns, it’s not exactly comfortable — and she wants the credit for what’s hers: it was her ambition that started Empire and pushed Lucious to succeed. Additionally, she went to jail after going down for a drug deal that they did together.
They also have three sons together — but they look at them very differently.
The youngest son of the group is Lucious’ favorite. Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) wants the spotlight and has the talent to be a hip hop artist, but is more interested in partying to get focused. That is until he gets help from Jamal.
During flashbacks we learn that Lucious has always turned away their middle son, Jamal (Jussie Smollett), because he’s gay, which in his mind is “a choice.” So for Jamal, his talent gets overlooked — even though it’s coming out loud and clear.
Meanwhile, the oldest college-educated son, Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) wants to take over the business. He’s not worried about becoming a star, but is eager for the money of the company. And he knows how to get it.
So, Andre being the businessman comes up with a plan in order to get the company one day, before his brothers — convince his mom to help Jamal. And Jamal helped Hakeem.
Nothing Comes Between Friendship ‘Except A Bullet’
In the middle of the night, Lucious gets a visit from Bunkie (Antoine McKay), an old friend, who comes to his house and threatens to burn it down unless he gets $3 million. Naturally, he denies it. However, thanks to his security, he finds out that Bunkie has been working with Sean John and owes him $125,000. So, how does he solve the betrayal from a friend since 14? He shoots him.
The episode ends with us learning that Lucious has been diagnosed with ALS, and has about three years to live.
A deal was reached, just like Andre had planned — Jamal’s career was signed over to Cookie and Hakeem’s new sound meant he was definitely making an album. So that left Andre, who was left to be the last choice to take over the company one day.
Of course, he doesn’t realize that day’s closer than he thinks.
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— Emily Longeretta