‘Empire’ Recap: Rhonda & Andre Get Caught Trying To Dig Up Uncle Vernon’s Body

In the past few episodes, Andre has been doing everything he can to try and get back into Lucious' good graces and Empire. After everything that has happened, it seems like Andre has figured out a way to do so and it involves finding Uncle Vernon's body! Eep. Andre and Lucious haven't been on great terms ever since he found out Andre was a part of a team to overtake Empire. However, the eldest Lyon's latest antics may have gotten him back inside his father's inner circle and possibly at Empire!

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At the beginning of the episode, we see the feds raiding Empire AND Dynasty Lyon to find valuable information to hold against Lucious and get him back behind bars. Although they were unable to find anything, the authorities and prosecutor Roxanne Ford (Tyra Ferrell) threatened they were going to find Vernon and have him testify against Lucious. This basically gave the family an option to try and find Vernon and try and persuade him to not testify. 

But as we know from the previous season, Rhonda accidentally killed him by hitting Uncle Vernon in the back of the head with a candlestick holder while he was in a fight with Andre. Instead of calling the police and reporting it, they decided to cover it up and bury his body instead. So, let’s get to recapping, shall we?

Cookie Finds A Way To End Lucious’ Apex Radio Deal

At the beginning of the episode, Cookie is trying to come up with a way to get her artists music out there since Lucious took over urban radio by buying Apex Radio. Initially Mama Lyon went to Lucious to try and make a deal with him. She is able to get Lucious to agree to letting Jamal and Hakeem do a music video together and to not poaching her artists, but he won’t let up on urban radio. Halfway through the episode, Cookie was taken into police custody because she apparently had an outstanding warrant for not appearing in court.

Cookie is met by Roxanne in the questioning room and finds out that she was put there because of one (possibly soon to be ex) assistant. Roxanne is digging for evidence against Lucious. The prosecutor basically blackmails Cookie and says if Cookie doesn’t give her what she wants, she’s going to come after Andre, Hakeem, and Jamal! Of course Cookie takes care of her kids, so she’s upset by what was going down! You can start to see that being in jail is getting to Cookie because she starts getting flashbacks about her horrible time in jail.

Eventually Cookie breaks, but she doesn’t really give Roxanne the correct information. Since Roxanne is trying to figure out whether or not Lucious killed Bunkie (refresher, Lucious did), Cookie basically says that Bunkie and Lucious had an argument over Apex Radio and that’s why Bunkie is no longer around. She doesn’t necessarily say that Lucious killed Bunkie, she just alluded to the fact that he might have. Sneaky! That leads to Roxanne calling the FCC to make sure the Empire and Apex Radio deal is off, giving Cookie what she wanted all along.


Lucious & Andre Make Amends — Lucious Finds Out Vernon Is Dead

Cookie convinces Lucious to make amends with Andre since his eldest son is having his first grandchild. When they meet up, Lucious remembers his bad childhood with his mother and tries to convince Andre that he wants to be a better grandparent than he was a father. Unlike his father, Andre didn’t hold that against Lucious and tells him that the door will always be open for Lucious no matter what.

After that note, Andre remembers about Uncle Vernon’s possible involvement in the case and how the FBI is looking for him. The eldest Lyon decides to use that information as leverage and negotiates a deal with Lucious. If Andre can make the thing go away, Lucious will let him back into Empire. The head Lyon is definitely suspicious of what his son is up to, but he doesn’t prod for any further information.

Later that evening, Andre quietly reveals his plan to Rhonda and begins to pack his car with shovels to find his uncle’s body. Rhonda shows up in the garage and tags along with him. After he pleads her not to go, she says she’s his ride or die. Until death do them part — or prison. Whichever comes first!

The two head out into the woods and start digging in front of a tree. After a lot of digging, Rhonda asks Andre if he’s sure that’s where they hid the body and he’s positive. Andre then reveals that he knows because he buried the body in front of a tree with a hole in it. Unfortunately…all of the trees had holes in it and they started to freak out. Eventually Rhonda convinces Andre to fill the hole back up and go home because there’s “more to life than Empire.” As they started to do that, a car comes up and they both jump in the hole to hide in it.

Lo and behold, it was Lucious! Apparently the sneaky Lyon put a tracking device in his son’s car to find out what his son was up to! He asks the couple what happened and Rhonda spilled the truth, admitting that she accidentally killed Vernon and they were trying to find his body. Lucious’ lawyer Thirsty tagged along and was able to find the body with some device that’s able to track buried clothing. Super weird.

They unearth the body and move it to the trunk of the Thirsty’s car. Before leaving, Andre asks to say a few words to his uncle. He actually seemed very sincere and apologized to his uncle. When he was done, Lucious decided he also wanted a moment alone to say a few words. As everyone turned and walked away, Lucious proceeded to basically call Vernon a POS and admitted he was glad Vernon was gone. Harsh! At the end of the episode, we find out that Lucious and Thirsty dumped Vernon’s decaying body in the front seat of Roxanne’s car! Needless to say, she was NOT happy and very surprised to see the body sitting beside her!

Jamal & Hakeem’s Music Video

Jamal and Hakeem come together to film a music video. The concept of the music video is basically Jamal and Hakeem working together to fight police oppression — pretty subtle, right? While this is going on, it’s clear that there’s still some tension in the air between Jamal, Hakeem, and Lucious.

With Cookie not around, Lucious tried to convince his youngest son to return to Empire where he belong. Jeez, Lucious, how long are you going to continue begging Hakeem to return to your label?! Hakeem was definitely confused by what he wanted because his father promised to let him manage Valentina and the girl group he’s been talking about. But, it wasn’t too long before Hakeem picked a side in the fight between his mom and dad.

Jamal is just finishing up his Rolling Stone spread and the cover art was presented to him at the shoot. Hakeem, upon seeing this, gets weirdly jealous when everyone starts praising how great the artwork looked. Hakeem and Jamal had a great relationship at the beginning of the series, but it’s obvious Lucious pitting them against each other is tearing them apart.

The youngest Lyon basically had a fit over the picture, grabbed a knife and slashed the portrait. SO RUDE! He was probably super upset by how much Lucious was gushing over the picture and we don’t blame him. Especially since Lucious tried to sweet talk his young son to return to the Empire.

Eventually they were able to finish filming the music video, but not before Hakeem shoved his older brother and leaves the set angry. Cookie wasn’t around to defuse the situation because she was being questioned by Roxanne, so we’ll have to wait and see how everything turns out for Jamal and Hakeem in the next episode!

Best Lines From Tonight’s Episode

“This isn’t when we hide, this is when we roar.” – Lucious to Jamal after finding out the FBI raided the company

“It’s me and you now, we in this together” – Hakeem to Cookie. Their relationship has come a long way since the beginning of the series!

HollywoodLifers! What were your thoughts on tonight’s episode of Empire? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comment section below!

— Michelle Phi