This week on Empire, we finally meet Leah Walker, and this woman is something else, to say the least. By the end of the episode, we understand why Lucious Lyon kept her a secret all these years.
Andre spends time with his grandmother in the hopes of getting some answers. Leah finally realizes that the person sitting next to her, while playing bingo, is her “kin.” Andre is speechless.
Back at Empire, Cookie gets under Lucious skin when she agrees with D Major, the musical director for the ASAs, who visits and pegs Jamal as the most nominated Empire artist. In his view, because of that, the Lyon performance should be centered on one of Jamal’s songs. Lu is not feeling it. He and Cookie walk D out, and they run into Jamal. She lets her son know about the change she made to his ASA performance, and he tells his mother he’s not willing to trade in his solo for the family. D Major tells him, essentially, stop whining. “Dude this is the ASAs. It’s the biggest stage in the world, now if you want to be on it, I wouldn’t be throwing a hissy fit.”
And why exactly is D coming for Jamal so hard? Well, here’s something surprising, kind of, he’s in love, or heat, with him. And when I say in heat, I mean kick everyone out of the studio and have sex heat. They get it all the way on right there on the mixer. Why this has to be a conflict of interest, right? It all started when Jamal played one of his new songs for the musical director in the hopes of getting him to change his mind about his ASA set. Hmm, I’d file hot sex on the motherboard under “how to get my way.”
The next day, Andre brings Leah to Empire. “Dwight,” she says when she sees Lucious. Jamal and Hakeem don’t believe it. “Andre our grandmother’s dead.” Dre then confronts his dad about lying, but from the look on Luscious’ face, his son just opened Pandora’s box. “You have no idea what you’ve done,” he says to Dre and then storms out of the room. After that ordeal, Jamal runs into D Major, who acts like nothing happened between them, leaving the singer confused and pissed.
Cookie, seeking to get to the bottom of Lucious’ lie, asks why he never told her the truth. He says that all the things in his ‘Boom’ video are real. The only difference is his mother’s death is figurative, not literal. In his view, she is better in a mental home because no one has any idea what she’s capable of doing.
Thirsty, ever the wingman handles Harper Scott, who is to blame for the family finding out about Lucious’ mother. He “gives her a ride” which ends up being a kidnapping/killing. But Thirsty isn’t the one to do the deed. He kicks her out under a dark overpass and what’s waiting for her is no picnic. We aren’t shown what happens exactly, but if two masked men put a trash bag over your head and carry you away, what would you think is your fate?
After things settle down, D Major visits Jamal for, yep you guessed it, a booty call. But J isn’t feeling it. They argue about D living in his truth. Jamal really likes him, but he can’t deal with the hiding of his sexuality. He asks D to leave. I wonder how this interaction is going to play out for Jamal getting his solo at the ASA’s.
Laura is pissed as hell at Hakeem for giving the female part on his and Jamal’s song to Tiana. He lies, telling her that the producers didn’t want her. She tells him that’s BS and accuses him of not fighting for her. Laura’s other issue is with Tiana, whom she doesn’t trust as she shouldn’t. It is evident from Hakeem’s session with the singer that Tiana has something sensually sinister up her sleeve, and he’s falling right into it.
There are some other shockers this week. Rhonda finally realizes what happened the night she lost her baby. As she sits with Anika, the mom-to-be pulls her feet up and rubs them. Rhonda recognizes the red bottom flats from the night she fell, and it all makes sense to her. Anika wanted to have the first Lyon heir.
Cookie’s sisters are back in the picture. Candace (Vivica Fox), is done taking care of Carol’s (Tasha Smith) kids. The two meet for lunch and Carol begs her to keep them a little longer. She lets her sister know that she plans on telling Cookie she killed people for Lucious while she was in jail. Candace tells her not to say a word. As they speak, a mysterious man overhears them. We later find out he is an old friend named Tariq, who is also an FBI agent, which Carol doesn’t know.
In the end, Leah fires Juanita, the help Lucious put in place to watch her. Here we see just how mentally abusive she is to her son. She makes a slew of cakes and forces him, in the middle of the night, to eat them. She accuses him of bringing “all this wickedness into our lives” and then tells him he’s the reason for the wrong that has happened to her.
“I was fine until you were born, all my troubles came with you. Now, I’m sorry. Sorry, I was too weak to kill you when I had the chance.”
Lucious is disgusted with his mother and stares her down as he pushes her damn cake away from him.
With a momma like that, it’s a wonder he even survived his childhood. Next week, all hell breaks loose at the ASA’s, and it looks like someone may die.