Empire is heating up with all kinds of drama and twists with “More Than Kin.” Hakeem is still reeling from Anika’s baby announcement. He and his crew turn up at a strip club and as far as Laura is concerned, blowing up his phone, he tells Chicken, “I don’t care.”
When she shows up, because he hasn’t answered her calls, and tells him that she’s there for him no matter what, he drops the bomb on her. “You don’t care I got Anika pregnant?” Laura slaps him in the face. Um, I’d say she cares.
At Empire, Cookie is not feeling Harper, the reporter that has gotten close to Lucious. She can see right through her. During an ASA event, Jamal does not hide his angst and frustration with his father while speaking to reporters. Cookie stands as the go-between for Lucious and Jamal, and as much as she tries smooth things over, they are game for whatever. As Jamal says, “I was born to play.”
After their media event, Thirsty tells Cookie and Lu that the board is looking to bring in Brigham Lang as CEO because he knows how to run family brands. They are not having it and suggest a united front so that the board members can see that everything is good in the Lyon’s house. Andre, wanting to help his family (and himself) tells his mother that he wants to go public with his condition. So along with the “blowout” event that Cookie plans to showcase the family, Dre proposes a fundraiser for the National Alliance of Bipolar Disorder and that he be the spokesperson. “I think it’s time, and it’s a good cause.” In his view, it shows the board their family values. Cookie loves it.
The next morning, the three Lyon boys meet to figure out what to do about their mom’s request. Hakeem doesn’t really want to hear it, and Jamal believes that Andre just being Cookie’s mule since she’s falling in love with their father again. Dre reasons with his brothers and finally gets them to agree.
Later, Jamal and Becky do a walk through at Empire for the fundraiser and guess who is there working for the caterer? Michael. Remember him, Jamal’s ex whom he caught getting sucked up at one of his events. Their eyes lock, and Jamal is very cordial to him, forgiving even. They end up going to a lounge later that night and chilling. Could a reconciliation be in the works for these two lovers?
After losing Laura, Hakeem puts his focus on getting ready for his baby. He invites Anika over to show her all the things he’s gotten for a nursery and more. She isn’t impressed and tells him that she doesn’t know if he’ll be a part of the baby’s life after Lucious threatened hers. Hakeem is outraged. He rushes to his father’s house and confronts him. “If Anika leaves you won’t see the baby or me again.” Lu acts like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. When Hakeem leaves, Cookie her secret lover, “Back off and let me handle boo boo kitty.”
But before she gets a chance to do anything, Anika is rushed to the hospital with pains in her stomach. Cookie showed up at her house to have a conversation, but as she entered, paramedics rush Anika to the ambulance on a stretcher. Cookie rides to the hospital and tells her grand baby’s momma, “It’s going to be alright.” Now let me say here that the writers don’t do a good job letting us know what happened. They don’t explain anything, and so my question is, did she do something to herself for attention or is Lucious behind this?
While things heat up between Lucious and Harper, he gets the text about Anika. This frustrates the reporter for one because they were about to get it on and two because it comes from Cookie. He tells Harper that he will make it to her, but she’s fed up with his ex-wife’s interference in whatever the hell they have going on between them. “Why don’t I do my profile on Cookie instead? Meet the manipulative bitch that has the mighty Lucious Lyon wrapped around her little finger.” Lucious is not feeling it, pushes her down on the couch and tells her to keep her mouth off Cookie.
As Hakeem tries to mend things with Laura, he gets the news about Anika. After she gives him back her engagement ring because they have “two very different views on family” he rushes to the hospital.
Once there, Anika’s mom is still stuck up and doesn’t want the Lyons to have anything to do with her daughter or the baby. She also tells Hakeem what Lucious did to Anika’s father (made him commit fraud). When Lu shows up, Hakeem confronts him, yet again about his ways. Lucious says he’s backing away from Anika and even tells his son that he’s proud of him.
Cookie and Lucious rush to Empire for their fundraiser. The board members are impressed with what they see and tell him that they are leaning toward not bringing in an outside person for CEO. This is great news! Harper is also there, and since Lucious dissed her, she stirs up trouble. What kind of trouble do you ask? Well, remember last week when Thirsty visited Leah Walker? Harper has pictures from the visit and gives them to Andre. He doesn’t take it well. Dre leaves the event and heads straight to Philly.
In the end, Laura drops by to see Hakeem, who is in the hospital by Anika’s side. She seems to have had a change of heart, and it looks like their engagement is on after all. Back at Empire after the fundraiser, the board members let Cookie and Lucious know that they have decided to vote both of them in as co- CEO’s. And get this, Lucious is all for it. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” He whispers, “I got your back,” in her ear as he hugs Cookie. But the sinister look on his face tells me he doesn’t quite mean that.
Only two more episodes until this season’s big finale and from the looks of the trailer, it’s going to be huge.
What’s Coming Up Next For Lucious and Cookie: Empire Showrunner Interview answers all
At the beginning of the episode, Hakeem was spinning out of control and Laura broke off the engagement, but by the end, they’re back together. Why did you decide to write such a quick resolution for their relationship?
Hakeem has made huge strides forward. He’s really grown up in a lot of ways. We’ve seen him behave in a much more mature, thoughtful way than he would have been capable of when we first met him, but he’s still a kid and he’s still Hakeem and after what happened to him in last week’s episode, he did what Hakeem would do. That’s not the Hakeem that Laura knows. She’s never met him. He’s drunk and hiding out in a strip club for three days when he tells her that he’s going to have a baby with another woman. It’s just an impulsive and natural reaction [breaking off the engagement].
But then they work things out with Hakeem displaying perhaps the most maturity we’ve ever seen — he is excited to be a father to Anika’s baby, but Laura is sticking by him. They’re really in love and in it for the long haul, aren’t they?
They’re really in it. These two people really care about one another. She makes him better in all the ways that he wants to be better. After his momentary backslide, he really pulls it back and does something that very few men in our world of “Empire” would have been able to do. It really shows a depth of character in Hakeem that we’ve hinted at, which promises something for the future man he might become. For us, it’s a really hopeful moment for Hakeem.
The Lyon family, especially Cookie, seems to be coming around to Anika being pregnant with Hakeem’s child. Is the bad blood resolved?
Anika possibly has moved beyond the dark place that she went to on discovering that she’s pregnant with a Lyon baby, after all they’ve done to her. She’s finding a way to make peace with it and finding a new relationship — though it’s still a pretty tenuous relationship — with the members of the family. Maybe it’s going to work out for her and she’s going to have the baby and have a place in this world, after all.
Michael (Rafael de la Fuente) came back into Jamal’s life, and he seems to be a really positive influence. Will we see more of Michael in the coming episodes?
Not this season. Michael came back in Jamal’s life in a very realistic way, as a friend and as an ex-lover with whom you had a bad breakup, but with whom you have deep history, and showed up in the right moment so that you remember the good things. He’s a real support and Jamal needed him as he was there for him. We’re not going to see any more of that this season, but that does not mean that’s the end of it.
You recently told me that there is going to be a wedding this season. I guess we can now cross Michael and Jamal off that list?
Yeah, I think you can cross Michael and Jamal off the list. Michael and Jamal aren’t going to rush into a wedding. If I were writing it all over again, I could imagine a scenario where Michael and Jamal got married — but Hakeem and Laura are getting married! Right?
I hope so!
Why isn’t Lucious happy that Cookie will be his co-CEO?
In Lucious’ world and in Lucious’ mind, Cookie always been his Michelle Obama — the woman behind the man who’s there to support him. It’s what she appeared to be doing. She helped to get his company back because she believed it was the best thing for their family, and I don’t think that either of them expected this. Cookie wasn’t seeking it. It came to her.
Is it safe to say that their new business partnership won’t be a smooth transition?
I think that would be safe to say. I think it should be a long-term proposition, but I think Lucious and Cookie as co-CEOs is not smooth sailing by any means. The relationship between Lucious and Cookie will always be complicated because they will always love each other, but there will always be scheming of some kind.
Harper finally had her big moment: she had an intense hook up with Lucious, but then he ended up screwing her on her story so to get revenge, she told Andre that Lucious’ mother is alive. How did she get those photos?
She’s a reporter, and a good one. She may have found out something while she was hooking up with Lucious that enabled her to get what she was after. We’re just used to seeing men use women. Harper went for it and doesn’t have to pay a price for it necessarily and didn’t sell out just because she and Lucious are hooking up. She hooked up with him because she wanted to and she pursued her story — maybe with a little bit more of a vengeance because Lucious was such a dick to her!
That hookup scene — why was there so much slapping going on?!
I don’t know [laughing]. I think you just found two interesting, twisted, dark people. How can I say this? Some people have predilections and when they find another person who shares their predilections, things just go that way. That’s certainly a side of Lucious that she brought out.
After Harper and Lucious hooked up, he really defended Cookie. Why does he speak so highly of her, after everything they’ve been through?
What that scene says and is that Lucious may look elsewhere, but there is deep love and respect. There’s a line that you don’t cross with Lucious — he does not tolerate people speaking ill of Cookie. That’s indicative of his deep love and respect for her. Whether they can ever make it together is another question entirely, but there’s no comparison between his feelings for Cookie and a woman like Harper who may be really hot.
Harper seems like a real threat to Lucious. Will we continue to see Harper around?
You haven’t seen the last of Harper.
What’s next for Andre, now that he knows his grandmother — who is mentally ill, like him — is alive?
There could not have been a bigger bombshell for Andre and you can be sure that it will provoke a reaction and series of events.
Lucious and Jamal are really butting heads over their ASA nominations. Is there any resolution in sight?
The hostility between Lucious and Jamal is provoking something in Jamal that’s really important to him — it’s all about musical purity and why he got into this in the first place. It’s about the differences between him and his father. They’re the two Lyons who really have the gift of music, but if Lucious is a musical genius, Jamal may surpass him. That freaks Lucious out. They both make extraordinary music, but Lucious makes it with a heart of darkness and Jamal makes it from a place of light. I find the music that Jamal did in this episode to be some of the most exciting music we’ve done.
Speaking of musical performances, Cookie said that there’s going to be a performance at the ASAs with the entire Lyon family. When will that come?
You can absolutely look forward to seeing that in the very next episode. That story continues as Cookie who recklessly made that promise has to make it reality. Bringing the whole family together for a musical performance isn’t going to be that easy, considering where they are.