Last night, we were hit with the second to last episode of a monstrously successful first season of the hit Fox show Empire. And when I say hit, that’s exactly what I mean. I will tell you that there are spoilers in this recap so if you haven’t seen it, just be forewarned.
The show opens up with the family, save Lucious, at the hospital visiting Andre. Dre is quiet and none responsive as he sits on a couch next to Rhonda. Cookie apologetically tells him that his father is not going to be able to make it to their session but he will see him when he comes to the house later to sign paperwork for the IPO. Hakeem and Jamal talk to Andre, trying to get him to say something but he sits silent the entire time. Jennifer Hudson also guest stars on this episode as a musical therapist to which Cookie looks at her and the white doctor who calls her oldest son’s condition a mental illness, crazily. “Musical therapy… mental illness, that’s white people problems” is pretty much what she says.
She goes over, kneels before Andre and begs him to speak. He doesn’t which just makes her even more upset. The family tells him that the IPO would not be if he wasn’t for him in an attempt to cheer him up, but he still doesn’t say anything.
Back at the house, we see Vernon and Lucious sitting at the table talking about the impending IPO. Lucious shares with his old friend that he is giving Cookie a generous share of the company and that…. Are you ready for it… he’s going to ask her to be his wife… again. Vernon asks him if he’s sure. Lucious tells him that he’s going to do it right this time and mentions that he and Cookie will raise Lola. This is an interesting foreshadowing because if Lola is Jamal’s daughter, why would Lucious insist on raising her, which is exactly what he did when his son later comes and tells him that he wants to have his daughter with him and be a real dad.
Cookie is back in her office and Malcolm comes in. He tells her that he will be staying away from her because he has fallen for her and being that he works for her ex-husband, he can’t cross that line. Cookie, who is widely attracted to him, doesn’t accept what he has to say and they get it on right there in her office (get it).
Later, she is in the dining room talking to Malcolm on the phone. As they flirt and she tells him that she is not wearing any panties, Lucious walks in and she quickly changes the subject and hands up. He is about to drop the bomb on her about him wanting her to be his wife when they are interrupted.
In this episode too, we see just how deep Camilla’s claws are in Hakeem. Now I understand that “age aint nothing but a number” but at some point you have to open your yes. At the signing of the IPO, Hakeem brings his girl and she immediately starts acting as if she is his manager trying to get him a deal with a big music company. Cookie doesn’t like her and Lucious peeps what she’s doing, so he calls her into his office where he tells her that he believes she’s after his son’s money. She says that she is indeed in love with the young Lyon and no amount of money will make her disappear. When she tries to leave the office, Lu locks her in and pretty much tells her that her ass is going to get gone, which she does.
Meanwhile, Dre is still in the mental hospital having a late night music session with J Hud’s character. It doesn’t seem to be really working so she stops, goes over and closes the door. Andre sits on the floor and she comes and kneels in between his legs, putting her head on his head. Yes you do think they are going to kiss and he even gears himself to do so. But she says, “Let’s pray.” Um, I don’t know where they pray like that (in a cult maybe) but that is definitely not a praying position I am familiar with. Anyway, Andre looks at her and says, “I don’t pray” to which she tells him, “Then I‘ll pray.” She grabs his hands and begins to talk to God.
The culmination of the episode takes place at the Lyon house during the IPO signing. Vernon, who clearly relapsed into drugs and drinking because Lu just won’t forgive him for plotting against him with Andre, brings Olivia and her “friend” Reg back to the house.
While there, Reg pulls out a gun on Jamal saying that he wants Lola back. Jamal tells him to shoot him if that’s what he’s going to do. Reg cocks the gun back. Cookie, who is standing behind Reg tries to grab the gun but ends up being taken “hostage.” Lucious acts quickly, jumping in front of Jamal. “Shoot me… do everyone here a favor.” Big daddy Lyon then drops the bombshell that Lola is his daughter WHICH was eluded to in the beginning of the episode in a flashback that shows a group of people chilling at the house, Mary J. Blige singing and Olivia and Lucious’ eyes meeting like, “Meet me later.”
Just when you think it’s all over for Cookie, Reg falls dead to the ground due to a bullet to the head by none other than Malcolm.
In the end, Cookie tells Lucious she will not marry him, Olivia and Lola leave, Dre is still in the mental ward, Hakeem is upset that Camilla is gone, Jamal doesn’t really know what to do, and the leader of Empire is left alone.
Next week is the two hour season finale and it is going to be everything.