It takes two to rule this Empire.
That’s right, in the latest episode, titled “More Than Kin,” Cookie and Lucious have been offered the role of co-CEO. Lucious pretends to be excited, pulling her in for a deep hug.
“I got your back,” he says, probably in the same way Brutus had Caesar’s back.
Let the hunger games begin.
The episode begins with Hakeem filming a music video in a strip club called Chubs (!!!) while his fiancée Laura is blowing up his phone with “Where are you????” texts. Though he tries to ignore her, she later finds out about the stripper music video turned raunchy party and decides to call off the engagement. Also because he blurts out, in the angriest way possible, that he got Anika pregnant. Ugh.
Meanwhile, Empire has everything riding on the ASAs and Lucious is still eager to be CEO, which seems like something well within his grasp. You know who else is eager to be CEO? Andre, who schemes with Rhonda, joking about how if Lucious becomes CEO, he’ll become his righthand man. “A heartbeat away from the throne.”
He also cooks up an idea to have a charity event tied to bipolar disorder awareness. It’s time to share his mental health history with the world. Plus, mainly, it has the added bonus of forcing Lucious to talk about it as well, which will make him look like a brave and supportive father and draw more sympathy from board members.
Meanwhile, all three brothers are on the same page when it comes to Cookie, paranoid that she’s falling for Lucious, who is currently hooking up with reporter Harper Scott.
There’s a hot and heavy love scene between them that involves lots of shoving and choking. That is, until Cookie texts Lucious, infuriating Scott who threatens to write a story about Cookie. That doesn’t sit well with the Lyon, who darkly warns her to never say anything about Cookie again.
Jamal, for his part, is technically the least stressed. He runs into old flame Michael and the two go to a coffeeshop (the one where they first met) with live music. IRL singer Fantastic Negrito is playing and ‘Mal eventually joins him onstage. He also goes back on a second night for an intimate performance, but this time the line is out the door. Even Freda is standing in line, though Jamal spots her and takes her inside.
Cookie later stops by Anika’s house to speak to her, but guess who beat her? The paramedics, because Anika’s having a panic attack. Cookie rides in the ambulance with her, kindly calming her down and continuously proving herself to be the best person to be with in any situation, anywhere, anytime. #CookieIsLife.
Hakeem rushes to the hospital to meet his mom, Anika and her formidable mother, who I so desperately want to see go toe to toe with Cookie. Lucious texts that he’s on his way, which surprises everyone.
He and Hakeem talk angrily in the hallway, but Lucious ultimately admits he was impressed by the way Hakeem stood up for Anika and his future grandchild. Hakeem goes back in, then Cookie comes out. She immediately knows Lucious hooked up with Scott by the smell of some “cheap perfume.”
Later, Scott comes to the charity event, pissed because Lucious (but actually Cookie) let someone scoop her on a story.
But she comes prepared for vengeance. She finds Andre and hands him a little white envelope full of photos. Boom — one of those pictures is this grandmother. He rushes out of the room, distraught.
Later, at the hospital, Laura shows up. She and Hakeem make up and just like that, the engagement is back on.
Let’s see how quickly they can break up again in the next episode.