Prosecutor Roxanne Ford is still in her low cut top holding a press conference outside of the courthouse. She is NOT pleased that Lucious has been granted bail, and she’s not afraid to let everyone know. Oh, and she might be running for Assistant District Attorney. Meanwhile, Lucious walks out of the courthouse looking slick and smooth with Jamal and his new attorney Thirsty on either side of him. The only problem is, apparently under his bail terms Lucious isn’t allowed in Empire Entertainment headquarters. This seems insane but Lucious appears to be unbothered.
At Empire headquarters (on the steps, not in the building) Lucious speaks to his fan as Roxanne Ford looks on from her beat-up car. She has it out for Lucious BAD.
At Hakeem’s apartment, it looks like several bombs detonated. (If Lucious hasn’t cut him off yet, he should really consider a housekeeper.) He’s rather disheveled as Cookie beats down his door. Apparently he’s late for something…like that’s a surprise. It seems that the youngest Lyon has been laid up with the new lead singer of Rainbow Sensation, because she pops out of nowhere looking for her draws. After Cookie puts the girl in her place, she tells Hakeem that Lucious is out of jail.
Hakeem makes it to his interview with Sway in the nick of time, and after his performance, he sits down to chat about his leaked album and Lyon Dynasty. Sway gets Lucious on the line during the interview, but doesn’t have much to say about his youngest son or the leaked album, but Hakeem does provide an update on his girl group. Evidently they are no longer Rainbow Sensation, instead they’re Ménage à Trois. Sway suggests that Hakeem the girls to his show in a couple of days, and despite Cookie’s horrified glare and headshakes, Hakeem agrees. (Cookie’s broom needs to make a comeback.)
Later that evening Lucious has invited the entire Lyon clan over to break bread. (Why anyone bothered to show up is beyond me.) Lucious tells them all that if they dismantle Lyon Dynasty, EVERYTHING will be forgiven. It seems that he thinks that no one can eat without him. This is the point when Queen Cookie shows out,. Mama snatches up her bag and proceeds to tell Papa Lyon that she’ll always eat. Prior to exiting, she politely snatches the table runner and all of the food off the table.
Sometime later, Anika foolishly meets Lucious at Leviticus. He lies through his teeth and convinces her to plot against Lyon Dynasty. (SMH Anika I thought you were bright.)
At the Ghetto Ass Studio, Cookie and Hakeem are desperately trying to pull Ménage à Trois. together. They sound dry and Cookie tries to intervene, but Hakeem wants to be in charge. Maybe being responsible for something will be good for him.
Somewhere around town, Andre is attempting to beg his way into Lucious good graces. (Lucious is more concerned with ordering everything off the restaurant menu.) Andre wants Lucious to buy some radio company so that Empire will control 200+ urban radio stations. Andre tries again to beg for forgiveness but Lucious isn’t budging. Lucious’ phone interrupts their conversation. It’s Jamal who can’t seem to catch a break musically or as acting CEO. Apparently Frank Gathers rapping daughter Freda Gatz has turned up and Lucious wants Jamal to sign her. She’s everything to Lucious musically. She and her entourage are annoyed Lucious isn’t present and they peace before Jamal can sign her.
Lucious is pissed about Freda not signing, and he and Jamal have words. Lucious wants to use her to revive Gutter Records and he also wants Hakeem back at Empire. Also, Thirsty is still hanging around for some reason.
I spoke too soon earlier; apparently Anilka really isn’t a fool. Cookie finds her arch nemesis hovering around her office at Lyon Dynasty and Anika informs her of Lucious diabolical plan to ruin Cookie’s company and take her artists and their music. Anika wants to hurt Lucious real bad (she and Roxanne Ford should team up.) Cookie seems pleased (finally!) with the idea of them working together, and they plot to sabotage the fancy soiree Lucious is throwing in honor of himself.
At Lucious’s party, Jamal and Pitbull take the stage while Lucious sits around looking like somebody’s Uncle at the club. In the middle of their performance, the DJ (who I believe is a friend of Hakeem’s) sets off a fog machine stalling all of the equipment, and forcing the party to a girding halt. Cookie pops up out of nowhere, looking like Storm draped in ghetto chains. She introduces Hakeem who takes the stage for his own performance; with Timbaland by his side. It was quite bold.
Despite Ménage à Trois being on the verge of imploding. Lyon Dynasty is suddenly up and coming. Andre comes to visit and he tells Cookie he’s going be a Daddy. Cookie is thrilled as expected and she encourages him to tell Lucious the news. Andre goes to do just that, and instead of Lucious being thrilled, he’s horrified for the child’s mental health. In a quick flashback, we see his mom in a manic state. He doesn’t tell Andre about his mother, and though he seems to come around to the news, he’s pissed that Andre used the unborn baby as leverage to get back into his good graces. He tells his eldest son to get out, and he reflects on his mother, some more. (Andre is going to turn into a serial killer soon, I’m sure of it.)
In some dreary park somewhere, Freda is engaged in a rap battle. As Lucious and Thirsty make their way over to her to try and get her to sign with Empire, shots are fired, During the chaos, Lucious approaches Freda with an impassioned speech about her gift and her life. It looks likes she may let him help her after all. As Thirsty and Lucious approach their chars guess who pops up? Stalking ass Roxanne Ford. She claims she has Vernon as a witness, but we all know that Rhonda killed him dead last season. Lucious grins and smiles like the snake he.
Meanwhile, Jamal still hasn’t found a producer. He’s whining to Becky, and girlfriend has had enough of his pity party. She tells Jamal to get up off his high horse and call his Mama because she’s the only one that can deal with him She reminds him that Cookie and Lucious’ beef shouldn’t have anything to do with him.
The next day, Cookie is attempting to whip Hakeem’s Ménage à Trois choreography in shape. (Her outfit is a hoot!). She tells Hakeem she learned about whipping girls into shape from prison. Outside, Jamal approaches the front door of Lyon Dynasty’s office. Just as he’s about to grab the handle, Lucious rolls up in his Bentley like a thief in the night. He’s trying to keep Jamal and Cookie apart. He promises Jamal he’ll produce his album.
At Apex studios, Cookie, Hakeem and Ménage à Trois are waiting on Valentina (the lead singer and Keem’s latest squeeze.) Instead of Valentina, Lucious comes slithering in. He took Andre’s free advice and brought the studio. He now has a controlling interest in every urban network in the country SMH. Valentina rolls in; she’s signed a solo deal with Empire. I guess, Cookie and Hakeem learned today.
This episode was much more pace then last week I thought, how are you all feeling about “Empire” with this third episode?
Aramide A Tinubu has her Master’s in Film Studies from Columbia University. She wrote her thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger, and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightrami