Empire is finally back after being pre-empted by the World Series, and tonight we pick up with Cookie, Thirsty, and the best custody lawyer around grooming Hakeem for their upcoming hearing. The most important thing is that Hakeem shares all the dirty details he can about his relationship with Anika and her connection to his family so there are no surprises.
Things get worse when TMZ reports the tea that Lucious Lyon has been suffering from amnesia and lying to his fans about it.
This means that Cookie could get forced off the board. The threat is definitely looming because later on it comes out that the board believes Cookie has been defrauding the shareholders behind not being forthcoming about Lucious’ condition. Cookie springs a plan in action for Lucious to make an announcement to the press claiming it’s fake news.
Then we find out the obvious, Claudia has fallen in love with “Dwight.” She tells him she crossed the line and wants to be professional, but it’s too late. Plus, Dwight reels her in, even more, when he says he doesn’t want to go back to being Lucious again. Claudia claims she can help him be a better man.
Back to Cookie’s plan. She’s the only one who thinks it’s a good idea to invite press to follow Lucious around for 48 hours. Lucious is obviously fragile, but he goes along with it anyway. And everyone else is rightfully nervous about this. You know how Dwight is prone to getting overwhelmed and passing out when too many lights flash.
Jamal is still galavanting with Warren the snake, who actually seems to be falling in love for real. They run into Angelo out and about and engage in a contentious discussion, of course. Angelo starts talking wild greasy (while pretending he doesn’t know Warren, of course), and even asks Jamal if he ever wondered who leaked the details to the press about his pops. He walks away from Jamal saying, “Your chick looks thirsty.” Bug planted. There’s a reason for this, though. Hold that thought.
Later on, Lucious’ meeting with the press starts off well, but then he gets triggered by a song Shyne plays. Claudia pulls him out of the fray to calm him down. Lucious should really just go home, but it’s not in Cookie’s best interests for this publicity stunt to fail because Thirsty then delivers news that if this first album (of 20 for the year) doesn’t get turned in soon, and there’s more bad press for the company, then Cookie will be forced to step down from the board. But then, super producer, Eddie Barker (Forrest Whittaker), who is Lucious’ relative, walks in, followed by Lucious, who is back in the game, and the press goes nuts.
Warren confronts Angelo about almost blowing his cover and Angelo says he did what he did to keep Warren in the game because it’s obvious that he caught feelings for Jamal. Warren denies it, but we all know what’s up. Then they get interrupted by Hakeem. Warren scurries away and hides and Angelo taunts Hakeem to the point where he gets punched in the face. That was the plan. Now Hakeem looks unstable.
BUT ANIKA IS A MURDERER AND A STALKER AND DIANA KIDNAPPED BELLA!
Why is this even an issue?
Sure, Diana swore Hakeem to secrecy, but now is the time for Hakeem to blow up her spot and play just as dirty.
Hakeem thinks it’s a good idea to run away with Bella to Cuba and tries to get Tiana on board with this plan. She thinks it’s silly, but says she’ll meet him at the airport after taking care of some things. Y’all know she’s not dimwitted like Hakeem. She tells Cookie what’s up and of course, Cookie and Tiana meet him at the airport to shut him down. Cookie gives him a speech about how they’re Lyons and they’re going to fight this.
Then we find out Lucious has synesthesia. In short, that means that when he listens to music his brain sees color. Claudia says his brain has been rewired. He stays up all night seeing color and whatnot and eventually completes the first of 20 albums for the company. Cookie presents the album to the board and tells the truth about Lucious. She downplays Lucious’ brain injury, but it’s not enough. One of the board members suggests that they bring in someone from the outside. Cookie was prepared for this so she brings in Eddie Barker to be the “outside” person because she’s not about to have them bring on a stranger that doesn’t know Empire’s legacy ruin things for her. It goes over well and Eddie becomes her special advisor.
Claudia is overseeing another Lucious painting session, and it’s helping him begin to get his memory back. Claudia says his synapses are reawakening because he’s connecting the colors with the music and then they go into a sexy sequence of painting and Lucious imagining Claudia as Cookie. He’s remembering their love and how Cookie was his muse. He says this out loud to Claudia, but he’s not really talking to her. This is going to be a problem though.
When Lucious and Claudia wake up, Claudia is all happy and in love about the moments they shared and tells Lucious that he told her he loved her. Lucious then says that he was talking about Cookie. Claudia tells him that he can’t trust his memories and that he’s Dwight, but Lucious says he remembers now and that his name is Lucious. Cookie walks in and demands to know what’s going on. Claudia tries to get Cookie to leave so she can continue to convince Dwight to stick around, but Lucious tells her that she doesn’t call the shots in his house. Cookie has Claudia escorted out stuck on stupid, which will probably come back to bite them later because she knows too much and might decide to be petty. Cookie steps out because it’s time for Hakeem’s hearing, so Lucious doesn’t get to tell her that he’s back yet.
It’s really him. You can hear it in his voice.
Trouble is definitely afoot.
Next week it’s time for Hakeem’s fight to get custody of Bella.