Tonight’s episode of Empire presents the moment we’ve all been waiting for–Jamal’s custody hearing. As you know, Angelo is representing Anika, and he did not come to play games. He is trying to make the Lyon Family look as crazy and unstable as possible. But it’s ironic that this man is representing the woman who killed Rhonda and her baby.
Anyway, then they mention Anika’s shady ways as far as hopping around from Lucious to Hakeem just to be petty. It drags on, with various witnesses being called to the stand. There’s even a moment where Angelo badgers Tiana, who’s on the stand testifying and makes her cry. It’s super ridiculous. And we’re all wondering WHY NO ONE IS MENTIONING THE BIT ABOUT ANIKA’S CRIMES!
Eventually, Cookie takes the stand, and she gives a sincere speech about her time in prison causing her to miss out on her children’s lives, and how Hakeem is getting the chance to be a better parent than she was. Angelo decides to be a jerk the entire time Cookie is on the stand and tries to make her seem like a violent criminal due to several fights she has been in prison. Then Cookie brings up how she talked Anika out of killing herself while she was pregnant with Bella, and how Anika came to her for help a couple of times.
Lucious is so pissed by how Angelo spoke to Cookie that he demands to be put on the stand. No one thinks it’s a good idea except for Hakeem, and so it shall be.
Lucious takes the stand, and Angelo goes in. Of course, he tries to make Lucious look like an unstable gangsta. But then Lucious channels nice Lucious, and brings up the whole someone trying to blow him up thing, and not remembering some of the evil things from his past, but wanting to be a better man moving forward. Basically, he lays it on think to try and win some sympathy. He’s so good at playing nice Lucious that even Angelo is stunned into silence. Lucious gives a moving enough testimony that it starts to look like the pendulum is swinging in the Lyons’ favor. But we know what show this is. Things go left quickly.
Hakeem has a hot-headed moment during recess because he’s pissed that the lawyer can’t give him a definitive answer about how the judge will rule, which is true. Hakeem, at the height of his anger, fires his lawyer and decides to represent himself.
Now we’re all really nervous.
However, when Hakeem calls Anika to the stand, he starts asking her questions about Bella’s favorite color, favorite stuffed toy, what makes her tummy hurt and all kinds of personal things that, which illustrate that Anika knows nothing about her own child. Anika gives this BS line about she needs to get to know her daughter. Hakeem says his door has always been open for her and that he would have never tried to cut Bella out of her life yet here she is.
The court goes to another recess and when they come back, and just when things are looking good, Diana Dubois is called as a rebuttal witness.
Remember when she kidnapped Bella but allowed Hakeem to see her only if he didn’t mention it to his parents? Well, she was recording their visits the entire time. This was at the height of Hakeem being angry with his family and he gets caught talking smack about all of them. He called Andre crazy, said he wishes his mom was still in jail, said Lucious was evil, and that his family can’t be trusted with Bella.
Later on, during another recess, Hakeem reveals what Diana did. Of course, Cookie and Lucious are pissed because they could have just told him. Plus, he sold their family out to people they have beef with.
AND WHY ISN’T THIS PRESENTED TO THE COURT? DIANA STRAIGHT KIDNAPPED BELLA FOR A SECOND.
Seriously, it’s annoying.
Either way, it’s too late. The judge uses Hakeem’s words to rule in favor of Anika. She gets full custody. Cookie encounters Diana in the bathroom and calls her a filthy, treacherous b–ch. That’s cute and all, but she still won.
Diana calls her clan for dinner to congratulate Angelo for the win and commends Anika for associating with people of her stature. Then Diana states that Warren is up next and then, she introduces one of the top physicians in the city who says he saw his favorite patient recently and had to up his meds. He never says the patient’s name, but we know it’s Jamal, who struggles with addiction.
This is too much for revenge. Cookie didn’t mean to mess up Angelo’s chances of becoming mayor, be he wasn’t on point enough to make sure the mic was off after he just did an interview when he was talking about the illegal things he did for Cookie, but whatever.
Finally, Anika’s basic self-comes to pick Bella up from Hakeem. He runs down everything she needs to know. It’s heartbreaking to watch. Even Anika looks like she wants to cry. Turns out, Bella’s favorite color is yellow.
Finally, the episode ends with Cookie and Lucious discussing the defeat. They’re also devastated. Cookie tells Lucious she hopes he’s back because she needs him. He then tells her that he wants blood. Lucious is back alright.
Only Thirsty’s seedy magic and Lyon Family trickery can get Bella back now.
See you in two weeks.