On this episode of Empire, “Strange Bedfellows,” it’s Hakeem’s birthday and he wants to broadcast his party on “Empire Extreme.” Cookie and Lucious also deal with Anika, who is not out of town for long.
On the eve of Hakeem’s 21st birthday, he is already partying (and filling bathtubs with syrup.) He goes to Empire Entertainment to spy on his father to find out what he’s getting for his birthday, and interrupts Cookie and Lucious talking about Tariq going after them. Lucious tells Hakeem that Anika took off and he didn’t realize when she left him with Bella that it was permanent. It turns out Anika called her mother to help her run away.
When Angelo is questioning Cookie about Anika, he finds Cookie’s gun. He demands that she gets rid of it because it could jeopardize his campaign and his future as mayor. Angelo also asks Cookie if she has ever shot someone before, and we see a flashback to her shooting someone who was after Lucious when they were teenagers. Cookie lies to Angelo and tells him she has never shot anyone.
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D-Major comes out on social media and tells Jamal he’s ready to work on their relationship, but when he shows up at Jamal’s apartment, he is there with Phillip. Jamal sympathizes with him because he understands it can be hard to be gay as a hip-hop artist, but he does not want to date him because he is interested in Phillip. Cookie sees the two of them together, and accuses D-Major of being Jamal’s drug dealer.
Before they surprise Hakeem at his party, Phillip sees D-Major trying to enter Empire Entertainment. D-Major tells Phillip that what he has with Jamal isn’t real, and Phillip starts to fight him. Jamal walks in and sees Phillip hit D-Major, and is angry because they just had a conversation about showing D-Major sympathy after coming out so publicly.
Go Shorty, It’s Your Birthday
Hakeem is upset that Tiana isn’t going to be there for his birthday because she is on tour, but comes up with a plan to live-stream his party on Empire Extreme. Cookie, Lucious, Jamal and Andre all pretend that they don’t care and forgot about Hakeem’s birthday in order to surprise him. Even though Tiana surprises him and shows up, Hakeem’s birthday takes a bad turn when the club owner refuses to pay him for his appearance and wants to charge him for all of the alcohol.
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After Anika tells Lucious she wants to come home to be with Bella, he calls Cookie and they confront her at the house. Anika says she has a plan to seduce Tariq because if he gets involved with Lucious’ wife, the case Tariq has against Lucious will not be as strong. Lucious’ mother walks into the room with Cookie’s gun and wants to kill Anika to keep her quiet. Lucious stops her, and tells Anika she has one week to make her plan work or else he will let his mother kill her.
I’m The Man
Jamal and Andre surprise Hakeem at his birthday party, but during his performance, a fight breaks out between one of his guests and Tiana’s friend Kennedy. Andre freaks out and takes away Hakeem’s Empire Extreme privileges. Jamal also blames Hakeem for inviting strangers and singing violent lyrics. Both of his brothers tell Hakeem to act like a man. As a result, Hakeem goes to Lucious’ house and picks up Bella.
Andre spends time with Rafael’s wife, Giuliana, to make the Vegas deal before Lucious can. Meanwhile, Giuliana pays off her husband’s debts to a mysterious man. He accepts her money because he is desperate to get to Lucious and wants Giuliana’s help.
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