Last time on Empire, Cookie and Hakeem launched a new record label, Lyon Dynasty, Lucious was released on a one million dollar bond (thanks to the help of his slimy new attorney) and we learned that the prosecutor, Roxanne Ford, has it in for Lucious, but she also harbors ambitions of becoming the Attorney General.

Lucious is out of prison and out for vengeance, in this episode of Empire, titled “Fires of Heaven.” He is cocky, arrogant and has plans to take over the entire music world. He cannot step foot in Empire Entertainment, or he risks going back to prison. There is no problem Lucious can’t overcome, so he addresses his staff from the steps of his building. 

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If Cookie Isn’t Happy…

Cookie goes over to Hakeem’s apartment and finds out that he spent the night with Valentina, the lead singer of his girl group Ménage `a Trois. Cookie is angry because Hakeem is due to perform on an important radio show and she needs him to “hit it out of the park.” Cookie gives her son a smack for sleeping with Valentina. (You would think her family would know by now to duck given how often she is prone to slapping them.)

Hakeem kills it on the show, and when the host gets Lucious on the phone to get his reaction to Hakeem leaking the album online, Lucious is frosty. Hakeem doesn’t let that stop him though and tells the host that he is producing an all-girl group. Much to Cookie’s dismay, Hakeem tells the host that the group will perform in a few day’s time on the show. Get ready to duck, Hakeem!

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A Warm Family Dinner

Lucious summons his relatives for a family dinner on his first night home from prison. While the family sits at the elaborate table, Lucious appears and states, “Eat, drink and be merry  for tomorrow we war.” Awkward! Actually, Lucious has a proposal for his family. If they dismantle Lyon Dynasty and return to the fold, all will be forgiven. Cookie refuses and tells her ex-husband that she is intent on building something for her sons. She stands up, takes a hold of the cloth table runner, and pulls everything off the table. That’s why I love Cookie. You never know what she will do next.

While Hakeem is trying to produce his all-female group, Cookie butts heads again with Valentina. Valentina gives her grief, but in the end Cookie wins the battle and Valentina drops and gives the master some push-ups. By the time Cookie is done with them, the ladies look tight during their routine. 

All About Freda

Lucious is determined to sign Freda Gatz, also known as Young Ma (Bre-Z Murray) who just happens to be Frank Gather’s daughter. Since Lucious had Gathers murdered in prison, one would expect that Lucious would stay away from his victim’s family. Freda meets with Jamal, and refuses to sign a contract. Lucious is enraged that Jamal wasn’t able to get her signed, and tells his son that Hakeem would have gotten it done. 

Anika Wants Revenge

Cookie is surprised to find Anika waiting in her office. Anika wastes no time telling Cookie that Lucious thinks that Anika still works at Lyon Dynasty, and that he wants her to do something to sabotage the new company. Anika is there to let Cookie know that Lucious is throwing himself a huge party at his club, Leviticus, to celebrate his freedom. A curious Cookie asks Anika why she is providing this information, and Anika’s answer is simple: she wants to hurt Lucious.

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Leviticus is jumping while Pitbull (as himself) takes the stage with Jamal. When the song is almost over, the lights go out and the music stops. Cookie, in all her fashion fierceness, takes the stage to welcome her ex-husband home. She also introduces Lyon Dynasty’s most important artist – Hakeem. Hakeem brings down the house with an assist by Timbaland (as himself). Lucious has his body guards remove Cookie’s crew, but not before Pitbull gives her some respect for putting Lyon Dynasty out there like that. They also seemed a little flirty.

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Look to the Future

Andre goes to see his mother and tells her that he wants to go back to Empire. Sadly, this is looking less and less likely. He finally tells his mother that she is about to become a grandmother and Cookie is over the moon. She encourages Andre to tell Lucious about his grandchild, because that will soften his heart toward Andre. Andre doesn’t want to use his child in that way, but in desperation he follows Cookie’s plan.

Lucious is worried, at first, about the child’s mental health. He embraces his son and congratulates him. Lucious isn’t pleased that Andre is using his unborn son as a pawn to gain favor and a return to Empire Entertainment. After Andre leaves, Lucious plays the piano and flashes back to a childhood memory of his mother. She also suffered from mental illness, and Lucious recalls telling his mother that they need to return his birthday gifts so they can buy food to eat. 

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Lucious Knows Everything

After a heart to heart with Becky, Jamal decides that he needs his mother to help produce his music. As he arrives to speak with her, Lucious pulls up in a car. He has an uncanny ability to appear like that. Lucious tells Jamal that he doesn’t need Cookie to produce his music, because Lucious is going to. 

At the radio show, Hakeem and Cookie are waiting for Valentina to arrive so Ménage `a Trois can perform. Lucious strolls in, informing them that he has purchased Apex Radio, and now controls most of the urban radio stations in the country. Valentina arrives, and Lucious tells Cookie and Hakeem that he just signed her as a solo artist. Poor Hakeem!

I really enjoyed this episode of Empire, particularly the back story about Lucious and his mother. It certainly explains a bit more about his character.

Empire airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)