I was pretty into the Empire premiere last week. It was the perfect amount of dramatic, but it was also surprisingly emotional. Plus, I just love Cookie and I can’t see what happens with her next. So, what’ll happen on Empire’s “The Outspoken King?”
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Lucious vs. Cookie
“The Outspoken King” starts with Lucious working out and watching himself on the news. They say he’s trying to make himself immortal and he immediately thinks about his ALS diagnosis. His girlfriend, Anika, comes in and she’s pissed that Cookie showed up. Cookie, meanwhile, is blown away by his house. Also, she makes Lucious pay her cab for her because she’s awesome.
Cookie wants to make sure that Lucious won’t stab his son in the back. Just then, Anika walks in in just her underwear, because of course she does.
Cookie wants Jamal to play in the same club as Hakeem but Lucious refuses. Cookie keeps bringing up the fact that it was her drug money that started the company, but Anika has no idea. Cookie tells Lucious that he can’t shut Jamal out anymore, but he says it’s not going to happen.
Becky Learns The Truth
Lucious’ assistant, Becky, finds his pills. She confronts him about it and gets really upset. He says that nobody could know about it. There’s no cure for ALS and he’s dying.
Lucious’ Crime Catches Up With Him
Vernon gets a call from the police. He has to identify Lucious’ friend who he shot last week on Empire. He calls Lucious freaking out. He has no idea Lucious did it. Lucious says that he’ll tell everyone. So, he calls Cookie while she’s working with Jamal and tells her. They were really close and were cousins, so she’s shocked.
The whole family gathers and Cookie is destroyed. With tears in his eyes, Lucious promises to find the man who did this. Cookie tries to comfort Hakeem, but he tells her not to touch him. Jamal and Hakeem leave to go talk. Everything’s all screwed up.
The Company’s Scandal
Lucious’ assistant tells him there’s a problem, but he demands to talk to Vernon so he can find someone to back Hakeem up. But he tells him there was a shooting. That was the problem. The shooter says that the musician was his idol.
People are protesting outside of the building. The musician doesn’t want to apologize. He says he inspires people like Ghandi. Lucious says that he’ll help if he plays with Hakeem. Just then Cookie comes in and causes all kind of trouble. She wants Lucious to drop him and have Hakeem and Jamal play at Leviticus. He says no and she throws her shoe at him.
The scandal with the rapper won’t go away. So, Lucious sets up a press conference, but he keeps sounding defensive. Cookie comes in and says he sounds like he grew a vagina. He said that the man she knew would say that the streets aren’t for everyone and that’s why they made sidewalks. She liked him better when he was a thug. Suddenly, she gets a text.
Later, Cookie gets in the elevator with everyone and the rapper threatens her and Lucious refuses to defend her. Anika laughs and Cookie gets really emotional. Then Lucious fires him. “She’s right. Your lyrics suck,” he says.
Andre goes over his schedule and talks to his wife about how busy he is, but he really needs to go to the doctor and figure out his meds. He puts it off though. He needs to defeat Hakeem. Andre’s bipolar, though, and canceling his doctor’s appointment could be life threatening. “And your life is mine,” she says. He says he’ll go and they talk about their plan to get Cookie to try to sabotage Hakeem’s show.
The rapper decided to leave Empire. Lucious says that if he gets him back he’d get Empire. Andre also says that Jamal’s press conference won’t help. Lucious has no idea what he’s talking about, but he quickly learns Jamal’s going to come out. Later, Lucious notices there’s something wrong with Andre, but he says he’s fine.
Will Hakeem Take His Career Seriously?
Hakeem’s talking about his career, but he’s not taking anything seriously. Just then, a girl comes in and Hakeem’s really into her. She’s rehearsing a ballet-themed dance for her song and Hakeem and his friends come in and interrupt it. And she does not fall for Hakeem at all.
Hakeem keeps on messing around. He causes a huge scene in a restaurant while his fan friend films him. He talks about how Barack Obama’s a sell out. Just then the cops come. Needless to say, everyone sees it. Lucious even has to call the President to apologize. He gets hung up on. It’s hilarious. Lucious hits him and throws him out. But now everyone wants to see his show. He’s a total bad boy now.
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Cookie shows up at Jamal and Michael’s place, but she kicks her assistant out. She tells Jamal that she’s going to get him into the club. He needs to work and prove that he’s as talented as his brother.
She has Jamal work on his music. She loves his music and wants to steal focus away from Hakeem. Her assistant jokes that Jamal should come out the day of Hakeem’s show and Cookie loves it. She wants to stage their own show instead. He’s not into it and calls her Mama Rose, which is hilarious.
Andre’s wife helps Cookie out with Jamal’s press conference. She introduces her to a publicist who will help her.
Jamal meets with Lucious and talks to him about how the announcement will hurt Empire, but Jamal seems convinced to do it. Then Lucious threatens to cut him off and he pays for everything.
The big announcement is supposed to happen, but Jamal’s nowhere to be found. He’s ignoring his phone, playing music, and watching his dad talk about Hakeem’s comments about the President and about how artists need freedom of speech. Meanwhile, Cookie cites Lucious’ old lyrics on TV and the interviewer questions him about them, so he defends them and says that kids are expressing their anger with music. He says that he tries to talk to his sons but they’re not listening. He might not be listening either. At his house, Jamal’s making a whole song out of it, singing “tell the truth” and crying.
The Big Show
Finally, it’s time for Hakeem’s big show. Lucious give him a pep talk and says that some day, Empire will be all his. He can’t let him down and he’s performing by himself.
Meanwhile, Cookie goes to talk to Jamal. She’s not happy that he didn’t snow up at the press conference. She says that you always have to do things you don’t want to. Then, he leaves to check on Hakeem.
At another part of the club, Andre’s getting drunk. His whole plan is going perfectly. But his wife is not amused. He needs to take his pills.
Hakeem tells Jamal he doesn’t want to play alone. He wants Jamal to play with him instead. So, the show starts, and Hakeem dedicates it to his cousin. It goes great, but then Jamal shows up and starts singing and playing. Cookie’s so into it. And Lucious even says they looked good together. It goes perfectly.
Even that girl that Hakeem’s into shows up and comes backstage. She liked it and they hook up.
Cookie and Lucious talk and Cookie calls him a horrible parent. Hakeem’s ungrateful and entitled, but Lucious says that he dropped the rapper for what he did to her. Then Anika comes over and criticizes her, so Cookie leaves.
But she’s forced into some car. It’s so intense. Apparently she’s been avoiding an agent’s calls. They had a deal, but the deal needs to change now. She needs to testify in front of a grand jury. But if she testifies, she’s dead. “Your’e gonna get me killed,” she says.
Empire airs on Wednesdays at 9 pm on FOX
(Image courtesy of FOX)