On this episode of Empire, titled “The Fool,” after word of Lucious’ amnesia goes public, Cookie comes up with a plan to save the company, Hakeem worries about losing custody of Bella and Eddie Barker returns.
The word is out about Lucious’ amnesia, which is bound to raise eyebrows among the company’s shareholders. The timing couldn’t be worse with Anika suing Hakeem for custody of Bella. Cookie thinks Anika is the one who leaked the story.
Cookie Covers Her Tracks
Claudia fears she’s crossed the line with Lucious. Her sole purpose is to help him recover his memory, but she’s developed some rather unprofessional and unethical feelings for her patient. Lucious is torn between wanting to remember, and not wanting to face the truth about the kind of man he was prior to the much kinder, more tolerant Dwight. Claudia wants to take an active role in helping Lucious become the man he wants to be — she wants to make him a better man. Claudia wonders if there’s anything about his old self that Lucious could embrace, and Lucious is down with focusing on music.
Now that the press has caught wind of Lucious’ brain injury, Cookie has no choice but to drag him in front of the board of Empire Entertainment to try and do some damage control. Lucious refuses to confirm anything, pointing out that he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. Everybody’s making plenty of money thanks to the sale of his catalogue which became far more valuable after someone tried to blow him up.
Empire Recap: The Lyon Formerly Known as Lucious>>>
The first “20-for-20” album is getting ready to drop, and Cookie decides to invite the press to tag along with Lucious as he oversees its completion. If all goes well which is entirely unlikely, it will get the press and the board off her back.
Claudia thinks this whole scheme is a bad idea. Lucious hasn’t really gotten in touch with his musicality nor does he really know his way around a recording studio, so Cookie recruits Becky to help out.
The first “20-for-20” is a compilation of Lucious’ number one hits sung by Empire Entertainment artists, and with everything riding on this plan, Cookie invites a handful of reporters into the studio to show how the sausage gets made. Claudia’s on hand to keep an eye on her patient, and she’s under strict instructions to be seen but not heard.
As Lucious listens to Veronica sing, a lightbulb goes off and he’s able to give Veronica some solid creative advice.
A Close Encounter for Warren
Angelo serves Jamal with a subpoena. He has a bit of an altercation with Warren as a result which would be a great way to cover their familial ties, but since there’s no love lost between the cousins, Angelo calls out Warren as the leak. Lucky for Warren, Jamal thinks Angelo’s lying because he’s bitter that Cookie dumped him.
Shyne Throws Shade
Andre is still involved with Detective Rose and while she may be sleeping with the eldest Lyon brother, she’s still got a job to do. Rose informs Andre that the Vegas PD has video footage of Shyne near the parking garage where Lucious got his car detailed the night of the explosion. Andre blows this news off, explaining that Lucious and Shyne are old friends. But Rose has learned that Shyne and Lucious are more like rivals. Andre’s pretty smooth when he tells the Detective that he doubts Shyne had anything to do with the attempt on his father’s life. But Rose reveals that the police questioned Shyne that morning, and he threw some shade Andre’s way. She’s giving Andre a chance to get in front of it. Andre maintains that he’s already told the Vegas police everything he knows.
The next stop on the press tour is Shyne who has his suspicions about Lucious and would love to blow this whole cover up wide open, particularly if it’s to his benefit. As Lucious listens to Shyne’s music, Claudia notices a change in Lucious behavior. She gets up in his ear, asking what’s going on. Lucious is seeing red — crimson red, like blood. Lucious orders Shyne to turn off the track. He criticizes Shyne’s music, stating it’s anger with no purpose.
The Return of an OG
Lucious leaves on a mission to find “one of his people.” Claudia tags along, promising she’ll bring him back. Cookie gets some bad news while waiting for Lucious’ return. Thirsty and Andre let her know that if the first album doesn’t drop on time and Empire Entertainment takes another hit in the press, the board is going to ask Cookie to step down. Cookie laments that the old Lucious isn’t around to handle this latest crisis.
Andre prepares to send the press home, but Lucious arrives with a reinforcement: Eddie Barker. Eddie is on OG in the biz, and he’s eager to help save Lucious and Cookie’s asses and the company. Eddie’s first order of business is to lend his expertise to a duet sung by Hakeem who is nowhere to be found and Tiana. When Tiana begins to sing, Lucious sees a blue hue.
Lucious meets with Claudia and questions her about how the music is affecting him. She mentions something called synesthesia. Lucious’ brain has been rewired so that when he hears music, he sees color.
Cookie walks in and sees Lucious painting, and Claudia believes Lucious is hearing music in his head, but Cookie realizes Lucious is actually making music.
Warren Becomes a Liability and Hakeem Loses His Cool
Warren confronts Angelo about trying to blow his cover with Jamal. Angelo’s concerned that Warren isn’t faking his love for Warren which could create some serious complications. Angelo threatens to tell his mama, and Warren will be out. Warren insists that nobody is scared of Diana accept for Angelo.
Hakeem arrives, interrupting the family squabble. Warren makes himself scarce, and Hakeem demands that Angelo let him speak to Diana. Angelo suggests that Hakeem just give Anika full custody which leads to Hekeem punching Angelo in the face. Angelo keeps his cool, warning Hakeem that judges don’t like fathers who can’t control their tempers and promises he’ll see Hakeem’s “dumb ass” in court.
Hakeem decides to flee the country with Bella. He stops by to ask Tiana to come with them, but she thinks the plan is nuts. But Hakeem swears he lost Bella once before, and he can’t do it again. Tiana agrees to cover for him and meet him at the airport the next morning.
On Shaky Ground
Hakeem isn’t the only Lyon with anger management issues. Andre goes after Shyne for talking to the police but learns he got played. Shyne never had a conversation with the cops. But Andre is sick of being under Shyne’s thumb and his attempts to pit Andre against his family. Andre tells Shyne that if he wants to tell them about their past collaboration to dethrone Lucious, he can go right ahead.
Cookie’s plan works. The first album is completed, and she plans to use Lucious’ painting as the cover art. Thanks to the media, they didn’t have to spend a dime on promotion, and the compilation is blowing up on Empire XStream. But Shyne points out that several of the bloggers commented that something just ain’t right with Lucious.
Cookie decides to come clean with the board about Lucious’ traumatic brain injury. She emphasizes that he’s made tremendous progress and this album, Memories, is proof of that progress. The board still insists on bringing in someone from the outside to protect Empire Entertainment from stockholder liability. Cookie saw this move coming and in response, offers to hire Eddie. He’s going to serve as special advisor to the CEO.
Claudia continues to work with Lucious whose memories are flooding back as he covers canvases with paint. But his synapses are still a bit jumbled because as stares at Claudia, he sees Cookie and remembers his intense love for his ex-wife. This turns their therapy session into something very intimate (I’m not sure if he screws around with his therapist just for the hell of it, because he’s caught up in the moment, to be a dick or because he’s still regaining full control of his faculties.)
The following morning, Claudia gets a rude awakening. Lucious’ declaration of love and all the other sweet nothings he uttered were about Cookie. He breaks this news after Claudia confesses she’s in love with him. It’s a hard fall going from being somebody’s muse to yesterday’s news, and Claudia doesn’t take it well. Dwight and his adoration for Claudia is gone. She insists he is Dwight, and Lucious is gone. He thanks Claudia for her service and kicks her to the curb. Lucious is back or at least well on his way.
Tiana lets Cookie in on Hakeem’s plan to leave the country with Bella, so she shows up at the airport to convince her son what a monumental mistake he’s making. She reminds him that Lyons stick together and fight, and when they do that, nobody can beat them.
Will Claudia go quietly or raise hell on her way out the door? Will Hakeem forgive Tiana for deceiving him? Will Shyne turn on Andre? Will three be a crowd when it comes to running Empire Entertainment? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Empire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on FOX. Want more news? Visit our Empire page on Facebook.
(Image Courtesy of FOX)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.