On this episode of Empire, “The Lady Doth Protest,” Eddie pushes the Empire Entertainment employees too hard, Lucious tries to strike a bargain with Anika and Jamal learns the truth about Warren. 

Lucious may finally remember that he loves Cookie, but he hasn’t fully gotten his groove back when it comes to music. He’s using art — paintings and particular colors — to guide him. Thanks to a few splashes of paint on the keys and some help and encouragement from Jamal and Warren, Lucious is able to tickle the ivories.

Empire Recap: Hakeem Fights for Custody of Bella>>>

More of a Whimper Than a Roar

Anika and Angelo take Bella to the park and fail to notice Hakeem spying on them. Hakeem is ready to make a bad situation worse, by making a scene, but Thirsty stops him, promising they will figure out a way to get Bella back. 

Cookie and Andre warn Jamal that he’s risking his appeal by stalking Anika. He’s under strict instructions to keep his distance for the time being. The plan is to let Lucious handle things, but Andre and Jamal think it’s risky. Even though Lucious is still undergoing therapy, Cookie believes he’s up to the task. 

Lucious shows up at Anika’s to talk. He reveals that he’s starting to get his memory back, and he recalls how badly Anika wanted Bella to be the only heir to the Lyon throne. He offers Anika a deal: if she shares custody, he’ll make Bella joint heir of Empire Entertainment along with Jamal, Hakeem and Andre. Anika promises to think about it. She also agrees to a family visit as a show of good faith.

Eddie Barker has stepped in at Empire Entertainment, and he’s pushing everyone hard.  Porsha informs Cookie there’s a rebellion brewing, and some of the engineers are threatening to strike.

Cookie lets Lucious know about the engineers, but he’s made Eddie his proxy in the matter. Cookie reminds Lucious that she’s running the company. He swears he has her back like always, he just assumed she had her hands full without dealing with disgruntled staff. 

Lucious may believe he’s always been there for Cookie, but she reminds him that hasn’t always been the case (Flashback to Cookie getting served divorce papers while in prison.) Lucious swears if he’s dropped the ball in the past, it won’t happen again. 

Warren Wusses Out

Warren and Jamal are still an item, but Warren might be interested in spicing things up. While out at a club, Warren floats the idea of having a threesome. It’s not really Jamal’s scene (Could this all be part of the Dubois’ plans to take him down?)

Warren doesn’t waste any time finding a willing third, but Jamal backs out at the last minute, stating he only even entertained the idea because he loves Warren. Warren tells the guy he’s got to leave because he’s in love with Jamal who he probably doesn’t even deserve at this point. Now he has to try and fix what he messed up. The whole speech is a bit much — a nice act for Jamal’s benefit. Or is it? After rando guy leaves, Warren tells Jamal he’s got something to confess, but no matter what happens moving forward, Jamal has to remember how much Warren loves him. 

Oh, Hell Yes They’ll Go

Eddie finds a strike sign and confronts Calvin, one of the engineers. Eddie’s ready to rain down fire and brimstone, until Cookie intervenes. Calvin tells her the signs weren’t supposed to get out yet, but all the sound engineers and studio musicians agree that the crazy hours have to stop. They’ve been working round the clock. Cookie asks Calvin to be patient, just until the company completes the 20-for-20. This doesn’t calm Calvin who threatens to authorize the strike immediately.

Cookie turns to Eddie for support since he’s supposed to be the one taking charge of the situation. Eddie tells Calvin to go ahead and strike, promising it won’t end well for him. Eddie also makes it clear to Cookie that she shouldn’t cave. Porsha finds herself caught in the middle. She isn’t entirely thrilled with the way she’s been treated lately, particularly by Cookie, so she walks too. Cookie accuses Porsha — who’s involved with Calvin romantically — of being under his thumb. Porsha insists this isn’t about her and Calvin. It’s about them. 

Porsha leads the strikers and work grinds to a screeching halt. Cookie spots Shyne leaving the building, and he claims he’s supporting the 99 percent. Cookie reminds him he owns part of the company, but Shyne doesn’t care. His mom worked in a school lunchroom, so he’s got Union blood coursing through his veins.

Eddie wants to bring in a bunch of scabs as a temporary solution. Thirsty has his guys trying to dig up dirt on the most vocal protesters, like Calvin. Cookie isn’t down with the plan. These people are like her family. Eddie thinks if they were family, they wouldn’t be derailing 20-for-20. Cookie wants to prove to the employees the bosses aren’t the enemy, by showing the staff the two groups have more in common than what separates them. Cookie’s tired of watching the men swing their dicks around and mess everything up, so she decides to take control of the situation.

The members of the board, Cookie, Lucious and Eddie sit down with some of the strikers. Lucious admits he lost his memory as a result of the explosion, but he’s back, and he remembers everyone in the room and referring to them as family in the past. Cookie declares that sometimes families fight, but they also know when to pull together.

Cookie recalls something that happened while she was in prison. One of her enemies, Poundcake, was pregnant and having complications. She didn’t want to go to the infirmary, fearing they’d make her have an abortion. Nobody else was sympathetic and wondered why Cookie cared what happened to Poundcake. Cookie explained that inside all they have is each other. She sat with an ailing Poundcake, reminiscing about the night Andre was born. 

Cookie explains the point of the story is that under those circumstances they had to be family, and when it comes to Empire Entertainment, they are also family. She reminds one man that when his mother was sick, the company gave him three weeks paid leave, and when another woman lost her voice, the company paid for her physical rehabilitation. Lucious also paid quite a few college tuition bills.

Cookie admits that Empire Entertainment may not always follow every Union rule, but when an employee needs something, they are there for them. All she’s asking is they return the favor. Cookie also makes it clear to Porsha how invaluable she thinks she is. 

Cookie’s plan works, and the strike matter is settled. 

One Stank Rose

Andre continues his downward spiral. He’s popping pills left and right and is becoming seriously obsessed with Pamela Rose. After learning Pamela was involved in a shoot out, he lays it all out there. Andre tells Pamela that he knows she doesn’t trust him which is why she’s been holding back, but when he thought she was hurt or worse, it made him realize he didn’t want to lose her.

Pamela talks to him about the shooting and reveals she planted the gun on the guy to make her killing him look justified. She points out that now Andre knows something about her that could put her in prison for the rest of her life, so he doesn’t need to worry about her not trusting him. Andre decides it’s time to introduce Pamela to the rest of the family. 

Diana Takes Down Another Lyon Cub

Warren meets with Diana and has to break the news the threesome didn’t happen. Warren declares he’s out. He’s really fallen for Jamal. Diana thought this might happen which is why she asked Anika to step in because she’s really committed to taking down the Lyon cubs. 

To Warren’s surprise, the entire Lyon family arrives, expecting to visit with Bella. Warren is caught red-handed. Cookie figures out the whole thing is a set up, and Diana proceeds to break the news to Jamal that Warren is her nephew, and his job was to get Jamal to fall in love with him, and then get pics of them having a threesome for the whole world to see. 

Hakeem pleads with Lucious to step up and do something, but he’s paralyzed by flashbacks of violent incidents from his past. It doesn’t matter because Jamal is ready, willing and able to kick the crap out of Warren. This is all part of Diana’s diabolical plan. They’re in a very public place, and onlookers are shooting footage of the fight with their cameras. This is bad for Jamal, bad for the Lyons, bad for Empire Entertainment and really bad for Hakeem. 

Andre and Hakeem drag Jamal from the room, and Cookie’s last words to Diana are “We’re coming for you, Bitch.” And you know they are. 

Lucious tells Cookie he wanted to stomp Warren, and it’s becoming obvious that Cookie is disappointed in this meeker version of the Lyon patriarch. She says the old Lucious would have done it. Time to man up, Lucious. 

FOX Sets Date for X-Files Premiere>>>

Will Andre confide in Pamela about his plot against Lucious? How much longer will Eddie last at Empire Entertainment? What will happen to Jamal when the video footage becomes public?Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Empire airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news? Visit our Empire page on Facebook.

(Image Courtesy of FOX)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

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.