In the previous episode, Lucious found out the police had a witness to Bunkie’s murder, but Andre learned said witness was less-than-reliable. Meanwhile, Cookie worked with Agent Carter to throw Lucious and Anika off her scent, Jamal finally severed ties with his father after realizing that Lucious will never accept him for who he is and we learned that Hakeem is involved with an older woman.

In this episode, “False Imposition,” Lucious and Anika get caught in a drive-by shooting, and Andre tells a big lie to protect his father. Meanwhile, Lucious tries to bring a talented artist over to Empire, Hakeem and Tiana perform together and Lucious tells someone close to him that he has ALS. Read on to find out if this episode of Empire delivers the drama and excitement we have come to expect.

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Trouble in Paradise?

Hakeem and Tiana — or Takeem — are still getting plenty of press, so Anika pulls some strings to get them a gig at the Teen Choice Awards Nomination Announcement Concert. It will be held at Leviticus and Hakeem and Tiana need to come up with a duet for the performance.

Hakeem is struggling with the duet because he does not want to tone down his music for the tween audience. Lucious tells him to meet with Cookie and get her to sign off on the song because she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to music. Hakeem has no interest in Cookie’s input, but Lucious reminds him that his mother deserves his respect.

Alas, Hakeem disrespects Cookie by not bothering to show up for dinner. Tiana goes by Hakeem’s place to give him a piece of her mind and she catches him with his lover, Camilla. Yet Tiana is not bothered by Hakeem’s extracurricular activities, so long as he shows up and performs his best.

Tiana and Hakeem’s performance is a hit, but Hakeem refuses to give Cookie any credit for the help she gave him. Cookie knows she cannot make up for the time they lost, but she is here now. Hakeem says it is too late.

Lucious Fights to Bring a New Act to Empire

Lucious is looking to sign Titan, an incredible rapper with an authenticity Empire desperately needs. But there are two big problems with that — Titan is signed with rival label Creedmore, and he gets arrested after being involved in a shooting. Lucious decides that because Titan’s contract with Creedmore is up for renewal, he will talk to Titan’s people about bringing him over to Empire.

Lucious and Anika meet with Titan’s manager, but before they can really make their pitch, they are all involved in a drive-by shooting. Lucious and Anika are fine, but Lucious decides to handle things on his own from here on out, so as not to put Anika in danger.

Cookie Takes Over

After pushing Lucious to get her a new office, Cookie meets with Tiana. Tiana wants Cookie to listen to her new song and help her figure out what it is missing. Tiana says she came to Cookie over Anika because Anika is just a suit and she liked the song Cookie got for Jamal. Tiana must like Cookie’s advice because she asks Cookie to be her manager, something Cookie is all-too happy to announce during one of Anika’s meetings.

Since Cookie is handling her now, Tiana consults her on the nominations concert. Cookie is all for it, and she even gives Tiana and Hakeem pointers on how to make their duet work.

Cookie also makes in-roads to getting Titan signed by getting close to his mother. Cookie finds out that Titan and his mother are heavily involved with the Nation of Islam, and the reason Titan shot the man who accosted him at his show is because that same man burned down the community center Titan practically grew up in. Cookie passes along this information to Lucious.

Lucious and Beretti’s Feud

One of the reasons Lucious wants to steal Titan from Creedmore is because there is bad blood between Lucious and Beretti, the head of the label. Beretti and Lucious worked together years ago, but Beretti stole millions from Lucious by putting his name on Lucious’ songs, despite not being involved in the creative process.

Beretti shows up at Leviticus, not to negotiate for Titan’s contract, but to threaten Lucious into canceling his IPO. Beretti promises Lucious that if he takes Empire public, he will dig up all the skeletons in Lucious’ closet and ruin him. But Beretti’s threats only serve to make Lucious more determined to sign Titan.

Lucious goes to see Titan in jail. Lucious tells Titan about his bad experience with Beretti and promises him that if he comes over to Empire, Lucious will give him the money he needs to rebuild the community center. Titan agrees to the deal.

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Lucious Reveals a Secret

Early in the episode, Lucious begins experiencing hand tremors that he cannot control. When Anika notices, he finally tells her that he has been diagnosed with ALS. He explains that the reason he has been pushing everyone so hard as of late is because he needs his successor in place and he needs Empire to be stronger than ever.

Other Happenings

— Now that Jamal has cut himself off from Lucious and his money, he and Michael are forced to move to a much smaller place. But there is one benefit to Jamal’s new living arrangements, as he gets inspiration from the neighborhood that helps him get over his song-writer’s block.

— While some people are not grateful for Cookie’s assistance, Lucious thanks her for her help with both Titan and Hakeem, and acknowledges that they make a good team. Lucious and Cookie seem to bring out both the best and the worst in each other, but they definitely make an interesting pair.

— Andre takes a bit of a back-seat in this episode, but he does provide Lucious with an alibi for the night of Bunkie’s murder. Protecting his father from the cops is apparently something Andre has been doing since he was a kid.

What did you think of the forth episode of Empire? Will Andre’s lie come back to haunt him? Will Cookie be able to get Hakeem to let her in? Should Lucious and Cookie get back together, or should they stick to being professional partners only? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Empire airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV