Last time on Empire, Hakeem used his vote to oust Lucious from his throne as the head of the company. Even worse, Mimi Whiteman installed her wife, and Hakeem’s one-time lover, Camilla, as the head of the board. Anika pushed expectant mother, Rhonda, down the stairs. Oh, and Jamal kissed a girl, Skye, and he liked it!

This episode of Empire, “Death Will Have His Way,” has the Lyons family dealing with both work problems and heartbreaking family news. Nothing is ever boring in the Lyons family.

Obey Your Mother

We start off with an angry Lucious refusing to leave his office after being voted out of Empire Entertainment. Even though the police have been called, Lucious sends Andre to obtain a copy of the charter to see if the emergency vote taken to get rid of him is unlawful. Meanwhile, Hakeem walks into his darkened apartment and finds his mother sitting in the dark, waiting for him. She is holding a broom, and I don’t think that she is in spring cleaning mode. A furious Cookie orders Hakeem to change his vote, but he refuses. Cookie beats him with a broom handle, and her purse. Ouch! 

At Andre’s house, a bloody and battered Rhonda crawls over to her cell phone. It is painful and unnerving to watch her struggling to get the phone. Once she has it, she throws it at the security pad on the wall, triggering an alarm, which is a pretty smart move for someone in her condition. She also prays and asks God to save her baby.

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A Terrible Tragedy

Lucious, Cookie, and Jamal meet at the hospital, and must tell Andre the bad news that Rhonda lost the baby. Andre is devastated, but Rhonda is mad that God took their baby. Rhonda doesn’t remember exactly what happened, and thinks that she must have slipped. Later on, Rhonda has a surprising visitor: Anika. Anika comes bearing a huge floral arrangement, and offers her compassion and support. Anika is no doubt thrilled that Rhonda thinks that she slipped on the stairs. Now Anika will be able to give Lucious the first grandchild that will one day inherit Empire Entertainment, and she will not face any charges for pushing Rhonda down the stairs. 

Just a Little Persuasion

Cookie goes to Lucious’ mansion and finds him lying in bed. She lays down next to him and holds him. The next morning, Cookie finds a pensive Lucious cleaning his gun. He tells Cookie that if Hakeem tries to be CEO of Empire, things will not turn out well for him. Cookie already has a plan in mind and asks Lucious to give her 48 hours. He agrees, but later meets with his slippery lawyer, Thirsty Rawlings. Thirsty has assembled a gang of thugs and gives them pictures of the CEO candidates. They need to encourage them to lose interest in the CEO position, and anything is fair game, except for murder. Well, that’s a relief!  

So, one man is beaten, and a woman comes home to find her cat hanging from the ceiling. (I am an animal lover, and I hated that scene.) At the next board meeting, all the candidates have withdrawn their names. So who steps up to take the throne? Hakeem. He jumps up on the boardroom table and strolls down it as the stunned board members stare at him. I’ll bet the board members are thinking their lucky stars that Hakeem will be the main target of Lucious’ vengeful plans. Of course, in order to take the CEO position, Hakeem has to promise Camilla that he will ditch his virginal girlfriend, Laura. A drunken Hakeem later breaks up with her.

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A Plan Comes Together

Cookie goes to talk with Jamal. First off, she demands that he pick a team, because his relationship with Skye is confusing everyone. Jamal insists that he is still gay and not bisexual. At this point, all Cookie wants is for Jamal to win the Ace Award that he is nominated for. She also wants to destroy Camilla and restore her ex-husband to his rightful place as the head of Empire. Jamal thinks he can get her inside the company so she can out her plan in motion. 

Jamal, Andre, and Cookie go to see Hakeem. He is sprawling behind Lucious’ desk, with Camilla hanging all over him. Cookie had previously offered to sell Lyon Dynasty to Camilla as Hakeem is still under contract with Cookie’s company. Camilla scoffed at the notion. 

When Hakeem mentions Jamal’s new record, Jamal reminds him that his album was a joint venture between Lyon Dynasty and Empire Entertainment. Jamal is going to release it through Lyon Dynasty. Camilla is not amused, and is even more upset when Cookie gets her way. Hakeem promises his mother that she can be in charge of her own company under the Empire umbrella. Cookie also gets what she has coveted the most–the position of A&R for Empire.


What Does the Future Hold?

Hakeem goes to see Laura and apologizes. He admits that he broke off their relationship so that Camilla would make him the CEO. Now he knows how much he cares about her. Laura asks Hakeem if they will be together, and he promises that they will. This young couple profess their love for each other before Laura loses her virginity to Hakeem.

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Lucious asks Hakeem to meet him, at night, in a familiar place. Lucious has Hakeem stand in the exact spot where Bunkie stood before Lucious shot him in the face. Lucious proceeds to tell his son what he did to Bunkie, and Lucious takes out a gun. He will stop at nothing to get control of Empire–even murder. Lucious hands his son the gun and commands Hakeem to shoot him and take the throne. Hakeem puts the gun to his father’s head, but he can’t pull the trigger. Lucious says that the next time he sees Hakeem, he better watch out. Yikes! That’s quite the family dynamic.

I really liked this episode of Empire with its familiar blend of drama and craziness. I still did not appreciate the cat hanging from the ceiling. It turned my stomach. 

Empire airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)