In the episode entitled “Without Apology”, Cookie Lyon reminded viewers this week just why she’s not to be messed with. She faced pushback from the Three Black Divas, a female trio who were considered to be one of Lucious’ first big acts. Not to mention, she talks her way into a deal with Kelly Patel, a tech giant, proving that she’s still running the show at Empire Records.
They came into the picture when Cookie was serving her time in jail and was apparently let go when one of the members let herself go. It’s then implied that Lucious took some of them into his bed during lonely nights in Empire’s infancy.
Cookie organized a meeting between the Divas and Lucious in order for him to apologize for any past transgressions he had with the group, in the hopes that the TMI tell-all interview is squashed before being aired. Because Lord knows the Lyons have too much dirty laundry on their plate to begin with.
Jamal is asked by his “Uncle” Eddie to step down from the Showcase put on for Kelly Patel, due to his involvement with the beatdown of his ex-boyfriend Warren and the incidental shooting of Angelo Dubois. He seems so bummed about this, and as a viewer, I was rooting for some new music from Jamal. His collab with Tiana and Hakeem earlier in the episode really wasn’t doing it for me. The harmonizing between Tiana and Jamal was getting annoying, since there wasn’t much back and forth, only sections of the two singing together in different tones.
As for Hakeem, he continues to have shit luck with relationships. After the commotion and stress with his lost custody trial fighting for Bella, and later when the Lyons fought back so he could have Bella for real, he truly took advantage of Tiana. She subbed in as a mom for Bella while Hakeem was busy with all the DuBois drama, and Hakeem should have been kinder. Which is why him apologizing to her after rehearsal was sweet. Also, can we talk about how creepy Eddie is being about Tiana?
His money obsessed ass seems to always find time to creep on women, be them his ex-wives or young performers like Tiana. And Hakeem, for all his progress as a man throughout this show, continues to miss the mark. Proposing to his on-again, off-again bae is not the best way to dive back in. Tiana was right to take space.
The last thread connected in this episode involves Andre and the car explosion. Viewers have to know that he was involved in the plot in Vegas to blow up Lucious’ car in order to secure his role in running the empire. Shine reminds Andre to keep him out of it, but it’s apparent that Andre is crazed holding in this secret for so long. He asks for a private moment with Lucious and tells him the truth.
Lucious was furious and appalled, hitting Andre with the pistol his eldest son offered him. The commotion understandably causes everyone to rush into the room to discern for themselves what was wrong. Jamal was upset with his older brother, because he never resorted to violence against his father, despite what Lucious has put him through over the years. And Hakeem just seems shocked. The stress of keeping the family together and running the company seems to have taken its toll on Cookie, as she can’t catch her breath and collapses in front of the group.
I was so elated when we finally got some time with Jamal and Becky. I loved their kinship throughout the season, but we never got enough screentime between both of them. It’s been a few episodes and I was relieved she was able to confide in her best friend about being pregnant with J-Poppa’s baby. Becky was right to worry about telling her boyfriend, due to his deep Christian roots. I feel terrible that she decided to break up with him, rather than reveal the truth to the Christian singer. I have a feeling that they’ll come back together and resolve things later. At the end of the day, Becky is the one who should make the decision to keep the baby. I hope they treat that plotline with respect.
Tell Us: Do you think Cookie will be okay? Find out next week on Empire, airing Wednesdays at 8pm on Fox.