Tiana performed in front of the board, as they voted to reinstate Eddie Barker as “executive consultant”. Anika is present, as Cookie and Lucious seem smug and rightfully upset. It seems like usurping the Lyon family only took a staged racist photo and the perfect timing to fix bad PR.
Andre is right to remind his parents that Eddie will try to sway the board to put through the original Kelly Patel deal. Lucious is furious, exacerbated that they have “to argue and arm wrestle with the damn board again.” Cookie proposes that Empire goes private, buying up Empire stock to gain back control.
The question “Why do we save what we built?” is a pervasive theme of the episode. It seems Lucious and Cookie will have to dig deep, into the passions that they held during the early days. Lucious agrees they should buy back Empire, selling art and property to raise the funds they need.
Jamal is having a fucking blast rolling through an awesome track with the collective. Their track “Better than Emotions” is revealed to have been downloaded over a million times. Lonnie seems psyched at the news, but Azal is hesitant. He’s worried the group might be outed.
And Tory reminds them to focus on the music, and not on the fame or money that could be presented to them, should their collective identities be revealed.
Blake is blowing up Hakeem’s phone, as his ringtone is “Big Shoes”, one of Tiana’s tracks. Blake hopes Hakeem could talk with him, and mend fences after the publicity deal.
Eddie thwarts Cookie and Lucious’ deal with Sam Gold, having just met with him and Anika. He implies the Lyons are in over their heads, and their financial backing can’t be sought with Sam’s help. Lucious maintains the games Eddie plays can’t stymie their efforts to oust his old friend.
Quincy Jones, Michelle Obama, and Oprah were pulled with the Lyon’s help, and their financial backing now seems secure. The shares value is spiking with Kelly Patel’s buying out the shares. And it seems like an endless fight.
Andre decides to confront Eddie, saying he’d be willing to work with Eddie. Anika doesn’t seem to be buying the act, and Andre sells himself as “a Lyon”, implying a member of the clan would help their cause. Andre also mentions he’d announce his allegiance to Eddie Barker and his subsequent coup. The press shout to Cookie, asking what she felt about siding with Eddie, doubting her leadership.
Eddie, Kelly, and Anika suggest they go out, and Andre snuck back to “fetch his jacket”, taking covert pictures of Kelly Patel’s numbers. They air in the relm of $600 million.
Cookie wants to raise money for “rent”, which is the money they need to raise to buy Empire back. They’ll air it on Empire Xtreme.
Eddie’s manipulative ass is seen speaking with his ex wife, explaining his allgiance is unsteady with Anika and Andre, playing many sides.
Blake’s father is on daytime TV, explaining his son is so wrapped up in the Empire lifestyle, he’s “forgotten he’s white.” Blake tells his side of the story, and Lucious suggests they bring him into the showcase.
Lucious wants Jamal and his collective to play the rent party, and Jamal says he already “helps the family.” He loves making music for the sake of it, when it’s no longer about market shares and numbers. Lucious implies his wanting to work with the collective says something about Jamal’s loyalty to the family.
Hakeem and Blake are peachy on the stage, rapping together to a ruckus. Tiana watches from backstage, implying she’s surprised that the “low rent” gathering was thrown together. Hakeem gives a shout out to Haven, much to Tiana’s dismay.
Hakeem sings with Haven, killing it on “Big Shoes”, raising the funds.
Andre enters the conference room, and Eddie reveals he wanted Andre to play both sides, to try and make his parents back off from holding onto Empire. Eddie implores him to side with them, as Kelly Patel says he’s raising the money to $700 million. They offer him a Chief Operating Officer position with Kelly Patel’s acquisition, so long as Andre shuts down the rent party off of Empire XStream.
Andre goes down into the server room, locking Lucious and Cookie out of XStream. But Andre put out the broadcast on a timer, so it’ll release to the word wide web. Lucious looks to Jamal, who silently agrees to call on the collective.
Tory bows out, telling Jamal he shouldn’t have to ask them to do this. Jamal does have to do so much to seek Lucious’ approval. But the rest of the collective agrees to hop on stage with Jamal.
Cookie and Lucious give a great pep talk as Jamal and the rest of the collective set themselves up. Preacher, Lonnie, Alex, Ron and the band themselves make up Anonymous. Jamal has come so far past his PTSD, drug addictions and severe stage fright.
The lack of paywall on XStream is causing the money to flow through, as Tory comes on stage to sing with Jamal and the collective. I’m proud of their friendship.
The $75 million is raised, and Eddie refuses to accept he’s been played by the Lyons. I hope he’s finally done.
Hakeem is upset that Haven has to leave, but she’s right to point out he’s still not over Tiana, as she heads back to LA to meet up with her ex or current boyfriend.
Lucious and Cookie are lounging in their bedroom. And Lucious explains he never wants to lose her. It’s tender and seems like Coocious is finally working themselves out.
Predicatably, Giselle and Eddie have arrived. They encounter Cookie and Lucious enjoying breakfast. Cookie cracked so many great jokes at Giselle’s expense, but Eddie reveals he knew Lucious had Shine killed.
“You’re the same thug whose talent is for violence.” Eddie says Lucious hasn’t changed in the last 20 years. Eddie paid off Lucious’ men, as Eddie clutched a bag containing Lucious’ scarf worn the night Lucious had Shine killed. Blackmail is a low blow, but I’ve got to hope they could get Eddie out of the way without any more bloodshed, or jailtime.
Tell us: Are you rooting for Eddie Barker, or the Lyons?