A flashforward shows Lucious rinsing off blood. We don’t know why, or who is in the hospital.

Cookie is worried about Candace, and regrets doing the right thing. She called the cops for the sake of her sister’s safety. Franklin could have killed her. Jamal’s romantic performance is a welcome distraction, as he slays a song for the cameras.

Jamal speaks about Lyon Family Management, and I was admittedly worried that he’d just talk about LFM, neglecting his own personal happiness. He pulls in Kai on camera, commending his engagement with the serious journalist.

Unfortunately, this creates conflict between Kai and Jamal later. Kai is concerned that his being linked to Jamal in the public eye could hurt his professional image. He’s still all in, but Kai makes a good point. Stupid jokes about dating a pop star can prevent a well-established journalist from getting the respect he deserves in his field.

Hakeem is fucking up AGAIN. Even though he ended beef with Blake on social media, he’s still allowing Blake’s involvement in his kids’ life and in Tiana’s personal life affect his attention. He’s embroiled in a conflict between his crew and Blake’s, everyone drawing guns.

Tiana is beyond done with his shit and rightfully leaves with the kids. I’d say at this point, she’s much better off moving out and killing that single mom life. Hakeem’s too much of a mess.

Investigative reporting by Giselle’s PI reveals that Jeff Kingsley is, in fact, spiteful for good reason. His mother was knocked up by Lucious back in the day, and her life with drugs didn’t end so well for her. It’s nice to finally see the characters’ knowledge catch up to what the viewers already understand.

Kingsley’s latest fit involves his vaulting of all Lucious’ catalog with Empire, including music videos, television, and music. This would decimate the remaining revenue stream the Lyons have held onto in order to make the Showcase run. Becky thankfully tells Lucious and Cookie before the press caught wind of it.

Lucious confronts Kingsley about everything inside the private hospital room where Jeff’s mom is housed. It all comes to the surface and Kingsley and Lucious have words again.

Maya is crashing at the Lyon household after breaking things off with her white boyfriend. She’s allowed to stay as long as she earns her keep and gets a job.

Cookie’s storyline circles around her hiding a condo worth upwards of $3 million from Lucious, as an escape route. It would have been discussed politely had Candace not ambushed Cookie at home, revealing the condo’s worth to Lucious and leaving without a word.

Apparently, if you help your sibling with her mentally ill child, your reward involves another betrayal.

Lucious is furious, he’s screaming and Cookie is trying to defend her actions. The painting is slashed. Of course, it’s a fake, and everything they could mortgage away to pay for expenses, including putting their house up for collateral, has been done.

By the end of the season, the Lyons will be dirt broke or just a broken family once again.

That’s the end of the Season 4 halfway point. Rewatch episodes of Empire on Hulu and the Fox app in the meantime. The next round of episodes is sure to drop sometime around March 2019 (too long a wait I know).