Empire Recap: Empires, Dynasties and Other Synonyms For Power

By Betch Waldorf

We return to Empire to find that Jamal still is attempting to act tough and has officially kicked Cookie, Andre and Hakeem out of the Empire. The three of them cannot believe that they gotten the boot from a gay John Legend wannabe, but alas, it’s totally happening.

Cookie, who dresses in a semi normal outfit for this portion of show, gets on the phone with Andre and Hakeem and they decide to start their own record label. Because if you build it, intermediate rappers with anger issues will come.

Cookie does not want Boo-Boo Kitty to be a part of it, which makes sense because she fucking sucks. Hakeem however tries to “Parent Trap” this whole thing, and sets it up where Boo-Boo Kitty is on the label without Cookie’s notice. Hakeem, when do your plans ever fucking work? Sing your damn songs and leave the real work to the grown ups.

Lucious is still in jail doin’ his thang when he discovers that his meds have been withheld. He doesn’t know who took his meds, but shit just got way real for poor old Terrance Howard. The doctor is like “welp, looks like you’re going to die. Bye!” American prison systems. Gotta love ‘em.

Jamal is performing some song for his boyfriend, less hot Ricky Martin, who’s basically shitting rainbows while listening. All of Jamal’s songs sound the same, combining soft piano with daddy issues. Jamal goes on to do an interview with some British lady and acts fake AF the whole time.

Interviewer: So how’s your family?
Jamal: My family, oh man I love them so much. I just, ugh. *starts crying* FAMILY IS EVERYTHING. BLOOD OVER EVERYTHING.

Cookie storms in, interrupting the interview because she’s Cookie Lyons you ignorant sluts, bow to her. She pulls Jamal outside and asks him to give Hakeem his album back because he’s currently withholding it. They act like this is the unreleased final Tupac album. I’ve wiped my ass and produced better things than Hakeem’s album.

Cookie also takes this moment to tell Jamal that they are starting their own record label. Yeah, suck on that gayboy.

Lucious is rapping in the prison yard and can’t breathe halfway through because of his lack of meds. Everyone at home is like OH THANK GOD. Those withheld meds have done us all a huge favor by ending that shitty rap. If there are two things Terrance Howard can’t do, it’s win an Oscar and rap.

A guard interrupts them and is like “this is my shit!” and then you realize- holy shit is that guard played by Ludacris? It is! Luda makes an appearance in this episode as the prison guard detaining shitty rappers. What a role reversal for Luda- you know, not being the shitty rapper in this situation.

Hakeem is hell bent on starting an all girl group and he’s holding auditions when Becky G walks in. She performs and Hakeem is like, okay that was hot and we’ll call you later. Becky starts talking to him in Spanish about how she is going to be a star and what not. “Going to be a star” is a really funny way of saying “I’m going to end up being a hooker if you don’t sign me on your album.”

Lucious finds out that Luda is withholding his meds. Withholding Lucious’ meds and preventing Terrence Howard from rapping is the best thing Luda has ever done for the hip-hop community.

Boo-Boo Kitty is still trying to be a part of the record label and Cookie is still not about it. She calls Boo-Boo Kitty a whore for the zillionth time and it never gets old. Boo-Boo Kitty walks off looking like a lesbian banana in her yellow pant suit.

Jamal is visiting Lucious who is basically dying from his lack of meds. Lucious is like, whatever it’s chill, just give me some recording stuff for my new album and I’ll survive. The healing power of shitty music.

Anyway, some dude dressed like a Cuban Willy Wonka is sitting in the table next to him and offers his “legal services.” He scoots over to Lucious’ table, which is like, not allowed at all in a federal prison. Seriously? I’ve seen more rules on an elementary school playground than in this prison. He talks to Lucious for about five minutes, until the guards finally do their job and kick the guy out.

We come back to Tiana who is recording another banger that I immediately added to my Spotify playlist. She is dressed in a jumpsuit made out of your grandma’s dark tan nylons- a style brought to you by Kanye West’s clothing line.

Hakeem is like “yo, Tiana you’re hella famous, wanna quit all that and join my shitty all girl group?” To which Tiana is like…. You’re fucking kidding right? Let’s just all agree that the world is a better place when Hakeem shuts the fuck up.

Jamal shows up to the new record label, which is being run out of a graffiti covered shack in the ghetto, and is like “Hakeem, come back to Empire.” Hakeem thinks about it for a second and Cookie walks out, watching her douchey gay son and her special needs rapper son team up against her.

Fast forward to Hakeem hooking up with Becky G in a hot tub. Why is he always hooking up with people in a hot tub? Does he have a bed? Or like, any other lounging areas in his home? Becky G is trying to convince Hakeem to go back to Empire, but all I can focus on is the giant gap in her teeth. Becky G for sure has the London look. You could drive a car through that gap and then park that fucker on Hakeem’s hideous flat-top.

Rhonda, the scheming white lady of the show, meets up with Jamal and is trying to get Andre’s job back. There is a very weird sexual tension going on rn and idk how to feel about it. I keep drinking to numb the pain of this scene.

Speaking of drinking, Jamal admits that he is starting to drink a lot now. I give it about 5 episodes before he becomes an alcoholic. He hears Rhonda out and she admits that she’s pregnant, making Jamal super excited. Exactly how drunk do you have to be to believe Rhonda isn’t up to something?

Jamal: Once Lucious hears you are pregnant, he’ll for sure give Andre back his job!
Rhonda: Are you sure? Because I know he didn’t talk to you for like 15 years because you are gay and he’s murdered half his friends and fucked over his wife…
Jamal: Oh no, Lucious is like, so chill now.

We go back to Lucious in jail who is finally given his meds thanks to his “lawyer.” A guard leads Lucious to a room where 5 convicts are waiting for him so they can commence in a musical orgy, where the only thing they drop in the shower is beats.

Some random British guy in pin knows how to use all this fancy recording equipment and they all can sing really well. I’m assuming they are either all members of the Death Row Acapella group, or maybe part of their previous gang initiations was to learn an instrument.

Anyway, they record the very originally titled song “Snitch Bitch” in one take, in a fucking equipment closet in a jail...because being realistic is the whole goal of this show.

Luda shows up and is like “how lucky am I! I showed up 45 minutes early to my shift and came to this random equipment closet to find you all!” Okay, that’s not how shifts work. Like you don’t just clock in whenever the fuck you feel like it. And how did he know to go to this exact equipment closet? I have so many questions.

Luda arrests them because at least if they are further locked up they won’t be able to make anymore songs that are better than “MoneyMaker.” He puts Lucious in solitary and is like “I could kill you right now, and there would be no consequences.” Every non-corrupt law enforcement officer in the world is just like, “well fuck me, right?” With all the heat going on with cops/guards, this is the shit Fox gives us? Seriously? If you’re going to make the cops look this bad AT LEAST have the decency to cast an adequate rapper for the role. Have some decency, at least cast Snoop Dogg.

Lucious makes some empty threats and then suddenly Luda is getting jumped in the parking lot by a bunch of white dudes. Does this parking lot not have cameras? Does this whole prison not have cameras? Why does Luda look like he’s leaving his job, WHICH IS AT A JAIL, dressed like he’s going to the club? The white guys eventually beat Luda up and deliver the laptop with Lucious’ music on it to the attorney, who looks like the voodoo master bad-guy from “The Princess and the Frog.”

Hakeem’s dumbass leaks his whole album online, which is illegal because it’s still owned by Empire. The album will undoubtedly be a huge hit in the deaf community. Andre is like fuck this shit, I’m out and Cookie chases after him. She begs him not to leave and he’s like “Let me go! Let me go mom! Let it go, Let it go! Can’t hold it back anymoreeee!”

He visits Lucious and begs him to let him back at Empire. Lucious is like, wow thanks so much for this but go fuck yourself. Andre is then like WTF WHY DO YOU HATE ME? Lucious is like “I don’t hate you son”, while rolling his eyes.

Andre: You have a dickface of an openly gay son, and a son who literally fucked your fiancé in your own goddamn house. Like, am I really that bad?
Lucious: yup.

Andre and Lucious both have a flashback to Kelly Rowland singing a young Andre lullaby, which is basically the most singing Kelly Rowland has ever done solo. Halfway through the lullaby, Kelly looks like she is about to lose her fucking mind. What is happening rn? Why is Andre always having fucking flashbacks? Quit living in the past Andre!

Lucious: I love all my children equally.
Lucious, earlier that day: I don’t really care for Gob.

Hakeem tells Jamal that he’s not joining Empire again, and that their name for the new record is Lyon Dynasty. Dynasty would have been cooler if you ask me, but whatever. Hakeem has this dumbest, most pointless scenes in this show. Who is Hakeem fucking with in the production department in order to get this much airtime?

Hakeem goes back to help Cookie clean up the space for their new record label. Idk why they couldn’t have the record label be in Hakeem’s house, it’s plenty big enough. I’m sure they could have even done it in his bathtub.

They are cleaning and the new Lucious Lyon song “Snitch Bitch” comes on. Cookie pulls the old fashioned “that’s your daddy right there.” We fucking know Cookie, it’s mentioned like 40 times an episode. Lucious could take a shit and Cookie would be like “well, that’s your daddy. He does what he wants.”

They both acknowledge that the moment Lucious gets out of jail, he’s going to try and destroy “Lyon Dynasty,” but it’s okay for now, because he’s still in jail, right?

The episode ends with Lucious going to trial, trying to be released on bail. His lawyer is late, which pisses of the prosecutor (who I still think is a part time escort). Seriously, the prosecutor looks like a dominatrix.

Lucious’ lawyer shows up, hands the judge “new evidence,” which is actually just pictures of the judge partaking in BDSM gay sex. The judge is like “well, okay this is sufficient evidence” and tells Lucious that he’s not a flight risk and can be released. Aka, effectively shooting Lyon Dynasty into the dust.

Who do I think will run the Empire?

I would say Rhonda is a good contender. She’s shady AF and us white, blonde girls have a tendency to get what we want. I wouldn’t underestimate her.




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