As usual, I've been waiting for a new Empire since the last one ended. So let's get to it, yeah?
Cookie is lying in bed "the morning after" (HA!!!), remembering when she had to say goodbye to her children before she was arrested.
She tells Lucious that he's still the only one she's ever slept with. He can't say the same, but he admits he was always looking for her in those other women.
She insists that he get rid of Annika, or else she won't sleep with him again. She also suggests that Lucious release an album of his greatest hits, called The Lucious Legacy (produced by Cookie), with a concert and documentary afterwards.
To top it all off, he should do a song with Jamal and Hakeem. He loves the idea and promises to get rid of Annika for good.
I nearly swooned and then stopped myself when I remembered that I don't trust him.
Hakeem and Jamal meet at a Catholic church. Before Hakeem arrives, he prays for his father's life. They vow to do whatever it takes to make Lucious happy.
The brothers are back!!! But is Hakeem actually reforming?!
Jamal, Hakeem, Lucious start re-recording a new version of "You're So Beautiful," which Lucious wrote years ago for Cookie. Andre is standing by unseen, clearly jealous because he didn't inherit the music gene.
Lucious hires a videographer for the documentary, Ryan. He is gorgeous and has the most seductive accent--but I digress.
Annika confronts Lucious about making her father commit fraud. He apologizes; she threatens to take him down if her father gets caught.
Then she asks about him having sex with Cookie. He apologies again, and she demands that he marry her the next day to prove his loyalty. He convinces her to compromise and get married after their White Party; they'll announce the wedding there with Cookie watching.
This blazing hot mess. Oy.
Vernon tells Andre that every publicly traded company needs am interim CEO in case the CEO is temporarily incapacitated. The board needs to vote on it.
Andre and Rhonda make a twisted plan where she'll seduce a female model to help get her husband's vote from the board. However, Andre finds out that the husband is attracted to Rhonda.
When they arrive for dinner, the husband is in am older man in a wheelchair; it repulses Rhonda. She throws up at the table and, on the way home, she tells Andre that she's sick of being a whore for him. He needs to "man up" and get things done himself.
Shocker--Hakeem and Cookie clash in the studio. Lucious forces them to talk about it. Turns out Hakeem is jealous of how much Cookie pays attention to Jamal. Cookie admits that she just knows Jamal better than she does Hakeem. They actually have a tender moment. AWWW!
Cookie and Lucious hook up again in the studio...hmm, way to stick to your decisions, Cookie.
Jamal and Ryan have a moment; they play for the same team and Ryan is clearly feelin' Jamal. Well, well.
Hakeem and Camilla are hanging out. He tells her to stop their nauseating little "Mommy" habit. Good sign...now, if only he would just dump her.
Unfortunately, he invites her to the White Party instead.
Hakeem convinces Cookie to let him do his verse last on the song instead of Jamal. Camilla put it in his head that it would mean he'd come out on top. Cookie says she'll talk to everyone about it. For the first time, he says, "Thanks, Mom."
Conniving little brat.
Jamal and Ryan connect; their fathers have the same attitude about their sexuality. Ryan encourages him to come out.
Jamal tries to bond with little Lola. She misses her mother. He promises to protect her. He teaches her to sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from the Lion King because "Lyons sing." Cuteness overload, honestly. I died a little.
Lucious votes no to Andre being interim CEO during the board meeting.
Jamal doesn't want Hakeem's verse to go last when she asks at the White Party. As usual, Cookie has a genius idea: Lucious should go last.
Jamal warns Cookie that Lucious is "incapable of loving anyone but himself," and he no longer wants to be on the song.
Lucious tells Cookie he isn't calling the wedding off.
Cookie lets Annika know that she and Lucious hooked up again. Uh oh.
Rhonda warns Andre that if he drins at the party, his meds won't work. But he ignores her.
Hakeem introduces Camilla to Cookie, who blatantly informs them that she sees the mommy issues going on here. Camilla tries to intimidate her (stupidly), but Cookie isn't having it.
Vernon assures Andre he'll "take care of" the CEO situation.
Lucious encourages Jamal to do the song for the sake of the music. He even convinces Jamal to perform "You're So Beautiful" right then and there.
Jamal, in a brilliant move, changes the lyrics from "woman love a man" to "man love a man." Ryan catches it all on film.
Cookie is proud (so am I!!!). Lucious looks...livid.
The next day, the media worldwide is like a rabid pitbull with a bone and it's clearly killing Lucious.
Lucious meets with Andre and Vernon, making it clear that he knows they were plotting against him. Vernon denies it, and Lucious dismisses him.
Lucious tells Andre that he stopped trusting him as soon as he got with Rhonda, because marrying a white woman will never make them accept him.
What is going on?!
Get ready to cry, y'all. Hakeem goes to visit Jamal, telling him that his coming out is the bravest thing he's ever seen.
Andre sits in an empty studio, a gun to his head. But when he pulls the trigger, it's empty.
Annika goes to see Billy Berretti AND takes her engagement ring off before she approaches his receptionist-- she's about to do something shaaaaady.
Lucious decides to scrap the Legacy album. Cookie fights him on it, but Lucious is pissed off because of Andre's betrayal and Jamal coming out.
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