(Missed last week's episode? Check out the recap here.)
“True Love Never”
Cookie and Laz are hot and heavy, but when he leaves his apartment claiming that he's going to get a newspaper, he meets up with one of his thugs. This is one of the guys who took Hakeem; Laz tells him to fall back because he's handling Cookie and he is gonna make sure his friends all get paid. Ugh, it's always the pretty ones!
Jamal isn't sure where to go with a new song, so he texts Cookie for help. Both of them know that if Lucious and Hakeem find out, there are going to be problems.
Cookie suggests moving Carmen to lead singer of Mirage A Trois, after she notices that Carmen has more personality during a performance than Laura does. Hakeem wants Laura to stay lead, so he recruits Tiana to teach Laura a little bit about attitude.
Mimi wants Empire to consider a merger, which Andre thinks is a bad idea. Lucious doesn't express an opinion on that, but he does ask Andre to visit the deputy mayor and, you know, “convince” her to give Frida a break with her gang-related criminal tendencies. Ugh. Andre feels conflicted about this and goes to the Reverend for advice. He tells Andre that he shouldn't cheat on his wife, but he can find another way to advance his goal. Um, what kind of "man of God" is he exactly?
Andre sure does find another way; he threatens to blackmail her with a video of them together. Mess.
Cookie meets Jamal for dinner, and she convinces him to go to Lyon Dynasty and record.
Cookie is planning a huge summer concert, “Cookie’s Cookout.” Laz, that snake, is using his angle as a promoter to give her “advice” and make sure she ends up having to deal with his friends. His plan works. Hakeem walks in and joins in on the negotiations, later warning Cookie to be careful because he doesn't trust Laz. Tell her, ‘keem!!
Hakeem takes Laura out to perform on the street for strangers, probably to increase her confidence some more. It seems to work; she draws a small crowd and nails it, then tops it all off by planting a kiss on Hakeem. Oooh...bad idea; he may be sprung right now, but I guarantee she's going to get her heart broken. She does nail their next rehearsal, though, even getting Cookie's approval.
Jamal performs for Huey Jarvis, which is a huge deal for his career. However, the song he sings is the one that Cookie helped him perfect, and judging from Lucious’ face, he can tell.