Episode #7 of Fox’s weekly musical drama Empire blew in a whirlwind of scenes. In this episode there was a party amidst drama at Empire’s investor’s gala at Club Leviticus. Lucious’ ALS gets worse and lands him at the hospital. Jamal’s alleged daughter gets abandoned. Passion comes to fruition for Lucious and Cookie. That’s just a few of this episode’s twists and turns. Let’s get to it.
A flurry of activity is underway at Empire and Club Leviticus for a big investor event. During the preparations, Lucious falls ill and passes out. He has to decide if Anika or Cookie is going to ride with him in the ambulance. After a few seconds of looking from one to the other, Anika the future wife got the nod. I don’t know about anyone else, but I could feel the pain of rejection Cookie showed in her face.
At the hospital, a doctor tells Lucious his “miracle doctor” is a fraud. The doctor tries to convince Lucious the miracle drug is the reason he is the hospital. Lucious doesn’t want to believe it.
Cookie went to the hospital behind the ambulance anyway. Security refused to let her see Lucious because she wasn’t immediate family. That one hurt Cookie. The pain was evident in her face as she watched Lucious through a window.
Jamal and Lucious have a father-son moment of sorts. Lucious expresses sorrow for Jamal being sad about Michael leaving. Lucious pledges see that Jamal’s alleged daughter looked after. It is the first intimate Father and Son moment these two have shared.
The feuding Jamal and Hakeem are performing together at the big gala. They first have to get through a rehearsal without bumping, shoving and beefing. It takes Cookie to come between the two and settle things down. Hakeem has shown morbid disrespect to Cookie (his mom) in the past. The broom beating Cookie gave him in a past episode got his attention. She got in his face on this episode and he popped his ass in line and got shit done
In this episode, divorced and separated parents get a lesson. It’s a lesson beneficial to co-parenting. That message is, we may be apart but we are still YOUR parents and you will respect that.
Fresh out of the hospital Lucious walks in on Hakeem and Jamal in the midst of one of their spats. Cookie is trying to talk them down. Lucious tells them they will respect their Mother. Enough said – they shut up.
Hakeem continues to play with Camille and that’s dangerous. Camille wants their relationship out in the open while Hakeem wants it on the DL. Camille presses the issue. Hakeem tells her he’ll put on the VIP list for the investor gala. She will be identified as a foreign investor.
Okay there is few a real life takeaways here.
Number 1. Older women that find themselves situations where their younger lover wants to keep them on the DL-something is up. They’re a booty call he’s ashamed to be seen with or he has another younger “public” model. He’s is infatuated with laying the pipe to an older woman just as she is probably smitten by attracting a younger man.
Number 2. Younger men playing these type games with older established woman are playing with fire. She does not have the time or patience to be a DL side chick – nor should she be. Once she is on to your shenanigans – the booty and mommy calls will dry up – full stop. She might also go a little crazy on you if she’s a few fries short of a happy meal.
Michael makes a short appearance in this episode. He confronts Jamal about the status of their relationship. Jamal admits he slept with Olivia, (Raven Simone). Michael presses Jamal about denying he is in a relationship in a recent radio interview. Michael exits this episode leaving us wondering what he is going to do. The takeaway – Jamal is trying to sell records to women. Some of these women may not open their purses to a gay male performer. As Nino Brown, the drug lord in New Jack City said – “It’s Business – Never Personal”.
Olivia abandons the child she says is Jamal’s at Empire. Just up and left the kid. Vernon is going to use his contacts in an attempt to get to the bottom of the baby mama drama.
Then there is the big investor gala. An (Empire) star-studded night. Cookie has recently signed recovering addict Elle Dallas featured as a headline performer. Why? Look at the face and age of the investors. Dallas is old school, white and not a rapper. She is somebody that baby-boomer with cash can relate to. It’s like feeding a baby veggies – dip em in something they like then feed them what’s left.
Anika had other plans for the show that were nefarious in nature. She drops a mickey in a cup tea Dallas is drinking and Dallas becomes way out of sorts. She can’t perform, Cookie is pissed because she thinks she’s high. Hakeem and Jamal are going to have to bail Cookie out of this jam.
Lucious calls on the squabbling Hakeem and Jamal to open the show. They go on stage and rock it right.
Jussie Smollett and Yazz performing “Money for Nothing.
Meanwhile, backstage Lucious ALS kicks in and he loses his voice. This renders him unable to give the speech following the performance. A tee-e-tete between Andrea and Lucious takes place around who should give the speech.
Lucious gives Cookie the nod to do it.
The unpredictable, brash, yet intelligent and loyal Cookie. She goes out to address a group of men and women that could determine the future of Empire. Not the refined Anika with the perfect hair, hundred dollar dresses, and pristine reputation.
Lesson. When you’re up against the wall and all the chips are on the line you go with the girl that’s family. You go with the girl that you have bonding history with. You go with the girl that has a vested interest in you and your family. You do as Lucious did. You go with the girl that has a history of getting your back – not the girl that’s promising to do so.
What does Cookie do?
She goes out on stage and makes every man watching the show wish he had a wife or an ex-wife just like her. And Cookie did it without a teleprompter or notes.
She didn’t downplay her or Luscious’ past. She spun the past to appeal to the audience. She stepped outside of the pains and frustrations of the past. She spoke to the joys and positives. The speech itself is a lesson to exs and those in relationships. That lesson is never publicly tear each other down. When speaking on each other speak nicely. If you have to speak of the bad – do it without conviction.
Cookie Lyons is the Ex-wife every man should have. You don’t get behind a man the way she does unless you care deeply about him.
That lady knows something about that man no one else knows. The speech was so moving Lucious could not help blurting out “I love You Cookie”. Yes, he did with his fiancée sitting right next to him. Yes, Anika heard it and offered no response. Hell I blurted out I love you Cookie.
After the big event, Luscious calls a family meeting to announce to he has ALS.
Anika didn’t attend because she was on her way to jet setting to Chicago on business. Hakeem, Andrea, and Jamal were visibly shocked and shaken at the news their father was ill. Another one of those rare bonding moments happen.
Rhonda, Andre’s wife feigned concern. Andrea goes Bi-polar. The last time he was seen in this episode he was in a bathtub having some sort of breakdown.
Lucious tells everyone he needs a moment with Cookie.
Alone, Lucious and Cookie reminisce amidst the vulnerabilities his news has cast on them. The sexual tension that has cloaked them since Cookie got out of jail came front and center.
A dance leads to a kiss. It always does in x-land. The kiss leads to both succumbing to unbridled passion. That passion lands them in bed together. What would sexual tension be without drama?
Drama gets back early from the business trip to Chi-town. Anika aka “drama” walks in her home and sees two wine glasses sitting on a table. She knows something is up.
Anika heard the squeak squeak sound.
When she went upstairs, she finds Cookie and Lucious in bed together.
The episode ends with her watching them through the cracked bedroom door.
So now that Lucious and Cookie have finally hooked up what’s next?
Do not expect Cookie to settle into any side-chick role. She was once the main chick and won’t play second fiddle. Anika is not going to like what she walked in on. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again. Anika is pretty, bougie, but she’s a long way from being dumb.
She has higher aspirations that expand beyond being the wife of a music mogul – she wants to be the mogul. I’m betting it’ll take more than a booty call with the ex to run her conniving ass off.
Yes, there is a lesson here too. Folks if you’re about to come into a fortune, don’t throw it away behind a piece of ass. Especially a piece of ass that you didn’t even have to give up. Get something for your pain and suffering. What Anika can’t afford to have happen is Lucious has a change of heart about marrying her. If he does I wouldn’t be surprised if Anika started shooting people.
That was one hell of a way to end this supercharged episode of Empire.
Takeaways – Notes – Nuggets
Andrea doesn’t give a shit about anything but taking over the company.
Anika is in this for the money. She’s that uppity honey that wouldn’t have given Lucious the time of day in his doo rag days. Fellows don’t roll with the one that gets on board after you make it. Roll with the one that was there while you were making it. You deserve the commitment and she’s earned the fruits of loyalty.
Hakeem and Jamal work great together. If they learn to play great together, they could be a musical force to reckon with.
Am I the only one that noticed Raven Simone has played Olivia before? She was Olivia on the Cosby Show. Now she’s Olivia the baby’s mama.
Anika sabotaging her own event by spiking Elle’s tea tells us who she is. A she-devil that will go to any extreme to beat Cookie.
What about that gangster Cookie put the hit out on in Philadelphia? That’s going to come back around. Cookie won’t be going to jail. The writers have to give her an out. Remember, we saw gunfire in that episode where the hit went down. We never saw a body.
Jamal, Hakeem, and Cookie got the investors attention. I, like you am waiting to see how wide they open their wallets.
Cookie and Lucious finally knocking the boots shouldn’t have surprised anyone. History, an ironclad bond, family, and love made that inevitable. At every turn, Cookie has been there for Lucious. Few men are going to turn their backs on the mother of their children who did 14 years in lockup for him. I wouldn’t.
Where will Cookie and Lucious’ close encounter lead? I’ll tell you Anika is on shaky ground. Cookie played her hole card and it may be the card that takes home the pot. Cookie’s intentions are straightforward. She wants her company and her family to be the best. Anika wants to get paid.
Can the wardrobe people over at Empire get Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe some clothes that are looser fitting? She looks like she can hardly move in some of the outfits she’s cast in. She’s awesome playing the part of Becky Williams, Lucious trusted assistant
I have a nickname for Vernon. The fix it man. He takes care of the things that get people’s hands and reputations dirty. It’s good to that character is continuing to grow .
That’s my recap, personal lessons, and observations from Empire episode #7.Good episode – I give it 4 stars.
Please feel free to share your thoughts.