#Empire S3 Ep8: The Unkindest Cut Recap & Review

This episode surely fits the title.  This Lyon clan is the unkindest cut but the loyalty is always on full blast. 

Angelo,  Cookie and Ms.  Dubois appears to be getting along just fine. 

Angelo,  Cookie and Ms.  Dubois appears to be getting along just fine. 

The show opens up with Tiana rehearsing for a HVW fashion event. Cookie was able to book this event with Helene, the couture line CEO. When Cookie arrive to rehearsal, she has Angelo and Diana (Angelo's mother) along beside her. Diana is very impress with the business side of Cookie. Cookie tries to give Diana a heads up about Helene demeanor. The joke was on Cookie. Before she could make introductions, Diana and Helene was already hugging and acknowledging they knew each other. That was a little shocker for Cookie. Diana is impress with the two companies combining, she asked Jamaal to write, sing and perform a song at a fundraising concert event for Angelo's campaign. Now we all know Jamaal hasn't been on a stage all season. Is he really ready? Jamaal accepts the offer but Cookie can't afford any disappointments with Ms. Dubois. She tries to strategize by offering another Empire artist. Jamaal's facial expression showed he was hurt by Cookie pushing him to side; but Cookie knows what is at risk. Jamaal assures Cookie and Ms. Dubois he will be ready. Will Jamaal let his mother down or will he finally get back on the stage?  

Gina Gershon plays Helene the couture line CEO. 

Gina Gershon plays Helene the couture line CEO. 

Andre hasn't been seeing or hearing Rhonda lately but in this episode, Rhonda is back.  We hear her ask Andre has he told Nessa who he really is. Rhonda knows Andre dark side. Will Nessa be able to handle Andre's demons within? Nessa sneaks up on Andre and it startles him. He tells Nessa she can't be sneaking up on him. At that moment Nessa should have start asking questions. We haven't really had scenes showing these two getting to know each other. Sex and business is all we see.  Even at this moment, Andre is talking to Nessa about a plan to step her into the spot light. 

Andre has plans for Nessa.  Is his intentions love or just business? 

Andre has plans for Nessa.  Is his intentions love or just business? 

Andre is such a business that he move in silence and land on his feet.  

Andre is such a business that he move in silence and land on his feet.  

Thirsty can't find no dirt on Tariq. Lucious tells Thirsty everyone has a weakness. Does Tariq has a weakness because so far he hasn't shown any? Hate for Lucious drives Tariq and gives him reason to wake up.  

Helene is working Cookie's last nerve. She wants a black girl but at the same time she doesn't want a hood black girl look. She suggested more so told Cookie, she doesn't want Tiana's hair in that curly look. She wants Tiana's hair straight, not kinky or nappy. Wow, did she just make a racist comment? 

Tiana's hairstyle is an issue for Helene. 

Tiana's hairstyle is an issue for Helene. 

Andre and Neesa arrives at Tiana's rehearsal.  Nessa is so intrigued by the spotlight. She tells Andre she wants this.  The mission to take Tiana down, goes into effect.  Andre next move proved all them Lyon boys has some Lucious within. 

Andre is making moves to be more powerful then his father. 

Andre is making moves to be more powerful then his father. 

Andre and Cookie talk about his absence from Cookie's dinner. Cookie needed Andre to help make a good impression on Ms. Dubois. Sorry Cookie but Nessa has goodies Andre can touch and enjoy. He told his mother he was meeting Nessa's family. Cookie was happy to see Andre moving on after the death of his wife, Rhonda. And like a Lyon, Andre used her empathy as a door opener. Andre gets Cookie to agree to allow Nessa to shadow Tiana. Operation take over has begun. Season 3 has truly shown us; Andre isn't playing games anymore. His talent isn't rapping or singer, his talent is a business. The rest of the Lyon clan better get hip.  

Lucious takes his mother and Anika out to dinner. Mama Leah wants her crust, and she makes a scene about it. Lucious is embarrassed and tries to calm her down. His fatal mistake was grabbing her. Mama Leah screams you are hurting me. And what do you know, Tariq is outside and ready to run it. His partner stops him by reminding him of their surveillance. Tariq feels Mama Leah is in trouble leaving with Luscious.  He feels he has to get her out and away from her own son.  Wow, Tariq,  where is your mother?  

Tiana is now known as a diva. 

Tiana is now known as a diva. 

Tiana is nervous about her performance. Helene has so much pressure on her. Her skin color, her hair and her outfit is all a major factor in her performance. Tiana hates the dress Helene wants her to wear. Porsha tells her they will work it out as Tiana is taking the dress off. Nessa has started shadowing Tiana. Was it an accident or done on purpose? Nessa place Tiana's dress over top of something and the dress ends up in flames. Due to Helene mistreatment of her, Tiana goes off on Nessa. Tiana expresses her true feelings about Helene and the fact Helene will think she burned the dress on purpose. This entire rant was being recorded. Busted Tiana!!!

Nessa apologize but was she really sorry for ruining Tiana's dress. 

Nessa apologize but was she really sorry for ruining Tiana's dress. 

By any means necessary Tariq will attempt to take Lucious down. 

By any means necessary Tariq will attempt to take Lucious down. 

Mama Leah has a doctor appointment. At this point, Tariq is becoming a stalker.  He shows up at her doctor's appointment. He tells Mama Leah he wants to help her and get her away from Lucious. Mama Leah complains about Lucious and Anika having sex all the time.  We know she is lying,  since when Anika and Lucious were having sex.  However,  Tariq used that as a bargaining request. Help him, and he will get her away from Anika.  That's music to Mama Leah ears because she can not stand Anika. 

Jamaal is trying to get his life back.  He has this performance coming up.  Will it make or break him?  Phillip has been trying to get Jamaal to face his PTSD. Phillip tries virtual reality therapy. Jamaal is hooked up to an EKG machine and wearing visual goggles. Does this machine really exist?  I want to know. Lol!!!  

It is do or die for Jamaal. 

It is do or die for Jamaal. 

Jamaal is seeing a crowded audience and playing the piano. The images become too much but he keeps at it. You see an image of someone resembling Freda. Jamaal is handling the images good until he hears Lucious voice. His vitals starts getting higher. Phillip is monitoring the machine as Jamaal and Lucious talks. Jamaal has no choice but to get on the stage. If he doesn't succeed, Lucious will drop him from Empire. Now would that be so bad? 

Once Lucious leaves, Phillip tells Jamaal Lucious is the cause of his PTSD. That makes alot of since to me. He took a bullet to save his father's life. A father who is cold, heartless, vindictive and lack the ability to love his family in a better way. In order to get back on the stage, Jamaal has to work through his daddy issues. I guess men do have daddy issues too. 

Lucious reminds Jamaal this is his third strike if he doesn't get on the stage. 

Lucious reminds Jamaal this is his third strike if he doesn't get on the stage. 

Tiana's rant about Helene goes viral. Thanks to that video,  Helene decides not to work with Tiana or any other Empire artist.  Andre tells Cookie he will talk to Helene.  You can't knock Andre 's hustle.  He is becoming his own force and stamping his territory. He is one clever dude. 

Helene brushes her daughter's hair. 

Helene brushes her daughter's hair. 

Andre visit Helene. She refuses to work with Nessa. Her first mistake was refusing. Her second mistake was allowing Andre to see her weakness. Before Andre leaves, he makes it known to Helene why she likes her daughter's hair. Andre hits Helene where it hurts. Her daughter wakes up with all her hair cut off. Andre is a bad man. I am loving this side of Andre. Sorry but not sorry!!! Lmao!!!

Helene walks into her screaming daughter's room.  Her hair has been cut off. 

Helene walks into her screaming daughter's room.  Her hair has been cut off. 

Andre and Hakeem hasn't been seeing eye to eye. 

Andre and Hakeem hasn't been seeing eye to eye. 

Andre is busted!!!!!! Hakeem figures out that Andre was behind Tiana's sabotage. Hakeem and Andre share a little scuffle but Hakeem ain't ready for Andre's wrath.  Once again,  another side of Andre comes out as he tells Hakeem he will take Tiana too.  Andre is truly blossoming this season. I don't think we saw this coming. 

Will Andre and Hakeem work through their differences? 

Will Andre and Hakeem work through their differences? 

Mama Leah has another doctor's appointment.  She ditches her bodyguards and spend a day with Tariq in the park.  As she lick on her ice cream cone, Tariq ask questions about his father. I found it funny how Mama Leah insulted his mother and he said nothing.  He didn't defend her or apologize for his mother fooling around with his father.  He was only focused on getting to know his father. 

Mama Leah isn't seeming so crazy sitting there with Tariq eating ice cream. 

Mama Leah isn't seeming so crazy sitting there with Tariq eating ice cream. 

Helene shows up and decides she wants to use Nessa for the fashion show performance. Cookie is surprise that Helene even mentioned Nessa. She is more surprise that Helene doesn't want to change anything about Nessa's look. Cookie knows there is more to the story but she say no more. 

CHECK OUT NESSA'S PERFORMANCE OF BLACK GIRLS MAGIC!! 

Nessa gets the spotlight she wanted. 

Nessa gets the spotlight she wanted. 

Tiana is watching Nessa's performance with Hakeem.  She is feeling salty and feeling played.  Hakeem promises to get Nessa and Andre back. Funny how Hakeem sees Nessa as a bobble head now.  Isn't that why he mad at Andre, he took his girl?  Lol!!! I guess he going backwards. Could Tiana and Hakeem be getting back together? Very cute seeing Hakeem playing in Tiana's hair. 

Helene stand in fear and Andre stand in achievement. 

Helene stand in fear and Andre stand in achievement. 

As we get down to the last few moments of The Unkindest Cut, this episode gets more interesting. Diana goes to congratulate Helene on her successful event and teaming up with Empire. After her experience  and standing in the balcony watching Nessa's performance with Andre, Helene is a little shaken up.  She tells Diana that the music and lyrics just isn't music and lyric.  She called Empire and the Lyons gangsters and warn her to get Angelo away from them.  Cookie might be losing her man after this. 

Helene warns her friend about Empire. 

Helene warns her friend about Empire. 

ookie gives Neesa her props on a good performance. She tells Andre he was wrong for what he did to Tiana. For the first time,  I think Cookie see something different in Andre.  Cookie tells Andre he has changed. I don't think Cookie will be able to handle this change.  Andre has nothing to lose at this point. 

Cookie notices Andre is becoming a changed man. 

Cookie notices Andre is becoming a changed man. 

Lucious arrives home to find Anika half naked and breaking his expensive vases.  Anika wants the A&R position with Shine. Lucious doesn't want any thing else broken.  He agrees to give Anika anything she wants.  As the fire burns inside them both,  they give in and starts foreplay.  Lucious is so turned on by Anika's freakiness, he wants to take her on the table. Too bad that is interrupted by Mama Leah entering the room. 

Anika and Lucious loved each other once.  Are those feelings returning? 

Anika and Lucious loved each other once.  Are those feelings returning? 

Mama and son team up to get information on Tariq. 

Mama and son team up to get information on Tariq. 

Even though Lucious rather be having sex with Anika, he meets his mother in the study. What a plot twist?  Mama Leah and Lucious was setting Tariq up. The dinner,  the doctor's appointment and the park was all part of the plan. Mama Leah found out why Tariq hates her son.  Lucious has memories of their father and Tariq doesn't.  Fatima is also Tariq's mother name.  How will Lucious use that information? Mama ain't so crazy after all. I loved seeing this touching moment with Lucious and his mother.  For one brief moment,  you see a tender side of their bond. 

A Lyons family gathering never ends without more secrets being revealed. 

A Lyons family gathering never ends without more secrets being revealed. 

What is Empire without an Omg moment.  For me,  the Omg moment came with Jamaal singing Cold, Cold Man in front of Cookie,  Andre, Hakeem and Lucious. This scene was so powerful and impactful. Jamaal is trying to heal the family but I think the dysfunction has become more deep. Andre learns what happened to his grandfather. Cookie tries to own her part in her father's death. Lucious reveals his loyalty to his family. He reveals how he helped Cookie with a hit gone wrong involving Frank Gathers. Lucious ends this family gathering by letting them all know he will never apologize for loving Cookie. 

CHECK OUT JAMAAL'S COLD, COLD MAN SONG!! 

The more seasons we get, the more hook we become. The more we want more and learn more. Season 3 has topped season 1 and 2 in my eyes. This season has been fire. The finale is next week, omggg. I am not ready for Empire to be off my TV screen. Stay tune folks the finale will be mind blowing. 

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Editor: Poetic Soultress