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#Empire S3 Ep14: Love Is A Smoke Recap & Review

After a week of no Empire, we had our Wednesday night drama back. I must give this episode a (10) rating. Taye Diggs elevated his character. Phylicia Rashad was a bad ass. Taraji P. Henson brings it. Serahyah aka Tiana gives a seductive dance. Terrence Howard portrays Lucious as a real top dog. Lucious wins again. This episode had my full attention. Let's recap.

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We get to see Giuliana and Lucious history. We see a flashback of a moment he shared with Giuliana. Lucious was playing the piano and Giuliana was watching. Lucious flashback was interrupted by Cookie. Lucious was listening to a song he wrote for Giuliana. Cookie thought the song was beautiful. Cookie told Lucious that Angelo is preparing to propose to her. Lucious knows Cookie is fooling herself. He gave Cookie his blessing and agreed to fall back from her.  Lucious tells Cookie he needs her help talking to Andre about the Vegas deal. The deal has already been put into motions, but Lucious says Cookie; that Giuliana is a very dangerous woman. Giuliana has a mission of her own whatever it is; I see nothing but more trouble for the Lyons clan. 

Andre, Shine, and Giuliana are having a meeting. Tori suppose to be in this session, but she is not there. Shine doesn't understand why the need Tori's help. However,  Giuliana reminds him that the meeting she has with the head of the Vegas commission is coming. If this deal doesn't prove valuable, Empire gets no gaming license. Tori finally arrives (2) hours late and with attitude. Giuliana introduces herself to Tori. Andre asked Tori to write a song for Nessa. Tori tells them (Andre, Shine, and Giuliana) that Lucious has her busy Inferno.  Giuliana suggests Lucious and Tori do a song together. Andre quickly says hell no. Giuliana tells Andre don't interrupt her while she is speaking. She knows what she is doing. It sounds more like Giuliana has a hidden agenda. It looks like Shine knows it too. Tori agrees to write the song for Nessa. Andre asked Giuliana what the deal with her and his father is. She claimed her and Lucious met before, but it's clear he doesn't remember her. Shine reminds Giuliana that Lucious has nothing to do with this Vegas deal. The deal is with him and Andre. Funny, Giuliana called him Shiney. Lmao. Nia Long is indeed playing this role so well.

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Jamaal is in the studio. Angelo visit him about proposing to Cookie. Jamaal gives his blessings and assures Angelo there is no more Lucious and Cookie.  

Andre introduce Giuliana to Cookie. Cookie feels she met Giuliana before but Giuliana says no. Her attention quickly goes to Lucious. However, Cookie has met her before at the hair salon. It wasn't a proper introduction but their path had crossed. Giuliana mentioned Lucious looking good like the first time they met. We get a flashback of Giuliana and Lucious meeting at a casino. They both shared some flirting. Cookie asked did they know each other. Lucious admits they meet along time again. He tells Giuliana he is surprised Raphael let you loose because he normally keeps a tight leash on you. Shocking to Shine, he asked Giuliana about Lucious knowing Raphael. Cookie then asked, "Who is Raphael?" Lucious notice Shine is referring to Raphael in past tense. He answered Cookie's question. He explained Raphael Green was a big corrupt player in Vegas. He explains Giuliana was his wife and his family will not conduct any business with her. Cookie looks at Giuliana saying, "I know we met. She tells Andre they will talk and walks off." Will this Vegas deal happen or not?

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Cookie has a dinner with Hakeem, Andre and Jamaal. Hakeem is in his feelings about Cookie marrying Angelo. Jamaal tells Hakeem it isn't about him. He said their mother is happy and over Lucious, that's what matter most. He decided to make the last track of his album about Cookie being happy and having the life her father wanted for her. Cookie asked Andre does she has his blessings. Andre said, "Yes." Andre wants something from his mother and brothers as well. He asked all of them to back his Vegas deal. Andre tries to sale them all by offering a visual album party on Extreme for the gaming commissioner. He said if all goes well, they would have broken in a town that Lucious been afraid to crack. Hakeem, Cookie and Jamaal faces didn't appear too happy about Andre's plan. 

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Lucious and Thirsty questioned Shine about Giuliana and Raphael. Shine gets upset with Thirsty. He tells him the only reason he isn't snacking him is out of respect for Lucious. Lucious makes it clear to Shine,  any questions Thirsty asked is because he is asking them. The meeting is interrupted by Becky. Becky tells Lucious he needs to hear Tori in the studio. Shine said Thirstily and Lucious he doesn't  know what happened to Raphael; which is a lie. Lucious asked Shine to please find out what happen to Raphael. Shine already knows. Lucious is listening to Tori singing a song she wrote for Nessa. Becky tells Lucious the song was supposed to be a demo but listen to Tori's vocals. Lucious used this opportunity to burn Nessa. Lucious tells Becky to release this song tonight. Due to Hakeem and Tiana tension with Nessa and Andre, he tells Becky to get their help introducing the song. Shots fired!!!

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Anika shows up at Tariq's apartment. She tells him she was careful coming there. Lucious and Cookie are listening to Anika and Tariq while Cookie plays with Bella. Anika is seducing Tariq while wearing a wire. Tariq admits to trying to take Cookie down could get his suspension lifted. Anika was shocked.  Lucious got what he needed to take Tariq down. Working on a case while suspended isn't the best move for Tariq. Angelo called asking Cookie why she wasn't home. She had to leave, but before she leaves, she asked Lucious is he going to make Anika family again. Lucious reply that Anika was never family. He confesses they were just freaky together. Cookie tells Lucious that her and Anika are the only two women that could handle him, but she is off the market. Lucious says, "You are a hard act to follow." Their conversation was interrupted by a phone call from Shine. Shine tells Lucious, he knows what happen to Raphael. However, it's something they need to discuss face to face. Shine is setting Lucious up for a secret meeting. Who was in the back seat of Shine's car? Who did he tell I can let you in? Cookie doesn't trust Shine. She says Lucious," if you need me to roll, just give me a pistol." Lucious doesn't feel Shine is a threat. He tells Cookie," You have a man who is about to propose to you and love you, go home."  Could Lucious be accepting Cookie has moved on? The real question is Cookie ready to go on? When she walked away from Lucious that wasn't a happy look. 

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Cookie arrives home to Angelo. Angelo has wine and dinner waiting for Cookie. He asked Cookie to appear with him for a interview on a talk show.  He feels their appearance on the show will show the world that Cookie is with him not Lucious. Cookie thought this was the moment Angelina's about to propose. She played it off and agreed to go on the show. Why is Cookie lying to herself?

Lucious walks into his office only to have a gun pointed to his  head by Giuliana. She tells Lucious she doesn't want to shoot him. The gun was just to get Lucious attention and she has it now. We get a flashback moment of Lucious and Giuliana. Apparently, Lucious fell in love with Giuliana after Cookie went to jail. He was trying to close a ten million dollar deal in Vegas. The day of the deal, he was robbed of his cash and woman by Raphael. But, Lucious didn't know Giuliana was Raphael wife. She was apart of the set up. Lucious told Giuliana her burned alot bridges and crossed alot of friends to get that money. Giuliana tries to plead her case by saying she been through a lot. She explains how Raphael was a sick bastard. She claims Raphael was coming after Lucious again. Lucious doesn't care about her sad love story. He wants his ten million dollars. Giuliana doesn't have the money, so she say. She asked Lucious to sign off on the deal and she can get his money. She claimed to have killed Raphael to protect Lucious. That is some bull crap. She killed him to take over his business for herself. She tells Lucious, I'd he doesn't sign off on the deal; that wouldn't be good with the gaming commissioner for her and Andre. Sadly, Giuliana doesn't know she just gave a snake valuable information.

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Anika sleeping and wearing a wire. Thirsty suppose to be listening but he is sleeping. Tariq is kissing all on Anika. She is trying to get this wire off of her before Tariq see it. Lucky for her, he gets a phone call. Anika was able to get up and get the wire off. He tells her everything is almost over. His phone call was a plan to meet another FBI agent. 

Hakeem and Tiana is happy about introducing a new track and screwing over Andre and Nessa at the same time. Tori Ash is introduce on Empire Live Extreme. After the recording, Jamaal walks into the studio. He sees all the alcohol and partying  he tells Tori she doesn't suppose to be around this lifestyle. Tori tells Jamaal she can handle herself. Tori throws her own shots at Jamaal by telling him, he can't handle competition not even from his own father. She walks off with a bottle of alcohol, grab a girl and leaves.  

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Tariq walks into the hotel room expecting Agent Sweetwater but gets Lucious. He draws his gun on Lucious. Lucious isn't fazed by  pointed gun being aimed at him. He makes it clear that plenty of people knows he is there. "Put your gun down little brother.", Lucious said. Tariq wants to know where is Anika. Lucious drops the bomb on Tariq. "Who my wife? Who recorded every illegal move you was plotting against me.", Lucious told Tariq. Tariq was shock that Anika was wearing a wire. He was so sexually attracted to her that he wasn't focus. Lucious had offered Tariq the chance to be apart of the family but he turned him down. Therefore, Lucious gives Tariq a bag of money and told him to run. Lucious claimed he reported Tariq and the FBI was there to arrest him. He took the money and got out that hotel room. Lucious probably didn't call the FBI. 

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Angelo does his interview with Cookie by his side. The question of Cookie and Angelo getting married was asked. Angelo proposed to Cookie on national television.  I only heard an oh my God but I think Angelo took that as a yes. He was placing the ring on her finger. Cookie looked more confuse and uncertain verses looking happy. Has Cookie realize Angelo isn't the man for her?

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Giuliana and Andre arrives, at Lavitaus. She tells Andre that Nessa can't messed this up. Andre assures her that Nessa will not mess up. Giuliana makes it clear to Andre that she made big promises for this deal. Andre said, "So did I Giuliana." Seems like Andre and Giuliana needs this deal to be sealed. What will happen if this deal doesn't happen?  Hmmmmmm!! Andre and Giuliana walks in the club to see Lucious talking to this woman. Looks like Lucious is ahead of the game. He has the club decorated and looking like a Vegas showgirl show about to happen. Giuliana asked Andre if he knew anything about this. Andre was clueless. Andre wants to know who was the woman with his father. Giuliana informs him that her name is Charlotte Frost. She is the most powerful person in Vegas. Giuliana approaches Lucious. He introduced Giuliana to Charlotte, who is the head of the gaming commission in Vegas. But, she knew that already. Lucious walks to Andre and tell him the him and Nessa is out. Has Lucious stole this deal from Andre? What will Andre next move be? Charlotte seems very impressed and interesting by what she sees. Lucious gives Giuliana all the credit for the live show. Did Giuliana cross Andre when she secretly had a meeting with Lucious? Giuliana calls Thirsty  to take care of their guest. She tells Lucious, you are full of surprises.  

Cookie and Angelo is in the dressing room. Cookie is upset for Angelo putting her on the spot. He tries to explain Jamaal said she would like that. Cookie starting to feel everything is happening to fast and too soon. She explains to Angelo how her relationship with Lucious killed her father. She has been trying to correct a mistake and be with the man her father wanted her to be with from the start. She tells Angelo, she still has feelings for Lucious and they shared one kissed. Angelo throws his mic and it's still on. Angelo gets do upset. He explains how he jeopardized the integrity of his campaign for her. He explains how he broke the law for her by getting Freda out of jail. He talks about help her with the illegal hand gun because she was on parole. All his secrets he is revealing for everyone to hear. Angelo did alot for Cookie because he loved her. To find out she still love Lucious has broke his heart. Angelo knew deep down Cookie still had feelings for Lucious. He saw what he wanted to see. Ms. Dubois enters the room and tells Angelo his mic is still on. His career has ended before it started. Wow. Angelo tells Cookie that her family is poison and called them all garbage. That was such a low blow. Nobody forced him to do anything he did for Cookie. Andre calling gave Cookie the dismissal she needed. When she left,  Ms. Dubois vowed to take the Lyon clan down and have them begging for a merciful death. I think she need to focus on fixing Angelo problem. The Lyon clan will stick together by any means necessary. Ms. Dubois said, "they are going down." I don't think she can handle that. New enemy for the Lyon family. Omg!!!! 

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Lucious introduces Tori to the stage. Shine and Nessa can't believe what is happening. Nessa said, "First she steal my song and now she standing in my spotlight." She wanted to know if Shine knew about it. Shine didn't know and neither did Andre. Lucious was one step ahead of them, thanks to Shine helping Giuliana with that secret meeting. Andre tells Shine to get his men together, they are going to take him out. The him is Lucious. Cookie arrives at the club. She overhears Lucious telling Charlotte he wrote the song Tori singing for Giuliana. Lucious and Giuliana then shares a kiss. Cookie looked so hurt and walking out. Did Cookie make the biggest mistake by being honest with Angelo? Did Cookie once again choose the bad guy over the good guy? Will she try to get Angelo back? We have to stay tune to find out.

CHECK OUT THE SONG LUCIOUS WROTE FOR GIULIANA

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Editor: Lattice Johnson