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#Empire S3 EP16: Absent Child~ Recap & Review *Lyons vs Dubois*

Man, this episode was full of fire on so many levels. I have to rate this episode a (10). Here is why....

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This episode gave us a slap that even I felt, lovers to enemies, a revenge attack, touching moments and as always an OMG moment.  

Two powerful families have a meeting to discuss a clap back gone too far. The Lyons vs The Dubois. Ms. Dubois begin to speak but her lawyer interjects.  Of course, he suggested the Lyons speak first. Cookie's agitation with the Dubois family has her OG temperament turned up to 1000. Cookie and Lucious makes it clear to the Dubois Family, they know they had Bella taken. Ms. Dubois  calls herself chastising  Lucious tone of voice as if he was her child. Cookie response to that was, " Bitch do you want me to jump across this table." Not surprise by Ms. Dubois comeback either, "you feeling froggy so leap. Man, I would love to see Cookie and Ms. Dubois have a little cat fight. Something tells me Ms. Dubois had her share of OG moments, she just classy with it. 

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Feelings are very emotional for The Lyon Family. Thirsty gives his statement about how this is about a child. Hakeem is missing from this meeting. According to Thirsty, Bella being taken has him distorted. Angelo say his family had nothing to do with Bella being taken. Jamaal points out the $5 million dollar check his family took for this war between the families to be over. Maybe $5 million wasn't enough. Jamaal seems like he is disappointed in Angelo. How much pay back does the Dubois Family want? Jamaal makes a point that the Dubois has scooped so low in having Bella taken. As a Dubois family member begins to speak, Andre makes it clear to Lucious; that's Ezekiel Dubois which is Snoop's banker. Remember, he told Snoop it wasn't good timing to invest in the Inferno project.  Ezekiel stated the Lyons caused Angelo his career. I agree with Jamaal, politics and taking a baby are two different things. Don't fight that dirty by involving a innocent child. Everyone emotions take over the meeting. Anika tells everyone to shut up. With tears in her eyes, Anika begs for help with finding her child and getting her child back. Ms. Dubois has the most sincere look on her face as she apologize to Anika. She basically tells Anika she is guilty by association. As Ms. Dubois rambles about her family connection, Lucious cuts her off. He see this meeting is a waste of time. Lucious called the Dubois family clap back fancy, lmao. However, he makes it clear his family clap back hits real hard. For a second, everyone sits in silence. Ms. Dubois tells Anika she has no idea what happened to her child. Cookie know she is lying. She asked, "Do y'all really want to go down that road?" That devilish look and that smirky smile on Cookie's face means danger coming.

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Anika, Hakeem and Thirsty is waiting to be seen at the Child Protection Services Office. Anika sits blaming herself and feeling like her bad deeds has caused Bella to suffer. Hakeem shows maturity by telling her to not be so hard on herself. Bella was suppose to be release to Anika but now Bella is MIA. Motions has been filed on Bella's case with no knowledge of who did it. The social worker's supervisor said according to the motions, it will be months before they see Bella. Hakeem  gets very upset. "Last name Lyon, first name Bella. Last name Lyon, first name Bella. Find my daughter", Hakeem said aggressively. We have seen Hakeem be a spoil brat for season 1 and 2. We now see him loving someone other then his self. Children can have that affect on you. 

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Back at the Lyon mansion, Cookie and Lucious discuss the difference in the Lyon family and the Dubois. Cookie points out the Dubois has a power they haven't seen before. Lucious point out they are a monster they haven't seen before. The Dubois is winning this war because they are a powerful family that sticks together. Cookie understands and knows the weakness of their family. The Lyons stay divided so much and that's their weakness as a family. Cookie tells Lucious they have to do  better but it's not in them. Thirsty tells them they underestimated the Dubois. On paper, none of the Lyons are fit to take care of a child. Lucious and Anika marriage has to end quickly that's the only hope to get Bella back. Until Bella is returned, the family has to stay out of trouble and stick together.  Yes they can come together in a crisis. Can they truly stay out of trouble and peaceful with each other while in that crisis? I don't think so because this Vegas deal is a big issue.

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Lucious is preparing to take back his throne. Jamaal stops by hoping to catch a sneak peek. Lucious decides to do a remix to the track him and Jamaal did. Lucious wants to put a rapper on the track but Jamaal isn't feeling that. Lucious always take over. Jamaal is talented and he is also creative. Lucious calls Jamaal's approach soft. Shots fired as always. Against his judgement, Jamaal agrees to meet with Lucious and the rapper he wants on the track. Don't know why Lucious can't let it be? 

I was so happy to see Porsha. Porsha hasn't been in many scenes this season. Cookie is talking to Porsha about getting When Cookie Met Lucious approval from  Lucious for Vegas. Shine and Andre enters Cookie's apartment. Cookie has her plan in motion for the Vegas deal. It also looks like she has a plan for getting her grandbaby back. Shine is worried about his position with Empire. His last name isn't Lyon so how does Cookie plan work for him? Andre is on edge. Looks like Andre is losing control. His only desire is to kill Lucious. Shine leaves before he has to kill Andre. Cookie tells Andre to get proactive and call his doctor.  Lmao, at Porsha. She tried telling Andre she has a doctor. Cookie yells, "Shut up Porsha. Mind your business."

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Jamaal arrives to the studio to find no rapper. The rapper allegedly got shot 4 times. Jamaal is like the pot just thickens. Lucious feels the shooting wasn't confirmed so the meeting still happening. In walks the rapper for the track. What do you know, the rapper is Fetty Wap. He in the studio on crunches and a bandage on his arm. His shooting was just confirmed. Jamaal sees him popping pills for his pain. Was that a flashback for him? As Fetty begins rapping, his wounds begin to bleed. Jamaal is concerned but Lucious see it as hunger. Jamaal agrees the rapper is dope but the track isn't right. Lucious always finds away to take shots at his sons. He compares Jamaal getting shot one time to Fetty's character being shot four times and in the studio working. But Jamaal shot back shut it down. He asked, "how many of y'all been shot before". Everyone in the studio raised there hand but Lucious. Boom!!! Jamaal isn't backing down from Lucious. He makes his point about Lucious not dealing with his father being shot, him taking a bullet for  him and that he knows music better then Lucious think. Jamaal isn't as soft as Lucious be thinking.

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Okay! Andre has snapped. I guess Andre said forget the pills and lost his mind. He really has nothing to lose so that makes him so dangerous. He blames Lucious for everything but he also has unfinished business with another person. Anika thinks it's Lucious walking in the  office. Nope it's Andre. Funny seeing husband and wife playing such a violent scene. Their characters are far from who they are; which makes this interesting. Anika must have thought Andre forgave her. He locks the door and tell her they have unfinished business. Anika played it off but Andre reminds her of all her dirty deeds with killing his wife and baby. I was scared the way he grabbed and slammed her on the table. He was ready to make Anika feel his build up of rage. Somebody need to feel his wrath since it can't be Lucious. She saved herself. She confess she sold her soul and now her daughter paying the price. Now, Andre felt that was suffering enough. He didn't kill her. He told her now suffer like I do. I don't think this is over. If they get Bella back, Andre will seek his revenge on Anika some way and some how. That's how it should go down in my eyes. I will be shock if this was the end of that. Hakeem is at home and worried about his daughter. He wants to be alone and kicks everyone out his condo.   

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Cookie and Andre has a meeting with Marcon. Andre is annoyed with Cookie. Cookie is trying to sell the When Cookie Met Lucious story as the opening act for Vegas. Cookie is including Lucious in this deal but Andre is trying to exclude Lucious. Andre is determined to take Lucious deal. I mean it was his deal from the start. Lucious wanted no part of Vegas. Marcon wants Lucious. That's it and that's all. I have a funny feeling this deal isn't a good one for Lucious.  Hakeem goes live expressing wanting his daughter back. He points out the Dubois had something to do with her being taken. His rap had me so teary eye. His expression of not having his daughter pulls at your heart strings. As always, Hakeem music makes an impact on his fans. Just as Ms. Dubois admit to not having the baby and Angelo not wanting this all to get out of control; a mob of fans comes running up chanting Free Bella and holding free Bella signs. 

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Lucious feeling bad for Bella being taken. He doesn't feel like all of the family problems and issues is his fault. He asked his mother was he a good father. Mama Leah said, " You not even a good person". CTFU!!!! Sad but true, Lucious agreed with her. 

Andre and Cookie have a heated talk about Lucious and the Vegas deal. Cookie  feel they need Lucious to close this deal. Andre feels they don't. He feels Cookie will always protect Lucious. Sadly, Andre is right; she will. Andre has been pushed to no returned at this  point. I see him taking down his entire family if he need to in  order to kill Lucious. Even tho Cookie is on point about Giuliana. Giuliana is about to burn Lucious again. Andre agrees but he doesn't care. Nessa comes to Andre defense. Man, she should have kept her mouth close. She tells Cookie she shouldn't brought Lucious in on the Vegas deal. Followed by Andre is grown and you can't talk to him like that. Cookie asked Andre to understand what she was about to do. Before you know it, Cookie slaps Nessa so hard my face hurts. Nessa might need a dentist. Cookie makes one last attempt to get Andre to understand, without doing things her way....they will lose everything.

CHECK OUT THE SLAP OF ALL SLAPS SCENE

Lucious is playing the piano when Mama Leah comes in with a box. She show Lucious pictures of his father. She feel she would have been a much better mother if he didn't get killed and Lucious would be a better person. She feels violence made him who he is. Lucious feels he should have help his father. His mother said then he would have  got killed to. He compare his lack of courage to help his father to Jamaal courage to help him. Jamaal is special as she told Lucious; but I don't think Lucious put no light in him.  This was a touching moment to see Lucious have with his mother. She maybe crazy but you can see she love her son. Mama Leah gave Lucious the comfort he needed.

Jamaal goes on his rant about their track. Lucious tried to interrupt him. After Jamaal finish, Lucious showed him the studio. The studio was filled with pictures of his father. Lucious decided to do the song Jamaal's way. I guess what his mother told him touched some part of him. I  must admit, Jamaal and Lucious working together is powerful. Remember when he selected Jamaal to run Empire. The track was done and Lucious had a smile on his face. 

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Andre brings Hakeem to the laundromat. Cookie isn't feeling Hakeem being there. She makes Andre take Hakeem out of there.  What do you know? Cookie had Shine to grab Angelo. Angelo was tied up and beaten. Angelo tries to talk sense into Cookie. Angelo admits he was hurt but he would never go that low to take her granddaughter. Cookie tells Angelo, "Everything your mama said about me was right." She ordered Angelo to talk to his mother. She walks out leaving Shine and his crew to make her point more clear to Angelo. 

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Cookie tells Lucious she doesn't think Angelo is in on taking Bella. She went straight OG on Angelo and he confessed to nothing. Cookie tells Lucious that When Cookie Met Lucious will be on the stage in Vegas. She admit to talking to Marcon. She tried to convince Lucious they need to stick together as a family. Their  disconnect as a family caused them a blind attack. Cookie tried to get him to see her plan is a win win for the family. Empire gets the casino and Lucious gets the show. In walks Giuliana worrying about what she gets. Marcon informed her of the meeting he had with Cookie. She came back just to make sure Lucious does what she wants him to do. Like her puppet, Lucious tells Cookie Inferno is the Vegas deal. Lucious picked his self and Giuliana over his family. Cookie tells Lucious, "I did 17 years for you". Giuliana said, " Thank you for that. I will take it from here". Girl bye!!! Cookie should have slapped her mouth closed. Lucious sat there and said nothing. Unbelievable how he picking a woman who has betrayed him over a woman who has always had his back. You can't say who is the mother of his kids because he treats his sons like crap as well. See, this is why Cookie needs to just let Andre lose on Lucious. Lucious only cares about Lucious. He has no sense of family. Every time you think he is putting their needs first, he always backstab you and put his need first. How much love does he have for Giuliana? Hmmmmmm!

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Nessa and Andre talk. She realize Andre has used her to his ability. The Vegas deal has no spot for her. Nessa was disrespected by Cookie, Tori took her song and Giuliana offered him Vegas. Andre did nothing to defend Nessa and was ready to sleep with Giuliana. Nessa isn't Rhonda. Nessa doesn't understand Andre is a ticking time bomb. His family is his target especially his father. Andre tried to convince Nessa that it all can work out for her. He kisses Nessa but she pushes him away and starts hitting him. I am confused, is she in love with Andre or mad he didn't further her career? She calls Andre crazy and that he is. 

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Angelo wasn't killed. He vowed to have every Lyon thrown in jail. After getting his wounds medical attention from his mama, Angelo wanted to go to the police. At the ring of a bell we get that OMG moment of the episode. Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary measures in the words of Diana Dubois. The shocking look on Angelo's face when he see a woman come in the room, pushing a stroller with Bella inside. Omgggg!!! Will Angelo scoop to his mother level or will he remember the love he once had for Cookie? How can you have a foundation to help underprivileged kids but kidnap a baby? What will Angelo do especially after being tortured for information? Will he give Bella back?

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Empire really has us on the edge of our seats. The next two episodes have to be explosive. Don't know about you but I can't wait.  Stay tune!!

If you missed this episode, you can catch it on Comcast On Demand or Fox Now App.  

SNEAK PEEK OF PART 1 of TOILS AND TROUBLE

SNEAK PEEK OF PART 2  of TOILS AND TROUBLE~ A HEIST

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Editor: Lattice Johnson