Episode Rating Scale: (8) Enjoyable
This is the second episode of Empire Season 4. I haven't been impressed so far, and some fans are confused. I am not confused however it's a lot going on with each episode. I not ruling Empire out, they always turn up the heat. This episode was enjoyable and had a moment where I thought Lucious was back to his usual self. Let's recap.
Claudia runs Lucious a bath. Lucious takes the first step of trying to take care of his self. Claudia leaves, and Lucious managed to get his self in the tub. As he relaxes, suddenly his relaxation is cut short. For the first time this season, we see Mama Leah. She is still crazy as all outdoors. She is drowning Lucious in the tub again. This moment brings back a memory for Lucious. Claudia comes to the rescue. She saves Lucious from his mother. Mama Leah yells at Claudia saying, "It's evilness in him. He needs me." Now, Lucious did manage to get a memory back. What needs to happen for Lucious to have a floodgate of memories to be restored? But the real question is why is he blocking his memories? Did this car bombing scare Lucious Lyon?
Claudia is relaxing when she Cookie decides she is going to move into Lucious house. Claudia knows Cookie doesn't trust her; however, Claudia seems to enjoy her alone time with Lucious. I agree with Cookie, Claudia is up to something. What is it exactly? Her therapy is too much touchy-feely if you ask me. Lol. Cookie makes it clear fix my man or we going to have some problems.
Jamaal has a new love interest. Is Warren the inspiration behind Jamaal's new album? Too bad Warren is a planted seed by Ms. Dubois. I am hoping he falls in love with Jamaal. Jamaal deserves some happiness for a moment. I guess that's why his new album is going to be all love songs. Becky is interim A & R for Empire right now. She deserves the A & R position. Anika saw her talents and decided to make Becky her assistant. But Anika is MIA. Hopefully, Cookie gives her a chance as head of A & R. Becky be grinding for Empire. She deserves to be promoted.
Andre is in a meeting trying to sell parts of Empire Extreme. Is the Empire sinking? Andre meets a young lady at the bar. When I saw the preview, I thought that was Nessa. I was wrong. From the bar to the bathroom they go. Dre is about to have sex with a random woman. Unfortunately, he couldn't get an erection. Are Dre meds damaging his hormones but helping him stay rational? Could it just be he has a lot on his plate?
Claudia therapy session with Lucious is interrupted by Cookie. Claudia is showing him pictures of his past. Cookie points out a picture of her and Lucious back in the day. They in the studio in the picture but all Lucious see is a gun. Claudia excuses Cookie out of the therapy session. Cookie leaves in her families. I know Cookie is feeling useless right now. Nothing she tries brings Lucious back to his self.
Anika has been spending time in jail for Tariq's murder. Mama Leah really set her up good for Tariq's murder. Anika's hearing wasn't what she expected for an innocent person. The judge denied her bail. It was good to see she wasn't dealing with this alone. Hakeem was in the courtroom. Anika has to dig in her bag of tricks to get out of this. She tells Hakeem to tell Cookie to come to see her. She told him some numbers and said tell Cookie that. Let the blackmailing begin; because we all know Cookie and Anika isn't friends.
Jamaal can sometimes be a crybaby. Jamaal is my house, but he has to let Becky do her job. She is his best friend but not in business. Jamaal is in his feelings because Becky wants to satisfy a client. Jamaal is doing a song for a movie. He likes Jamaal's song but wants to edit some of it. Becky agrees to make the changes, but Jamaal doesn't want to. He does like the fact Becky agreed to it either. Business is business, Jamaal.
Cookie and Thirsty visit Anika. Anika comes out looking rough. Cookie makes a joke to Thirsty about jail not being for the week. Cookie is funny as hell. She tells Anika, "I cracked your cold, James Bond. Anika knows a lot being Lucious ex-wife. The numbers she gave Hakeem was Bunky birthday. She wants them to get her out of Jamaal or she snitching. Lucious freedom for her freedom. For her freedom, Anika has to let Thristy lead the way. Lawd, it's no telling what Thirsty have in mind.
Claudia takes Lucious to one of his favorite restaurants from the picture. At the restaurant, a worker notices Lucious. He starts telling Claudia old stories of Lucious and his friend Eddie. Lucious past is full of negativity. Claudia takes the reign. She claims she has to make things slow and control Lucious conversation with other. The public isn't aware that Lucious has no memory of his life. Only his family know Lucious isn't Lucious. I think that is best. With all Lucious has done in his life, he weak right. This would be the best time for his enemies to attack. Sadly, his most significant enemy is his family.
Hakeem is in the studio. He wants another hit rap song. Becky reminds Hakeem that Drip Drop was a big hit. She is trying to get Hakeem to do another pop single. Hakeem may be a rapper but can't deny how popular Drip Drop was. Becky didn't lead him astray. She makes a valid point. Hopefully, Hakeem takes her advice. That beat on Hakeem new track was tight. Back at the restaurant, Lucious ditches Claudia. This is that moment I thought just maybe Lucious was faking. He acted liked he had to use the bathroom and jumped in a cab. Claudia has no idea where he is or going. All she knows, Lucious isn't locked in the bathroom. The cab driver is a Lucious fan. He broke down how Lucious was the inspiration of his dating life. For a second, you think Lucious is back when you see him laugh and repeat what the cab driver says. Lucious shows up at a party. Forrest Whittaker makes a cameo appearance. Claudia tells Cookie she lost Lucious. Cookie is good. She makes Claudia replay her and Lucious day. When Claudia mention a back in the day friend name Eddie, Cookie knows Lucious is headed to him. We see Porsha in this episode. I don't know about you all, but I love TaRhonda (Porsha) I just wish we know her more on the show. Claudia wants to get Lucious, but Cookie tells her no. She feels this is good for Lucious. She hopes this visit brings Lucious back to his self.
Jamaal loves his new song. Becky isn't feeling his new song. She asked why he changed the song. Becky is trying to remind Jamaal that contracts have been signed on another song. Warren seeks to support Jamaal, but Becky shut him down. Do your thing, Becky. Jamaal reminds Becky that she is interim A & R and that she doesn't get to decide on his music. He storms out leaving Becky with an open mouth. Becky looks shocked that Jamaal just discredited her.
Lucious and Eddie sit and talk with some other guys at the wedding. Eddie is telling the story of how he and Lucious met. When he starts talking about the moment Lucious was violent; Lucious starts getting memories of that day. Those memories was a little too much for Lucious. He gets out and tries to leave but almost fell. Dwight wants to be an excellent guy. However, Lucious was a devious, cold-hearted and treacherous man. If Lucious gets his memory back, will he still be the nice guy or the evil?
Thirsty and Anika meets with the DA. Thirsty has set it up to wear it seek like Tariq was harassing Anika. It seems like Anika will be coming home. What does that mean for Hakeem and Tiana? They have been one happy family. Eddie brings Lucious home. He is singing and playing on Lucious piano. Cookie joins him, but the words of the songs start to affect. If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right. She stares at Lucious. The heartache in her eyes seems hard to bear. How much will Cookie endure? Claudia interrupts the moment. She takes Lucious by the pool for lunch. Eddie knows something isn't right with Lucious. He asked Cookie what was going on. He picked it up that Lucious doesn't remember anything. Cookie tries to deny it, but she needs someone to talk. She admits to Eddie that Lucious can't remember anything. Cookie reveals to Eddie that times are hard right. She admitted they are about to liquidate Empire. Eddie gives Cookie encouraging words. He told her do not liquidate. Use the artist and music to hold them up. Cookie tells him to thank you. What will Cookie do? Will Empire sink without Lucious?
Cookie walks into her room to find Mama Leah digging throw her draws. She is looking for Cookie's gun to kill Claudia. Mama Leah thinks Claudia is putting smells on Lucious. Mama Leah may be crazy, but she is on point. Lol. Cookie throws Mama Leah out her room. Before Mama Leah leaves, she tells Cookie no one comes between their family. She said you cut them down like she did Tariq and set Anika up for it. Good night Cookie. Mama Leah is crazy as hell, and I love it. Lmao.
Jamaal walks in on Becky having a meeting with Tori and a client. Becky gave Tori Jamaal's song, and he is about his feelings. Becky is doing her job even if that means backstabbing her best friend.
Back at the mansion, Mama Leah gets committed to a hospital. She asked Lucious, " are you just going by let them locked me up?" Lucious didn't respond, and Mama Leah yelled, "answer me.". The look on Lucious fast was like a lost puppy dog. He knows his mother his dangerous even without his memory. Mama Leah feels Claudia did this and kept him from his memories. Claudia better watches out. Mama Leah didn't like Anika either. We see how that turned out. Lol. Mama Leah attacks Claudia. It took Cookie, and the maids help to get her off of Claudia. She is then escorted to her new home, the mental hospital.
The Las Vegas police are at Empire. Andre is shocked to see a familiar face when he and Thirsty walk into the conference room. The random chick Andre was about to have sex with, is an FBI fed. Omg!!!! Was that a setup. The cops wanted to know if they know any leads on Guiliana. They have lost her. Thirsty and Andre could give them no other whereabouts. Thirsty walks the agents out, but Andre stops the random chick from living. He asked her was she setting him up. She claims she didn't know who he was at the bar. Andre finds that hard to believe and so do I. I guess it's a good thing he couldn't get an erection. But since when Andre sex life became nonexisting. Hmmmmmm.
Cookie is touching basis with Becky. She tells Cookie about Hakeem new song. She needs Cookie's approval before campaigning. She then tells Cookie about replacing Jamaal's vocal with Tori for a producer. Cookie asked, "what did he think?" The client loved the single. He loved it so much he threw in more money and will pay for a video shoot. Cookie was impressed with Becky. She also gave Becky some advice. Don't let your heart step in your ambition. That's move got Becky what she wanted, A & R position and $30,000 raise.
Cookie announces that Cookie will honor 20 years of Empire by doing 20 albums to be released. Andre felt smacked in the face is that Empire was about to be liquidated. That was the announcement Cookie suppose to make. Instead, she is trying to hold onto their legacy. Andre wasn't happy about that move. He was embarrassed in front of the board. This 20 for 20 projects has no funding. But wait, Empire doesn't have 20 artists either. How is this going to work? Andre was very disrespectful towards Cookie. He points out she needs him. He points out he has to be the one to find the money for the project. I am confused, is Empire broke? What's the money issue? Cookie tells Andre to go home. She picks up that bat, and I thought we were about to have another Cookie batter up moment. It also seems like Andre is still full of anger. He was close to having Empire for his self, but he is the reason he doesn't have it also.
Jamaal is down. He feels like he can't trust people. He tells Warren he wants someone to believe in him and he believes in someone else. Warren tells him he believes in him and his song You. Warren starts singing Jamaal's song. Sadly, Jamaal can't trust Warren, but he doesn't know it yet. Warren is the enemy. As they sing, they flash to Hakeem home with Tiana and Bella. Anika knocks at the door. When Hakeem opens the door, she sees her daughter in Tiana's arms sleep. Cookie is sitting in her office alone and looking at a picture of her and Lucious. Lucious wakes up from the thunder and rain. He finds Claudia packing and begs her not to leave him. She plays him. She uses him not trusting her as her excuse for leaving. She knows Lucious trust her. She is the only one he trusts right now.
The episode ends with falling rain and a tender moment between Claudia and Lucious. A nice rainstorm for all the craziness going on right now. Stay tuned because Empire just has to get better.
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Editor: Lattice Johnson