#Empire S4 Ep7: The Lady Doth Protest

Episode Rating Scale: (9) Excellent 

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The season has started to turn up. Diana Dubois plan for the Lyons has been executed. She is knocking them down one by one. Hakeem lost Bella. Jamaal fell in love but to a Dubois. The only one left is Andre. How will Cookie and Lucious bring her down? Right now, she is leading this game of war. On top of that Empire, employees went on strike.  Recap time.  

This episode open it Lucious in the studio with Warren and Jamaal. It looks like Lucious isn't completely back to his self. Seems like he is a little of Lucious and Dwight but leaning more towards Dwight. As he Lucious sits at the piano playing, he is still adding music to color.  

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Hakeem is watching Angelo and Anika play mommie and daddy to Bella. He not feeling that at all; especially when the lady approaches them saying how they are such a cute family. Just before Hakeem pull up on Anika and Angelo Thirsty stops him. Sadly, Hakeem created this mess for himself. Amazing, how Anika is acting like her and Angelo is a couple. Boo boo kitty loves Cookie sloppy seconds. 

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Back at Empire, Porsha, Calvin, and Becky are exhausted. For weeks, Empire employees been working a lot of hours and drained. Eddie is looking for a unique sound from Tori, but Eddie is not feeling the music. Determine to get the sound he wants; this studio session has no end. However, Calvin the engineer who is also Porsha boyfriend is overworked. Who knew Porsha had a boyfriend? Doing a quick break, Calvin tells Porsha to talk to Cookie. He also feels Eddie is doing too much. 

Andre, Cookie, and Jamaal are talking to Hakeem about stalking Anika and Bella. Andre reminds him they filed an appeal and he can ruin that. Hakeem said he isn't the blame, but Cookie reminds him that his secret meetings with dirty Diana Dubois got them here. Hakeem barked a little too much for Cookie. As he said, "tell me one thing I said wrong about this dysfunctional ass family." Cookie reminds Hakeem who he was talking to; Cookie said to him, "say one more word and Bella won't have a daddy to come home too. " Thirsty walks in and Cookie wants to know what they doing. To Andre, Cookie, Hakeem and Jamaal's surprise, Thristy tells them Lucious is handling it. None of them thinks that is a good idea however Cookie tries to have faith in Lucious. She said to let him feel it. 

Lucious pays Anika visit. She thinks he is there to see Bella. She tells Lucious Bella is with her parents, but Lucious makes it clear he is there to see here. Anika tried to slam the door in his face, but he stopped that. Anika made it clear that Angelo was on his way there. Anika appears a little scared of Lucious, but Lucious is too calm and gentle. He reminded Anika how she wanted Bella to be the heir of Empire. Lucious agreed to add her to the heir along with Hakeem, Andre, and Jamaal. But, Anika had to agree to joint custody. Anika claim she has to think about, and he would have to put it in writing. Lucious agreed but ask for a good faith favor. The family wants to see Bella. Anika agreed to a public family meeting. Anika has put her trusted in Diana Dubois, unbelievable. 

Porsha tries to tell Cookie about the engineers plotting to walk out. Lucious shows up in Cookie's   office too. Cookie dismisses Porsha, and that wasn't a good idea. Cookie tells Lucious about the strike. He left the strike for Eddie to handle. Lucious told Cookie he has her back like he always does. And Cookie has a flashback. In jail alone and served divorce papers from Lucious. I am so confused. Does he have his memories or not? One back it seems like the back and the next he acting so soft and pink. Like before he left Cookie's office, he told her she looks too good in his seat. See that's a  Lucious moment. 

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Andre calls Detective Pamela. It looks like Andre has fallen for a cop. Somehow I feel she is a Dubois. Andre has left her several voicemails but no response. Just as he arrived at Empire,  he sees a news story. Detective Pamela was involved in a shootout. Andre leaves Empire while Porsha tries to get his help with the strike. Andre rushes off. So where is Nessa? I liked Andre with Nessa. Detective Pamela is dangerous territory for Andre. I hope he doesn't start confessing his sins. He can't trust her or his doctor. At least he knows he can't trust her; at least I hope so.

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And the strike start with Porsha as the leader. Porsha finally stood up to Cookie. Cookie comment to her about doing as her man say made Porsha feel some kind of way. I was glad she gave Cookie a piece of her mind. Cookie does talk anyway to Porsha and Porsha always have her back.  Porsha grabs the strike stand from Eddie and the strike went in effect. Another issue for Cookie to deal with.  

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At Jamaal's condo, Warren has found some guy for him and Jamaal to have a threesome. The look on Jamaal's face shows he isn't feeling it. The little boy toy seems to be ready, and so does Warren. When Warren asked Jamaal, what's wrong; Jamaal makes it clear he loves Warren. He makes it clear this is what he wants with someone he loves. Warren tells the boy toy to leave. Warren has fallen in love with Jamaal. Instead of that speech about how much he loves him too, Warren should have told him the truth. Instead, he keeps his mouth closed. I don't see this ending with the two back together. Sadly, I liked them as a couple. 

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Jamaal back at his panicking. He is popping them pills the doctor gave him. What effect is them pills going to have on him. Detective Pamela finally appears. She walk in talking about food but Andre trying to comfort her. Now funny how Andre say he knows she doesn't trust him and she openly admit to covering a wrongful shooting. That just seem too easy.  She want Dre to trust her so she playing him against his self. 

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In the middle of Lucious making his symphony, the employees walk off joining the strike. Eddie tries to give Lucious some courage. Lucious confidence isn't as high as it uses to be. Meanwhile, outside Empire, the strike is going on, and Shine joins the strike. Shine is a trip. How you join the strike and him on the board. Dumb blood just like Cookie said. 

 Eddie came up with the idea of getting replacements and Thirsty chasing dirt. Cookie tells them she is not doing either. Cookie has a flashback of her jail time. She has an idea to end the strike. Coming together is better than fighting. Cookie shares her story.  Cookie calls a meeting. Lucious makes it clear he is back in the meeting. Cookie reminds her staff they are family. Sometimes they fight and sometimes they don't. She tells them a story about her prison life. It seems like Cookie learned some life lessons from a bad time in her life. Her plea ends the strike. Cookie finally acknowledges her appreciation for Porsha.

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The family is getting ready for a family moment with Bella. Jamaal tells his family he is in love with Warren and asking him to move in. The ball drops down on Jamaal. As the family arrives to see Bella, they soon learn... it's a setup. No Anika and no Bella. It's just Ms. Dubois and Warren. This gets so ugly once Ms. Dubois introduce Warren as her nephew. She tells Jamaal and his family how Warren was supposed to get him in a threesome. Lucious flashback to his violent life but doesn't react to anything. Jamaal was a crush, and he showed his anger from being hurt. Man, one thing about Jamaal, he isn't a punk or soft. Jamal beat the life out of Warren. Warren should have told Jamaal once he fell in love. I so loved love Jamaal in this scene. Especially when he said, "all this because of your  punk ass son." Jamaal was in the straight gangsta mood, and Jussie Smollett performance was terrific. 

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Never underestimate Jamaal, he is Cookie and Lucious son. He has the balls and heart to be a thug like Ms. Dubois say they are. The funny part about this entire scene was Ms. Dubois reaction to Warren getting probably the worst ass beating of us his life. However, call me crazy, but I want Warren and Jamaal to get back together. I like him with Warren way better than Michael. Plus Warren can help take down Ms. Dubois. 

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However, now Cookie see how Ms. Dubois is planning her game. She has taken the Lyon Cubs down one by one. What does she have prepared for Andre? Because she broke Hakeem and Jamaal's heart. After that blow-up, Lucious was just standing there. Now here is the irony of Lucious, we all use to say Lucious was the devil and a monster. However, we miss that devil and beast as we watch the Lyons battle with a different kind of enemy. Cookie needs Lucious not Dwight to win this war. 

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As we get closer to the finale, the Lyons has lost a lot. How will Ms. Dubois be taken down or is this a fight with no end? We have to stay tuned in because Empire has us wanting more and more. Catch up on Empire on Comcast On Demand, Hulu, and Fox Now app.

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Editor: Lattice Johnson