Tonight’s episode of Empire set the stage for Cookie’s new romance with councilman Angelo Dubois. There’s going to be static there because not only do Cookie and Angelo come from different sides of the tracks, but Lucious is jealous of their situation. We also got a flashback scene where we learned that Cookie’s real name is Laretha.
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But let’s back up!
The episode opened with Lucious and Dre meeting up with Shyne at his studio set-up to see about this new singer, Nessa, who’s supposed to be poppin’. Dre seemed to have eyes for Nessa beyond just business, because he was looking at her like:
So, something may come of that later. In grimier news, Shyne set them up for a bidding war and demanded a “good” offer by the end of the week. Later on we find out that Becky was supposed to have closed that deal. Lucious is furious. You know his morals know no bounds when it comes to what he wants. Do note that Shyne continued to play further games about this contract even after Empire presented their offer throughout the episode, so this might not end well for him.
Jamal insisted on going back to see Freda Gatz in prison—even after that last meltdown he had. Her face was lumped up badly (she looked like that time Martin got beat up by Tommy “Hitman” Hearns) because some of her co-inmates beat her down because they’re fans of Jamal. Jamal wants to be Captain Save-a-Thug and thinks he can fix her situation by getting her out. He just needs a plan. Anyway, Freda did at least apologize for shooting him. However, “sorry” won’t get rid of Mally Mal’s PTSD situation.
Later on in the episode, Freda was granted bail after Jamal figured out a solution (he tapped Angelo Dubois for the answer, which was for them to say that Freda shot Jamal in a fit of temporary insanity and that she had a history of mental illness)—and then we find out that Lucious had set up Freda Gatz to get beat down. Lucious’ ploy was to force Jamal to be smarter about getting her out. Basically, Lucious played them both, once again.
Cut to Cookie and Angelo’s date…
She looked fierce and snatched in a sexy red dress. As soon as they got to the opera (which was Angelo’s choice date, of course), some of Angelo’s bourgie friends tried to stunt on her. Cookie overheard them calling her a hoodrat in the bathroom, and she checked them. She was uncomfortable in that entire situation, but she still kept it as cool as she could—lucky for those Jack and Jill chicks who almost got faded.
Back to the business situation with Shyne. Dre tried to personally get Nessa to sign with Empire and not the other label she and Shyne were going to go with instead. Dre convinced her that Shyne was exploiting her. Later, she went with Empire and Shyne was pissed. He stormed up in Lucious’ office and got the fight he was looking for. Dre and Lucious beat his arse (he swung on Dre first, though) and then Lucious pulled out the burner and forced him to sign on the dotted line.
Back to the lovey dovey stuff.
Angelo met up with Cookie on her turf. Homebody lost the stuffy suit and came through on the relaxed tip just to show her that his crush is real. Their fun got busted up by Lucious’ being a hater. Cookie stormed away, which left Lucious to antagonize Angelo, who he basically threatened. That’s when she saw the flashback scene of Lucious naming Laretha “Cookie” and then later on beating up Cookie’s childhood sweetheart in order to get him out of the way.
The episode concluded with a montage where Jamal was at his piano getting his groove back. As Jamal’s song played, we watched Nessa and Dre get it on. We also watched Shyne and his goons polishing their guns as Shyne gave them a speech about how they’re going to war with the Lyons.
The final ending featured Dre and Nessa’s steamy session…plus Rhonda. In next week’s preview, Shyne confronts Dre and it’s looking like Dre might get shot. Hopefully not killed, though.