Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious (Terrence Howard) are going to be running Empire together. Wonder how that’s going to turn out?
Chuck Hodes/Fox

You may not care about that American Sound Awards storyline on Empire, but Cookie does because she thinks that it’s an opportunity to show the world the Lyon family is strong and that it will help Lucious regain control of their company. In last night’s episode, “More Than Kin,” Cookie makes it happen. Let’s go!

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Cookie is glad that Hakeem’s 10-minute stint as Empire CEO is over because she wants the board to reinstate Lucious. Say what you will about Hakeem, but he has raised sulking to an art form. The episode opens with a scene of Hakeem rapping about his grievances as strippers work the pole. There is a bubble machine, and Hakeem’s cohorts are making it rain as he clutches a magnum full of wine. This is not a music video—this is how Hakeem licks his wounds. Laura, who is now Hakeem’s fiancee, arrives at the den of iniquity. Hakeem casually mentions that he got Boo Boo Kitty pregnant. She slaps him and stomps off.

With Jamal and Lucious competing against each other for an ASA, Cookie is trying to quash rumors of Lyon-family friction. I don’t think Lucious got booted as CEO based on his relationship with his ex-wife and sons, but just go with it. It’s important to Cookie that the board not bring in an outsider because then they will have to “answer to whitey.”

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Andre has an idea about how to get the family some good publicity with a charity event that puts the spotlight on bipolar disorder. Let Andre host your next event because it takes approximately five seconds to organize, including cardboard cutouts of Andre.

Hakeem sobers up enough to have his apartment baby-proofed, but Boo Boo Kitty, who was so eager to have her child raised as a Lyon last week, has changed her mind, since Lucious threatened to kill her when the baby is born. Hakeem confronts Lucious, but it’s not an explosive moment because everybody is used to Lucious being horrible. Cookie, of all people, goes to smooth things over with Boo Boo Kitty. When she shows up, Miss Kitty is on a stretcher going to the hospital. Cookie not only accompanies her but talks her through a panic attack.

Reporter Harper Scott seems more interested in a relationship with Lucious than in writing her profile of him, but Cookie keeps finding ways to interrupt. We are treated to a creepy seduction scene. Harper likes it rough. As an act of mercy, we don’t have to see much more because Cookie summons Lucious to the hospital. Harper is officially over Cookie and mentions writing a hit piece on Cookie, but Lucious shuts her down.

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Boo Boo Kitty’s mom, Mrs. Calhoun, is at the hospital when Hakeem arrives, and she blasts him because Boo Boo Kitty has been pregnant for nearly five months. Really? Has it been that long? She is barely showing. Empire has its own bizarre timetable, so let’s just go with it.

Lucious shows up and laughs off threatening to kill Boo Boo Kitty. He’s proud of Hakeem because he seems to think he instilled good family values in his son. Laura turns up at Boo Boo Kitty’s room because Lucious called her for … reasons. Laura, who had returned Hakeem’s ring, takes it back and they coo over each other and kiss right there in Boo Boo Kitty’s room. Fortunately she is asleep while all of this is going on. Unfortunately, we still don’t know why she was in pain. Was it just the panic attack? Who knows? We’ll probably never find out.

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Thanks to Cookie and Lucious, Harper’s profile on Lucious is scooped by a competitor. She retaliates by giving Andre photos of Lucious’ mom, proving that Leah is still alive.

All of Cookie’s scheming pays off: Lucious is CEO again, but there is a catch. Cookie is co-CEO. Lucious acts happy as he hugs Cookie, but he gives the audience another one of his patented “game on” faces.

Elaine G. Flores is a New York writer, editor and bon vivant. She’s a hard-core shipper and excommunicated soap opera reviewer. Her fictional dinner-party guests include Omar Little, Buffy Summers, Abigail Mills and Ichabod Crane. You can visit her site, TV Recappers Delight.