Empire Recap: Reunited and It Feels So Good

On Empire, Lucious and Cookie still got that feelin’.
On Empire, Lucious and Cookie still got that feelin’.

Caution: dancing microwaves ahead.

Yeah, so a lot happened this week; some of it poignant, some of it unexpected, some of it absurd. Let’s get started.

Hakeem’s arranged a candlelit dinner, prepared by Chef Roblé, for Camilla. He calls her “bae” and then must explain that the word means “babe.” Camilla is 40ish. Don’t make her go to Urban Dictionary, just use the “b.” Chef Roblé pokes his nose in to give Hakeem his input on the date; he’s pretty loud about it. Next time, get Chef Marcus Samuelsson. He’s less talky. Camilla’s mad that Hakeem won’t take her out in public. Just show up at his PTA meeting, Grandma.

Lucious is stressed out about a party to woo investors. He can’t even get in the door before the questions start. Cookie talks at him so much that he collapses. Before Lucious is rushed to the hospital, Cookie and Miss Kitty get into it over who gets a ride-along. Um, ladies, maybe just do rock-paper-scissors and get on with it so Lucious doesn’t die in the ambulance.


Unsurprisingly, the Russian bootleg treatment for his ALS is doing more harm than good. Lucious’ reaction is gut-wrenching. As crazy as this show is, it sheds light on a fatal disease in a way that the ice bucket challenge can’t. Cookie asks what’s wrong; Lucious blames food poisoning. Chef Roblé pokes his nose in to say his chicken was thoroughly cooked.

You know who’s had enough? Michael. Jamal can’t figure out why his relationship is kaput. Perhaps claiming he was single in an interview was not the way to go. Michael also mentions the “Maury ‘You are the father’” business. Jamal doesn’t think you can get someone pregnant the first time. He thinks it’s like a customer-loyalty card: You have to do it 10 times before you can get a baby.

Meanwhile, Jamal’s supposed daughter, Lola, is just strolling around the headquarters with her little suitcase. His trifling ex-wife, Olivia, just dumped the child and ran. Becky is minding Lola while Jamal avoids eye contact. Lucious says his maid Juanita “will get a kick looking after” Lola. (Call Camilla; she loves children.) Lucious is beaming at Jamal. You can tell he’s so thrilled that Jamal had sex with a woman, he wants to give him an award. But not an Oscar, because the Oscars don’t recognize black people.

OK, it’s time for the shindig. Cookie recruited Elle Dallas to headline. Boo Boo Kitty doesn’t want Cookie to succeed, so she dopes the singer’s tea. Cookie has to tell Lucious her artist can’t perform. How did Boo Boo Kitty know this scheme would work? What if Elle had made a spectacle onstage in front of the investors? Now Hakeem and Jamal are the main event with a hip-hop cover of “Money for Nothing.” For no good reason, the backup dancers prance in bikinis with cardboard microwaves and televisions obscuring their heads. I know it’s a reference to the 1985 video, but still. Did Kitty dope somebody else’s tea? Did she dope my tea?


Lucious gets sick and can’t go out and speak to the investors; he asks Cookie to do it. Lucious watches on a monitor as Cookie delivers a great speech, and he actually says to no one in particular, “I love you, Cookie.” Boo Boo Kitty is sitting right there! Chef Roblé sticks his head in to say that Lucious needs to quiet down. Poor Boo Boo Kitty. Lucious loves Cookie. Millions of viewers love Cookie. Miss Kitty loves Cookie as much as Amber Rose loves Khloe Kardashian.

After the party, Boo Boo Kitty flies to Chicago for business. Oddly, Lucious thinks now is the time for a family meeting to announce his diagnosis. So Cookie gets invited to his engagement party, but Boo Boo Kitty can’t be present for this? Everyone has understandable reactions except for Andre and that Lady Macbeth wife of his, who make it clear that they only care about how this affects business. Hakeem lunges at Andre and is ready to knock him out. I side with Hakeem. Camilla raised him right. Andre goes off to cry in the shower with his suit on. Lady Macbeth comforts him.


Alone at last, Cookie and Lucious talk about old times; they share a dance. Dancing leads to kissing. Dancing and kissing lead to Cookie’s legs wrapped around Lucious’ waist. Wait, what? Boo Boo Kitty hasn’t even made it through the TSA pat-down yet. Too late now—Kitty returns in time to see the ex-sex. Chef Roblé pokes his head in to ask how she likes that humble pie.

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.

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