Empire Recap: Spilling the Tea, Slinging the Mud and Out for Blood

Camilla (Naomi Campbell) (left) better watch out if she thinks she can take on tough Cookie (Taraji P. Henson).

After giving Lucious (the only man she’s ever been with!) a taste of what he’s been missing, Cookie tells him, “If you want Cookie’s nookie, ditch the bitch.” Cookie is so poetic, Nikki Giovanni wants her lines. Lucious vows to get rid of Boo Boo Kitty. The man is clearly Lyon.

Cookie wants to immortalize her ex with a legacy album spanning his musical career, a documentary and remake of “You’re So Beautiful,” performed by Lucious, Hakeem and Jamal.


Lucious thinks Cookie’s idea is brilliant. He hires a documentarian, Ryan Morgan. Ryan is a tall glass of water with an Australian accent. Lucious says, “I like that cat.” Lucious is not getting the vibe I’m getting. That vibe that says Lucious may want to hold off on that friend request. Jamal meets Ryan, who prods him to come out of the closet (told you so!) for the sake of his daughter. Jamal finally spends some time with Lola and sings “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Subtle, show.

At the studio, Cookie, Lucious, Hakeem and Jamal engage in a family sing-along. It’s so nice to see the whole Lyon family together, just Cookie and Lucious and their two sons. Whoops! We forgot Andre, who lurks in the shadows.

Boo Boo Kitty is salty. She wants to know why Cookie’s legs were wrapped around Lucious the night before. He has as much to say as Eddie Murphy at the Saturday Night Live retrospective. Boo Boo demands that they move up the wedding and announce it at the white party in front of Cookie. I don’t see how that’s going to stop Lucious from taking a bite out of Cookie, but that’s how Boo Boo’s mind works.

Overlooked Andre conspires with Vernon. If Lucious becomes incapacitated because of his ALS, Andre can step in as temporary CEO, then make it permanent. He needs boardroom votes; in Andre’s world, that means sex for favors. Andre can’t do all the work alone, so he asks his wife, Rhonda, to take one for the team. They dine with a couple, but Rhonda’s life choices literally sicken her and she throws up on her plate. She’s not even wearing her special sex bib! Lady Macbeth tells Andre not to turn her into a whore. That whore—I mean horse—is out of the barn, honey.


At the big meeting, Andre thinks he’s got the votes. Lucious will back his son, right? Nope. Lucious knows Andre is trying to stage a coup. Learn to sing, son. Later on, Andre refuses to take his meds, drinks and plays Russian roulette. Side note: It’s good that the show is addressing the taboo issue of mental illness. However, the portrayal of Andre’s bipolar disorder is over-the-top and not helpful. Such a depiction leads to more stigma. A little more research, please.

It’s the night of the white party. Giuliana Rancic is on the red carpet. She keeps trying to touch and sniff people’s hair. One of the guests has dreadlocks. Giuliana gets a contact high; this results in a mean case of the munchies. Someone offers a Tic Tac. It’s the most she’s eaten all week.


Hakeem heads to the old folks’ home to round up Camilla. She gives him a white suit for the party and references “Puff Daddy.” Way to relate to your little boy, Camilla. Camilla mouths off about Hakeem’s career. Cookie tells Yoko Ono to go break up the Beatles on her own time.

Boo Boo Kitty can’t wait to tell Cookie about the impending wedding. Cookie can’t wait to tell Boo Boo that she and Lucious did it a second time. Put away your claws, Kitty.


After Lucious gives Jamal a pep talk about being true to your music, Jamal performs a same-sex version of “You’re So Beautiful.” The audience loves it, especially Chris Pine, who sheds a tear. Ryan rushes over and sticks a camera in his face because there’s nothing as moving as a solidarity tear from some white guy.

Everyone praises Jamal’s coming out, except for Lucious, of course. He’s in such a snit that he nixes Cookie’s legacy idea. Lucious better get ready for bigger problems: Boo Boo Kitty meets with music executive Billy Baretti, Lucious’ rival. Nobody puts Boo Boo in a corner.


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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