‘Empire’ Recap – “One Before Another” (S3:E5)

(1) Remember war has been declared so Lucious is rolling around in armored vehicles and Anika was like you don’t think you’re going a bit too far to which Lucious responded: “If you want to step your a*s out and see if you’re bullet proof go ‘head.” Sigh.

(2) Taye and Cookie were getting cozy with coffee when Lucious’ goons swept in to pick her up for protection. I’m already all sighed out and we ain’t 5 mins into the episode yet.

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(3) Shine would not make it as a hit man (which is a good thing). First of all he took too long to try and shoot Dre, then when he pulled the trigger nothing happened so then he goes for his other gun but fortunately Nessa jumped in and talked him down. Have to admit Dre stood there facing death like a G. Maybe a byproduct of the bi-polar? Sway??

(4) A family meeting is held at Empire. Lucious thinks Shine will still honor the street code of not being a snitch. Sure why not? Jamal points out (accurately) that Lucious is loving this drama. Lucious: “well it brought my family back together didn’t it” which is really a SUPER odd thing to say considering what happened later but I’m getting ahead of myself.

(5) Jamal lures Hakeem with a track. In exchange Mal wants to do a double bill. Keep it intimate and do it from his living room so he doesn’t have to face a crowd. Hakeem ain’t convinced but reluctantly signs on.

(6) While making the announcement about the collabo, Lil Romeo rolls in talking about CHALLENGE!!! Jamal checks Hakeem (like always) and tells him to stop and think for a second. How LR just gon’ roll in past all the security? Right. This has Lucious written ALL over it. #LightBulb

(7) Becky and White Guy still beefing. Specifically this time about what single Tiana should do as her lead song. Cookie sides with “Fiddler on the Roof” (her name not mine) and asked for everyone to get along (that phrase holds a deeper meaning in light of the election but again I digress). No, I did not like Becky’s wig and you didn’t either.

(8) Nessa and Dre have a “chat” – I like her but her acting is still well…  Anyway, Dre wants her to help him (and Lucious) arrange a sit down with Shine. They exchanged meaningful looks. I like Dre with her. I like them together. 🙂

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(9) Jamal was waiting for his daddy in the big chair when Lucious came back to his office. Mal is fighting for Hakeem’s soul. That’s nice. Lucious called him corny and then referred to himself as God. I can’t.

(10) Cookie had a bad meeting with her parole officer. Not gonna front I loved that whole scene. When Cookie finally realizes home girl ain’t messing with her like that no more: “What’s going on, Sharlene? The last time I was here you were showing me pictures of your kids and now you acting brand-new?” I mean Sharlene was SUPER stank! She told Cookie she needed to bring her behind in there 3 times a week, said she wasn’t “no thug rapper, she was the US government!” She enunciated and everything. Told her she might send her back to lockup if she kept talking then handed her a plastic cup – bet not fail that drug test girl!

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(11) Becky tried to make a boss move and told Tiana she could record the song she wanted to record. Why she do that?? Sho nuff gonna backfire. What was funny about that scene was when Becky said she had Tiana’s back like bra straps and Tiana’s full back was out, clearly not in possession of a bra let alone a bra strap. #BecauseEmpire

(12) Super annoying scene with Lucious, Baby Bella and Hakeem. Lucious was reading a particularly “strong” passage from Kahlil Gibran’s “A Tear and a Smile ” and Hakeem asking stupid questions re the baby like “why she always sleeping?” Somebody get him please. The fight for Hakeem’s soul continues on, Lucious relays the synopsis of Gibran’s book – in a nutshell telling Hakeem to become a “destroyer of men.” I did NOT appreciate what looked like Lucius putting the mark of the devil on that baby’s face! WTH was that two fingered gesture?? Not okay.

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(13) Rehearsal for the collabo happened. Hakeem comes hard with a verse about loyalty to his brothers but he’s hella aggressive with it, stomping all around the room, flinging furniture, etc. Mal tried to regulate his track, told Hakeem he was doing too much, sounding like Lucious and whatnot. Hakeem reminded him that he don’t need this, he’s not the one with stage fright. Whelp.

(14) The meet up with Shine happens at the manse. It is going all the way wrong until Anika strolls in with that calming female persuasion flow (y’all know how we do) and mentions an idea about giving Shine his own imprint. Lucious and Shine shake hands while Dre looks on. I couldn’t figure out the look on his face. Disgusted? Suspicious? Cunning?? What are your thoughts Dre???

(15) Cookie had on a really pretty flowing green dress when Taye arrives at her house for a date. Because she’s paranoid and can’t trust nobody, Cookie thinks Taye had something to do with her PO tripping on her so she trips on him. They argue and Taye bounces. Good idea.

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(16) Tiana records the song Becky greenlit. Becky asks Fiddler to have her back. Bad idea.

(17) Cookie and ‘Mal show up at Hakeem’s messy a*s place. LOVE the dress she has on in this scene as well. Cookie told both of them fools to grow up. Reminded Hakeem that he does NOT want to get on her bad side. Cookie kissed Hakeem then smacked the ish out of him. Ahhh family.

(18) The live streamed performance happens. It was, well, let’s say “explosive.” Jamal was singing about “we’ve been through the storm and we’re still together, we’re back together now as one” and then Hakeem came through and read both of his brothers for filth! TORCHED!! #ThxLucious. Just like the devil to sow discord at any opportunity.

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(19) Even though the reason for Hakeem’s anger is tenuous as hell, that was an incredibly powerful scene. I’m wondering if the actor’s wrote their own lines. As I’ve stated a few times this season whomever is running the show now do NOT let them go ANY where! This madness has finally found a working groove. DON’T MESS THIS UP!

(20) Oh Becky. As we all saw coming she got COMPLETELY played. Why on earth would you trust Xavier? Seriously why?? Another very real scene. Tiana mad cause Becky lied to her and now wants her off her team, Xavier confirmed his shady and Cookie was right, Becky needs to learn how to listen. #YourOwnFault

(21) Taye came through with a win! Got Cookie’s PO to apologize. Said he wants to fight for Cookie. Oooookaaaaaay sir! And yep, when Taye called Cookie “baby girl” I may have had a moment.

(22) Shine & Tariq  have a chat. Shine tipped him off re Frank Gathers getting popped while Lucious was locked up. If that doesn’t qualify as full snitching it is most certainly snitching adjacent.

(23) Anika and Lucious are getting along. This arrangement with Lucious, Anika and Hakeem is SUPER gross when you REALLY stop to think about it.

EMPIRE: Pictured L-R: Terrence Howard and Grace Gealey in the "One Before Another" episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Jean Whiteside/FOX

(24) Lucious is so dirty. He couldn’t capitalize off of Hakeem’s beef with Lil Romeo so next best was to have him at war with his brothers which had the double benefit of Hakeem ending up back under his control. It’s a win win for him. Destroyer of souls is damn accurate.

(25) Lucious’ baby advice makes me ill.

Coming Up: Jamal tells Cookie she ain’t got to lie.


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