(1) Open in Cookie’s penthouse. She’s rocking a loud a*s geometric meets crayola inspired shirt and some FIYAH red leather pants. LOVING the pants, can miss me with that shirt. She’s on the phone with Tiana, it’s not going well. Doorbell rings. Well looky here, it’s Angelo “won’t take no for answer” DuBois with coffee. She has to let him in, he brought her favorite mocha latte. We so easy sometimes. Ohhh SHE reached out, texted him about his press conference. Un huh. He saw an opening. We just can’t leave stuff alone can we?? Angelo: “You know how I feel. I know how you feel. Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?” Then he cave man kissed her. Then she jumped him. Ripped the buttons off his expensive a*s shirt and everything. Sex was had.
(2) Lucious, dressed like he just left Equinox, dragged Jamal and a group of Empire extras in on Saturday so they could group watch a video of Charlamagne designate Jamal “Donkey of the Day” and “Turkey of the Year” for “b*tching up” after he got shot. Lucious is also mad cause Jamal spending money in the studio but ain’t no tracks forthcoming. Becky said she heard a few tracks and “they’re lit.” Apparently Jamal is channeling Kanye and attempting next level creativity with creating a “musical museum” talking about “changing the game” etc but they (the business people) are killing him with “stats” and “stifling” his creativity, basically harshing his vibe so he bounced. Lucious and his tendrils just looked on.
(3) Andre is on a business call saying business stuff and walking around his desk with a business swagger when Nessa strolls in with an invitation and a warning. The invitation is to a memorial/block party in honor of her brother. It’s a family affair and she wants him there. The warning – Shine mad. Duh. This time he’s mad about Freda Gatz. She said the Lyon family ain’t sh*t (some truth there) and she ain’t NEVAH gon’ record for Empire again. Would you? Done messed her around every which-a-way. Literally.
(4) Jamal’s two suitors, Phillip (he’s gay right?) and D-Major (booooo!) are in Jamal’s kitchen arguing about what’s best for Jamal. It damn sure ain’t D-M but Jamal can’t see that – yet. D-M hooked him up with some other pills cause that makes sense and Phillip has the patience of a saint. Well in this instance he has the patience of a therapist cause that actually is his job. Jamal curtly dismissed said saint cause sometimes Jamal can be a real a*s.
(5) In walks Cookie eating twizzlers (red vines?). She came through to check out what Jamal has been working on. We bout to see this musical museum he was talking about. Awwwww it’s sweet. Carol gave him a bunch of home videos (convenient that she still had them…) that are playing while his new track “Mama” plays. Song sounds dope. For 5 blissful seconds Cookie and Jamal smile and groove. Then Cookie sees her father and she promptly loses it. Overreacts, tells Jamal he can’t use none of that footage and runs out the door. Soooo dramatic. Speaking of mothers, she is about to be late to meet Angelo’s mama. Run girl run!!
(6) And here we go, in walks the incomparable and phenomenal Ms. Phylicia Rashad. Dressed like old money, Angelo’s moms strolls in and tells the crowd point blank “Thank you in advance for donating large sums of my money to my son’s campaign. And of course drink up.” Cookie is late. Madame Diana Dubois is NOT pleased. She clowned Cookie’s naked selfie. Ouch.
(7) Jamal and Phillip stop by Carol’s place of employment. She’s posted up in a beauty supply store in Brooklyn. She immediately starts flirting with Phillip. Hell I would too, still not clear whether or not he would be checking for either of us tho. Sway?? Anyway, Jamal wants to know why his mama ran out the room screaming. Sidebar: this fool who was already in the store interjects with a few throwaway lines clowning Jamal AND Freda Gatz in one quick breath. Unnecessary interlude but #BecauseEmpire. Moving on, Carol gives Jamal a heads up – the real drama started when Cookie met Lucious. Duh.
(8) Cookie finally makes it to the venue. She is late as hell. The event been over. She gives a half-a*s apology. Angelo doesn’t respond well to it. Duh. It’s tense. She apologizes again, a little more legit this time. Tells him Jamal threw her for a loop with some home videos and how she messed up by choosing Lucious when she should have chosen someone like him. I mean… Wealthy ex-felon or well off doctor’s wife. Hmmmm.
(9) Flashback 1: Teenage Lucious drops teenage Cookie off outside her house, well past her curfew. Guess who greeted her at the door? Pops ain’t trying to hear nan lie coming off her lips. Talking about the “girls kept her out late.” Chile… Oh damn. He had her bags packed and everything, told her she needed to go. Damn pops. Gets worse, teenage Lucious had teenage Cookie stashing drugs and money at HER house. Maaaaan… hell nah! Pops said he can’t let Lucious ruin his other two girls like he ruint Cookie. Geezus! I winced at that line. Teenage Cookie pleading, he crying, she still pleading, saying she won’t see Lucious no more. Pops hugged her, kissed her and shut the door. Well sh*t.
(10) Back to present day, after telling Angelo alla that, she begs him to let her make it up to him and his mother. He relents, says he’ll handle logistics and tells her to bring her sons. His moms went to Penn so she and Andre got something in common.
(11) For some reason, Cookie, Andre and Hakeem meet at the Manse. Odd but it gave us an opportunity to see the super adorable bundle of beautiful that is lil miss Bella. Cookie tells them she needs them at the dinner. Hakeem says a bunch of stupid stuff but he going. Andre says yes until he hears it is the same night as Nessa’s block party. Cookie says “please.”
(12) Next Cookie stops by Jamal’s place. You can travel quickly on a TV show. They eating sushi. She apologies for wigging out. Jamal is tired of secrets, tells his mother: “You can talk to me. If you love me you ain’t gotta lie to me.” Hello.
(13) Flashback 2: Pops had a heart attack. Cookie gets back to the house as they are putting him in an ambulance. She tries to get in with her sisters but teenage Candace, sounding like she was possessed, told her this was her fault and that she should go be with Lucious. Damn. Her father died that night. Then she and Lucious raised each other. Wow. “That’s why all roads lead to Lucious.” Just wow. She gives Jamal permission to use the videos. He promises he’ll show up to dinner.
(14) Okay this rehearsal dinner scene with Cookie and Candace… I can’t. Cookie to Candace: “Teach me how to be a society b*tch” and then proceeded to call Candace “fake a*s” and an “oreo.” She used the word “conversate” and was basically over the top hood af. Sigh.
Candace mentioned that Mama Dubois was in a sorority. Cookie: “How you know she in a sorority?” Candace told her to quote someone important. Cookie: “But I don’t know what they be saying.” They do this back and forth about a Maya Angelou quote that sounds to Cookie like something Beyonce said which Candace entertains and rejoins with “but it sounds like something Maya could have said so it works.” I don’t have enough wine in my house for this. I understand what they were trying to do here but it ain’t work. Although I DID appreciate that Melania Trump dig so Empire gets a point for that.
(15) In walks
Lucifer Lucious looking like a dandy out of an Oscar Wilde piece and per usual he hating. Got wind of Cookie’s dinner with Angelo and his mama and decided to use that particular venue to celebrate one of his homies, Big Mike, getting out of the pen.
(16) Cookie and Candace are back at Cookie’s place trying to figure out what to do. Lucious is flexing his muscles and blocking all around town and Cookie can’t find no where to host this dinner. She and Candace have a nice moment with Candace imitating their father declaring teenage Cookie’s dopeness. Candace gets the bright idea that Cookie should host the dinner at her place. Duh.
(17) Must be humid on set, Lucious’ locks have reverted and he got that curly do happening now. He STILL trying to school Hakeem on how to hold a baby. How many episodes has it been? He ain’t figured that simple ish out yet??? #LostCause
And because “ain’t sh*t” is Lucious’ first, middle and last name, he tells Hakeem he needs to babysit tonight but he’ll be relieved in time to make it to Cookie’s dinner – y’all know that’s a damn lie.
(18) Porsha is helping Cookie and Candace redecorate Cookie’s crib. It finally came to me. Cookie was trying to out Porsha Porsha at her luncheon with Candace – took that ghetto ish to a whole ‘nother level. Folks stay lane jumping on this show.
(19) As expected Keem is at the manse STRUGGLING with Baby Bella. Baby Bella mad – I hear you baby girl, I hear you.
(20) Jamal shows up first for dinner at Cookie’s place. He is HIIIIIIIIGH, rocking shades and a shirt showing off a bit too much chest for the occasion. Ahhh Angelo and Mama Dubois show up next. Diana immediately tells Cookie “honey you did not have to redo your entire place for me.” Bullseye. Jamal comes back in the room ex-tra, kissing Diana’s hand and everything. Hakeem shows up next with a crying Bella in his arms (of course). Hakeem hands the baby to Cookie then said “how you doing” to Diana like he actually has some sense in his head. Am I the only one who laughed at that? The look on Mama Dubois’ face was “good gracious wtf has my son gotten us into?”
(21) Over at the block party, DMX is blasting and folks are having a good time. Andre ain’t there yet and Shine takes that opportunity to talk sh*t about him to Nessa #Gangsta #Hoo
(22) Mama Dubois asked Hakeem about the baby’s mother. Hakeem: “I don’t be keeping tabs on her like that” and there’s the Hakeem we all know and stay aggy about. Diana said something slick about “free spirits” and “examples” set by parents which Jamal noted and responded to accordingly: “Mrs. Dubois you be mad shady. I catch that. I clock that.” This is funnier on the second watch of this show. Cookie went with a seafood dinner, of course Mama Dubois is DEATHLY allergic to seafood. Clearly this was something that could have EASILY been avoided had Cookie perhaps instructed someone (anyone!) to call and inquire but that would have been too much like right and we wouldn’t have had the set up for mo drama. Doorbell rings again. Cookie thinks its Andre of course it ain’t no damn Andre – y’all already know who it is – Anika and that fool Lucious coming to join this debacle of a dinner.
(23) Lucious must have come up on some pomade cause his curls are once again slicked back tight. Lucious does a quick recap of the family
shenanigans dynamics and managed to also include Cookie’s 17-year stint in jail cause, say it with me now, he’s an a*s.
(24) Andre is late to everything tonight. Finally shows up at the block party with Freda. Craig Mack’s Flava in Yo Ear is now playing. Not mad at the classics. Dre gives Freda a speech cause she’s being pouty. Nessa is cheesing hard cause Dre showed up. He tries to tell her he still has to bounce but she convinces him to stay. Nessa gets on the mic cause she’s happy and wants to sang y’all!
Sidebar: I saw a dude in the crowd I auditioned with one time. Just wanted to put that out there.
(25) Cookie throws in the towel on her nightmare dinner. Orders the waitstaff to bounce and tells Hakeem to grab the peach cobbler and Cold Duck out of the kitchen. Cookie acknowledges all the crazy that is her family, “twisted tree” was one description she used, said she wouldn’t trade nan one of them and then commanded Jamal to sing a song cause that’s what they do.
(26) Jamal sings a beautiful song but that falsetto tho… Anyway it’s especially touching and Lucious decides to undevil himself for five mins and he and Anika and Bella bounce.
(27) Diana and Cookie have a heart to heart. Diana keeps it real: “My blood ain’t blue. My grandaddy was a bootlegger. His daddy was a smuggler. We managed to scrub ourselves clean. But you and your family remind me of where we came from.” Well alrighty then. Diana then told Cookie she understands why Angelo likes her, she has “fire” but then she made it very clear: “Don’t let that fire burn my child. My ONLY child.” Only Phylicia Rashad can say so much with so few lines. Masterful! Anyway they parted on a friendly-ish note.
(28) Anika is rocking a La Perla ensemble lotioning up her body with her bedroom door open while Lucious and his do-rag wander down the hall and of course he takes a moment to observe. She didn’t see him, maybe. This is a set up.
(29) Nessa encourages Freda to take the mic. She does, gives a little speech of her own, mentions her Pops, thanks Andre and gets to spitting. Shine shady a*s records it. He’s going to use that to his advantage somehow cause shady.
Coming Up: Nessa tells Andre she ain’t Rhonda. Andre keeps wearing those hats and Mama Leah might be in real danger!