The Feds Bust Up The Party
The episode opens with dramatics because this is Empire, of course! The Feds run up in Empire Records while Jamal is recording, #Rude. They have a warrant, so it’s justified.
Meanwhile at Lyon Dynasty…
Anika is getting back in Cookie’s good graces just as the feds roll up in the Dynasty, and get busy raiding there too. Come to find out, it’s the hater lawyer Roxanne Ford behind this. Wompington.
Luscious Sees An Opportunity
Lucious’ new investor is nervous about the raid, and expresses her concerns at a meeting with the entire Empire staff. However, Lucious sees this as an opportunity because guess what? Getting raided by the feds gets you street cred. So, Lucious feels they can use this to their advantage.
Later on, Lucious gathers the Lyon clan to chat about this situation. Lucious’ shady lawyer reveals that this type of harassment is common when there’s an open federal investigation, but adds that the feds have no real case. In the meantime, it’s important for them to front like they’re a happy family until they can resolve this situation. The resolution would be to find Vernon Turner and get him not to testify against Lucious, but um…Dre’s wife killed Vernon (and Roxanne Ford was fronting like she knew where he was this entire time), so yeah…
Cookie links up with Lucious alone in order to call a truce. Her conditions is that Lucious allows her label’s songs to be played on the radio if she agrees to have Hakeem shoot the overdue video with Jamal, and Lucious also has to stop poaching Lyon dynasty artists. The point of this truce is to put on a unified front, but Lucious is petty, so he doesn’t agree to everything. He grants Cookie the video with Jamal and that he’ll stop poaching artists, but radio play is a no go.
Dre’s New Plan
Dre has something up his sleeves too. He tells Lucious that he can get the case dismissed, but the condition is that he returns to Empire Records. Lucious says he can have anything his wants if he makes the case disappear, but he’s also suspicious of what his son has going on.
The Video Shoot
The video shoot with Hakeem and Jamal is a post apocalyptic theme about fighting police brutality. It low-key looks like the “California Love” video, but I digress. Everything seems to be going swimmingly until Cookie gets arrested for an outstanding warrant. Her last words before the police cart drive off are, “If I die in police custody, I did not commit suicide.” I see what you did there, Empire writers!
Later on, she gets a visit from Roxanne Ford who is behind this, obvi. Basically, the warrant is from Hakeem jumping the turnstile and then giving Cookie’s name after getting caught by police. Hakeem is on camera, but Roxanne is just being petty and plans to use this to her benefit. This is the harassment Lucious’ lawyer was talking about. Roxanne then threatens to hurt Cookie’s kids and event tastelessly makes a comment about causing Andre to commit suicide if she decides to leak his medical records. Hold up, aren’t medical records off limits, though, even to shady prosecutors? Anyway, she wants Cookie to snitch on Lucious otherwise she could be going back to jail. Cookie starts having flashbacks of her time in jail and it seems like she’s going to crack, but Cookie Monster don’t play that!
Cookie tells Roxanne that Bunky and Lucious were fighting over Apex. Bunky didn’t want Lucious to buy the station, but Lucious did anyway, and then Bunky comes up missing. Cookie says she can’t confirm that Lucious has anything to do with this (but we know that Cookie knows), but stresses that it’s important to Lucious that the Apex deal to go through. Roxanne plays right into Cookie’s game, and says she’ll do everything in her power to stop it. Cookie smirks, knowing she hustled Roxanne. #Goteem!
Dre’s Plan of Action
Dre and his wife go to dig up Vernon’s body and can’t find it. Eventually they discover they’re not alone, though. Lucious rolls up with his lawyer, who put a tracking device in Dre’s car after Dre told Lucious that he could make the case go away. Dre’s wife spills the beans about what happened, and Lucious thanks them for “saving his life,” and welcomes Dre back to Empire. Lucious’ lawyer, not surprisingly, has some kind of device that can find where the body is buried, so he makes magic happen and the episode ends on a dramatic note.
In the final scene, we see Roxanne Ford getting into her car only to find that her passenger is Vernon Taylor’s corpse, but she doesn’t know that yet. She lets out a blood curdling scream and…end scene.