If you recall, the last episode of Empire left off with Rhonda getting pushed down the stairs. We can all assume that it was Boo Boo Kitty even though we don’t see her face, but we do see a woman in red bottoms exiting the house during the aftermath. If it wasn’t Boo Boo Kitty, it was definitely someone she hired. There can only be on Lyon air to the throne in the next generation.
By this point, you’ve already imagined the obvious—Rhonda lost the baby. The bulk of the episode revolves around sadness over Rhonda and Dre’s loss, as well as the fact that Lucious and Cookie want to get Empire Records back from Camilla and Mimi.
Cookie confronts Hakeem about voting against Lucious, but he acts like a baby as usual. He says that what he did was more about getting at his father and not the fam. Cookie reminded him that he basically gave their family business away regardless of who his anger is directed toward, and proposes that they call another meeting where he takes his vote back. He refuses, so Cookie delivers another epic Hakeem beat down.
The family gathers at the hospital to check on Rhonda. They’re all devastated, but don’t actually have the right idea of what really happened. Rhonda can’t remember much and seems to think she tripped, but eventually she will remember, it’s inevitable. Meanwhile, Cookie reveals to Lucious that she has a plan to get Empire back.
Cookie barges in on Camilla and Hakeem and tries to convince the latter to agree to toss his hat in the ring for the battle of the next CEO of Empire. Camilla says no and it’s obvious that she’s still in his head.
Cut to the montage of people’s cars blowing up, dead cats hanging from chandeliers, and people getting beat up as Lucious diabolically played the piano. Basically, Lucious and his boy Thirsty have employed various terror tactics to get the other potential CEO candidates to drop out, guerilla style.
Damn, the Lyons family needs therapy, Jesus, and an exorcism. #Empire
— Yolanda Shoshana (@Shoshi) March 31, 2016
When it came time to vote, all the potential candidates withdrew after experiencing the wave of terror employed by Lucious. This prompted Hakeem to step up to the plate because “he’s not scared of Lucious.” He doesn’t even realize that this was part of Cookie’s plan. Dummy.
Later on, Cookie, Jamal and Dre convince Hakeem to release Jamal’s album under Lyon Dynasty since it was a joint venture between the two labels anyway. In this case, Lyon Dynasty is the imprint and Empire as the distributor. The extra part of the deal that Camilla really didn’t bargain for is that Cookie gets to be head of A&R for Empire. Do A&R’s still exist? Serious question, but anyway, Camilla wants Hakeem to reconsider his first decision as CEO, but he claims that this was more about taking his dad out, and he just wants the rest of them to be a family again. Aaaaaaw, it’s never that simple with this show, though. Camilla definitely has more tricks up her sleeves, but so does Cookie.
The episode concludes with a standoff between Hakeem and Lucious. Lucious, like the gangster that he is, took Hakeem to the spot where he killed Vernon. Lucious told Hakeem that he killed Vernon because he was going to get in the way of Empire, and assured him that he will kill him too if necessary. But first, he gives Hakeem the chance to get a head start. He hands Hakeem the gun and tells him to shoot him. Hakeem thinks about it, holds the gun to Lucious’ head, but then actually makes a smart decision. Seeing how bad Lucious seems to want to bait him, he decides not to shoot just for the sake of being petty.
Next week we will revisit Boo Boo Kitty the secret she will finally reveal.