On this week’s episode of the Fox’s hit hip-hop drama Empire, mega-mogul Lucious Lyon found himself a fall boy, Cookie staged a comeback for a falling star, and surprise guest star Raven-Symoné stopped by the Empire to drop a major bomb.
Here’s a look at the winners, losers and best lines from "Out, Damned Spot."
Cookie and Elle Dallas
Right from "The Jump Off," we could tell Cookie was going to slay this ep. She might have embarrassed herself at the engagement dinner, but this week’s story was all about redemption and second chances, both for the queen Cookie and this week’s guest Empire artist, the label’s fallen star Elle Dallas (played to hot mess perfection by Courtney Love). After a rocky start, they break through when Cookie drops her fangirl act and calls Elle out on her drug use and attitude in the recording booth, telling her they need each other to make their respective comebacks. Both divas ultimately earn their redemption, and Cookie motivates Elle to strip away her glitzy, drugged-out rock star persona, motivating a career-changing vocal performance as a result.
Lucious - It's pretty clear that it’s all going to blow up in his face, but by the end of the this episode, Lucious has a guy to take the fall for Bunkie’s murder and a new treatment for his ALS. So we’re calling him a winner...for now.
Vernon - Lucious’ right-hand man spent the episode questioning the life that he’s chosen, but ends up taking care of Bunkie’s murder and gaining some serious leverage on his boss in the process. Can’t wait to see what he does with his new-found leverage.
Sure his songs are getting hot and his name is trending, but the middle Lyon son sure wasn’t a winner this week. From his weak sauce argument with Cookie about her confrontation with Michael to pulling the cop-out "I’m just really in love with my music right now" line during his satellite interview, it’s clear the pressures of fame are starting to build on the talented singer/songwriter. Plus, he gets a baby-daddy bomb dropped on him by ex-fling (?) Olivia (Raven-Symoné). Pretty bad week for 'Mal.
Michael - Poor, poor Michael. He spent the whole episode worried about Jamal getting too famous, when he really should have been worried about Raven-Symoné. We have a feeling the poor guy’s not long for this Empire.
Andre - His first appearance in this episode features the eldest Lyon son being put in a chokehold, and the pressure doesn’t ease up from there. He admits to Vernon that he covered for Lucious because "that’s what I do," and ends the hour threatening the life of the one true professional ally he seems to have.
"Just make sure you keep taking those meds, boy," Vernon warns him.
"Darling, don’t be shy. We’re all somebody’s ex-wife." - Elle Dallas (Courtney Love), perhaps channeling the actress who plays her?
"Difficult. I know that word." - Cookie, standing up for herself, Elle Dallas, and other women who refuse to be controlled.
"So what? I’m drunk and you brilliant." - Hakeem, pretty much nailing it when he drunkenly confronts Jamal at the club.
"I mean, it’s really nice... for some girl scouts." - Lucious letting Hakeem know that his latest verse is coming off a little thin (mint).
"I hope one day you find a partner that’s on your same level. Somebody that can bring something to the table beside some damn food." - Cookie, with another stellar turn of phrase. Poor, poor Michael.
"...on my college football/In other words/I’ma act like I don’t know the dame." - Hakeem has at least one seriously stellar lyrical line every episode.
"I Wanna Love You"
This song is one of Empire star Jussie Smollett's four original tracks that producers picked to be featured on the show’s first season. We agree with guest star Sway who proclaimed during Jamal's satellite interview that it's "gonna explode" in a big way.
"Oh, and Anika? This is an ass."
GUEST STAR HALL OF FAME
We were all set to give this spot to Courteney Love’s Elle Dallas character, until Raven-F***ing-Symoné showed up and blew the roof off the Empire with her announcement that the little girl by her side was Jamal’s daughter! CANNOT WAIT to see what kind of drama Olivia is about to bring to the Lyon family.