The week’s Empire was all about family, starting with the flashback to Cookie saying goodbye to her young sons before being sentenced to jail, and ending with dramatic implications for every member of the Lyon family.
Here’s a look at the drama that "The Lyon’s Roar" brought to Empire’s central clan.
It was a ground-breaking episode for the middle Lyon son. After meeting openly gay filmmaker Ryan Morgan (Eka Darville), Jamal was inspired to come out publicly at the White Party, changing the lyrics to one of Lucious’ famous songs and singing "this the kind of song that makes a man love a man." The party crowd and Lyon family all loved it...everyone except Lucious of course.
Jamal also shared an adorable moment bonding with his new daughter Lola over the Lyons’ love of music and singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" together.
The eldest Lyon has been on the edge of a breakdown all season, and tonight just about put him over the edge. Jealousy over being left out of the family’s musical collaboration led to him making a dramatic power play to be named the interim CEO of Empire Entertainment. After nearly prostituting his wife to win over the last necessary board member, Andre was shocked as his father’s "nay" vote and finally broke down when Lucious told him he couldn’t trust him enough to run the company. Holding a gun to his head in a dimly-lit studio is likely not the last dark moment we’ll see from Andre this season.
The young Lyon impresario was nearly brought back to the dark side by his "Yoko Ono" Camilla, but Hakeem was, for the most part, surprisingly sweet this week. Praying for his dad’s health, getting closer to Cookie, and visiting Jamal just to tell him how proud he was? If this growth continues, the young Lyon might become just the man to lead the Empire.
The Empire patriarch was all over the place this week. From making conflicting promises to BOTH of the women in his life, getting caught cheating AND attempting insurance fraud, and being blindsided by Jamal’s coming out, Lucious’ health concerns felt like the least of his problems. Plus, cancelling the legacy album because he’s pissy about Jamal was a low blow, even for him.
The queen of the Empire was tasked with managing the complicated men in her life this week, and we saw her trying to please everyone while hiding her heartbreak over being strung along and shut down by Lucious once again.
"You do not want to love that man," Jamal warns his mother. "Because he’s incapable of loving anyone but himself."
We hope Cookie takes her own advice, as she told Lucious at the episode’s end, "Nothing good ever came from loving you, except for my three babies."
IN THE DRAMA, BUT NOT IN THE FAMILY:
Anika - Boo Boo Kitty’s going to bed with the competition, Billy Beretti? That’s not going to end well for anybody.
Vernon - Lucious’ right-hand man was scheming with Andre, sure, but do you really want to question the loyalty of a man who just set up a fall guy for the murder you committed?
With Lucious’ initial encouragement, Jamal wows the White Party with his own arrangement of his father’s hit "You’re So Beautiful."
"The most brilliant man that I know told me that music is the truth,” Jamal tells the crowd. “I’m honored tonight to use his music to tell you some of my truth.”
COOKIE OF THE WEEK
Calling Anika "fake ass Halle Berry" and "fake ass Lena Horne" and snarking out "Yoko Ono" Camilla was fantastic, but we gotta give it to this line on rhyme scheme alone: