Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is a free man on this week’s Empire and the hip hop mogul wasted no time kicking ass and taking names. Here’s a look at some of the best moments from “Fires of Heaven.”
1."That’s just a building. I am the Empire."
The hardass new prosecutor makes it a condition of Lucious’ bail that he’s not allowed back into the Empire offices, but he’s not worried, telling her that he’s "flattered" his case might be a focal point of her running for attorney general.
"They can’t stop a king from speaking to his subjects," Jamal (Jussie Smollett) tells his dad as they address the crowd gathered outside Empire HQ.
"Blasphemy," Lucious responds, "I’m a god."
2. "I’m not sorry." "Not yet, but you will be."
Lucious invites the whole feuding Lyon family over for dinner after his release, not to "keep his enemies close," as Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) assumes, but to share one last meal together before going into battle.
"I know I was only gone for a few months, but it gave me a whole long time to think about a whole lotta things," Lucious tells his guests. "Like my wonderful family and how y’all banded together to try and destroy me."
Lucious wants Cookie to dismantle her new Lyon Dynasty label, telling her that if she does, everything -- the hostile takeover, leaking Hakeem’s (Bryshere Y. Gray) album, even that time she tried to smother him with a pillow -- will be forgiven. Cookie, of course, refuses.
"I’m always gonna eat. Just not with you." Her parting line is solid, but it gets even better when the Empire’s resident diva yanks off the runner on the dinner table, pulling all the food off onto the floor as she departs.
3. "I get it. You are the baddest bitch ever. You are badder than all the animals whose prints populate your wardrobe."
When Lucious tries to recruit Anika (Grace Gealey) to double-cross Lyon Dynasty and steal their music, Boo Boo Kitty goes for the triple cross, running back to tell Cookie what she’s learned from the Empire’s head honcho.
"I understand how ugly this sounds but it is very important to me to hurt Lucious," Anika tells her. "I need it."
Cookie gives her a more-than-fair share of grief, but in the end, agrees to use her information and team up to take down Lucious.
4. "Damn Cookie, now that’s a move."
Guest stars for this episode include rapper Pitbull, who of course shows up to perform on Jamal’s new song at Lucious’ party. But when Cookie pulls her move -- having Hakeem storm the stage to perform his new song with another guest star, legendary producer Timbaland -- Mr. 305 gives credit where credit is due.
"You put it down like you did tonight, you can have your own stage in Miami," Pitbull tells Cookie, suitably impressed.
5. "Sometimes, you gotta pull those heartstrings to get paid. Ain’t nothing wrong with that."
When Cookie sits down with Andre (Trai Byers) to try and convince him once again to come over to the Lyon Dynasty, she gets even bigger news: she’s going to be a grandmother. She’s suitably thrilled for Andre, both personally and professionally, telling her son to use the child as leverage to get back in Lucious’ good graces, even though Andre balks at the idea.
"Lucious wants the same thing you do," Cookie reminds him. "He wants his own legacy and nothing says legacy like a grandchild."
6. "Aren’t you worried?"
Andre takes his mother’s advice, meeting with Lucious in one last ditch attempt to get his father to let him come back to the Empire. But when he tells him the happy news, Lucious’ reaction is not what he expected, he just stoically asks if they’re worried about the child’s mental health.
When Andre assures him that his bipolar disorder doesn’t run in the family, we see another of Lucious’ flashbacks to life with his unstable mother (more Kelly Rowland!). As the season progresses, we’re seeing more and more of how her highs and lows affected Lucious as a child and how they continue to affect his relationship with his eldest son.
"You are breaking my heart, the fact that you are using this right now, to get what you want from me," Lucious tells Andre before finally dismissing him.
7. "Your father didn’t want this for you."
Really, Lucious? It’s admirable that you want to help Freda Gatz’s (Bre-Z) career, even more so that you stopped her from pulling a gun at a rap battle and getting locked up or killed. But are we just supposed to forget that you totally had her father killed not two episodes ago?
8. "Your client is on very thin ice, counselor." "Then I imagine you are too, ‘cause you’re standing right next to him."
Two thumbs up for Andre Royo’s sketchy lawyer Thirsty, who continues to have some of the show’s best one-liners. Unfortunately for Roxanne Ford (Tyra Ferrell), he’s also got a leg-up on the ambitious prosecutor, who’s still claiming to have Vernon as a witness in Lucious’ murder case.
Pretty sure Thirsty is my favorite character EVER! #Empire— Gabourey Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) October 8, 2015
"As long as this case is open, I have license to dig," she tells Lucious and Thirsty. "A murder rap is only the beginning of what I have planned for you."
9. "Y’all keep acting like you don’t know me."
Despite Cookie’s best Debbie Allen impression at whooping Hakeem’s girl group into shape -- and her killer "Everybody wants to be Beyonce but nobody wants to put in the work" line -- everything goes to hell when Lucious show’s up at the radio show (shoutout to Sway!) and announced he’s bought the entire company.
Oh yeah, and he signed Valentina (Becky G) -- a.k.a. The "Beyonce" -- out from under Lyon Dynasty.
"Don’t forget I invited your ungrateful ass back to the Empire and you spit in my face," Lucious sneers at Cookie. "Now, without radio, your little label dries up and dies. So rest in peace, baby."
But this feud is far from over. "You keep forgetting Lucious," his ex-wife fires back, "you can’t keep Cookie down."