In tonight’s episode, we find out Lucious is more than a selfish control freak who murders his childhood friend and ditches his wife while she’s doing a 17-year bid. We find out that Lucious is also a stock-stealing CEO who has no problem impregnating his sons’ wife. #letThatMarinate
As the episode opens, Andre sits despondent surrounded by Rhonda, Cookie, Jamaal, Hakim as the doctor and his “music therapist” (played by Jennifer Hudson) explain his bi-polar diagnosis. Cookie is distressed and in denial, dismissing it as a “white person” disease. However, in a flashback scene to his college days at Penn, we see Andre in the midst of his first bipolar episode. Everyone except Lucious is at the hospital trying to uplift Andre, reminding him that he is the reason why Empire Music is able to go public.
Meanwhile, Lucious and Vernon sit alone in the Empire conference room, finalizing the IPO paperwork that will give Cookie the same amount of shares as his sons. Lucious tells Vernon he plans to remarry Cookie and hopes that the shares will make Cookie more amicable to sign a prenup. In a tense moment, Lucious reminds Vernon that he alone built Empire and that he didn’t appreciate Vernon attempting to pull a coupe with Andre.
Malcolm walks into Cookie’s office unannounced to tell her he has overstepped his bounds by “falling for her” and that he needs to keep his professional distance. Thrilled with Malcolm’s confession, Cookie advances on Malcolm as he is walking out, giving him a long and seductive kiss.
Jamal is in the studio performing a new song he has written for his new-found daughter, Lola. He tells his new partner, Ryan, that he’s decided to raise Lola as his daughter in his own home. Clearly disappointed, Ryan tells Jamaal that children are not in HIS plans.
Lola’s mother, Olivia, is at the bus depot with her luggage, nervously trying to get out of town when a man from her past seizes her from behind. Olivia is clearly in fear of her life as the man instructs her to walk with him and demands that she find Lola, telling her “you and Lola belong to me.”
Distracted by Andre’s condition and Lucious’ glaring absence at the hospital, Hakeem grudgingly poses as Camille attempts to take photos of him for his new look. Mama, um, Camille tells him to keep his eyes on the prize because they are team — dubbing them the new “Antony & Cleopatra.”
Andre sits alone and disheveled when Rhonda walks in announcing they must depart for the Empire IPO paperwork signing. Telling Rhonda he will not be attending, Andre makes Rhonda his proxy which gives Rhonda power of attorney over Andre’s shares.
While Jamaal is tucking Lola into bed, she reveals to him that she is afraid to go to sleep because the “scary bird” might come for her. Jamaal reassures her that he will protect her.
Now that Boo Boo Kitty has left the building, Lucious tells Cookie she is Empire’s new head of A&R. Suspicious but happy about the new position, Cookie takes the opportunity to tell Lucious he needs to be a better father to his sons.
At Club Leviticus, Vernon sits alone in VIP doing cocaine. Olivia shows up to the club with the man who kidnapped her close behind and apparently controlling her. Olivia approaches Vern in VIP and introduces him as Reg and they sit, inquiring of Vern where they can find Lola.
While at the mansion, Cookie calls Malcolm and they talk dirty to each other. Lucious walks in on the conversation, and Cookie abruptly switches up pretending she’s talking to a friend about fried chicken.
At the IPO signing, Camille introduces Hakim’s “new sound.” Despite wanting to hate on the song, everyone enjoys “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” which is clearly Hakim’s way to telling everyone about his love for his cougar mama.
Afterwards, Lucious escorts Camille to his private study where he exposes her debt and financial troubles and asks her “how much” for her to walk away from Hakim. Offended, Camille attempts to storm out of the room until Lucious presses the button under his desk and locks Camille in his office. Camille tears up Lucious’ payoff check and “invitation” to leave town and vows to him she’ll be back for Hakim as soon as he is dead.
Back in the living room, Lucious is pissed when Rhonda shows up to the IPO signing “in proxy” for her ailing husband, Andre. Rhonda immediately notices that Andre has been shortchanged on the shares. Then it’s discovered that Lucious took shares from all of his sons – to make shares available to Cookie. [Though Lucious didn’t give up any of his own shares to “share.”] The discovery is interrupted when Vernon shows up with Olivia and the shady Reg character.
Andre is in music therapy with Jennifer Hudson and complains that the singing and the meds aren’t working for him. J Hud has one last trick up her sleeve – even though it may be against “hospital rules.” After locking the door, she gets down on her knees in between Andre’s legs and just when it seems like Jennifer is about to switch from musical therapist to physical therapist, she says “Let’s pray together.” [Blasphemous! J-Hud’s bizarre move could have caused another bipolar episode!]
While everyone is at the Lyons compound waiting to sign the IPO paperwork, walks in disheveled and high on coke — with Olivia and shady Reg in tow. Lucious, the street smart cat that he is, notices that Vernon is acting odd and suspects that Vernon is doing coke. At the same time, Cookie gets Reg alone, questioning where he is from and noticing the “crow” on his arm. Jamal overhears about “the crow” –puts two and two together, and it clicks that Reg is the big scary bird little Lola was talking about. Jamal asks Olivia what’s going on and steps to Reg. Reg pulls out a gun and points it at Jamal, threatening to shoot him. Jamal, being the most gangster person this entire series, tells Reg to put the gun to his head and pull the trigger. The room is tense while everyone tries to convince Reg not to shoot Jamaal. And then the bombshell — Lucious confesses that he is Lola’s father, NOT Jamaal. #micDrop Turns out that Lucious had promised Olivia back in the day that if she married Jamal he would make her a star — and impregnates her to fool Jamal that he is the father. [“I put the baby in her!” – Lucious] Lucious attempts to wrestle the gun away from Reg, but then Reg takes Cookie hostage. The hero of the day is Malcolm, who walks into the scene, shooting Reg in the head. Malcolm rushes to Cookie’s side and calls Cookie “baby” – in front of Lucious.
The show ends with Lucious’ roundabout marriage proposal to Cookie. While walking out of his office, Cookie tells Lucious that he doesn’t really want her, he just doesn’t want to die alone. She walks out of Lucious’ office to find Malcolm and tells him — “Take me somewhere with you. I want to be alone with you.”