FOX’s Empire Recap – “Dangerous Bonds” Season1, Episode 5

In tonight’s John Singleton (Baby Boy,Hustle & Flow) directed episode, Hakeem struggles to establish that he’s more than just “the son of Lucious Lyons”, Andre schemes to get Jamal’s studio session shot up and Cookie shows the world what it really means to be a BOSS.

This episode picks up directly after Hakeem and Tiana‘s performed at the Teen Choice Awards. While walking the red carpet, Hakeem and Tiana are offended when a reporter refers to Hakeem as “the son of Lucious Lyons” to which Tiana retorts that the world will soon know him in his own merit. As the evening wraps up, Hakeem wants to spend some time with Tiana who curves him. You would think Tiana would be a little salty after catching Hakeem and Camilla in the hot tub, but she’s not. She just wants to go home and be alone… with her GIRLFRIEND, India.

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Lucious proposes to Boo Boo Kitty aka Anika with an 18 carat diamond ring complete with a live serenade from Antony Hamilton. However, Lucious doesn’t want her to wear her ring in public just yet. Seems that neither family is going to be happy over this development.

Jamal drags Cookie to a rinky-dink studio in the Bronx — replete with bullet-riddled windows — to record his new song. During the recording session, Cookie is ambushed outside by Agent Carter who tells Cookie she needs to come in to testify in front of a grand jury about her knowledge of a drug deal gone bad involving kingpin, Frank Gathers. Carter explains that Cookie’s testimony is essential in order to keep Gathers in jail for the rest of his life and promises her protection.

Hakeem, fired up over the competition with Jamal, asks Lucious to spend $1 million on his video for Drip Drop. Andre doesn’t feel the company has the money for the video but Lucious tells him to “find” the money or else to prove he’s worthy of being at Empire.

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Somehow Rhonda catches Tiana and India making out at a photo shoot — and has Andre record the steamy scene to post on social media and implode the entire “Takeem” affair.

Cookie testifies in front of the grand jury. During a flashback sequence, Cookie is in the midst of a drug deal when the Feds show up guns drawn. The dealer is shot and killed by Frank Gathers. After she testifies, Cookie finds out that the dealer was actually a federal agent. Cookie rushes out of the courtroom followed by Agent Carter who promises to protect her — Cookie responds that she is a “dead bitch walking” and that Agent Carter can’t protect her. Snitches get stitches.

Andre finds the money for Hakeem’s video — having Tiana appear in Hakeem’s new video and taking money from Tiana’s budget. Of course, Tiana’s manager, Cookie, would need to approve it, giving Cookie a huge bargaining chip to get on Empire’s board of directors.

Is there a lusty threesome in the future for Empire?

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As Cookie is leaving her house, she finds a red rose on her doorstep. Cookie panics — the red rose is the calling card of drug kingpin Frank Gathers who she fears will attempt to kill her. Shortly afterwards, Andre shows up to convince Cookie to allow Tiana to be in Hakeem’s video. Realizing she has the upper hand, Cookie demands a seat on the board in exchange for Tiana’s appearance in Hakeem’s video. BOSS.

Andre tells Rhonda to leak the steamy video of Tiana and India which goes viral in minutes. Hakeem, the last one to know, see’s the video and throws a tantrum. He’s devastated that Tiana has a side piece – until Tiana reminds him he has a side piece too. Hakeem calls off the video shoot.

Andre strikes again. He excitedly tells Rhonda that he’s going to lure Hakeem’s goons to rob Jamal’s studio session in the Bronx. Later during the robbery, one of the engineers is shot and Jamal recognizes one of the goons as Hakeem’s friend and naturally assumes that Hakeem set him up.

Shook over the perceived death threat, Cookie goes to her old stomping grounds in Philly to meet with her sister. They determine that Frank Gathers would use hit man Teddy MacNally to kill Cookie, so puts a hit on Teddy first. BOSS. She then hops on the phone with a panicked Jamal and restores his shot-up studio session (BOSS) and simultaneously restores the video shoot flare up between Hakeem and Tiana (BOSS). “Damn, I have to deal with Feds, hitmen, studio time and now Tiana!” All while riding in a cab in the rain with her sister back from Philly — Olivia Pope would be proud.

We finally meet Anika’s white doctor father and black debutante mother. Despite Lucious’ fortune and fame, they don’t like him. Lucious tells Anika’s father that he has ALS and he needs him to falsify his doctor’s report because Empire can’t go public unless Lucious is reported in good health. At first Boo Boo Kitty’s father is offended but after Lucious explains that when he dies, Anika will be a billionaire, he agrees to do it as long as Anika never finds out.

Lucious comes down to the set to give Hakeem a basic math lesson — “your girlfriend’s got a girlfriend. Add that up: Two girlfriends.” Dad’s advice makes everything right with the world and the video shoot is back on. In a few video clips, you can see Hakeem talking to Tiana’s girlfriend. Could a threesome scene could be in our future?

Hakeem arrives back to his apartment to find Jamal sitting in his living room. Jamal, clearly angered, accuses Hakeem of setting up the studio robbery. Hakeem has no idea what Jamal is talking about but Jamal’s not buying it. Jamal punches Hakeem in the stomach, bringing him down immediately and walks out the door with 1997 Suge Knight swagger.

Finally, the episode wraps with Lucious visiting Cookie on the late night. Lucious starts to reminisce about the past and reveals that it was he who left the rose on her doorstep as a reminder that he did not forget their anniversary. [Eye roll] Realizing that she put a hit on the wrong man, she tries to call it off, but it’s too late. Hitmen pull up to Teddy McNally’s car and bullets start flying — “Smell the roses….”

Empire Questions

  • Is Cookie worthy of an “S” on her chest?
  • Is Andre “Cain” reincarnate?
  • Will there be a threesome in the future for Hakeem?
  • Did Lucious only propose to Anika to get her father’s “key man” signoff?

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