Rhonda Lyon is the new creative director of Empire now that Camilla is gone (thanks to Lucious). Lucious is off the hook for now because investigators think the situation is a murder-suicide.
Speaking of Lucious, his real name is actually Dwight Walker. He finally gave Cookie more details about his life before becoming Lucious Lyon as they prepared to shoot the video for “Boom Boom Boom.” Cookie is producing and decided that they will delve completely into Lucious’ life story with the visuals. However, the problem with this concept, which is a completely new direction, is that Freda Gatz got cut out. Lucious, in his usual grimey and selfish fashion, cut Freda to focus on himself. This sent Freda Gatz running to Jamal to get that song he wanted to record with her on and poppin’ (Jamal and Hakeem asked her earlier to record a song and she turned them down because she was being loyal to Lucious, but that’s done).
Eventually it comes out that one of the most traumatic things that happened to Lucious was then his mom almost drowned him in a tub, and then killed herself in front of him following that incident. From that moment on, he was pretty much homeless until he began selling drugs after Frank Gathers (the loco cannibal who is Freda Gatz’s father) took him under his wing. Now you get why he’s so awful. You already know that whole scenario will be going into the video!
The one moment of normalcy that the Lyon’s have had as a family in…forever…involved Cookie’s birthday celebration. It’s her first birthday as a free woman in 17 years and all she wanted was for the Lyons to have a good time together. The fam got together for dinner and sang happy birthday (the Stevie Wonder version), but the fun went downhill fast, especially after Cookie gave them a preview of the “Boom Boom Boom” video. Andre figured out that his grandmother was bipolar and blew up at his father for not telling him, and instead making him feel like an abomination his entire life. Lucious started going in on Dre, saying that his mother was a nut job who embarrassed him, and that he’s just as ashamed of Dre tool. Dre muttered, “To hell with you,” before storming out.
In the next scene, Hakeem asks Laura to marry him, and she happily accepts. Hakeem is never discreet, so he made sure there was an audience watching the proposal, including Tiana. Speaking of Tiana, she and Laura got beef. Tiana already wasn’t feeling the fact that Laura was on tour with her, and now this? She’s not about to let that go down, but she’ll also have to deal with Boo Boo Kitty whenever she makes her big reveal about being knocked up with Hakeem’s baby.
The episode concludes with Cookie listening to Jamal and Freda’s new song. She’s digging it until Freda drops her father’s name in a verse. This is when Cookie realizes their familial connection and gets shook. Cookie doesn’t scare easily, but she knows ish will hit the fan if Freda ever finds out who really killed her dad.
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