Tonight’s episode of Empire begins with a bed-bound Lucious. He doesn’t have ALS, but something is seriously wrong with his health and we don’t know what it is yet. He can barely talk, he’s wearing a breathing mask, he’s heavily sedated, and there’s a doctor tending to him as Thirsty oversees everything. His family doesn’t know what’s up just yet, but they’ll find out soon. It’s inevitable.
Meanwhile, Empire is being sued for $50 million for something Hakeem’s boys did at his birthday party last week. Basically, a woman who got assaulted is coming for her paper and an apology from Hakeem. Hakeem didn’t have anything to do with what happened to her, it was his shady goons, but since he is the face of the brand, he’s on the hook.
Thirsty finally calls a family meeting to explain Lucious’ condition and to make plans to shut the lawsuit down as soon as possible. By the way, Lucious isn’t in the hospital because he’s paranoid. He feels like it’s not a secure place for him and would rather not have someone try to kill him in a vulnerable state. Speaking of, Anika stops by the hospital after the family leaves and reminds him that they didn’t sign a prenup and that she could kill him and take it all. She doesn’t kill him…yet, but we already know that she has proven to be psycho so you never know.
In related snake news, Andre is sneaking around with Gino, Giuliana’s boss, trying to solidify the Empire x Vegas deal. The point of this scene is really to make sure that we firmly overstand that Giuliana runs this.
Thirsty runs things too, because he’s trying to make sure they don’t get sued and even exposes the plaintiff as a money hungry liar. You know, typical lawyer tactics, but with Thirsty’s goon sensibilities (although he hasn’t gone full on goon just yet). However, Hakeem feels he’s being too hard on the plaintiff and decides to release a song denouncing violence against women and even shouts her out at the end. The problem is, that could be seen as an admission of guilt on Hakeem’s part, undoing any progress Thirsty may have made. Mind you, Thirsty told him not to do this, but Hakeem is gon’ Hakeem.
Lucious holds another impromptu meeting at his bedside, with family and general Empire staff. This is when Andre reveals that he has been working on the Vegas deal for residencies for Empire artists, and Lucious is pissed. Remember, Lucious told Dre that he wasn’t feeling the idea because he’s not a fan of Vegas. Lucious then attempts to fire Dre, but he can’t fire Dre without a second opinion backing him up. Lucious gets met with a chorus of crickets because the numbers look good. Plus, Andre has been doing a good job in his role. So…womp womp for Lucious.
The episode concludes on Primary Night at Angelo Dubois headquarters (lent to him by Empire). The night is so big that even Lucious decided to show up despite being near-death. Y’all, Lucious wanted to hate so bad that he actually put death on pause. Then again, Lucious is the devil, so maybe it’s not so odd that he went from heavily sedated and on a breathing machine to party mode. Anyway, Angelo wins the primary, and it should be a celebration, but he doesn’t get to enjoy his victory because Lucious hijacks the mic and gives him a victory speech and then turns it around on himself. Somehow this leads to him playing “Beautiful,” the song he wrote for Cookie.
Seriously. Angelo should have called security. But whatever.
Things get tense as Lucious plays his love song because Giuliana appears, and asks him to play the song he wrote for her. Lucious threatens to kill Giuliana. Now we know that Lucious’ hatred for Vegas is much deeper than we imagined, and Giuliana is at the center of it. Dre and Shyne don’t have a clue what they’ve gotten themselves into.
We’ll pick this back up next week.