Empire’s finally back! Tonight we pick up where the fall finale left off. Claudia, Lucious’ cognitive therapist, went all Misery on us and kidnapped him. She has him chained to a piano in a cabin in the woods, demanding that he love her. It was Dwight that told her he loved her (because he was thinking she was Cookie), but Lucious is back and Lucious loves Cookie. Claudia doesn’t care though, she’s gonna get her man by any means necessary.
Angelo is dead. He shot Jamal’s shady #doubleagentbae, Warren, then accidentally got shot and killed in a scuffle with Jamal over the same gun, we saw that play out but now we know the outcome. Jamal is distraught by all of this because he’s not a killer and generally sad that he’s kind of responsible for someone else’s death. However, the good news, according to Thirsty, is that Jamal should legally be in the clear because Warren didn’t die, and he gave a full account of what happened to authorities. This doesn’t keep Jamal from going into a deep depression though.
Meanwhile, Claudia has a plan to “kill Lucious” and to bring back Dwight by torturing him, medicating him and playing mind games. Luckily for Lucious, Cookie and Thirsty are onto the fact that he’s missing. Thirsty gets busy and pulls up surveillance footage of Claudia wheeling Lucious out of the hospital. They’ll find him soon enough, but first, they reach out to Claudia’s boss, Gloria, for clues. Gloria tells them that she had a previous client whom she took to a secluded cabin Upstate New York to practice her “unconventional methods.”
Let’s be real, “unconventional” means crazy in this case. Cookie and Thirsty know what’s up and they pinpoint Lucious’ location swiftly. Cookie heads to the cabin and all hell breaks loose when Claudia knocks Cookie out and ties her up right along with Lucious (Cookie is tied up with rope instead of chains). Claudia tries to turn this into a therapy session between the two of them. It gets interesting when Lucious and Cookie go back and forth about some of the bitter feelings they had toward each other and also how Cookie’s prison sentence affected all of them. Then Claudia goes full on psycho and tries to slit Cookie’s throat after being taunted. That’s when Gloria, Cookie’s boss comes to the cabin. Claudia steps outside to greet her and then knocks her out to keep her from going inside. While this was going on, Cookie revealed that she happened to have a blade on her. She cut herself (Lucious is still chained up) and hides.
Cookie rushes Claudia when she returns to the cabin. They fight, Claudia gets the upper hand and almost shoots Cookie, but Lucious finally gets free just in time. Claudia dares him to shoot her like Lucious would do, but surprisingly he just knocks her out. He wanted to try something different for once and let the police handle it.
We’ll see how long that lasts.
Finally, the episode winds down with Dre. He’s still in the hospital recovering from his mental breakdown caused by Diana’s appointed psychiatrist screwing with his medication, and he’s also tormented by the fact that he almost killed his father. After stirring from a bad dream, which involves flashbacks of the explosion, Dre resolves to confess to his father.
That’s going to go well.
It’s quite obvious the rest of this season is going to be bananas! See you next week.