Tonight’s episode of Empire begins with Cookie and Lucious thinking that their Eddie problem is over, but we know that isn’t the case and they should know better too. For now they’re focusing on the 20 for 20 showcase and Lucious is trying to create a visual effects sensory experience that involves music, sound, and color. Basically, it’s a way to allow people to see what it’s like to have synesthesia, and Lucious wants to unveil it at the showcase. Cookie thinks it’s an ambitious project that might cost too much, but Lucious thinks it’s just the boost that the showcase and Empire streaming may need. We’ll have to wait and see though.
Next, Cookie returns to Empire and she’s welcomed with balloons and a nice little shindig, but then business creeps back in when two members on the board mention that they think it’s suspect that she’s back so soon and that Eddie’s resignation was abrupt. Lucious and Cookie assure them that they’re good and that they’re working on something major for the company (the sensory project). The board members drop it for now, but they’re still feeling some type of way.
Speaking of Eddie, we find out that he made contact with Thirsty and wants a $10 million payout or he’s going to go to the board with some incriminating documents about Lucious shady accounting practices. Mind you, Shyne is eavesdropping on this conversation, but there’s no need for all of that because Lucious ends up telling him what’s up anyway. Something isn’t quite right about this though. Since when has Lucious really trusted Shyne to know anything?
Anyway, Thirsty comes through with news that Eddie’s jet lands in a few hours so they’re going to meet him with the money. First of all, if Eddie is broke, who’s paying for this jet?
Anyway, Shyne tells Lucious that the Lucious he met as a child would never pay Eddie. Lucious asks if Eddie should get the Philly treatment and we all know what that means. Shyne tells Lucious, “There’s dudes you pay, and there’s dudes you end.”
That sounds ominous.
We ALL know what kind of dude Eddie is. Shyne agrees to roll with Lucious as backup. Hold that thought, because now we’re at a board meeting led by Anika! Anika, who we know is working with Eddie to steal Empire, is trying to finesse the board into getting on board with hiring Eddie back. She’s trying to convince them that she and Eddie are good assets to the company, and that the Lyons forced his resignation unceremoniously and that they should bring him back if they want to keep Empire afloat. Tiana is there too (trash smh), claiming that Eddie Barker is the reason why she’s number one. What they don’t know is that Andre is spying on them the entire time.
Back to Cookie. Cookie we learn that she is so committed to fulfilling Pound Cake’s dying wish because Pound Cake kept her from getting an extra five years on her sentence. Basically, the crooked cop who raped Pound Cake and got her pregnant in the first place planted drugs in Cookie’s bunk, but Pound Cake claimed it as hers and saved the day. This story is enough to convince Pound Cake’s daughter, Maya, that she should go see her biological mother.
They show up to Pound Cake’s hospice and find her in even worse shape than before. She hasn’t been able to speak and she has been barely conscious, but she is alert enough to at least see her daughter and hear her voice when she reads the letter she wrote. It’s definitely a tear-jerking moment.
Now we’re on the tarmac where Shyne, Lucious and goons are waiting for Eddie to show up. But Eddie never shows up. Shyne figures out that he is the guest of dishonor. Lucious knows that Shyne tried to kill him thanks to Thirsty coming through with confirmation. He always had his suspicions even though Andre took all the blame. They end up drawing guns on each other, and Shyne gives a speech about how he has always been better than Lucious. Mind you, Shyne won’t shoot because the goons have their guns on him. The thing that’s even crazier is, Lucious was in a recording session with Shyne, Shyne’s artist, and Hakeem, and convinced Shyne to come out of rap retirement and record a verse. Shyne obliged and had his verse was fire. That was part of Lucious’ plan because now the song with be worth more with Shyne being dead.
Shyne’s last words are, “So you just gonna shoot me right here like that?” Lucious doesn’t shoot, but his goons do, and that’s that. Shyne had it come and we all knew it.
Also, old Lucious is back, for real for real.
The episode ends with Cookie finally confronting another demon from her past, her mother, (played by Alfre Woodard).
There are only two episodes left until the season finale and you know it’s going to be explosive!