We finally get some good news on tonight’s episode of Empire. Kai, who has been missing in Nigeria for five days at this point, has been found. Jamal cheeses from ear to ear after getting the call with this news and heads to the hospital post haste! It’s obviously a joyous reunion. What ended up happening to Kai was that he and his crew got ambushed but managed to escape. However, it was a journey trying to get back to the US with no money or passport. This is also the moment we discover that Kai has HIV. Kai didn’t kick Cookie and Jamal out of the room when the doctor was giving him his medical run down. One of the things we learn, which clues us in, is that Kai’s viral load was high because he hadn’t been taking his medication (because he couldn’t).
Jamal has known about Kai’s status and had been taking the proper precautions to keep himself negative (like taking PrEP, for example), but imagine Cookie’s shock when she discovers this! Jamal tries to explain to Cookie that she shouldn’t be worried, but she’s so shaken up that she goes home and spills the beans to Lucious. Cookie asks Lucious what they should do about this and Lucious surprises us all when he tells her they should mind their business.
Cheers to growth. Lucious understands that you can’t keep two determined grown people apart. Cookie, however, is still a bit dense in getting that mainly because she needs to educate herself about HIV and AIDs, which she does, and because she’s just protective of her baby.
Hakeem wants to get back with Tiana, and while she’s down for some d, she’s not convinced that she wants to be with him due to his antics and she wants to focus on getting her music career back together. That latter part takes a turn when Tiana presents new music to Kingsley at Empire and he hates it. He’s super rude to her and insults Hakeem. Basically, he wants her to scrap the project and start over. Becky seems to like it and side eyes Kingsley, who doesn’t deal well with managing artists interpersonally very well. The song was dope but the message here is obvious: Kingsley wouldn’t know a hit if he tripped over one while walking down the street.
In other news, Lucious has been struggling with Devon. The thing with Devon is, he has the voice and the looks, but his presence, heart, and soul aren’t quite there. Lucious wants him to stop holding back and taps Jamal to come help. Jamal works his magic, of course, and successfully gets Devon ready to make his debut. We’ll get there in a second.
Tiana surprise drops that track she did with Blake (the one where Hakeem wrote the lyrics for Blake and then Blake made Tiana promised that the song would stay between them) because she’s pissed off at Kingsley. Hakeem isn’t happy when he hears it because he’s jealous. Hold that thought.
Now we’re at Devon’s performance. The audience is feeling him and so is a record label owner that Lucious has been courting. It’s a man that Lucious knows from back in the day and he wants to sign Devon. They got themselves a deal!
Blake confronts Tiana about dropping the track because once again, that song was never supposed to come out. Then Tiana says when she “heard what Blake wrote” she just had to drop the track. Hakeem overhears this and gets pissed at the thought that people think that people think Blake wrote it and thinks Blake is trying to take credit. So, Hakeem does what he does, and punches Blake in the face multiple times. It’s also important to note (if you haven’t picked that up by now) that Hakeem also feels like Blake is trying to steal his woman. Blake and Hakeem get to fighting for a sec (it’s a miracle Hakeem is even breathing through this with his collapsed lung situation) and after it’s broken up, Hakeem has a flashback of Tiana in labor. She had a high-risk pregnancy with twins and a rough delivery. Ultimately, she almost died delivering a boy and a girl, and the girl died. They went through a lot of strife, but that doesn’t always mean they should be together. Tiana is tired of Hakeem’s volatile behavior and says she’s done with him. For real, for real.
The episode wraps on a high note. Kai proposes to Jamal. He got the ring the moment he got out of the hospital. But guess what? Jamal planned to propose too! So then he gets down on his one knee and they pop the question to each other.
Awww…but we’re still stressed out about who tf ends up dying!