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Lucious and Cookie

Source: Jean Whiteside / Fox

Tonight’s episode of Empire is the second to last one before we go on winter break. You already know this means things are going to get super tense. We begin tonight’s episode with things seemingly going well. Jamal performs new music for the press and proudly declares that the Lyons are back and that Lyon Family Management is ready to crush the music industry for the second time around.

But of course, Kingsley can’t let them live. He informs the Empire team that they’re pulling Lucious’ music from all streams, which will slow down the Lyons’ residual money. Everyone knows, the music they’re pulling is classic stuff that people are still buying so they’re confused. Giselle and Becky call him out on his bull because they thought he and the Lyon Clan called a truce. We all know he’s just being a hater. He’s also being a tyrant. That becomes clear when he fires someone for “speaking when they should have been listening,” simply when that person was just trying to be helpful.

That’s going to come back to bite him, most definitely.

Becky informs the Lyons of what’s going on and Lucious is not happy, obvi. In fact, he confronts Kingsley at Empire, in front of the staff, and asks how he could come to his house, fellowship with his family and then pull this grimy move. Plus, why do this now when he knows Empire’s revenue is going to take a hit? Kingsley tries to play coy, of course, and says this is just business strategy, which is dumb because it’s obviously a backward move. Lucious, who is being unusually calm, asks why he’s doing this when he and Cookie have a management company which doesn’t compete with Empire, a record label. Then Kingsley says they’re starting a management division at Empire. All this me too for spite stuff is not even petty anymore, it’s just trite.

But Lucious isn’t stupid. He’s there to poke and he gets Kingsley to make an emotional outburst and admit that he’s doing what he’s doing because he wants to wipe Lucious’ existence from Earth. Sounds like a hater to me. Lucious gets what he wants and makes the obvious point that this sounds personal, not like strategy, before stepping away with a smirk on his face because Kingsley finally revealed his true intentions with witnesses. Meanwhile, Giselle is also plotting on Kingsley, but hold that thought.

Then we flashforward a bit to the Lyons losing another lawsuit over Empire. Cookie and Lucious have an argument over this because this is the third lawsuit they lost and Cookie wishes Lucious would let it go and focus on building their new thing. Lucious refuses to let go, they go back and forth and Cookie storms out so she doesn’t say anything messed up. She’s vulnerable and needs a drink. That’s when Damon Cross (Wood Harris) slides over to her at the bar and tries to shoot his shot. Cookie thinks he’s cute and all, but she shuts him down at first. But you see where this is going, right? Mmmhmm. This is definitely the beginning of some stuff, especially after they get a chance to talk while coincidentally getting stuck in the elevator with each other.

Giselle discovers, via a private investigator, that Kingsley is Lucious son and that his mom was a customer of Lucious’ in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Thirsty enlists Becky for some espionage. The task is to clone Kingsley’s computer so they can get that login and password information. She manages to get them in despite almost getting caught by Kingsley (who then offers to double her salary, most likely to keep her in pocket).

Dre discovers that Kingsley has been getting funds from the US Govt. Basically, He’s selling Empire streamers’ info to the Feds. This is a major breach of trust but they can’t leak the info because it will look too personal coming from Lucious. However, Kai is an award-winning investigative journalist. You see where this is going, right? Lucious feeds him the info and Kai plans to get all over it.

Giselle confronts Kingsley at the hospital, as he goes to visit his mom, and tells him she knows what’s up and that they need to have a chat about his present and her future.

Candace is still pissed at Cookie for getting her son committed so she stops by Cookie’s place to be petty. Basically, she gives Lucious documents about the penthouse Cookie bought on the low worth $4 million in equity. We all know Cookie bought this back when she wasn’t sure about what was going to happen with Lucious. It was collateral, but of course, Lucious had the nerve to get mad because he felt some type of way that she kept this a secret the whole time they were struggling. Cookie points out all the wrong he has done to her, underscoring why she did what she did. Then Lucious gets petty by telling her that the painting on the wall is a fake and he never got the original back (because he had to sell it for $4 million in order to get into that poker game), and slashes it. Their arguing gets interrupted by Hakeem and Tiana arguing. Tiana is leaving with the kids and Hakeem is having one of his usual tantrums. Then Bella interrupts them because she found a gun. She points it at them first and they all freak out and try to get her to put it down, but of course, kids do what they want. Then she points it up at her chin and we end the episode on that note.

Hopefully, that will end well. You know how they love to be excessively provocative on this show at times. Anyway, next week is going to be the big reveal of Kingsley’s identity so let’s meet back here.

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