“Empire” Recap: “Chimes At Midnight”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” the company was hacked, causing ripple effects for all the characters. Here are the most important things to know about “Chimes At Midnight,” the sixth episode of season 3.
The show began with Cookie and Angelo flirting, a pain-med-free Jamal and D-Major in the studio, and Anika and Lucious comforting a crying Bella. All were interrupted, however, by their phones suddenly playing an unreleased song by Tiana. On Lucious’ iPad, a message taunted, “Lucious Lyon… You Got Got.”
Empire’s email server was hacked, with a Tiana demo getting sent around internally. Lucious feared subscriber data for the streaming service would be leaked, but rejected Thirsty’s theories about Shine or Tariq being responsible. Instead, they narrowed in on Vaughn (French Montana), who previously rejected Lucious’ offer to team up on the streaming project.
Vaughn denied responsibility, just as an extortion threat came in demanding $1 million every hour on the hour. The hacker stole every email sent to or by someone with a company device, and threatened to leak it out. Meanwhile, Angelo officially declared his candidacy for mayor at a rally, where Cookie was pulled away from for an emergency board meeting.
The board was in favor of paying the ransom, but Lucious refused. Cookie said they weren’t afraid of leaked emails, with Andre pointing out that all had incriminating info at risk. Then, just as the emails started to leak fast and furiously, Tariq showed up, claiming to be investigating the situation. Right after, a nude selfie that Cookie had earlier sent to Angelo was leaked, too.
Lucious, naturally, went ballistic, and jealously called Cookie “too old” to be sending nude pics. Shine also denied being the hacker, and Anika vouched for him. Meanwhile, Angelo’s campaign manager accused Cookie of ruining the mayoral announcement with the leaked photo, but he vowed to stand by her, saying it would “blow over.” She, however, feared, “If you stay with me, you’re gonna lose.” Afraid of what could still come out from her past, Cookie tearfully broke up with him.
Among the leaked emails were homophobic hate messages sent to Jamal, and Philip worried he’d fall off the wagon. Things went from bad to worse when Jamal’s recordings were erased, with the hacker now breaching the company’s entire system to access everything. D-Major was irate over the lost music, and Jamal himself was shaky and on edge.
Lucious, who wanted any person who disrespected him in the emails to be fired, and Andre turned their focus to Gram, who had posted a video putting Tiana on blast. She confirmed he hated the Lyons and wanted to “humiliate” them, leading the men to break into Gram’s home. He, too, denied culpability, but the proof appeared to be on his computers and Shine was tasked with beating Gram to a pulp.
Amidst all this, as Hakeem flirted with Nessa in the recording studio, Andre interrupted and the younger Lyon told her to “choose.” She said she had nothing to do with their feud, and Andre warned Hakeem to “fall back.” Xavier panicked about the bad reviews Tiana’s leaked song was getting, and he begged Becky for help. She agreed to do damage control, on the condition he gave her the credit.
Lucious later held an employee event at Leviticus to celebrate defeating the purported hacker, and a board member announced Andre would be president of the streaming service as a reward for handling the crisis so well. Of course, Xavier didn’t keep his word, with Cookie shouting-out him instead of Becky for helping Tiana. She was angry, and Thirsty vowed to help her get “true payback.”
Nessa and Hakeem gave a premiere performance of their collaboration at the party, but he became upset because she was clearly trying to flirt with Andre from the stage. At the same time, while going through the leaked emails, Tariq found a note from Lucious to Andre about paying off two people two days after Frank Gather’s murder. He was obviously intrigued.
Meanwhile, a still-shaken Jamal mixed alcohol with his pills when he couldn’t reach Philip, and by the time D-Major came over, Jamal was hyped up and high. The two ended up in bed, and D-Major later realized Jamal had fallen unconscious. He called Philip, demanding him come help with what appeared to be an overdose. Philip came to the rescue, reviving Jamal in the shower.
In the final minutes, Angelo defended Cookie to the media and openly blamed the press for the romance’s failure. Asked about the invasion of a woman’s privacy, he actually stripped off his shirt to show “solidarity” with “women everywhere.” The moment led Cookie to realize she was in love with him.
Andre took Nessa to an abandoned warehouse, saying he wanted to “show how much he trusted [her].” What she overheard was him meeting with Vaughn, with it being revealed they orchestrated the whole hack. Andre paid him off, and vowed to give him more money once the streaming service starts making “billions.”
Andre then told Nessa he did it to purposefully make himself needed at the company, and said he was done playing by the rules. The show ended with him saying Rhonda would approve of her, and they could become “powerful together.” They appeared to seal their alliance with a kiss.