“Empire” Recap: “Cupid Kills”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” Lucious’ jealousy of Cookie and Angelo increased, as Andre’s interest in Nessa caused problems with Shyne. Here are the most important things to know about “Cupid Kills,” the fourth episode of season 3.
The show began with Lucious and Andre going to Shyne’s recording studio in the hood to sign Nessa to Empire. She and Andre had an immediate attraction. Lucious was furious, though, to find other label representatives there with other competing offers, leading to a bidding war.
Lucious lashed out at Becky for not having the contract signed weeks ago, but Cookie defended her and revealed a white guy named Xavier had been hired as a new A&R rep. To make things right, he demanded a new song from Tiana. As Cookie worked out the details, she was surprised by little kids with instruments. It was Angelo’s doing, and he asked her on a date to go see a singer named Gia.
The invite triggered a flashback to a young Cookie talking to her dad about Lucious, who didn’t approve of him or her interest in music over serious subjects. Back in the present, Lucious told Cookie that Angelo didn’t know her like him and she should be suspicious of his intentions. He also questioned why a mayoral candidate would want a felon his arm.
Hakeem offered to help sign Nessa to Empire, and Andre suggested they do it together. Lucious upped the deal to $2.5 million, and Hakeem tried to woo Shyne and Nessa with a fancy party at his place. Shyne said he’d sign a contract right then if the money was high enough, but then showed the dollar figure to the Empire streaming camera so the other labels would up their amount. Andre later told Nessa that Shyne was exploiting her, and that she was already owed money from her brother’s death.
Upon hearing Andre went behind his back, Shyne punched him and the two brawled in Lucious’ office. As he pulled a gun on Andre, Lucious knocked Shyne down and demanded he sign the contract. Instead, he spit on it, and Lucious pulled his own gun. With no choice, Shyne finally signed and Andre then knocked him out.
Lucious was dismayed to know Jamal was visiting Freda in prison, and this time, he went with the leader of the PTSD group, Philip, who calmed him as he started to have another panic attack. Jamal discovered Freda was horribly beaten, which she blamed on his “fans in here.” She also revealed the lawyer Lucious paired with her was no help, and she tearfully apologized for shooting him. Jamal vowed to help her.
Cookie was insecure when she showed up for the date and discovered the event was doubling as a formal fundraiser. She was judged by two wealthy black women, and when Angelo tried to stand up for her, Cookie point-blank said she had been to prison. She was further embarrassed after inappropriately cheering during the opera performance, and then overheard the women calling her a “charity case” and a “rebound” for a “playboy.” In response, she told them off as only Cookie can, snuck out, and then ignored Angelo’s calls.
Angelo went to Jamal for advice, and he was encouraged to show he can “hang in her world.” For Freda’s case, Angelo suggested trying to prove she had temporary insanity at the time of the shooting, and promised to hook Jamal up with a lawyer. At an emergency bail hearing, the attorney blamed Freda’s actions on a fugue episode and a history of psychological problems. Jamal also told the judge that his family and Empire “failed her,” and this isn’t the “justice” she deserves. Given his support and the danger posed to her behind bars, the judge agreed to grant bail.
Angelo showed up to Tiana’s streaming session at Leviticus, much to Cookie’s chagrin at first. He was surprised to see Tiana’s new song, meant to be her response to being caught in Hakeem and Graham’s feud, was inspired by the opera performance. “We’re not that different,” Angelo told Cookie, insisting they could make it “work.” Naturally, Lucious was jealous, and a flashback showed how Cookie became “Cookie.” Lucious gave her the nickname at a party, telling her, “From now on, you’re my Cookie.” When Cookie’s boyfriend showed up, Lucious and his pals beat the crap out of him. Back in the present, he warned Angelo that he and Cookie would once again find a way back to each other. “We’ll see about that,” Angelo responded.
Jamal found out Lucious was behind Freda’s beating, and it also emerged that Jamal paid a doctor to falsify Freda’s medical history. Lucious had purposefully played him, since making Freda seem insane would make her claims about Lucious killing her father not credible. Afterward, Philip warned Jamal about mixing his pills with alcohol, but did so anyway and was motivated to make new music.
In the episode’s final minutes, Shyne armed his associates with guns and told them they’re at “war” with Lucious and Andre. Unbeknownst to him, Nessa had gone to see Andre and they started to hook up. He stopped it, however, and began hallucinating Rhonda, who egged him on. He started to imagine it as a threesome and resumed the hookup as the show ended.