“Empire” Recap: “The Lyon Who Cried Wolf”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” the Lyons dealt with the revelation that Lucious’ mother is alive. Here are the most important things to know about “The Lyon Who Cried Wolf,” the 16th episode of season 2.
The show began with Andre spending time with his grandmother, Leah, at her group home, where she asked him, “Are you kin to me?” At the same time, Jamal and Hakeem were recording a new song about how there’s “no competition” between them. The track was for a Ryan Coogler movie, and Hakeem suggested bringing in Tiana to sing the female verse, despite his engagement to Laura.
Lucious and Cookie had differing ideas for the ASAs as they met with show producer Derek, and it was clear they were already clashing as co-CEOs. Jamal also became upset when he learned Cookie wanted him to give up his solo performance for a “family” song. Hakeem was also pissed, seeing it as “singing backup” for their father.
Jamal and Derek clashed as the former aggressively insisted on getting his solo turn on the ASAs stage. That aggression gave way to Derek unexpectedly planting a kiss on him, leading to an intense hookup. As they went at it, Tiana and Hakeem recorded together, and she teased him about having a “wifey and a baby mama.” And when she kissed his cheek, he was definitely intrigued.
Cookie’s stress increased when her sister Candace showed up, saying she was tired of caring for third sister’s Carol’s kids. And, later, at an ASAs rehearsal at Leviticus, she was caught in the middle as father and sons argued about their performance. “You all sound like a rack of bitches,” Cookie said.
They were interrupted when Andre showed up with Leah, introducing her to her “family.” Naturally, Cookie and the boys were confused, while Lucious was shocked. Andre told them that she had been stashed away for 21 years, with Vernon and Thirsty paying monthly hush money. With tears in his eyes, Lucious said, “You have no idea what you’ve done.”
Lucious insisted to Cookie that he “didn’t lie,” but that his mother’s gun was empty when she attempted suicide. “My mother died the day that they locked her up,” he went on to say, adding, “I needed her to stay dead.” He further warned that his mom is “dangerous.”
Meanwhile, Rhonda was unhappy when Andre wanted Leah to come stay with them, and he rejected Cookie and Lucious’ insistence that she needed to be back at her facility. Instead, she ended up at Lucious’ home because she wanted to be with “Dwight.” And out of revenge, Thirsty had Harper kidnapped.
After Cookie promised they’d keep Leah’s reemergence under wraps, her sisters met to discuss the “atomic bomb” Carol wanted to drop: confessing to her that she helped Lucious murder people when Cookie was imprisoned. Candace was against telling her, but their conversation was overheard by an unidentified man.
Lucious and Leah seemingly started to bond as they sang an old song together, and she insisted she’s no longer “sick.” Back at Leviticus, he surprised Cookie and the boys by playing the melody from the same song, and welcomed Hakeem to do an “honest” verse as Jamal harmonized. Lucious went on to insist that despite past and any future “blows,” he’s still their father and Cookie’s still his “first love.”
Elsewhere, as Ronda helped Anika with baby prep, she had a flashback to someone pushing her down the stairs. Laura confronted Hakeem over including Tiana on his new song. “I trust you, I just don’t trust Tiana,” the jealous songstress sad. And as Carol wrestled with her decision, she was approached by the aforementioned man, Tariq, a retired cop she used to know. He flirted as she avoided drinking to maintain her sobriety, unaware that he was now in the FBI.
Jamal was caught off-guard when Derek blew him off following their sexcapade, only to come on to him again later. Derek insisted he just wants to keep work and pleasure separate, but Jamal realized he just didn’t want to be publicly out, which he wasn’t down with given how hard he’s worked to openly embrace his sexuality. Derek later watched as Jamal gave a beautiful performance with Lucious and Hakeem of their just-created song at their ASAs rehearsal.
After, Derek agreed to let them have a “primetime slot” during the awards show, and Jamal asked him to “come by tonight,” saying he could “handle” their dynamic. As the episode wound down, the red soles of Anika’s shoes triggered another flashback for Rhonda, and she suspected Anika was her attacker. Then, during the middle of the night, Leah woke Lucious with a bunch of cakes she baked, and as she held a knife, demanded he eat.
She then blamed him for the “wickedness” he brought into her life. “I was fine until you were born. All my troubles came with you,” Leah stated. The show ended with her asking Lucious if he loved her. When he nodded, she exclaimed, “Liar! If you loved me, you wouldn’t have put me away for 21 years.” She then said she was “sorry I was too weak to kill you when I had the chance.” Now just two episodes remain.