“Empire” Recap: “My Naked Villainy”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” Lucious faced a health scare. Here are the most important things to know about “My Naked Villainy,” the 13th episode of season 3.
The show began with Lucious needing emergency at-home medical treatment. He was put on a ventilator, and begged Thirsty to “watch” his family and the “snakes.” Cookie thought he just had a “nasty virus,” and wanted to work on Jamal’s music video while Lucious couldn’t interfere. “I am the sole healthy CEO,” she boasted.
Jamal’s song was about the start of Lucious and Coookie’s relationship, prompting her to get nostalgic. A flashback showed the two bonding over music, with a pregnant Cookie offering to do his drug drop so he could focus. Later seeing Lucious intubated, Cookie was devastated, but tried to hide it.
Despite his condition, a semi-sedated Lucious conveyed demands through Thirsty, telling Anika to move the Tariq scheme forward. She menacingly told Lucious she’d “get everything” if he died and fiddled with his breathing tube. He in turn pulled out a gun hidden in bed, which got her to back off. Anika then secretly asked Cookie to look after Bella if she dies or goes to jail. “I need Bella to live with you. You are the only one I trust with her,” Anika pleaded.
Cookie gave her word, but denied she was still in love with Lucious. She later voted for Angelo in the mayoral primary, and promised Lucious wouldn’t crash their victory party at Leviticus. But upon hearing, Cookie’s reflections on Lucious in the music video teaser, Angelo was clearly upset. “You seem to be all about Team ‘Cucious,'” he told her, calling Lucious a “terrible influence.” A flashback then showed a nervous Cookie blowing off a friend and doing the drug deal.
Kennedy, the woman assaulted at Hakeem’s birthday party, sued Empire for $50 million, calling on Hakeem to apologize and cancel his club appearances. Thirsty wanted to do damage control with Angelo’s help, which Cookie shut down, while Andre wanted to settle. Thirsty later deposed Kennedy and tried to victim-shame her, and she begged Hakeem to come to her defense.
As Jamal prepared for Angelo’s party, he and D-Major again had words about severing their romantic ties. Cookie blamed Jamal for giving the “wrong message” with his video, and the two then schooled Hakeem about being a “misogynistic pig” with Kennedy and through his music. Hakeem recorded an apology song of sorts, which was streamed on Jamal’s channel. Tiana now forgave him, but Andre was furious over his “public admission of guilt.”
Meanwhile, Andre convinced Nessa to headline the Las Vegas club opening. When Nessa told Giuliana they were moving in together, Gia brought up Andre’s open-relationship proposition, which obviously caught Nessa off-guard. Gia took Andre to meet Gino, who last week wanted to get to Lucious. Andre got favorable terms on the Vegas deal after an intimidating Shine showed up.
Andre was later blindsided by a board meeting in Lucious’ bedroom, after sensing his son was getting power-hungry. Indeed, Andre pitched his Vegas plans, wowing the board members. Off the ventilator, Lucious told him, “I guess it’s all settled then. You’re fired.” No one seconded the “insubordination” motion, however, infuriating him. “He is my son and I will fire him if I want to,” he tried to insist. But everyone was in favor of the deal.
At Angelo’s party, Andre thanked Cookie for backing him up. Nessa confronted him about the “arrangement,” telling him, “I’m not Rhonda.” Angelo was confident he had the primary “on lock,” and Cookie assured him their romance was “very real.” Of course, Lucious then showed up. “What brings you from your coffin?” Cookie asked. Lucious taunted Angelo about “Cucious” and predicted he’d lose. But he didn’t, thrilling everyone but Lucious, who interrupted the victory speech. He gave fake praise to Angelo and then played a “song I wrote for that beautiful woman standing next to him many, many years ago.”
That led Cookie to flashback to her brief reunion with Lucious in season 1. But as Lucious played, Gia approached, saying, “Why don’t you play the song you wrote for me, Lucious?” He was stunned and threatened to kill her on the spot, but she purred, “I’m about to make all our dreams come true.”