“Empire” Recap: “Poor Yorick”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” Lucious’ ongoing criminal case loomed large over Empire Entertainment, as Cookie found herself forced between protecting herself or the family. Here are the most important things to know about “Poor Yorick,” the fourth episode of season 2.
1. The episode began with Empire Entertainment getting raided by the FBI as did an interview with Rolling Stone. Over at Lyon Dynasty, Anika asked Cookie if she could officially re-join her team, while Hakeem was determined to find a new girl group after losing his to Lucious. Just as they were about to rejoice about the raid, officers showed up at the Lyon Dynasty offices, too, and then at Lucious’ home, where he greeted prosecutor Roxanne naked. Lucious went to Empire after, despite not being allowed on the premises, and told Jamal and Mimi he wanted to move full steam ahead with their projects over their concerns about the company going down. Lucious thought the raid only added to their street cred, saying, “This isn’t when we hide. This is when we roar.” At a family meeting afterward, attorney Thirsty said the two warring sides had to stick together so the feds couldn’t use them against each other, but that they also had to find Vernon, because they believed he was snitching to the authorities.
2. Cookie offered Lucious a truce: Hakeem would make a music video with Jamal for their joint track to show the family had a united front if Empire stayed away Lyon Dynasty’s artists and stopped the radio ban. Lucious agreed to all but the radio demand, and suggested to Cookie that Anika was untrustworthy and had lied about Empire wanting her masters. At the video shoot, Cookie clashed with Mimi as they both tried to show their power and influence. When Cookie stepped out, she was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court, though it was actually Portia who caused the minor offense. Locked in an investigative room, Cookie had a flashback to her 17 years in prison, and realized Roxanne was pushing her to snitch on Lucious. “Me, and my boys, and my family, we’re Lyons, so dig away,” she told Roxanne, who responded by threatening to release Andre’s medical reports. “If you don’t give me what you want,” the prosecutor warned, “I’ll come after your boys.” Cookie, in fear of spending even one more night in prison, told Roxanne that she didn’t know if Lucious killed Bunkee, but claimed they had been fighting over the radio deal before Bunkee turned up dead. Both statements, of course, were a lie.
3. Lucious lied to Hakeem and denied that he killed Bunkee, and they later had words about Hakeem leaking his album and Lucious stealing Valentina. He then offered his son a new beat to use as his own if he came back to Empire, saying he’d also be back on the radio and could even manage Valentina. Hakeem said he was working with his mom, but Lucious pointed out Cookie’s mysterious disappearance from the radio shoot, calling her “unreliable.” They later almost came to blows when Lucious called him a “mama’s boy.” And then things got worse…
4. Jamal moved forward with his Rolling Stone cover shoot, though Michael was uncomfortable with the wacky photographer, who seemed to be hitting on Jamal. The photog-artist later interrupted the video shoot, where everyone, including Lucious, gushed over the painted photo portrait of Jamal. A jealous Hakeem called it “ugly,” and stabbed it with a knife, re-worsening brotherly and father-son tensions. A fight broke out between the siblings during filming, and Hakeem stopped himself from beating Jamal with a bat. He instead yelled out, “Why you all looked shocked? This family ain’t never been a real family. I’m outta here, and I ain’t never coming back.” The weird artist actually liked the painting better with the hole in it, further annoying Michael, who was clearly jealous as they plastered posters over the city.
5. Andre continued to have nightmares about Vernon’s death at Rhonda’s hands. Lucious still refused to let him back into the Empire fold, which led to a flashback of little Lucious and his mother meeting with Child Protective Services. Lucious said he wanted to be a better grandfather than father, and Andre asked his dad if he would be welcomed back if he managed to get the case dismissed, to which Lucious said he could then have “anything” he wanted. Andre told Rhonda afterward that he wanted to dig up Vernon’s body, and that God had been “speaking” to him. Rhonda was clearly concerned, but told him she’s “ride or die, all the way, death til us part… or prison,” and went with him to where they had buried Vernon. While digging, Rhonda realized all the trees around them had the same exact hole, suggesting they were being filmed. As Rhonda tried to tell him that “there’s more to life than Empire,” a car pulled up: Lucious and Thirsty. “What did you do to your uncle?” he demanded to know, prompting Rhonda to confess what went down with Vernon. Lucious was actually “proud,” and commended the pair for trying to help him.
In the show’s final few minutes, Hakeem drank his sorrows away in a bar, where he was blown away by a young Latina singer named Laura shyly performing in Spanish. At the same time, Lucious, Thirsty, Andre, and Rhonda dug up Vernon’s body, after which Andre gave an emotional eulogy of sorts. In contrast, Lucious whispered to the body, “You rot in hell, you snitch.” Lucious then embraced Andre, apologized, and told him, “Welcome back to the Empire.” By the time Cookie got back to the video shoot, it was all over. There she confronted Anika over the masters lie, and though she knew Lucious was likely the liar, she told Anika she was untrustworthy and out of Lyon Dynasty. The episode ended with Lucious burning a photo of himself, Bunkee and Vernon, as Roxanne got into her car… and was shocked to see Vernon’s skeletal corpse sitting in the passenger seat.
In the promo for next week, Andre returns to Empire and seeks to get baptized as he works through his guilt, while Jamal’s sexuality causes problems yet again with Lucious as Cookie faces a new threat and a possible new romance. TELL US: What do you think of tonight’s “Empire”?