“Empire” Recap: “Sinned Against”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” Cookie searched for her missing sister while Jamal connected with a new artist. Here are the most important things to know about “Sinned Against,” the ninth episode of season 2.
The show began with Cookie and her sister Candace (Vivica Fox) in Philadelphia searching for their missing sister, Carol, who they believed was on a drug binge. She left Hakeem in charge of Lyon Dynasty, though he had no idea what business she was off handling. Meanwhile, Empire Entertainment was celebrating Jamal’s new collaboration with Skye Summers, a superstar singer played by Alicia Keys.
Cookie and Candace clashed during their search, leading Cookie to seek out Pepper (Rosie O’Donnell), her old prison mate who was now working in a bakery. The trio found her strung out at a sketchy house, and Candace and Cookie fought over who she should live with. Carol chose to go with Cookie, even though Candace was caring for Carol’s kids. The two, however, were apparently keeping a secret about something Carol did while Cookie was locked up, which Candace held over her head.
Laz was pressured by Big Heavy and his shady associates to speed up their shake-down of Cookie, but having truly fallen for her, he was having second thoughts. Hakeem was pissed to see them at Lyon Dynasty, and urged Laz to finalize the plans for Cookie’s Cookout, which had already sold out, leading them to book a second show.
In the studio, Skye was eager to show a new side of herself, and opened up to Jamal about being forced to stay in her pop lane. He encouraged her to step out of the box, leading Skye to tell Lucious she wanted to work with him. At Jamal’s Pepsi video shoot, real-life “Empire” creator Lee Daniels played himself as the commercial’s director.
Lucious bought parents-to-be Andre and Rhonda a house, a gift for continuing the Lyon legacy, and he insisted he was done “testing” Andre. Father and son still needed to get enough money to be the sole owner of the streaming service, and Andre suggested forfeiting royalties on his back catalog. The problem, however, was that Cookie owned half those rights. Lucious later asked her to sign over her share, and when she refused, he taunted her over her relationship with Laz.
Andre then suggested a new plan: leverage one of Empire’s other divisions, such as the fashion or alcohol lines. Lucious, however, refused, saying they’d no longer be an “empire” then. He later changed his mind, though, after becoming jealous of Jamal at the Pepsi video shoot. Seeing his son’s success made him all the more desperate to continue his own. And in the wake of the rap battle, Lucious offered Hakeem one last chance to sign with Empire, saying he would make him a partner in the company. Hakeem, however, insisted he couldn’t be bought.
Meanwhile, a pregnant Anika became increasingly unhinged over Hakeem’s relationship with Laura. Rhonda, not knowing what was going on, encouraged Anika to “take down” anyone who was in the “way” of her love. She later showed up to a party at Hakeem’s apartment, where she dissed Laura and told him he could do better. Anika kept insisting there was an “us,” leading him to yell at her, “You won’t ever be a Lyon!”
Laz tried to convince Cookie and Hakeem to change the venue of the cookout concerts, just as Lucious interrupted and revealed his connection to the band of scam artists. Laz insisted he was in love with her, and just needed more time to “fix” the situation. She was clearly crushed, and left him behind with Lucious, his goons, and a gun.
After Carol interrupted her tearful breakdown, Cookie told her she needed to go to rehab. Cookie knew she was partially responsible for her sister’s bender, and admitted fearing she would up end up dead. She gave Carol an ultimatum: Get clean, or find some place else to stay.
In the episode’s final minutes, Jamal and Skye further connected as they worked on their duet, a song called “Powerful.” Their intense performance culminated in a kiss as the show ended. The promo for next week’s midseason finale teased the return of Camilla, and Lucious having a meltdown after Mimi calls for him to removed as Empire’s CEO. TELL US: What did you think of tonight’s “Empire”?