“Empire” Recap: “What Remains Is Bestial”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” Mariah Carey guest-starred, and Andre faced a police assault charge. Here are the most important things to know about “What Remains Is Bestial,” the third episode of season 3.
The show began with Lucious obsessing over his streaming subscribers as Anika told him she felt like a “prisoner” in his home. Unbeknownst to her initially, he was receiving oral sex at the time, a trick she later played on him by getting her own service from a delivery guy. Enraged at his “wife,” he threatened to have his crazy mom kill her, but she pushed back, saying she’d do whatever she wants or they “both go down in flames” in “mutually assured destruction.” Meanwhile, Lucious told Cookie he needed five new songs to boost the service, and was going to release Jamal’s Black And White album to help. He was clearly jealous, though, when she was more interested in meeting with Angelo.
When Andre was released from prison, a crowd of reporters cornered him, and his white attorney warned him “not to go all Black Lives Matter.” He started hallucinating Rhonda again, and left before he could say the wrong thing. Lucious wanted to have Thirsty take care of the cops who arrested him, but Andre refused and lashed out at his parents for wanting to “fight fire with fire.” At his first court hearing, he expected to be quickly arraigned for misdemeanor trespassing, only to find out he was also being charged with felony battery, aggravated assault, and assault against a police officer.
Andre’s attorney, a friend from college, advised him to take a plea deal in hopes of getting probation, but he refused to “lie about being guilty.” Lucious was furious, and took all three sons to their old neighborhood, saying their privileged lives made them “soft” and “y’all don’t know you’re black.” He urged them to get “woke” before “becoming a hashtag,” and Andre exploded at him, saying he rather be in jail or dead than like Lucious.
Jamal attended a PTSD support group, but didn’t want to open up. Lucious pressured him to return the stage so he wouldn’t lose fans, but Jamal wanted to first try returning to the studio. So Cookie hooked him up with Kitty (Mariah Carey), a superstar singer who wanted to do a duet with Jamal and bring him on tour. He was hesitant, but then pitched the idea of live streaming the session in exchange for Lucious not releasing his album.
Jamal had another panic attack when he went to visit Freda in prison, and tried to calm himself with more of his pills. His recording session with Kitty got off to a poor start, leading Lucious to predict “another Jamal flameout.” Finally, though, they recorded the song, “Infamous,” with a camera rolling. Cookie was in denial that her son was “high as a kite.”
Tiana had a new boyfriend, a rapper named Gram (Romeo Miller), and Hakeem was obviously jealous when their debut performance ended with a passionate kiss. Lucious encouraged his son to “bury him” with new music. Nessa wasn’t comfortable collaborating on a disrespectful song, leading Shyne to physically threaten her, after which she walked out. Hakeem was outraged, but Lucious pressured him to still deliver the track. After the aforementioned “black man” lecture, Hakeem had new motivation to finish the song, and Lucious was thrilled to see his son show his “monster” side.
Lucious invited one of the “Woke” kids, Zeah, to record with Empire, upsetting Angelo, who took his anger out on Cookie, even though she had nothing to do with it. She gave him Beyonce’s “boy, bye,” after which he apologized and showed her how hard he’s mentoring these teens to build a better future. Lucious tried to further woo Zeah with a car, but Cookie ripped up his contract before he could sign it, encouraging the boy to go to college instead. Angelo was pleased, but Cookie made it clear he’s not “better” than her, nor is she “ashamed” of where she’s come from. He went to make a move, but she said they should at least have lunch first.
Towards the end of the show, Jamal was furious when Lucious released half of his record, the half he produced, as the “Black” album. Cookie saw it as a move against her, and they argued about their roles in the company. Lucious vowed to retake control of the music side, because it’s “all business,” and she vowed to go to “war.” His response: “Let the games begin, Cook.”
Amid all this, Tariq was still determined to build a case against Lucious. At the end of the episode, Tariq confronted Andre, and Andre quickly realized he was behind the upgraded charges and wanted him to become an informant in order to get them dropped. Andre refused, prompting Tariq to taunt him. Next week, the love triangle with Lucious, Cookie, and Angelo will heat up, while Andre clashes with Shyne over… Nessa.