“Empire” Recap: “Without A Country”
On Wednesday’s “Empire,” Cookie started a rival record label as Lucious recorded music in prison and Jamal continued to run Empire Entertainment. Here are the most important things to know about “Without A Country,” the second episode of season 2.
1. The episode began with Cookie, Hakeem, and Jamal removing their belongings from the Empire Entertainment offices, and vowing to start their own company. They went to the run-down studios to secure new office space, where singer Veronica blew up on Anika during a recording station. Cookie wanted Anika to have nothing to do with the label, and kicked her out of a meeting. Cookie was later more determined than ever when she secured the office space, and was intrigued by the name “Dynasty.”
2. While Cookie wanted Hakeem to record a killer new song, he wanted to prove he could do more than just perform by signing a girl group that he could manage. At auditions he was impressed by a singer named Valentina (played by Becky G), but she had no interest in being part of a three-girl group, and the move infuriated Andre, who wanted him recording his own music. Hakeem was convinced he could find success with a white, black, and Hispanic trio, and asked Tiana to join, which pissed her off, since she’s been working solo. Hakeem later hooked up with Valentina, who said she would do a girl group if it was with Empire. Cookie told Hakeem she couldn’t stop him from going back to Empire, but he said he didn’t want to work for his brother and father anymore. Instead, he leaked his album online, and Andre stormed out, fearing the lawsuit from Empire that would follow.
3. Jamal filmed a “Spilling The Tea” TV interview at home, admitting music was on the back-burner as he ran Empire in his father’s place. The shoot was interrupted by Cookie, who came in support of Hakeem, saying he deserved his album from Empire. Jamal was shocked to find out his family was now planning to be his competition, and when visiting his father in prison, Lucious told him to get Hakeem back in business with Empire. He later met with Hakeem, and said they should reunite because they’re “family,” but wouldn’t commit to also bringing Cookie and Andre back into the fold.
4. Lucious was stunned when he couldn’t get his medication in prison because his doctor authorization form went missing. In the courtyard, he showed off a new rap he wrote, but ended up losing his breath and coughing uncontrollably as his vision seemed to go hazy. Office McKnight (played by Ludacris) came over to assert his power, and suggested Lucious be more “cooperative” with prosecutor Roxanne if he wanted his medication. Obviously sick when Jamal visited, Lucious insisted he was fine and spoke about his “Lucious Lyon joint from the joint.” They were interrupted by a lawyer named Thirsty offering his services, saying he could play “dirty” with Roxanne. Thirsty managed to not only get Lucious his meds, but equipment to record his track in a prison closet, and the song was all about Cookie being a “snitchin’ ass bitch.” McKnight stormed in at the end, though, and punished Lucious by putting him in the “hole.” Later, after leaving work, McKnight was beaten by Thirsty’s goons.
5. Rhonda met with Jamal out of concern for Andre, saying he was “completely lost” without Empire. She tearfully begged for Jamal to forgive him, and revealed she’s pregnant. He was thrilled with the idea of being “Uncle Jamal,” and agreed to bring Andre back into Empire. Rhonda, however, made him promise not to reveal he knew about the pregnancy. Cookie tried telling Andre he worries too much, and he said she didn’t worry enough. With that, he asked to be “let go” from the new company. Andre met with his father in prison afterward, saying he never should have been part of the hostile takeover, because Empire in his “blood.” He begged for forgiveness, and Lucious offered none. When Andre asked why his dad “hates” him, there was a flashback to Lucious’ childhood with his mom (played by Kelly Rowland), and it was clear she suffered from mental health problems, much like Andre.
In the final minutes of the show, Jamal worked on a new song that he told Hakeem was written for him. Hakeem dropped the bomb that he’s not only not coming back, but also leaked his album, and Jamal promised to sue the “drawers off [his] black ass.” Hakeem fired back, “Our Dynasty is going to crush your Empire.” He and Cookie were later cleaning up their new digs when the radio played Lucious’ new song. She said they’d be fine if they could just get their company up and running before he gets out of prison, and the show cut to a bail hearing where Thirsty presented new evidence: photos of the judge engaging in BDSM. That was all it took for Lucious to get immediately released on bail.
The preview for next week showed Lucious back at Empire Entertainment and Roxanne threatening to harm the sons if Cookie didn’t work with her, as the ongoing family feuds worsened. TELL US: What do you think of tonight’s “Empire” episode?