Cookie’s getting played by Laz. But she’s not the only one who is getting the wool pulled over her eyes.
Cookie’s been rolling in the hay with Laz Delgado for three days while the long horn gang has been blowing up his phone.
Cookie thinks she’s found the perfect man because he’s pampering her with breakfast in bed, brainstorming ideas about a Lyon Dynasty summer jam concert, and encouraging her to help Jamal with his music.
But when Laz skips out of the apartment to talk with Big Heavy, it’s clear he’s only baiting her to get the protection money plus promotion fees.
Over at Empire, Lucious and Freda Gatz are rapping to the beat he made for Hakeem. But Freda is afraid to bare her soul. He coaxes her to push forward so he can take the track to musical kingmaker Sir Huie Jarvis.
Jarvis listens to the track and is impressed with Freda but says Lucious needs to dig deeper into his secret pain if he wants to an award.
Lyon Dynasty is giving a preview concert to hip hop bloggers. While Mirage à Trois performs, Carman pushes Laura and tries to become the lead singer.
Cookie is convinced that Carmen should be Mirage à Trois’ new lead but Hakeem believes in Laura’s voice. He asks Tiana to help the timid singer step up her game and take command of the group.
Carmen is not the only only one pushing her way forward. Hostile takeover guru Mimi is trying hard to edge out Andre as Lucious’ trusted adviser.
In the boardroom she takes Andre’s vision of music streaming and turns it into a bid to merge with failing music streaming company Swiftstream. Andre hates the idea but Lucious is interested and sets up a meeting.
Lucious is still suspicious of his religious son. Once again he urges Andre get his hands dirty. This time it’s with an old flame in the Mayor’s office. Freda has a legal problem that needs to be wrapped up.
Andre is in turmoil. He doesn’t want to cheat on his wife but he is tempted to bang the deputy mayor again order to please his father.
He turns to his pastor for help. Rev. Price tells Andre that even soldiers fighting for a good cause have to do despicable things on the battlefield. (What?) He tells Andre there are many ways to get what he wants from the deputy.
Jamal and Cookie are sneaking around working on Jamal’s song “Heavy.” The secret collaboration is working because he’s been invited to perform for Jarvis.
Lucious meets Jago Locke of Swift Stream in the boxing ring. The meeting goes well until Jago says his lyrics are shallow. Lucious was holding back before but then he lands a knockout punch. Lucious definitely has some unresolved issues.
In another meeting cross town, Andre blackmails Rochelle with a video of their old trysts. Then he goes home to celebrate with Rhonda who is in the middle of a rigorous workout. (Is this girl really pregnant?)
Lucious is back in the studio when he learns Jamal is going to perform for Jarvis. He pretends to be happy, but he’s really jealous. Now he is determined to dig deeper in his music and get this merger with Swift Stream.
Speaking of music, Hakeem is not giving up on Laura. He encourages her to do some street performing to build her confidence. At first Laura sings softly. But soon she attracting a real crowd. Laura finally have the confidence to let Carmen know what’s what. Shrewd move!
Hakeem shows his shrewdness in the boardroom too
Through Laz’s manipulation, Cookie meets with the long horn gang to talk about protection. Hakeem busts in, takes control of the meeting and narrows the gang’s role to just the perimeter of the building plus 15 percent.
Seems like between he and Cookie, Hakeem is the only thinking clearly because he’s the only one suspicious of Laz. Maybe she will wise up too.
Jamal performs his newly improved song for Jarvis. With Cookie’s musical advice and the pain of his past channeled into the music, he blows Jarvis and his guests away.
He also inspires Lucious to put his painful past with his mother in his music.
Also we learn a little more about Mimi. She’s more than a investor; she’s a co-conspirator.
After getting Lucious the merger with Swiftstream, she’s seen on the phone talking about about a plan that’s taking a little more time than previously anticipated
But with whom is she plotting? And to what end? Only time will reveal.