The truth hurts and there’s a lot of pain in this episode plus one confusing conclusion.
The episode starts with Cookie and Candice are in Chicago looking for their sister Carol.
They are walking the mean streets and ducking in and out of crack houses. They find a few close calls but none of them were their sister. With the stakes so high, Cookie and Candice begin bickering. Cookie bails and starts the search on her own.
Back at Lyon Dynasty, Hakeem is running things. Under his control, he’s releasing a new music video with Laura, Lyon Dynasty has sold out of tickets to Cookie’s Cookout, and demand is building for a second performance.
But just when the money starts rolling in, Big Heavy and the long horn gang shows up trying to shake Cookie and Lyon Dynasty down for some more. Laz tells them to chill. When they don’t, he pulls a gun on them. He plays all big and bad with the gang but suddenly he’s telling Dynasty employees to hold off printing the fliers because there’s some hiccups with the venue. Is he angling for more money for the gang?
Hakeem’s is all over it. He pulls into Laz into the office and sets him straight: make the concert happen.
Laz might have to butter Cookie up if he’s going to get that money.
Speaking of buttering up. Lucious buys Andre and Rhonda a six-bedroom mansion on 2 acres out in Long Island that overlooks the water. (Btw Rhonda’s finally showing! But is real? I’m still not convinced.)
He says he’s just trying to take care of his grandson, but he has a secret motive. Well actually two: He buttering up Andre to find more cash so Empire can buy up Swiftsteam and make it really soar.
He also flaunts the house in Hakeem’s face in yet another attempt to bring his son back to his side. Hakeem appears intrigued but he refuses to be bought by his dad.
Lucious’ other son Jamal has a collaboration deal with girl power songstress Skye Summer (Alicia Keys). Jamal is a super fan of hers. They’re going make sweet music together.
Back in Chi-town, Cookie links up with former prison bunkmate Pepper O’Leary (played by Rosie O’ Donnell) and together they find Carol.
Cookie and Candice force Carol to choose who she’s going to stay with. Carol chooses Cookie. Carol is happy to stay with her famous sister until Candice reminds her has a terrible secret that involves Cookie.
A clueless Cookie returns home with her wayward sister and receives a stimulating shoulder rub from … Lucious! He snuck into her office to talk Cookie into selling her producer rights away to his old music so Empire can get the cash it needs to really sell Swiftsteam to the masses.
She refuses arguing to protect their music “It’s all about the music.” Lucious is about to leave when he sees Laz. He tells Cookie “I see you’re sleeping your way to the bottom.” Is he jealous? Or, does he know something we (more like Cookie) don’t?
Andre advises his father to sell off the company’s liquor, clothing and sports holdings to get the cash to build up Swiftsteam. Lucious however is not taking it well.
That is until a creative director for Jamal’s Pepsi commercial tells Lucious he represents the past. He fired up and willing to do whatever it takes to stay relevant.
Anika visits Rhonda again and they talk about how baby crazy Lucious is. Anika is not taking it well. Rhonda asks Anika what’s bothering her; Anika lies and says she’s in love with an unknown artist who is now with someone else. (She knows darn well she was just crying, watching Hakeem and Laura’s steamy music video.) Rhonda tells Anika to fight for what she wants.
Anika takes the advice to heart, crashing a party at Hakeem’s house and dissing Laura as a broke JLo wannabe singing a song Hakeem wrote for old flame Camilla Marks.
Speaking of ouch, Lucious drops a bomb on Cookie. He checked out Laz and found out he and the other members of the long horn gang are the 150 Group Bulls. The crew specializes in shaking down young rappers. A betrayed Cookie takes away Laz’s gun and leaves him in the hands of Lucious’ goons.
Reeling from such a devastating revelation, Cookie tells Carol she is an addict who’s going to end up dead if she doesn’t have go to rehab. Ouch.
Another ouch moments arises when Hakeem invites Anika to his back to his place to talk. Anika tries unsuccessfully to make him to love her. Hakeem loses it and starts yelling at Anika. He tells her she is just a side chick and she will “never to be a Lyon. Never!” Double ouch!
Final ouch of the night, Jamal plays a girly ballad he wrote for Skye and she’s not feeling it.
In private she tells Jamal she wants to write something that tells her whole story as a biracial woman. Then she plays a song proclaiming that “I see a colorful future, where only stars are shooting. I matter, you matter.”
It’s risky releasing such a black power, “Black Lives Matter” song to her mostly white sorority girl fans, but Jamal is down for the challenge.
They work on it some more until they come up with a powerful song. They are so happy that kiss … on the lips. Confused?
So are we.
Is Jamal bi?
What is Anika next play?
Is Laz Dead?
What is Carol’s secret?
Read my next recap to find out!