Empire is trying to get its groove back after an uneven second season has viewers dropping like dead bodies. We're still hanging tough, though, and caught up in the madness and the music of the Lyon clan. Last week found the fam banding together to figure out how to get Empire Enterprises out of the Camilla's evil clutches, and, by the end of the night, the character body count rose by two.
Episode 213: The Tameness Of A Wolf
This episode of Empire starts on a somber note, with everyone mourning the death of Camilla Marks-Whiteman -- even Cookie who can't hold her tongue as she gives the dead designer the backhanded compliment, "Well that battle-axe did know fur," while she walks around the swankiest memorial we've ever seen with Jamal by her side. Hakeem is the master of ceremonies and pays tribute to his old lover with loving words and the promise to keep her Antony & Cleopatra fashion line going with his sister-in-law Rhonda as the new creative director. He neglected to make any mention of the little sex tape he made and sent to Camilla's wife that probably led to her demise, but who needs all those miscellaneous details? Andre apologizes to Rhonda for accusing her of cheating on him, but she's just happy that he's been taking some new meds and is back in his right mind.
The Lyon brothers return to Hakeem's corner office only to see their father sitting on the throne waiting for them. Lucious gives Hakeem his props for getting rid of Camilla with his sex tape scheme and congratulates him on killing her. (If that ain't a Jedi mind trick for that ass, we don't know what is?!) Hakeem yells at his father that he didn't kill her, and Cookie tries to diffuse the situation and tells them to cut the dry snitching out. After all, she has a birthday coming up and she wants to celebrate her first birthday since being out of the clink in peace with her family and no drama. Which means, of course there'll be nothing but drama.
Cookie and Lucious decide to take a field trip back home to Philadelphia where he insists on shooting his "Boom Boom Boom Boom" music video on location at the old house where he ended up when he ran away as a child. The gaudy lions statues are still intact, and he shares with Cookie that right there was where he decided to change his name from Dwight Walker to Lucious Lyon back in the day. Cookie questions him about where his mother was when all this was happening and he avoids answering her.
Up in Boston, Tiana is on her Get No Better Tour and is pissed when Laura and her group Mirage á Trois are cutting into her stage time at a concert. Tiana reads the "little girl" for filth when she comes off stage and reminds her that she's the help and not the headliner. Welp! Becky is there to back her up and second that emotion.
Meanwhile, Jamal and Hakeem go for a little nighttime drive through the hood in search of Freda Gatz. They happen upon a large group of kids and, of course, a street performance pops off. A little spits some hot fiyah and it's only downhill from there once Jamal and Hakeem chime in. Freda appears on the scene and Jamal tries to convince her to record a song with him. She refuses to switch from Team Lucious and tells them to get gone.
The next day at the Empire offices, Cookie is in production mode and trying to pull Lucious' video together. She presents old Dwight with a headshot of the actress she thinks would be a good fit to play his mother and he isn't feeling her selection. He insists that the actress be beautiful and can sing (even though it's not a singing role), and he then flashes back to his mother, played by Kelly Rowland, singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to him as a child. That leads Lucious into his feelings and he leaves out and tells Cookie to make the decision. Cookie makes her quick pick then goes back to planning her birthday party.
Tiana's Get No Better Tour's next stop is in Washington, D.C. and Hakeem makes sure to find his behind there to calm her down and smooth things over. Tiana is telling him all the things that his little girlfriend better not do, and he plays the middle man between the two junior divas. Hakeem appeases Tiana, but he is looking out for his new lady first and foremost and seals the deal with Laura with a kiss that his old chick just so happens to see.
Lucious' video is coming together more slowly than surely. He counsels the young actor playing him as a child and tries to help him channel his inner Dwight Walker. In the midst of his pep talk, Freda Gatz arrives to the set and is surprised by the ragged furnishings and such and asks Lucious what's up with the filth, flarn, filth. He tells her that it's none of her concern because her services aren't needed for the music video because he's gone in a different direction. Freda goes straight into the studio with Jamal and she hops on his latest record where they both work out their daddy issues.
The reporter from the last episode is still snooping around and Lucious brings her to the video set. Upon arrival, he sees the actress playing his mother and is taken aback at her resemblance. He has a mini-flashback and insists that the scene is all wrong. Cookie is not having his drama, though, and gets him right together and takes him someplace private to chat. Lucious finally shares with Cookie more memories of his mother, picking up at the day she tried to baptize him in the bathtub and almost drowned him. She was so disturbed by what she had done to her son, that she couldn't live with herself any longer and later that day committed suicide by shooting herself in the head in front of young Dwight. Now a motherless child, Dwight ran away before child services could come for him and lived on the street. Lucious shared that it was Frank Gathers who introduced him to the fast life, which he claimed saved his life. Cookie encourages Lucious to share his mother's story and tell his truth in the video.
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