Empire – Civil Hands Uncleaned
By: Gladys Luna
As the episode opens, we see a Lucious (Terrence Howard) and his team recording a song. At the same time, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett) are recording another song with their team in another studio. Suddenly, Lucious decides to stop the session as he doesn’t seem to be quite pleased with the song. In the other studio, Jamal does the same since he says he can’t feel the song. Cookie and Lucious separately decide to take some time out of the recordings and find each other in the hallway. That is when Cookie tells the man about what happened between her and Angelo (Taye Diggs) and when she is about to confess why she said no to his marriage proposal Giuliana (Nia Long) interrupts them by calling Lucious back in the studio. Cookie asks him why the other woman is doing with him on the studio since as far as she can remember the last time he called her the devil. Lucious is about to explain himself when Giuliana interrupts them again, making the man going back inside with her. Lucious discusses with Snoop Dogg (himself) and October London (himself) about the album. Snoop suggests to bring Jamal onboard, but Lucious just doesn’t agree. He believes he doesn’t need his sons or anyone else to make the album successful.
Lucious proposes Jamal to join Inferno, but he refuses. He says he is already invested in “When Cookie Met Lucious” so he will keep doing it and try to rewrite the history of his family. Cookie pays a visit to Andre (Trai Byers) and confirms what she already knows, her son is trying to put up a war against his father. Shyne (Xzibit) and a bunch of men are getting their guns ready, but Cookie talks them into dropping the act and comes with a better plan to support Andre. In the end, she invites them all to her house for a good home-cooked meal.
Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray), Lucious and Thirsty (Andre Royo) arrive at their bar. The youngest Lyon tells his father that he wants his name to be on Bella´s birth certificate but Lucious doesn’t think he is ready for that commitment yet. Suddenly, they find themselves surrounded by fire men alleging that the club has gone into a violation on the fire code. At the end of the place, Lucious spots Angelo sitting there with two other men on each of his side. When Lucious approaches to him and asks him to leave, he mocks of him and tells him his club is closed for the night. Lucious walks away from him and orders his staff to give Angelo another round for free.
Lucious argues with Cookie about what Angelo did to his club and how he is sure that all of this is because of her but she wants him to just drop it. She just doesn’t want to make anything worse. They are suddenly interrupted by Anika (Grace Byers) who tells Lucious that she is on her way to The Peninsula. Then, Giuliana shows up as well attempting to say goodbye to Lucious as the woman is leaving for a while to a business trip so Lucious asks Anika to stay back in the mansion. Cookie just can’t seem to handle all the tension so she decides to walk away from the room.
Hakeem is discussing about wanting to take Bella with him and how Lucious doesn’t trust him for said task. All of this, while Tiana (Serayah) and Tori (Rumer Willis) listen to him and exchange some affectionate kisses with each other while in the Jacuzzi. They seem to agree with the idea of Hakeem kidnapping the girl from Lucious’ mansion. Suddenly, all of that is forgotten when Hakeem enters the Jacuzzi and joins the two other girls for the fun.
Cookie finally gathers Andre, Shyne and all of the boys at her house. She lets them know about her plan of letting Lucious do all the work to go to Vegas and then, they will reap all the benefits from it. If that doesn’t work, then they will take the business away from him. On the other hand, Jamal is still trying to create some music so he asks to be left alone in the studio. Tinashe (herself) shows up and tells him that Cookie told her he was trying to find some inspiration. So, he shows her some of the music he has done and she gives some advice to him on what to change on the song.
Lucious, Snoop and Thirsty are discussing whether or not he is going to invest in Lucious’ business. Snoop confesses that his investment banker told him he shouldn’t do the Vegas thing right now. Lucious asks Snoop who his banker is so he can talk to him and convince him on doing it and then Snoop confesses that his name is Dubois. That is when Lucious and Thirsty decide not to push any further. Cookie is scolding Jamal when she realizes that despite Tinashe´s efforts, he couldn’t make anything good out of it. Then, Lucious enters the studio looking for Cookie and lets her know that because of Angelo all of the investors of Inferno just walked back. Lucious is determined to kill Angelo so he leaves the studio in anger while Cookie follows him. She goes to see Angelo and brings some ideas to fix the “hot mic” situation, but he confesses he is not even mad at that anymore. Suddenly, Diana (Phylicia Rashad) shows up and assures Cookie that she is taking her and all of her family down.
Cookie, Jamal, Andre and Lucious are reunited at Empire to debate how they are going to approach the situation with Angelo. They want to hit him hard, but then Jamal suggests to do something more peaceful. He asks for their permission to let him go and talk to him. Lucious asks Andre if he believes that is the right approach and he agrees with his younger brother. Jamal meets Angelo at a school and offers him an apology on behalf of his family. Then, he gives him a $5 million dollar check for the school program he is sponsoring. He unwillingly accepts the check and Jamal leaves him alone with his thoughts. Later that day, he goes and meets Lucious to give him the good news. Apparently, everything is better with Angelo now. He also lets Lucious knows about Hakeem been broadcasting all day long from his apartment speaking about finding the meaning of life. Hakeem has made up his mind about something and calls someone named “Chicken” (AzMarie Livingston) and asks her to join him at his apartment.
Lucious is playing piano while watching Hakeem broadcasting live surrounded by a large team of people. He keeps saying that his parents don’t believe he can be a father to Bella. So, he confesses his love for the little girl and begins to sing for her right in his apartment.
Jamal is trying to record a song while Cookie watches him from the other side of the booth. He stops saying he still can’t feel anything about it. Cookie scolds him again about his behavior and tells him he needs to record the two songs and beat Lucious’ album. If he doesn’t want to or believe he can do it, then he can go and do backups for his father.
The woman leaves the room and meets with Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) who is listening to a melody that Cookie is immediately drawn to. She runs back to Jamal and asks him to listen to it. Cookie asks Becky who the song is from. When she hesitates a little and as she is about to spill the name, Lucious passes by with Harry (Revon Yousif) before everyone´s astonished looks. Cookie grabs Jamal by the hand and takes him away.
Lucious is recording a song with Harry and when the young man is about to sing, Jamal enters the room and starts to sing Lucious’ song. When he is done, Harry tells Lucious that it seems he just found what he was looking for and then leaves. Jamal and Lucious exchange a few words before Cookie breaks in and questions about what they are doing. Jamal asks her to listen before speaking and he starts to sing for her. Father and son have finally seemed to find their own rhythm and Cookie definitely approves. Jamal suggests for the Lyon family to finally work together and even though his mother doesn’t truly commit to it, Lucious does.
Cookie, Lucious, their sons, Anika, Bella, Thirsty and Leah are altogether having breakfast at Lucious’ mansion. Lucious gives Anika a $25 million dollar settlement agreement and the divorce papers. He also gives Hakeem the chance to have his name on his daughter’s birth certificate and gives him back his XStream channel. They all are sharing amicably when the maid Juanita (Claudette Burchett) tells him that someone is looking for him. He asks her to dismiss them, but she tells him that is important.
He walks away from the dining room and meets with a man and a woman that allege to come from OCSF (New York Child Protective Services). Apparently they have received a report of child endangerment and they have to temporarily remove the child from the house until the situation is solved. The whole riot begins, a full team of agents enter the room and go against the family. Anika takes Bella, but she can only cry in front of the inevitable. Cookie walks towards her and removes the baby from her arms. She hands the little one to Lucious and then the man gives Bella to the woman from the child protection services. Afterwards, the woman leaves with her whole team of officers behind leaving the Lyon family completely unarmed.