Empire – My Naked Villainy
By: Gladys Luna
Lucious (Terrence Howard) has caught a virus that has been keeping him in bed, but he refuses to go to a hospital. He asked Thirsty (Andre Royo) to call Doctor Bart (Philip Earl Johnson) so he can get a proper treatment there, but the doctor refuses at first as he considers it as an illegal practice. After a while, they manage to convince the doctor to help him, but before Lucious makes Thirsty promise him that he´ll be watching his family so they don’t do anything against him.
In the meantime, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is listening to a new song he will include in his album when Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) shows up and tells him that they´ll be dropping a peek of the song later that day much to her son´s surprise. She tells him that Lucious is sick so that is the chance they have to do it without him being an obstacle. Jamal doesn’t seem too convinced at first, but Cookie reminds him of the time when his father dropped “Inferno” while he was still in recovery, making the man to finally agree with her.
As in everything in this family doesn’t revolve around drama already, Kennedy (Hazel Renee) who is Tiana´s friend and got beaten by one of Hakeem´s employees at his birthday party, has decided to sue Empire for $50,000 million dollars. She is now on TV standing by her lawyer (Theresa Clare) who is making a statement about said decision. Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) gets mad about it and asks his mother if Lucious is already aware of the situation, which as on time he texts her and she confirms he already knows.
Nessa (Sierra Aylina McClain) is nervous about Giuliana wanting her to be the head artist of her clubs in Vegas. She confesses Andre (Trai Byers) that she doesn’t even have enough songs to do a proper show, but Andre tells her he and Empire will support her so she doesn’t have to worry about it. Right that moment, Giuliana (Nia Long) enters the room and takes a sit next to them. She asks Andre for a drink and when the man leaves. She offers some compliments to Andre and Nessa tells her they are moving together soon. Giuliana takes the chance to express her admiration for her and Andre´s “agreement.” She explains Nessa that on their prior meeting Andre told her the way he closes his business and she tells her intentions to “hang out” with them someday. Nessa seems confused as she is sure there´s no such agreement between the two of them, but before she can say anything the man returns leaving while the young girl left with a very uneasy feeling about the other woman´s comments.
Jamal and Delphine (Estelle) are filming a video of one of Jamal’s latest songs. The man explains that the song is a reflection of Lucious and Cookie´s love so she is there to witness the whole process. The video begins as memories of a young Cookie (Ajiona Alexus) and a young Lucious (Jeremy L. Carver) hit the woman and how in love and supportive they were to each other. When the song ends, Cookie is brought back to reality as a look of nostalgia and sadness is reflected on her face. She confesses that she didn’t know she would feel such kind of love until she met Lucious.
The family gathers at Lucious home and discuss the best option they have to fight back the lawsuit that Kennedy has thrown on them. After a small argument, they seem to find a choice. Cookie approaches Lucious to tell him he looks really bad and to ask him why he refused to be taken to a hospital when Anika (Grace Byers) enters the room and tells her that he is been paranoid about someone planning a move against him. Cookie leaves the room and Lucious signs Thirsty so he can question her about her advances on Tariq. He wants Anika to wire Tariq, but she asks him for time as she believes she can’t rush into anything right now or they will be discovered. Thirsty threatens Anika and then she is left in the room with Lucious. In an evil move, she asks him not to die otherwise she will have everything he owns since they didn’t sign a prenup. She unplugs the tubes that are providing Lucious with oxygen, but when the man takes a gun out of the duvet she is forced to plug the tubes back without accomplishing his goal.
Giuliana and Andre meet with Gino (Alexander Gemignani) at a club in order to convince the man to get them a license for a club in Las Vegas. Gino wants to take advantage on the agreement, but Andre refuses to give in. As they seem to be getting anywhere with said arrangement, Andre´s entourage arrive at the place coercing Gino into doing the business under Andre´s terms.
Anika pays a visit to Cookie to talk about Bella. She makes Cookie promise her that if something happens to her, she will take Bella under her wing. Cookie seems to be surprised to be asked such a thing since Anika hates her, but the woman confesses that she has seen all of Cookie is capable of to protect her family and that is what Bella really needs so Cookie gives her word that she will take Bella to live with her if necessary.
Election time has arrived so Cookie and Angelo (Taye Diggs) are at the voting center. When they leave the place, Cookie is stopped by a couple of girls that want to congratulate her on the release of the teaser of Jamal´s new song. The teaser is mixed with a small interview that Cookie was part of where she was talking about the love she felt for Lucious in reference to the new song which talks exactly about that. Angelo is unaware of the meaning of the song so he is surprised by the girls’ comments. After they leave, he asks Cookie for an explanation and she assures him that she is always with him, but Angelo is still mad at her for not telling him before and walks away from her yelling that Lucious has always been a terrible influence on her.
Jamal is at the club making sure everything is ready for Angelo´s party later that night. Derek (Tobias Truvillion) is at his side, which gives Jamal the chance to talk to him about his coming out. He lets him know that although he is proud of him, they are not going back together. So, he tells him that if he really cares for him and then he should leave him alone. Derek doesn’t seem to agree with it, but Jamal stands on his decision.
Thirsty, Hakeem, Kennedy and her lawyer are at Empire trying to set an arrangement on the lawsuit. Thirsty gets really tough on the girl making her to turn to Hakeem asking for his help. The girl seems more disappointed every time and Hakeem does nothing but bow his head down out of shame. Kennedy cannot stand it any longer so she stands up and leaves the room.
Jamal and Cookie are discussing about what happened between her and Angelo when he saw the video teaser. Suddenly, Hakeem arrives and tells them about his meeting with Kennedy and how Thirsty was so mean to her. He confesses that he wants to make things right and that is when Jamal suggests him to use his channel for that. A few minutes later, Hakeem goes live on his channel while singing a song that he dedicates to his daughter, Tiana (Serayah) and Kennedy as a way to apologize for what he did. Andre breaks into the room where Hakeem has just finished his song and scolds his brother on what he just did since it cancels everything they have done so far in regards of the lawsuit.
Later that day, every member of the board is gathered in Lucious room. Andre arrives at the place and is shocked to see everyone there. Lucious knows he´s been doing some business behind his back so Andre is forced to tell him about his plans of expanding Empire to Las Vegas. He delivers a folder to each one of the members that contains the information they need to know about the new business. Lucious gets mad at him since he had already told him he wasn’t interested in expanding and decides to fire him, but Andre lets him know that he can’t do that unless he has a second on that decision. Lucious asks for someone to support him, but everyone remains silent. Lucious’ irritation grows and he finally asks everyone in the room to leave.
Andre arrives at Angelo´s event and meets his mother there and thanks her for backing him up before Lucious. Angelo arrives and greets Andre, but then he leaves Cookie and the candidate alone. Cookie tries to excuse herself again for the video teaser when suddenly Lucious arrives just to make sure that nobody is doing anything against him again. Andre meets Nessa and the girl finally confronts him on what Giuliana said about their arrangement. He tells her that is his way of doing business, but Nessa makes it very clear that she is not interested in making any kind of arrangements leaving a flabbergasted Andre standing there.
Angelo wins the primary elections and everyone celebrates. Cookie encourages him to give a speech, but he is interrupted by Lucious who claims to be proud that Empire is friends with Angelo. He attempts to carry on with his speech, but Lucious decides to break in again and decides to play a song that he wrote for Cookie a while ago. As he begins to play the piano version of said song, Cookie begins to remember some of their time together – when they used to be happy. Lucious keeps playing, but is abruptly taken out of his spell by Giuliana who is standing right next to him, asking him to play the song he wrote for her. Lucious gets angry and asks her to give him a reason not to kill her right there. Giuliana throws him a devilish smile and confesses to him that all of their dreams are about to come true.