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Empire – Play On

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By: Gladys Luna

 

While Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) wonders what she had just done, her staff is cleaning up the mess she left behind when she exploded with anger against Lucious. As she cleans herself, we can see a streaming of blood mixed with water running away in the shower. Candace (Vivica A. Fox) accompanies Cookie and talks to her about the recent event. Cookie assures her she doesn’t know what came over her and why she ended up kissing him. Cookie remembers a time when her father kicked her out of her house and she went to Lucious’, which was also the first time they made love and Candace believes that her addiction to him is what keeps pulling her back to him. She questions her about her feelings for Angelo, (Taye Diggs) but Cookie is not so sure about it. What she knows is that she doesn’t want to lose him so she needs to tell him the truth but Candace doesn’t seem to agree with it.

Lucious (Terrence Howard), Anika (Grace Gealey) and Leah (Leslie Uggams) arrive at Empire. The man lies to his wife about what happened when she sees that the place is being restored, but assures her they don’t know what happened. He asks Thirsty (Andre Royo) to work on the surveillance videos and make it look as it never happened. One of Lucious staff members is asked to take care of his mother, but the older woman doesn’t appear to be so convinced by it and she questions Marty´s gender but gets no reply in exchange.

Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) and Tiana (Serayah) are casting some dancers for Tiana´s upcoming video. As they are discussing some details about it, Tiana spots Hakeem´s grandmother entering the room. The young man greets his grandmother and she begins to question him about Tiana. Leah asks one of the dancers named Quintana to do her a favor; she asks her to go to Marty, drop a handkerchief and show how limber she is. The girl seems surprised at said request, but does it anyway as soon as Hakeem promises he will feature her in the video. All of this, as an attempt from Leah to distract Marty and run away.

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and Tory (Rumer Willis) are sharing stories at the studio when suddenly Jamal begins to play along with her. They begin to sing happily. Andre (Trai Byers) is showing Nessa (Sierra Aylina McClain) two apartments he wants them to go see later. Shyne (Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner) arrives and introduces Andre to Dain-Ja. Andre attempts to shake hands with the other man, but he doesn’t reply. Shine explains Dain-Ja that Andre is like family to him, as well as he explains Andre that Dain-Ja runs every strip club from Atlanta to the Carolinas. But Dain-Ja doesn’t seem to be so happy to start any business with him.

Angelo has returned to the city and sees Cookie who immediately tries to talk to him about what happened with Lucious, but he stops her asking her to just focus on them for now. He kisses her and suddenly one of the bruises on her arm is shown, but she pretends is nothing. They keep kissing and enjoying each other. Later that day, Cookie pays a visit to Lucious, but is met with the man and Anika making out in the bathroom. She expresses her disgust in front of said situation and Lucious tells her that´s none of her business. Cookie asks the man to say nothing to Angelo about the incident yet is confronted by Lucious as he assures her that she still loves him but she can´t deal with that. They start fighting over their music projects ending as they usually do, parting separate ways.

Anika enters the room where the dancers are being cast. She goes straight to Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) and asks her for some time to talk to her and discuss about the artist and their projects. Becky gives her a quick update showing her discomfort by her presence, but Anika makes sure to let her know that she is not ready to run a department. However, in a year or two she may have her job. She praises the girl and her skills and informs her she´ll be leaning a lot on her. And to prove that, when Tiana asks Anika to stay and watch the rehearsals to give them her opinion, she entrusts the task to Becky by telling Tiana that the girl has her total support. Becky immediately changes her mood towards Anika and hugs her, telling her she is glad she is back.

In the meantime, Tory and Jamal are attempting to create some music. Cookie arrives and listens to them, but there seems to be something missing. Tory suggest some tunes with her guitar, but Jamal is not entirely convinced about that. Cookie begins to direct them on what they might do and soon, the duo is finally on the same page about the song.

Leah visits Shyne and tells her that Lucious has given a job to Anika, but she is not content with his son´s decision. She confesses to him that Cookie hates the woman in the same way she does. The man catches up that Leah might be up to something and offers her to go inside the house and get some tea. Tory and Jamal along with a band begin to record the song they have been working on. It turned out to be a very catchy one. Later that day, Lucious shows up at the studio seeing a sign at the door that says: Sunny Day Rehab Center. Enter at your own risk. He walks into the room and begins to listen to the song that Jamal just recorded, then he goes to his piano and begins to play the same song. Tariq (Morocco Omari) intercepts Anika on the street and asks her to testify against Lucious, but she refuses. He begins to tell her about a man named Ted McNally and how he got bodied some time ago. The girl gets truly nervous when Tariq begins to question her about it and offers her to put her on Witness Protection if she agrees to help him. After a while, he convinces her to do it and gives her some instruction where he´ll be picking her and her daughter up in order to put the away from Lucious.

Jamal and Tory attempt to show Cookie the song they recorded when they see the studio is already occupied. Jamal enters the room and tells Lucious that he booked the studio for three months, but he doesn’t seem to listen. Cookie assures him that she knows that look as she has seen it before. Right there, she remembers a time when she walked into the house she shared with Lucious and he was recording a song. She began to scream at him until he finally hears her when she announced to him that she was pregnant. Back to the present, Lucious seems proud of the work he and Nessa have accomplished so far. Jamal looks really disappointed at his father´s behavior. Cookie, Tory and Jamal leave the room, but before Tory managed to walk out of the room Lucious told her that he really liked her work.

Andre asks Shyne to give him some information on Dain-Ja and the man does. Shine also tells him there’s a man in Vegas that is interested in working with Lucious, it seems he has quite a reputation as he is the owner of a lot of strip clubs and the only reason he agreed to meeting him is because he was promised to meet Lucious. Andre confesses him that they need to keep Lucious alive until they make a deal with the man something that it will be of great help for Empire.

Anika meets Hakeem at the park and hands her Bella, their daughter. She asks him to take care of her while she does “something.” He takes the baby as she walks away. In the meantime, at Empire, Cookie is advised that a probation officer has arrived and is looking for her. She immediately calls Angelo and he picks her up from the back of the building. He informs her that they are violating her parole for associating her with a known felon. Angelo asks his driver to take them to Lucious’ office. Whether Cookie wants it or not, they have to end this thing up as soon as possible.

Hakeem arrives a little late to the studio where they are filming Tiana´s video. She gets a little mad when she sees that Hakeem had brought his daughter with him. He tells her that both are important for him. He takes the baby in his arms and asks Tiana to carry her, slowly making the girl to change her behavior towards the little girl. Angelo confronts Lucious in regards Cookie´s current legal situation and threatens to come after him making him feel a kind of pain he ever experienced.

Lucious takes Jamal on a tour through the set where his band is rehearsing a song that according to the older man, Jamal had inspired. He looks surprised and disappointed when he sees Tory is there at the stage playing the accords he refused to use in his song. He walks away while Tory yells at him from behind. Jamal calls Phillip (Juan Antonio) and tells him what happened with Tory. Phillip tells him how different he looks now from the moment he was dealing with his addiction. Jamal asks the man to stay the night and they begin to kiss.

Candace, Cookie and Angelo are sharing some time together. Candace begin to make jokes about Angelo marrying Cookie. In the meantime, Cookie remembers when she “married” Lucious. Both dressed in white while sharing a small party with their friends in their house.

Andre and Shyne meet with Rafael Green (Al Vicente) and when the man sees that Andre Lyon has arrived instead of Lucious, he gets really mad. He calls for Giuliana (Nia Long) and when the woman comes in the room, he blames her for setting him up but she denies it. He slaps her and then takes her to the back of the room. Andre asks him to leave the woman alone and when he turns back to shoot Andre, Giuliana shoots him instead. One of Rafael´s men approaches the dead man and yells at Giuliana, but he gets shot as well. Giuliana asks Andre if he is still interested in doing business with her and when the man gives her a positive response. Giuliana stretches out her hand and shakes hands with Andre to seal the deal.

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