Empire – Slave to Memory
By: Gladys Luna
Funk Flex (Funkmaster Flex) is on the stage announcing the performance of one of the Lyons. A group of ladies are lined up on the stairs holding feathers and they go moving one by one until we finally see Andre (Trai Byers) standing right there at the top and ready to perform. He walks down the stairs while singing. In the middle of the audience we can see Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett) cheering for him. Suddenly, Andre stops and starts to call Lucious while the audience is still singing and screaming out of excitement. Back to reality, we see Lucious (Terrence Howard) trying to calm him down. His son is at the hospital and tied to his bed. A doctor walks in and checks on Andre. When Lucious asks for his son´s current state, she explains that they are trying their best to purge the psychotropics out of his system before they can determine if he suffered any brain injury. She also makes sure that he understands that Andre suffered a psychotic break, but Lucious retorts that Andre will be just fine. Once the doctor has left the room, he promises that he will make whoever that caused such damage to him pay for it.
Later that day, Lucious questions Cookie about her plans to take the Dubois’ family down, but she doesn’t feel so confident to share since she believes that he’ll try to stop her from her plans. When he reassures he wouldn’t, she decides to finally tell him.
In the meantime, Diana (Phylicia Rashad), Anika (Grace Byers) and Angelo (Taye Diggs) are checking on the lasts details before the “Captain’s Ball” (an event hosted by the Duboises) happens later that night. Diana has made sure that all of the hotel staff is gone and replaced by the militia. Even though Angelo questions her decision to carry on with the event when she is clearly at war with the Lyons, his mother doesn’t seem to mind at all.
At Eddie´s (Forest Whitaker) farewell party Cookie, Jamal, Eddie and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) are enjoying the night and sharing some memories of him and Lucious. When Lucious walks in, Cookie shows her concern with Eddie as she believes that her husband hasn’t come back entirely yet so Eddie decides to put him into test and yells at him to join him at the piano. Both of them start to sing something special for Cookie while everyone else is gathered around them.
Cookie, Jamal, Hakeem and Lucious are reunited at Lucious’ office. Cookie asks him if he is ready to take his throne back and he answers that he is and she should do the same. He turns his chair and offers it to her saying she is the queen. He places himself at the piano and begins to play while he also listen to Cookie´s plans to take Diana down. She calls for Thirsty (Andre Royo) and the man walks in and explains everything he knows about the Captain’s Ball. As they seem to find no way to get in there due to Diana’s security measures, Lucious suggests that the only way they could get in there is through music.
Sometime later, Thirsty enters another room of the house and finds out that Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) is crying. While trying to cheer her up, he makes some joke about her hormones which earns him a slap in the face from the girl. That is when he understands that Becky is pregnant and when he asks her who the father is she refuses to tell him so he only offers her his handkerchief.
Jamal hears someone approaching him and he believes that it is his brother Hakeem. When he finds out that is actually Warren (Terrell Carter) who is standing there, he takes a knife and asks him about the reason why he is there. Warren explains that he wanted to give him some information about Diana that can be useful for his family, but Jamal refuses to hear it. He asks Warren to stay away from him since he is not going to get any sympathy from him. When the other man is about to walk away, Jamal stops him and asks about the information he was supposed to give him.
Lucious and Cookie are on their way to the ball where he confesses that he has feeling that she´s been dismissive with him lately. He also explains that just because one of his legs doesn’t work as it used to, he is not less of a man. He has come back and is completely capable to revenge his family, but Cookie tells him that Diana went after her and her family so she is the one that is going to make her pay.
Angelo has left his building and is talking to someone on the phone. His driver is waiting for him so when he gets into the car, he realizes that is Cookie, a body guard and Lucious have taken him. They lead him to an isolated alley where Lucious, with the help of his bodyguard, asks him to sign the papers where he confesses that Diana kidnapped his granddaughter and extorted his son. However, Angelo says that he didn’t know about that. Lucious gives him a speech of how he believes they have many things in common, but Angelo tells him that the only thing they have in common is that they banged the same bitch. Lucious punches him until he is on the floor and asks him to sign the papers again. Then, he takes him back into the car and tells him that he will be helping them to get into the Captain’s Ball as his guests of honor.
At the Captain’s Ball, Diana is greeting the attendees and throwing some snarky comments at some of them while at the entrance. Angelo lets Cookie and Lucious in. The man walks over to his mother and when she realizes of the blood stains on his shirt and his swollen eye and cheek, she demands to know what happened to him. He confesses that the Lyons are there as he had no choice but to let them in and they are responsible for the bruises on his face. All of a sudden, the music shifts and we see Cookie and Lucious dancing a tango. Even though Diana orders to turn the music off, nothing happens. When they finish, Hakeem and Jamal hit the stage and perform the song that Jamal wrote for Warren. When the boys end their performance, Cookie takes the stage and announces that they have planned a little twist in the schedule as she presents Warren, Diana’s nephew, who is broadcasted live while he confesses that Diana has used her family to destroy another family. The murmurs and chattering of the attendees is heard behind her. Angelo assures her that he is going to find Warren and put him down so he leaves the place in a haste and takes Anika with him. Cookie continues with her showcase as she points at Dr. Lambert (Richard Pickren) and Lana (Warren’s sister) as those responsible for administering psychosis-inducing drugs to her son Andre. She also tells them how Diana kidnapped her grandbaby and that she asked her nephew Warren to rip Jamal’s heart out.
Later, Hakeem enters Anika’s hotel room as she is getting ready to leave with Bella. He stops her and asks her to sign some papers in order to give him their daughter´s full custody. He explains how they have some tapes where she is seeing talking with Diana while Bella was missing. Anika tells him that she doesn’t want to go back in jail so she agrees to sign the papers. Hakeem assures her that she will be able to see their daughter, but he is taking the baby with him and just like that he walks out of the room leaving a sobbing Anika behind.
Diana can’t take it anymore so she decides to leave when the police walks in. She tells them where Cookie is, but they tell her that it´s her that is under arrest for the kidnapping of Bella. Diana is taken away while other attendees apologize to Cookie and wishes her good luck and just like that the party goes on.
Warren is gathering his stuff at the motel where he is staying when someone knocks at the door. He believes that Jamal has arrived and when he opens the door he finds Angelo pointing at him with a gun. Then, Jamal walks in so now Angelo makes fun of them as he keeps pointing to one guy and then the other. He shoots at Warren and then Jamal goes over him to take the gun. A shot is fired and we see Angelo collapsing to the floor. Jamal is pacing around not knowing what to do so he goes to check on Warren and realizes he is just fine. He then goes to Angelo, but he is not responding so he calls 911 and tells them about the shooting.
Cookie and Lucious are leaving the ball; the man wants to make sure everything is good between them so he asks Cookie what she is going to do about their situation. She tells them that everything is ok, but still she will move out of the house as she feels they need to take some time out and he agrees.
Eddie is on his way out of Empire while talking to a girl named Sheri (Natasha Forouzannia) when his ex-wife Giselle (Nicole Ari Parker) walks in. After having a brief discussion with the other girl, Giselle finally manages to tell Eddie that they are in bankruptcy. The man tells her not to worry about as he will ask Cookie and Lucious to let him stay and help around.
Back at the mansion, Cookie has ordered to take her stuff back to her place, but instead she decides to stay for the night.
Shine (Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner) pays a visit to Andre and when he is about to make a move to kill him just in case he had said anything about the murder attempt to Lucious, his father walks in and is surprised to see that the other man has found Andre. After convincing Lucious of his worry about Andre, he leaves them alone so they can have some time together. Lucious tells Andre that he had avenge those that had hurt him and asks him to come back stronger than ever. Then, while still sedated, Andre confesses that he tried to kill him. Lucious is surprised at his son’s words, but then someone injects something on his neck and he passes out.
Cookie wakes up noticing Lucious is not with her in the bed and yells for him. Somewhere else in town, Lucious wakes up and finds he has been tied up to a bed. Then, a woman´s figure shows up and is revealed to be none other than Claudia (Demi Moore) who reminds him when she said she would never leave him.
It seems that when one thing is solved another problem just come to the surface. I hope you had enjoy the mid-season finale of “Empire” where drama doesn’t seem to stop. ¡Hasta la próxima!