|Cookie Assistant Porsha|
|Mallory Carra | Entertainment|
Feels like it’s been awhile, right? Well, the world of Empire Season 2 had no week off, so let’s jump right in. Hakeem’s captors lead him out of a black van at night. Meanwhile, Cookie’s calling her baby boy with Lyon Dynasty business and he’s not answering. She dismisses a FaceTime video of Hakeem tied up as a prank by Lucious, but when she confronts Lucious, the Lyons realize it’s the real deal.
|Cookie Lucious Empire Gif|
The price tag on the youngest Lyon’s head: $40,000. Lucious declares to Cookie that they will get their son back and this is a simple snatch-and-grab. Waiting to make the drop, Cookie and Lucious realize the van that arrived is a decoy and Hakeem was released. Where is he? Well, he approaches a whiny Anika as she arrives home and they passionately make out.
Suddenly, Hakeem is back with Cookie and Lucious at home and boy did that plot wrap up faster than I thought it would. Hakeem insists that he’s fine, but he’s different though — his performing is off, and so is his hearing. Not only that, but Hakeem experiences some PTSD flashbacks. In a flirtatious conversation, Laz tells Cookie that she should hire the gang members who kidnapped Hakeem as security. But when Cookie and Hakeem meet with them, he pulls out a gun and Cookie talks him out of it — then tells the gang never to mess with her again.
Lucious attempts to get Hakeem back on his side with a track before the Lyon Dynasty showcase, but Hakeem rejects him. Jamal and Andre reassure Hakeem that he did everything right while he was kidnapped — he survived, didn’t he? And that gives us the first great Lyon sibling scene of the season. Finally, Hakeem’s issues performing seem to be resolved at the showcase and he blows off Anika at the after-party.
As for everyone else, I have to say their problems weren’t as bad because, you know, they weren’t kidnapped and beaten. Jamal is feeling insecure while performing after Michael cheated on him in the last episode and the Staples Center rejected him. The middle Lyon son decides to bring in gay executive Jameson Hinthrope to help market him differently, but Lucious doesn’t really approve.
Becky has a boyfriend in Gutter Life rapper J. Poppa and he is smokin’. Finally, she’s getting to do more than telling Lucious something is going wrong. You get some, Becky. But no, she wants to go home and prepare for her early morning meeting with Andre. The eldest Lyon brother rejects Becky’s ideas in the meeting (he knows about her romance with J. Poppa), and proposes some tone-deaf changes to Gutter Life, including suggesting J. Poppa use religious themes in his rhymes and wanting to cut Freda Gatz from the label after she kicks a heckler at a showcase.
But Lucious confesses to Freda that he feels more of a kinship with her than any of his sons and they bond by spitting rhymes to his track “Boom, Boom, Boom.” Cookie’s getting her own boom on at the end of the episode, when she drops by Laz’s apartment to hook-up with him to close out this rollercoaster ride of an episode.