Oh boy, a lot’s been happening with Empire Season 2. Last week, the Lyon family met the real Leah Walker, alive and well. Jamal hooked up with the closeted musical director of the ASAs. Hakeem gave Tiana some screentime, much to Laura’s dismay, and Rhonda finally realized she’s been hanging out with Anika, the woman who pushed her down the stairs. Welcome to the truth, girl. There’s also a suplot about Carol killing for Lucious while Cookie was in prison and Leah Walker maybe trying to poison her son, because she is Lucious’ mom, after all. That killer instinct is real.
And now this week, when everything hit the fan. The long-awaited ASAs are finally upon us and Lucious prepares his band, by playing conductor and nodding a lot. Cookie arrives and points out he’s been practicing so much in order to avoid Leah, who watches TV at home and happens upon a news report about Lucious’ music video about her, describing her as dead. “He’s always been a bold-faced liar,” she says.
Derek praises Jamal’s latest collab with Freda and tells him to stop working with his parents; he wants to produce Jamal’s next record. They try to keep it professional. The keyword here is try. Leah asks Andre for a ticket to the ASA awards, manipulating him just like Lucious would. FINALLY, Rhonda is avoiding Anika, the woman who pushed her down the stairs. FINALLY, Rhonda starts asking her “friend” probing questions about the night in question.
Hakeem and Laura face the reality that her career hasn’t “popped” yet and discuss their wedding. Cookie is suspicious of a man named Tarik Cousins who is pursuing Carol, who will be Cookie’s date to the ASAs. Cookie thinks she’s a fed and confronts him before Carol’s date. Carol and Cookie fight about this later and Cookie senses that Carol fell off the wagon. Carol accuses Cookie of stealing Lucious from him – whoa! They are no longer going to the ASAs together.
Lucious almost catches D-Major and Jamal, but Lucious reveals that he knows about D-Major’s rep because “a real dog can sense a fake bitch,” and, naturally, does not approve. Big time. Cookie reveals to Jamal that she snitched on Frank Gathers, which is why he needs to stop recording with Freda. Thirsty stops Andre from escorting Leah to the ASAs and locks them in a room with a TV. Lucious and Cookie wind up going together and Lucious gets her some sweet jewelry. They reminisce about old times.
At last, we’re at the ASAs red carpet. Jamal tells reporters that he’s shelving his album and tells Freda she needs to leave Empire, even though she wants to stay. Somehow, Carol makes her way to the red carpet, drunk as a skunk. On the way out, she runs into Freda and spills the beans about Lucious killing Frank. She stews as she sees the Lyon family gather (ahem) on the red carpet, runs, grabs a gun from security, and aims to shoot Lucious…instead, she hits Jamal.
Andre and Leah get cabin fever, even more so once they hear about Jamal getting shot, but Thirsty is asleep. Once awake, Thirsty escorts Andre and Leah to the hospital at gunpoint. While waiting to hear about Jamal, the family finds out that neither Lyon wins the ASA for Song of the Year. And then it’s revealed that Tarik is indeed a cop and he’s trying to get Anika to reveal all.
Outside the hospital, the press swarms Leah, who wonders how to introduce herself…