This episode of Empire is so good. It’s so good, you guys. Lucious is back in the game with a major God complex, and Becky G quickly becomes one of the most conniving characters Empire has ever had.

Also, and I’m very interested to see what Empire does about this, they touch upon mental illness again by bringing up Andre’s bipolar disorder. Empire has massive reach, bringing in top-tier celebrities and tackling hot button issues like Black Lives Matter and homosexuality. It will be interesting to see how they navigate this issue, as it’s clearly becoming a central topic of controversy between some of the characters.

Anyway, here we go.

The episode begins with Lucious waltzing out of the courthouse and back towards his podium of power outside of Empire Records. The king is back, and nobody is going to screw with him this time. Lucious invites the entire family and pregnant Rhonda over to his house for dinner in an attempt to bring the family and the business back together. Lucious, citing the leaked album and hostile takeover, says they have one chance to accept his offer for peace. Andre, having been desperately trying to get back into his father’s good graces for the better half of season 2 thus far, is all for the deal. Cookie and Hakeem aren’t so pumped about Lucious offer. Cookie, in true Cookie fashion, not only denies his claim by coyly citing Jesus, but she pulls a on a table runner covered with food and *literally* crashes Lucious’ dinner party. RIP what could have been a delightful rack of lamb. This family really is ruthless, you guys.

At Leviticus, Lucious meets with Anika to try and convince her it’s in her best interests to leave Lyon Dynasty and continue to work for him and Empire. Anika, albeit a soulsucking golddigger with the most beautiful skin, is no longer working for Cookie, but Lucious doesn’t know. He believes he’s acquired a double agent in her, when in reality, Anika is playing by her own rules. She may not be a Lyon by blood, but girlfriend has a sharp set of teeth of her own. She meets with Cookie and tells her about the massive party Lucious is throwing for himself at the club, which Cookie plans to crash.

Chuck Hodes, FOX

The party opens up with a performance by Jamal and America’s favorite dog, Pitbull.

Aside: Does Pitbull have the best career in music? Does he? It seems like everyone loves him and he’s capable of wearing as much white as he wants to whenever he wants to. If that’s not power, I don’t know what is. Long live Pitbull.

The performance is kickass, but is interrupted by smoke bombs and a dramatic change of lighting, solidifying Cookie as a true master of flair. Also, she’s wearing what can only be described as a gold basketweave half-shoulder shroud and matching bustier. Major points Cookie. She introduces Hakeem and special guest Timbaland, because this show truly has no limit whatsoever. Hakeem’s song is damn good, and he performs it at the feet of Lucious himself (I do not see this ending well for Hakeem.) Ultimately, Cookie’s takeover of the party goes over exactly according to plan.

Naturally, Lyon Dynasty is the talk of the music business the day after. Becky G and her minions of Menage a Trois seem to be the only part of the dynasty who aren’t partying, with Becky delivering an icy “You couldn’t find a C major if it were in between your legs” to one of her bandmates. Ouch, Becky G. I liked it. I liked it a lot. But ouch.

Andre opens up to Lucious about Rhonda’s pregnancy in hopes of reestablishing ties with his father. Lucious asks him if he’s worried about his son’s future mental health, and we see a quick flashback to Kelly “Mother of Lyon, Child of Destiny” Rowland in Lucious’s childhood, showcasing a clear history of mental health issues in the Lyon family. Lucious denies Andre’s news about the baby and once again sends him on his way. Poor Andre! (To be read in the voice of Tim Gunn.)

Lucious finds Frank Gathers’ daughter, Freda, whom Jamal was unable to sign at Empire as per Lucious earlier request, at a rap battle in a seedy neighborhood. Freda’s opponent drops a line about her dad, and Freda pulls a gun on him because it’s a very casual thing to do. Lucious interrupts just in time to keep Freda from “doing something she’ll never be able to come back from”, which is a very poignant thing for Lucious to say considering all the s--t he’s done. The prosecuting attorney on Lucious case is also at the scene and after a deeply sexually charged exchange, threatens to destroy him. Honestly, probably not the smartest move on her end.

Chuck Hodes, FOX

Back at Lyon Dynasty, Cookie runs a dance rehearsal with Menage a Trois like a drill sergeant. The girls, who can’t dance on beat and look uncomfortable in heels, are berated by criticism by Cookie. Becky G throws her some shade, but Cookie throws back much darker shade and Becky G slinks back down into the shadows. Outside the rehearsal, Lucious catches Jamal attempting to walk into the studio to ask for Cookie’s help with producing his music. Lucious tells Jamal he plans to do it, only after buttering him up in a very “let’s both pretend I never dumped you in a trash can” kind of way.

Rounding out the episode, Cookie, Hakeem, and Lucious are all at Apex Radio where Menage a Trois is set to debut their first song. Lucious informs Cookie and Hakeem he recently became a primary shareholder in the company, and is going to put a stay on letting any Lyon Dynasty music receive airtime. In addition, Becky G shows up and over the course of a few hours has signed with Lucious and stabbed the backs of more than four people, causing Cookie to tell her she’s going to make her pay. She debuts her single on the radio and we see Lucious gazing at her hungrily.

Chuck Hodes, FOX

Watch Episode 3 of Season 2 of Empire on FOX.

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