Tonight on FOX Empire returns with an all new Wednesday January 14, season 1 episode 2 called, “The Outspoken King,” and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode, Lucious [Terrence Howard] goes into damage control when controversy arises around the involvement of one of his artists in a shooting ahead of Empire’s IPO launch; and Cookie [Taraji P. Henson] proves to be invaluable by helping turn a crisis into a triumph. However, Lucious’s plan to stage a huge performance for Hakeem [Bryshere Gray], but not Jamal [Jussie Smollett], doesn’t sit well with his ex. Meanwhile, the police begin to investigate Bunkie’s murder.
On the last episode, the head of a music empire whose reign had been unchallenged for years had everything change when he learned he had a disease and had to choose one of his three sons to take over. Complicating matters was their mother and Lucious’ ex-wife, who emerged from prison to claim her share. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the FOX synopsis, “Lucious must defend Empire’s IPO launch after controversies arise around one of his artists being involved in a shooting, and Cookie proves to be invaluable by helping Lucious turn a crisis into a triumph. Competition between Lucious and Cookie heats up when Cookie hears of Lucious’s plan to stage a huge performance for Hakeem – but not Jamal. Meanwhile, the police begin to investigate Bunkie’s murder.”
Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 9:00 pm when Empire airs on Fox. While you wait for the recap, check out a sneak peek of tonight’s episode below!
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
Cops stop Lucious’ car and then let him go. It’s one of his hit music videos. Then the news talks about him taking the company public and that he’s trying to make himself immortal. He thinks to his diagnosis of ALS then Anika asks why she’s here when she sees Cookie on the security camera. The doorbell rings and she goes to get it. Lucious gets off the treadmill when the doorbell rings again and again. They let Cookie in the gate and her taxi pulls up to the front of Lucious’ mansion.
She gets out without paying and tells Lucious to take care of it. She walks past him into his house and looks around. He comes back inside and asks why she’s there. She says she’s looking at her house and he says his house wasn’t part of their agreement. She calls it tacky and says she’s just there to make sure he’s not going to stab his son in the back. Anika comes down in her undies and acts surprised. Cookie says she’s hungry and heads to the kitchen after fixing her with a glare.
The cook brings her some food and Cookie asks why no bacon. Lucious says he’s not backstabbing and she says she wants him to put Jamal up with Hakeem for the opening of Laviticus, his club. He says it’s only Hakeem because Jamal doesn’t belong on his stage. He says it’s not his audience. He says he won’t have his club branded a homo club. Anika says none of Empire’s top acts will be there. She tells Anika this is family business and it’s none of hers.
She brings up the $400k that started the business and he tries to drag her out of the room. He reminds her she signed an NDA and she asks if he never told Anika about the drug money she did time for to start the biz. She tells him he’s not going to shut Jamal out and he tells her to get out. Hakeem is blowing off rehearsal for the club opening and Hakeem talks trash. A cute young girl comes in then says it’s the wrong room and runs out.
They tell her it’s Tiana and that Anika just signed her. Hakeem says he needs to be all up in that and then follows her out. Tiana is filming a video in another room with hot ballet dancers. Hakeem and his boys come in the room and disrupt the shoot. She asks why he’s there and they tell Hakeem to tell her that he’s the prince of Empire. She says they’re ruining her rehearsal. He tells her he’s opening at Laviticus and she blows him off then asks for Anika.
He tells her there are a lot of perks that come with being nice to him. He says he’ll put her on the list at the club. She tells him not to waste his time and walks off. He follows her. Lucious calls Becky about whose going to back up Hakeem. He asks about Bunkie and she says she’s looking for him everywhere. She says they have a big problem and he says to get Vernon on the line. She tries to talk to him but he won’t listen and she gives him Vernon.
He tells Vernon to get someone big to back Hakeem. He says Kid Fo-Fo may do it since he was involved with a shooting and needs their support. Becky says she tried to tell him about it but he wouldn’t listen. Andre makes some audio notes about things he needs to do and adds “undermine Hakeem” at the club opening to his list. Rhonda comes in and asks her hubby if he called his doctor yesterday. He says he’s too busy to go see him but she says he needs to go today.
She says he needs to recalibrate his meds and says he was talking about himself in the third person in his sleep. He tells her that his dad is going crazy about Laviticus and he needs to focus on that. She pulls him in for a kiss and says since he’s bipolar, it’s life threatening if he skips an appointment. She tells him that his life is hers and then starts to go to her knees to service him. She tells him to tell Cookie about Laviticus and Hakeem so she can sabotage it. He says he already did.
Cookie shows up to drag Jamal out of bed and her ghetto assistant Porsha is there but Cookie sends her back to the car. She tells Jamal about Hakeem at Laviticus and says she’s going to get him on the stage. Michael says they don’t want that. She calls his Spanish lover “Dora” and tells him to stow it. She tells Jamal to get up and work on the song. Becky finds some pills in a shaving kit in Lucious office. She Googles it and sees it’s an ALS drug.
She comes out and Lucious throws things at her and says not to use his bathroom. She says she knows he’s sick and asks if that’s why he’s doing the crazy IPO and pitting the boys against each other. He says he wanted to tell her then says he’s dying and there’s no cure. There’s a protest going on outside Empire and Cookie and Porsha push their way through. Anika tells Fo-Fo they don’t want him to speak about the shooting. Lucious says he’s getting pressure to drop him from the label.
He tells Fo-Fo he’ll take care of it as long as he does the appearance with Hakeem. He says it will be like Diana Ross did for the Jacksons, like a mentor. Fo-Fo asks who Diana Ross is. Cookie comes in and tells him to drop Fo-Fo not because of the shooting but because his music sucks. He gets volatile and comes for her. She tells him not to Ray Rice her. They get in it and she tells Lucious he’s a punk and to drop him after he takes her out.
She says he must be on Anika’s roster. He tells her to stop acting like a hood rat. She tells him to launch Jamal and Hakeem and says the press and crowd will eat it up. He tells her she’s not wanted and to stay out of his office. She throws a shoe at him. She tells Porsha to get her shoe and they go. Vernon gets a call from the cops about Bunkie to ID his body. He goes down and ID’s him. He’s very upset. He calls Lucious and says he was shot in the face.
Lucious says it must be Sean since he owed money to him. He says they have to let Cookie know but Lucious says it was her closest cousin and he’s got to do it. Jamal works on his song with Cookie. He says it needs work but she says she loves it. He says dad won’t listen to it. She says they need to get it play. Porsha says that Jamal needs to come out as a big old queen the same day of Hakeem’s launch to steal all his thunder. Cookie agrees.
She tells Jamal he’s going to sing his ass off and steal the show from Hakeem. Jamal says he doesn’t want to steal it from Hakeem. She says they’ll sing for the news cameras and protestors that will be there hating on Fo-Fo. He says he needs to write songs and can’t be in her drama. Lucious calls and tells her that Bunkie is dead. That stops her from railing about why he has Fo-Fo with Hakeem when he told her no on Jamal.
They all get together and Cookie cries about her cousin. Lucious is also faking tears. Vernon says they have no leads. Lucious says he’s going to tear whoever did this apart. He sits down by Anika. Hakeem is upset and she says Bunkie was like a dad to her. She tries to hug him but he tells her to never touch him again. He walks out. Vernon tells him to never disrespect his mother. Andre is also in full freak out mode. Jamal walks out.
Hakeem asks how Cookie knows he was like a dad to them and Jamal says Cookie knows everything. He tells him about Cookie’s plan to have him come out when Hakeem performs. Hakeem asks if he knows Tiana and Jamal asks what he’s done. Vernon comes in and yells about them smoking dope. He shows the boys Bunkie’s personal effects and hands Hakeem his giant gold chain. Andre goes to talk to his dad and says the bank underwriting the IPO pulled out because of Fo-Fo.
Andre says with this and Bunkie maybe it’s the wrong time for it. Lucious tells him to get the banks back to the table. He tells him if he gets this done, Empire is his. Andre says okay. He tells Lucious that Jamal’s press conference won’t help this and his dad asks – what press conference? Cookie is using Rhonda to set up the gayest photo op ever. She introduces Cookie to Dominique, a publicist. She tells him about Jamal wanting to come out. Dominique likes the story and says she can set up the press conference but tells her it’s $8k a month.
She says to make sure Jamal shows up or she’ll kill Rhonda. Hakeem and his boys are at a club and one films him and says to tell him what he thinks about Tiana. Hakeem does the video and says he’s got something for her and flashes his naughties. They tell him to stop embarrassing his dad with all that. A bunch of people in the nice restaurant stare and they keep videoing. He tells them that all the white people who voted for the first black president got taken because Obama is nothing but a sellout. They hear police sirens and he asks if the po-po is coming to shoot him now.
Rhonda and Andre watch Hakeem’s video online that has gone viral. Cookie asks Porsha what viral means. Rhonda says he’s doing all their work for them. Jamal and Michael agree it’s not funny. Lucious is on a call with Obama apologizing. He gets cursed out, then hung up on by POTUS. Lucious rants to Hakeem and then punches him in the face. He asks to let him explain but Lucious won’t hear it. Anika tells him that RSVPs for the Laviticus opening have quadrupled and says the bad boy thing is working.
She also says that Fo-Fo’s story has gone national and it’s not looking good for the IPO. She says they need another statement. Lucious says he has to come out and defend the company. Cookie sees Lucious in with Anika and Vernon shooting a response video. The PR guy is there and tells him to stop sounding defensive. Andre agrees with the PR guy. Cookie comes in and tells him he sounds like he grew a vagina. Anika calls her rude.
Lucious tells Cookie he has to go on TV and talk in a way that won’t scare white people. Cookie says the Lucious she knew would tell people that he streets aren’t for everyone and they may need to stay on the sidewalks. She says she liked him better when he was a thug. She gets a text and walks away. Jamal meets his dad and Lucious asks him to please not come out for respect of Bunkie. Jamal says Bunkie knew and had no issue.
Lucious says if he comes out, he’ll lose artists and Jamal says his world doesn’t revolve around him. Lucious reminds him that he’s supporting his lifestyle financially. He threatens to cut him off. Jamal gives him an eat shit look. Dominique is setting up Jamal’s press conference. He’s not there and is avoiding his mom’s calls. Cookie says he’s on the way. They can’t find him and she tells Michael to call him.
Lucious is on TV talking about Fo-Fo and the interviewer says she likes Hakeem’s comments on Obama and says his take was bold and refreshing aside from him dropping his pants. Lucious says he’s a kid and she says he’s an adult. Lucious says artists should have freedom of speech to thrive. Cookie tells Porsha they need to go since Jamal isn’t showing. Then a news guy puts a mic in front of Cookie and asks about Fo-Fo. They cut into Lucious’ interview to show it and he sees her talk.
Cookie says Fo-Fo’s rhymes ain’t nothing like Lucious’ were back in the day. She says Fo-Fo is tired. She spits out some of his old lyrics about killing a cop to protect his wife. Lucious says his music expressed his life as it was where you sold drugs to keep your kids from going hungry and about his wife going to prison. He says their music is about oppressed people. He talks about Trayvon getting shot. The interviewer asks how it gives you hope when it’s about violence.
He says expressing yourself in music is better than doing it with a gun. Jamal cries as he plays his song. After, Vernon tells Lucious he did a good job. Andre says the bank has rescheduled and says it all worked perfectly. He seems off and his dad asks about it but he says he’s okay. Fo-Fo tells Lucious he owes him. Cookie gets on the elevator with them and Fo-Fo calls her bitch. Lucious glares at the guy. She asks if he’s going to let him talk to her like that.
Lucious says if he disagrees with something, he’ll let him know. Anika laughs and Cookie goes for her. They separate them and Cookie asks what she’s ever done to him for him to treat her like that. Fo-Fo says he sees why he got rid of her cuz she’s crazy. Lucious tells him he’s fired effective immediately and says Cookie is right, his lyrics suck. Fo-Fo is floored. Lucious is with Hakeem backstage. He tells his dad he didn’t mean to piss him off.
Lucious tells him to bring that beast to the stage tonight. He tells him he’s a star and tells him one day Empire will be his. He tells him not to let him down. He says Fo-Fo isn’t going onstage with him and tells Hakeem he doesn’t need anybody. Well, that’s two of three sons he’s now promised to give the company to. Jamal and Cookie are at the club and he tells her he’s sorry about not coming to the press conference and says it didn’t feel right. He says he’s going to go check on Hakeem.
He goes backstage. Andre and Rhonda are there too and Andre orders a whole bottle of champagne. He’s talking about himself in third person and says Andre got it going on. She grabs his balls and says she’ll have him committed if he doesn’t get stabilized. She drags him out of the club. Vernon says they’re just going to the bathroom to get it on like rabbits. Hakeem tells him about Fo-Fo ditching him and he says he rehearsed it to play with someone and can’t do it alone.
Hakeem asks him to play with him and Jamal asks for real. He tells him he’s killing him. Hakeem dedicates his song to his cousin Bunkie. He comes out and starts rapping. He’s singing a special song he wrote about Bunkie being in a casket. Jamal is backing him and Cookie goes wild. Becky starts snapping photos. Lucious looks pissed. Tiana is there and looks interested in Hakeem now.
He even throws her a shout out in the song. Jamal croons and Hakeem raps and it’s magic. The crowd loves it. Cookie is pleased. Tiana heads backstage and asks if she can come in. Hakeem tells her to get out then smiles and says come in. She tells him it was dope and she offers to throw down with him on the floor right there. He calls her over and she kisses him. Lucious comes over and tells Cookie the boys looked good together. She says next time, it’ll be Jamal out front.
She says Hakeem’s got it but he doesn’t. She tells him he’s a horrible parent. She asks how he let him talk trash about Obama then perform. She says he’s going to make him a celebrity but a fool first. He says he just came to tell her sorry about letting Fo-Fo talk to her like that and says he dropped him. Anika comes over and Cookie says he needs to drop that young bitch. Anika says he probably will once she’s Cookie’s age but says he’ll be 110 by then. Cookies walks out.
She’s looking for her car then asks where Porsha is with her car. There are people waiting for her and they shove her into the car. Agent Carter is in the back seat and Cookie says she did her part. Carter says they have to change the deal. She tells Cookie she needs to testify in front of a grand jury. Cookie says if she does, she’s dead. She tells Carter that she’s going to get her killed. What, what? Is Cookie helping them nail Lucious or something/someone else?
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