‘Empire’ Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: Jamal Escapes Rehab, Cookie Destroys Empire With Bat
Empire picked up right where it left off at the end of the first half of this season in December, with a few additional plot details.
Empire Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: ‘Sound and Fury’
Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) launches a new album/project called ‘Inferno,’ citing two albums from famous hip-hop stars, Marley Marl’s ‘In Control’ and ex-NWA member Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’, as inspiration.
Rappers Remy Ma and Sticky Fingaz perform Lucious’s new title track ‘Inferno’ at Empire in front of a live audience to promote the album. Meanwhile, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) is still, unsurprisingly, angry with Lucious for leaking a scandal to the press about her boyfriend Angelo DuBois (Taye Diggs)— who is running for Mayor of New York City—about him drunk-driving into a lake 20 years prior and leaving a girl who was sitting next to him in the passenger seat to drown to death. Angelo was confronted about this claim at the end of last season, but did not comment on its veracity, leaving us in suspense. From what he tells Cookie, the story is true, although he says he didn’t even remember the name of the girl (Carla) he let die until the report of his DUI was released. Angelo says he is enlisting help from friends to get his name cleared from the story and place him at another location when the incident occurred.
More generally, Cookie calls out Lucious— in her typical sassy, no-nonsense-taking manner— for continually making decisions about Empire without consulting with her first. She says she has the right, as co-CEO, to participate in big decisions. Lucious doubles-down on his mission to take down Angelo to hurt Cookie. The patriarch of the Lyon dynasty goes as far as to endorse Angelo’s mayoral opponent, a candidate named John Meeks, and publicly announces he is offering a $300,000 reward for anyone who can find any additional information relevant to Angelo’s DUI scandal. This comes after Lucious dodges questions from reporters about his mother Leah Walker (Leslie Uggams), whom Cookie brought out onstage after the ‘Inferno’ performance to get back at him.
Unsurprisingly, many of Lucious’s fans become angry with him, calling him a liar for saying his mother committed suicide in the ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’ music video. In the end, no fans or reporters find out that Lucious had his mother held in a nursing home for decades.
Meanwhile, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) has been attending rehab, which his family decided he should be put in after he began taking one too many anti-anxiety medications to treat his stage fright. After his brothers Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) and Andre (Trai Byers) and Cookie go visit Jamal, the middle Lyon son assures them he’s finally, “completely clean.” We are also introduced to a new character, an Amy Winehouse-looking singer named Tory Ash (played by Demi Moore and Bruce Willis’ daughter Rumer Willis) whose life and career also became derailed by drug abuse (except in her case it was a heroin addiction that made her strip naked before a crowd at Fenway Park, among other things). Jamal introduces Tory to his family, saying she has become a good friend of his during their time together in rehab. After Lucious joins the rest of the Lyons for a family meeting with Jamal and his therapist, Lucious and Cookie begin fighting again.
Andre and Shine (Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner) plot to take down Lucious with the help of a few thugs, since Andre vowed at the end of the first half of the season to kill his father. Andre, who is still dating rising Empire singer Nessa (Sierra McClain), continues to attempt getting her more performing gigs with the company, and after Lucious approves Andre’s request at a board meeting that she perform at the latest show, Hakeem throws a tantrum after his own request to have his on-and-off girlfriend Tiana (Serayah McNeill) perform is denied by Lucious.
Nevertheless, after Nessa begins performing at the show, Hakeem and Tiana sabotage her performance by surprising all the fans and joining her onstage, singing to cut her off. After brief tension following the end of the song, as the fans are still cheering and applauding, Tiana whispers a threat to Nessa onstage, saying she should watch herself because she knows Nessa purposely ‘stole’ her fashion show performance last season. Following a brief sparring of words, Tiana pushes Nessa into the crowd and a full-on girl-fight begins, which leads Andre and Hakeem to separate the two stars after fans begin recording the fight on their phones.
Jamal escapes from rehab with Tory to record a new song he’s been writing that he says he desperately wants to start working on. Lucious and Cookie— thanks to help from Empire security— threaten his ex-producer/lover Derek “D’Major” (Tobias Truvillion) in his studio for supplying Jamal with more pills and ask him where he is, but Portia (Ta’Rhonda Jones) finds him and Tory via a Snapchat video. Lucious and Cookie find Jamal in a studio but ultimately don’t stop him from recording.
Lucious, meanwhile, has another problem on his hands. His shady lawyer Thirsty (Andre Royo) has gotten a tip from an FBI agent that someone may have ratted out Lucious to the feds that he ordered Frank Gathers’ (Chris Rock) murder by his fellow inmates when Lucious and Frank were in prison. Thirsty and Lucious attempt to determine the identity of the informant and Lucious deduces, by process of elimination, that the only one of the men from his and Cookies’ drug-pushing days that could have possibly ratted him out is a man known as Bam-bam King.
Lucious goes to visit Bam-bam, and reminds him that his mother took care of her granddaughter (Bam-bam’s daughter) when he was in jail with Lucious, and threatens to hurt Bam-bam if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut about the murder of Frank Gathers. Lucious even shows Bam-bam that Thirsty has picked up his mother at her nursing home, along with his own mother Leah, as a way to threaten him. Thirsty even brings Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) along with him after promising to help her squash a problem she has with one of her Empire co-workers, Xavier Rosen (Samuel Hunt).
Although Thirsty doesn’t end up helping Becky at all, Lucious fires Xavier shortly afterward at a board meeting, humiliating the boy in the process. Later in that same board meeting, Lucious drops the biggest bombshell of all: he has chosen his new head of Empire’s A&R department. Following a very long intro about how this woman is “the DNA of Empire,” both Becky and Cookie begin gleaming, momentarily believing Lucious has chosen one of them for the position. We then briefly think he has chosen Cookie as a way to apologize for hurting her so many times in so many different ways, because he says this person is a mother. Finally, Lucious announces his wife Anika (Grace Byers) as the new head of Empire A&R. Cookie storms out, unsurprisingly furious.
That night, Cookie shows up to Empire’s HQ, which is completely empty save for Lucious and one security guard, with a bat. She begins using the bat to point to all the records/albums she and Lucious produced together over the last 20-something years, reminding him of how big a role she played in creating all that music. Cookie then goes on a full-on destructive rampage a-la Beyonce in ‘Lemonade’ (though this is probably ‘Limeade,’ as she is dressed in green), smashing all of Empire’s property with the bat, all while reminding Lucious of all the things she helped him create, of the three sons she gave him, and of all the sacrifices she made for him, including taking the sole fall for both their drug crimes by doing 17 years in prison.
After Cookie makes her way to the top floor of the company to Lucious’s office and begins smashing the piano keys, Lucious stops her and the two kiss and begin to make love, but Cookie quickly walks away, saying she is “done with him” for good.
Will Cookie stay true to her word and finally leave Lucious and Empire? Will Jamal’s singing career become stable and drug-free again? Will Andre actually try to kill his father or hurt him in some way? What will Anika do as the new head of Empire A&R?
Find out next Wednesday at 9pm ET on FOX, as Empire will have brand new guest stars for season 3, episode 11!