‘Empire,’ Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: ‘One Before Another’ Deepens Lyons’ Wounds
We began Wednesday night’s episode with Shine (Xzibit) preparing his men to go fight they Lyons, Lucious (Terence Howard) and Andre (Trai Byers) specifically.
‘Empire,’ Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: ‘One Before Another’
Shine breaks into Andre’s apartment, threatens the doorman and nearly shoots the eldest Lyon son. However, Nessa (Sierra McClain), who slept with Andre the previous night and stayed over, stops him. Shine decides he doesn’t want to hurt Andre in front of Nessa, but vows to return and finish him off.
Nessa gets angry at Andre for teaming up with his father to beat up Shine, who she says is her best friend. Andre apologizes, but again attempts to convince Nessa to bring Shine on board.
After Lucious and Shine meet up again at Lucious’s house, Shine says he wants to work with Freda Gatz, and Lucious agrees in exchange for Shine’s promise to keep Nessa with Empire.
Meanwhile, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) goes on a coffee date with Angelo (Taye Diggs), but is taken away by Lucious’s men. Cookie begins attending more meetings with her parole officer because she is forced to. She suspects Angelo is behind this because he is running for mayor and doesn’t want his bid to be threatened by the fact that he is dating an ex-con. However, Angelo assures Cookie he isn’t, and the two get into a fight about how they aren’t completely honest with each other, but then reconcile after Angelo enlists the help of his people in government to loosen up Cookie’s parole terms.
It is later revealed in a conversation between Shine and Tariq (Morocco Omari) that it is the latter who is keeping a tight leash on Cookie (not very surprising when you really think about it, since Tariq is still desperately trying to arrest Lucious by any means necessary).
Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett) work on a song together, and the former initially wants to make his rap portion a revenge or ‘clap-back’ track to get back at his ex-girlfriend Tiana (Serayah McNeill) and her new boyfriend, Empire rapper Gram (Romeo Miller), but Jamal warns Hakeem that the song should be more about brotherly love than hate and revenge.
Hakeem, who is backed by Lucious in making this song– which is meant to be performed at Jamal’s apartment living room and live-streamed on Empire XStream– reminds Jamal that this song is meant for Jamal to get his fans back after his hiatus from recording and performing onstage.
After Hakeem tells his father that he hopes to woo Nessa, Lucious warns him that Andre is already making advances on her. Unsurprisingly, this enrages Hakeem so much that upon learning this during Jamal’s portion of the song in the middle of the live-stream recording, Hakeem breaks into his rap verse and changes the lyrics, angrily calling out both his brothers for lying to him behind his back, and an all-out fight begins between the three Lyon brothers, as Jamal and Andre both begin screaming at and insulting Hakeem back. Lucious takes advantage of the situation to keep the live recording going despite the brawl, but Cookie tells the camera crew and producers to cut the feed as all of New York City watches the chaos unfolding in Jamal’s apartment.
As Lucious and Hakeem take turns cradling Hakeem and Anika’s (Grace Byers) daughter Bella, Lucious promises his son to turn him into a ‘destroyer of souls:’ in other words, into a powerful rapper who takes no nonsense from anyone. Lucious even suggests Hakeem let him produce some of his music, rather than let Shine produce all of it.
Empire airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FOX.