Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is still working hard on his rehabilitation from amnesia in this week’s episode, and is even doing 30-minute daily runs on a treadmill as prescribed by his sketchy nurse Claudia (Demi Moore), who did not make an appearance this time around.

Empire Season 4, Episode 3 Recap

Also omitted from this episode is Eddie (Forrest Whitaker), the famous music producer the Lyons met years ago who will apparently help with Empire’s 20th anniversary festivities.

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) is busy running around like a madwoman attempting to run the label as the sole CEO for the time being. In particular, she is pushing hard for Empire’s bold new project to release 20 albums over the next 20 years, which her own business-savvy CFO and eldest son Andre (Trai Byers) so rightfully chastised her for last episode.

Among the artists included in the 20 for 20 venture is the stubborn-as-a-mule Shine Johnson (Xzibit), who renegotiates a deal with Cookie after he is originally gets just one album as part of the deal. Shine manages to convince Cookie to let him produce five records, promising in exchange that at least one of them will be a ‘banger.’

Andre, meanwhile, attempts to convince the NYPD detective he nearly slept with, Pam Rose (Teyonah Parris) that he had nothing to do with the attempted assassination of Lucious in Las Vegas. However, Rose suspects he is lying and continues her investigation.

Cookie and Andre go to a local bank to ask for a loan to help finance their future projects, but are declined. Infuriated, Cookie goes into sassy-woman mode and angrily barks at the employee that Empire deserves the line of credit, citing the company’s increased market share and revenue growth in recent years.

We later learn that this man is cousins with none other than Mrs. Dubois! (Phylicia Rashad) Mrs. Dubois is still vying to destroy each of the three Lyon sons, even using a corny Wizard of Oz analogy to compare them to the scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion.

As Lucious continues to demand answers to questions about his and his family’s past, and why his own mother called him a monster, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) is the only one who seems willing to tell him everything. However, Jamal takes him through all of Empire’s headquarters and studios and shows him everything he created. He also eventually reminds his father of the incident when Lucious tossed him in a trash when Jamal was six years old after he first began displaying homosexual behavior. Lucious feels disgusted by his actions and apologizes to his middle son in a moment that is genuinely touching. However, some songs clearly still trigger violent memories for Luciuos and make him suffer panic attacks, like one song that Shine plays for him that the pair worked on back in the day.

Cookie also experiences her own flashbacks of life in prison, and after running into Mrs. Dubois at an Empire photocall, comes home and answers Lucious’s question about why she was gone for 17 years: because she took the fall for his crimes and went to prison.

The major return this episode was that of Anika (Grace Byers), who has finally been released from prison after being falsely accused of killing Tariq. Anika attempts to rekindle her relationship with her daughter Bella, who has been in Hakeem and Tiana’s (Serayah McNeill) care, but Hakeem is reluctant to let her back into Anika’s arms again. Hakeem says Bella is not used to Anika yet, and he’s right: Bella still seems to gravitate more towards Tiana, although Anika vows to not give up.

Next week’s episode seems amazing, as Empire appears to be holding auditions for the 20 for 20 project. Will Andre get caught by the NYPD? Will Mrs. Dubois finally directly attack the Lyon sons?

Tune in next Wednesday at 8pm EST on FOX!

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