The main part of this episode focused on Empire’s 20-for-20 project, which Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) is helming. The big catch for the first album of the venture, however? That the artist whose album is featured for the first year of the project will have to compete for the honor.

Empire Season 4 episode 4 recap: ‘Bleeding War’

Thus, the label’s top artists are rounded up to vie for the ‘alpha’ spot, but none seem to impress Cookie or the other judges — which include Porsha (Ta’Rhonda Jones) and Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) — as much as Jamal (Jussie Smollett), who performs a bombastic and romantic duet with Warren, the lawyer who is still working with the Dubois to bring down the Lyons. Jamal pulls a rather nasty move and ditches Tori Ash (Rumer Willis) as his duet partner at the last second — literally — because he says he wants his song to reflect his homosexuality and the wants to sing the track with a man. Of course, Tori abandoned Jamal as a collaborating partner last season to go work with Lucious, so this could simply be karma coming to bite Tori in the ass. (Sorry, edgy miss bi-curious artist!)

Let’s not forget that last episode, Jamal revealed to Warren that Lucious has been kept out of the spotlight because of his amnesia. 

Claudia (Demi Moore), meanwhile, has returned this week to help guide Lucious again. She ends up leading him to the statue of the Lion in Philadelphia he used to sleep under as a child and that lead him to change his name from Dwight Walker.

The Dubois have also recruited Anika (Grace Byers) to their camp. Angelo (Tale Diggs) promises to help her rebuild her relationship with her child if she helps them take down the Lyons, and the pair accomplish this in brutal fashion.

At Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) and Anika’s daughter Bella’s first birthday party — a wild, fun Prince-themed bash — Angelo shows up and he and Anika announce that the latter is suing the Lyons for sole custody of Bella, and plans to cite the Lyons as a dangerous family.

Bella’s birthday also happens to coincide with the day Andre’s (Trai Byers) wife Rhonda died (we still don’t know for sure how, although it is believed Anika killed her). Andre suffers a full-on outburst in which he nearly attacks Anika in the days leading up to Bella’s party, as he is angry that she has “gotten away with murder” and is planning such an elaborate feast for her daughter while Andre’s family died.

The day of Bella’s birthday, NYPD Detective Pamela Rose (Teyonah Parris) visits Andre after sending him flowers and the two elope.

We also see Warren and Mrs. Dubois (Phylicia Rashad) opening up the New York Post to reveal an article about Lucious’ amnesia that she pushed to get published.

What will the Dubois do to strike next? Will Anika really end up with sole custody of Bella or not?

Tune in Nov. 1 (off next Wednesday because of Game 1 of the World Series) at 8 pm EST on FOX to find out!

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Teraji P. Henson On ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’ by Uinterview

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