Empire finally returned in full force Wednesday night following a two-week break for the World Series.

Empire Season 4, Episode 5 Recap

This crazy episode dealt with Lucious’ post-traumatic amnesia, which was made public on TMZ, so obviously the Lyons go into crisis management mode.

Lucious and Claudia seem to be developing an amorous relationship, but Claudia strives to keep it professional. Cookie pulls Lucious into an emergency board meeting to persuade everyone at Empire that he’s doing fine.

Shyne requests to hear Lucious speak, and the latter again cutely calls him “Moonshine,” adding “my dear old friend!” like a naive young child. Lucious, with some help from Cookie, holds his ground and tells the other board members he doesn’t answer to them and that the company’s stock is higher than ever, so there is no need for them to discuss anything.

Cookie then allows the press to follow them around for two days in order to show they are not occulting anything.

Later, Jamal and Warren are ambushed by Angelo Dubois at Empire’s offices. Angelo hands Jamal a subpoena to appear at Hakeem’s custody hearing for Bella (Angelo, of course, is still defending Anika in that case) and warns Jamal that Warren may have been the source who leaked the news of Lucious’ condition to TMZ. Warren is working with the Dubois, so this could be true, especially since part of Mrs. Dubois’ plan is to crush Jamal’s heart by tearing him and Warren apart as a way to exact revenge on Cookie.

Veronica (V. Bozeman) — who appeared in the series pilot — returns to receive advice from Lucious on her new song. Reporters see Lucious’ artistic insight is still strong, so they suspect his mental situation is not as dire as they had believed.

Just as Andre is about to shoo the press away, music producer Eddie Barker (Forest Whitaker) reappears. Eddie — who we now know is like family to the Lyons — knows the whole truth about Lucious’ condition because Cookie told him. Eddie gives Tiana advice on the cover she’s creating with Hakeem, and the reporters go crazy upon seeing the legendary producer.

Meanwhile, Andre and NYPD Detective Pamela finally slept together, which was implied last episode when Andre snuck out of Bella’s birthday party to meet her. Pamela reveals to Andre that the Vegas PD has video footage of Shyne tinkering with Lucious’ car the night of the explosion. Andre confronts Shyne, who reiterates in his typical nonchalant way that he doesn’t speak to cops, and Andre decides he will no longer be turned against his own family.

Hakeem, for his part, is nervous as hell about his custody hearing. Hakeem angrily confronts Angelo — who has just conferred with Warren — and after Angelo says there’s no way Hakeem will ever be allowed to continue being Bella’s father, the youngest Lyon son loses it and shoves Angelo into a wall before punching him square in the face.

Angelo wipes off the blood and reminds Hakeem that the judge likely won’t approve of a father who can’t control his emotions.

Hakeem thus devises an insane plan: to flee with Bella to Cuba. He secures fake passports, and Tiana meets them at the airport — but she comes with Cookie. The two women persuade Hakeem to fight the case because they have a chance of winning it together.

Here’s where the truly crazy part begins: Lucious and Claudia bond after she helps him regain connection in his synapses through a strange activity/process named “synesthesia” that blends music with finger-paining, and Lucious is so engulfed in the rush of regaining some sensation that he confuses Claudia with Cookie and calls his nurse his “muse.”

The next day, however Lucious seems to return to normal, and after Claudia reminds him of what he said about her the previous day, he says “Claudia, you’re not my muse. I love Cookie. Stop calling me Dwight. My office will send you a check — you may leave now.” (Ouch!)

Cookie then arrives right in the nick of time to go full-on sassy-intimidating momma Lyon and kick Claudia out, and the pair head to Hakeem’s trial.

What will happen next on Empire? Will Hakeem be granted custody of Bella? Will Andre get caught for his murder attempt on Lucious? Tune in next Wednesday at 8pm EST on FOX to find out!

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