While this season of Empire started off with a bang, things have started to slow down a bit as the hit series settles into its various story lines. Last week we were treated to Lucious’ struggle rapping in jail, Ludacris’ struggle acting as a prison guard, Kelly Rowland's struggles with sanity as Young Lucious’ mother and Cookie and ‘nem struggling to get their own label, Lyon Dynasty, up and running. This week, with Lucious out of jail, we see the patriarch of the Lyon family plot his revenge, try to expand his empire and prove he’s always one step ahead of everyone.
Episode 203: Fires of Heaven
Our story opens with prosecutor Roxanne Ford on the steps of the courthouse talking that ish about Lucious being a menace to society that will be brought to justice. However, we soon realize that Ms. Ford views Lucious as her golden goose to help build a political campaign. For all her hopes and ambitions, she is soon overshadowed by Lucious and his entourage leaving the courthouse.
Meanwhile, Cookie is at Hakeem’s apartment to ensure that he makes it to the Sway in the Morning radio show on time and catches him in bed with his new artist, Valentina aka Becky G. aka Guadalupe. After telling Hakeem that sleeping with his artist is an Unsung episode waiting to happen and asking Valentina to worry about finding her panty-draws, they make their way out the door.
We soon find out that though Lucious is out of jail, everything ain’t sweet. His lawyer Thirsty lays down the law that if he sets foot inside Empire’s offices, he will have to take his high yella ass back to jail. This doesn't stop Lucious from making an impassioned speech in front of his fans and raising his fist like he’s a political prisoner instead of some nigga who got caught. You know, like most of our favorite rappers in jail.
Even with Lucious out of jail, Cookie and company proceed with business as usual at Sway in the Morning. Hakeem performs with Sway looking on like a lovestruck teenager in awe. In addition to being Hakeem's biggest cheerleader, Sway tries to get the answers about what's up with Empire and Lyon Dynasty. He even calls up Daddy Lyon trying to get all the details. Lucious pretty much patronizes Hakeem as a dumb kid who does dumb things. Hakeem isn't about to take that ish lying down and pumps his chest about his music and his new girl group, Mirage A Trois. Sway asks Hakeem to bring them up to the studio, and, of course, being impulsive and thinking with his balls instead of his brain, he says yes to Cookie’s dismay.
After such a busy and intriguing first day of freedom, Lucious decides to host a family dinner at the stately Lyon Manor, along with trying to talk Cookie & Co. out starting their own record label, proclaiming, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we war.” If they agree to forget this funny business of starting a label, he'll forget about them stabbing him in the back, trying to take over the label and Cookie trying to kill him. Of course, Cookie doesn’t back down from anyone and tells Lucious, “I don’t know what happened to you when you were locked up, but you got me twisted, OG. I’m alway gon’ eat. Just not with you.” She then excuses herself from the table, dragging the table runner and all the food with her as Jamal and Rhonda look on aghast. Lucious just grabs his drink and off the table and laughs at the spectacle.