Empire Season 2 Episode 3: Lucious & Cookie Smackdown

Photo: Chuck Hodes/FOX..
Lucious Lyon is one cold bastard. He’s more chauvinistic, egotistical, sexist, pigheaded, and heartless than ever. Didn’t you just love every ounce of his rotten guts tonight? The episode ends with his delightfully evil face grinning at us — and I have to give it to Empire this week. It was gooood. Let’s just say, hypothetically speaking, that I was keeping score — not that I really am — but if I were, Lucious Lyon is definitely beating Cookie at The Empire Games. That’s not to say Cookie isn’t a bad bitch. But, damn you, Lucious! You. Are. Good. The show can be broken into quarters, because tonight’s episode of Empire was a dirty game.

First Quarter:
Lucious Lyon is off the bench and raring to get in the game. He's out of jail on a million dollars’ bail, and he sets about reclaiming his throne as the top dawg. First order of business: giving his traitorous ex-wife and backstabbing sons a chance to kiss his feet and apologize for their treason. He invites Cookie, Hakeem, Andre, and a pregnant Rhonda to dinner with him and Jamal. No one knows why Lucious would call them all together, but he makes it crystal clear that he wants some pretty convincing ass-kissing, after which he would graciously allow his family back into Empire. Andre loves the idea, while Cookie and Hakeem are pretty much looking around the room for fucks to give. Lucious’ plan doesn’t work.

(Time out: When Cookie yanked all the dishes off of the table, I hollered!)

Second Quarter:
Without any points on the board yet, Lucious cracks open his playbook for the quarterback sneak. He arranges for a meeting with his old bae Anika to finagle another double cross. Believing that Anika’s still working for Cookie, he tries to sweet-talk her into being his Trojan Horse. He thinks he’s persuaded Anika to get the goods on Cookie and is poised to bring the “Dynasty” down.

WRONG.
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Photo: Chuck Hodes/FOX.
Halftime:
Lucious has more visions of his mother (Kelly Rowland), who is definitely a 51/50. He figures out how to sign Frank Gathers’ daughter Freda Gatz (Bre-Z). Andre uses his unborn child to try to get into Lucious’ good graces, but Lucious sees right through it and shuts Dre down again. Prosecutor Roxanne Ford is obsessed with Lucious and vows to take him down. He vows to take her down, too — but in the bedroom, not in the courtroom.

Third Quarter:
Cookie ain’t no rookie. She’s an all-star. BooBoo Kitty ping-pongs her way back to Cookie — tail between her legs — with one objective: to hurt Lucious. She brings Cookie the intel about a soirée Lucious is giving for — who else? — himself. Cookie knows just what to do. Later on at the party, while Jamal is performing a dance track with the real Pitbull, Cookie’s bad ass crashes the situation with her own situation: With Timbaland in tow, Hakeem drops a CLUB BANGER right at Lucious’ feet — the same feet that were sitting next to his jaw when it dropped to the floor. Cookie scores!

Fourth Quarter:

With the game nearly in the bag, Cookie knows not to rest. She needs to make sure her team is in top playing condition for all four quarters. This is when she pulls on the full armor of Debbie Allen and goes straight-up Fame on Hakeem’s all-Latina girl group, Mirage à Trois. They have a performance on Sway’s radio show, and she feels like Lyon Dynasty’s rep is on the line. She whips those little singing-and-dancing heffas into shape as only Cookie can — and even gets Valentina (Becky G) in line. The Lyon Dynasty embarrassed Lucious, smacked Empire like a li’l bitch, and has what could be the hottest girl group ready to blow.

Overtime:

Lucious might have gotten sacked, but don’t put him on the injured list just yet. Just as Hakeem was about to pour Gatorade over Cookie’s head in victory, Lucious shut everything down. Not only did he buy Apex Radio (a fictional stand-in for iHeartRadio), which keeps any future Lyon Dynasty music from getting airplay, he swooped in and stole Hakeem’s boo thang Valentina, the lead singer of Mirage à Trois. Touchdown! Game over.
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