Empire Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: In The Gutter

Photo: Courtesy of FOX.
Relationships are complicated. Any fool knows that. So when you tell someone “I love you,” and their response is “I know you do,” and that’s it — oh, and they’re your father — then you passed complicated way back at the last exit. That’s what happened during this latest episode of Empire. And it appears that the overwhelming theme was a messy mess of relationship drama. Each one suffered from some level of fuckedupedness that needs to be noted:

1. Mother & Son
Clearly Lucious’ heart wasn’t always cold. We finally see some of the hell his mentally ill mother (Kelly Rowland) put him through as a child. Her sick ideal of punishment was to dunk young Lucious under water nearly drowning the poor child with each dip. Now Lucious symbolically does that with all the people he loves: holds them under until their love for him is almost gone before pulling some act perceived as kindness by pulling them up.

2. False Stability Bae
Jamal is clear about who he wants and that’s Michael (Rafael de la Fuente). Even when Chase One, a.k.a. fake Andy Warhol (Adam Busch), drops to his knees unexpectedly with an offer of unattached "skully" — Jamal is having none of it. And after seeking ratchet advice from Lucious and then more sound advice from guest star Ne-Yo, who played himself, he decides to bring his bae out on the road. That was until one jaw-dropping moment (see what I did there) when Michael takes fake Andy Warhol up on that offer of skully.

3. Father to Son
Lucious has been exonerated. As in all charges dropped. As in he’s back at the top of Empire all thanks to his loyal, to a fault, son Andre. When Lucious promised he’d let Andre back into the Empire family Andre never expected to wind up in the gutter. Instead of running the Empire, Lucious stuck poor Andre at the head of Gutter Life Records — a defunct label Lucious has plans on reviving. It appears that all the label execs moonlight as strippers. And Andre is in no mood to make it reign at Gutter Life.

4. Married Life
Strippers aren’t the only ones trying to revive Andre’s libido. Rhonda wants some lovin’ too and those pregnancy hormones have her walking around panty-less… if she even really is pregnant. But Andre turns poor randy Rhonda down. He’s concerned about disturbing the unborn baby. As if. (My advice on what Rhonda should do: see #2)

5. True Friends
Cookie fired Porsha. With good reason, too. Her shenanigans did get Cookie arrested. And Cookie was done with Porsha until she apologized. But this was no ordinary apology. She brought Cookie a guard dog. But not just any guard dog, a fluffy, white, small “guard dog” named Whoopty Woop. C’mon! How could you stay mad when someone abandons all pride and apologizes with a Whoopty Woop?

6. New Boo
Two new relationships are brewing. Hakeem gets rejected after trying to put the moves on his new
artist Laura (Jamila Velazquez). But he checks himself real quick because he’s “trying to get his mogul on” so he goes all chivalrous on her. Who wants to bet that she’ll be pulling a Rhonda (see #4) by episode 7? Meanwhile Cookie and fine ass club promoter Laz Delgado (Adam Rodriguez) find they have something in common: they both stay strapped. And whenever you meet someone who will draw their pistol as fast as you do, it’s a relationship worth pursuing right?

7. First Loves
This type of relationship is special. It’s the kind of relationship where you two can have a totally sane argument about who will take ownership of the ashes of your mutual snitchin-ass friend Uncle Vernon, even when one of you isn’t even sure if the other MURDERED him. Cookie and Lucious’ exchanges at the mortuary and then at the church — where they have a full on argument during Andre’s baptism — or when Cookie yells out “tell Lucious to kiss my black ass,” after he has thugs break into her office to steal all her masters, that? THAT kind of bond can never be broken.

#relationshipGoals
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