Ever seen the Orson Welles film Chimes At Midnight? No? Me neither. But after a quick inquiry with my friend Google, I find out that, at the core, the film centers on betrayal and the relationship between father and son, which is precisely why it is the perfect title for this latest episode of Empire. Yes, that wicked betrayal rears its ugly head within the walls of Empire Records once again, but this time it comes from one of Lucious Lyon's most loyal cubs. First though, Jamal's struggling with a pill addiction, while getting cheap thrills from an ex he almost overdosed, but it's nothing a cold shower couldn't handle. Now about that betrayal. At first all seems well. Empire's royal family is busy with their own lives. Then Tiana's crappy new single starts popping up on everyone's phone. After Lucious gets a cryptic message, it becomes clear that Empire has been hacked. Lucious starts running through the obvious names of who currently has it out for Empire — this while handling the important business of a much-needed perm touch up. Could it be Vaughn (French Montana), who he had bad business dealings with? Could it be Shyne, since everyone knows he's awful. Is it Anika? Hell, even I was screaming "Anika! It's Anika!" at first. Lucious hires a cyber security expert a.k.a "Opie Cunningham," who according to Lucious, is a poindexter who knows his way around data diddling. As he tinkers with the system, the hacker releases a demand of a million dollars an hour. Lucious refuses to pay leading to an all-out email breech — a la what happened at Sony — where everybody's secrets start slipping out, including a nude of Cookie's cookies that was sent to Angelo for all of the world to see.
Cookie thinks the breach is too much for Angelo as he peruses his mayoral run, and breaks it off with him. That's when I screamed "Angelo! It's Angelo!" Especially since he pledged allegiance to Cookie and agreed to wage war against Lucious. But nope. Turns out it wasn't him either. The team quickly counts out Shyne as the hacker, as he's into real trigger fingers, not "Twitter fingers." Just as the hacker gets more devious, erasing all of Jamal's recorded music, and becomes a threat to Lucious' beloved Empire Xstream they get a break in the case. Andre discovers a mysterious drive in one of Empire's studios. This clue, along with Tiana's confession of Gram (Romeo Miller) firing verbal shots off about Lucious and Empire lead them to believe that he's the culprit. Lucious, Andre, and his goon squad pay a visit to the rapper and discover all the evidence. He could have gotten away with it if it wasn't for that meddling Lucious. As Gram denies it — Lucious brings in Shyne like he's the executioner, fitted with black no-evidence gloves and all. They "handle" Gram — and just like that, Empire's problem is solved … or is it? Because of Andre's great detective work, Lucious rewards him with a promotion to president of Empire. Just as Andre orchestrated, because a-HA! It was Andre all along! He lets Nessa in on his master plan. He was behind the hack, he and evil French Montana. Andre is slowly becoming his dad, dripping with betrayal and a black fedora to boot. He tells Nessa that ghost Rhonda approves of their relationship because Nessa completes everything he needs for the power grab. She has the musical talent he lacks as a Lyon, and so together they'll rule the roost (insert dramatic soap opera music here).
What Andre didn't factor in when he exposed Empire via the hack is that Tariq is looking for a chance to nail Lucious to the wall. The email hack gave him some intel into Frank Gather's death. I have questions. Will Shyne betray Lucious and help lead Tariq to his half-brother's downfall? Will Andre's betrayal put everyone in jeopardy? And will Becky please stop falling for the okey doke from the new cheesy A&R guy?