Tensions between Lucious and Cookie are explosive in the spring premiere of Empire, leaving their family, employees, artists, decor and a piano as collateral damage. One would think that Lucious would have learned by now not to mess with Cookie, especially when she is wielding a baseball bat.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s score card:
- During his unveiling of “Inferno,” Lucious declares war against Cookie, daring her to take the first shot. Rising up to the challenge, Cookie introduces Lucious’ not-so-dead mother, Leah Walker, to the crowd. “How’s that for a shot?” Cookie asks her stunned ex-husband. A point is awarded to Cookie for the stunning reveal to his fans that Lucious lied about his mother.
- Lucious publicly endorses Angelo’s opponent in the New York City mayoral race and offers a $300,000 cash reward to anyone with information that could lead to the conviction of “Mr. Dubious Dubois” for letting a woman drown in her car to avoid a DUI. A point is awarded to Lucious for using the media to destroy the political aspirations of Cookie’s boyfriend.
- When Hakeem tells Lucious that Cookie gave the showcase to Tiana, Lucious gives the showcase to Nessa. During Nessa’s performance, Cookie helps Hakeem and Tiana hijack the showcase. In agreement with Lucious that this play is old, a point is awarded to Nessa for throwing Tiana off the stage and executing the bitchslap heard-round-the-Empire.
- Lucious fires Xavier and appoints “Boo-Boo Kitty” (aka Anika Lyon) as the new head of A&R (poor Becky). A point is awarded to Lucious for going for the jugular and bringing his current wife, Cookie’s arch-nemesis, back into the family business.
- Cookie shows up at the studio with a baseball bat and smashes up the place. A point is awarded to Cookie for bringing up all she has done for him (“I gave you three sons, bitch”) and the Lyon Empire, plus she got him good in the head with a swing of her bat.
And the winner is…no one. It is clear Lucious and Cookie still love each other but that love is too volatile. Their children suffer as a result–Jamal is coming out of rehab, Hakeem fathered a child with the woman who is now his step-mother and Andre is plotting to kill Lucious. Cookie swears she is done but to quote Shakespeare, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
On a side note, the award for standout performance in this episode goes to Rumer Willis and her portrayal of Amy Winehouse-type singer Tory Ash. This girl has enough bravado to stand up to Cookie Lyon and sneak out of rehab with Jamal just to record a duet. Plus, her voice is amazing. She will be back next week to sing and butt heads with Cookie once again.
Empire airs Wednesdays at 9PM on FOX.