Empire has officially returned for season 2, and Gabourey Sidibe – a.k.a. the ever outspoken Becky – will be blogging all of the drama week to week for EW. Read on for the actress’ latest entry as she blogs Wednesday’s episode, “A High Hope for a Low Heaven” Like what you see? Send feedback to us at @EW and to Gabourey at @GabbySidibe.
So remember how Hakeem got kidnapped but then everyone got really interested in baseball for a week? That was super weird right? Don’t worry. Empire is finally back and here’s what happened!
The show opens to show that Hakeem is still TAKEN! Oh no! Meanwhile, that fine ass Becky is on a rooftop in the afterglow of doin’ it all romantic-like with some mostly naked dude. YASS Becky and Naked Dude!! Becky says that she’s got to get some sleep before her first meeting with her new boss Andre. Naked Dude gives her some encouraging words and then he doesn’t let her get any sleep. Good. Good for that fine ass Becky.
Over across town, Hakeem’s girl group is rehearsing for the Big Apple Jam and he’s still missing but they don’t know he’s snatched. Cookie is cussing him out in a voicemail to his phone when a video pops up of Hakeem bound and gagged! And not in a sexy way! Cookie assumes that it’s fake and set up by Lucious and she marches off to go cuss Lucious out. He and Jamal are recording a song about love and spaceships or something and Jamal’s complaining about being thought of as a Gay Artist, instead of being seen as an artist who happens to be gay. There’s a huge difference! Cookie stomps in yelling about the kidnapping prank. Lucious tells her that it’s real and that he knows who has Hakeem. They run out to go get him.
The kidnappers are going HAM on Hakeem! They are beating the hell outta him and then for some reason, they all decide to change clothes together. They pull off their shirts to reveal some weird bull-headed tattoos in the middle of their backs. I mean, I like steak too but I’m not about to get a tattoo about it. Calm down, fellas! Hakeem inquires about whether or not they’re cowboys. They knock him out. He never got an answer. Rude.
Later, Cookie and Lucious are waiting under a bridge or something to get Hakeem back. Those dumb kidnappers only charged $40,000 for Hakeem’s return. That’s a weird number right? Why not $50,000? That number feels better to me! I feel like $40,000 is like, “I need just enough to buy a boat and a Fiat and that’s it. I don’t want to be greedy!” Anyway, while they wait, Andre’s tight ass is running that meeting Becky was so worried about earlier. Andre wants to do a morality screening of every Empire Gutter Life artist. Ugh Andre. It’s hip-hop. Can you chill? There’s a list of all the Gutter Life artists and we see that the Naked Dude that Becky was banging is Gutter Life artist J-Poppa! Aww snap! Becky out here dippin’ her pen in company ink!
Back at the drop off location, Hakeem has finally been let go, and a van dropping him off pulls up to Cookie and Lucious but he’s not in it. Super Parents Lucious and Cookie beat up the driver demanding to know where Hakeem is. The driver says he got out of the van. Next we see a disoriented and rough-looking Hakeem walking the streets, bruised and battered. We don’t know where he’s going until we see Anika on the phone with her mom looking rough and disoriented herself. She’s having a nervous breakdown because thanks the Lyons, homegirl’s life is in shambles! She walks to her door after hanging up and bloody Hakeem is waiting for her. They have sex up against the door. YASSS! But also WHAT??!!
After knocking those debutant boots, Hakeem shows up at the Lyon mansion and all the Lyons are there waiting for him. Hakeem is forever changed after the kidnapping. He’s angry, humiliated, and he blames his parents. Me too! Soon after, he has a rehearsal with his girl group because the show must go on but he can’t hear anything but static. He’s having a breakdown. Later, he faces off with his own reflection in a mirror. He punches Mirror Hakeem in the face. He’s really losing it. All sweaty and dark! It’s kinda hot and I’m not ashamed to admit that I like it.
Back at the Empire office, Andre is doing his morality check of the Gutter Life artists. They are as moral as you would expect a Gutter Life artist to be until he sits down with J-Poppa. Andre finds out that he’s the grandson of a preacher and grew up in the church and knows the Bible pretty well. Andre really loves the Bible you guys so J-Poppa has passed the test! Andre tells him that even though he’s a gangster rapper, he should really play up the Christian stuff! Um … okay. Later at Leviticus, there’s a Gutter Life concert for bloggers. J-Poppa is on stage performing as Jamal and Becky walk in together because they are besties (this is what Jussie and I have been screaming at the writers since the day we met and finally it’s coming through!) and Becky talks about how good J-Poppa puts it on her. Girl! Das Tew Much!! Andre tells Jamal that he knows about Becky and J-Poppa and that he doesn’t approve. Honestly though, if it ain’t Jesus, Andre don’t approve of it! He’s exclusive like that. Next thing you know, in the middle of J-Poppa hardcore rap, he spits a Bible verse. Lucious is like “What??” Becky’s like, “What the hell??” and Andre is like “YASSSS!!! It’s LIT!!” He tells Lucious that it was his idea to have a Christian gangster rapper. Becky accuses Andre of not knowing what the hell he’s doing, but Andre points out that the bloggers are loving it. Lucious sees that and tells Becky to basically listen to Andre and let him run things. Andre’s ego is stroked. But then Freda Gatz, Lucious’s protégé gets up there and in the middle of her performance, kicks a dude in the face and beats him up. Andre wants her dropped and Lucious tell him to mind his damn business when it comes to Freda Gatz and that he didn’t put him in charge of Gutter Life. He put him in place. Andre’s ego deflates and goes to sit in a shower fully clothed again.
On that love scene …
Also, yes. I, a plus sized, dark-skinned woman, had a love scene on primetime television. I had the most fun ever filming that scene even though I was nervous. But I felt sexy and beautiful and I felt like I was doing a good job. I’m very proud of the work we all did to make that scene a great opening for the episode. I keep hearing that people are “hating” on it. I’m not sure how anyone could hate on love but that’s okay. You may have your memes. Honestly, I’m at work too busy to check Twitter anyway. #Booked. Hope you enjoy next week’s show!
The actress shares a few more moments from filming below, as Sidibe and her costar AzMarie Livingston gloat following a win in Spades against newbie (and love interest) Mo McRae.
But, the two showed there’s no love lost in the second clip after shooting another scene together. “Another day in the life of J-Poppa and Becky. They ain’t ready,” McRae says.
Check out the videos for the full behind-the-scenes scoop.
(Editor’s note: Gabourey was too #Booked to blog this episode in its entirety.)