Chuck Hodes/FOX
Isabella Biedenharn
November 08, 2017 AT 09:00 PM EST

Empire

type
TV Show
genre
Drama
run date
01/07/15
performer
Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett
broadcaster
Fox
seasons
2
Current Status
In Season

We gave it a C+

Now that Lucious seems to be connecting to the music better, he asks Claudia, “Why is it that when I hear music, I see color?” She asks if he’s ever heard of synesthesia (which is the coolest neurological condition of all time; also, Pharrell has it) — and then Lucious starts to hear some music in his head, so she brings him paints and Lucious starts finger-painting all over the place. “His brain’s been rewired!” Claudia says. “The only music he’s listening to is in his head right now!”

He paints a ridiculous image on the glass wall of the board room — it’s like a geyser of rainbow paint — and at the next board meeting, Cookie explains that it’s so brilliant, it’s going to be the cover art for the remix album. This seems to be the right time to tell the board the truth about Lucious, so Cookie tells them he’s suffering from a traumatic brain injury. They’re worried about protecting the company, so she brings in Eddie to act as her special advisor. Everyone is satisfied.

Back at home, Lucious continues to paint, and literally all of his memories return through finger-painting. “Your synapses are reawakening!” Claudia cries, as Lucious says things like, “I remember this feeling! I remember what this is!” Then, as they dance around covered in paint (like a complete bastardization of the Ghost pottery scene), his romantic memories of Cookie flood back, and he starts confusing her with Claudia. “You’re my muse,” he says to Cookie-Claudia. “I love you.” Claudia is elated.

The next morning, Claudia is putting her shirt back on and Lucious sees a bunch of scars on her back. “Don’t look at my scars…they’re not very pretty,” she says. He says something nice about them, and then she starts gushing: “Thank you for really seeing me. I was so surprised when you said it before, but I love you, too. I love what we’re creating, this breakthrough…What do you think about me writing a book?”

Lucious is like, “Hold up. You misunderstood me.”

She backtracks. “I’m just happy to be your muse!”

And right on time, Old Lucious is back, shooting arrows into Claudia’s heart: “Claudia, you’re not my muse. I love Cookie. Stop calling me Dwight. My office will send you a check — you may leave now.”

She’s overwhelmed, and finally we’re starting to see the Crazy Claudia we all expected when she first made her appearance as Lucious’ overly touchy nurse. “I don’t think you can trust all your memories yet!” she tries to say. “There is no Lucious! Lucious is gone!”

Cookie comes in at just the right time and gets Juanita and some bodyguard man to call someone to take Claudia away. Slightly giddy, Lucious tells Cookie, “I have to tell you what I remembered!” But Cookie is all business: They have to get to Hakeem’s trial, and Lucious can tell her in the car. I hope we get to see that car ride next week!

So, there it is: The cure for amnesia is finger-painting and developing synesthesia. Tell science! I’m going to miss Dwight’s kindness, but I didn’t expect to be this relieved to get Lucious back. Maybe it’s because we didn’t get to see Lucious and Cookie in love and on the same team again after last season’s finale? Either way, this episode was both amazing and horrible, and I’ll never forget it. Please make memes of those finger-painting scenes. Thank you.

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