We gave it a B+
We begin this week with an intervention of sorts. The Lyons have gathered at Jamal’s (though Jamal himself isn’t too happy about this) to try to figure out what to do about the DuBois situation. First issue: Jamal’s going to be arrested on charges of assault, battery, disturbing the peace, destructing property, and fleeing the scene of the crime…unless they can get Warren to testify to throwing the first punch. Which we know he didn’t (well, not physically, anyway). The bigger problem, though? Nobody knows where Warren is.
Turns out, though, this gathering isn’t really about Jamal: The family is actually trying to figure out what Diana DuBois’ game with Andre could be, now that her plans for Hakeem and Jamal have both reached fruition. They ask about anyone Andre is close to, and he says he has no one — which is funny because he was just talking to them about her last week. He and Hakeem, fed up, head to Empire; Cookie and Lucious leave shortly after.
As they walk out, Cookie has a prison flashback: Poundcake finally has her baby, and being a mother seems to change everything for her. When Cookie and the other women come visit, they talk about how easy it is to realize you’d kill for your child. Is this foreshadowing?
She, Lucious, and Thirsty take the Andre situation into their own hands. Their first move? Thirsty gets photos and details about all of Diana DuBois’s bodyguards, so they can tell there’s one guy missing who must be guarding Warren. (When Thirsty tells Lucious this, he does a hilarious impression of Cookie. Sometimes I forget that Thirsty accidentally became my favorite character?)
Over at Empire, Tiana is recording a new track with Shine, and Hakeem comes in just to ruin everything. (Okay, apparently Shine invited him to make one of the five albums he’s responsible for.) But Hakeem isn’t mature enough to be in the same room with the woman he dumped for no real reason. “You should put some AutoTune on that mess,” he says to Tiana — who immediately slaps him.
“I am so sick and tired of your spoiled, entitled ass,” she says, and tells him to go get back with Anika. She storms out, as she should, and Hakeem starts whining to Shine. “This life ruins everything.”
So Shine takes it upon himself to provide the fatherly guidance that Lucious, or Dwight, or whoever he is these days can’t seem to. They drive out to the suburbs (Connecticut? Long Island?) where we meet a handful of kids who all belong to Shine. And two of his three baby mamas are there, chatting with each other in some sort of picturesque polygamous paradise.
Apparently they’re not really polygamous, but somehow, by dating women who aren’t in the industry and by putting his kids above everyone (and this is key: even above his other family), he’s achieved this strange suburban harmony.
Meanwhile, Andre goes to an outdoor cafe with Pamela and immediately starts accusing her of working with Diana. “Someone’s coming after me and my brothers, one by one, pretending to care about us,” he explains, still furious.
Pamela throws her little murder from last week back in his face: Would she tell him the biggest secret of her life just to trap him for some woman she doesn’t even know? This is getting confusing — and it’s too much for both of them. She breaks up with him and then leaves, and he smashes a glass while yelling to get her back.
Turns out Thirsty was watching, and he immediately calls Lucious to get there before Andre leaves. They ask who he was yelling at, and Andre explains that he’s seeing a kind, understanding, and beautiful woman named Pamela Rose. He didn’t tell them because she’s a cop, but they needn’t worry anymore, because they broke up. And she was the first person he’s felt something like this for since Rhonda. (So what was Nessa, chopped liver? You guys had a ghost threesome!!! Rhonda passed the baton!)
Elsewhere, Cookie is armed with the photo of Warren’s bodyguard — and a gun. When the guard slips out for coffee or whatever, she enters, points the gun at a bedridden, healing Warren, and tells him he’s going to tell the cops he threw the first punch. Warren agrees right away, which makes Cookie suspicious. So he explains: “Look, Jamal was the love of my life, and I lost him. So clearing his name is the least I can do.” She buys it, but then asks for more: He needs to tell her what his crazy aunt has planned for Andre.
He spills, and Cookie goes to Andre. Andre can’t believe such a highly regarded doctor could be in Diana’s pocket, but apparently she has dirt on him. Cookie and Lucious try to find out what Andre might have said during his sessions — especially after he was super medicated — but all he remembers is talking about not being able to perform sexually.
Cookie has another flashback to prison: This time, she asked the guard who fathered Poundcake’s baby what happened to her, and he assaulted Cookie then sent her to the hole for a week. Turns out Poundcake had been there for a whole month, and when they both got out, Poundcake told Cookie he made her sign away her parental rights. The beautiful baby she loved so much is now lost to the system — and a distraught Cookie swears they’re going to take him down.
Back in the present, Jamal has been drinking and listening over and over to the song he recorded with Warren. Luckily, before he can spiral too far down, Hakeem arrives, and they decide to sit in their misery together. Hakeem says he isn’t going to let somebody else (a.k.a. Anika’s new boyfriend Angelo) raise his child, and it seems like he might be planning something fatal in the back of his mind. (Recap continues on page 2)