We gave it a B+
Upstairs, Hakeem heads to where Anika and the nanny are to pick up Bella once and for all. He says he’s taking her — but since he grew up without a mother, he’ll still let Anika be in her life. The way he’ll keep control, though? He has videotapes of Anika and Diana from when Bella was supposed to be missing. That makes her an accessory to kidnapping — a crime for which the statute of limitations doesn’t expire. Anika sobs anyway, and I can’t summon a MODICUM of pity for her.
And over on Long Island, Angelo and Jamal show up at Warren’s motel room at the same time. But Angelo is at rock bottom, disturbed, and has a gun. He’s so disgusted and angry at Warren, like he’s been all season, it almost makes me wonder if they had some sort of Game of Thrones-style affair. I really don’t think they did, but why is he more angry at Warren than at his other cousin or his mother? I don’t understand it!
Anyway, he ends up shooting Warren in the shoulder before Jamal tackles him to try to wrestle the gun out of his hands. But in the scuffle, it goes off — right into Angelo’s stomach. Jamal starts crying and apologizing before immediately dialing 911. But it seems like it’s too late…Angelo just might be dead.
Back at the event, Cookie and Lucious are as happy and proud as ever. Cookie still doesn’t quite believe Lucious is back, but he’s been violent enough tonight that we can probably assume he is. He tells Cookie she either needs to move back into his bedroom or move out of the house, and surprisingly, she chooses moving out. “If you’re really back, I think we should take our time this go-round,” she says. They say they love each other, and then Lucious heads to the hospital to check on Andre.
In a weird scene that’s definitely just a setup for the latter half of the season, Eddie’s fur-clad ex-wife storms into Empire just as he’s leaving and tells him that they’re all broke because their money ended up in some sort of Ponzi scheme. So Eddie is going to try to stay at Empire now. (But is he going to betray the Lyons or start embezzling funds somehow? Who knows. Do I care? Who knows.)
Shine beats Lucious to the hospital and starts whispering to an unconscious Andre. “You been keeping your mouth shut? I didn’t think so, either,” he says. Just then, Lucious arrives and wonders how they became friends. Shine says Andre’s his boy — they squashed their beef long ago. (Yeah, right!)
Shine leaves and Lucious tells Andre that he clapped back at the people who put him in the hospital. “I’m back now, and I need you to come back stronger than ever,” he says to Andre. Just then, Andre starts to stir. And sleepily, he ends up confessing: “Pop…please don’t hate me,” he murmurs. “The bomb…I tried to kill you. The bomb…”
But before Lucious has a chance to take it all in, there’s a needle in his neck and he falls dead asleep. Of course, we all know who this has to be: Crazy Claudia’s back for her Dwight. And a scene later, we see what’s happening. She has him strapped to a bed (though it’s a little less fancy than Andre’s) and is cooing, “It’s me, my sweet Dwight. I told you I would never leave you…never.”
And with that, all the plotlines are in place for the back half of the season. Will Lucious forgive Andre (that is, if he even gets out of Claudia’s grasp at all)? Is Angelo really dead? Will Diana become the queen of her prison? Will Jamal and Warren get back together? Will Anika ever be punished for killing Rhonda?! Hopefully our answers will come in 2018.