On Wednesday’s “Empire,” Cookie fell in deeper with Laz and bonded with Jamal as both Lucious and Andre struggled with traumatic memories. Here are the most important things to know about “True Love Never,” the seventh episode of season 2.
The episode began with Cookie and Laz spending several days in bed together as she worked from his place instead of the Lyon Dynasty offices. She was suspicious of his frequent cell calls, but he said it was an old suitor. She bought the excuse, and was inspired by him to create her own charity concert called Cookie’s Cookout.
Lucious collaborated with Freda as she recorded the new song he gave her as a duet, while Jamal struggled in his own studio session. He reached out to Cookie for help, and she feared it would cause issues with Lucious and the competition between the two sides of the family. Laz encouraged her to give feedback anyway, before he met with Big Heavy, the guy who kidnapped Hakeem. He vowed to get “10 times” the money out of Cookie than they originally planned through helping her with the new event.
Cookie and Hakeem held a private event to announce the cookout concert, with his girl group Mirage a Trois performing for the media. After seeing Carmen stealing Laura’s spotlight, Cookie encouraged him to make Carmen the group’s lead. Instead, he sought Serayah’s help in giving her confidence.
Lucious met with a legendary producer named Huey Jarvis and played him the new song in hopes of getting the guy to help bring him to the “next level.” Huey told him he needed to “dig deeper,” which sparked a flashback to a young Lucious burying bullets in a yard. At a board meeting afterward, Mimi complained about the “numbers,” and Andre suggested they get into music streaming with their own service. Mimi, however, said they should merge with another streaming company, and Andre disagreed.
When Lucious instead asked Andre to go see the deputy mayor, who he used to have sex with for favors, to get Freda’s gang injunction dismissed, he began struggling with the idea of sinning. Believing his dad wanted him to fall back to his old ways, he even flashbacked to his suicide attempt. His pastor, however, encouraged him to find “other ways” to get what he “needs.”
Cookie and Jamal had a celebratory dinner after the advice she gave for his song led him to get invited to play for Huey. He made his first visit to Lyon Dynasty after and they decided to record together, despite knowing Lucious would be “so pissed.” They worked all night, and when Hakeem later showed up the next morning, Jamal was forced to sneak out.
Lucious and Mimi went to meet the streaming service owner, Jago, at a boxing ring, where the two men sparred as they negotiated. When Jago called Lucious lyrics “shallow,” he punched the guy out cold and called him a “punk ass.” The incident sparked another flashback, in which his mom asked him what he did with her bullets. He started feeling even more insecure when Jamal told him about the gig with Huey.
Meanwhile, Andre met with the deputy mayor and refused to have sex with her, but instead blackmailed her with video of a prior dalliance. After, he and Rhonda got it in on for the first time since his religious conversion. At the same time, Cookie was pissed off to see Hakeem “wasting time” trying to makeover Laura, saying he was “blinded by the ass.” That, however, just made him more determined, and he had her sing on a street corner to work on getting people’s attention. After she wowed a crowd, they shared a big kiss.
Cookie, of course, was pretty blinded, too, and hooked up with Laz as he made suggestions for her cookout. He urged her to meet with Big Heavy and the other kidnappers in order to secure an outdoor venue since the park he recommended was considered their turf. Hakeem was pissed off over the deal, and told his mom that he didn’t “trust” Laz and she should “be careful.” Much to his delight, though, Cookie was thrilled with Laura’s newfound confidence.
Lucious and Mimi went to Jago’s hospital room in an attempt to apologize and convince him to go with the partnership, but it was clear he was doped up on drugs and wasn’t really aware of what he was agreeing to. Afterward, Lucious was clearly jealous as Huey loved Jamal’s “next level” performance, sparking yet another bullet-mom flashback. Later, he and Mimi got drunk at a club with a group of women.
Back at his place and about to have a threesome, Mimi got a call supposedly from her ex that left her in tears. Lucious got on the phone and yelled at the unnamed person, saying she deserved to be treated with “respect.” They were then finally about to get it on when Lucious saw a gun tattoo on the hookup partner’s thigh. He went to find his gun, triggering the memory of his mom playing Russian Roulette with the gun to her head… much like Andre had done.
Inspired, he called Freda into the studio at 4 a.m., saying she was about to become “part of [his] life story.” They recorded with Lucious playing with his gun to give added sound, and apparently added motivation, too. “History in the making,” he declared as the episode ended.
The promo for next week showed Cookie and Lucious competing over control of Hakeem and Jamal, while Hakeem gets in the middle of his mom and Laz. TELL US: What do you think of tonight’s “Empire”?