Empire Recap: My Heart Can’t Take It

L-R: Bryshere Gray as Hakeem Lyon and Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon. Photo: Chuck Hodes/FOX.
Episode Title
Poor Yorick
Editor’s Rating

As the prosecutor with the cleavage ramps up her investigation into Lucious and Empire, she enlists the help of the FBI who steals cords out of a drawer, swipes Becky’s phone, and cuts open pillows. Our tax dollars at work. Jamal is busy being interviewed by a Rolling Stone journalist for his cover story. His album is called The Artist, and it’s a manifesto. Come the hell on. That’s the most pretentious thing I’ve ever heard, but it’s also perfect for Jamal. Bless his little, shiny, sensitive unicorn heart, and bless the Empire writers for being unable to come up with another album title.

When Cookie hears the news of the FBI raid, she springs into action because she’s got new microbangs and the world is hers for the taking! Hakeem has to call Guadalupe, Anika has to sign Royalty, Cookie has to sew more embellishments on her clothes — wait! The FBI busts in on the Hostile Takeover Gang and fucks all their shit up.

Thirsty, who is moonlighting as Lucious’s Fonzworth Bentley, wakes Lucious and some little thang up in bed to let him know that the FBI is going to kick down the door at any minute. Thirsty answers the door and who is standing there but two of the jiggliest boobies I’ve ever seen (aside from my own)! Thirsty comes up with some fake legal defense on the spot, and I can’t wait to see this guy actually in court. The FBI storms in and Lucious is standing there. FULLY NUDE. Lucious. You have got to stop living like this. You officially have gone from smarmy mastermind to dude no one wants to sit next to on the train.

Back in the boardroom, Mimi Whiteman is dressed like Florence Welch again and thinks that now is not the time to lay low, but Lucious pulls a page out of the Book of Cookie and busts in talking about how now is the time to expand.

Then he goes on a monologue that coming out of a 46-year-old man’s mouth sounds like your dad googled “hip-hop words” so he could talk to your little cousin at the family reunion: “Where we come from, if the cops raid your house that makes you a G, if the Feds raise your house, you’re an OG … it gives you a ghetto pass. It shows we’re so raw, so dangerous.” How are the kids saying “cringe” these days? Is that what “on fleek” means?”

Then he does that weird Roman salute he keeps trying to make happen.

At the weekly family meeting — dang, for a family that hates each other, they get together for Taboo and Love, Actually viewings a lot, don’t they? Thirsty has the brilliant idea that they have to find Vernon and convince him not to testify, and Andre continues to look dour, downtrodden, and crestfallen. I’m running out of ways to say “that negro real sad” over here, give me something else to work with, Empire writers! 

Cookie, in a fabulous patchwork pink suit, and Lucious propose a truce, and by truce, I mean Cookie demands everything she wants and Lucious calls her Miss Cookie Monster. They come up with the outstanding plan to have Hakeem and Jamal make a video together to present a united front to the Feds or something. I’m pretty sure I saw someone do the exact same thing on Judge Judy once. She was going to award the plaintiffs $5000 until the defense revealed that they had once made a music video together and she threw the case out. Cookie also screams, “TELL ME A GRANDMA THAT GOT AN ASS LIKE THIS.” Cookie is my Patronus. Cookie is the hero we need and deserve. I wanna write a poem about her ass, but in a respectful normal way.

We’re being set up for a plot where Jamal sees himself as a godlike figure like his father and he has a huge fight with his boyfriend and cheats on him. That’s where this whole Rolling Stone photographer plotline is going, right?

As he continues his self-flagellation, Andre goes to Lucious again and asks what he can do to join Empire. From this moment on, Andre’s plotline is something out of season one of Nip/Tuck or American Horror Story. Let’s just move him over to FX and title his spin-off Gloom. Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam can guest star.

Right now, I’m going to tell you the concept for Hakeem and Jamal’s music video, and on a scale of one to Horatio Hornblower, you tell me how tone deaf it is.



If you said a seven, you’re correct.

The music video itself is like Malcolm X and the “California Love” music video had a love child. The music video is like if Nicki Minaj’s “Only” video read The Black Revolutionary’s Handbook (a real book that my father owned that was handed down to me).

Jamal might have a Jheri Curl on top of his fade.

Cookie is dressed like Eddie Murphy in Delirious.

This show is what I see when I close my eyes at night to dream.

Cookie goes outside to take a phone call and gets picked up by the NYPD, and she screams from the backseat, “If I die, I did not commit suicide.” My heart can’t take it.

Roxanne Ford, a woman wearing a Sexy Lawyer Halloween costume, is responsible for picking Cookie up and is going to make any charge she can stick, and if she can’t, she’s going after the boys. She’s bringing in trumped-up charges and calling in outstanding warrants that may or may not really exist. After a few hours and a few flashbacks later, Cookie doesn’t exactly give up information, but tells Roxanne enough to let her go.

Andre and Rhonda head out to the woods to dig up Vernon, because reasons? I’m not exactly sure how digging up a body you buried potentially covered in your DNA is going to exonerate Lucious. Apparently no one on this show watches How to Get Away With Murder.

In a moment that actually made me yelp out loud, some headlights appear in the distance. For a second, I thought the FBI would be in the car, but when it was revealed to be a rickety ol’ sedan, I knew it had to be Thirsty. Andre’s plan to dig up a months-old body was the thing to bring him back into Lucious’s fold. Thirsty also has a machine called a Corpse Detection System and he’s slowly rising in the Empire Outlandish Character Rankings.

While one brother is in the woods digging up a body, Hakeem is in a bar listening to a Michael Bublé impersonator when he hears a beautiful, curly-haired angel, and Jamal is postering the streets with a painting of himself. Once the body is out of the ground, Andre says a few words over the man his wife married that are very sweet, and Lucious tells the dead man to rot in hell, snitch.

Cookie is finally out of jail and confronts Anika because Cookie knows she lied about Lucious wanting the masters. I wish I knew where this plot was going, and I wish they would give Anika something more interesting to do. Can she go bang Mimi again?

Roxanne “36DD” Ford gets into her car in the morning and finds Vernon’s body in the passenger seat. Yeah. That’ll DEFINITELY get the prosecutor off your back. GREAT move, Lucious.