Empire Recap: For My Queens


My Naked Villainy
Season 3 Episode 13
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Chuck Hodes/FOX

At least two people ask Lucious in this episode, “Is your ALS acting up again?” I feel like that’s exactly what you need to know going into a summary of this episode.

Apparently, Lucious suffers from myasthenia gravis, and this is the first that any of us are hearing of it. Thirsty is overseeing Lucious’s medical care, and by medical care, I mean shouting at a doctor to perform medical procedures in a man’s bedroom. Thirsty knows it’s illegal (and unsanitary), but he’s prepared to offer money and legal compensation to the doctor to provide this preposterous service. They have to put a breathing tube down Lucious’s throat, and before he’s got a tube shoved down his throat, he croaks to Grandma Walker, “Watch my family. They’re snakes.” Father of the Year, everyone. Jamal is in the studio, and he’s working with Delphine, played by the ever-charismatic Estelle, on the “When Cookie Met Lucious” album. They’re going to make a music video inspired by the good times in the ’80s-Cookie-and-Lucious relationship. Cookie wants to shoot a music video approximately now, while Lucious is dying from a touch of the myasthenia gravis.

Meanwhile, Tiana’s girl — primarily known as Kennedy, who got punched in the goddamn face — is holding a press conference because she’s going to sue Empire Records for $50 million, and Hakeem’s response is, “That bitch trippin’! I have a daughter.” This attempt to demonstrate the a-woke-ening of Hakeem actually shows a very particular type of dude. It’s infuriating to watch Hakeem storm around demanding that someone explain basic feminist concepts to him. “HOW CAN SOMEONE THINK I HATE WOMEN WHEN I KNOW A WOMAN”

Andre and Nessa are meeting with Nia Long, who appears to exclusively wear bustiers and blazer-capes with her titties all the way out. (Nia Long is 46. She looks better than I ever have or ever will, and I am not mad at her. I’m mad at myself.) When Andre gets up to fetch Nia Long a drink, she says that she’d love to maybe get together with Nessa and Andre in the boudoir. Nessa rightfully freaks out because no one wants to walk into a surprise threesome situation.

On the “When Cookie and Lucious Were So in Love, But It’s Not Gonna Last Because Lucious Is an Unstable, Cruel Man” video set, Jamal and Delphine look like they’re cosplaying ’80s Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. Cookie looks wistfully into the middle distance, as she talks about what Lucious and his music meant to her. The Lyon children go to visit Lucious, and he wants to know why they haven’t solved this issue with Kennedy yet, and Hakeem just stomps around. He keeps screaming, “I HAVE A DAUGHTER!!!” Hakeem. Settle the fuck down and read some Audre Lorde.

Boo Boo Kitty comes to visit Lucious, and he types out a message on his iPad, asking why she hasn’t worn a wire yet. She responds by folding his breathing tube and threatening to kill him. Lucious pulls out a gun from underneath the duvet, and shakily holds it up to threaten her right back. Boo Boo Kitty runs out of there to go see Cookie, and asks her to watch Bella in case something happens to her because something is definitely going to happen to her.

Andre is taking advantage of Lucious’s illness to seal the deal with Gino, a generic mobster character. Andre uses Xzibit to intimidate Gino into accepting an extremely terrible deal on the Las Vegas dealings. Cookie and Angelo are voting for him in the primary. Yeesh, we’re only at the primary! This fictional mayoral election is starting to feel like the actual election. Two random girls want to take a picture with Cookie because they’re rooting for her to get back together with Lucious. Their couple name is Coucious. That’s the worst couple name. It sounds like someone can’t pronounce couscous.

Hakeem realizes that screaming at a woman and trying to shame her to distract from men’s faults isn’t a moral choice. So he runs to Jamal and screams, “WHAT’S VICTIM BLAMING?!?! IS THAT BAD?!?!” Jamal suggests that Hakeem go in a different direction from his usual songs “Can’t Trust ‘Em” and “The Clap Back” to get back on the public’s good side. So Hakeem heads to the studio to make a song for HIS QUEENS. The song is like a copy of a negative of a demo of a J. Cole song. It’s like the ad agency that tried to make that god-awful Pepsi ad tried to make a song about “feminism.”

Feminism: Because you should only treat women like people once you have a daughter!

The song ends, “WE ALL CAME FROM A WOMAN.” Hakeem is canceled.

Lucious finds out about everyone’s dealings, and he calls a board meeting in his bedroom. He wants to fire Andre, but didn’t bother to figure out if anyone would back him up. This is getting embarrassing for Lucious. He’s in his pajamas and can’t get a second. Andre continues to take advantage of the moment, and hands out a pamphlet about the Las Vegas deal. The rest of the board murmurs with approval. Andre is set to make money hand over fist for Empire for years to come, so the board is going to approve anything he wants to do. I’m looking forward to this development.

It’s the end of primary day, and Cookie is throwing Angelo a party in Leviticus, but he’s still feeling a little sensitive about the whole CousCoucious thing. Cookie promises that Lucious won’t show up, which causes him to materialize in his pajamas and velvet loafers. His tiny ponytail is twitching because he can sense he’s fucking things up for Cookie. When Angelo makes a victory speech, Lucious interrupts to play a song on the piano about Cookie. She’s reacting like it’s the most romantic moment of her life, but let’s all remember that the song includes the lyrics, “I’m watching you like a camera dude.”

Before the longest primary in history wraps up, Nia Long strolls in with her blazer-cape billowing in the wind behind her, and Lucious looks her in the eye and says, “You’ve got a hell of a lot of nerve.”


Empire Recap: For My Queens