I don’t know how amnesia works, but Amnesia Lucious is breaking one of the major rules of writing and improv: Don’t ask questions! It takes all the momentum and fun out of a scene when one person just asks question after question without contributing. Amnesia Lucious is not carrying his weight, and he’s gotten to a point where most of his scenes are just him pointing at objects and asking, “What’s that?”
Lucious starts his day by running on his treadmill while the entire family files in. He wants everyone to stop tiptoeing around and tell him what exactly makes him a monster. Does anyone have DVDs available of this very show for Lucious to watch himself be a monster? Hakeem immediately says, “You punched me in the face once.” Good specific details, Hakeem. He also suggests that Jamal tell Lucious the trash-can story like it’s a fun family memory. Cookie shuts all that down before marching off to the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women.
Meanwhile, Phylicia Rashad is back, and she’s continuing to behave as if she’s in the Dynasty reboot, which would be the perfect vehicle for her. She’s treating her takedown of the Lyon family like a perverse Wizard of Oz. Jamal’s heart is going to be ripped out, Andre’s brain is going to be destroyed, and, uh … Hakeem is the Cowardly Lion. Angelo is there with a classic television-show bit of stubble and a half-full glass of a brown liquid to signify that he’s a sad drunk now. Cookie is busy posing for the magazine feature and she’s unsure about sitting in Lucious’s chair. There’s this whole story line that Cookie isn’t eager to step into the CEO role, but isn’t that exactly what she’s been trying to do this entire time? Cookie has to go with Andre to apply for a loan because it’s yet another convenient plot development — er, I mean, to finance the 20 for 20 projects.
Jamal is playing piano for Lucious, and Lucious is curious about how songwriting works and what a “studio” is? Thirsty helps sneak them into Empire. Shyne gets into a scuffle with Cookie because he’s not satisfied with how many albums he’s producing. He negotiates with Cookie to get a few more albums. Thirsty is meeting with Andre to let him know that the police in Vegas still can’t find Giuliana. Andre goes to meet Teyonah Parris in her Misty Knight cosplay. He talks with her in an alley outside the police department and tells her that Giuliana is probably just in hiding because his father is very scary. “Misty Knight” tells him that he’s sweating and he’s anxious, so he must be lying.
Cookie goes into the bank with Andre and instead of the person they’ve been talking with on the phone, they’re meeting with a VP. He takes some glee in telling them that they’re just not investing in the “entertainment space,” which means they aren’t getting the loan.
Lucious is at the studio with Jamal, and he seems more interested in stealing some lollipops than getting into the studio. Shyne comes in and Lucious only calls him “Moonshine,” so he plays him some of their music together, and Lucious gets violent flashbacks and runs out. Warren also stops by and Jamal shuffles him out. Lucious can’t believe that he used to be a violent man like everyone is insinuating. He asks Jamal to explain it to him. Jamal finally tells him the trash-can story, and Lucious can’t believe he was so hateful in his previous life.
Cookie goes to the Women in Skirt Suits photo shoot and guess what? PHYLICIA RASHAD IS THERE. She’s dressed in cream and ready to destroy Cookie. Cookie didn’t get the memo about all-cream and is wearing an amazing purple suit. The women are all talking behind her back and she tries to confront them, but Phylicia Rashad just glares at her and claims, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Hakeem is at home working on his new song while Tiana plays with Bella. Anika comes over to pick up Bella, but Bella cries when she isn’t in Tiana’s arms. Anika’s got crazy eyes and her hair isn’t back in a pixie cut. She’s going to do something awful.
Back at the photo shoot, Cookie finally opens up to the ladies while she has flashbacks about her time in prison, where she punched someone in the face who was trying to help her. She tells the ladies at the photo shoot about her loan troubles, and the women agree to help her get the money. GIRL POWER!
Andre goes home and sees that “Misty Knight” is posted up across the street watching him with binoculars. They start a little game of show me yours, show you mine. Jamal and Warren fight about how Jamal won’t introduce Warren to Lucious. Yo, Warren? Not the time. Jamal apologizes and hugs him, but Warren opens his eyes during the hug, implying sneakiness.
Cookie comes home after a long day, and Lucious finally asks her why she was gone for so long. She says she was in prison and he asks why. And this time, he wants to know everything.