When the show opens, Tiana Brown (Serayah) is shooting her new music video, while Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) and Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) watch. Lucious speaks with Anika Gibbons (Grace Gealey) and begins to suspect Hakeem hooked up with Tiana. Hakeem pulls Lucious aside and questions when they’re going to shoot his music video. Lucious repeatedly tells Hakeem to get back in the studio, before Veronica stops the shoot and accuses one of the dancers of pushing her. Mel (Anton Bassey) arrives and stirs up trouble, since he is Veronica’s (Veronika Bozeman) manager.
Lucious and Mel head to Lucious’s private trailer, where he silences him. Next Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) arrives and immediately starts trouble with Lucious. The pair argue over Bunkie’s funeral. Next, Andre (Trai Byers) meets with Lucious and shows him a magazine cover featuring Kidd Fo-Fo (Krisopher Lofton), who signed with Creedmoor Records. Lucious brings this up at their company conference. Anika says she doesn’t see what the problem is. Lucious mentions Billy Beretti, who is in charge of the story and is trying to ruin him and Empire. Afterwards, Detective Walker (Damon Gupton) arrives and questions Lucious about Bunkie. Walker insists a witness, who witnessed the murder, has come forward.
Next, Cookie holds auditions, when Andre enters and tells Cookie the Jorgensons are in the lobby. Cookie speaks with the pair, despite being shocked they’re white. Anika approaches and insults Cookie, before stealing the musician’s attention. Jamal (Jussie Smollett) speaks with Cookie, who insists he needs a hit and suggests performing songs written by other people. Anika introduces Lucious to Gus Berger (Howie Johnson), who is a private detective she hired to follow Cookie. Gus shows them pictures of Cookie meeting with Agent Harlow Carter (Nealla Gordon), before suggesting they’re Feds.
Lucious approaches Cookie at Bunkie’s service and questions her about snitching to get out early. Lucious threatens Cookie. Next, Cookie accuses her sister of telling Lucious about her deal with the Feds. After spotting Ronny Brown, Cookie remembers songwriter, Puma (Cuba Gooding Jr.). Next, Bunkie is laid to rest, as the show flashes back and shows Bunkie protecting Lucious and Cookie, before he eventually came with threats and money requests.
Andre meets with Deputy Mayor Alvarez (Sari Sanchez) and attempts to discover the identity of the witness. Lucious begins to feel symptoms of his disease. Anika and Lucious plan a party, in order to keep Hakeem and Tiana together. Detective Walker speaks with a homeless man, Ol’ Salty, but is unable to find anything helpful. Andre gets a call from Alvarez, which prompts suspicion from Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday). The pair use the situation as foreplay. Meanwhile, Hakeem is out with Tiana, but gets messages from Camilla (Naomi Campbell). She confronts him in the club.
Cookie meets with Agent Carter and informs her Lucious knows about her meetings. Carter informs her about Gus, before she admits the FBI has spent 5 years building a case against Frank Gathers and can’t afford to have it blown. Cookie demands Carter help her find Puma. Afterwards, the pair pretend Carter is Cookie’s parole officer to fool Lucious. Next, Cookie makes contact with Puma, who is training horses. Cookie requests a song for her son, Jamal, since Puma doesn’t seem to like Lucious. Before she leaves, Cookie agrees to send her a song. Cookie and Jamal listen to the song, before Jamal performs it. We see flashbacks of the same happening for Lucious.
Walker takes a six-pack of beer to Ol’ Salty, who admits to seeing the wolf and the lamb and some other crazy stuff. After the detective shows him a picture of Lucious, Ol’ Salty (Brad Armacost) admits it was him, who he saw. Next, Andre informs Lucious of the witness, who wasn’t credible. Jamal’s boyfriend, Michael Sanchez (Rafael de la Fuente) thanks Lucious for inviting him, but he insists he didn’t. Cookie and Anika argue over a chair. Cookie upsets everyone, when she makes them say Grace, before they eat. Next, Jamal plays Puma’s song for Lucious, which obviously upsets him. Lucious questions Cookie about Puma, before admitting to liking Jamal’s version of the song, but insists on giving it to another musician, before insulting Jamal’s skills. The pair argue, before Jamal leaves.
Andre confronts Hakeem and tells him Lucious is going to pick him no matter what. Cookie and Anika argue, before Cookie catches Lucious trying to take his medication. Cookie insists Lucious is afraid of Jamal’s talent. Next, Hakeem questions Camilla about his skills and Jamal’s. Next, Jamal admits he is beginning to want to win, before getting a phone call requesting him to meet Lucious downstairs. Lucious enters and the pair begins to argue, before Lucious admits he just wanted to see Jamal. Lucious insists Jamal needs to toughen up. After an argument about money, Jamal informs Michael they’re moving out. Outside, Jamal insists he isn’t giving up anything, but is simply going after Lucious’s Empire.
All in all, this was a much improved episode of Empire. In fact, it was likely the best episode yet. There was some serious character development with many of the characters, but especially Jamal, who is finally ready to take on his father and tormentor. Meanwhile, Cookie and Lucious nearly discover damaging secrets about one another. What happens when Lucious discovers the truth with Cookie and the FBI? What will Cookie do if she finds out about Lucious and his illness?
The episode was paced perfectly and really picked up, after Bunkie’s funeral. This episode deserves an 8 out of 10.