Empire: Die but Once Review

Empire Andre Vincent Van Gogh

When the episode begins, Lucious plays at the piano, but his ALS prevents him from concentrating. After a flashback, he calls in Becky and insists she call in Cookie, since he helps him, when he gets stuck. Meanwhile, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) hangs out with friends, before receiving a call from his father. Of course, he is still upset, by the Camilla situation, and refuses to answer.

Empire Hakeem Diss

Lucious insists he wants to put together an amazing song for his last performance. He tasks Beck with finding Cookie. Malcolm (Derek Luke) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) are shown at a snowy cabin. After they enter, Cookie begins working on Lucious’s final show, before Malcolm pulls her away from work. The pair enjoy one another’s company.

Empire Malcolm and Cookie

Next, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) signs autographs and meets a fan, who came out to his brother, after being inspired by Jamal. Afterwards, Lucious gives an interview and confirms he is working in collaboration with Snoop Dogg. Lucious mentions Hakeem and suggests he’ll be the one to take over Empire in the future. After the interview, Lucious receives an injection from Beretti, who tries to stop the concert. Snoop and Hakeem take the stage and Hakeem disses Lucious, during the performance.

Empire Jennifer Hudson

Jamal speaks to Hakeem and tells him he was wrong to hate Lucious, because he is dying. Hakeem suggests going to another record label, since he never signed a contract and Lucious doesn’t own him. Lucious finally learns about Cookie’s whereabouts. Next, Andre meets up with his musical therapist and tells her he couldn’t force himself to go back to work. She gives him a tour of the church. Finally, Cookie returns back to Empire’s headquarters, with Carol Hardaway (Tasha Smith). Her ID is rejected and she is stopped by security, who refuse to let her in.

Lucious Lyon Empire

Lucious comes down and tells Cookie to leave. He also reveals he knows about Cookie’s relationship with Malcolm. He also breaks the news that he never actually signed Cookie back to the board and she holds no stock in the company. She threatens him, as she is forced out of the building. Malcolm approaches Cookie and reveals he hasn’t been fired. He insists Cookie should come with him to Washington DC. Next, Andre speaks to Lucious, who tells him to not being stupid. Andre expresses his concerns of someone else getting control over Empire. He insists his relationship with God is giving him a higher purpose. Of course, Lucious says a few wrong things and sends him out.

Empire Snoop Dogg Lucious

Next, Lucious speaks to Jamal and asks, if he heard about the injunction. He reveals his lawyer told him the injunction will lock down a number of his songs, before the pair discuss the future of Empire. Lucious suggests Jamal could be the future of Empire, as long as he believes he can. Meanwhile, Andre continues to improve at church.

Empire Jamal and Lucious

Lucious and Jamal head over to their old house, where Lucious attempt to perform his new song. The pair argue a little, before Jamal asks Lucious where his talent went and insists he is afraid of dying. Afterwards, the couple puts on a performance. Lucious and Jamal argue over the ownership of the song. Lucious insists Jamal can take over Empire, if he can settle the Beretti situation.

Empire Jamal Billy Beretti

After Lucious returns, he is rushed by Cookie, who tells him that Hakeem is making a move to Beretti. Jamal shows up at Beretti’s party looking for Hakeem. Jamal threatens Beretti, as he hangs him over the edge of the building. Back inside, Lucious discovers Anika making love to Hakeem. Afterwards, Lucious discovers he doesn’t have ALS. Instead, he is suffering from Myasthenia Gravis, or MG. With the news, Lucious heads to the church and attempts to talk some sense into Andre. The pair argue, before Lucious meets Andre’s musical therapy, Michelle White (Jennifer Hudson). He invites her to sing on his upcoming gospel album. Andre runs out angrily.

Next, Lucious receives medication, while Andre attempts to convince Michelle to stay away from his father. Cookie belittles Lucious, while he hallucinates about Bunkie. Lucious reveals everything, while thinking he is talking to Bunkie. The episode ends with a little gospel, sex, and Cookie putting a pillow over Lucious’s face.


Overall, the episode did an excellent job setting up the next one, which is the true finale. It was only a matter of time, before Lucious found out he wasn’t going to die, and it finally happened, but his future isn’t all peaches and cream. Now that Cookie knows the truth, there is certainly going to be a lot conflicts in the near future. The moments involved Jamal and Lucious were intense. All in all, it seems like the whole family is in turmoil. A good episode, which deserves an 8 out of 10.

  1. Unknown says:

    Snoop! They sure made him look on top of his game, that "Peaches and Cream" performance was great, although sadly I don't think he can pull it off that tight without the editing and multiple takes that a show allows…I even liked Hakeem's freestyle even though the whole Lucious vs. Hakeem thing is kind of annoying and immature

  2. ReelMockery says:

    hehe, I wouldn't refer to myself as a big fan of the music genre, but the songs actually help the show for sure. They're catchy and better than most stuff you'll hear on the radio

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