At the beginning of the episode, Lucious (Terrence Howard) discusses the possibility of Jamal being a father, with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Vernon Turner (Malik Yoba). As the group marches into Empire’s headquarters, Lucious begins feeling faint. While Lucious suggests making Empire a family business, but Cookie suggests this is a problem, since Hakeem and Jamal are at each other’s throats. She also belittles Lucious for forcing Jamal to marry his baby mama, before Lucious faints. When wheeled into the ambulance, Lucious is forced to decide who gets to ride, with him. He picks Anika Gibbons (Grace Gealey) over Cookie.
Michael (Rafael de la Fuente) packs, with plans of moving out of Jamal’s (Jussie Smollett) apartment, while Jamal insists the baby isn’t his. Next, Andre and Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) meet Terry Schiller (Davis Darlow) for dinner. Andre informs him Lucious won’t be making it, before the pair speak over the phone. Meanwhile, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) shares a romantic dinner, with Camilla Marks (Naomi Campbell). Hakeem attempts to smooth things over, with some nice jewelry, but his attempt fails. He promises to take her, as his date, to his next performance.
Lucious speaks to a new doctor, who suggests the Russian drugs are only poisoning him. Of course, he doesn’t want to hear it and lets her know about it. Meanwhile, Andre runs the Empire boardroom, while Lucious speaks over a speaker. The group attempts to sort out the lineup of their upcoming pre-show concert. Lucious insists opening, with Elle. Meanwhile, Jamal and Hakeem rehearse, before they argue and Cookie is forced to intervene. Fresh out of the hospital, Hakeem shows up and tells Hakeem to listen to his mother.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Deveaux (Derek Luke) helps Becky (Gabourey Sidibe), with the elevator, which is stuck on floor 17. Jamal’s little girl is all alone inside the elevator. Jamal storms out of the building angrily. After a little worrying from Cookie, Elle Dallas (Courtney Love) finally arrives. Afterwards, Jamal speaks with Lucious regarding his daughter and Michael. Lucious wonders, if the little girl could actually be Jamal’s daughter. Jamal and Hakeem perform, while celebrities arrive. Elle arrives and is introduced to Marvin Menchel (Dennis Grimes).
Beck and Lucious tour the party, while greeting everyone. Meanwhile, Anika speaks with Elle, who suggest Cookie put everything together. With her back turned, Anika pours drugs in Elle’s drink. Malcolm seems to have noticed, as he watched from afar. Lucious speaks to Camilla, before he is motioned away, by Malcolm. Meanwhile, Elle is completely whacked out of her mind. Cookie arrives and questions Elle, who insists she didn’t take anything. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Jamal argue and fight, when Cookie informs Lucious of Elle’s situation. Lucious sends Hakeem and Jamal to perform in her place.
Afterwards, Cookie is forced to go out and speak in place of Lucious, whose condition disables him. Cookie takes the stage and completely ignores the teleprompter and speaks from the heart. She speaks about Lucious’s musical history and success. Backstage, Lucious praises Cookie, which upsets Anika. Afterwards, Anika leaves and Cookie attempts to find out Lucious’s secret. Back at the mansion, Cookie flirts with Malcolm.
Lucious has a family meeting, where he tells everyone about his ALS and his grim future. Andre (Trai Byers) is enraged and worried about the IPO, which upsets Jamal. Rhonda attempts to calm him, but its useless. Lucious tells Hakeem and Jamal that they’ll make it through this. After they leave, he shares a private moment, with Cookie, while Andre showers, with his clothes on. With Rhonda’s help, Andre snaps out of his panic attack. When alone, Cookie sobs and insists Lucious will beat the ALS. The pair dance, kiss and make love, before Anika catches them.
As Empire continues to deliver quality episodes, the ratings constantly climb higher, with each episode. Although a lot happened this episode, some of the best scenes involved Anika, who showed off her dirty side, when she drugged Elle Dallas and paved the way for Hakeem and Jamal. Of course, the episode’s end was something we could’ve seen coming from miles away, but it was still effective. It was certainly emotional and sad for Anika, but hard not to cheer for Cookie, who likely got exactly what she wanted. A solid episode that deserves a 7.5 out of 10.