Empire Review: The Lyon’s Roar

Empire Review The Lyon's Roar

The episode opens, with a flashback, which shows the day of Cookie’s verdict. She is given the opportunity to say goodbye to her kids, before she heads into the courtroom. In the present, the pair discuss their love lives. Cookie insists she can make Lucious immortal, by producing a legacy album and documentary spanning Lucious’s career. He likes the ideal of releasing a song, with Lucious and their kids. Lucious promises to get rid of Anika (Grace Gealey). Next, Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray) is shown praying in church. He prays for his father’s life, when Jamal enters and suggests they could be spending time together and not making music.

Empire Legacy Album

Next, the whole family gets into the song, You’re so Beautiful. Andre (Trai Byers) grows angry, as he watches from outside. Lucious signs Ryan Morgan to shoot the documentary and his upcoming White Party. Anika enters and questions Lucious, why her father committed fraud, by giving Lucious a clean bill of health. She threatens him, if anything goes wrong, before bringing up Lucious’s affair with Cookie. Of course, he blames everyone on Cookie and attempts to smooth it over with Anika. She insists they get married tomorrow. Eventually, they agree to marry next weekend, but Lucious has to make the announcement, as the White Party, with Cookie present.

Empire Rhonda

Next, Andre meets with Vernon and ensures his support. He returns home and talks to Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) about getting his last vote to take over Empire Records. Andre suggests seeking support from former model, Janet Blakeley. As it turns out, Janet loves women and especially blondes. Rhonda seems the perfect match. During recording, Cookie gives Hakeem some notice, which turns into an argument. Hakeem suggests Cookie loves Jamal more than him. Lucious turns into a therapist and defuses the situation. Jamal is interviewed for the documentary.

Ryan Morgan Empire

Ryan Morgan (Eka Darville) successfully invites Jamal (Jussie Smollett) out for a drink. Meanwhile, Cookie continues to urge Lucious to drop Cookie. Andre and Rhona pay a visit to Janet, while Hakeem hangs out with Camilla, who gives him a white jacket for the White Party. She insists Hakeem is making a mistake, by allowing Jamal to go last on their song. Rhonda attempts to win over Janet, at dinner, but seems to failing miserable. The group begins discussing ALS and Stephen Hawking. Although Andre gets his last vote from Carl, Rhonda gets upset, with the situation. Hakeem tells Cookie he needs to go last on their family song and she agrees to talk to everyone about making the change.

Empire Jamal and Ryan

Ryan and Jamal have dinner, while discussing their sexualities. Meanwhile, Jamal hangs out with his daughter. After a few awkward moments, Jamal breaks through, with a song. At the Empire board meeting, Andre requests to take over, if Lucious is unable to handle the company’s affairs. Lucious votes no against his son, which knocks him out of the opportunity. At the White Party, Cookie asks Jamal about letting Hakeem go last. After Jamal disagrees, Cookie insists Lucious should go last, which alerts Jamal to their affair. They argue briefly until Lucious shows up with Anika. He pulls Cookie aside and tells her about the marriage announcement.

White Party Empire

Afterwards, Cookie confronts Anika and tells her about the sex she had, with Lucious in the studio. Andre drinks, although it will decrease the power of his bipolar medication. Cookie confronts Camilla, when she enters with Hakeem. After they argue, Camilla insists Hakeem is off of the song. Andre confronts Vernon, who insists Lucious believes they’re plotting behind his back. Meanwhile, Lucious convinces Jamal to perform at the White Party. During his performance, Jamal comes out through the lyrics, while Lucious reminisces about punished Jamal for dressing up, as a girl, when he was younger.

Meanwhile, Lucious walks into the headquarters, while listening to news reporters about Jamal’s announcements. He speaks to Andre and Vernon about the situation. Lucious admits he couldn’t vote for Andre, because he doesn’t trust him, since Rhonda is a white woman. Andre insists his family hates him, because he isn’t talented, but is smart. Lucious promises to leave his business to someone other than Andre. Hakeem visits Jamal and admits Camilla got under his skin about going last. He admits he is proud of Jamal and says the move wasn’t a mistake.

Andre Suicide Empire

Andre is shown in the studio listening to The Great Pretender, when he puts a gun to his head. He pulls the trigger, but the gun isn’t loaded. Next, Anika Calhoun heads out to visit Billy Beretti. At the same time, Lucious confronts Cookie about saying something to Anika. Lucious insists their affair was a momentary weakness and it’ll never happen again. Lucious insists the legacy album is dead, because of Jamal. The show flashes back and shows Cookie suffering in prison, while singing, “You’re so beautiful”.

Empire Cookie Prison


The latest episode of Empire, The Lyon’s Roar, had one very powerful moment, but everything else was bleak. The family was torn apart, with Andre spiraling out of control. Lucious cancelled the Legacy album, while manipulating both of the women in his life. Of course, Jamal’s performance and coming out was enough to offset the sadness of the episode. Overall, a good episode, which deserves an 8 out of 10.

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