Empire Recap: Boom, Boom, Boom... Don't Go Back to His Room

“Cowboy, Take Me Away” isn’t just a hit by the Dixie Chicks, it would also make a really good alternate title for Season 2, Episode 6 of Empire.

Except, this isn’t a story about sleeping on a pillow of bluebonnets, in a blanket made of stars. Nope, the subjects of this tale have longhorn bulls crudely tattooed between their shoulder blades — and their undercover leader, Adam Rodriguez’s Laz Delgado, hasn’t just infiltrated Lyon Dynasty records, but also Cookie Lyon’s heart.

EMP206_sc9_0336R1_hires1You know when our girl eventually figures out that Laz was the one behind Hakeem’s abduction and brutalization, she’ll make her usual broom-to-the-head/Louboutin-to-the-throat techniques look like butterfly kisses. Oh, and she’s absolutely, positively going to call him “bitch.” (The only question is how many times she’ll drop the b-bomb on his lying, sorry ass.)

But until that delicious comeuppance arrives, let’s recap the action from “A High Hope for a Low Heaven.”

HAKEEM’S BACK… OR IS HE? | Lucious and Cookie negotiate Hakeem’s release from his captors using $40,000 in cash, but the traumatized youngest Lyon takes his busted-up eye and badly damaged psyche right to the door of… Boo Boo Kitty! He kisses her like he’s trying to prove his manhood, and it leaves me wondering if he endured sexual assault during his captivity. (Am I overthinking here, or did you have that sudden, horrifying thought, too?) Back at Lyon HQ, he blames Lucious and Cookie for what happened to him, though if they’re to blame for the fame that’s put a target on his back, shouldn’t he also thank them for that fame in and of itself?

Hakeem spirals into an almost hallucinatory state as he rehearses for a big performance with his Latina girl group, but behind the scenes, Lucious is negotiating with Cookie to let his son come back to the Empire label — although she’s not invited along for the ride. “You ain’t a boss, Lucious. You a busta,” she seethes — but silently concedes he’s a busta with good wine, since she exits not only with her ex’s glass, but also his whole damn bottle. (Note: Lucious couldn’t even try to question the Lyon Matriarch’s boss status — not with an exit like that.)

EMP206_sc33_0536R_hires1At ex-cop Laz’s suggestion, Cookie sets up a meeting with the kidnappers, with the prospect of hiring them as security detail or at least paying them off — and figures she can kill two birds with one stone by bringing along Hakeem to rebuild his confidence. It all goes sideways when Hakeem pulls a gun and threatens to shoot — but Cookie pretty much stands between him and his targets, pleading, “I’d rather die than lose you again!”

Lucious makes one more play for Hakeem’s soul, offering him a hot new track called “Boom Boom Boom Boom” — but his son promptly rejects it. “With you there’s always strings — or ropes that choke,” he huffs. In the end, it’s Jamal and Andre who rally Hakeem’s spirits, telling him they wouldn’t have fought back, either, and that his life was worth far more than his street cred. Group hug? Well, let’s call it a huddle and note that it’s nevertheless moving.

DESTINY’S PROBLEM CHILD | Yep, that’s Cookie’s nickname for Mirage a Trois, as she helps them prepare for their breakout moment at Big Apple Jam. On the big night, though, Hakeem freezes up at the sight of Lucious’ taunting face in the audience, and it’s Laura who pulls him out of his haze with a next-level vocal sung directly to his face. Later, when Anika shows up at Hakeem’s apartment, she finds he’s having a “boss-level celebration” — and she’s not invited. Ouch!

EMP206_Sc16_0326R_hires1JAMAL’S NEW BENEFACTOR | Meanwhile, Jamal’s working on a track called “Delta John to Alpha One” (aka the best damn thing he’s delivered in all of Season 2) and getting frustrated that the Staples Center rejected him for a tour date on account of being “too narrow of an artist.” He knows it’s code for “gay” and brings in his father’s old enemy Jameson Henthrop (William Fichtner) — a gay, David Geffen mogul type — to help turn his marketing fortunes around.

FRIDA’S JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NOTHIN’ LEFT TO LOSE | Andre has an epiphany (apparently backed by hard numbers) that Empire’s Ghetto Life division should be a Christian label — bad news for the artists he’s planning to drop, but good news for Becky’s illicit love J. Poppa, who warms to the idea like a nun hearing Handel’s “The Messiah” at Christmas. The one artist Lucious says absolutely cannot be cut is Frida Gathers — despite the fact that she ends an awe-inspiring performance at Leviticus by kicking the face of a heckler. Lucious tracks her down, tells her he relates to her more than his own sons (ouch, dude!) and then offers her “Boom Boom Boom Boom,” to which she adlibs with raw fury and a dose of humor. The girl is seriously good.

COOKIE MIGHT NEED HELP WITH HER MATCH.COM PROFILE | Cookie ends the hour by showing up at Laz’s house and finally giving in to his open flirtation. “Make me forget everything that happened this week, Laz,” she sighs, falling into his arms as “Boom Boom Boom Boom” not so subtly plays over their makeout session. But when dude takes off his hoodie, it’s not a case of sexy “Damn!” it’s more of an uh-oh/oh-no “Damn!” He’s got the same tattoo as the gang members who kidnapped her son!

What did you think of this week’s Empire? Did you suspect Laz had ulterior motives? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Al says:

    The last 2 eps were good but this was a step in the wrong direction. Kinda predictable and all over the place.

    • 101 says:

      dude what have u been smoking?

    • Annie says:

      All over the place, yes, but I did not see Hakeem going to Anika, or Laz being behind the kidnapping. Both were shocking surprises.

      It wasn’t a great episode, but the Laz part made it interesting. It is better than just ending the kidnapping angle. I have no clue how Cookie contacted them for a meeting, or how she could think that it was a good idea.

    • MiaB says:

      I agree. This whole season has been all over the place, and that Laz was in on the kidnapping was predictable. The only saving grace was that I think they’re building toward something. At least I hope they are.

  2. Annie says:

    This was a confusing episode that was saved that was saved by the revelation that Laz is behind the kidnapping.

    It was also saved by everything that Hakeem said to Cookie and Lucious. Yes, he is ungrateful, but he was also right.

    I also love the interaction between Becky and Andre. They could have some very good scenes.

    I love Jamal’s song, but he still needs an interesting storyline.

  3. Sarah says:

    Did you mean “…target to his back…”?

  4. laurelnev says:

    I suspected Laz was going to be trouble when he waltzed in to rescue Cookie, but the trouble just seemed to escalate. He’ll protect her…like Sawyer protected all those women he fleeced. Yes, Hakeem could stand to be taken down a pg or 2, but not on THAT way. I’d say Poor Cookie, but I have a feeling she’ll handle things, maybe with the help of her pals Smith and Wesson…

  5. Will says:

    You weren’t the only one who thought there might have been more that occurred during Hakeem’s kidnapping.I wonder if it will come up that more happened to him. It seemed like they were foreshadowing that revelation especially with how he was with Anika.

    • Relaxxx says:

      I thought it was odd that Hakeem went to Anika right afterwards. He seemed to really want to prove his manhood. Call me crazy but most people that get kidnapped, tortured and beaten don’t normally run to have sex right afterwards while their eye is still oozing blood. Hakeem isn’t in love with Anika so there’s definitely more to this story and I hope the writers expand on the matter.

      • Annie says:

        He may have been sexually assaulted, but the writers have been focused on showing that Hakeem is growing up. This is a kid who was raised by a man who things the phrase “man up” solves everything from depression to having being kidnapped. Lucious sees being vulnerable or hurt as being weak, and that is what Hakeem was taught. It’s one of the reasons why he directed his anger at Lucious and Cookie.

  6. Allison says:

    I knew it! I hate that I knew it! That doggone Laz was behind the kidnapping and I was so mad I could spit. Why does a man that fine have to be so evil? Sigh… Anyway, Jamal’s song…wow…just wow… I shed tears man.

  7. Brenna says:

    I loved tonight’s episode!! I seriously watched the scene where Laura snaps Hakeem out of his PTSD 10 times! It was an amazing vocal from her and an awesome comeback rap from him!

  8. Julia says:

    This episode was awful…too much plot development and then too little all the same. The kidnapping story was too quick and I ended up having to look up characters throughout the episode to remember their storylines. Just my opinion. Really hoping that things improve going forward. On a positive note, I liked the music in this episode.

  9. Relaxxx says:

    I really liked Jamal and Hakeems new songs. I’m not really understanding Lucious’s drive to keep Frieda. She’s not worth the effort to me personally. I think something more happened to Hakeem, he’s trying desperately to prove his manhood and Anika got lost in the shuffle. It’s going to be nothing but fireworks when Cookie finds out about Laz. The best moment of the night was when the brothers kicked their parents out and worked things out together, ending in a group hug.

  10. Raquel says:

    This episode was awful! The direction was all over the place and did not make sense. Also, some of the scenes are so unrealistic. Lee Daniels should have spent more time to work on this season because it feels rushed and it is not good.

  11. Diana says:

    This was the best episode this season! It got me back into empire cuz i was losing interest

  12. Win says:

    1. I’m not trying to be a jerk (today?), but I thought it was “Freda” Gatz w/an “e.”
    2. They made me feel bad for Anika – between the call to her Mom and ultimately being [not] shown [past] the door after Hakeem used her in that “I need to feel like a ‘real man'” way (and yes, that crossed my mind, but I’d hoped the doctor’s exam ruled that out. At the same time, I would hope if something did happen, a medical professional wouldn’t walk out and announce to the victim’s family, so perhaps. Fictional or not, adding sexual assault to the battery we’ve already seen would be hard on Hakeem after an already horrifying experience.
    3. No, I did not see the Laz twist coming, but I cannot wait to see where it is going. This is definitely one of those “be careful what you wish for” moments for fans, because I remember a lot of clamoring to get those two together after their past co-star heat.
    4. Cookie’s well-shoed foot on neck + the Andre line about surviving being Cookie & Lucious’ kids were absolutely my favorite.
    5. Go Becky! And I agree that Becky vs. Andre (whether directly dealing with J. Poppa or just their belief in the direction of Empire/its new label overrall). I was surprised that Andre couldn’t see his Dad would ultimately still pull strings (as is his right in some situations) when it came to any Empire title for Andre.
    6. I also can’t wait for the “Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom” blow up when Hakeem hears whatever track Freda Gatz releases with what Lucious said he wrote for him (especially if he comes back to ask for it first, which I doubt, but this is Empire). Still, I’m glad Hakeem and Mirage à Trois came through for a moment.
    7. Wow, this ended up being way longer than I intended. Too long, [don’t] read.

    • Relaxxx says:

      Wow I thought I was the only one that felt sorry for Anika. Her phone conversation to her mom, continuously calling Hakeem, showing up at his door to then get the brush off after having sex made me feel for her. I agree also with the rest of your post!

  13. MiaB says:

    I think it’s Gutter Life Records, not Ghetto Life.

  14. Alan Dvorkis says:

    Did they not imply that the dr. that examined Hakeem perhaps had an ulterior motive? Perhaps Hakeem knew that and it is why he is a bit off. Doc did say he only needed stitches when in fact he had a concussion so maybe?

  15. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    So I finally watch this ep. after skipping some cuz this season is kinda lame….not what I was expecting. Last night’s ep was alright but I LOVE the music that was playing through out it especially the last one w/ Lucious and Freda Gatz ”Boom Boom”!

  16. Nellie Smith says:

    I know old christian women who can throw down better than frida gathers.

  17. linda says:

    he’s fine but a trip. fantastic show

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