Post Mortems

Empire Post Mortem: EP Talks Lucious' Confession, Andre's Collapse and That OMG End-of-Episode Hook-Up

Score one for Cookie on this week’s Empire — and we do mean score.

Taraji P. Henson’s magnificent matriarch finally got her man — at least for a night — when she and ex-husband Lucious (Terrence Howard) escalated their living-room slow dance into a full-fledged “Dancing in the Sheets” situation at the end of the eventful hour.

The ex-spouses succumbed to their desire after Lucious gathered his family — sons Jamal, Hakeem and Andre, plus Andre’s wife Rhonda and, of course, Cookie — to reveal his ALS diagnosis. Unfortunately for Empire’s head honcho, his fiancée Anika returned to their mansion and secretly spied Lucious helping Cookie hit a high note (if I’m not being too subtle).

We caught up with Empire‘s showrunner Ilene Chaiken to talk about Lucious’ love triangle, Andre’s devastating response to his father’s illness, and Hakeem and Jamal’s ongoing feud and continued artistic collaboration (as well as the end of Jamal’s romance with Michael and Hakeem’s still illicit affair with Camilla).

TVLINE | Let’s talk about the end of the episode — Cookie and Lucious finally hook up. Their dance and their kiss happened in the same room where a couple episodes ago we saw Lucious proposing to Anika. We also had the scene of Lucious in the ambulance — looking back and forth and deciding who was going to ride with him. You play a lot of back and forth between the two romantic relationships Lucious is juggling — and they couldn’t be more different.
Here’s what we believe: Cookie is Lucious’ one. It’s just so clear. And it was clear from the moment they appeared on screen together. It’s a chemistry between the actors, but it’s really the characters that Lee Daniels and Danny Strong created. There’s just such an extraordinary connection. That said, we also believe everything Lucious says he means. When he tells Anika he loves her, when he asks her to marry him, it’s not just scheming, it’s not just self-serving. It’s what he wants in the moment. And how many men have we known just like that?

TVLINE | Obviously, everybody loves Cookie and roots for her — but Anika showed us this week that she’s willing to play dirty by slipping drugs into Elle Dallas’ drink and sabotaging her comeback performance. She’s in a death match to hang on to what she feels is rightfully hers.
Absolutely. And Anika showed us all she’s not to be messed with. She’s a formidable opponent for Cookie — and we shouldn’t disregard her by any means. She’s playing to win.

TVLINE | I do love how Cookie calls her “Boo-Boo Kitty.” Where did that come from?
As I understand it, that was Taraji all the way. [Laughs]

EmpireTVLINE | Tonight we also saw a new side of Cookie, where she commanded a room full of potential investors. On paper, that’s crazy: She just spent 17 years in jail and suddenly she can pull of an impromptu speech to help generate support for an IPO? And yet as it played out, it somehow didn’t seem far-fetched.
We didn’t struggle with that dynamic — but we certainly talked about it. The first thing to think about is, yes, she did spend 17 years in jail, but before that she ran a successful drug business, she had $400,000 on which Empire was started. She has some skills and she knew what she was doing. That’s not something to be taken lightly. Beyond that, there’s always the possibility that she learned in jail — that she studied business. But much more importantly, she has natural skills — she knows how to work a room, she can talk the talk and she’s the smartest person in the room other than Lucious. And Lucious knows that when he chooses her. That part of the character is a lot of Cookie and a lot of Taraji.

TVLINE | This is a hard thing to articulate, but I feel like on Empire, there’s a camp factor that the character of Cookie is well aware of and plays up — she rocks these outfits, she’s genuinely funny with “Oh, and Anika, this is an ass” —  but it’s not a camp factor that necessarily pervades the show itself. It’s this fine line, and it’s about an awareness of campiness rather than an unintentional campiness.
You articulated it perfectly and I’m so glad you said it, because I feel that way, too. There is some delicious camp to the show, but it’s real. It’s the camp of life. These are real characters who behave this way in life. And one of the reasons this show works is because these people are real — and why not make a show about people who are this interesting and colorful and fun and large?

EmpireTVLINE | Cookie and Lucious are so fun as adversaries — but the chemistry between them is clearly electric. How do you navigate what’s soon for them to be coming together — and how hard it might be to sustain the story if they’re on the same side?
To talk about it specifically would be giving away spoilers — which I don’t want to do. What you said is true, though, and we’ve been aware of it. But we’ve always had a specific plan that was based on what we believed would really happen. It was inevitable from the very beginning that Cookie and Lucious were going to hook up. It can’t not. You feel it, you know it’s coming. Now, whether or not it only happens once or if it’s going to happen again is another story. But we knew when in the season it would happen and why it would happen. And we know where we’re going and it’s complicated. But everything in the Lyons’ lives are complicated.

TVLINE | Did you debate whether Anika should walk in on Cookie and Lucious in bed — or was there debate about the way she’d learn of this betrayal?
It is, of course, a classic soap moment — but it’s also just a classic moment. When you cheat, that’s the way you most often get caught. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t know somebody who got caught in just that way. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Cookie’s expression in that bedroom scene with Lucious — the giddiness of that moment, the way it was shot — was phenomenal.
I love it too, and I love those actors, I love them together, they have so much fun — and we should probably do an outtake reel from that scene. Of course, it’s a little bit racier than what appears on screen — the things they had to laugh about and what they had to yell at each other about. [Laughs] The director of that episode was Sanaa Hamri (Something New) — and she’s so good and she knows how to really deliver those moments.

TVLINE | So let’s talk about the Lyon kids. Jamal’s daughter was a plot twist I didn’t see coming. How long will we play with the grey area of whether or not this is his biological child?
It’s a big part of Jamal’s story for the rest of the season — through Episode 10.

EmpireTVLINE | What’s exciting as a viewer is that Jamal’s coming-out story is not a side arc, but a central one — maybe the central one. We see his father put him in a trash can in Episode 1 — but there’s still love between them. We feel like he’s a fully realized gay man, and yet at the same time he can’t quite get to the point of coming out as a public persona. It’s already complex and layered — and now there’s a toddler thrown into the mix. Did you ever worry it’d be too much?
It’s never too much. The idea of “too interesting” is not possible. And this is a show in which you can pile a lot on and still not cross the threshold.

TVLINE | Is Michael out of the picture for good? He and Jamal seemed really close — and then suddenly they were not.
We felt like it was fraying already, and as much as we love Michael and love the relationship, it seemed clear like in so many relationships — it’s not specific to gay relationships — this is someone Jamal was going to outgrow. And more than anything it’s the story of an artist — and it’s something that happens so often with artists as they start to find their voices. Lucious, as difficult and homophobic as he is, talking to Jamal about how hard it is to be with an artist is a really authentic moment — and one of the first bonding moments between those two characters. We’re not telling the story of a gay relationship breaking up — we’re telling the story of an artist outgrowing a partner who would never be able to go as deep with him as he needed to go.

TVLINE | Cookie really planted those seeds in Michael’s head in last week’s episode — even though she’s been the No. 1 proponent of Jamal coming out publicly. Her whole idea — “you’d better have your own thing going on” — really seemed to get under Michael’s skin.
I would venture that Michael’s leaving had as much to do with that as anything. If Cookie hadn’t said that, maybe Michael wouldn’t have been quite as shaken by Jamal’s “nobody special” comment. But Michael is a smart enough man to know when and where he should cut his losses.

EmpireTVLINE | Speaking of the sons, in some way Andre has been the one we’ve focused on the least. But this week, when we see him sitting in the shower after Lucious reveals his ALS diagnosis — it was so powerful, almost this wordless scene. Can you talk me through that one?
I would count that scene as the beginning of Andre’s big story in this first season — and going forward, his story becomes more prominent and more powerful. Trai Byers is such a phenomenally gifted actor, and what you’ll see him do in these next episodes is really stunning.

TVLINE | Andre’s relationship with Rhonda is fascinating, too. She’s a schemer, but I feel like the scene where she comes across him in the shower was a true moment of tenderness. Are those two on solid footing?
We’ve always discussed — Lee and Danny and the writers — that Andre and Rhonda is probably the best and healthiest relationship on the show. They really are together and they have each others’ backs. And they’re more honest with one another than any other two characters. That’s not to say it’s a perfect relationship or there won’t be a rift. But we really look at it that despite their being twisted, it really is a good relationship.

EmpireTVLINE | Hakeem and Jamal are at the center of the other relationship that seems healthy — despite being pitted by their parents and their label as rivals, there is a genuine affection that’s been there the entire series. Tonight, when they finally agreed to put aside their differences and perform together at the Empire showcase, there was this brief, really sweet smile between them.
It’s really fun to play, and it’s one of the hardest things in the show. We know they’re rivals and we know we have to play them as rivals, but the relationship between them is so touching and so real — and we all love nothing more than to see them perform together, and to see the love between them that so often overcomes the treachery that they’re put up to.

EmpireTVLINE | Speaking of Jamal and Hakeem singing together, their new song this week, the one that samples Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” finds Hakeem rapping “Look Ma, I’m on TV.” One time he delivers the line to his mother Cookie, the next he’s saying it to his older lover Camilla. Was that deliberate?
[Laughs] It was verrry deliberate on my part. As we live tweeted the episode, my assistant Jamie said that was a product of my twisted mind — and it was indeed something I constructed in the editing room. I want everybody to be disturbed as much as he or she is — which all means we have our own threshold. I don’t find it mystifying at all — if you were asking me a question I’d say, “No, [Hakeem and Camilla’s] age difference shouldn’t be taboo.” But everybody has a different line they will or won’t cross. Most people understand though why Hakeem would go there — whether they approve or not.

TVLINE | Lucious telling his family about his ALS diagnosis was the episode’s other huge bombshell. Did you ever think about having him hold onto that secret for longer — even into Season 2?
Once we got into the room and we started breaking stories, it was on the top of our list. Can he keep it a secret? if he’s going to reveal it, when? And once we knew it, we knew a whole series of events would be connected — not the least of which was Lucious and Cookie hooking up. We knew for some time we were building to that moment.

EmpireTVLINE | I thought it was really telling that he told his three sons, his son’s wife and Cookie all at the same time, in the same room.
The theme of family was very central in this episode, as Lucious was touting this IPO and touting Empire as this family-run business. And that was the ultimate embodiment of family: “I’m going to gather the family together. Who’s my family?”

TVLINE | Terrence Howard’s role in the first half of the season has not been as showy as Taraji’s. I felt like this week — the scene where Lucious loses his voice, and the scene where he breaks the news to his family — gave us deeper insight into the character.
Terrence Howard is such a good actor — so restrained and specific. I agree with you — and there’s more to come. I love that he’s held back for so long, just really played it exactly where it needed to be played and let Cookie walk away with these moments. His moments are coming.

What did you think of this week’s Empire? Do you prefer Cookie and Lucious as adversaries, lovers or something in between? And what will Anika do to strike back? Sound off in the comments!

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. Rachel Scott says:

    Great interview. This show continues to be amazing, and this recent episode was just all kinds of wonderful.

  2. TigerLIL says:

    Wow, now that took a minute to digest, great eposide and as much as it had it’s serious moments it was funny too.The whole family thing with the ALS was classic and very well acted out. The Cookie Lucius moment was so passionate, beautiful and flawless because they went through a range of emotions that signify the deep love they had for each other and they truly lived inside that moment. I know Anika walking in had to be heart breaking because it confirms to her who the love of his life is, but he loves her too in his own special way. Seems that he really needs both of them which is interesting. But its the beginning of a nightmare too cause we see Ankia is not the polished well bred debutant she been parading she is a bonified snake. To poison another person who is trying to save her own life to get back at a woman you help make a threat to you was sadly cheesy and shows that she has the moral character of a rat. She didn’t slice the girls throat without disturbing her pearls but she did cut that singer’s throat while disturbing her drink and the security guard peeped it. I think he and Cookie are headed for a romance or an alliance don’t know how but I think in the end it will save the Empire you know, at least until next season. Interesting write up let the snake games begin. On a side note I don’t think Jamal is going to be cool with Cookie messing around with Lucius guess he knows what he is capable of but Cookie’s knows better to…run for the money….LOL

    • joycee says:

      I really think that it will be discovered that Cookie and Lucious were never divorced and that eventually Cookie will be the one who takes over Empire when Lucious becomes to ill to be head of Empire any longer, Anika will be kicked to the curb but she won’t go out without a fight because she knows a lot about Lucious shady business secrets, Andre will probably will be put in some type of mental institution for a period of time, Jamaal has a daughter now and will become more motherly, Hakeem will be strung out of cocaine and ruled by his older woman Naomi Campbell after she goes behind Hakeem’s back and sleeps with Lucious before he is aware that is his son’s woman, Cookie will discover that Andre’s wife is a “real snake” and has been spiking his meds to make him sicker and she will mysteriously disappear, Cookie loves Lucious and will stand by his side until the end or they find some type of miracle drug to substain his life longer and he will regain some of his physical strength back, out of the blue, another son from another relationship that Lucious had (that he has been paying his side piece to keep quiet) will surface and try to claim what is rightful his and he will fight with the other brothers but Cookie is going to love him because he will be more talented that ALL the sons and finally, Cookie is pregnant and she has a secret, she doesn’t know who the father is, Lucious or the new security guy, it will be a fun new season coming up, ha ha ha, I just saying.

      • truffle says:

        Joycee girl you have me entertained just by your perspective you need to write are good…

      • Yolanda says:

        Love ❤ it

      • Marie Wise says:

        Joycee, PLEASE don’t give anymore of your predictions away! Query Empire’s producers for their submission guidelines, and save your storyline ideas to pitch as a complete script for Empire’s third season. If you haven’t, learn to write formal TV scripts by taking non-credit courses at your local community college or go to your local library and check out books on TV scriptwriting. You can also purchase books on scriptwriting and screenwriting at Amazon. Best Wishes.

      • Chery says:

        You should be a writer for the show.

      • Laura says:

        I can only play out that way however I think there is going to be some time of game changing situation with boo boo kitty…

      • xaniadru says:

        That’s about right though I have a feeling that boo boo kitty is going to come up with some game changing issue of her own…

      • Sharone says:

        Great predictions! !!!!!!!

      • Aloma says:

        I like your theory. Sounds like a writer.

      • Nakia Gayles says:

        Great treatment!! Start writing your own show, I loved your vision. Good luck.

      • DEE says:

        Wow! you have quite an imagination! Head to Hollywood right not pass Go do not collect 200.00 go straight to Hollywood and claim your true calling, writing for Empire or perhaps your own show. You have got what it takes,,,If you came up with all that in a matter of moments imagine what you could think of if you had a corner office an assistant and a six-figure salary…

        • Maurita says:

          I believe Cookie will takeover Empire regardless, because Lucious has it set up that way. Remember, she put up the initial $400,000, and he never forgot that. He sees her having his back, and never betraying him when it comes to that business. She will get involved with the head of security, and Lucious will finally come around and they will reunite. Andre is going to hook up with Jennifer Hudson, Jamal will be in charge, because Cookie sees his efforts, talent and business savvy, and Hakeem will ditch Camilla, but all this will come with DRAMA! The show has so many twists and turns. I don’t know how Lee Daniels is going to do this with only, what 2 or 3 episodes left. I wish this was a year round television show, like a soap opera. Hopefully he has been extended for the next 3 years, as long as Lucious lives. LOLOL

          • Mama Grizzly says:

            Overall I agree, I think that Cookie and Luscious will remarry. I hope she doesn’t get involved with Malcolm, is that his name? She wants to get Luscious, so I think she will have a either a one night stand or a small fling with him. I believe that Andre is going to hook up with Jennifer Hudson, but his wife will be out for blood after all that she did for him! Hakeem and Tiana will hook up again. Jamal will step up and take the baton as he promised, but Andre and Hakeem will be ruthless adversaries. Luscious will hang on longer than his expiration date.

          • Maurita says:

            Good points. I just want the show to remain for a few years. Every week is great writing and acting.

      • Mama Grizzly says:

        I don’t think she is spiking his meds, she doesn’t need to. Unfortunately, Luscious is very hooked on Anika, but her treachery after episode 9 has put him on full blast as they say. He will look like a weak trick if he continues with her after this even though Luscious is manipulative and always puts Empire first and he wants to keep an eye on Anika, so to speak, for business reasons. This will infuriate Cookie and Luscious will not confide in Cookie, he sees her as too much of a hot head. Hakeem is pulling away from Camilla and towards his mother which is the healing balm that he needs, so I do not think he will get strung out on drugs or develop a drinking problem, which is the route that they were going before he made up with Cookie. Cookie will never accept any children other than her own even if they are Luscious’s which brings me to little Lola, I pray that she really is Jamal’s and not Luscious’s. Cookie is not a weak slut no baby daddy drama there. The reason why she is so fierce and abrasive is because she is always disrespected and underestimated.

    • Tanika says:

      ooh you are so right..Boo Boo Kitty is not so elegant but a RAT in disguise and that was a cold-hearted move.That really surprised me but she seems to hate everything Cookie. Why??? because she knows her man wants that….lol.. I think the guard and cookie might have some moments to until Lucious makes his choice on which woman he really wants and needs.

  3. Tarajifan says:

    Anyone think Boo Boo Kitty may have been caught dosing the drink on that selfie?

    • big cheddar says:

      I’m thinking/hoping the same thing

      • Robert says:

        Lol, I am so hoping the same thing! I want Cookie to find out what Anika did ,so that Cookie can rip her a new one in front of everybody at Empire.

        • Empire Fan says:

          It looked to me like that new security guard saw the whole thing. I am hoping all that flirting Cookie was doing with him will pay off and he’ll confess! I liked how karma came back at Boo Boo Kitty when Lucious asked Cookie to do the speech! PRICELESS…then came the “I love you Cookie!”

        • Ev says:

          That’s going to be Sooo exciting!

    • TigerLIL says:

      Tarajlfan, I don’t think so, but I do know the new security guard peeped that move and he is going to relay that information to Cookie who is going to put her ass on blast. I hated that move because I so wanted to hear the A-lister sing tunes of redemption. But as it turns out fate and his cousin Karma stepped in and evened the score.

      As fate would have it, the poisonous drink turned out to be a blessing giving the family patriarch a reason to refocus his legacy dreams on the Empire’s future instead of its past to that room full of capitalist.

      Karma stepped in when Lucius and Cookie reinforced their family ties the way they started the romance with a dance. Cookie told Tanika that she met Lucius over a dance called the whop and she is then ask to reestablish their loving bond with a dance. Script wise a great move that required a good bit of thought on the writers part rekindling all of the elements that go into a first love and it was acted out very tastefully.

      Karma put the smack down on Anikia and put some pain on that wicked heart of hers. That move she pulled attempting to destroy someone’s life taking advantage of their weakness like that showed malice of forethought and would get you a long sentence in most crimes, that was completely foul. She should have been burned at the stakes and when she walked into that room and laid witness to that passion, she was…..LOL Great review of the episode as always can’t wait til we move towards the season one climax!

    • Gayle Sims says:

      Yes, I thought the security guy saw it, The fact that he didn’t say anything says to me that he will use that against Boo Boo Kitty at some future point.

      • Diana says:

        Gayle, Watch that scene again……. I had to check it out a few more times…. Anika pours the poison as Elle is taking the selfie and then excuses herself, the cameras cut to Malcolm, (security) check out the look on his face,he saw it ALL. Next scene Lucious is talking with Camilla as Malcolm is motioning to him. Lucious graciously excuses himself and heads over to Malcolm. Fast Forward: Lucious looses his voice, watch how he looks at Anika when she says she can do the speech, because she wrote it….. He doesn’t give it a second thought and tells Cookie, she has to do it…… FAMILY…. he says……. Lucious knows what Anika did!!!

        • Marie Wise says:

          Excellent observation!

          Didn’t make the connection between Malcolm motioning Lucious and his subsequently passing Anika’s speech to Cookie.

        • Dyamond says:

          i thought i was the only one that peeped that u have a good eye girl…

          • Maurita says:

            I saw it too and when Anika was fixing Lucious’ tie, and Cookie comes in and says, Elle can’t go on, she should have trusted him, Lucious glances at Anika with a quick funny look. Vernon saw that Elle was sober, and yes, security (Derek Luke) caught it and shook his head. That is why Lucious faked his voice messing up, and it was cool, because that gave HIS BOYS the chance to start the show, so investors could see, THIS IS A FAMILY BUSINESS. Then he chose Cookie to address the investors, to spite Anika, but knew Cookie was going to get the crowd pumped by telling, the FAMILY STORY. Then he says “I love you, Cookie” to set Anika straight. The only thing strange was how he was clapping. Is the ALS taking over quicker than we think, and if so, is he planning on leaving it ALL to Cookie and the boys? Remember, that was THEIR dream. Boo Boo may be BYE BYE, soon.

      • Maurita says:

        Oh he told Lucious what he saw, that is why he nodded at Lucious to come talk to him when Lucious was talking to Camilla or Naomi Campbell.

    • Pam A says:

      Yeah, I think that the install of the new security system will reveal it to someone who will be able to hold it over her head or leak it to Cookie–that is my hope anyway…

    • joycee says:

      I think the new security man is going to let Anika know what he saw first and then she will probably proposition him to keep quiet, I don’t think that he will so Anika will probably find something out about his past to hold over his head to keep him quiet so that he can keep that job.

    • Susan says:

      wow…that’s something to look for…I’ll watch it again On Demand

    • Keshia says:

      I really thinks he saw it and for sure he will tell #Cookie

    • Dominique says:

      The only thing inoticed was the security guard peeping her pouring it in Elle’s drink. Now your idea of the dosing bring caught on the selfie is absolutely brilliant.

    • Dannei says:

      Yessss! I was thinking that the selfie caughy it. Or a camera caught her that security saw.

    • Dyamond says:

      i was thinking the same thing.. the security guard peeped it i think that’s why he pulled Lucious to the side.

  4. TVNerd says:

    why are there only 11 episodes ordered for first season of Empire?!!

    • Tim says:

      Really? I thought there would be 13. Probably because they expected it to bomb. Instead we get 17!!!!! episodes of the ridiculous Following

    • TigerLIL says:

      TV networks are alway cautiously optimistic a project will work so they stop putting in the big orders early on. I know Taraji said in an interview that the show short shooting time also attracted her to the show just like Viola Davis said for her show, plus it allows other mid-term programming to introduce more content…JMO

  5. Annie says:

    I love the soapy qualities of the show, but I’m looking forward to them exploring Andre’s mental illness. That’s not a topic that is covered in a lot of television shows, and I think that it could lead to some very interesting storylines.

    • Eran says:

      Couldn’t agree more! And considering the types of topics Ilene Chaiken has broached in the past on previous projects, I don’t doubt they’ll delve deep into that as well. This show respects its characters which is why I am so taken with it.

  6. googly eyes says:

    They spelt Naomi Campbell’s name in the opening credits as “Cambell”. She is gonna be pissed! lol

  7. Eran says:

    I am enjoying this series like I haven’t a good, quality prime time soap which respects the genre its in and treats it as if it were an HBO show, in years. As for this episode, Anika’s been made an irredeemable character for me. I know characters drugging characters is a favourite soap opera past time but to do what she did to a would-be recovering addict and in such early, frail stages? I don’t care what her motivations were. That’s #specialplaceinhell

    • evababy says:

      Yes. Thank you! I didn’t mind Anika as Cookie’s rival. I even looked forward to her coming into her own. There are bad characters and there are unsympathetic characters, but you can continue to like and root for those. This act of cruelty took her way past that. Much worse because it wasn’t aimed at Elle, it was aimed at Cookie.

    • TigerLIL says:

      Eran I said the same thing I agree with you 100% on the Anika thing irredeemable was a great choice to describe that foul you have got to be pretty heartless to make such a move when you know fully the situation…

    • charmain wilson says:

      Totally agree with you too Eran. I am sure she could have found a better way to get back at Cookie other than ruining Elle’s recovery. It was obvious she is in a fragile state. Besides the relationship between Cookie and Lucious is more complicated than that so it will definitely take a different approach to turn his interest from Cookie.

  8. Jenna says:

    Best show on TV.
    Great interview! I loved seeing Lucious and Cookie hook up, but I know it won’t be that easy. lol

  9. herman1959 says:

    FYI: Boo-Boo Kitty is from the Laverne and Shirley TV show from the ’70s.

  10. MB says:

    Damn, Jamal. Just get a DNA test. Why would this ever have to be a “grey area” when there’s a simple and easy solution?

  11. Veronica Cathey says:

    This is the best show that have hit TV in 50 years. Loving every moment of Lucius, Taraji and Sons.

  12. Delloria says:

    Hands down the best show on TV now.

  13. relaxxx says:

    I’ve rewatched this episode 3 times already! This show is so got dang good! I loved how Hakeem was ready to drop Andre for just thinking about the IPO when they just found out Lucious is dying. Great acting for Andre! Loving Jamal…I want him to be the best dad he can be! I luv how he regulates on Hakeem! Jamal is no punk! Anika is just so messed up for what she did to Elle. You just don’t fukk with someone’s sobriety! Cookie and Luscious went from zero to a hundred real quick! Lol! I luv them together!

    • TigerLIL says:

      Oh relaxxx, I done watched it about 3 times again too trying to catch the little thing I may have missed here and there I love this show it cracks me up and they got plenty real drama ahead bout 3 more episodes. I’m sure going to miss getting my weekly Empire fix and I really love writing on these blogs…LOL

  14. ChicagoDan says:

    MmmHmm: “a partner who would never be able to go as deep with him as he needed to go.” Empire is great. I think the security guard or as someone has also noted that selfie will bust Boo-Boo-Kitty. No way that just slips by. Courtney Love has been great. TPH has been killing it. Can’t believe that there are only 11 episodes – especially since they were filming in late January after the series premiered. Really surprised FOX didn’t add a few more episodes. I’d like to know how they are going to extend the timeline for the 3-year ALS diagnosis. Will they just slow things down or is that all TH is onboard for – three seasons?

    • TigerLIL says:

      Chicago Dan I think as I recall what I read 20% of people with ALS die within the first 3-5 years I think 10% make it to 10 years and 5% make it to 20 years something like that I forget now. I don’t think any person with that disease has lived a full live or past 20 years and some people disease goes in and out remission so I think they can keep him around until he wants to do something else cause he and Cookie are the stars of the show…You can fact check me on that one though….lol

      • Diana says:

        Can there be a drug/poison that can mimic the signs of ALS?….. I believe Boo Boo Kitty is poisoning him along with Ms. Juanita the housekeeper. Check out Anika and her moms scene again. She has access to any drug she wants and so does her voodoo priestess looking mother……… That’s a Debutante for ya!!!!

  15. KD says:

    Why does cookie treats her assistant so Bad?
    is it a pre-requisite for her to turn onher boss?

  16. Jew gurl says:

    I LOVE u cookie but I hope that cookie do find out what boo boo kitty did cause that was meds up and plus boo boo kitty hating on cookie cause cookie done hope out of jail and did her thing so boo boo kitty hating that’s y cookie gone get her husband back and boo kitty gone be looking stupid and another thing it doesn’t matter how boo boo kitty gone react to what she Seen in the bedroom cause if she was a real woman she would have walked in there and said what’s going on here and not walk off boo boo kitty is weak and then my girl COOKIE looked at boo boo kitty when she was getting the business like boo boo kitty u weak I love Taraji she is a real woman to me and hope to meeeeeet her one-day real soon hopefully

    • relaxxx says:

      Boo Boo Kitty is holding on to Lucious with the Kung Foo grip especially now that he’s about to be a billionaire. Anikas been cheated on a lot by him n she’s still holding on. She’s too desperate to let go.

      • TigerLIL says:

        Now relaxxx you know you are a mess Kung Foo-grip now that was the best one-liner for the night. BBKitty mother said that Lucius had cheated on the girl numerous times and that he would do it again dam that was what 2 or 3 episodes ago didn’t take long…lol

      • soohooked says:

        He is dying. There is no way Boo Boo Kitty is letting go. I see her having affairs with Andre and maybe the security guard in the future. The former because the two have the same goals but neither will leave their mate. The latter as a control measure since he will blackmail her over spiking the drink.

        • Nef05 says:

          Anika is going to push up on Hakeem. She probably won’t have a full out affair, but she does push up in there. It’s on – On Demand, TV SHOWS, EMPIRE, XTRA EMP FIRST, the 2 minute version – NOT the 21 minute version.

          Watch the 2 minute version to the end and the last scene is BBKitty, in that same red dress (so next week’s episode?) on some bleachers, with Hakeem talmbout how “Do you want to be the prince or the King?”. When he says he wants to be the king. She runs her fingers down his neck, across his shoulder and says (all soft and seductive) “Well go claim your throne then”, putting Hakeem directly up against Lucious, instead of his brothers.

          Y’all know she’s shady as a Nigerian forest…

  17. MiaB says:

    My only question is: Why is today not Wednesday already??? I don’t think I can wait 6 more days to see the next episode of Empire!

  18. Lynette says:

    I love Cookie and Luscious together but I think the show would lose something if they were together right now. Let’s play this in between thing but I can’t stand Boo Boo Kitty. lol

  19. LaLa says:

    Oh, this interview has me so excited for the last 4 episodes. What a great episode last night. The actors are amazing. The reactions, the way everyone handled each thing seemed so authentic – with the exception of Anika’s reaction upon seeing Lucious and Cookie in bed. But they did end the episode on her facial expression, so maybe she’ll spring into action at the beginning of next week. This show has so much going it for it. Bravo!

  20. iesha says:

    Fiery scenes last night. Cookie definitely got her issue.

  21. I have so much respect for this show. It’s very well- crafted. It knows its genre and it plays to the strengths of that genre. I think it’s unique.

  22. joycee says:

    This is a great show, but I believe the next surprise will be that Cookie and Lucious were never divorced and she will become the head of Empire when Lucious gets really down sick and kick Anika to the curb and really rely on Cookie’s skills in keeping the family and the business together.

  23. Great interview, Michael! You manage to ask hard-hitting questions while still being a super fan.

    LOVE Miss Taraji on this show, the whole ensemble. But sometimes, it is just TOO soapy and preposterous. Courtney Love storyline did NOT work because she is a DREADFUL actress! Was she supposed to be the label’s Amy Winehouse…? I love Love and am a big fan of Hole, but did not buy that she was somehow one of Empire’s biggest artists.

    Naomi Campbell (with a “p,” producers) is a close second in the bad actor department. Don’t sink the show with this stunt casting! Meanwhile, poor Gabourey Sidibe, an Oscar nominee relegated to a bit part, what’s up with that?

    Jamal’s daughter… um, at first Cookie is ringing the alarm, what are we going to do about her?! And a few scenes later, she’s Nana Cookie and the whole family has accepted her…without Jamal getting a paternity test?! No, no. Not buying it. This is what we call “writers’ invention” and it takes me out of the “reality” (if you can call it that) of the show.

    That Cookie didn’t get any nookie upon her release from prison? Huh-uh, not buying it… and then, in next week’s teaser, she tells Luscious he’s the only man she’s ever been with?! I don’t think Terrance Howard is convincing in his love for these two women. He only proposed to Annika so her dad/doctor would give Luscious a clean bill of health, as if there aren’t a million crooked doctors who wouldn’t do the same.

    Great “brother” chemistry between Jamal and Hakeem! Luscious’ turnaround with Jamal came too quickly… Also feel that all of the tension went out of the last episode. Like it better when Luscious and Cookie are battling…

    Will still not miss an episode. Love the “world” the writers have created, and find the music biz stuff very specific and authentic. But mainly watch it for Miss Taraji, who OWNS every scene she is in!! Hope the writers do a better job tracking character arcs/storylines so eps don’t sometimes feel like a jumbled mess.

    • Raina says:

      I think that Terrance is very convincing in his love of these women. He recognizes Cookie as his ride or die, and Anika fits the lifestyle he’s living now, plus she puts up with his crap, her parents brought it up when they told them of their engagement. I think that Anika is smart, beautiful, and dangerous, she could have any man, and she’s from money, so I believe she has an ulterior motive for being with Lucious. The record label perhaps? I do agree Cookie and Lucious should continue their love/hate relationship. But it’s evident that they do and always will have a deep connection. I don’t agree that the Lucious and Jamal issue is over. There is more to it than that. If Lucious had that much contempt for Jamal, he wouldn’t even consider him as a contender for taking over the reigns. But I would like to see more of the Andre situation. Lucious doesn’t seem to have much faith in his bi-polar son who is already in a very important position of CFO.

  24. Ruby Barnes says:

    Really loved this episode. Happy that Lucious and Cookie got together. The chemistry between the two is definitely there. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  25. Great interview, Michael! Love this show, but it’s getting frustrating~

    Courtney Love & Naomi Campbell stunt casting that’s now working, esp Love. Don’t believe for a second she was the label’s “Amy Winehouse” and though Miss Taraji OWNS every scene she is in, even she couldn’t make us believe Cookie was moved by Elle’s music. Why is Oscar nominee Gaborey Sidibe relegated to a bit part…?

    Jamal’s kid… at first, everyone is freaking out about her, a few scenes later she’s been accepted into the family without so much as a paternity test. Huh-uh.

    Cookie and Luscious are better when battling. She’s caving too soon… this man abandoned her when she was in prison and tried to screw her out of her rightful place in the company upon her release. Not buying their hook up.

    Andre’s bi-polar disorder… well, we’ve gotta give him *something* to make him interesting.

    The fact that Luscious would not have dispatched someone to do his dirty work with Bunky, again, not buying it…

    When the show sticks to the music biz, and Cookie clawing her way back in, it crackles with authenticity, but when it goes off the rails with the soapier elements, it loses me.

    Will always tune in for Taraji, though!!!

    • Eran says:

      I don’t think the producers were aiming so much for Amy Winehouse as they were for, well…Courtney Love… She’s clearly playing a fictional version of herself and her history, which fits like a glove if you look at Empire’s timeline and Love’s career with Hole.

      I will say this though; the song they gave Love last week was not even B-Side worthy and that did kind of undercut the impact Cookie claimed she’s had on her when the material they gave Elle was something you’d expect to hear on some middle aged cruise ship.

  26. Raina says:

    BEWARE – long comment!! I love the chemistry between Lucious (name of my favorite uncle) and Cookie. I think it’s better for Empire Records that the continue to be rivals because they will both continue to push their favored artists to the next level. At the same time, they will always put family first. This hook-up is what they needed, and wanted. I love that while Cookie was in prison and took the fall for Lucious and he moved on leaving her in the dust, that he never forgot HOW it all started, and who helped him. I think they should keep that love/hate thing going. But as for Anika, she may be a formidable rival for Cookie, but can you imagine Lucious finding out that it was his future wife that could have sabotaged his IPO Investors Showcase? One thing that stands out, is that if Anika and Lucious get married, it’s Anika that will have controlling interest of Empire, as Lucious promised her father. I could see Cookie playing the video of Anika putting drugs in Elle’s drink ON THE WEDDING DAY! But I think however that information comes to Cookie, she will certainly confront Anika about it, but hold on to it for a bit of leverage. I don’t want to see Lucious and Cookie get back together, I like feeling the tension, the love, the chemistry, their history. Anika is what fits his lifestyle now, Cookie is his ride or die. I see that Jamal will have a problem with his parents getting back together. There are so many ways this can play out, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen. The fact that Anika offered Cookie’s assistant more money and respect is an interesting twist as well, is she going to turn away from Cookie? One thing I would love to see is more of their history together. Before Cookie went to jail. I like those flashbacks, I would also like to see how Lucious continued on while divorcing Cookie and building Empire, and what was Cookie’s reaction while in prison. I’d also like to see a performance featuring Lucious and Cookie ( a love song that will really get under Anika’s skin).

    • Mama Grizzly says:

      I totally disagree, I think it would tear Empire apart if Luscious and Cookie do not make peace with Empire (which is Cookie & Luscious). Luscious is already married to Empire, Empire is #1 with him. Cookie is going to have to toughen up and accept that Luscious cannot go back to that great romantic love between them that created Empire. She has to match him and marry Empire and put Empire first. They will be partners again and this is what Empire needs. I think they should get married because it would close ranks and tighten up the whole operation which has become unraveled somewhat because of Cookie’s absence and Luscious’s issues and now Cookie coming into the mix as a disgruntled ex wife. As for Anika, she is a big part of Luscious’s subconscious issues. , He does not see her clearly. He is enchanted by her. She symbolizes a trophy and something of value, it is a superficial relationship but it is what they both want. Luscious didn’t understand that Anika is married to her image and status, she could never put Empire first like Cookie. He knows now how treacherous she is and he was a fool!
      As far as Anika fitting Luscious’s lifestyle, she isn’t substantial enough, what good is designer clothing in the poor house? I do not know what the writers and stylist will do because they are making such a big deal of Cookie’s hip hop hood rich ghetto fabulous look, but she needs to put some chic classic designer business clothing into her wardrobe and wear it to Empire, Luscious will see her as a completely different woman but she has to
      hold her tongue sometimes, not too much because she is a power player. i hope Anika marries Beretti and tries to do her mischief that way.

  27. Elaine Harris-Fulton says:

    I like the adversary relationship of Cookie and Lucious. If they team up together some of the fire of the show will be lost. But I would like to see it now and then following some way out family crisis. I like the struggle of Jamal being indoctrinated by the reality of an ordinary life without financial backing and the mentally and physically tough character that can be develop. I like the outrages act of Hakeem his immaturity and offensive acts keep me on the edge of what he will do next. (But leave Obama alone except in a nice way I want viewership going up not down).

    • Chery says:

      Hakeem is adorably immature. I knew that gift to Naomi Campbell was going to be something with his name on it.

    • Mama Grizzly says:

      I completely disagree they are passionate and strong willed, there is plenty of drama and intrigue that could play out with them as a couple. The two of them coming together and getting married again would really be about the business (Empire). The 2 of them still have a lot of issues about love, loss, abandonment and betrayal to work out, their marriage would never have a dull moment and there would be real romance to feed the sentimental romantics such as myself.

  28. TAL says:

    Reblogged this on Cerulean Chronicle and commented:
    Attention ‘Empire’ fans! The following is a recap of ‘Empire’ episode 1.07 – “Our Dancing Days,” which aired Wednesday, February 18, 2015 on FOX:

  29. fern says:

    just because they get together doesn’t mean that Cookie will go for anything he puts down. look at when they go back she’s always had her own voice. Anika will ruin things trying to keep Lucious. she doesn’t get that Cookie is part of Empire and that ruining Cookie in essence ruining the Empire. But she will. the hard way. Anika thinks she’s street thinks she can handle anything coming her way. being coniving is not the same as being street. Cookie has both and willl do anything for family so Anika should be careful what she thinks she wants. btw Cookie needs to really whoop Anika’s a***** in front of everyone because Anika slaps her first. Abso love the show.

  30. Jan says:

    Great interview, Michael! I love this show; really hooted out loud several times during last night’s episode. Loving all the complex characters and situations.

  31. Diane Harris says:

    I would like to see episodes where Cookie continues to work with Elle… hate to see that Elle was sabotaged like that and Cookie thinks she lapsed. The truth should come out about that.

  32. TTATL says:

    While there are still questions, for me this was perhaps the best episode yet because it brought more clarity to Lucious’ character. I needed confirmation that he wasn’t simply a self-serving ex-hubby and poor father. Many of the most successful men in the world are like Lucious. At the end of the day if they are the “good sort” they’re motivated by the need to build and provide something important for the sake of their family and legacy. Clearly for all of his flaws this is who the “driven” Lucious is… and I’m glad to see it.

    • Betty says:

      Your description of a flawed Lucious as self serving and a poor father left out the minor detail of those multiple murders he committed – it would be good for Cookie to discover he killed Bunkie before she gets too entangled. He and Anika deserve each other.

  33. Tanika says:

    I absolutely love this show. Its funny because me and my boyfriend both love it and watch the show together, typically on different TV’s in our home. But at every commercial we shout and scream or laugh about scenes. He even Facebook post in between commercials to his guy friends that are watching. RARE right….We even made bets on whether or not Cookie and Lucious would hook up again. We make sure we watch this every Wednesday and its bringing us closer especially during our Cookie and Lucious moments. Can’t deny chemistry..LOL Thanks for finally bringing a great show back to prime time televsion. The cast are so real its scary!! Plus thanks for the most famous line Boo Boo Kitty (now my man calls me that).
    I will keep watching till the very end….Keep up the excellent writing and producing of this show. Tarij and Terence are changing television sitcoms and now the bar is set. I used to love Power but Hmmm not like this (lets keep it real I love Omari Hardwick).

  34. Lyonhearted says:

    This show is simply D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!

  35. Lynn says:

    I Love Empire and can’t wait till it comes on each week. I want Cookie and Lucious to become lovers again and get re-married.
    I feel Anika will do everything in her power to keep Lucious and do every evil trick she can think of to get back at Cookie.

  36. Cheryl Theriot says:

    I love Cookie and Luscious together.
    But I wanted her to hold out a little longer for her sake. Luscious is now better positioned to take advantage of her vulnerability.

  37. Angel says:

    I want to see lucious and cookie together as lovers

  38. CountessJay says:


  39. Yolanda says:

    Cookie 🍪 should leave Licious…he loves only himself

  40. jakena says:

    I say bye bye boo boo kitty!!!! Cookie n lucius make a great partners as business n loves…. boo boo kitty is just after the money…. cookie n lucius want build something for their kids n thinkin bout the further…..#teamcookienlucius

  41. Davida says:

    I had to watch the last 20 minutes several times. Lucious and Cookie make a great team. I like the inbetween so that we can see what each individually bring to Empires legacy. Scandal what? Olivia who?

  42. Jackie says:

    I’m glad lucious and cookie hooked back up n Anika I don’t like her soo o well I think Anika is going to sleep with someone as well, but this week was good!!!!

  43. jena jay says:

    We cannot loose lucious, somebody has to come up with a cure, or mis diagnosis. He is the #1 $tar…, with his hand in the cookie jar.

  44. Desirae Ramirez says:

    Love love love the show…dont change anything, its the best and ive NEVER sat and actually counted down the days to watch a show..EVER!!!I cant get enough…beats anything ive ever watched and the actors and plot and drama EVERYTHING IS GREAT!!!

  45. janie says:

    I love anything with Terrence Howard in it and was glad to see him back on TV. As for his partner in crime Cookie they are great together since hustle&flow. Thank-you Cookie for asking for TH. Empire is great and I can’t wait til Wed. Thank-you for Empire

  46. nadia says:

    cookie is Luciouse’s soul mate. Anika his love but u cant mess with a soul mate, they can articulate each othet beuatifully. the best an inevitable thing was the Mr.&Mrs. Lyon reunite. u made my soul die and become alive. i like tge fact that they all embrace Jamal’s unknown baby, i love me som empire i can die! keep that good wrighting going

    • Mama Grizzly says:

      Not any more, Anika has become his soul mate. That is why he is treating Cookie the way he treats her. Cookie hasn’t quite figured this out because Cookie can see the phoniness in Anika. She doesn’t see that Luscious is too enchanted with Anika to see her phoniness. As I write this, Luscious has already been betrayed by Anika., She b#$$%@& him out. He knows he has to break with her, but he doesn’t want to. If he lets his sons and his employees see this weakness in him, everyone will pounce on him like vultures on a dead carcass. Cookie is his true love, Anika’s hold on his soul is a negative one. Cookie will take care of it. She will shut it down, I love Empire too!!

  47. Conchitha Hargrove says:

    I prefer Lucious and Cookie as lovers.

  48. Lynn Collins says:

    I am really hoping that Lucious has been misdiagnoised and has a curable disease or one that he can at least live with. I would LOVE for he and cookie to reunite and ANIKA to be BYE BYE KITTY! Gone for good. I have not been this excited about a tv show, seriously, since I use to watch DALLAS every Friday night with my granny in the early 80’s #EMPIRE

  49. Diana says:

    Malcolm’s allegiance is to LUCIOUS only….. He’s done ALL of his recon on everything LUCIOUS. He’s an EX military man watch his interview again with Lucious. Listen to all that he’s done. Fast forward he witnessed Anika pouring that dope into Elles drink. He informed Lucious immediately. Lucious keeps his composure and never let on that Malcolm has informed him of what went down. While Cookie is giving the presentation, what does Lucious whisper out?…… I LOVE YOU COOKIE!!! He knew what he was doing…..He still needs Anikas father! NOTHING and I mean NOTHING and NO ONE comes between his FAMILY and EMPIRE. Check out Cookie saying that she may need extra security at her apartment…. Malcolm doesn’t say a word, he just looks at her. (He’s waiting on Lucious to give the go ahead) he’s (Malcolm) ain’t doing anything unless Lucious says the word. Anika has MESSED UP big time and she don’t even know it. LOL

  50. sbfonz says:

    Lucious & Cookie should be together very much in love & working strongly together as partners along with their sons to build this family Empire.