How the tables have turned. In Season 1, it was Jamal who was stuck recording in a sketchy Brooklyn studio. Now, he's on top of the Empire kingdom and Hakeem is the one roughing it.
Related: 'Empire' recap: Season 2 Episode 1
The Lyon family is divided with Jamal still heading Empire while Cookie, Andre and Hakeem setting up shop at the aforementioned Brooklyn studios forming their own record lable. But with Hakeem's album still tied to Empire, they have little to push. Hakeem's idea: create the next Destiny's Child. While auditioning, he's wowed by a spirefire Latina played by "Can't Stop Dancin'" singer Becky G.
Anita and Cookie are sti at odds. At first, Anita tries to wiggle her way into the new record lable, but after one too many disses from Cookie, she (finally) walks away. For now...
Meanwhile, Jamal is still struggling trying to balance running Empire and finding time to record his own music. Still taking meetings with Lucious at prison, the two decide to woo Hakeem back to Empire. But when Jamal asks, Hakeem says no.
Meanwhile, Andre's wife Rhonda takes a meeting with Jamal and begs that he let Andre back at Empire. Jamal is resistant until Rhonda tells Jamal she's pregnant. Then it's all "Oh, Uncle Jamal" and smiles all around. Jamal promises he'll talk to Lucious about it. Andre really does want to be back at Empire. The struggling, start-up life Cookie and Hakeem are living just isn't for him.
As a way to get his music out into the world, Hakeem leaks it online. He knows he'll make no money off of it this way, but he thinks it's more important just to get it out there. This is the last straw for Andre, who tells Cookie Empire is going to sue them. He quits and heads to prison to see Lucious, asking if he can come back to Empire. And then...Lucious says no.
Lucious has been keeping busy in prison. He's been clashing with one of the security guard, played by Ludacris, but also connects with a seemingly shady lawyer, Thirsty, in a terrible suit who promises Lucious he can get him out without him having to plead guilty. Meanwhile, Lucious was inspired to write a new track and his new lawyer sets up a way for him to record in the prison. The new single gets done and is an immediate hit.
During Lucious's hearing, Thirsty get to court late but rushes in with new evidence. He slips the judge an envelope containing photos of the judge engaging in some hardcore S&M. The judge releases Lyon on $1 million bail.
Best line of the episode: "Do you still go to church? Do you still believe in God? Good. Ask him to forgive you, because I'm not going to."
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