Empire -- Meet The Lyons...Hear Them Roar!
Which son will be named Luscious successor?
Luscious is listening to a singer singing. He tells her to go back in her mind to year ago to when her brother was shot and to remember how it felt and use that while she’s singing.
He runs a recording empire and has three sons; Andre, Jamal and Hakeem. And one very angry ex-wife that just got out of prison named Cookie. He also has ALS and he’s told he has three years left. That being the case, he gathers his sons together saying he’s going to put one of them in charge. Cookie, however, may have something to say about that. As she wants her piece of the pie.
Luscious holds a press conference revealing his company is going public. He tells the press of his less than stellar beginnings. He declares that music saved his life. He also leaves out a few details like it was Cookie's drug money that she went to prison for that enabled him to start his company.
Jamal, Andre and Hakeem are told by their father he’ll decide which one is going to lead the company and he’ll begin grooming one of them for that position. Jamal compares him to King Lear and he tells him to shut his mouth. Luscious oldest son, Andre, in turn tells him that Cookie just got out of the can. Not sure why Luscious goes through the pretense that each son has an equal chance. It becomes clear the son he's planning to groom is his irresponsible youngest son who he sees as the big talent of the family.
He asks his old friend Bunky to keep an eye on Cookie when he learns she’s just gotten out of prison. Things turn a little nasty between them when Luscious won’t give Bunky the money he wants. Bunky feels that Luscious isn't treating him with the respect he deserves.
Luscious hates his son Jamal because he’s gay. He’s the first person Cookie comes to see. Luscious sent Jamal in when he was a boy to tell his mother that he loves her, but won’t come in to see her, himself. This is probably right before he divorces and dumps her. What a guy! She tells Jamal he’s different and that it will make hard for him, but she tells him she’s got him.
Jamal rushes to clean up his place before letting his mother in. She hugs him and calls him a queen. She meets his boyfriend, Michael. He asks what she’s planning to do now, and she says she’s back to get what’s hers.
Cookie is looking at all of the pictures Luscious has on display. He says it was her sacrifice that made a lot of this possible. She says he forgot about her the second he divorced her while she was in prison. She says it was her money that started the company and she wants half of the company back. He offers her a huge salary instead. She says it’s her company because she’s the one that started this. She wants a $5 million salary and to be the head of A&R. She leaves, saying he’s not sweeping her under the carpet.
Cookie goes to visit her youngest son, Hakeem. They don’t have a happy reunion. She wants to know why he hasn’t accepted any of her calls through the years or returned any of her letters. He calls her, “bitch” and she beats the crap out of him with a broom saying he’d better show her some respect. He goes to whine to Luscious about how Cookie is a psychotic bitch.
Cookie notices Bunky is watching her and she knocks on his car window before getting inside. He complains to her about the way Luscious is treating him. Said he practically raised her kids while she was inside. He tells her something has got Luscious scared and he could do anything so she should be careful. Those are words Bunky should have heeded himself.
Luscious calls Jamal in. He wants him to keep his sexuality under wraps and says that his sexuality is a choice. A flashback shows of what Luscious did to Jamal as a child when he came out dressed in Cookie’s clothes. He went and threw him in a trash can. Cookie went after him to stop him.
Rita, Andre’s wife tells him to take his pills. He says his father loves his brothers more than him. Even Jamal. She suggests setting his two brothers against each other so they’ll destroy each other. If he actually loves Jamal more than Andre, I pity Andre. Did he also put him in the garbage?
Andre goes to see Cookie. She says she’s proud of him. He’s made something of himself. They hug and they both say they’re sorry. She wonders why he married a white girl. He suggests she manage Jamal's career. He tells her how to handle Luscious and to get control of Jamal’s career.
It's interesting that Cookie didn't seek out Andre and didn't seem to have any plans to go see him. It sounds like that's a real story between them. It made me wonder if maybe Andre wasn't her son, but he called her mother.
Cookie interrupts Luscious big meeting. She threatens to reveal that her money was from drug money and it funded the company. To give her Jamal or else. So he gives her Jamal. He says he never wanted Jamal, anyway. She says she knows that. So, unfortunately, does Jamal.
Cookie watches Jamal perform. She remembers taking on Luscious for putting Jamal in the trash. She takes Jamal out and carries him back inside. When Cookie tells Jamal she wants to help make him a star he initially turns her down. But when Luscious treats him like crap even though he pumped up the song he wrote for Hakeem, saying it was all Hakeem's talent and had nothing to do with Jamal that it was good, Jamal changes his mind and tells Cookie to go for it.
Hakeem had been partying too hard and it affected his performance in the studio. It was thanks to Jamal helping him with the song and changing the music that made Hakeem's performance good. Jamal's music inspired him to get excited about the song, when he was totally unexcited about what Luscious gave him.
Bunky tries to strong-arm Luscious for money. He threatens to tell about the four dealers Luscious killed back in the day unless he gives him the money he needs. He should have heeded his advice to Cookie, because when Luscious goes to meet Bunky to give him the money he shoots him dead.
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this show or not, but I really do. I like it to the point I'm going to give up watching Criminal Minds and start watching it on a regular basis. Let's just hope the show makes it.