‘Empire’ Season 2, Episode 16 Recap: Andre Finds His Grandmother, Rhonda Remembers, Jamal’s New Lover
For the first time in weeks, Empire viewers nationwide should have been glued to their TVs during last night's episode (May 4). So much happened, it's hard to recap it all. From a hostile kidnapping to a scene where Hakeem and Laura share more than 100 words to Leah Mary Walker coming back from the dead, Lee Daniels and Danny Strong clearly got the audience memo to bring back the addictive drama that captivated viewers during season one.
If you remember last week's episode, then you remember Harper (the journalist) feeling slighted by Lucious after he gave her exclusive to another outlet. For a little payback, Harper tracked down Leah Mary Walker - Lucious's mother - and shared photos of her existence with Andre.
To kick off last night's episode, Andre went to visit Leah Walker. She didn't know who he was at first, but by the time he took her from the home and through the doors of the family's nightclub she knew exactly who he was. Caught in his lies, and caught off guard by the sight of his mother, Lucious looks he saw a ghost. Andre explains the story of Leah Mary Walker to the family, and how he about how sent her to a home and paid hush money for 21 years for the home to keep her there and keep quiet. Instead of lashing out like he normally does, Lucious responded with this: "You have no idea what you've done ... none of you understand how dangerous she really is."
The Empire [co]-CEO sits down with Cookie and explains the real story about what happened to his mother after she held a revolver in her hand and pulled the trigger. In fact, none of that was a lie. The only problem was there were no bullets in the gun so she couldn't actually die.
Leah Walker ultimately ends up at Lucious's home after Andre fights with his father and Thirsty to keep her out of the home. While she's in the house, she keeps calling him Dwight, and he keeps correcting her. The interactions between them are uncomfortable to say the least. There's clearly something more to the story that we haven't heard yet. Ms. Walker comes across as if she's a frail, lonely old lady, but when she opts to wake Lucious up in the middle of the night to force feed him cake viewers start to see her differently. Honestly, she's evil. With a butcher knife in her hand - to cut cake, mind you - she looks at Lucious and says, "I was fine until you were born. All my troubles came with you...I'm sorry I was too weak to kill you when I had the chance."
And to think, this all started with a little investigative journalism.
Speaking of journalists, you should know Harper's gone missing. Between Lucious and Thirsty, the woman-with-a-mission was taken by two men in all black after Thirsty told her to get out of his car in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.
While Harper's being kidnapped, Rhonda is helping Anika unpack all of the baby stuff that she and Andre would have used if her baby came to term. Looking for a fresh start, and a way to get rid of all the baby supplies without simply throwing it away, Rhonda figures helping Boo Boo Kitty is the next best thing.
Unfortunately, when a large box filled with some large baby product begins to fall on Rhonda, Anika puts her hands on Rhonda's back to cover her. And that's when Rhonda has a few flashbacks and magically puts it together that Anika is the one who pushed her down the stairs.
As everyone else is running around the city handling their own problems, Jamal finds himself intrigued by D Major, the music director for the ASAs. During a studio rehearsal, Jamal and D Major get into an argument over music production, and next thing you know Major is kicking everyone out of the studio and ripping Jamal's clothes off talk. With clothes literally flying everywhere, it looks like Daniels and Strong really took things to a new level with their rendition of a primetime television sex scene.
While those are the major highlight's from last night's episode of Empire, FOX and the show's producers introduced a number of new storylines to help close out season two and set up season three. Yes, if you didn't know already, there will be a season three.
Candace, Cookie's older sister, comes back to tell Carol it's time she take her kids back now that she's fresh out of rehab. When they meet at a local restaurant to discuss the situation, a mysterious man is sitting at a nearby table and taking in their every word. Turns out an old friend from the neighborhood joined the feds, and is tracking Carol and Candace as a means of taking down Lucious.
Tiana is letting her jealously jump through her skin, and she lets Hakeem know Laura is no competition while they rehearse their new duet. She wants him, and it looks like she's about to become that girl that does whatever she needs to do to get him.
Finally, after singing and playing the piano alongside his mother, Lucious has a familial epiphany and composes the perfect family song for the Lyon's ASA performance. After introducing it to Cookie, Jamal and Hakeem, Lucious says, "No matter what happens, I'm still your father and you're still my first love and you're still my kids."
With two episodes remaining before the season finale, it looks like Daniels and Strong have some explaining to do!