‘Empire’ Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: Andre Confesses His Sins, Hakeem Is Kidnapped & Ne-Yo Performs
Last night's episode of Empire really needs no introduction so let's jump right in.
Now that Vernon's decomposed body has been shown to the FBI, there's no evidence left that points to Lucious as Bunkie's killer. Lucious' lawyer, Thirsty, helps him celebrate his second round of freedom, which is quickly followed by Andre's "return to the Empire" as Lucious puts it. As a peace offering and welcome-back-to-my-team kind of present, the king Lyon brings Andre back home as the president of Gutter Life Records currently starring none other than Freda Gatz.
At this point in life, Andre should know all things are a test; thus, it should have been no surprise when his faithful daddy celebrates the rebirth of Gutter Life with a conference room full of strippers, champagne and a lap dance or two for Andre. Ironically, this scene seems to resemble a regular day at the office in the music business, right?
Coming to the mind, body and soulful decision to not want to be anything like the devil that bred him, Andre decides he's ready to get baptized. And after speaking to his pastor, he knows exactly what he has to do to make that happen: confess all his sins to the people that love him then invite them to his baptism. So he does because "your house ain't clean if your closets are still dirty," according to his pastor. He admits setting Jamal up at Ghetto Ass Studios; he admits to helping Cookie blackmail Lucious as a way of getting back into Empire; he tries to admit to Cookie a thing or to, but Cookie's not having it because she's "done bad things too;" but he doesn't admit to killing Vernon. Anyone else wondering why that's the only thing he would leave out?
The Lyon pride shows up to support Andre, but Lucious is MIA -- or so we thought. The devil dared god to touch him when he walked into the church because in his eyes, god can't touch him. After one whole season and five new episodes, fans finally get a glimpse into the life of Dwight Walker -- Lucious' real name -- and the ways his mother (played by Kelly Rowland) forces him to want to be like good ol' Lucifer if god meant being put under water in the tub every time your mom was having a manic episode. After remembering these parts of his life, Lucious walks out of Andre's baptism. This takes his son back to the conversation they had when Andre asked for daddy's attendance.
"The only commandments I want followed here are mine. You can check your faith at the door," Lucious says to Andre sternly. But committed to defending himself, Andre kindly barks back. "You gave me life, but god gives me hope." Unfortunately, Lucious quickly shut Dre down, again. "There is no god. You just need to man the hell up."
While the intellectually lucrative Lyon was giving his life to the Lord, Hakeem was getting kidnapped by some guys Thirsty sent to shake down Cookie and the Dynasty for their money and her masters. But Hakeem wasn't the first one to get hit. Tiana gets robbed at the studio entrance by two "ugly bitches." The girls put on masks and make a viral video with a guy that thinks he owns the block. Now that Cookie's moved in, the streets are trying to tell her she can't set up shop there for free. Tiana's warning isn't enough. Hakeem gets kidnapped while running in the park in broad daylight.
Let the soap opera sound effects begin. On a more playful note, not only is Ne-Yo helping write and produce songs for the new season, he's also jumping right in to get that guest appearance. Playing himself of course, Ne-Yo gets ready to join Jamal on tour for a few show dates. Together, they premiere Empire's latest single, "Never Love Again."
Oh, and you can't forget about everything that gave the show it's ultimate OMG moments. First, did anyone notice how Rhonda was wearing the shortest, tightest skirt at the beginning of the episode showing no signs of pregnancy, but after 45 minutes, she shows up to Andre's baptism looking four months pregnant. Then, "the new Andy Warhol" has no preference when it comes to his men. Jamal turns him down after being pinned in a corner with "Warhol" placing his mouth right at Jamal's pants' zipper. But Michael doesn't seem too capable of demonstrating the same restraint. So, Jamal walks in on Michael receiving an oral gift and walks out.
And did Empire try to be a subliminal criminal and take a shot at Cash Money with its "Cash Money just ain't got what Young Money got these days" comment?
Guess we'll know soon enough. Stay tuned for more drama from Empire next week.
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