‘Empire’ Season 4, Episode 6 Recap: Becky’s Breaking Hearts, Hakeem Fights For Custody, Angelo’s Losing Control
This week's episode of Empire picks up with Lucious back in action and Hakeem choosing to fight for baby Bella instead of running away to Cuba.
The Lyons are running around town, trying to get to Hakeem's very public custody hearing on time. They meet the youngest Lyon son outside the courtroom to let him know he's not alone. Before entering the tribunal, Cookie chimes in to give the family a little advice. "Today, we're the royal family. So everybody get your feelings in check."
Judge Lydia Barnes is presiding over the case, and immediately makes it known that she has a relationship with Diana DuBois and her family. This is a clear conflict of interest because Angelo is representing Anika in the case.
In Angelo's opening statements, he refers to Hakeem as a B-list celebrity who loves a lifestyle filled with drugs, sex and booze; he also describes Cookie and Lucious as the hip-hop Bonnie and Clyde; and tells the court Bella will not make it in the Lyons' custody. Family members from both Hakeem and Anika's sides sharing credible character-building stories and the reasons why one would make a better parent than the other.
Andre tells the court that "being a father made Hakeem take life seriously. I watched my little brother become a man." Jamal says "there's been a change in Hakeem" and being a father has made him "very dedicated." Then Tiana takes the stand and explains that Hakeem has "changed his whole life" for Bella. Anika's family chimes in to illustrate that their daughter comes from an eloquent upbringing and background.
The verdict looks unclear because both parties are presenting sufficient evidence to support their case—until Tiana takes the stand. She breaks down into tears when Boo Boo Kitty's lawyer interrogates Tiana with false accusations about Hakeem's home life—like entertaining groups of women in the hot tub in his living room or drinking and doing drugs in the home where his daughter lives.
Hakeem blames Tiana for potentially putting his case in danger. Tiana's been by his side through all the drama, but Keem's comments were the last straw. She tells him to kick rocks, and rightfully so. "You're stressed out of your mind right now, but I deserve better. So when you get your brain back and start looking for me—don't." (Damn, Tiana!)
Cookie finally hits the stand as another one of Hakeem's character witnesses, but it's Lucious' statements that not only move the court, but shut down Angelo DuBois' pompous and revenge-filled interrogation.
Hakeem decides to represent himself after his lawyer says he doesn't know how the case will play out. He calls Anika to the stand and proves to the court that she knows absolutely nothing about her daughter - not her favorite color, not her favorite food, not her favorite stuffed animal, nothing. Her testimony makes everyone believe Hakeem will be granted full custody, but that all changes when Diana gets called as a last minute rebuttal witness for Anika. She brings video of conversations she's been recording between herself and Hakeem about the downfall of his family. On the tapes, he calls his father a monster, says Andre is crazy, wishes Cookie was back in jail and calls Jamal a pill-popper. For those facts alone, Judge Barnes awards full custody of baby Bella to Anika.
Anika joins Diana, Angelo, Warren and the rest of the DuBois family in a celebratory dinner, and establishes her place among society's elite. But one of those elite members happens to be Angelo's sister's new attraction - Andre's psychiatrist.
As the Lyons are running around frantic, Becky is stressed over being forced to work with her ex-beau, rapper J Poppa (the man that left her to follow his dreams, go on tour and make a platinum-selling christian album.) Andre brings him back from the road, and let's the label know he's been added to the brand's coveted 20-for-20 campaign. Becky begrudgingly goes to one of J Poppa's studio sessions and tells him to come harder with the tracks. He takes it personal, confronts her, then placed his tongue in her mouth. You can imagine where things went from there.
J Poppa sees Becky the next day and tells her he's happy they hashed things out. Becky agrees, but for different reasons. Ultimately, she shuts him down and breaks his heart by telling him, "I really worked hard to get where I am, and I wanna give [my job] my all. You understand that, right?"
It's a cold world in these New York City streets.
Before the episode wrapped, did anyone else catch Angelo's hand gently stroking Anika's hand? Looks like a new storm is brewing. The Empire better watch out.
Watch Empire Season 4, Episode 6 Sneak Peek: Order In The Court
Watch Empire Season 4, Episode 6: "Lucious Demands To Testify":