'Empire' Recap, Episode 5: Lucious Has It Out for Lyon Dynasty, Andre Confesses His Sins
Things have taken an interesting turn for Lucious and his family, as if things weren’t hectic already. Episode 5 highlighted just how bad Lucious has it out for Lyon Dynasty and Andre decided to come clean with his family, confessing his sins.
The episode opens with Lucious seemingly shaking all of his legal woes as the state attempts to minimize their embarrassment after Vernon’s body turned up in the prosecutor’s car. They tell the public that he committed suicide.
Now that the case against Lucious has been dropped, he can focus his energy on other endeavors, like signing Freda Gatz to Gutter Life Records. He also made Andre the president of the label and rewarded him with a lap dance, which he didn’t seem to enjoy.
Jamal is the studio recording his album and it’s apparent that he’s distracted, so Lucious calls on Ne-Yo to give his son some advice. Jamal’s dilemma, whether or not he should take his boyfriend Michael on the road with him. Lucious says that having your man with you means you can’t cheat on your man, and it won’t keep you focused. Ne-Yo, on the other hand, says Jamal should bring Michael if he’s his serenity.
After his encounter with his father, Andre decides to pay a visit to his pastor and he wants to get baptized. The pastor tells him he needs to confess his sins to his family and invite them to the church. Elsewhere, Andre’s wife Rhonda tells him he doesn’t need approval from those sinners.
Back at Lyon Dynasty Records, Tiana is shooting a random photo shoot as Cookie directs. Once they wrap, Hakeem introduces everyone to Valentina’s replacement, Laura, whom he met at a bar. Hakeem kisses Tiana and the newbie worries that Hakeem is going to want something in return for the opportunity. As Tiana waits for her ride, she’s approached by two women razor blades in their mouths, who shake her down for her purse.
Soon thereafter, someone shows Cookie a video of of three masked people going through Tiana’s bag and she realizes that their trying to extort her budding company.
Jamal, who’s still on the fence about his decision, goes out with his boyfriend and the stranger photographer Thomas Verde. The discuss Michael going on tour and in another scene, the photog attempts to give Jamal fellatio. Michael walks in at the wrong moment and walks off with Jamal as Verde yells out, “A mouth is a mouth!”
Cookie and Lucious go pick up Vernon’s ashes and Cookie questions whether he had something to do with it. They both question the state’s story of a suicide.
Hakeem and Jamal throw their own separate parties and Hakeem decides to push up on Laura. She makes it obvious that she’s not here for that and storms out. On the contrary, Jamal is in for a shock as he goes looking for Michael, only to discover that he’s on the receiving end of oral from Verde.
While talking with Laz Delgado, a smooth concert promoter played by Adam Rodriguez, two robbers break in to steal Cookie’s masters. Luckily, Delgado helps her catch the thieves before they get away with her material. It is revealed that Thirsty is behind the whole scheme. Earlier in the episode, he tried to convince Andre to do his dirty work and somewhat threatening to expose him, saying, “I thought we made nice digging in the dirt.”
Andre meets with his two younger brothers and confesses that he was so desperate to be the head of Empire that he pit the two against each other, even at the expense of their lives. He reveals that he had Jamal robbed and asks his brother’s to attend his baptism. Hakeem forgives him and says he’ll go. Jamal wonders if he’ll be accepted in the church.
Next, Andre pays a visit to Lucious and confesses that he’s the one who told Cookie to blackmail him and produce Jamal’s album. In return, his father accepts his confession, but scolds his baptism. “There’s no god. You need to just man up,” he said.
Hakeem makes things right with Laura by apologizing and offering her a ride home.
Freda Gatz makes her way to the studio and after a pep talk, Lucious decides to attend Andre’s baptismal ceremony. Surprisingly, all of Andre’s family shows up at the church and Rhonda makes sure to keep her distance. While Andre is being baptized, Lucious has a painful flashback to his childhood, where his mother sings and performs a baptism of her own in their bathtub. He leaves the church as the vocals of a choir begins to fill the church.
The episode ends with Hakeem being kidnapped from a park.