This week’s episode of Empire was full of tweetable punchlines as Hakeem and Freda Gatz faced off in their Lucious Lyon fueled rap battle. During episode 8, appropriately titled “My Bad Parts,” Jamal finds a happy medium between working with his parents, Anika discovers some game changing news and shows up in a wig while Cookie is hit with some unexpected family drama. We've recapped five of the best moments from the episode below.
The episode opens with Lucious taking shots at his own son Hakeem by way of Freda Gatz. Apparently, Lucious really has it out for his son, who previously rejected his offer to collab on a song and return to Empire. Gatz has filled that void and makes that very clear in her diss towards the youngest Lyon, on which she drops lines like, “If you look around, I’m the son that your daddy always wanted.”
After getting wind of the viral video, Hakeem challenges Gatz to a rap battle and comes out victorious, thanks to a little advice from Jamal. At the end of the battle, hosted by Funkmaster Flex, Hakeem smashes out his last name on a neon light and tells the crowd “bullet to the name Lyon.” He declares that he would only go by his first name from now on.
The Joy of Cola
Things are looking up for Jamal, who happens to be a top contender for a shot at being the next face of Pepsi. After finding out he has a week to submit a song for the board’s consideration, the middle Lyon puts in some work in the studio with Cookie. Unbeknown to his mother, Jamal also accepts a track from Lucious. He craftily puts both songs together and although it doesn’t initially go over well with his parents, Jamal earns the deal with his mashup
Last season, viewers were taken by surprise when it was revealed that Jamal allegedly fathered a child with a woman played by Raven Symone. It was later uncovered that Lucious was really the little girl’s daddy and it appears he may be getting a dose of his own medicine this time around. Anika, who was engaged to Lucious the first season, is now pregnant by Hakeem, most likely a result of their rump after Hakeem trekked to her house following his kidnapping. She appears distraught with a butcher knife before discovering that she’s with child.
My Sister’s Keeper
Following Hakeem’s win against Freda Gatz, the clan heads out to celebrate but their festivities are interrupted when Cookie’s sister, Candace (played by Vivica A. Fox), shows up. Making a scene and calling Cookie by her government (Loretha), Candace informs her that their sister Carol, has gone on a drug binge and left her kids. After a slick exchange of words, Cookie demands that they head to Philly.
In the final scene of this week's episode, Hakeem calls a car for his girlfriend Laura and sends her home from the club. Little does he know, Anika, who appears in a blonde wig, hijacked the car following her failed attempt to mention her pregnancy and Hakeem’s declaration of love, presumably for his new chick.